Negotiate Your Way Out Of Debt

Negotiate Your Way Out Of Debt

Negotiating with creditors and collection agencies is intimidating. You want to repair your credit and eliminate debt. You fear creditor negotiations are like an MMA fight where you’re the pre-determined loser.

Here’s what you should know. Successful creditor negotiations involve:

• Arranging more favorable payment terms
• Getting a discount on total debt owed
• Getting the creditor to remove negative information from your credit report

Before negotiating, prepare, plan, determine and decide which debts to pay down and which creditors to start with first. This game plan which determine how successful you are at achieving financial goals.

Prepare Your Negotiating Plan 

Devising your game plan consists of figuring the debts you want to pay and how you might achieve that goal. To come up with a plan:

1. Review your current budget to determine how much you can afford to pay. Create a budget if you don’t have one already. Creating a budget involves cutting expenses, reduce debt payments and/or earn additional money to figure out how much money you have to reduce, or pay off your debts.

2. Determine which creditor is paid first. You’ve probably heard about paying off the smallest debt first. This is a good idea, but you want to reduce the amount on your highest priority debts too. Highest priority debts include mortgage, car, utilities and student loan payments.

Pay off more recent debts instead of older ones. Older debts disappear from your credit history faster because the statute of limitations on debts. Creditors can collect, including filing a lawsuit for two to six years from the last payment.

Any time you negotiate or make a payment with the lender, you revive the old debt. This extends the amount of time you have to repay the debt.

Choose debts reported on your credit report. They improve your credit score faster than paying off debts not reported to the credit bureaus.

When you have multiple credit cards, choose one to pay down. Pay the minimum amount each month on the others to prevent incurring penalties and fees. Once you paid down one credit card, do the same thing with the next one.

3. Decide your goals for each debt you want to pay
What’s your goal for paying each debt other than getting more money in your pocket? Goals help you negotiate better because you know what you’ll accept and/or reject. Example of debt goals:

• Getting the creditor to remove the debt from you credit history
• Obtaining more favorable temporary and/or permanent payment terms
• Owing less money to the creditor

Additional Tips for Picking Debts to Pay First

Here are different strategies to use if you’re still confused about what debts to pay first:

• Negotiate with each of your creditors. Pay down or pay off the creditor that agrees to reduce your interest rate or debt the most or agrees to remove negative information from your credit report.
• Choose the account you want to use to rebuild your credit
• Choose the card with the highest interest rate. The strategy is to pay the high interest rate for a number of months to avoid the high interest over a longer period of time.

Employing Your Negotiating Strategy Requires Knowing the Other Party’s Intentions

Planning a negotiation strategy requires determining if you’re negotiating with a creditor or debt collector. Each have different priorities, goals and strategies.

A creditor is the person or business where you obtained your credit. It could also be the business that took your loan from the original lender. Examples of a creditor include a bank, credit card issuer or mortgage lender.

A debt collector works for an attorney or company hired to get you to pay the debt. The individual is part of a debt collection agency. They are similar to bounty hunters trying to find a fugitive because they’re only paid when you repay the debt.

There’s a big difference between a creditor and debt collector. You have more bargaining power with a creditor since they own the debt. Debt collectors are trying to make more money off you because they keep about 60 percent of the debt collected.

Debt collectors are more apt to have incorrect information about your debt. Unfortunately, they may even violate the government’s Fair Debt Collection Practices Act which prohibits abusive and deceptive practices.

Negotiating with Creditors

You have your negotiating strategy. You know your goals. Now the time comes to take action.

What do you do?

Here are some general negotiating tips to help you tackle this moment:

• Determine the creditor’s bottom line to determine how much they’re willing to negotiate for a deal in your best interest
• Have a plan and keep it. You have $500 to negotiate down a debt. Don’t agree to pay more than $500. It’ll prevent you from being successful.
• Settle debts with a lump sum payment. Many creditors will rather have money all at once than reccurring payments.
• Negotiate to eliminate late fees and other fees. You’ll pay less.
• Negotiate to reduce interest. You’ll pay down debts faster.
• Don’t let the creditor intimidate you. If they play hard ball, don’t be scared to end negotiations and contact them later.
• Avoid splitting the difference with the creditor. For instance, you offer to pay a lower amount on the debt. Your creditor wants pay the amount between your offer and payment demand. Don’t do it. You’ll pay more than you can afford.

• Be patient. You can tell your creditor no if it’s a bad deal for you. Wait a couple of days and try again because negotiations can take months to resolve.
• Don’t give up more than you get. Negotiations are about winners and losers. If you agree to something you can’t afford, you’ve lost. Your goal is to eliminate or reduce your debts, not give the creditors more money.

Pay Off or Pay Down Your Debt with a Great Negotiation Strategy

Negotiations involve a series of battles before winning the war. Negotiating with creditors requires having a plan and goals regarding the debts you want to pay.

This is important to understand if you’re negotiating with a creditor or debt collector. You’ll know how to plan to get what you want. Also, don’t be intimidated.

You can do this. You can become debt free by negotiating with your creditors.

How to Control Your Spending With a DIY Budget

How to Control Your Spending With a DIY Budget

Are you having difficulty making ends meet? Are you spending more than you’re making? Well, the answer may be as simple as sticking to a custom-made budget that gives you the power to control your spending habits and take charge of your life. Let us show you how you can do it.

Step 1: Where’s the Money

You can make your own budget or hire a professional debt-counseling agency to do it for you. If you do it yourself, begin by writing down the income you make, what you have in savings, your expenditures and your debts. Now carefully review where all your money is going and try to get rid of any expenses you really don’t need.

Step 2: Following Your Tracks

To get a clear picture of your spending habits, we’ve supplied a helpful worksheet: Worksheet 5: Daily Expenses found in Appendix C. Make eight copies of this worksheet and then date and record all your expenditures for the next two months, using a new sheet for the start of each week.

When recording your expenses, signify the method of payment: cash, cash equivalent for check, bank withdrawal, debit card or ATM. Be sure to include all bank transactions, deposits, investments, money market accounts and bank fees.

In regards to items you purchase with a credit card, only list those expenditures once they are covered by your credit card payment. Unless you pay off the credit card bill each month, you may have to list fewer items to make up for the interest charge. Along with your monthly credit card payments, list any other monthly payments you make, such as your utility bills, mortgage or rent payments, car or school loans and donations.

