Are Mortgage Lender’s to Blame For Increasing Bankruptcy Filings?

There’s been a lot of talk lately about how bankruptcy filings are increasing again, after a short period of stagnation due to more stringent bankruptcy filing laws.  I’m sure there are a myriad of reasons for this happening.  I’ve heard some pundits call it the perfect storm!  I can’t help thinking to myself though, that one of the large causes of the current crisis in the US mortgage industry is the mortgage lenders themselves.  I chuckle to myself when I think of the hole large financial institutions find themselves in now, and the explanations they come up with trying to explain what happened.  I don’t have much sympathy for executives who make risky decisions, live high on the hog for a few years, and then suddenly can’t understand why they are being asked to resign their position from the board.  The fact of the matter is that these decisions by predatory lenders to engage eager buyers in risky mortgages, to make a buck and accelerate growth numbers have led to a record number of foreclosures the past few months.  These foreclosures are more than numbers for the CNBC anchor’s and Bloomberg experts to chat about 24/7; these foreclosures are real people’s lives being turned upside down because mortgage lenders went nuts with greed for a few years.  A few years ago when the housing market was booming with low interest rates and other various sub-prime deals du jour, all you could see on T.V. was stories about how it was the best time ever to buy a new house, or flip that condo you just bought.  The onslaught of infomercials hocking videotapes teaching you how to scour the classifieds and buy cheap houses, then go on to sell them for a quick profit was intense.  There were dozens of them.  And I guess these schemes worked for a few years too.  Now they’re not working and people are feeling the pain.  The pain translates into higher bankruptcy filings to deal with the mounting crisis.  Talk to an attorney if foreclosure has pushed you to the brink, they’ll be able to guide you in the right direction, more so than you can say about you lenders.

Is There Bankruptcy Software?

In 2011, approximately 5,484 Americans filed for bankruptcy protection each day.  While factors such as healthcare costs, foreclosures and job loss continue to be catalysts for bankruptcies, the majority of filings tend to be linked to consumer debt.  To meet the demand of consumers seeking do it yourself” bankruptcy alternatives, various web-based businesses and software firms have cropped up, marketing cheap and easy tools to file bankruptcy online.

Similar to do-it-yourself tax software, bankruptcy software is sold directly to the consumer and, like the former, has its share of inherent benefits and pitfalls. An obvious advantage is the degree of explanation and step-by-step guidance throughout the software, which is altogether absent from traditional court forms.  Also, do-it-yourself bankruptcy software promises to save the user a great deal of time.  A word on this point however: the software still has a large degree of specialization, and therefore will only be truly efficient in the hands of individuals familiar with preparing bankruptcy filings.  The fee charged to file bankruptcy online or to purchase bankruptcy software runs anywhere from half the cost – to the full cost – of hiring a bankruptcy lawyer to prepare the documents on your behalf.

For all the perceived benefits of bankruptcy filing software, this alternative has definite limitations for the average consumer.  The software itself is unlikely to perform an incorrect mathematical function; however, the user must understand the underlying concepts for each of these functions or user errors may result in your form being inadmissible.  Initially, tax and bankruptcy software were designed not for consumer use, but intended as tools for professionals to make their own work more efficient.

Consumers with complex bankruptcy situations should retain an attorney for bankruptcy advice and to explain your rights and obligations as a debtor.

Perhaps the most important information for consumers considering do-it-yourself bankruptcy software, or planning to file bankruptcy online, is to be aware of the changes made to US bankruptcy laws in 2005 that the software cannot help the debtor fulfil.

The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Actof 2005 implemented a series of amendments to US bankruptcy laws that prescribe a series of criteria that petitioners must fulfil in order to declare bankrupt and ultimately be discharged from bankruptcy.  The first criterion is the completion of a bankruptcy means test, an income-based test which determines whether debtors are eligible for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, and in particular determines whether the debtor has sufficient financial means to repay a portion of their debts.  The bankruptcy means test was implemented in part to prevent wealthy debtors from filing for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy and is.  Individuals filing for bankruptcy ought to seek the counsel of credit counsellors and bankruptcy lawyers to complete this test.

The final conditions that cannot be met using bankruptcy software are related to pre- and post- bankruptcy education.  Under the new US bankruptcy laws, individuals seeking relief from creditors through bankruptcy will be required to complete a pre-bankruptcy counselling session with a qualified credit counsellor. Certificate of completion from this session must accompany bankruptcy filings.  When a debtor has reached the end of their repayment plan, they must complete a post-bankruptcy debt education course before their bankruptcy filing can be discharged.

