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High Unemployment Rates Lead Consumers Searching For Debt Resolution Morgan Drexen Supports Attorneys In Reducing Debt

November 1, 2010 Featured News, Finance No Comments

Attorneys In Reducing Debt

High Unemployment Rates Lead Consumers Searching For Debt Resolution Morgan Drexen Supports Attorneys In Reducing Debt

After several months out of work Stephanie Silver had drained her 401(K) and her debt was rising.

Personal savings were not an option for Stephanie an Oregon resident; she started using her credit cards for everyday items. Stephanie’s husband was re located to a new state to work this was the start of their financial troubles.

The Silver’s debt was more than $20,000 and with no work in sight they took $15,000 out of their 401(K). Stephanie admits, “I will never get back to where I was with my 401(K). I now only have 1000 dollars in my account. I was accumulating that for 10 years.”

Stephanie like many Americans was concerned with entering any debt reduction program, however for her it was a great success. Stephanie engaged with the Howard-Nassiri Law Firm, who are tough on lenders. They helped Stephanie negotiate with creditors and free herself of the financial burden that surrounded her.

The Howard-Nassiri Law Firm uses the complex automation of Morgan Drexen and their integrated support services. Attorney at Law Vincent Howard admits, “The legal support services and automation provided by Morgan Drexen to my law firm is priceless.”

Stephanie considered bankruptcy, ”I hadn’t heard about this attorney based debt resolution program before. I decided to take a chance. I tried to work with my creditors to lower the balance on my cards but of course they would not help.”

This attorney based debt resolution program offers a safe platform with someone who understands the intricacies of financial law. Stephanie says, “It was great to have access to an attorney, the threatening calls stopped, the letters it all stopped. I had nothing but good experiences with them. Everyone I spoke to was helpful, respectful, and pleasant and as a matter of fact I have recommended them to friends of mine who are in similar situation.”

With new Federal regulation in place it is now safer than ever to reduce your debt using an attorney based debt resolution program.

Watch Out for Loan Modification Scams

September 25, 2010 Finance No Comments
bankruptcy-next-exit

For those struggling to make or those who have fallen behind on their mortgage payments, bankruptcy may provide a solution for homeowners that want to keep their homes.

The combination of the recession, high unemployment rates and the crash of the housing market has left many homeowners struggling to make their mortgage payments. However, as the saying goes, in difficult circumstances comes opportunity. Unfortunately, for many homeowners, those taking advantage of the opportunities presented by these difficult times are loan modification scammers.

For those struggling to make or those who have fallen behind on their mortgage payments, bankruptcy may provide a solution for homeowners that want to keep their homes.

Modification Scams

Not every company is in the business of helping you keep your home. Some, in fact, do not care if you keep your home or not, they just want your money. Some of the most common loan modification scams are:

Bait-and-Switch — a scammer will ask you to sign documents that you are told are for a loan modification that will “make your existing mortgage current.” Buried in the fine print of these documents, however, could be language transferring the title of your home over to the scammer.

Rent-to-Own — also known as a “lease-back,” in this scam you conditionally sign over the title to your house to the scammer with the “understanding” that you will stay in your home as a “renter,” and that you will be able to purchase your home back at a later date. Oftentimes, though, the scammer never intended to sell your home back to you and will even draft the contract in such a way that it is nearly, if not completely, impossible for you to reclaim your home. The scammer may even raise your rent to the point that you miss payments, giving them legal authority to evict you. After you are evicted, they can sell the home and keep any profits.

Fake Counseling Services — this fraud is based upon the word of a con man who tells you that he can negotiate with your lender on your behalf to save your home. However, there is a catch: you have to pay all the fees for this service up front. The scammer will likely ask that you not contact anyone, as they will do this for you — this should serve as a warning that the transaction is a scam. Another tipoff that you are dealing with a scammer is that you may be asked to pay your mortgage payment to the scammer directly and not your lender — do NOT do this.

Phony “Government” Programs — these bogus programs involve a scammer who offers to help you enroll in an allegedly government-approved loan modification program. The caveat being, of course, that you have to pay a high up-front fee to “qualify” for the program. These fake programs may be difficult to spot, even if you conduct due diligence since everything, including the scammer’s website, may seem official. Consult with your lender if you are contacted about one of these programs, as your lender will know if you qualify for any legitimate government programs or not.

