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Orlando Bankruptcy Law Blog

Is there a way to avoid home foreclosure?

Whenever someone has problems with finances, the possibility of a home foreclosure can make the situation all the more stressful. If mortgage payments are not able to be made on time and in full, the home foreclosure process may be started. It is important for all Florida homeowners to understand how the process works and also how they may be able to avoid home foreclosure altogether.

The first step to avoiding home foreclosure is to acknowledge the problem and answer all mail related to late mortgage payments. Contacting the lender as soon as it becomes evident that there are problems making payments can open the door to having the lending company help find solutions. Before dealing with the lender directly or working out some kind of deal for payments, a homeowner should investigate their rights.

Preparedness for bankruptcy can stop harassment by your creditors

The thought of filing for bankruptcy can be overwhelming and extremely confusing for anyone. If you are considering filing for bankruptcy in Florida, the quicker you do so, and the more prepared you are for the process, the quicker you may be able to stop harassment by your creditors. As with any legal process in Florida, the more information available to you before it is needed, the better you may feel about the process overall.

When deciding to file for bankruptcy, it is important to know what you may need to bring to an initial consultation. The essence of bankruptcy and the legal process is proving you can’t pay your bills as they are. Bringing in any and all collection letters is a great start. You should also bring billing statements, mortgage information and car payment information.

Credit card debt a problem in Florida and the South

Debt, including credit card debt, has long plagued nearly every region of the country since the onset of the recession. The recession meant that debt took over and left many people in Florida and elsewhere with no other options but to file for bankruptcy or lose their homes. While the credit card debt problem has rippled across every region, the South -- including Florida -- has been harder hit by the amount of debt with which the average person has to deal.

On average, it is reported that 35 percent of people are behind in some kind of debt payments. The debts included in the average relate to non-mortgage debt. This includes credit cards, medical bills and other debts that are past due and in the collection process.

Home foreclosure battle may still loom for some in Florida

When someone has had his or her home foreclosed on, that person may take some time to get back on his or her feet and move forward. However, a change in the law that determines the timeline for collecting deficiencies related to back-due mortgage payments has meant that many homeowners are being surprised with bills related to home foreclosure action that took place years ago. The Florida homeowners who may have been moving forward may now be getting bills in the mail.

The law used to be that companies had five years to pursue unpaid debt. Now the law gives companies one year to pursue such debt, which has spawned the newfound urgency in attempts to collect that debt. Most lenders never bothered, due to the fact that attempts were pointless when a person already had nothing and had lost the home. However, now that the economy has improved, those who had no means of paying back the debt may now be able to do so.

How can one avoid being caught in a loan modification scam?

The housing market took a tremendous hit when the recession affected the economy. As Florida families struggled to keep their heads above water, many turned to loan modification as a means of keeping their homes. However, if you have watched the news lately, you may have heard there are many loan modification scams out there, and homeowners who need help are the target of these scams. Despite how sophisticated these scams may be, there are tips to help homeowners avoid getting caught up in a loan modification scam.

One way to tell if a loan modification company or promise may be a scam is how they got a hold of you. If they directly contacted you or advertised through a flyer, chances are they may not be a legitimate service. Another tip is if you were asked to pay a fee. A real loan modification service will not have you pay a fee upfront for services.

What do you still have to pay if you file Chapter 7 bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy can be a confusing process. Chapter 7 bankruptcy and other types are often surrounded by myths and misinformation. It is important for anyone in Florida who is considering filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy to understand what kind of debts may not be discharged, meaning that the filer will still be liable for those debts. Knowing what debts aren’t discharged is just as important as knowing what debts are.

When a bankruptcy case is filed, there is a list of creditors submitted. Any debts not on that list may be subject to repayment. Certain taxes are also not able to be discharged and still need to be paid. As far as the government is concerned, any kind of fines or penalties imposed by the government will still have to be paid.

To pay off credit card bills, one must understand interest rates

For many people, credit card debt is the one area of their financial life that may be the most confusing and difficult to handle. Credit card bills can lead to a disruption and destabilization of a Florida family’s budget and economic outlook. The key to dealing with overwhelming credit card bills and debt is to understand how credit cards and, particularly, interest rates work.

Interest is charged each month on the balance of a credit card. If a credit card bill is paid in full every month, there will be no interest. Credit card interest rates currently run between 12 and 22 percent. Anything above or below that amount may be unusual.

Florida residents filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy should be prepared

Debt sometimes may feel like a huge mountain to climb over, one that seems to be unassailable. For consumers in Florida who are faced with extensive debt, Chapter 13 bankruptcy may provide them a much-needed solution. This type of bankruptcy allows a person to possess his or her property while paying back debt obligations during the course of three years to five years.

This type of bankruptcy is called reorganization bankruptcy, and in order to take advantage of it, a person has to be able to abide by a certain payment plan. As a result, if the individual has too much debt, the person might be ineligible for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. The court also won’t let a person proceed with this bankruptcy option if his or her income is insufficient.

Man pursues successful suit of mortgage modification fraud

When the recession hit, many homeowners across the country were left scrambling to find a way to reduce debt and try to keep their homes. One way of keeping a home during the recession was to seek a mortgage modification. While mortgage modifications helped countless Florida homeowners and others across the country, some mortgage companies acted negligently. One company has been made to pay for the fraud they apparently committed against one homeowner.

The homeowner started experiencing trouble in 2010. He sought and got an agreement for a mortgage modification. According to the homeowner, his payments were to go from $2,100 a month for his mortgage to $1,500 a month.

Credit card bills and ratings don't have to be confusing

Virtually anyone can find themselves in credit card debt or financial trouble. One reason people find it so easy to fall into credit card debt is a lack of understanding about how credit and credit card bills work. Anyone in Florida who finds they are experiencing financial difficulties may want to learn more about how credit affects finances and ratings overall.

One common myth is to close out credit card accounts if there are concerns over credit scores or how to repair a bad credit rating. The truth is that if accounts are left open, the amount of credit that is extended to a user is still high, which gives a higher ratio of debt to credit limits. Stopping usage of a credit card is fine, but keeping the account open is recommended for those concerned with credit scores.

Paul Urich
Orlando Office

Law Office of Paul L. Urich, P.A.
1510 East Colonial Drive
Suite 204
Orlando, FL 32803
Phone: 407-896-3077
Fax: 407-896-3041

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