Can Bankruptcy Help?

At the Maryland Bankruptcy Center, we tell at least 1 person per day that they are NOT eligible to file bankruptcy or that bankruptcy is not a good idea. On the other hand, we tell most people who call that filing bankruptcy in Maryland is the right choice. Why is that? Chances are, if you are researching bankruptcy, you have found yourself in a very difficult financial situation and you are desperate for help. Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 are your last resort, but unfortunately in this economy, it is the only resort for hundreds of thousands of Marylanders each year. Consider the article below, and if you have any questions at all, feel free to call us anytime. Filing For Bankruptcy is a Major Decision. Necessary For Some, Unnecessary For Others… You don’t just throw a bankruptcy in your shopping cart and head for the check out, it’s a major life decision that should not be entered into lightly. In some cases, bankruptcy can really help. Some families who are avoiding filing … [Read more...]

Facing Foreclosure in Maryland? Read This.

Mortgage Assistance companies and credit counselors are not lawyers and they can’t explain the legal ins and outs about the bankruptcy laws. Not that they want to, because telling someone to see a lawyer about Chapter 13 bankruptcy might be a better option for the homeowner, but it won’t put a fee in the company’s bank account. All too often, these companies will assure the homeowner that they can help, only to notify them that they can’t do a thing – after they have collected their fees and often mere days before the foreclosure – leaving the homeowner with no time to fully explore bankruptcy or other legal solutions. Many companies are disreputable; taking money but doing nothing. What a mortgage assistance company does is collect a fee to help a homeowner workout a repayment plan with their mortgage company. The fee is often a full mortgage payment, non-refundable, and there are usually no guarantees that the payment plan will be one the homeowner can afford. Any homeowner can … [Read more...]

Ten Things To Do BEFORE FILING BANKRUPTCY

Bankruptcy is very often a time-sensitive process and pre-bankruptcy planning can be critical in protecting assets. Chapter 7, in particular, the trustee’s responsibility is to “look back” at the actions the debtor has taken to insure that there hasn’t been a fraudulent conveyance of assets, a non-allowed preference payment to creditors or other actions that might leave assets exposed. It’s critical, if you are considering bankruptcy, to consider taking the following steps to insure a successful filing: 1. Consult with an attorney. The bankruptcy laws have become so complex that consumers should not attempt to file by themselves. It’s a very risky process to try to do on your own. Since 2005, there is a complicated “Means Test” required, government-approved credit counseling, as well as other changes which made the filing of Bankruptcy much more complicated. Even if you eventually file pro-se (representing yourself) consult an attorney and ask questions about whether bankruptcy … [Read more...]

Untrue Bankruptcy Rumors

Today I saw this information posted on a really good bankruptcy blog from a North Carolina attorney. She really seems to know her stuff. I would like to share her article with you, it addresses bad information that people have heard regarding personal bankruptcy and the changes in the law that occurred back in 2005. Many people were so scared by the change in the law that they won't even consider bankruptcy, or they think there is no way that they can do it now. Please read below, it's very interesting. Here are some of the rumors that have been heard: "You can't file bankruptcy anymore." NO. Bankruptcy is still available! Some people will be not able to file Chapter 7, but many people will still qualify. The requirements will be more burdensome for both Chapters 7 and 13, but you may still find protection in the bankruptcy laws. Do not assume that it won't help ... talk to an attorney and find out if it will help you. "You don't "QUALIFY" for bankruptcy if you make … [Read more...]

Filing Bankruptcy In Maryland in 2011

  The last few years have brought about economic changes that Americans were not prepared for and had not experienced in their lifetime.  For many people, financial security disappeared as home values plunged, jobs were lost, debts rose, and help was nowhere to be found.  More Americans have faced with the decision to file for bankruptcy.    As we moved through 2010, the economy did not rebound, and unemployment rates remains high.  Hard working and proud people have been unable to find work, or have found work at a much lower pay than they had made before.  Companies try to avoid layoffs by cutting back on overtime and cutting salaries, benefits and bonuses.   Many people never thought they would consider filing for bankruptcy.  Yet bankruptcy will allow them to survive these tough times, find a way to pick themselves up and start over.  Bankruptcy can still provide a fresh start for many.    Bankruptcy may help people who found jobs making less or whose salaries have … [Read more...]

