September 19th, 2011
make a payment, you should call the creditor and explain your financial circumstances and advise the creditor when a payment will be forthcoming.
Charge Off and Litigation
you with legal action if the debt isn’t paid. Should the collection activity by the collection agency be unsuccessful, your debt may be turned over to a collection lawyer who will institute a lawsuit against you. Should you receive a summons and complaint with regard to the debt, it is important you either go to court and submit a written answer to the summons and complaint or retain counsel to represent you.
There are many myths that people believe regarding bankruptcy that are simply untrue. Should you have questions regarding debt collection activity or bankruptcy issues, feel free to call the Law Offices of Elliot Schlissel. Our office has filed hundreds of bankruptcies and assisted our clients in numerous lawsuits against them regarding alleged debts. Feel free to call us for a free consultation
Warren Buffet is the third richest man in the United States. He is a very frugal man. He purchased his home in 1958 for $31,500. It is a 6,000 square foot home. He still lives in it! In a recent interview, he stated, “our country’s social goals should not be to put families into the house of their dreams, but rather to put them into a house that they can afford.” In a February 26, 2011 letter he wrote to shareholders of his company, Berkshire Hathaway, he stated, “home ownership makes sense for most Americans, particularly at today’s low prices and bargain interest rates, but a house can be a nightmare if the buyers eyes are bigger then his wallet and if a lender, often protected by a government guarantee, facilitates his fantasy.”
Warren Buffet purchased his home for $31,500 when he was 29 years old. That is more then four decades ago. Imagine if you could purchase a 6,000 square foot home for that price today!
Home Services of America
Warren Buffet owns Berkshire Hathaway, Inc. His company, in turn, owns Home Services of America through a subsidiary titled Mid American Energy Holdings Company. He also owns Clayton Homes, one of the largest companies in the United States, which is involved in the manufacture of environmentally friendly, factory built homes. Last year Clayton Homes produced more then twenty three thousand homes.
Warren Buffet Receives 2010 Medal of Freedom
The highest honor awarded to a civilian in the United States is the Medal of Freedom Honor. Warren Buffet was the recipient of this award from President Barack Obama in 2010.
Clayton, Mr. Buffet’s company, is very unusual. It holds the mortgages on the homes that it builds in its factories. Although Clayton was hit hard in the recession, it did better then most financial institutions. Mr. Buffet recently stated that if home buyers throughout the United States had behaved like Clayton’s buyers of manufactured homes, there would be no foreclosure crisis in the United States. Warren Buffet is a very wise man!
Warren Buffet lives modestly. He’s a very conservative investor who has been extremely successful in investing in non speculative investments. His strategy for homeowners, that they should only buy homes that they can afford and not their dream homes, reflects what the real estate industry will be moving towards in the future in the United States. The ownership of a single family home fulfills the dreams of many Americans. In the future they will need to have smaller dreams!
Our law office can help you with any of the following issues: mortgage modifications, mortgage modification programs that fail, foreclosure court conferences, foreclosure litigation, defective foreclosure lawsuits, predatory lending issues, bad faith by financial institutions, defective mortgages, real estate related issues, Chapter 13 bankruptcies, Chapter 7 bankruptcies, stopping foreclosure, and advising you as to the types of bankruptcy that may apply to you. Please take a look at our foreclosure blog. Feel free to call us should you have foreclosure defense or mortgage modification problems or bankruptcy issues.
March 25th, 2011
If one of the parties to a divorce action files for divorce, can he or she later file bankruptcy during the course of the divorce? The answer to this question is yes. Now let’s change the circumstances a bit. A husband and wife are involved in a divorce and during the course of the divorce, the husband is ordered by the court to make mortgage payments. Unfortunately, he falls behind in the mortgage payments. Is filing for bankruptcy the best route to stop the house from being foreclosed upon? The answer to this question in many instances is yes.
In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the debtor sets up a plan to reorganize his or her debts. The plan is designed to bring the debtor up to date on his or her debts during a period of three to five years. The amount of the payment pursuant to the bankruptcy plan is based on the debtor’s income.
Debts are classified into various types within the plan. Unsecured creditors, such as debts related to credit cards, may be paid on a percentage of what is owed. Interest and penalty payments to these creditors are eliminated in the plan.
Secured creditors, such as mortgage holders on real estate, are paid 100% of what they are owed under the plan. Banks holding mortgages who have refused to accept payments from the debtors are now forced to accept mortgage payments from the debtors under the bankruptcy plan.
