May 28, 2017

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy for Second Mortgages

Homeowners who are in financial difficulty are well advised to consider a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case as an option when they are current on their first mortgage but are not paying, in full and on time each month, their second mortgage (including a home equity loan or other debt secured by the property). I see situations where people whose incomes have been cut will forego paying the second … [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...]

Reaffirmation in Bankruptcy: What, How, When and Why

The goal in any bankruptcy case is to discharge debts. Discharge is the technical legal term that means the debts no longer exist. Literally, they are gone and can never come back. An exception to discharge can come in the form of the reaffirmation of a particular debt. Reaffirmation means that the debt is excepted from the discharge and is not affected by the bankruptcy discharge. Reaffirmation … [Read more...]

Is Bankruptcy Right For Me? Questions to Ask Yourself

There are some things regarding family finances that serve as a warning that the family should take a good hard look at their financial situation and determine how to remedy the situation.  I have listed some of these below.  If your family has had one or more of these happen, do not put off addressing what may be in your financial future. 1.  There are months in which there is not enough money … [Read more...]

My Parents’ House is in Foreclosure, What Can I Do?

One of the heartbreaking realities of my practice in insolvency law is getting a phone call from an adult child who has just learned that a credit card company has sued or obtained a judgment against his or her parent, or that their parent’s real estate is in foreclosure because of missed mortgage, HOA or real estate tax payments. In my line of work, it is rare to see a senior citizen with a … [Read more...]

Can my Homeowners Association (HOA) force me into Foreclosure?

This video of a Charlotte, NC family being foreclosed upon by their homeowners association (HOA)  is a cautionary tale illustrating the power of HOAs and is one reason I wrote this . If you are facing a foreclosure by your homeowners association, or are substantially behind on HOA dues and have concerns about how to resolve this, you are not alone and a bankruptcy filing may be a viable … [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...]

Commercial Foreclosure: When Can Lenders Foreclose?

I was quoted in The Charlotte Observer in 2009 regarding a $515 million luxury condo, office and retail project in Cornelius, NC that wass being foreclosed upon. Many people are surprised to learn that the developers hadn't missed payments.  Then why the foreclosure?  Because the project wasn't hitting agreed-upon milestones -- the developers hadn't leased enough of the space. This is what is … [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...]

Doesn’t the IRS Say My Debt Forgiveness Income Can’t Be Taxed?

All this talk about mortgage principal reduction and mortgage modification in the general press is incomplete and often confusing. People searching for answers can even find that information on government websites is too general for their specific needs. Take, for example, debt forgiveness income. This IRS page on The Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act and Debt Cancellation is helpful. Is … [Read more...]