As for those things you pay for annually, quarterly or semi-annually, such as property taxes, insurance payments and vehicle registration fees, list them as other expenditures on a different form after your eight-week mark. Be thorough and remember seasonal spending, such as your children’s summer camping fees and holiday gift buying. It’s important that your budget accurately reflects all your expenditures.

Step 3: Time to Review

After eight weeks, review your worksheet. It will give you a clear picture of your spending habits. At this point, you’re ready to make your budget!

Step 4: Creating Your Budget

Using Worksheet 6, you can now create your budget, or spending plan. Following your budget, you’ll learn how to control the amount of money you spend by curbing impulse-buying and spending wisely. It will also teach you how to save money, which will help you to pay off your debts and rebuild your credit.

Begin by making a few copies of the monthly budget worksheet. Fill out the categories according to your own expenses, crossing out those you don’t have or typing in some that aren’t listed. Under the column labeled projected, in each category write your actual average monthly expenses.

Then add up all the expenses you tracked for two months and divide them in half. For your annual, seasonal or quarterly expenses, divide the amounts to get a monthly payment. For instance, $2,400 property tax would be listed in this category as $240 per month.

Step 5: Final Tallies

At the bottom of the column marked projected, write your final estimated monthly expenses on the total expenses line. Then put your estimated monthly income under the estimated total expenses. You will see that if your expenses are more than your income, you’ll need to cut back on your spending habits or find a way to increase your income, so you can adjust your budget to make it work.

Step 6: Living By Your Budget

Repeat the process of your budget report, labeling the columns by the months and updating any expenses in the categories. Continue tallying your spending at each month’s end to make sure you kept to your budget.

If you find yourself consistently overspending in one category, try cutting in another area of your budget. Your budget can be changed to fit your needs so don’t get frustrated. Remember, budgets are tools to help you simply keep track of your money.

Step 7: What to Do If You’re a Compulsive Overspender

If you are constantly overspending, learning how to control your money, not reducing your debts, is your antidote. You might want to visit debtorsanonymous.org to get more help. Here are a few other suggestions:

• Stop buying on impulse.
• Don’t purchase sales items because you still spend money on an unnecessary sales item.
• Purchase medical insurance in case of a medical emergency you might not afford.
• Pay for everything with cash, which can reduce spending.
• Avoid risky investments. Instead, consider money market funds or certificates of deposit.
• Move to a more affordable home.
• Don’t be a cosigner on a loan.

Wouldn’t it feel great to live with your debts gone? Well, obtaining financial stability is nearer than you think. Just try our budgeting tips for yourself and find out what it is like to live a life free from the cumbers of needless debt.

Stop Debt Collectors RIGHT NOW!

Stop Debt Collectors RIGHT NOW!

It wasn’t too long ago when debt collectors regularly bullied and intimidated debtors. These debtors were under the false impression that they would go to jail if they did not pay their bills. Their friends and family members were interrogated and threatened for information on the debtors’ whereabouts, and people who didn’t pay their debts were exposed on lists published by debt collectors.
Now, such abusive actions are considered illegal, thanks to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). When you’re dealing with a debt collector, you should form a plan and stick with it. There’s a number of options which we’ll review.

Dealing With A Debt Collector 
One choice you have–and this is if you have no money, choose not to pay right now, or plan to file for bankruptcy–is to just refuse to talk with the collector. You can simply request that a debt collector stop contacting you. However, many credit counselors will tell you that the best route is to engage the collector.

Ignoring the debt or trying to hide from the collector could make matters worse. Usually, the longer you put off the issue, the greater the repercussions. If you really need more time to pay your debt, you can negotiate a payment schedule with the debt collector; but keep in mind that they are not your friend and only want your money, even if they appear nice.

Creditor Vs. Debt Collector
The first key step to understanding your rights when dealing with a debt collector is to know and remember the difference between the creditor and the debt collector. It’s important to understand this distinction because the federal law regulating debt collectors doesn’t apply to original creditors. The exception is when creditors take steps to act like third-party collectors.

A creditor is a person or company who first loaned you the money or extended you credit. It can also be another company your debt was transferred to. This does not include a company who has taken over debts after they are in default, solely for the collection of the defaulted debts for the creditor.

A debt collector, also known as a third-party collector or collection agency, is someone whose main business is collecting debts for others. Under the FDCPA, this term also includes:

  • Any company that purchases defaulted debts for the purpose of collecting them
  • A creditor that collects its debts under a different name or by sending letters signed by lawyers

Several states have debt collection laws that apply to BOTH creditors and debt collectors.

The Pattern 
There’s a standard pattern in which efforts are made to collect past-due unsecured bills. First, original creditors try to collect their own debts. This starts with a series of letters or phone calls from the original creditor’s customer service or collections department.

When you owe money, most creditors make the first contact about a few weeks after you miss a payment. But some creditors are more aggressive and begin tough collection efforts within 24 to 36 hours after a missed payment. If you don’t respond to calls or letters, or if you have unsuccessful negotiations, usually creditors will hire a debt collector or sell your debt to a collector, and your debt is written off as a bad debt.

What To Expect When Your Debt Is Sent To A Collector 
When you understand how debt collectors tend to operate, you’ll know what to do when they contact you. One point to keep in mind is that debt collectors move quickly. Expect to hear from a collection agency as soon as your debt is passed from the original creditor.

Debt collection is a lucrative business, and agents earn commissions for results. This is why they may try to bend the law and put a lot of pressure on you. Collectors are also choosy, evaluating the likelihood of success and prioritizing certain accounts.

How Debt Collectors Find You
Don’t assume that just because a debt collector calls or writes you, they know where you live. This especially applies if you’ve moved since you started dealing with the original creditor. The only thing a debt collector knows is that they left you a phone message or mailed a letter, and received no response.

With that being said, debt collectors often find you by relying on information you have voluntarily given someone. One example is they can get your credit application from the original creditor or just access your credit report. One of the most common tactics they have is buying information from data aggregators.

Verifying Debt 
Under the FDCPA, one of the most powerful tools you have is the requirement of verification. This is where you can require a debt collector to verify the validity of the debt and the amount. This is only useful if you act quickly once the debt collector contacts you.

Usually, when the debt collector makes their first contact with you, they’ll give you the amount of the debt and to whom it is currently owed. You are notified that you have 30 days to dispute the debt. If you don’t respond and dispute the debt’s validity, the collector will assume the debt is valid.

If you do make a written dispute about the debt within 30 days, the agency must send you the requested verification. Within the same time frame, a written request for the name and address of the original creditor must also be fulfilled, if different from the current creditor.