Bankruptcy Protection for the Spouse
Under the bankruptcy law, child support and spousal maintenance payments are non dischargeable debt. This means a father obligated in the divorce to pay spousal maintenance and child support to his wife cannot eliminate these debts. Financial obligations of the payer’s spouse, under court orders of the divorce to make mortgage or home equity line payments, are considered to be part of the spousal maintenance and child support payments and these obligations are also non dischargeable in bankruptcy.
Chapter 13 bankruptcies can successfully be utilized to give a spouse who has obligations to make mortgage payments and pay spousal maintenance and/or child support an opportunity to come current in these obligations, save the home from being sold in foreclosure and comply with the state court order.
The foreclosure defense lawyers at the law office of Elliot Schlissel have been representing individuals with financial difficulties for more than three decades. Our office helps our clients prepare mortgage modification applications. We also deal with mortgage modification programs that fail to meet our clients’ needs. We defend foreclosure lawsuits for our clients. We attend foreclosure court conferences, litigate defective foreclosure lawsuits, predatory lending issues, defective mortgages and bad faith on behalf of financial institutions. We also assist our clients with other types of real estate litigation. Should bankruptcy be the route to dealing with our clients’ problems, we file both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies on behalf of our clients. Feel free to call us for a free consultation at 1-800-344-6431, 516-561-6645 or 718-350-2802.
March 3rd, 2011
Homeowners previously had an exemption of $50,000 for the equity in their home. Now each party on the deed has an exemption on Long Island for $150,000 in equity on their home. Therefore, a husband and wife who own a home together have $300,000 in exemptions when they file bankruptcy. This means homeowners on Long Island can file a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, have $300,000 of equity on their home and still beat their creditors!!
New Bankruptcy Exemption Law in New York
The new bankruptcy law went into effect on January 22, 2010. In addition to the home equity allowances, new rules concerning jewelry, art, a computer, a cell phone, pets and pet food have been listed to the exemptions. The new bankruptcy exemptions are designed to reflect the current valuation of homes and the costs of living in New York.
We’ve anticipated that there will be more bankruptcy filings in New York State due to the liberalized exemptions. With $300,000 in exemptions, most middle class families in financial trouble will be able to file bankruptcy on Long Island and still keep their homes. This will make filing a Chapter 7 ( or straight bankruptcy) a better option for homeowners with credit card debt and other financial obligations.
Under the new exemptions, renters can now use the homestead exemption and claim another $1,000 in personal property or cash as an exemption in their bankruptcy. The new law also allows New Yorkers to choose between the Federal Exemptions and the State Exemptions when they file bankruptcy. Homeowners facing foreclosure now have a better option when they file bankruptcy.
At the Law Office of Elliot S. Schlissel, we have been filing bankruptcy for our clients for more than thirty years. Our office has been involved in more than four hundred bankruptcy cases on behalf of our clients. We file Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies. We discuss with our clients the type of bankruptcy that is best for them. We help our clients reestablish credit. We can, in some situations, eliminate second mortgage liens. The bankruptcies we file can be utilized to stop foreclosures. In addition we provide detailed foreclosure defense representation for our clients. We assist our clients in mortgage modifications. We maintain a foreclosure blog to provide information on foreclosure issues for our clients. We litigate defective foreclosure lawsuits, predatory lending, defective mortgages and bad faith on behalf of financial institutions. Feel free to call us for a free consultation at 516-561-6645, 718-350-2802 or 1-800-344-6431. Our phones are monitored 24/7.
December 8th, 2010
The credit card debt that seniors are maintaining has been growing. Seniors also require more medical treatment than younger Americans. In situations where the medical treatment is not covered by insurance, seniors find themselves in debt.
The primary reason for seniors filing bankruptcy has to do with their inability to pay credit card debt. The medium credit card debt for seniors filing bankruptcy is over $27,000. Medical expenses are the second largest cause for seniors to file bankruptcy.
In addition to problems involving credit card debt and medical expenses, more and more seniors in their late-fifties and sixties are still carrying mortgages on their principle place of residence. Today, 63% of all Americans in their late-fifties and sixties are still making mortgage payments. This is up significantly from the 49% of individuals in this category that were carrying mortgages in 1989. These figures were obtained from the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University.
About Our Law Firm
Elliot S. Schlissel is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and has been assisting New York seniors in dealing with all types of legal problems for over 20 years. Our phones are answered 24 hours-per-day, 7 days-per-week. Our phone numbers are 1-800-344-6431, 516-561-6645 or 718-350-2802. You may also contact us by email.
