May 28, 2017

Beware Debt Consolidation and Repayment Proposals

In my bankruptcy practice I have dealings with many people who, in response to financial difficulties, have sought help from companies that purport to help settle, consolidate or otherwise manage the debt. By and large, most of these people have learned of these companies from advertising. While there are few legitimate firms that provide these services, most simply draft the debtor’s funds … [Read more...]

How Long Will Creditors Try to Collect on a Judgment?

In my ongoing series of blog posts about debt collection, garnishments, judgments, and how to rebound from financial setbacks I am asked lots of questions. One reader asked what happens when you've proven to the sheriff that all your property is exempt from the judgment. She said, "Do they hawk you for years waiting for your financial situation to improve? What happens if you win the lottery … [Read more...]

Wage Garnishment in North Carolina: on the way?

In many states, judgment creditors can satisfy judgments by requiring the debtor’s employer to withhold a portion of the debtor’s wages to be applied to the judgment. This has not been the case in North Carolina because North Carolina General Statute §1-362 provided that earnings within 60 days prior to a garnishment order could not be reached by the creditor. This effectively prevented wage … [Read more...]

What Can I Do about a Judgment against Me in NC?

A creditor has obtained a judgment against you. That means that the judgment constitutes a lien on your real estate (land and buildings) in the North Carolina county in which the judgment was obtained and in any North Carolina county into which it has been transcribed. It also means that the judgment creditor can have the sheriff seize personal property—anything other than land or buildings, … [Read more...]

Student Loans: What if I Refuse to Pay?

Much has been said lately about student loans, the high default rate involved with these loans, and the hardship, if not downright misery, that these loans can cause.  Now a new movement is afoot by various groups to refuse to pay student loans.  Given what I perceive to be a growing storm of discontent regarding student loans, I feel that it is now the time for me to express my opinion. To … [Read more...]

What to do When Creditors Call You at Work

Creditors and collection agencies use so-called "robo-dialing" technologies to call debtors at work, home and on their cell phones day after day.  The best advice is to not talk to them, unless you have a proposal for repaying the debt in full. If you have a smart phone, you can set it to "reject" the call, but of course this won't make your debts go away. You can send a cease and desist … [Read more...]

NC Debt Collection: Judicial Procedures

One of the most-searched-for content on my website is "How debts are collected in North Carolina."  In view of this interest in debt collection, I am going to expand on the earlier posts in a series of posts. Two general ways to collect debts There are two general ways to collect debts: Extra-judicial procedures Judicial procedures Extra-judicial procedures involve such things as … [Read more...]

The Perils of a Short Sale, Cash for Keys and Deeds in Lieu

Considering a short sale, deed in lieu or cash-for-keys offer for your underwater home? This week The Charlotte Observer reported that 46.6% of Charlotte homes have "negative equity." Some call this an "underwater mortgage" but no matter your term of choice, it means that homeowners owe more to their mortgage companies than the homes are worth. That same article went on to describe the … [Read more...]

Settle Your IRS Debts for Pennies on the Dollar

​The tax return is filed and the taxpayer cannot pay the taxes. Then comes a letter from the IRS demanding payment. The taxpayer sees a nifty ad in the newspaper or on TV screaming "Settle your tax debt for pennies on the dollar!"  Should the taxpayer hold out hope for salvation? This is almost always a promise of salvation provided by unsavory operators who prey on tardy taxpayers … [Read more...]

Help Homeowners Facing Foreclosure: Part Three of Three

In my first post of this series we covered how foreclosure works, step by step, and defined some basic real estate terms related to distressed sales. In the second post, we answered questions on preventing foreclosure, negotiating with a mortgage company, and what to do about an adjustable rate mortgage that will soon reset. This post addresses questions on short sales and sifting through … [Read more...]