Ultimately it is the consumer’s choice how to proceed, whether filing bankruptcy with the counsel of bankruptcy lawyers or with do-it-yourself bankruptcy software and filing online.  Under the new laws, debtors must consult with credit counsellors and complete debt education courses in order to successfully file for, and be discharged from, bankruptcy.  When applying for relief under US bankruptcy laws, it is your responsibility to be informed of your rights and obligations as a debtor, and given the complexity of many bankruptcy cases, the bankruptcy advice and professional guidance provided by bankruptcy lawyers are worth the expense.

Unsecured Personal Loans – Find The Best Loan Online

unsecured personal loans with bad credit no payday loans

An unsecured personal loan is a loan with a fixed rate without any collateral, and it can be credited to your checking account once your lender approved the loan request. You are not required to provide any form of security as a guarantee. For secured loans, you will allow your lender to acquire an asset as a recovery for any losses that may occur in case you default the payment. With unsecured personal loans bad credit, your lender is unable to acquire your assets. However, this is not a reason for you to default. It is important for you to repay your loan on time.
These loans are readily available with many lenders in the market. While looking for an unsecured personal loan, your lender may ask you for the reason for the loan. However, when you are given the loan, you are free to do anything with it. You can choose to borrow a loan for various reasons such as purchasing a car, for your wedding, vacation and business, among others.

Characteristics of Unsecured Loans

  • Your assets are safe in that your lender cannot seize them to recover the loan.
  • There is less risk for you. However, you should try to repay the loan on time to avoid complications arising from late repayment, among others.
  • You can get a loan even with a poor credit score. However, if you a good credit score, your lender may consider charging you a lower interest score, compared to when you have a poor score.
  • The loan repayment period is shorter. Lenders always want you to pay them back within the shortest time possible.
  • They are better than credit card loans. Usually, credit card loans are repaid at higher and varying interest rates. With an unsecured personal loan, you have the option of choosing a fixed interest rate or a variable rate.
  • When you are in the process of choosing between a fixed rate and a variable rate, always choose a rate that is most comfortable for you. The financial market changes, therefore, it is important to go for an appropriate option that will not affect your finances.
  • Despite the higher interest rates, the loans have better features that make them helpful for your loan needs. You can merge your existing loans and use a single loan to repay all your debts.

The repayment period will vary from one lender to another, and the states have interest caps as well as maximum interest that can be charged on a personal loan. You should be familiar with the rules and regulations in your state before choosing a lender. Many lenders are willing to offer you unsecured personal loans bad credit. The interest rate on loan may be slightly higher than traditional loans. They do that as a strategy for they consider lending you as a high-risk customer. Traditional lenders like banks will not consider you as long as you have a low credit score.

What To Do When Searching For A Lender

You will always find several lenders who are willing to offer you loans. When looking for a lender, it important to:

  1. Set your loan objective right. You need to know the purpose of taking out the loan.
  2. Know how much you need. When you know the amount, you can easily compare total charges between lenders. You can then settle for the cheapest loan.
  3. Do a lot of comparisons. Pick several lenders and compare their interest rates against the repayment period. When you do this, you will choose the right lender for your situation. Remember, lenders are different with different requirements for their loans.
  4. Check your income. It is important to choose an unsecured personal loan that has favorable repayment terms. Your income should determine the amount and help you choose. Ensure that the lender you chose has repayment periods that match your income timing. This is because when you pay later than expected, you may incur some additional charges.
  5. Take some time and research on laws concerning such loans. This will help you choose a lender who abides by those rules.

Generally, with personal unsecured loans, you are free to give any reason for borrowing. Your lender will not require you to explain. Your responsibility is to understand the terms of your specific lender and adhere to them. Most lenders want you to explain your source of income and assure them that you will be able to pay them back as scheduled. You should take your time to research on lenders available online before you choose the best one. Using information available on our website, you can make the right decision because we are focused on helping you rebuild your credit history.

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Unsecured Personal Loans

Oklahoma Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Filings on the Rise

More Oklahomans are filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy and Chapter 13 bankruptcy again. Total statewide Oklahomabankruptcy filings are up a total of 11.5 percent so far for 2007 compared to 2006. In fact, many Oklahoman bankruptcy court officials and bankruptcy attorneys believe that bankruptcy filings will eventually return to the pre-2005 bankruptcy law change numbers. (In October, 2005, Congress passed the Bankruptcy Abuse and Consumer Protection Act making Chapter 7 bankruptcy income-dependent and more difficult to file for individuals and married couples).