Mortgage Lender Tricks

Mysterious third-party companies are not the only ones taking the opportunity to trick borrowers; your lender may try to deceive you as well. (Please remember that most lenders are reputable, but there are a few that may try this.) Be on the lookout for these signs that your lender may be trying to trick you:

-Continually telling you to call back to discuss your issues, without ever actually talking to you about your issues

-The lender tells you one thing, then either does another or does not honor what was told to you

-The lender tells you miss a payment(s)

Always make your payments if you can. If you miss payments, your lender may foreclose on your home.

Tips for Avoiding Scams

Not all fraudulent mortgage-related schemes are easy to discover. However, you may be dealing with a scammer if you are:

-Asked to sign your deed over to the company

-”Advised” to stop paying your mortgage payment to your lender and told to send the payment to the new company

-Given a “guarantee” that the company can get your loan modified or that the company can stop foreclosure

-Asked for a fee before the company can begin to work on your behalf

-Offered participation in a government-approved loan modification

-Asked for your personal financial information over the phone or online

The Bankruptcy Option

If you are behind on your mortgage payments and facing foreclosure, there may be an alternative to seeking the help of a loan modification company. Working with an attorney to file bankruptcy could help halt foreclosure proceedings and allow you to keep your home.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy, also referred to as “wage earners’ bankruptcy,” allows a debtor to restructure his or her debts into a monthly payment to be made over a three to five year period, after which the remaining debt is discharged.

One of the benefits of Chapter 13 bankruptcy is that it allows homeowners that are facing foreclosure to halt or stop the proceedings. The debtor is then allowed to fold the missed or late mortgage payments into the Chapter 13 repayment plan, paying them over the course of several years instead of in one lump sum. However, it should be noted that the debtor needs to keep current on the payments throughout the bankruptcy repayment period or risk foreclosure of the home.

To discuss your situation and discover if bankruptcy is the right option for you, contact an experienced bankruptcy attorney.

Article provided by George R. Belche, Attorney at Law, LLC

Considering a Loan Modification? Consider Bankruptcy Instead

September 25, 2010 Featured News, Finance No Comments
bankcuptcy-home for sale

Bankruptcy and Loan Modification - Keep your home and avoid foreclosure

The crash of the housing bubble has left many homeowners in homes that are now not worth what was paid for them. The current economic crisis and rise in unemployment are leaving many homeowners with mortgages they cannot afford for houses that they cannot sell.

As a result, there has been a rise in loan modification programs. Loan modifications sound appealing because of the promise to work with the lender to lower payments, allowing the distressed homeowner to keep their home and avoid foreclosure.

These programs are often nothing more than scams, however. In such circumstances, Chapter 13 bankruptcy may offer you the best option of keeping your home and reducing payments.

Loan Modification Scams

While not everyone that is offering to help you with a loan modification is a scammer or has a dishonest intent, many do. According to NeighborWorks’ Loan Modification Scam Alert website, there are six “red flags” to indicate that you may be working with a loan modification scammer. Those are:

- Advance fee — in this instance you run the risk of the company pocketing your money and doing little to nothing to help you

- Guarantee to stop foreclosure or guarantee to get loan modified — a legitimate loan modification company will only promise to work their best on your behalf

- Advised to stop paying mortgage — do not send your mortgage payment to anyone other than you lender

- Asked to sign over your deed — do not sign over the deed to your home, nor should you ever be pressured into signing papers you have not read

- Company claims “government-approved” or “official government” modifications — if this claim is made, contact your lender they can tell you if you are eligible for a government programs that prevent foreclosure

- Asked to release personal information to a company you are unfamiliar with — only give personal information to companies that you are working with and trust

Along with the six red flags above, you should be weary of lease-back (rent-to-own) programs.

There are other factors that should be considered with loan modifications.

-Often times, the lender or the loan modifying company are unresponsive to borrower needs and questions.

- If the principal of the loan is reduced, the IRS may consider this taxable income and saddle the borrower with a tax bill .

Benefits of Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

While a loan modification may seem like a way out of your current situation, a modification may just leave you in a worse position than you started, including being homeless because you signed your deed away. However, there may be a better option for those in need of mortgage help who want to keep their homes — Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Titled in the Bankruptcy code as “the wage earners’ bankruptcy,” Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a way for those who have a regular source of income to reorganize their debt into a manageable monthly payment. Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows debtors to reschedule their debt and make payments to creditors over a three- to five-year period, with the discharge of the remaining debt at the end of the repayment period.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy may be a help for most homeowners who are facing foreclosure and/or passed due mortgage payments, because filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy will stop the foreclosure process. Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows debtors to include their mortgage payment arrears with the other rescheduled payments. This way, debtors are given the opportunity to catch-up on any missed mortgage payments.

