When Every Moment Counts: Filing an Emergency Bankruptcy

Posted by on Jan 12, 2017 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on When Every Moment Counts: Filing an Emergency Bankruptcy

Those who have been through the experience likely already know about the sheaths of paperwork that must be filled out and filed for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. It can take a long time to complete the paperwork, and this requirement can only add to the stress of the situation. For people in a big hurry, there is little-known method of filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy that trims the required documentation considerably. To get more info on filing this quick and short version of bankruptcy, read on. The need for an emergency filing The answer to that question can be summed up in two words: automatic stay. The “stay,” in this instance, refers to the cessation of debt-collection activities, including phone calls, letters, utility shut-offs, foreclosures, evictions, and repossessions. The effect is immediate (and “automatic”) with the filing of the bankruptcy petition. If you are about to suffer a loss of property, there is simply no more powerful stop sign for these actions than that of the automatic stay. It should be noted that whether you are filing for a “regular” Chapter 7 bankruptcy or an emergency Chapter 7, you may need to provide those creditors who are about to take action against you with your federal case number, since there may be a delay in notification of your filing. Your emergency bankruptcy package While the amount of paperwork required to file in a hurry is reduced, you must still complete the following minimum documents: Creditor’s Matrix: this is a listing of all of the people and institutions to which you owe money, including people, banks, mortgage companies, and so forth Form B-1: Just the first three pages of the petition Form B-21: Social-security number statement Exhibit D: Statement of credit counseling. You must now get credit counseling and include proof of that counseling with your bankruptcy petition. If you can show proof of a true emergency need to temporarily delay that counseling, you may be able to file without it. For example, if you are about to lose your home to foreclosure, you may be able to show that your filing was too quick to allow time to get the counseling. The rest of the package Once you file your emergency package, you have 14 more days to get the remainder of the documents filed with federal court before your case is dismissed for being incomplete. Speak to a bankruptcy attorney such as Greg Dunn Bankruptcy Attorney for more...

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Tips For Coming Back Faster From Bankruptcy

Posted by on Jun 8, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Tips For Coming Back Faster From Bankruptcy

If you have gathered so many past due bills and closed accounts that it is causing you to get further and further behind, then bankruptcy may be your best option. Bankruptcy gives you relief from these things and serves as a way to put those debts you can’t pay in your past. Once you have gone through the process of filing bankruptcy, you will need to rebuild your credit. Get a secured credit card A secured credit card will offer you the same benefits as an unsecured one, but you will only be able to go up to the limit that you have secured with your own money. These are the easiest cards to be approved for with a lower credit score and they do report to credit bureaus. Don’t apply for a lot of them, hoping one offers you a line of credit. Instead, do your homework and only apply to the one you think you have the best shot of being approved for. This way, you won’t get too many inquiries on your credit report, which can also lower your score. Do not get a secured credit card confused with a prepaid one, which won’t show on your credit report. A prepaid credit card is one you put money into, but you don’t have to be approved for it and it can be used on a disposable basis or reloaded over and over again. These are the types of cards you can usually purchase at the checkout stand of major stores as well as online. Watch your credit reports Go through your credit reports. There are three credit reporting agencies and they can each have different things on them, depending on which agencies your creditors decide to report to. You can go directly to these companies, one by one for your reports, or you can join a website that allows you to see all three in one place. If you join one site, verify that it allows you to dispute false claims from the site. If you spot anything false, dispute it, and if the company can’t prove you owe the debt within a certain time period, the claim will be removed. Start rebuilding slowly Rebuilding your credit should be done at a slow and steady rate. Paying bills on time, over a period of time, makes you look more responsible. Starting slow and by adding one new account at a time, gives you a chance to get used to making your payments on time each month before you take on more. This way, you won’t find out that you are in over your head when it’s too late to do anything about it besides closing some of those new accounts, which will also negatively affect your...