These Oklahoman bankruptcy attorneys and officials believe Chapter 7 & Chapter 13 bankruptcy filings will continue to rise for several reasons. First, the economy continues to remain sluggish, with no real end of the downturn in sight.Secondly, many people are able to obtain much more credit than they can repay, often at outrageous interest rates.Lastly, due to the sub-prime mortgage industry fallout, foreclosures are at a record high. While people have the ability to save their homes from foreclosure by filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy, many individuals and married couple have come to the realize that they can not afford their monthly mortgage payments on a going-forward basis and have decided to turn in or “surrender” their property by filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Other states have also seen notable increases as well, most notably Michigan and Georgia.

Click here for a free evaluation with a qualified bankruptcy attorney and see if Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy is right for you, or visit Directory Free for additional legal information.

Bankruptcy Alternatives: Finding the right Debt Consolidation Company

Bankruptcy is intended for individuals who honestly cannot afford to repay their debts. In comparison, debt consolidation is intended for individuals who have the necessary disposable income to at repay at least a portion of their debt. Bankruptcy offers many advantages and is often the fastest and cheapest way to eliminate a large amount of debt, but bankruptcy alternatives like debt consolidation should always be considered before making the decision to file bankruptcy.

Unfortunately, the debt consolidation industry contains some unethical companies that don’t have your best interest at heart and are driven by a desire to make money off you. Since you are dealing with sensitive financial information, it is very important to find a reputable debt consolidation company that can put together a plan to get you out of debt. A referral from a friend or family member is a great way to make sure you are dealing with an ethical debt consolidation firm, but people often don’t like talking about their debt problems and a good referral can be hard.

Searching the internet is another popular alternative to finding a reputable debt consolidation company, but the huge amount of listings makes it very difficult to identify the reputable companies among them. Debtconsoldiationcare.comhas developed a solution to this problem by allowing their community members to rate the various debt consolidation companies based on their personal experiences. Individuals can request a free debt evaluation from a company that the other community members rated highly. A debt counselor from one of the highly-rated company then calls you to discus your debt issues and offer possible solutions.

DebtConsoldiationCare.com also has a active community forum with topics covering a wide variety of debt and credit management solutions including, Bankruptcy, Credit Repair, Identity Theft, and Debt Consolidation and Settlement.

Bankruptcy for the Motor City

On July 18, 2013 Detroit, Michigan became the largest American city ever to file for bankruptcy. Its long-term debts are estimated at $18.2 billion, or $27,000 for each resident. The City filed what is known as a Chapter 9, or municipal bankruptcy. The filing is being seen as the best option for the city to help them rebuild, restructure, and regain control of its finances. Many speculate that Detroit will sell assets like treasured pieces of art to pay down debts. How can the bankruptcy Detroit filed relate to you and your decision to file bankruptcy? Simple: the ultimate goal is the same, to eliminate the debt that is holding you (and Detroit) captive from a strong financial future.

Although individuals are not eligible to file the same type of bankruptcy that Detroit filed, there are 2 distinct types available to them: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy. The municipal bankruptcy that Detroit is going through is most similar to a personal Chapter 13 bankruptcy because it involves a reorganization and restructuring of debts in order to efficiently pay them back. For individuals or families who choose to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy they will be given a 3-5 year repayment plan in which the court will order them to payback a certain percentage of their overall unsecured debt. The percentage that the court orders individuals to pay back in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy varies due to the debtor’s monthly income and expenses, but it can range from 10-100%. At the end of the 3-5 year plan the debtor will be debt free and up to date on all secured monthly payments such as a car note or a mortgage.

Chapter 13 bankruptcies are typically beneficially to individuals or couples that have large amounts of secured debt or debt that is tied to a specific object such as a car, home, or loan. Excess money or a substantial “disposable income” is also a requirement for a Chapter 13 case because the debtor(s) must have money to make their monthly bankruptcy payment for 3-5 years.

The other type of personal bankruptcy is one that Detroit probably wishes it had the opportunity to file because it is known for completely eliminating debt and giving the debtor a “fresh start.” This type of bankruptcy is called Chapter 7 and it is the most commonly filed Chapter in America. If the debtor meets the eligibility requirements the court will grant them a discharge of debts which will wipe away unsecured debts such as credit card debt, medical bills, utility bills, and even types of personal loans.