It should be noted that if you are in Chapter 13 bankruptcy and you get a loan modification, it may appear that your mortgage payment goes down. However, that extra money that you are “saving” will still go toward the Chapter 13 repayment . Because the money that you save may be seen by the bankruptcy court as disposable income, that extra money may be used to pay off debtors. The money saved by the loan modification may be calculated into your disposable income, thus, possibly increasing the amount of money paid to unsecured creditors.

Also, once you sign the papers for a loan modification, you will not be able to undo it.

Possible Consequences of a Loan Modification During Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

It is extremely important to discuss the possible ramifications of obtaining a loan modification while in Chapter 13 bankruptcy. While the loan modification may seem like a logical way to “save” money or “lower” payments, there are many unforeseen consequences that the lender may not discuss with you or may not fully understand. The possible consequences may include:

-Monthly payment plans may go up as to avoid creating disposable income

-Mortgage arrears that were being paid through the Chapter 13 repayment plan may be placed on the “back” of the mortgage, which will increase the amount of interest to be paid as the mortgage balance has increased

-The portion of the monthly Chapter 13 payment that was used to pay mortgage arrears may be used to repay unsecured creditors, possibly increasing the percent paid to unsecured creditors

If you are considering a loan modification, speak with an attorney to discuss and learn about all of your options, including bankruptcy, BEFORE beginning the lengthy and time consuming process of modifying your home loan. An experienced bankruptcy attorney can talk with you about your situation and possible options that you have so that you can make an informed decision about your future.

Article provided by Chang & Diamond, APC

Do I Really Need a Lawyer to File Bankruptcy? The Fees Sound So High!

September 23, 2010 Featured News, Finance No Comments
Debt Consolidation

Debt Consolidation or Bankruptcy

You don’t have to have an attorney to file anything. You always have the option of representing yourself in any matter. If you are fairly familiar with the bankruptcy process and have a pretty simple, straightforward case, you might consider this avenue, but for most people it is not the best idea. Bankruptcy lawyers usually charge a flat fee starting in the neighborhood of $1,800 and up. When you are considering bankruptcy, this sounds like a huge fee and makes the “do-it-yourself” route look more attractive, but when you consider that your entire financial future is at stake, calling in an expert starts to make more sense.

Most attorneys will offer a free consultation. Before you decide to represent yourself, do a little lawyer shopping. A good attorney will tell you if bankruptcy is in your best interest or not, whether you should wait to file or file immediately, and also whether your case is so simple that perhaps a document preparer might be a better fit for you as opposed to an attorney. A document preparer can prepare your bankruptcy petition for you but cannot give you legal advice. For this service you would likely part with only a few hundred dollars.

When you are consultation shopping, don’t immediately hire the lawyer who charges the lowest flat rate. Take note of how the attorney and his or her staff treat you. Are you treated like a number? Are your calls answered or returned? Can the lawyer explain the fee to you and what it does and does not cover? In our office, our fee covers the filing fee you would have to pay the court to file your case whether you prepared your own documents or not, the cost of the debtor education classes you are required by law to take, and a few other incidental costs you would also incur on your own. Once you know what you would be paying for, can the attorney give you a timeline? Is he or she willing to answer your questions? The minute you start to feel less like a person and more like a potential source of revenue for an attorney, run! There is no shortage of bankruptcy attorneys out there, but not all of them make an effort to care about you as a person, your personal situation and goals and how bankruptcy can facilitate or undermine what you are trying to achieve.

At the end of the day, it is your life and your money. How you choose to spend it is up to you. While you probably don’t need to hire the most expensive attorney in your area, keep in mind that in the law, like in other service areas, you do tend to get what you pay for. With that in mind, think carefully about what is important to you and why you are filing for bankruptcy in the first place. Better to do it right the first time by hiring an attorney or document preparer than by going it alone.