A written request for verification means the collection agency must stop its collection efforts. They cannot be resumed until the debt information is double-checked with the original creditor and you are provided with the requested information.

Asking The Creditor To Take Back The Debt
If you are willing to negotiate on a debt, you’re probably much better off talking to the creditor rather than a collection agency. This is mostly because the creditor has more flexibility and discretion in such negotiations. Plus, they may see you as a former and possibly future customer, thus valuing the relationship.

To begin negotiation, ask the debt collector for the contact information of the collections department of the original creditor. Call and ask if you can negotiate the debt. While it’s rare, it’s ideal for the creditor to immediately try to negotiate with you; but it’s more likely they will ask you to negotiate with the collection agency and set up a repayment plan.

Whatever you do, make sure any agreement you reach is put in writing, preferably in the form of a letter from the creditor to you.

Illegal Debt Collection Practices
The following are prohibited under federal law:

  • Communications with third parties: A collection agency cannot contact others about your debt.
  • A debt collector cannot contact you at a time or place they know (or should know) that it would be inconvenient for you. This includes while you are at work or before 8 AM and after 9 PM.
  • Harassment or abuse: This includes threats of violence or harm as well as the use of abusive language. It also entails listing your debt for sale to the public.
  • False or misleading representations
  • Unfair practices

If a collection agency violates the law–on a state or federal level–you may be able to sue the agency in small claims or regular court. If the agency sues you over the debt, you can bring up their violation. Another option is to complain to the original creditor, which in turn may lead to an offer to reduce or cancel the debt.

A violation on the part of the collection agency means you can also complain to the FTC, CFPB, and the state agency in charge of regulating debt collection agencies in your state.

Dealing with debt collectors can be a hassle, but if you understand the situation and adopt a plan, you can minimize the problem. There are different steps you can take, but whatever you do, make sure you understand the law, get everything in writing and stick to your plan. Don’t allow debt collectors to mislead, harass or intimidate you.

 

A Complete Guide to Uncovering Emergency Cash

A Complete Guide to Uncovering Emergency Cash

 

You’re thinking about several ways to pay off your debts. Is bankruptcy a realistic option to get rid of your debts for good? Think about bankruptcy alternatives like cutting back on spending, reducing expenses, increasing your income and using your tax refund for more than just entertainment.

Cutting Back on Spending 

Chapter 7 bankruptcy eliminates unsecured debts like credit cards and loans. Chapter 13 allows you to pay creditors over a three or five years. Before filing bankruptcy, cutting back on expenses may be the best way to get rid of debt.

Cutting back on expenses means to:

• Negotiate with creditors to lower your bills

  • Making sacrifices regarding entertainment expenses like movie rentals
  • Stop spending money on needless items
  • Reduce the amount of insurance coverage or increase the amount of deductibles
  • Get the minimum auto insurance required by your state and opt for a high deductible
  • Get medical insurance with a lower monthly premium payment or a less expensive plan. Please remember you don’t want a plan so little coverage that it won’t provide coverage if you have a serious illness.
  • Get an energy audit to determine where to cut your utilities bills and save money
  • Ask for a property reassessment to determine if your property tax bill is too high
  • Avoid name brand items. There are plenty of generic brands that are just as good.
  • Find transportation alternatives like carpooling, taking public transportation or working from home to cut back on expenses
  • Reduce the number of vehicles. You may be spending more to own three or more vehicles when you and your spouse can share one. You may compromise if your spouse is willing to keep their car and be responsible for the maintenance, insurance and any car payments.
  • Look for cheaper options to spend time with family such as going to the park
  • Consider prepaid cellular phone service instead of a contract service. You typically get the same type of coverage without the overages.

    Increasing Income 

    Increasing your income is one of the most obvious ways to wipe out your debt. You’ve properly already considered this option and/or working on it now. You have plenty of quick ways to increase your income like:

    • Increase hours worked. This option includes getting a second job, asking for more hours at work or starting a side business.

  • Make a lateral work move with more pay. This means doing the same job, but at another company offering more money.
  • Requiring everyone in the household to can work to work. Your teenage or young adult children may need to work after school to contribute to the household. They won’t have to work long hours or forever, just help pay on needed expenses while you pay off debts.
  • Double check investments. You want your investment to give you enough money to decrease your debts.

    Word of Caution about Increasing Your Income 

    Be sensible. Strategies to increase your income could backfire, if you’re not careful. For instance, taking a second job may mean more responsibility on your spouse and/or children. Having your spouse work may involve paying additional money for a babysitter.

    You need cash to pay your recurring bills and pay down your debt. Prioritize your expenses, determine how much money you need and which option is best to increase your income.

    Find a Way to Make Your Taxes Pay Your Debt

    Many individuals use their tax refund for entertainment purposes such as buying a new flat screen television or going on vacation. Tax refunds can also be used for paying down debts and keeping more of the hard-earned money in your wallet.

    If you get a refund, file early and electronically. Have your refund direct deposited into your account. Many prepaid debt cards allow you to have your refund direct deposited on the card. Use the refund money to pay off a major bill.

    Avoid tax anticipation loans or checks. They come with additional fees and you often get less money.

    Tax withholding is way to get more money on your tax return. Ask your employer for an IRS W-4 form. You can also get the form at the IRS website. Complete and return the form to your employer.

    Your employer will deduct more taxes than you actually owe. At the end of the tax season you will have overpaid.

    Be caution. You can do the same thing to have more money on your pay-check each month. Be sure you use the IRS withholding calculator to assist in determining how much taxes to pay without owing money at the end of the year.

    The Things You Should Avoid When You Need to Increase Your Income and Decrease Your Debts

    Making the best financial decisions for you and your family aren’t usually made when debts need to be paid yesterday. If you’re desperate, you often think about taking a bad deal now and resolving the issue later. Don’t jump at every chance to get to fast cash.

    Here are options to avoid when you need cash fast:

    • Consolidation Loans 

Consolidating your loans seem like a great option when paying off debts. All debts are combined into one loan. The lender company pays the original lenders.
You pay only the lender. There are major problems. A consolidation loan requires pledging collateral like your vehicle or home. The loan has a ton of interest.
For instance, a secured consolidation loan interest ranges from 7 percent to more than 36 percent. This means you may lose your home or vehicle if you miss a payment. You also may pay more money to the lender than you would paying individual debts.