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5 Ways To Deal With Wage Garnishments

Posted by on Sep 30, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 5 Ways To Deal With Wage Garnishments

If you are threatened with one or more wage garnishments from creditors, this could make it impossible for you to pay other important bills like utilities, rent/house payment, insurance, or vehicle loans and you may not have enough wages to buy necessities like food and gas. There are 5 ways to deal with garnishments so that you won’t face disaster. 1. Make sure you still owe the debt. There have been times when people have either forgotten they paid a debt or they feel intimidated by a creditor even if they do remember they already paid it off. You should always get receipts for payments or pay by a means that insures you have a record of these transactions. You will want to take your evidence with you to the court date or provide the creditor with copies. 2. Communicate with the creditor. Even if the creditor has already gotten a judgment against you, in some states they may be required to send you a final demand letter before proceeding to arrange for a garnishment with your employer. You should take this opportunity to talk to them and arrange a voluntary payment that you can afford. 3. Sign up for debt counseling. You can also try a consumer credit counseling service (CCS) in your area. They will arrange for you to meet with one of their counselors to make a reasonable plan to pay each of your creditors over time and then they will contact each of your creditors to reach an agreement on cooperating with it. If you make your payments and follow the rules, you will be legally protected from further collection activity. 4. Try these legal remedies. In your state, it may be possible to have the court appoint a trustee that you can make payments to under a trusteeship. The trustee will then pay your creditors. In this arrangement, some states will even exempt you from a garnishment if paying it would pose a severe economic hardship to you and your family. You can file an objection and attend the resulting meeting with the local court. Things that are grounds for objections are: The amount to be garnished exceeds the maximums allowed by state and federal laws. The creditor did not follow proper legal procedures and/or failed to notify you of an impending garnishment. You do not owe the amount they say you owe, or you already paid the debt. 5. Consider bankruptcy. If all else fails, and/or you want a fresh start so that you can start saving and put some money back for retirement or other emergencies, you may want to consider bankruptcy. Otherwise you may continue to spend years limping along and always afraid of what will happen next. Bankruptcy will help you if you have other credit problems along with having your wages garnished. Once you have filed, it will immediately stop the garnishments and give you other protections such as stopping a foreclosure or a repossession  (at least for a period of time) or other collection activities. Depending on which type of bankruptcy you are eligible for, some debts can be completely discharged. For legal advice on your options, you should contact a bankruptcy lawyer, such as Jeffrey S Arnold Attorney At Law P.C., who can advise you on what protections...

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2 Advantages Of A Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Posted by on Aug 17, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 2 Advantages Of A Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

If you are overwhelmed by debt, you may decide to seek relief by filing for bankruptcy. Two of the most popular bankruptcy options are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Chapter 7 bankruptcies rid a debtor of practically all of his or her unsecured debt without requiring repayment to the lenders. However, it can be difficult to qualify for this type of bankruptcy. Qualification is dependent on a means test that reviews the amount of disposable income that you have. Nevertheless, if your disposable income is too great, you may still qualify for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. However, with Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you are required to pay back a portion of the debt that you owe. Still, Chapter 13 bankruptcy has its advantages. Here are two: Foreclosure Prevention One of the best benefits of Chapter 13 bankruptcy is its ability to prevent your home from entering foreclosure. A bank can usually demand payment of all of your past due monthly mortgage payments at once. However, if you are having financial difficulties, paying back a huge lump sum to cover your past due mortgage note can be difficult. Without the protection of a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, some debtors lose their homes.  People who file Chapter 13 bankruptcy are able to determine the repayment terms of their past due mortgage debt. The overdue mortgage payments can be broken down into smaller, more manageable payments than those that were a part of the original mortgage agreement. The smaller payments can remain in effect for the duration of the Chapter 13 repayment plan.  Lowered Car Payments If you qualify for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, your car payments may be lowered. Chapter 13 debtors may be able to change the automotive loan value to match the value of the car. This is an important benefit for people who purchase an overpriced vehicle and end up owing more than the car is worth.  Chapter 13 bankruptcies last between three and five years. For that period, the debtor must use all of his or her disposable income to repay debt. Even though the repayment terms can be restrictive, the plan can provide relief by drastically reducing the total amount owed. In addition, after the bankruptcy period is complete, you can handle your disposable income as you desire. If you would like to see if a Chapter 13 bankruptcy could be beneficial for you, contact a bankruptcy attorney, such as Curtis H. Hatfield Attorney At...

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Should You File For Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Now Or Wait?

Posted by on Jun 26, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Should You File For Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Now Or Wait?