Article provided by Arizona Law Group of Trezza & Associates, LLC

Sports & Recreation

SportsMetriX System Linked to NCAA Tournament Upsets

6 Nov 2010

NCAA Basketball Tournament

The unprecedented number of upsets in last season’s NCAA tournament was no coincidence. SportsMetriX software was the one common link that helped Butler, Northern Iowa, Murray State, Baylor, and Cornell for preparing pregame reports for their opponents. Sienna and Montana …

Terminal at 4-years-old, Triumphant at 22, Ryan Dant to Watch His Hero Nolan Ryan and His Beloved Rangers Take on Giants in Game 3

30 Oct 2010

Ryan Dant

Ryan Dant wasn’t supposed to be a 22-year-old. Or an 18-year-old. Or even a 12-year-old. At three-and-a-half, the little boy who loved baseball and Nolan Ryan and his Texas Rangers in particular was told, along with his parents Mark and …

World-Class Snowboarding for the First Time in China

15 Oct 2010

Snowboarder-Shaun-White

The 2010/2011 snowboard season is starting with a big bang: The legendary snowboard contest Air & Style is coming to Beijing, People’s Republic of China, with the 6-star Swatch TTR World Snowboard Tour event “Oakley and Shaun White present Air …

Entertainment

Peter Gabriel, Sheryl Crow, Jimmy Cliff, and Jack Dorsey, Co-Founder of Twitter, Support Human Rights Organization Using Video to Expose Human Rights Abuses

11 Nov 2010

Human Rights Abuse

Music legend and human rights activist Peter Gabriel will host the 6th Annual Focus for Change benefit dinner and concert for WITNESS, the international human rights organization, on Thursday, December 2nd at Roseland Ballroom in New York City. The event …

Creative Channel Services’ Study Suggests Set-Top Box Is Preferred Upgrade Solution

9 Nov 2010

Internet TV

The Internet is most likely to debut in the American living room via a set-top box that is streaming rented content, says a nationwide survey of 3,600-plus consumer electronics retail sales associates conducted by Creative Channel Services (CCS). Recently, the …

Nissan Whistleblower After being Jailed a 3rd Time Starts Stand-Up Comedy

8 Nov 2010

Sharyn Bovat

Sharyn Bovat, the middle Tennessee relocation consultant assigned to manage the move of Nissan board member Carlos Tavares was arrested and taken to jail on July 7th, 2010 by the Franklin police in Williamson County (case # gsc-3714); the details …

Health

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Announces Aggressive Tobacco Control Strategy and Proposed Graphic Warning Labels

10 Nov 2010

Smoking

Legacy applauds HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and the leadership at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its bold new effort announced today to …

Terminal at 4-years-old, Triumphant at 22, Ryan Dant to Watch His Hero Nolan Ryan and His Beloved Rangers Take on Giants in Game 3

30 Oct 2010

Ryan Dant

Ryan Dant wasn’t supposed to be a 22-year-old. Or an 18-year-old. Or even a 12-year-old. At three-and-a-half, the little boy who loved baseball and Nolan Ryan and his Texas Rangers in particular was told, along …

BODY WORLDS’ Producer Sets Sights on Disease Prevention, Creates New Museum Exhibition Addressing American Health Issues

26 Oct 2010

Body World

Anatomist Dr. Gunther von Hagens and physician, Dr. Angelina Whalley, the trailblazing scientist and creative designer behind Gunther von Hagens’  BODY WORLDS — the anatomical exhibitions seen by 32 million visitors worldwide — announced BODY …

Featured News

Does Travel + TSA = Traveling Trauma?

22 Nov 2010

Airport Security Body Scan

Immediately prior to one of the heaviest travel days of the year, there are a multitude of people crying ‘Foul’ on the increased Travel Security Administration security (TSA) measures.  The overall response has said the ‘enhanced pat-downs’ simply go too …

GM’s IPO is hot, and China’s Automaker, SAIC, wants a piece of the action

12 Nov 2010

GM Headquarter

SAIC Motor Corp, China’s largest automaker, is a joint-venture partner with General Motors in China. The Chinese company wants a 1% stake in GM share and is willing to pay between $500 Million to $ 1 Billion for the GM’s …

Consumers Don’t Feel Their Financial Interests Are Being Well Protected and Are Dissatisfied With Many Areas in Financial Services

11 Nov 2010

Financial freedom

A new survey on regulatory reform by TNS, the world’s leading custom research firm, finds that only 46% of American consumers feel  their financial interests are being appropriately protected by laws and regulations.  For consumers who are over-indebted this is …

