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4 years 1 month ago

Many couples or individuals, prior to deployment, try to get their personal matters in order. soldier deploying During this very stressful time and period of adjustment the last thing any service member needs is to be worried about their financial status.  For many, however, this issue arises as life never goes according to plan. Considering bankruptcy - either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 is a viable option for many soldiers.  Often I find prospective clients unsure if they should file for bankruptcy or not because they are preparing to deploy or their spouse is preparing to deploy.  It is important for you to remember that the military provides you with a power of attorney for a reason. We have had situations in our office where one spouse was about to deploy and wanted to leave knowing their financial matters were under control for his wife/husband. Using the power of attorney we were able to file the case and the spouse was able to sign the necessary documents and appear at the required 341 Meeting of Creditors on his behalf. This is not an unusual occurrence and it is one that the United States Trustee will allow.  The benefit of this is that you can continue to move forward on your bankruptcy when filing a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13 if you are deploying and not have to be worried about the financial strain your family may be in.  Bankruptcy provides you and your family with a fresh start.


4 years 1 month ago

Bankruptcy debtors use their $4,000 wildcard exemptions most often to protect cars. The debtor can apply the wildcard only to cars in the debtor's name. For example, if a married couple is considering Chapter 7 bankruptcy and both of the...


4 years 1 month ago

This blog entry includes material originally prepared by the author for the 2012 FBA Bankruptcy Seminar. 
The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Stern v. Marshall, 131 S. Ct. 2594 (2011), immediately cast a shadow of uncertainty on bankruptcy courts’ constitutional authority to enter final orders.  But Stern leaves many questions unanswered, and the bankruptcy judges within the Western District of Michigan have differed as to whether the case should be interpreted narrowly or broadly.  As a result, depending on the presiding judge in a particular case, Stern may be critically important or unworthy of mentioning.  The following is a brief review of cases in this district that address the scope of Stern. Read More ›
Tags: Chapter 7, U.S. Supreme Court, Western District of Michigan


4 years 1 month ago

Chapter 13 bankruptcy offers debtors the opportunity to strip off a wholly unsecured second mortgage on their primary residence. Most courts have held that debtor’s mortgage is stripped from his house when he completes the Chapter 13 plan and gets...


4 years 1 month ago

Common Misconceptions about Credit After Bankruptcy
Rebuilding credit after bankruptcy is one of the biggest fears that my clients have. There is so much misinformation about bankruptcyRebuilding Credit After Bankruptcy and credit that most of these fears are not realistic.  Some people believe that filing bankruptcy will mean that they will never be able to get credit again.  Others are convinced that they will not be able to get credit for at least 7 years–how long they think the bankruptcy will be on their credit report. Many don’t care. They know their credit has already “hit bottom” and the bankruptcy won’t make any difference.
Facts About Credit After Bankruptcy
How long a bankruptcy stays on the credit report depends on the type of bankruptcy filed. The law allows the credit bureaus to report the bankruptcy for 10 years from the date the bankruptcy is filed. The credit bureaus don’t have to report the bankruptcy that long–they just cannot report it any longer. Their current policy is to report a Chapter 7 bankruptcy for the full ten years.  Chapter 13 is different. The credit bureaus report a Chapter 13 bankruptcy on their reports for 7 years. However, one of the major credit bureaus will report a dismissed Chapter 13 for ten years.
How Long Will it Take to Get Credit After Bankruptcy?
There is really no fair answer to this question. Some people are able to reestablish credit immediately after their bankruptcy. Others struggle for several years. The opinion of most of the credit professionals I have spoken to about this say the average is about two years for a person to reestablish their credit to the point that they can get credit with fair terms. A mortgage lender suggested that the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) is a good guideline.  Their current rules require that a Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharge be at least two years old in order to qualify for a home mortgage. The rules for a Chapter 13 allow you to qualify for an FHA mortgage one year after the case is filed. The FHA rules are summarized on their website here: FHA rules for mortgages and bankruptcy.
How to Rebuild Credit After Bankruptcy
You will notice that the FHA rules require that you have reestablished some credit prior to meeting the rules for their program. This does not require that your credit be back to normal. It just means that you have one or two new accounts that are showing positively after your bankruptcy and that you not have new credit problems after your bankruptcy. There are four steps to making this happen.
Step One: Get your credit reports
After you receive your bankruptcy discharge you need to make sure that the discharged debt is not holding you back. Do this by ordering a copy of your credit report from all three of the major credit bureaus. All of the information you need about how to contact them is available from the FDIC’s website here: Credit Bureau Information. We help all of our clients complete this first step.
Step Two:  Challenge any discharged account that shows a balance
The bankruptcy is not going to erase your discharged accounts. They can still be reported. What they cannot do is report that you still owe any money. When they are reported with a zero balance and a notation that the account was included in bankruptcy it is being reported correctly. Too often people will find that an account is still being reported with a delinquent balance owed. These need to be challenged by filing a dispute with the credit bureau. If the creditor will not correct the inaccurate information it would be a good idea to see an attorney. This step is critical and explains why we ask our clients to send us copies of their credit reports.
Step Three: Apply for a Secured Credit Card Account
These accounts are easy to get after bankruptcy. A secured account requires that you deposit into a savings account money to act as collateral for the credit card. Do some research on the bank that you are considering opening an account with. Also, make sure that the bank reports their accounts to at least one of the major credit bureaus. Not all do. Also, beware of scams when looking for an account.
Step Four: Use the Account to reestablish your credit after bankruptcy
Just having the account is not enough. I recommend that you use the account every month and pay it off every month. This positive activity will do far more for your credit score than having several inactive accounts.
Once you follow these four steps you will see a significant increase in your credit score and discover that getting credit after bankruptcy is not nearly as difficult as you feared. Repeat step one and two every six months for a couple of years to make sure that nothing negative is being reported illegally. Before you know it you won’t have any trouble being approved for credit that you can reasonably afford.
Mesa Bankruptcy Lawyer: Free Appointment
Please let us know what you think of this information or have other ideas that we can pass along. We have spent a lot of time researching and investigating how bankruptcy affects credit because we want to be able to help our clients reestablish their credit and put the bankruptcy behind them. When you are seriously considering bankruptcy call us to schedule a free appointment. The number is 480-820-0800. We will continue to help even after the bankruptcy is over.
 