There are a lot of decisions that must be made when you are planning to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Some aspects of your life can be impacted by filing, so your attorney might caution you to wait. Here are two situations, in which you should discuss if waiting or acting before you file bankruptcy is the best option.  Divorce Just like a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing, divorce is a legal action that can require your time, energy, and money to complete. Whether or not you should file for divorce before or after your bankruptcy is dependent on different factors, such as if it is beneficial to you and your spouse.  If you file for bankruptcy prior to divorce, you and your spouse can file jointly. A joint bankruptcy filing allows you and your spouse to combine the bankruptcy exemptions that are normally given to save property up to a certain value. This means that you and your spouse have a better chance of keeping the assets you really want. For instance, if you double a $25,000 exemption by filing jointly, you can use the combined exemption of $50,000 to possibly save your home, car, or other important asset.  However, filing for divorce after a bankruptcy filing could be better if you are having trouble meeting the income requirements to qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If you wait, when debts are discharged, you can list your share of the marital debts and have your responsibility for them removed.  Income Taxes The question of whether or not to file an income tax return before or after filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy occasionally comes up. One of the biggest factors that you can use to decide whether to wait or file your taxes now is how much you are expected to receive for a refund.  If you are anticipating a large refund, it can be considered part of your assets by the bankruptcy trustee. As a result, you could possibly lose the refund in your bankruptcy. However, there is a way you can file your taxes and bankruptcy now, and still keep your refund. You can opt to use your exemption to cover the value of your refund. If you do, the trustee cannot touch it. There are many other factors that could complicate whether filing for bankruptcy now or waiting is best for you. Your bankruptcy attorney can help you understand what those factors are, if they apply to your particular case, and help you find a way to overcome any problems that arise. To learn more, speak with someone like Julie A Philipi Attorney at...

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I Am Preparing To File For Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, Should I Keep Paying My Bills?

Posted by on Jun 18, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on I Am Preparing To File For Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, Should I Keep Paying My Bills?

Bankruptcy is a great way to wipe out some of your existing debts, consolidate the ones you’ll still need to pay, and give you a fresh financial start. If you’re planning on filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy soon, is it a wise decision to continue paying off your debts? There are some debts that should and should not be contributing to if bankruptcy is in your future. Mortgages The mortgage on your home is a secured debt when filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy, and your mortgage lender can foreclose on the home if you are no longer making payments. While bankruptcy will help eliminate the personal liability of the loan for those that need financial relief, the lien on the home will remain. If you plan to stay in your house you will need to continue making all mortgage payments throughout your bankruptcy proceedings. Auto Loans Much like a mortgage, auto loans are also a secured debt. Your Chapter 13 bankruptcy will give you the option to relieve yourself from the responsibility of the loan, or consolidate it into your bankruptcy repayment plan. If you plan on keeping your car, continue making regular loan payments until it is eventually included in the repayment plan. Plan on giving up your car because too much is owed on your loan? Then you should stop paying off the loan immediately. Credit Card Debts Any outstanding balance on a credit card is an unsecured debt, and will be completely erased when filing for bankruptcy. Since this is one of the debts that you will not have to repay, it does not make sense to continue making any payments on your credit card debts. Do not mistake this for an opportunity to rack up a ton of credit card debt. Doing so would show an intention of fraud. Your credit card issuer many file a complaint that requests the court to make your credit card debt non-dischargeable. If the court sides with the credit card issuer, you will have to repay the debt. To learn more, contact a bankruptcy law firm like Wiesner & Frackowiak, LC.  Hospital Bills Hospital bills are also unsecured, and you will not have to pay them back with Chapter 13 bankruptcy. It does not make sense to pay off any of your medical bills since they will eventually be discharged. Utility Bills Your gas, water, and electric bills can be included in a bankruptcy filing. However, not paying these bills may result in the services being turned off until the utility is paid. Depending on if you are staying in your home or losing it, decide on if you need to keep your utilities running. It may make more sense to pay your utility bills as long as you are living in your home. Now that you are aware of what bills should and shouldn’t be paid, you will be able to save some money by not paying off some creditors prior to a bankruptcy...