As you can see, the common theme of all bankruptcies, whether they are on a large scale like Detroit’s or a small scale like yours or someone you know, is to eliminate debt. Contact a local attorney in your area if you think that a Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy could be a help to you and your finances.

How Long Does a Bankruptcy Take?

Apparently, patience is a virtue, but let’s be honest, we live in an instant gratification society where no one likes to wait on anything. From job applications, to phone calls, we all get a bit antsy when something starts to take too long. If you are looking into the various types of bankruptcies it is a great idea to take a look at what kind of timeline you are getting yourself into. So how long does a bankruptcy take? The two main types of personal bankruptcy, Chapter 7 and 13, have very different timelines due to the way each chapter is handled.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the quickest and most common type of personal bankrupcty. The whole process, from start to finish, can take anywhere from 4-10 months. The process officially begins when the bankruptcy paperwork (petition) is filed with the court, but unofficially the clock starts when you decide to file bankruptcy. In the initial stage you will spend time finding and hiring a cheap bankruptcy lawyer, paying the attorney’s fees, and collecting the necessary documents. At that point your bankruptcy lawyer will compile your financial documents into a petition and get ready to officially file bankruptcy. Usually 30 days after your petition has been filed you and your bankrtupcy attorney will attend at “meeting of creditors” where the bankruptcy trustee will ask you simple questions about your paperwork. 60-90 days after your court appearance you should receive discharge papers in the mail stating that your bankrtupcy case was both completed and successful.

The timeline for Chapter 13 bankruptcy is longer and more complex, but it is an extremely effective course of action if you are trying to save your home or vehicle. The initial stages of the timeline mimic that of the Chapter 7: hiring an cheap bankruptcy lawyer, gathering paperwork, and paying fees. In fact, the main changes in the 2 timelines begin after the meeting of creditors which, again, happens around 30 days after the bankruptcy is officially filed with the court. There will be a second court appearance called a “confirmation hearing” that you may or may not be required to atttend, depending on your attorney. This hearing is used to present the potential 3-5 year payment plan to the chapter 13 trustee. At this point the trustee can choose to accept the plan as is, or to request revisions. Once the plan has been accepted the timeline depends upon the length of the plan itself which can range from 3-5 years. At the end of the payment plan the court will issue discharge papers to the debtor showing that their Chapter 13 bankruptcy was completed and successful.

Because bankruptcy is a legal process there is never an exact timeline for any chapter. Everyone’s financial situation is different and various issues and questions may arise at any point during the filing process. Just remember that even if you feel like the process is taking forever, there is a light at the end of the tunnel: bankruptcies help people acheive a financial fresh start!

Starting the New Year Off Debt Free With Bankruptcy

It’s a new year and a new you! But what if your new year is already feeling weighed down by the debt that was plaguing you last year? Filing bankruptcy may be able to help you truly start this year off with a financial fresh start. If you are wondering whether filing a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy is right for your specific situation here are some things to consider:

1. What debts are causing your main struggle?

Deciding to file bankruptcy can start by figuring out which debts are really causing you the most trouble. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is best for individuals whose main debt struggle is caused by credit cards, medical bills, payday loans, or other unsecured items. On the other hand Chapter 13 bankruptcy can help with secured debts like a home in foreclosure or a vehicle that is on the verge of being repossessed. If your debts do not fall in either of those categories then you may be dealing with debts that bankruptcy cannot really help with like: back taxes, parking tickets, student loans, child support or alimony.

2. Do you make enough to pay your monthly bills?

Income has a lot to do with which type of personal bankruptcy is right for you. Start by asking yourself how much money you have left over at the end of the month once you have paid necessary bills like rent, utilities, groceries, etc. If the figure you end up with is a negative number or very close to $0 then you will most likely qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If the figure you end up with is $500 or more then the bankruptcy court may conclude that you have enough to pay back some of your debts in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy repayment plan.

3. Are creditors contacting and/or garnishing you?

Some good indicators that you may need to consider the option of filing bankruptcy is when creditors begin calling you non stop, writing threatening letters, or take you to court in order to obtain a garnishment order from the judge. If anything like this is happening to you then take comfort; filing bankruptcy can stop the debt collection process in it’s tracks! That’s right, just by filing a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy the court provides a protection that keeps creditors from pursuing any type of debt collection against you. Even garnishments that are already in motion are brought to a screeching halt when the debtor files bankruptcy.

If you have been asking yourself these questions for months and are dealing with debt that you just don’t think you can overcome alone then it may be time to consider going bankrupt. Don’t let another year go by without picking up the phone and asking a bankruptcy attorney for help. Let bankruptcy help you start this new year off right by becoming debt free!

