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...]

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...]

I’ll Just Ignore the Certified Letters

Some people think they can tie their creditors' hands by ignoring requests for payment or by contesting their debts with a credit bureau. They also call my office for help cleaning up their credit reports, which is not a service I offer. If you wish to dispute an entry to your credit report, I suggest you use this letter guide, provided courtesy of the Consumer Credit Counseling Service of … [Read more...]

Help Homeowners Facing Foreclosure: Part Two of Three

In my first post of this series we covered the foreclosure process and defined some basic real estate terms related to distressed sales. In this article I'll cover questions and answers on preventing foreclosure, negotiating with a mortgage company, and what to do about an adjustable rate mortgage that will soon reset. Q: Can I legally prevent a foreclosure? First, there is very rarely any … [Read more...]

How to Decide Whether Bankruptcy is Right for You

There are financial and emotional reasons to seek bankruptcy protection. Let's consider both categories. Financial questions to ask yourself Are you able to make more than a minimal payment on your debts every month? How many times in the last year have you been late or skipped a payment on a debt? What is your total debt relative to your annual income? The higher your debt to annual … [Read more...]

Bankruptcy and Undue Hardship Repaying Student Loans

Under the current bankruptcy law, student loans are not dischargeable in a bankruptcy. Whenever I say this I'm always asked about cases of "undue hardship." Experience has taught me that if the debtor is blind, deaf, mute, and is missing all four limbs, there is a small chance that the debtor can show undue hardship and thus have his or her student loans discharged in bankruptcy. In other … [Read more...]

Cash for Keys?

The copywriter who thought up "Cash for Keys" did a good job. Unfortunately, the process isn't as simple as the catchy title implies. You don't simply hand the keys over to the mortgage company, take your $1000 to put down on an apartment and walk away. [important]Unless you file for bankruptcy protection, any time you sell or surrender your home for less than the balance due on the mortgage(s) … [Read more...]