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4 Tips For Living Debt-Free And Avoiding Bankruptcy

Posted by on May 21, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 4 Tips For Living Debt-Free And Avoiding Bankruptcy

Consumers all across the country are always looking for ways to save money, pay off debt or avoid debt completely. This is particularly true when you consider that recent reports show that 35 percent of Americans have debt that is at least 180 days delinquent and is now in collections. Whether or not debt has ever been a part of your life, here are four ways that you can move forward with your live and live it without incurring debt: 1. Build a Sizable Savings It may seem like a nearly impossible task, but it is important to save money if you want to live a debt-free lifestyle. By saving money, you won’t even give it a second thought when an unexpected expense for a car repair or medical bill comes up. Plus, saving is essential for many long-term costs that may arise, such as a new home, medical conditions, or a child’s college education. Your savings can even be used for an spur-of-the-moment trip every now and then to reward yourself for saving. However, without a significant amount in your savings account, unexpected costs that crop up will sneak up on you and put you at risk of leading a financially unhealthy life. 2. Pay Off Credit Cards Instantly. You may have credit cards to keep up your credit score. However, you don’t have to max out your credit cards and only pay the minimum payment each month. Instead, pay your cards off in full each month for all transactions charged from the previous cycle. By doing this, you will improve your credit score and leave yourself access to available money should you need it for an emergency. Plus, many hotels and car rental companies won’t allow you to make reservation without a valid credit card with funds available. 3. Buy a Used Car. Instead of buying a brand new, luxury car with a monthly payment and high insurance, consider purchasing a dependable used car. With a little bit of research and a good mechanic to give it a once-over, you should be able to find a reliable car that will likely last years with minimal maintenance.  4. Rent First It may sound like a good idea to jump in head first and go ahead and make a large purchase on a home. However, real estate properties are not cheap. In many cases, you may be better of renting somewhere to live first, while saving up the money to purchase a fixer-upper or a modest home. The home may not be your dream home when you buy it, but it can be eventually with upgrades, renovations and additions. If you pay for the home outright, you’ll have more money each month to spend on those things to make the home more your style. If you find that after trying these things that you are still unable to live debt-free, you may want to consider consulting with a bankruptcy attorney, like Arthur M Richard. This is particularly true if you feel that you are in over your head. Even if you don’t want to lose everything, there are still ways that you can get the financial help that you...

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The Benefits Of Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Over Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Posted by on Apr 21, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Are you trying to decide between Chapter 13 bankruptcy and Chapter 7 bankruptcy? Most people think about Chapter 7 when they’re considering bankruptcy, but Chapter 13 can be very useful, too. A bankruptcy attorney can help you figure out the best solution for you. You Can End a Foreclosure or Repossession Process A Chapter 7 bankruptcy will allow you to stall a foreclosure or repossession, as debt collection actions cannot continue when you’re in the process of declaring bankruptcy. But a Chapter 13 bankruptcy gives you the chance to actually cease a foreclosure or repossession process — permanently. Because a Chapter 13 bankruptcy involves the restructuring of debt, as long as you can actually afford your mortgage, vehicle loan or related debt, you can avoid a foreclosure or repossession entirely.  You Can Be Debt Free Within Three Years The restructuring of debt involved in Chapter 13 bankruptcy will be targeted at getting you debt free within three to five years, depending on your financial situation. If you have enough income (or few enough debts), you can theoretically be debt free within three years — and then begin improving your credit. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy involves the dissolution of your debts, which will affect your financial status and credit report for much longer. You Can Keep More of Your Assets Chapter 7 bankruptcy usually requires that you get rid of most of your assets, barring a few specific exemptions. But if you want to save more of your assets, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is usually more successful. As long as you can restructure your debts so that they can be paid off within a reasonable amount of time, you’re usually allowed to keep personal assets, such as jewelry and cash accounts. However, it may be beneficial to liquidate some of these assets to pay off the debt faster. Your Credit Will Recover Much Faster Though all bankruptcies will be reported on your credit report, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy will usually improve your credit faster as your creditors are paid down. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy will often affect your credit report adversely for between seven to ten years, while a person who has undergone Chapter 13 bankruptcy should start seeing credit improvement following the balances being paid off.  There are some situations in which Chapter 13 bankruptcy may not be suitable. If you sincerely cannot pay off your debts, even if they are structured, then a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is probably best. You may want to see a bankruptcy attorney at Sever Law Office before you make a...