• Pawnshops
Pawnshops often offer you about 60 percent of the resale value, but charge a huge amount to get the items back.

• Car title loans 

Car title loans require you to pledge your car for a secured loan. The average title loan is about $500, but you pay a lot more to get the title back. Miss a payment, lose your car.

• Payday loans 

Payday loans are unsecured loans. You’re not required to pledge money. You need to have the amount you borrowed plus interest and other fees in your bank account on you next pay period. Miss a payment, incur a lot of fees and other penalties.

• Credit union and bank cards with cash advances
Never take a cash advance on bank cards. You are paying additional fees you can’t pay when you have a lot of debt.

You can get out of Debt 

Look for ways to get out of debt whether it’s selling items, decreasing spending or making your taxes work for you. It’s also important to avoid taking quick cash options that may lead to bigger debts. Explore all options to avoid filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

The Threat of Home Foreclosure – An Emergency Survival Guide

The Threat of Home Foreclosure – An Emergency Survival Guide

 

Buying a home is one of the most important decisions anyone can make during their lifetime. In many ways, home ownership is a central component of successful living. Home buyers often save money for an extended period of time, stockpiling resources to be used just for this particular major purchase. And, this is before even considering what home to buy until after financing is a real possibility.

 

Securing a reasonable mortgage is easily the most important step in the process, and making sure the repayment schedule fits the budget is central to a good decision to finally purchase a home. But, unexpected events occur, and many times home buyers find themselves in a situation of potentially losing the property without making some adjustments when foreclosure appears imminent.

 

Luckily, creditors also understand that financial calamities happen for everyone at some point, and being able to restructure a loan or make special payment arrangements involving a mortgage can be a necessary adjustment for many home buyers.

Avoiding Foreclosure Helps Both Parties to a Mortgage

Creditors almost always are more interested in recovering their invested resources than they are in repossessing a mortgaged property. Reclaiming ownership of a mortgaged property is what happens when all other potential measures fail.

 

Foreclosing on a property is an expensive legal undertaking, and often the value of the home falls when it is put back on the market. Many creditors actually do not file a foreclosure unless it is absolutely necessary to balance their account spreadsheets, even though the legal right to repossession has been available for a while.

 

Creditors are in the money business and not necessarily in the real estate business. This mean that lenders are always ready to make some sort of payment arrangement that meets the needs of the buyer as well as their business entity.

Judicial vs. Nonjudicial Foreclosure

Judicial foreclosure is the formal legal process of retaining official physical possession of a mortgaged property after having received a favorable ruling from the court. This is effectively a civil court order issued to designate the new owner, and defaulting purchasers are given a set amount of time to vacate the property before the creditor is given full control.

 

The evacuation order does not begin until after the order is issued, many times taking as much as a year to get the repossession request in court. A non-judicial foreclosure is effectively an amiable agreement by both the purchaser and creditor that property control can transfer in a quicker fashion.

 

This is often an advantage for the home buyer who cannot work out a new feasible payment agreement because it occurs out of court and there may not be an official public record. This informal arrangement can help protect the buyer’s credit rating following a foreclosure in some instances when there is no associated bankruptcy filing.

Judicial Foreclosure Requirements

Judicial foreclosures differ from nonjudicial foreclosures regarding notification rules when a mortgage is in jeopardy as a result of missed payments. Formal foreclosures on a mortgage are governed by federal law that requires all lenders to follow specific notification guidelines before beginning the actual court action. However, this does not mean that state law does not have an impact on the process.

 

The actual process is still dependent on the state laws in which the property is located. Foreclosure proceedings are usually filed by the service lender, which many times is not the actual mortgage owner, and borrowers must be notified twice within the 45 days immediately following a delinquent payment.

 

The first contact must be delivered within the first 36 days of delinquency and reissued within the next nine days when there has been no response from the borrower. However, the actual foreclosure cannot officially begin until after 120 days of payment delinquency.

Nonjudicial Foreclosure Requirements

For nonjudicial foreclosures, state law usually governs the notification process, but notification in writing is still required by the actual mortgage owner. This is what normally occurs when homes have been purchased on personal contract, and the parties actually have more latitude in reaching a payment recovery agreement.

 

This could include increased payments for a set amount of time or allowing a home purchaser to miss payments without any punitive action. It is important to note with judicial foreclosures that many times the service lender that initiates the foreclosure and the actual mortgage owner are not the same business entity, as many mortgages are actually owned by several “investors” in the loan.

 

Nonjudicial repayment plans can actually result in a completely renegotiated payment structure when both parties are agreeable, depending on whether the seller actually wants to be rid of the property. However, private mortgages generally allow fewer protections for the purchaser in many instances.

Utilizing Bankruptcy Protection

Many times filing bankruptcy can forestall a foreclosure for an extended period of time because the bankruptcy filing will cease all foreclosure proceedings until the bankruptcy is finalized. There are different methods of using bankruptcy, but it is important to remember that filing bankruptcy is a very serious financial decision that can impact a purchaser’s credit rating for a significant period of time.

 

The question usually comes down to whether to use Chapter 7 bankruptcy to discharge certain debts that will free more resources while renegotiating the terms of a loan or whether to file Chapter 13, which is directly focused on protecting the mortgage property for the purchaser.

 

This can be a complicated legal process that requires the expertise of a bankruptcy attorney who understands how to protect personal property, but often is the most effective method of retaining a home by establishing a five-year plan that results in repayment of delinquent amounts and makes the payment schedule current.

It is important to remember that all states also have some form of borrower protections for homeowners who cannot negotiate a new agreement regarding retaining a home. But, it is likewise as important to think the process through completely with the advice of a bankruptcy attorney or foreclosure mediator service that understands when financing problems can or cannot be solved.

 

Many times it is not the home that is being saved, but it is actually the financial investment in the home that is part of a long-term family estate plan.

http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/home-chapter-7-bankruptcy-32498-2.html

http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/bankruptcy-help-with-foreclosure-29631.html

The Ultimate Guide to Easy Credit Repair

The Ultimate Guide to Easy Credit Repair

 

Have you suffered from bankruptcy, repossessions, foreclosures or you have a history of late payments? Well, you are one of the millions of people who suffer from bad credit. If you feel that you will never be able to buy a car or home again, then you need to understand the rebuilding process.

The first step in rebuilding your credit is to get your finances under control. The second step is to educate yourself on the credit reporting system. Lastly, you need to make sure that you are adding positive and not negative items to your credit report. To get on the road to recovery, you must start making your payments on time.