 
Original article: Credit After Bankruptcy: Four Important Steps to Rebuilding Your Credit©2013 Arizona Bankruptcy Lawyer. All Rights Reserved.The post Credit After Bankruptcy: Four Important Steps to Rebuilding Your Credit appeared first on Arizona Bankruptcy Lawyer.


4 years 1 month ago

Bankruptcy & Credit: Confusion
Bankruptcy and Credit create more confused advice than any other area of bankruptcy law.  Many people believe that so long as a How Long Does Chapter 13 Stay on My Credit?bankruptcy is being reported on their credit report they will have no hope of buying a house or car.  It’s not true.
Plenty of Conflicting Advice about Bankruptcy and Credit Reports
Many of my clients have told me that they know bankruptcy stays on credit reports for 7 years. Not necessarily true.  Google the phrase: How long does Chapter 13 stay on my credit report.  You might be surprised by how many different answers you get.  Most of the articles will say 7 years.  Not always true.  Others will say 7 years from the date of discharge.  Also not true.  A few will say 10 years.  That is sometimes true, but often wrong.
What are the rules about how long Chapter 13 Stays on your Credit Report
Some of the different answers about how long Chapter 13 stays on a credit report are caused by the questions. There is a difference between how long it can be reported and how long it is usually reported.
Fair Credit Reporting Act controls how long it can be reported
The Fair Credit Reporting Act is a Federal law that controls what credit bureau’s can report.  It does not have much to say about bankruptcy.  In fact, the word bankruptcy only appears one time in the entire Act. What it says is:
Cases under title 11 [United States Code] or under the Bankruptcy Act that, from the date of entry of the order for relief or the date of adjudication, as the case may be, antedate the report by more than 10 years.
That makes it clear that it is legal to report any bankruptcy for 10 years from the date that the bankruptcy is filed. But, this law does not require that a credit bureau report the Chapter 13 for 10 years.  It just means that they cannot legally report the Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing for any longer than 10 years.
The Credit Bureau decides how long the Chapter 13 is reported on the credit report
There are 3 major credit bureaus used by the financial industry. Each of them have their own policies on how long they will report a Chapter 13 bankruptcy on your credit report.  For example Experian says they will report the Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing for 7 years on your credit report. However, Equifax says they will report a dismissed Chapter 13 for ten years.
Bankruptcy and Credit: What Does it all mean?
It is very easy to get advice about bankruptcy and credit. It is not so easy to evaluate the trustworthiness of that advice. When it comes time to seriously consider filing bankruptcy in Arizona you need someone who knows the system and knows the answers in detail. Trucly Pham Swartz and Joe Volin are experienced Phoenix Bankruptcy Lawyers and can provide you with the help you need. For a free bankruptcy appointment call us at 480-820-0800.
 
Original article: Bankruptcy and Credit: How Long Does Chapter 13 Stay on a Credit Report?©2013 Arizona Bankruptcy Lawyer. All Rights Reserved.The post Bankruptcy and Credit: How Long Does Chapter 13 Stay on a Credit Report? appeared first on Arizona Bankruptcy Lawyer.


4 years 1 month ago

Many small business owners will have a family member or close friend co-sign for them on a business loan or the purchase of a major asset, such as a house or car.  If you fall behind on the payments and decide that bankruptcy is the right option for you, be aware that filing bankruptcy will only wipe out YOUR personal liability on the debt.  If your parents or friends provided their guarantee to a creditor that they would pay the debt if you could not, they will likely receive a nasty demand letter from the creditor whose debt you discharged.  If the creditor believes that your co-signor has significant assets to recover, it may decide to sue that person, possibly forcing them into bankruptcy.
This is why I always advise people to not co-sign with friends or family members on loans.  Financial problems can cause huge rifts in otherwise harmonious family and personal relationships.  If I decide to lend a family member money, I do so with the intention that I will never see it again and treat it as a gift.
Be especially weary of who you have to co-sign for a Small Business Administration loan, as that person’s credit and financial life will be greatly affected the the success or failure of your business.