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Before You File For Bankruptcy: Change Your Bank

Posted by on Apr 2, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

By the time you’ve filed for bankruptcy, you’ve probably endured months of debt-collection calls and the stress of unpaid bills. Filing for bankruptcy should actually bring you a sense of relief and put a stop to the financial crisis. However, there’s one thing that you need to do before you file for bankruptcy that’s critical to keeping the process smooth. This is what you should know. Change Your Bank There are several reasons that you want to open a new bank account somewhere, all of which involve making sure that you have access to the money that you need for gas, groceries, and your regular monthly expenses. 1.) You need to be able to prevent a lien. Sometimes creditors will rush to get a judgment against you – especially if they think that you are about to file bankruptcy or you’ve been putting off the decision for a while and the creditor has gotten frustrated. However, a creditor can’t put a lien on an account that it doesn’t know that you have. Most of the time, creditors already know exactly where you bank because you’ve paid the bill in the past. While filing bankruptcy would technically halt the lien, you don’t want to be stuck in the position of trying to fight that process out while your only source of money is frozen. 2.) You need to be able to prevent automatic payments. A lot of people have automatic payments set up for home shopping networks, installment loans, and other bills. Once you file bankruptcy, the automatic payments should be stopped, but you often have to be proactive in order to make that happen and it’s not uncommon for one or two to “slip through” even after the bankruptcy is filed in court. Once the money is gone, you won’t get it back. 3.) You need to prevent the bank itself from seizing your money. A lot of people have car loans or mortgages and credit cards through their banks. When you owe money to a bank and also have money in the bank (through your paycheck deposit, for example), the bank has a “right to setoff” against the debt. It can seize any funds it holds including checking, savings, and certificate of deposits to pay off your past-due amounts. It can then also freeze your account and hold the remainder of your money while you go through the bankruptcy process because until the bankruptcy trustee either allows the bank to take the money or releases it back to you. The bank essentially develops a “possessory lien” on the money – turning your accounts into secured funds against what was otherwise unsecured debts (like credit cards). If you’ve come to the realization that you need to file bankruptcy, take the time to go open a new bank account at a credit union or bank that isn’t affiliated with your house loan, car loan, installment debts or credit cards. Make sure that you check the backs of any “store” credit cards to see what bank actually issues them, just to be sure you don’t accidentally pick the wrong bank! If your paycheck is sent by direct deposit, ask your employer to pay you with a paper check or change the direct deposit to your new bank. Wait until you know...

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How A Real Estate Attorney Can Help Save You Money

Posted by on Mar 26, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

When going through the process of purchasing a home, many buyers do not think to hire a real estate attorney and this is sometimes a huge mistake. The reason people don’t hire a real estate attorney is usually because they don’t want to spend extra money on the cost of purchasing a home, however, a real estate attorney can help you save much more than you will be spending on using their services. Here’s how: Reading Through Contracts: When it comes to signing the contract of purchasing a home, your attorney will be there to address any concerning areas. For example, there may be some areas of the contract that addresses issues that involve how the home cannot be used in the future. For example, the home may have had a remodel that was done without permits, which means that you will have trouble in the future if you want to make any changes to that area of the home. On top of this, this remodeled area could be reported by a neighbor if they know it did not have a permit, which means that you are going to have to spend a great deal of money to fix this area in order for it to meet state regulations. Your attorney will ensure that the current homeowner either resolves this issue before you purchase the home or at least significantly reduce the price.  Title Searches: Title searches are important because it shows whether or not the current homeowner has a legal right to sell the home. If you purchase a home that has any liens or judgments, you could be responsible for paying those costs. Instead of having to be stuck with this, your attorney will either ask that the current homeowner sell for a lower price or take care of the payments to ensure that you are purchasing the home free from liens or judgments.  Filings: Filing the deed to your home can take a great deal of time and cost you in many different types of fees. With a real estate attorney helping you, much of this process can be avoided and this includes some fees. This means that the deed to your home will be filed quickly and ensure that you can officially get the trouble of purchasing a home over with so that you can finally enjoy your new home. By knowing the reasons to hire a real estate attorney (such as Michael Adler), you can better understand why paying for their services may be well worth it in the...

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