Understanding Credit Reports

There are three major credit bureaus, Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. These companies are all-for-profit, and they are not run by the government. They work with banks, credit card issuers, lenders and other financial organizations to compile your credit into a report. Telephone and utility companies may or may not report to these bureaus too.

All of these companies operate independently of each other. They may or may not have the same information. For instance, one lender might only report to TransUnion, while other lenders may report to two. Because of variances, many lenders will pull all three reports to get an average score.

You will find the following in a credit report: personal information, monthly accounts, public records, credit inquiries, and collection. Your credit report can be seen by current creditors and potentially new creditors.

Why Your Credit Score Is So Important?

Credit scores are a bit different. These numbers are assigned based on your capacity to repay a loan. The FICO score runs from 300 to 850. Those who are on the lower end of the score have horrible credit, while those on the higher end are more credit worthy.

When a lender pulls an application for credit, they look at the credit score. They will also review the credit report too. However, the score has more bearing. You will find the following in a credit report: personal information, monthly accounts, public records, credit inquiries, and collection.

Your credit report can be seen by current creditors and potentially new creditors as well as potential employers and those who wish to do a background check.

The Importance of Capacity, Collateral and Character

Your capacity is the amount of debt you can handle based on your income. Your collateral is the assets that can be taken when you don’t pay your bills. Finally, your character is the stability that you show to lenders.

Lenders typically look for long-term employment, stable housing, and your payment history. To be able to clean up your credit report, you need to know how and what to do.

Review Your Credit Report Annually

Regardless of your current credit standing, you must review your report annually. Every 12 months, you can get a credit report at annualcreditreport.com for free. You can also call the bureau directly if you have been denied credit. If you need it and none of the circumstances are present, then you can pay $10 to get a report.

You must carefully comb through your report. Do you see any errors? The first way to start rebuilding your credit is to remove all incorrect information. You may have some things that are out-of-date too. You can easily submit a form to the bureau for corrections.

If there is a creditor that is publishing incorrect information, then filling out this form can help. You can also call the creditor directly. The bureau will investigate the error on your behalf. If the lender doesn’t respond to their requests, then they will remove the report. However, if they do respond, the charge will be reduced or stand.

Doing a simple scan of your credit report, and removing any errors, can boost your credit score quickly. Be careful if you have filed for bankruptcy. Once a bankruptcy is discharged, the credit bureau should remove any notations of “past due” or “charged off.” These comments signal that the debt is not being paid. It should be changed to “included in bankruptcy.”

Consider Adding to Your Credit File

Many people don’t know that they have the option to add to their credit file. If one of the bureaus is not reporting a loan that is in good standing, you have the right to include it. You can add it by submitting a copy of the history to the bureau that is missing it.

You can also include a comment about a credit dispute. If there is an issue with a lender, you have the right to put a comment for potential lenders to see. You can also ask the credit reporting agency to correct address and phone number errors. This will help show stability if you haven’t moved around a lot.

How Credit Scores Are Calculated

To improve your credit score, you must know how they calculate the score.
Around 35 percent of your score goes to your payment history. Another 30 percent goes to what is owed on your credit accounts. The length of your credit history will account for 15 percent, and new credit counts as 10 percent of your score.

You want to keep a healthy mix of credit. You don’t want too many credit cards or vehicle loans. You want to keep your credit cards at about 30 percent of your available credit to get the optimal points for that area.

Starting The Rebuilding Process

Starting the rebuilding process is never easy. First, you need to admit what you are doing wrong. You must correct your spending habits. Second, you need to review those credit reports. Start cleaning up what the agencies are reporting for a boost in your score. Lastly, there is no quick fix when it comes to credit.

You must be faithful in payments, keep your credit cards from being maxed out, and don’t apply for new credit unless you absolutely need it. Following these steps will ensure you have a nice credit report and score for years to come.

The Disasters That Happen When You Can’t Pay Your Debts

The Disasters That Happen When You Can’t Pay Your Debts

Having debt hanging over your head can be exhausting and stressful. Bills continue to pile up, and you get hounded multiple times a day by debt collectors, not to mention how foreboding it feels wondering what the result will be. Despite this, being in debt isn’t as terrible as you might think. Certain laws protect you from having your things taken away. Because they don’t protect all of your property, it’s important to know what you might lose in the process.

 

Eviction

 

Your landlord can evict you for not paying your rent, but the process doesn’t happen overnight. They have to give you notice that you are to leave, and in some cases, you can pay your rent within the given time frame and stay. They can give you as little as three days, but some do give you a week to find a new place. If you still do nothing, they will have to file a lawsuit at the local court. You will have a certain number of days to answer, and on the day of court, the judge may rule in your favor or against you depending on your reasoning for not moving. If they do tell you to leave, there’s a set day that will be enforced, and it’s usually within a couple of weeks, so again, there is a little time to move. Keep in mind that if you are evicted, you may have difficulty finding a new place to live unless they don’t require a credit report.

 

Repossession

 

Sometimes, you’ll have offered something as collateral when you initially receive a loan. The easiest example is if you bought an article of furniture on a payment plan. The furniture would be the collateral. This means that when you don’t make your payment on time, the bank or lender can repossess the furniture. They must have a court order allowing them to be in your home to retrieve the item or get permission from someone in the house at the time. If they have neither, they can’t take your property.

 

In this case, it’s very important to read the contract you signed for the loan. Once you miss a payment or if you breach any of the contract (such as selling the furniture) you are by default, but many states give you the right to recover from missing payments. You’ll receive a notice in the mail on how much to pay to retrieve the furniture. It may be your missing payments plus interest, or it may be the whole amount for the furniture.

 

Car Repossession

 

If it’s a car, then the company can come and repossess your car at any time as long as it’s not in a garage or storage facility. If it is, they only need to contact the owner to open them. It is illegal to hide your car from repossession, and it will look badly in court. Repossessing agents know what they are doing and know where to look to find your car. There are better ways to get it back, including making the late payment.

 

Getting Your Property Back

 

Sometimes you can get your property back, including your car, if you make up the missed payments, and you’ll be able to reinstate the original contract you had agreed on. Some lenders will ask that you pay the fees for storing the car safely or to hiring the repossession company, which can be a hefty bill. However, it will still allow you to take your care back in the end. You’re not always allowed to reinstate a contract this way, especially if you lied in the documentation, or tried to hide the car. The lender will see that the same thing is likely to happen again and won’t want to take the chance.

