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April 2017 Archives

How to escape the nightmare of creditor harassment

Life happens and things do not always go as planned, which means that anyone can get behind on their bills. A person may sign papers on a loan with full confidence that he or she can pay the loan back. Unfortunately, an accident, loss of a job or any other unexpected stumbling block can delay the best-laid plans. In Florida and other states, debt collectors can make a person feel that he or she is about to be dragged off to prison if one doesn't pay up immediately. However, there is a way for a person to stop creditor harassment and get back some peace of mind.

Homeowners duped into homelessness by foreclosure scam

In today's world, it is unfortunately common to hear about new scams being perpetrated. Many of these schemes are designed to take money, information or even an identity from the victim. One such swindle could dupe Florida residents, as well as residents in other states, right into homelessness. A recent foreclosure scam is leaving its victims with nothing.

How to prepare for bankruptcy

Your financial situation is leaving you stressed and sleepless at night because you cannot seem to figure out how to pay your delinquent bills and debts. You have little money to pay for them without depriving your family of the financial support they need to live. After carefully considering your options, you decide that bankruptcy is the solution.

Family of teen with cerebral palsy facing foreclosure

Two parents and a teenager, who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at the age of 6 months, could face losing the  home the girl has lived in for most of her life. The Florida family is facing foreclosure because of a high-interest, short-term mortgage with a balloon payment that seems impossible for almost any family to pay.  According to the family, such a loan should never have been approved for them in the first place.

Bankruptcy exemptions, and what's non-exempt in Chapter 7

When a person files bankruptcy, it is basically a way to get protection from creditors. In Florida, as in all states, the proceedings are handled through the federal Bankruptcy Court, and the presiding judge will appoint a bankruptcy trustee. This trustee handles the selling of the bankruptcy estate property in a Chapter 7 proceeding, in order to pay off some or all of the filer's debts. Not all property has to be liquidated, however. Rather, there are some bankruptcy exemptions and some properties which are not exempt.

New bill helps Sandy victims avoid foreclosure

A new law in one northeastern state will help the victims of Hurricane Sandy and could be a stepping stone for aid to others in coastal areas. For those victims who are still having a hard time paying their mortgages, this law could keep them out of foreclosure. People whose homes were damaged by the storm can request a payment delay for as much as two years to give them time to get back on their feet and have their homes repaired. The new law could set a precedent for people in other coastal states that are prone to hurricane damage, such as Florida.

Credit One Bank accused of creditor harassment

The plaintiff in a pending federal lawsuit in Florida claims that Credit One Bank called him hundreds of times in an effort to collect a debt. He alleges that the bank engaged in creditor harassment by calling him at least 200 times. The Tampa man had previously given consent to receive calls, but revoked his consent before the bank's alleged harassment.

Bank of America fined $45M for improper foreclosure proceedings

A large bank has been given hefty fines for handling a foreclosure case improperly. The Bank of America, a popular bank in Florida and across the country, has been fined $45 million for its response to one couple who tried in vain to stop their home from being foreclosed on. The husband and wife attempted to get the bank to lower the mortgage payment that they had to pay each month. When the bank refused, the home ended up in foreclosure.

When a tax refund means Chapter 7 bankruptcy

It is tax time again. For many people that means that it is time for a Florida vacation, a new car or some other luxury item that they have waited to splurge on. Others wait until tax time to pay off small debts which they couldn't catch up on during the year. For some, however, tax time means that they will be filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Woman sues Macy's debt collector for harrassment

After allegedly attempting to collect money for a debt that had been discharged, a debt collector working on behalf of Macy's Department stores is being sued. According to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, in Florida and all other states, once a debt has been discharged in bankruptcy, a debt collector can no longer attempt to collect on it. According to the suit that was filed on Feb. 17, the defendant did just that.

Debts not discharged in a bankruptcy

A bankruptcy is designed to help you get out from under your debts. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the trustee cancels many of the debts. You may have to liquidate some property to repay your creditors, which is why a Chapter 7 is often referred to as a liquidation bankruptcy. In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, your debts are "reorganized." You pay debts in a plan over three to five years. Which bankruptcy is right for your situation depends on a number of factors, such as the amount of debt you have and your income.

How credit scores are affected by repossession

It can happen to anyone. Loss of a job, an illness, a death or any other loss of income can cause Florida residents to experience a repossession. While it can be embarrassing for someone to have a car, home, boat or other property repossessed, a main concern is likely what it will do to one's credit. What exactly does repossession do to a person's credit score and finances?

Man found guilty of foreclosure scam

After just for days of trial, a jury in another state has found a 29-year-old man guilty on various counts of fraud. According to the evidence presented at the trial, the man was pronounced guilty of eight counts of mail fraud affecting a financial institution and one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud. He is said to have preyed upon homeowners who were facing foreclosure. Homeowners in Florida who are facing foreclosure should be wary of such schemes.

Bankruptcy and foreclosure: What are the limits?

Many people choose to file bankruptcy when they want to start over by wiping their financial slates clean. Some Florida residents have chosen bankruptcy as a way to stop foreclosure, reduce their monthly payments or just remove their debt altogether. But are there limits to just what bankruptcy can and cannot do to erase debt? The answer is yes.

Florida’s homestead exemption explained

Florida grants a homestead exemption for people who owns the property and makes it her permanent residence (or the permanent residence of her dependent). The homestead exemption gives up to $50,000 in exempted property value for taxes. The first $25,000 is available for property taxes, school taxes, and district taxes. The second $25,000 is available for property values between $50,000 and $75,000 in assessed value (however it only applies to non-school taxes).

Overview of exempt property in Chapter 13 bankruptcy

Bankruptcy is a type of legal protection afforded people who are unable to pay their debts. There are two types of bankruptcy filing: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Chapter 13, unlike Chapter 7, reorganizes your debts into a payment plan that you can sustainably pay. After a term of years (usually five years), you either pay off your debts in their entirety or the rest is forgiven. The purpose of Chapter 13 is to reorganize your assets and liabilities, to allow you to get out from under your debts.

Tips to deal with debt collectors, Part 1

Debt is manageable, but it can quickly turn into a crushing burden if it is not carefully controlled. If you are being stalked by debt collectors, you have rights. The Fair Debt Collections Act (FDCA) enumerates a series of rights that protect consumers from predatory debt collectors. This post will go over some helpful tips to deal with debt collectors.

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