Calling the Bluff on Bankruptcy’s Bad Reputation

When I started as a bankruptcy paralegal several years ago I went into the job with preconceived notions about bankruptcy, the people who file, and how it affects credit. It didn’t take long to realize that my perceptions were way off base. I want to share some of that knowledge with you here so that perhaps we can change the tide in how people think about bankruptcy. I’ll start by sharing information that I thought was true, then explaining what really happens.

1. Bankruptcy is a terrible choice for anyone to make. This remark is almost laughable to me now after seeing thousands of people turn their lives around with bankruptcy. The truth of the matter is that in some situations filing bankruptcy is the best decision a person can make. By going bankrupt an individual with overwhelming debt can find a financial fresh start in less than 1 year.

2. Bankruptcy is only for people with very low incomes. Again I can’t believe I ever thought this was true; maybe someone should have just mentioned 2 little words: Donald Trump. That’s right, the multi-billionaire has filed bankruptcy on his many hotels and casinos numerous times! He may be a hard guy to relate to financially, but it proves a point: even people who many may consider “wealthy” sometimes have to file bankruptcy in order to get their finances in order. In many cases individuals and couples with very high incomes file what is known as a Chapter 13 bankruptcy which consists of a 3-5 year repayment plan where the court allows them to pay back a percentage of their total debt. This is in contrast to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy that in most cases is used for those individuals or couples with low incomes and very little assets.

3. Bankruptcy will ruin your credit forever. This is a common misconception that I really think scares people away from ever considering the help that bankruptcy may give to them. Allow me to explain the truth about what really happens to your credit when you file bankruptcy. When an individual files bankruptcy all of their creditors are notified via US Mail by the bankruptcy court. The creditors then notify the credit bureaus that the specific accounts are under “bankruptcy”. Once the bankruptcy is complete and the debts are erased, the bankruptcy court again notifies the creditors of the progress. Again the creditors notify the credit bureaus that the account balance is $0.00 and the account is marked with “bankruptcy”. The mark of bankruptcy will stay on an individuals credit report for 7-10 years depending on the chapter of bankruptcy that was filed, but that mark doesn’t stop the debtor from rebuilding credit, owning a home, or financing a vehicle.

Don’t believe everything you hear when it comes to bankruptcy. Find advice you can trust whether it be from a friend or family member who has filed bankruptcy before or a local bankruptcy attorney.

Why Filing Bankruptcy Shouldn’t Scare You

You may have heard some negative things about filing bankruptcy over the years, but we all know that not everything you hear is always true. If you are facing an overwhelming amount of unsecured debt like credit cards or medical bills then going bankrupt may be in the best interest of your financial future. Don’t let the negative rumors surrounding bankruptcy scare you away from doing something that could really help you in the long run. Here are just a few reminders of why filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 bankruptcy shouldn’t scare you:

1. You aren’t alone – Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that no one else is having debt problems like you are. In this economy that’s just not true. For years people have been struggling with credit card debt, large amounts of medical bills and more recently foreclosure and repossession. Last year alone more than 1 million Americans filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy to get a financial fresh start by eliminating their unsecured debt. Due to the recession our country has and is still facing it would be surprising if you didn’t know of someone that has had to file bankruptcy to keep afloat.

2. Help is readily available – The great news about looking into bankruptcy now is that at any given time you are not too far away from tons of information regarding bankruptcy. One simple search on the internet will provide you with more information than you ever wanted on how to file bankruptcy and if it is right for you. Not only is the internet a wealth of knowledge, but in some cases bankruptcy attorneys will allow you to meet with them for free initial consultations before you make your decision. If neither of these options appeal to you then maybe you should just start by asking friends or family who you know have filed in the past.

3. The system is on your side – The bankruptcy laws are written for one purpose: to help individuals and married couples get out of debt and find a way to have a financial fresh start in life. The laws are not meant to be abused, which is why there are limits to how many times a person can file in a given number of years, but for the most part the bankruptcy code is on the side of the debtor. The bankruptcy court as a reputation of being fair and open minded to every situation they hear. Don’t think that your situation is too far gone for bankruptcy to help.

If you truly think that going bankrupt could help you and/or your family then don’t hesitate to find out more information. Just remember that you aren’t alone, help is always readily available, and the system is on your side. The bankruptcy process will be over before you know it and in less than 2 years you could be debt free and planning for the future.

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