 

Personal Belongings in Repossessed Cars

 

If you left your belongings in your vehicle, not expecting that it would be taken from you, you have the right to get your personal effects. The repossessing agency will give you their address and contact information so that you can go by and retrieve your things. If it is attached to the vehicle (such as putting new rims or lights on your car), you cannot take it back, but anything within the car that is yours you can take. Fees incur daily for storage, so it’s best to get this done as quickly as possible.

 

Selling Your Repossessed Item

 

The lender has the option to sell your collateral (such as your car) if they have repossessed it and you are not able to make the late payments. In this case, they will apply whatever they sold it for to your balance, and you will owe whatever is left. This is called a deficiency balance. The lender must send you a written notice of when and where the auction to sell your car will be taking place, where it will most likely go to a car salesperson for a very low price. It’s in your best interest to sell the car yourself if you can, as you are more likely to get a decent price for it instead of a cheap bid.

 

You are not always liable for the deficiency amount, depending on the amount you paid for the item, to begin with, and your state laws. Look up your state laws to see if you fit the parameters.

 

Creditors and Your Property

 

Creditors will likely do one of two things to ensure that you don’t sell or hide your property when they are waiting for a judgment from the court.

 

  • Lis Pendens – This makes it known that your title is not free and clear, so you won’t be able to sell it until the court makes a final judgment. It can only be put on a title if the property is the point of the lawsuit. If it’s not the main subject, they cannot use a lis pendens.

 

  • Pre-Judgement Attachment – This also ensures that you won’t be able to sell or hide the property. In the case that the lender or creditor did not ask for collateral when giving a loan, this makes your property the new collateral. If they win, the defaulted money will come from the property. Upon receiving the pre-judgement attachment, you will have the chance to go to court and argue whether the property is exempt from it or not.

 

Third-Party Lawsuits

 

A creditor can go to a third party for money owed if the third party owes you money for some reason, or if they’re holding your money for you. They can sue the third party for your debt, but you will be notified beforehand, and you will have the chance to argue the debt.

 

  • Property Liens – A property lien is relatively simple. The creditor can attach a lien to your house or other assets, which will show up on the title or deed saying that you owe money. You cannot sell the property unless the title is free and clear of the lien, so you’ll have to pay what you owe first.

 

  • Bank Setoffs – If your bank account has fees, the bank is allowed to take money from your account to pay them off (think of overdraft fees). Credit card payments are not authorized to be taken out unless you gave permission to take out funds from your account automatically.

 

Lapse of Services

 

  • Insurance – your insurance company may stop coverage once you miss a payment. Many offer a period of 30 days to get back on track and pay your premium, but this can complicate things if you lease a car. Lenders usually require car insurance as a condition of the contract, and you can be found in default and face repossession if your insurance lapses.

 

  • Utility Services – Your services often will be shut off after a certain period of non-payment. The majority of states require that you at least be notified first in writing, but there are some things that will stop the service from being interrupted. This includes having a child under the age of 2 in the household, a disabled person, or the elderly.

 

There are some things that can be taken away as a result of debt, but much of it takes time and is not permanent if you can get back on your feet and make a payment. Some laws protect you from services being shut off for a period, and even some of your property is protected until there is a court order.

How to Protect your Home from Repossession

How to Protect your Home from Repossession

Owning your own home gives you a sense of freedom and stability. It is yours, and you can decorate it any way you wish. You can form relationships within the community, and you can build lasting memories with your family.

Unfortunately, dreams can shatter before you know it. You struggle with paying the bills each month, and suddenly, you can no longer make the mortgage payments. The mortgage company sends you letters and calls you asking for your payment. You finally come to the shocking realization that foreclosure is on the horizon.

By the time foreclosure does occur, you have accepted it as reality. This scenario has been building up for months, and now, it is finally here. You might have had medical expenses, or you might have lost your job. Your interest rate could have increased with your adjustable-rate mortgage. Whatever the reasons, your payments are just much higher than your budget.

Federal mortgage rules give you a few months to catch up on your payments before the bank can begin the foreclosure process. Foreclosure is not a quick process; it takes time. Therefore, you have time to regain control. You can form a plan and hopefully come up with a solution. You will have time to examine the choices that you have. Do not just ignore the problem; it will not go away. Instead try to come up with a plan to get back on track.

Uncertainty can be a Problem
Foreclosure can cost you a significant amount of money if you refuse to face the issue. You are going to lose your home eventually, so you need to take action to see what options are available. If you are going to lose your home anyway, any payments you make will be useless.

You may gather enough money to make one payment; however, you will still miss future payments. You could not afford the payment to begin with, so you with wind up in foreclosure eventually anyway. If you want to avoid foreclosure, you must get current on your mortgage or file Chapter 13 Bankruptcy.

You should act before the lender acts. If you think you are going to start being behind on your mortgage payments, start trying to find a solution. You will discover how in the next chapter.

Help Can Be Found
Your mortgage will probably be the largest bill you will pay each month. Many people choose a 30-year term because the payments will be lower. People just do not realize how their high mortgage payment can affect their monthly budget. It is hard to begin with; however, if you lose a job, go through a divorce, or have medical bills, making that mortgage payment is even harder.

In addition, there are many other reasons for foreclosure. Statistics show that from 2004-2007, about 1/3 of the country, which is 34 million households, obtained a home equity loan or refinanced their current home. These people needed money, and increased their amount of debt.

During times of high interest rates, people obtained adjustable-rate mortgages or had interest-only payments. They thought they could refinance after the introductory period expired. Unfortunately, some mortgage brokers are dishonest. They gave you more money than you could afford.

WARNING
Stay calm! Do not fall for scammers! If you are facing foreclosure, people will call or email you claiming that they can make your problems disappear. If you fall victim to these lies, you could be in much worse condition than you were to begin with. To discover how to spot scammers, see the Don’t be Swindled by a Foreclosure Relief Company below.

What Happens Next
Have you given up on trying to save your home or are you going to fight to save it? If you are trying to keep your home, you need to search for a housing counselor that is approved by the HUD. The counselor can give you your choices to see if a solution can be found. You will not pay anything for these services.

You will be informed of which documents your mortgage company needs. The counselor might even contact your mortgage company for you. You will also be informed of some assistance programs that might be right for you.

If a solution cannot be found for you, you will receive a notice that states unless you pay the bill, foreclosure is coming. Each state has different laws, so the procedure just depends on the area where you live. If you cannot find a solution, your home will be sold at an auction.

