Most working people look forward to their 60s, 70s and beyond as their “Golden Years.” They plan for retirement and are ready to settle back and enjoy life. Unfortunately, for too many of them, the dream never materializes. If one or the other partner in a relationship becomes seriously ill, medical expenses can make it tough going financially. “We recently saw an older gentleman whose wife had just passed away a month ago. The co-pays and costs of her medications during her final months had put him $40,000 into debt on credit cards,” said Courtney L. Quinn, attorney, Jeffrey Freedman Attorneys, PLLC. “As we age we tend to need more health care and more medications. Medicare and the supplemental insurance programs available to those over 60 often don’t cover the actual costs.” No one wants to declare bankruptcy, least of all older people who have worked their entire lives and managed their money carefully. However, no one should have to struggle under the burden of medical debt, enduring the harassment of debt collectors and possible threat of foreclosure on their homes. Under a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, debts related to medical care can be discharged so anyone who has gone through… Continue Reading ‘Golden Years’ can turn to lead after a medical crisis
The efforts of non-profit agencies and government entities reaching out to homeowners who are behind on their mortgage, have created an environment which is just right for scam artists to prey upon homeowners in default. Don’t let fear of foreclosure, and desperation for help cloud your judgment about which sources of help are legitimate, and which are scams. Read through these guidelines, check any agencies with your local Better Business Bureau, remember if it’s too good to be true, it may not be legitimate, and as always, trust your instincts. With mortgage payments in arrears, there are often many options such as a modification, a temporary forbearance, or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy. Research all options, and reach out for trustworthy help wherever you can. http://realestate.msn.com/would-these-6-mortgage-scams-fool-you
Recently five of the largest mortgage lenders reached a settlement with 49 US States regarding the robo-signing scandal of 2011. Essentially these banks paid $25 million and agreed to work with borrowers. While this scandal was unfolding and the settlement was subsequently being worked out, many if not millions of homeowners’ mortgages sat in default. And where a mortgage is in default, quite often the lender will not accept monthly payments, and so the mortgages fall further into default. This means that millions of actual or potential foreclosures are in the queue. Today, with the settlement worked out, those millions of defaulted mortgages are slated to enter the foreclosure system, with foreclosures in 2012 expected to topple foreclosure numbers of 2010. With a foreclosure, or even an early default on a mortgage, the most important thing is to BE PROACTIVE. Quite often borrowers feel nervous or ashamed they are behind, and that can be paralyzing. However, it is much better to face the issue head-on, examine your finances to see if you can afford the home, analyze what modification or loss mitigation options might be available, and to explore all available options, including meeting with a bankruptcy attorney early on to determine if… Continue Reading Foreclosures about to pick up speed for the “everyday” borrower?
The average family spends $688 per child on back to school expenses. Between supplies, long lists of items requested by the teacher or the school district, electronics and clothing, this shopping spree can get expensive! The best plan would be to have sinking fund in place, or a plan where you set aside some money each month anticipating that these expenses are coming. Try your best to cut back on as many expenses as you can, and avoid using credit cards. For some more in depth tips, read on. http://lifeinc.today.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/08/14/13183714-money-saving-tips-for-back-to-school-shopping?lite
The discharge of student loans in bankruptcy happens so infrequently that most people consider it to be impossible. But as this article highlights, in some situations, with a very specific set of facts, it may be possible. In fact, our firm recently tried a student loan dischargeability case, and won, securing the discharge of more than $56,000 in student loan debt, for a debtor who originally borrowed $16,000 in the 1980′s. The decision issued by the local Bankruptcy Judge here in the Western District of New York was very narrowly construed, but the discharge was warranted, and granted. Most bankruptcy practitioners agree that the rules which have made all student loans–both public/federally backed loans, and since 2005, also for-profit private student loans– non-dischargeable, are too stringent, and need to be reexamined. The only standard by which to discharge student loans today is by proving that repayment of the loans would pose an ”undue hardship”, but as outlined in this article, what constitutes “undue hardship” has never been defined in the legislation. Instead, by way of caselaw, the judiciary has created a very narrow analysis for determining “undue hardship” which has left most debtors with the obligation to repay their student loans, even where their financial circumstances seemed dire. Another means… Continue Reading Student Loans and Bankruptcy