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Business

GM’s IPO is hot, and China’s Automaker, SAIC, wants a piece of the action

12 Nov 2010

GM Headquarter

SAIC Motor Corp, China’s largest automaker, is a joint-venture partner with General Motors in China. The Chinese company wants a 1% stake in GM share and is willing to pay between $500 Million to $ 1 Billion for the GM’s …

Based on 16 Million Barcode Scans by Smartphone Users, ShopSavvy Reveals the Hottest Gifts for the 2010 Holiday Season

11 Nov 2010

shopsavvy

In the first 10 days of the holiday shopping season, ShopSavvy users performed 16 million product scans with ShopSavvy’s built-in barcode reader, with nearly a third of the smartphone app’s 6.5 million users scanning at least one item from Nov. …

Nissan Whistleblower After being Jailed a 3rd Time Starts Stand-Up Comedy

8 Nov 2010

Sharyn Bovat

Sharyn Bovat, the middle Tennessee relocation consultant assigned to manage the move of Nissan board member Carlos Tavares was arrested and taken to jail on July 7th, 2010 by the Franklin police in Williamson County (case # gsc-3714); the details …

Finance

Consumers Don’t Feel Their Financial Interests Are Being Well Protected and Are Dissatisfied With Many Areas in Financial Services

11 Nov 2010

Financial freedom

A new survey on regulatory reform by TNS, the world’s leading custom research firm, finds that only 46% of American consumers feel  their financial interests are being appropriately protected by laws and regulations.  For consumers who are over-indebted this is …

High Unemployment Rates Lead Consumers Searching For Debt Resolution Morgan Drexen Supports Attorneys In Reducing Debt

1 Nov 2010

Attorneys In Reducing Debt

After several months out of work Stephanie Silver had drained her 401(K) and her debt was rising. Personal savings were not an option for Stephanie an Oregon resident; she started using her credit cards for everyday items. Stephanie’s husband was …

Identity Theft 911 Recommends Identity Theft Services Shopping Tips From The Consumer Federation

23 Oct 2010

National Protect Your Identity Week

In recognition of National Protect Your Identity Week,Identity Theft 911 (http://www.identitytheft911.com) announces its support for the checklist “Nine Things to Check When Shopping for Identity Theft Services” released by the Consumer Federation of America this week. Identity Theft is the …

Technology

Peter Gabriel, Sheryl Crow, Jimmy Cliff, and Jack Dorsey, Co-Founder of Twitter, Support Human Rights Organization Using Video to Expose Human Rights Abuses

11 Nov 2010

Human Rights Abuse

Music legend and human rights activist Peter Gabriel will host the 6th Annual Focus for Change benefit dinner and concert for WITNESS, the international human rights organization, on Thursday, December 2nd at Roseland Ballroom in …

Based on 16 Million Barcode Scans by Smartphone Users, ShopSavvy Reveals the Hottest Gifts for the 2010 Holiday Season

11 Nov 2010

shopsavvy

In the first 10 days of the holiday shopping season, ShopSavvy users performed 16 million product scans with ShopSavvy’s built-in barcode reader, with nearly a third of the smartphone app’s 6.5 million users scanning at …

Creative Channel Services’ Study Suggests Set-Top Box Is Preferred Upgrade Solution

9 Nov 2010

Internet TV

The Internet is most likely to debut in the American living room via a set-top box that is streaming rented content, says a nationwide survey of 3,600-plus consumer electronics retail sales associates conducted by Creative …

Travel

Does Travel + TSA = Traveling Trauma?

22 Nov 2010

Airport Security Body Scan

Immediately prior to one of the heaviest travel days of the year, there are a multitude of people crying ‘Foul’ on the increased Travel Security Administration security (TSA) measures.  The overall response has said the …

Yakima Vehicle Racks Gives Thanksgiving Travelers Smart Options for Carrying Gear, Luggage and Family

5 Nov 2010

YAKIMA-car-rack

With Americans downsizing to smaller cars and hybrids, Thanksgiving travelers face new challenges on where to put luggage, family and gear. Yakima (www.yakima.com), known for vehicle racks for boats, bikes, camping, winter sports gear, trailers …

Branson’s Ozark Mountain Christmas Begins Nov. 1

29 Oct 2010

OZARK MOUNTAIN CHRISTMAS

With dozens of star-filled Christmas music shows and a glittering array of light displays, including the 1-mile Branson Area Festival of Lights drive-through, “The Live Music Show Capital of the World” kicks off its annual …