An Overview of your Choices
When you believe that foreclosure is imminent, here are a few of your options.
1. Use the website www.makinghomeaffordable.gov to see if help is available to you.
2. Make up all of the payments you missed including the additional fees and interest.
3. See if loan modification, forbearance, or a repaying plan is possible.
4. Use the Affordable Refinance Program to see if refinancing is an option.
5. See if you can conduct a short sale or deed in lieu of foreclosure.
6. See if you qualify for a reverse mortgage.
7. File Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy to delay the foreclosure.
8. Go to court to fight or delay the foreclosure.
9. Relinquish your rights to the home.

Get your Payments Current
If possible, you can get back on track by making up all of the missed payments. You will need money to do this.

Refinance
Reconstruct your home mortgage. Pay off your existing mortgage with a new mortgage. You might can get lower monthly payments.

Bankruptcy
Bankruptcy can put a halt to foreclosure. With Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you will have up to five years to make up the payments. With Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, you can reduce your debt so you will have room in your budget to pay the mortgage.

Reverse Mortgage
If you are older, you can dip into your equity. The lender gives you money, and it will not need to be repaid until you leave the home.

Go to Court
Each state has different rules for foreclosure. If you can prove to the court that the lender broke the law, you could delay the foreclosure process.

Do Nothing
You can accept the fact that you will lose your home to foreclosure. This could take months and you will not be required to make mortgage payments, so you can save some money for the future. This could benefit you in the long run.

Short Sale

 

You can sell the house for less than you owe. You can then pay your mortgage what you owe them.

Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure
You can convince the lender to hand you the deed to the house. If this happens, no foreclosure is necessary.

Your Credit
If your lender forecloses on your home or if you choose a short sale or deeds in lieu of foreclosure, your credit will not plummet that much. However, it depends on your credit before you had trouble making payments.

Foreclosure is not all bad. It could give you the opportunity to obtain a fresh start. You can then start over with a brighter financial future.

 

Getting Your Life Back After Bankruptcy

Getting Your Life Back After Bankruptcy

Life After Bankruptcy

 

What a relief it is to be discharged from all debt and start over after recovering from bankruptcy. The main issue that most people are faced with is rebuilding credit. However, if you were not straightforward with your papers, there are a few issues that are bound to arise after your debts are cleared. The discovery of non-exempt property could easily cause your discharge to be revoked by your creditor or trustee. In some cases, there are some debts that may not be clearly outlined in the discharge papers. As a result, your creditor may seek to make a claim on an already discharged debt. Discrimination may also arise, from either the government, or a private institution due to the history of your bankruptcy.

 

This paper seeks to explain, in sufficient detail, how to deal with these post-bankruptcy issues.

 

The Discovery/Acquisition of New Non-Exempt Property

 

If you fail to disclose some of your property when declaring bankruptcy, or acquire new property after filing, the trustee could seek to revoke your bankruptcy discharge. However, there is a likelihood that the trustee will not act unless the property in question is non-exempt, and has enough value to warrant a review of the case, seizure and sale of the property, and distribution of the proceeds to your creditors. Whichever the case, it is advisable to notify your trustee if you realize you are entitled to acquire property, 180 days after declaring bankruptcy. You should also report to your trustee, any omitted non-exempt property that you failed to include when filing for bankruptcy.

 

Creditor Claims Debts That Are Already Discharged

 

After bankruptcy, it may be difficult to determine the debts that you still owe, and those that have been discharged. The court won’t give you a list of discharged debts; instead, your discharge paper will only explain the debts that have been discharged in uncertain terms. As a general rule, all debts that are included in your bankruptcy documents are discharged except if a creditor objects to the discharge in court, or the debt is among the following classifications:

 

  • Student loan
  • Taxes that are overdue with three years
  • Debts accumulated to settle non-dischargeable taxes
  • Alimony or child support
  • Court fees, penalties, and fines
  • Debts arising from death brought by a DUI, or debts associated with personal injury cases
  • Debts that failed to be discharged in previous bankruptcy cases due to misfeasance or fraud
  • Loans from your retirement fund
  • Certain cooperative and condominium fees incurred after filing for bankruptcy

If a creditor attempts to collect from you after a bankruptcy discharge, write to them telling them that your debts have been discharged. The other measure would be to amend your bankruptcy papers to include debts that have been discharged but are not listed therein. If your creditor is still obstinate, you could try re-opening the case and having the judge wipe out court rulings that favored the creditor before you had filed for bankruptcy.

 

There are cases where you are only option is to negotiate with your creditor for a payment plan. However, if all fails and your creditor moves to court, you will have to defend yourself and protect a garnishment, or any form of collection.

 

A Creditor Who Tries to Revoke Your Discharge

 

There are cases where a creditor or trustee may appeal to the court to reverse the ruling of your bankruptcy discharge. The first move you should make in such an instance is to consult with your bankruptcy attorney. The following are some of the grounds under which a creditor can seek a revocation of your bankruptcy discharge:

 

  • Your discharge was secured through fraud
  • You knowingly failed to inform your trustee about property you acquired after a divorce settlement, life insurance policy, or inheritance, within 180 days of filing for bankruptcy
  • You failed to abide by a court order, or declined from answering a significant question that could have affected the ruling by the bankruptcy court

Post-Bankruptcy Discrimination

 

There are laws in place that protect people from post bankruptcy discrimination by both the government and private institutions.

 

Government Discrimination

 

The law prohibits government institutions from suspending, revoking, denying, or declining to renew a permit, license, franchise, charter, or any similar grant because you declared bankruptcy. However, debtors are not totally insulated from all the negative aspects that come with declaring bankruptcy. For example, lenders are allowed to pay attention to your bankruptcy record when reviewing your application for a credit extension or government loan. Basically, the bankruptcy codes prohibit the government from using bankruptcy to:

 

  • Deny you employment or suspend you from work
  • Deny or withdraw you from certain public benefits like public housing
  • Deny you a state license or a contract
  • Deny you or withhold your driver’s license or college transcript

After a government-related debt is discharged, it follows that; any acts against you that had risen from the debt must also end. For example, if the court took away your driver’s license because you did not pay a fine resulting from a vehicle accident, you will get your license back when this debt has been discharged. It is worth noting that this code applies to government denials premised upon your bankruptcy. Therefore, you may fail to get a job, loan, or housing from the government for other reasons, such as your future credit worthiness.