4 years 1 month ago

One of my Chapter 7 clients has an interesting living situation. The couple sold their home when the husband retired and purchased a motor home. The motor home which can park on a rental lot and hook up to utilities....


4 years 1 month ago

bankruptcy, consider bankruptcy, filing bankruptcyWhen considering bankruptcy as a solution for your unmanageable expenses, it is important that you realize bankruptcy, Chapter 13  is supposed to alleviate the financial strain you are currently in.  You should leave your attorney’s office in a better position than when you walked in.  When considering to file Chapter 13,  it is essential that you take a step back and evaluate your financial position. Chapter 13 will not be a benefit to you and your family if you are living beyond your income. Sometimes this means having to give up a house, vehicle, and/or other assets that may be the cause of your financial strain.  Your Chapter 13 payment should be feasible and something you can afford to make comfortably without having to take major hits in your already tight budget. Chapter 13 is intended to be a solution for your financial problems and not create an additional one for you. When contemplating Chapter 13, be sure that you sit back, assess your finances and the decisions you made that got you to this place. As your attorneys we can help, however, the real change must come from you. Everyone deserves a second chance and a fresh start. Bankruptcy, Chapter 13 can be that for you if you are willing to make the necessary changes.


4 years 1 month ago

How to Talk About Filing BankruptcyWorried what people will think if you file bankruptcy?
Sally pulls up to the red light, blinking furiously to fight back the flood of tears that threaten to overwhelm her. She’s just left her lawyer’s office and he has advised her that it is time to file for bankruptcy. Until today she had never spoken the word out loud for fear of what it may do to her reputation. As a recently divorced single mom, she has prided herself on being self-sufficient and savvy. “How did this happen to me?” As the light turns green her thoughts switch to her family, her two beautiful twin boys who lover their new dog they rightly named Oreo. “How will I explain to my kids that Oreo will have to go to a new home?” And then there is Mike, her ex-husband, who has remained as a co-signor on the mortgage for the home she lives in with her sons. And then there are her parents, who will have unending questions. “What do I say to them? How do I explain that this is not the end of me?”
What do you say when you have to file bankruptcy?
If you’re considering bankruptcy  you probably have similar questions and concerns that Sally has. The characters may be different, but the storyline is the same: having the conversation with your friends and family about bankruptcy. Declaring bankruptcy can be a difficult experience for everyone that is involved. It often begins with coming to terms with the fact that there are no other options and this may be the best chance at a fresh start. If you’re wondering how to handle this difficult conversation with your loved ones, here are a few pointers to keep in mind.
Do you really need to tell anyone that you are filing bankruptcy?
Filing for bankruptcy is a very personal experience and it is up to you to decide who you want to share this information. It may be important to inform people who will be directly impacted such as family or friends whom you may owe money to or others who have co-signed on your debt.  How you share this information may be different with each family member or friend. You may decide to pull someone aside and tell them privately, while others might be briefed in a group setting.
Explain why bankruptcy is the best option.
Whether by your own decisions or extenuating circumstances, explain to your family what has led you to this point. This is not the time to play the blame game, but instead should allow everyone to understand the seriousness of the situation and why bankruptcy was the best option.
Be realistic that a bankruptcy may lead to some changes.
People fear change but people are absolutely terrified of unexpected change. Particularly with young families, it is important to explain the impacts of downsizing your current lifestyle to something more suitable for the current financial situation. The car, home or normal family leisure activity may no longer be possible. But also remember to highlight the benefits of doing a bankruptcy such as reduced debt burden, no more calls from creditors and a chance at a fresh start. Your strength and confidence will be important in helping others understand that this is the best step forward.
It is okay to ask for help when you are filing bankruptcy.
Bankruptcy is not something you have to face alone. Enlisting your family and friends by helping them to understand your needs can grow into a support system as those closest to you get behind the new step you are about to take.
Your friend is not a bankruptcy lawyer. 
There are too many myths about bankruptcy to rely on anyone who doesn’t deal with bankruptcy issues on a daily basis.  Although friends and family members may have good intentions, it is best to assume that they do not know what they are talking about when it comes to giving legal advice about filing bankruptcy.
Call an Experienced Bankruptcy Attorney
The hardest part about filing a bankruptcy is making the decision.  We all tend to fear the unknown. What really happens is usually not nearly as bad as what we feared.  The first step is to speak with an experienced bankruptcy lawyer.  Joe Volin and Trucly Pham Swartz are experienced bankruptcy attorneys.  You can meet with us for free and learn the truth about filing bankruptcy.
Original article: Bankruptcy: How to talk about filing bankruptcy©2013 Arizona Bankruptcy Lawyer. All Rights Reserved.The post Bankruptcy: How to talk about filing bankruptcy appeared first on Arizona Bankruptcy Lawyer.


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