We tend to think of bankruptcy as the last line of defense against growing and unaffordable debts. It is not always the best option, since the filing of bankruptcy involves significant costs to our clients and a successful discharge of debts may impair their credit worthiness for up to 10 years.--Read More--
It can be daunting to deal with a large mortgage lender when you are struggling to make your monthly payments and protect your home from foreclosure. They may offer you "loss mitigation" options, but that is just the beginning. In these circumstances, it is important to consult with someone who is familiar with the modification process.
The most common form of bankruptcy for individuals is Chapter 7. To qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, a debtor must pass the “means test” which analyzes your income and expenses to determine if you have any ability to pay creditors.--Read More--
A Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows you to keep your property but in exchange you must make payments to your creditors in a Chapter 13 Plan which lasts from three to five years. Secured creditors, such as mortgage or auto lenders, can be included in the plan or paid outside of the plan as per your loan agreement.--Read More--
It is unfortunately true that Virginia provides creditors with some of the easiest procedures to file collection lawsuits and collect on alleged debts. The large banks and collectors fill out what's called a "warrant in debt", mail it to the alleged debtor and then wait for the scheduled court hearing.--Read More--
Many debt collectors purchase loans from the original creditor with the expectation of recovering less than the full amount owed. This is why they are frequently willing to negotiate a settlement worth 75%, 50% or even less of the debt owed! When you add up these savings over multiple loans owed, it could lead to results similar to those that would be achieved in bankruptcy, except with only a fraction of the time and costs involved.--Read More--
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act ("FDCPA") requires debt collectors to follow certain rules when operating their business. These rules pertain mostly to the method and manner of communication by collectors (the federal statute has examples of what practices are considered "unfair"). When a collector violates the rules, they may be found liable for statutory and actual damages plus court costs and reasonable attorney's fees.--Read More--
Since the financial crisis of 2007-08, the U.S. federal government has entered the housing market in a BIG way. Most notably it has started programs such as the Home Affordable Refinance Program ("HARP") and the Home Affordable Modification Program ("HAMP"). HARP allows homeowners who are current on their mortgage payments to refinance to lower interest rates if they meet certain criteria, while HAMP deals with homeowners who are facing the possibility of foreclosure and are in need of lower monthly payments. As you can imagine, the eligibility criteria for HAMP is more strict.--Read More--