 

Non-Government Discrimination

 

Private employers are prohibited from firing you or discriminating against you because you declared your bankruptcy. However, while employers are not allowed to fire you, they can decline from hiring you if you experienced bankruptcy. The law does not prohibit the other kinds of discrimination by non-governmental institutions.

 

Rebuilding Credit

 

The other issue that you are faced with, after being discharged from bankruptcy, is rebuilding your credit. Filing for bankruptcy can stay on your record for ten years following your discharge. Many creditors disregard bankruptcy records after five years. They usually look for steady employment, and a history of purchasing items or services on credit. It takes an average of three years to rebuild your credit, and start securing loans. The first basic step towards rebuilding your credit is making a budget that will help you avoid overspending, and start saving.

Bankruptcy: Your Secret Weapon To Stop All Debts Now!

Bankruptcy: Your Secret Weapon To Stop All Debts Now!

You have a family, job—you may or may not love—and plenty of debt. You’re looking for a great way to resolve your debt issues without losing everything you hold dear. You’re here to learn more about bankruptcy and how it can help eliminate your overpowering debt once and for all. Bankruptcy is the legal way to either repay your debts over time or eliminate them altogether.

You hesitate because bankruptcy isn’t discussed in a lot of social circles. If it is discussed, you may hear more negative than positives about filing for bankruptcy because even in the 21st century it carries some stigma. Here are the facts you should know when deciding whether to pursue bankruptcy.

Consumer Bankruptcy has Two Options: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13

Consumer bankruptcy has distinct options according to your financial circumstances and ability to repay. Chapter 7 is called liquidation bankruptcy. Chapter 13 is commonly referred to as wage earner’s bankruptcy. Both allow you to deal with your debts. The bankruptcy chapter differ in how debts are resolved.

Liquidation Bankruptcy 

Chapter 7 allows you to eliminate, or discharge, most of your unsecured debts. Unsecured debts are those bills without collateral backing them in case of default. These debts are:

• Credit cards
• Store cards
• Payday loans
• Vehicle loans

A bankruptcy trustee, or person overseeing the bankruptcy case, has the right to liquidate, or sell, your nonexempt property. Exempt property such as your home is off limits and you can keep it. The nonexempt property is sold and proceeds given to your creditors. A majority of bankruptcy lawyers are able to help you keep most of your property as exempt. If you have no property to sell, your creditors get nothing. Your debts are wiped out without any creditor payment.

Going through the Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Process

Chapter 7 bankruptcy takes around three months from the filing to the discharge and costs approximately $335 to file. Filing includes administrative fees. Both can be waived or paid in instalments. A Chapter 7 case begins with a petition. This petition includes detailed information about:

  • Debts
    • Property
    • Monthly living expenses
    • Recent financial transactionsTypically, you take one trip to the courthouse and that’s for your 341 hearing, commonly called a creditors’ meeting. The hearing occurs about 40 days after you file and you will answer questions from your trustee under oath. Creditors may or may not attend the hearing.After the hearing, if you have nonexempt property, the trustee collects it. Once the case ends, your debts are listed as “discharged” and you owe nothing to creditors.

    Are You Eligible for Chapter 7?

    The answer depends on whether you qualify for either bankruptcy chapter. Whether you’re eligible depends on your:

  • Credit counseling: credit counseling is required. You have to speak to a counselor to determine if you have an alternative to filing bankruptcy.
  • Means test. This test involves subtracting your average monthly income from your state’s medium income for the number of people in your household. Your average monthly income is taken from the last six months. If the balance is higher than your median income in your state, you pass the means test.

This means that if you don’t have enough disposable income to repay your debts, you qualify for the Chapter 7. Disposable income is the amount of money left after you’ve paid all your monthly bills. We’ll discuss what happens if you have enough disposable income to repay debts later.

  • Previous bankruptcies: Discharged Chapter 7 bankruptcies within the last six to eight years limit your ability to file again.
  • Bankruptcy dismissal within 180 daysWage Earner’s Bankruptcy – Chapter 13Chapter 13 bankruptcy is the most powerful bankruptcy chapter you can file. It allows you to keep all property, exempt or not. You pay creditors what you owe them in a series of payments made to the bankruptcy trustee. The monthly amount is based upon a repayment plan approved by the bankruptcy court and you’ll have to make payments for three to five years depending on the plan’s details. Your plan will include:
  • Administrative claims such as attorneys’ fees, trustee’s commission
    • Secured debts such as mortgage or car loan arrearage
    • Unsecured debts
    • Priority debts such as child support and alimony payments
  • Going through the Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Process Chapter 13 and Chapter 7 have the same process. You must petition the court and include information such as your expenses, debts and property. You will first have to complete creditor counseling and the means test.

Remember the part about disposable income? You need to have enough disposable income to pay your creditors. You attend the creditor’s meeting and make your payments on time.

The Most Powerful Part about Chapter 13: Automatic Stay 

Do you need to stop foreclosure on your home?

Do you need to get your utilities turned back on in your place?

Are you being sued in civil court?

An automatic stay is part of the Chapter 13 petition. An automatic stay immediately stops creditors from continuing to take your home, car or shutting off your utilities. As soon as you file the petition, your creditors must cease their actions regarding:

  • Property foreclosure
    • IRS tax liens
    • Car repossessions
    • Wage garnishments
    • Utilities shut-off noticesIn many states, an automatic stay won’t stop an eviction. In every state, an automatic stay won’t stop:
  • Divorce proceedings
    • Paternity proceedings
    • Criminal proceedingsDebts Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Won’t Eliminate Unfortunately, there are some debts consumer bankruptcy won’t dismiss or stop. These debts are your:
  • Most recent income tax debts
    • Child support
    • Alimony
    • Debts not included in your bankruptcy petition
    • Debts incurred from personal injury or wrongful death lawsuits involving drunk driving
    • Traffic tickets, traffic fines and criminal restitutionGetting Help with Your Bankruptcy Whether you’re thinking about filing bankruptcy or are ready to file already, contact an experienced bankruptcy attorney. Many people choose to hire a bankruptcy attorney because it eliminates some of the mistakes made with petitions filed without legal representation.

    For instance, a person without legal representation may file the wrong bankruptcy chapter and have their case dismissed, or transfer property into someone’s name to keep it. The latter is a big no-no and can get you in a lot of trouble.

 

You’re ready to get a fresh financial start? Contact a lawyer for help.

 

Give us a call for a free, no-obligation phone consultation so we can discuss the next steps with you…