Bankruptcy Statistics

The Number of Bankruptcies are Falling The number of national consumer bankruptcies have fallen 6% in the first quarter of 2011.  There were 340,012 consumer bankruptcy filings from January 2011 to March 2011, which was down from 363,215 last January 2010 to March 2010.  This is according to the American Bankruptcy Institute using data from the National Bankruptcy Research Center. There were 144, 657 filings in March 2011, up 41% from February’s total filings of 102,686, but down from March 2010 when there were 149,268 filings.  The total number of filings in 2010 was the highest since 2005, when there was a rush to file before BAPCPA went into effect that October.  Even consumer credit outstanding has fallen the last two years according to data from the Federal Reserve. “Though bankruptcy filings are still elevated, consumers continue to take steps to reduce debt levels and shore up their finances,” said ABI Executive Director Samuel J. Gerdano. “As a result, we now expect … [Read more...]

Getting a Mortgage After Filing Bankruptcy

I saw this article on AOL today and thought I would pass it on to anyone who is thinking about filing bankruptcy or has filed bankruptcy. When I first started working with Charlie (not his real name) in 2005, his bankruptcy had just been discharged, meaning his remaining debt was cleared. His credit score was 526, and he didn't think he had a chance to even get a credit card. Charlie's bankruptcy filing was needed after a difficult divorce and a medical emergency. In fact, a a majority of people who seek bankruptcy protection do so after a medical emergency, difficult divorce, job loss; or some combination of the three. It didn't take long for him to realize that his financial life was not over. Within a couple of months, he'd gotten more than a dozen credit card and other loan offers. After the discharge of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you're considered an even better risk than someone who still has a mountain of debt because you can't file for bankruptcy for at least eight years. … [Read more...]

Getting Credit After Bankruptcy, It’s Easier Than You Think!

There is one question that people always ask when they come in to my office to file a Chapter  7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy.  They are concerned, and rightfully so, about whether or not they are going to be able to buy a car, buy a house or even get another credit card after they file bankruptcy.  My answer is always the same.   I say "I don't know the true answer because I am not a lender, however, many people and many articles seem to indicate that people ARE able to obtain credit to buy cars, houses and get credit cards within a very short time after filing Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy."  This morning I was searching the web looking for articles on this subject and I found the following article.  It addresses the issue very well.  Please read on if you are interested. The author is Liz Pulliam Weston, and she writes as follows: Almost anyone can get credit soon after a bankruptcy. It's just a matter of knowing how. It's true that bankruptcy deals a devastating blow to … [Read more...]

Filing Bankruptcy In Maryland

Filing Bankruptcy in Maryland is becoming more and more popular.  The effects of the "great recession" that began in 2008 are in many cases hitting consumers now.  Although some of our counties are among the richest in the nation, most Maryland residents (was well as most Americans), live paycheck to paycheck.  When the recession hit, many people lost their jobs.  Also, real estate values declined and mortgage payments, due to adjustable rate mortgages, increased, leaving consumers with no choice but to borrow from credit cards to make ends meat.  Well, now that the recession doesn't seem to be ending and housing prices continue to decline, many Marylanders have been left with no choice but to file for bankruptcy.  I expect 2011 to be one of the top years for filing personal bankruptcy in history.  Most of the personal bankruptcy's are going to be Chapter 7 bankruptcy's.  If you are in that position, don't worry, you are not alone.  In fact, you might even be in the majority by years … [Read more...]

Can a Second Mortgage Foreclose?

In most states, including Maryland the answer is yes a second mortgage can foreclose if in default.   The practical difficulty is that many junior mortgages are partially or wholly under water.  This makes foreclosure all but impossible.  In the case of a junior mortgage, there is always a senior mortgage with superior rights and first dibs on the money from the sale.  Moreover, there are often tax and condo fee creditors with rights that trump the junior mortgagee.  Consequently, unless there is clear equity above all outstanding liens and the expected costs of the foreclosure process, a junior mortgagee is extremely unlikely to press a foreclosure.  We often see people with second mortgages that are in severe default but with no attempts on the part of the junior mortgagee to foreclose.  One can’t take too much solace in this because the lien will stay with the property and will be a major problem if the property appreciates or if the homeowners ever want to sell or refinance the … [Read more...]