November 5th, 2010
JP Morgan Chase previously announced that it was seizing all further legal action on 56,000 pending foreclosure proceedings. The bank is taking this action due to the fact that its employees have improperly prepared legal documents related to foreclosure proceedings.
These suspensions took place in the 23 states where foreclosure lawsuits must be approved by a court.
New York is one of these states! Chase Manhattan has started an investigation examining their employees actions in foreclosure proceedings. Chase is the third financial institution to take this action. GMAC and Bank of America have already taken similar actions.
Chase has acknowledged that their employees who signed numerous documents related to foreclosure proceedings have signed so many documents that they are now referred to as “robo-signers”.
Lawyers in foreclosure proceedings representing homeowners have uncovered that individuals have signed as many as 10,000 affidavits a month. Query: Is it possible they actually read these affidavits? These affidavits indicate that the person who prepared them reviewed the mortgage file. There was not sufficient time to review the mortgage files.
The courts expect numerous foreclosure proceedings brought by Chase Manhattan to be contested by attorneys who represent the homeowners. Due do uncovering this new information, it is expected that courts will look more carefully at the documents in proceedings brought before them involving the foreclosures of these homes. The solution to this foreclosure crisis is for the banks to become more realistic, more accessible and more willing to provide the homeowners with mortgage modifications.
November 3rd, 2010
Bank of America is the largest bank in the United States. They have recently taken action to stop moving forward with foreclosures throughout the United States. Allegations have arisen with regard to how the bank is handling the foreclosure process. Bank of America is among many large financial institutions which also include Chase Manhattan and GMAC that are reexamining how they handle foreclosures.
Bank of America, GMAC and JP Morgan Chase have uncovered problems with the documents they have utilized in processing foreclosure proceedings. Attorneys representing homeowners who homes have been foreclosed upon are developing new and innovative defense techniquess to deal with the document crisis created by the financial institutions.
Attorney Generals in California, Connecticut and Florida are investigating the materials submitted by various financial institutions in foreclosure proceedings. The Associated Press recently reported that a Bank of America official acknowledged that she signed up to 8,000 foreclosure documents per month without reading them. Consumer advocates claim that there are numerous problems with the foreclosure process.
Should you find your home in foreclosure, please call our offices 1-800-344-6431 or contact us by email. Our law firm has represented individuals in debtor/creditor matters for more than 30 years. We are experts in handling foreclosure defense, foreclosure conferences, mortgage modifications, Chapter 7 bankruptcy and Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
November 1st, 2010
Slow Home Sales
Feel free to call the law office of Elliot Schlissel at 1-800-344-6431 or contact us by email to discuss your personal situation concerning foreclosure defense, mortgage modifications, foreclosure conferences, bankruptcy and reestablishing credit.
January 19th, 2010
Many Americans unfortunately find themselves having difficulty paying their mortgages. When a family falls behind on their mortgage payments, there are a number of ways to deal with the situation. Houses go into foreclosure for a variety of reasons. Loss of employment, divorce, injuries, illnesses and disabilities. In this situation, you have a number of options:
1. Mortgage Modification
An application to your financial institution can be filed for a mortgage modification. This is a long and difficult process and unfortunately in many situations, the request for mortgage modification is denied.
2. Forebearance Agreement
Forbearance Agreements are agreements to allow you to catch up on your Mortgage while either freezing or modifying the mortgage payments. They are very similar to mortgage modification arrangements.
You can file a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in the United States Bankruptcy Court. Bankruptcies are Federal Proceedings whereas the foreclosure proceedings are initiated in state courts. The bankruptcy filing gives you an automatic stay (freezes) the foreclosure proceeding and allows you to enter into repayment plan thru the bankruptcy court concerning your debt. Deed in Lieu of
You can simply deed your house back to the financial institution.
5. Sell Your House
You can sell your house, pay off the mortgage and keep the balance of the proceeds from the sale. If your house is worth less than the amount of your mortgage, you have to initiate a short sale with the permission of your financial institution.
6. Fight Back
Experienced Foreclosure Defense Attorneys can help you in defending foreclosure proceedings. Due to the large volume of cases, currently pending in New York State Courts, it could be 12 to 24 months for the foreclosure to be completed.
Does this mean the bank owns my house?
Foreclosure is the start of a process whereby a financial institution that has a mortgage or equity loan on your home seeks court intervention to have the house either sold or have the deed put back in the name of the financial institution. It is a long and detailed process. The foreclosure Is the start of the process and not the end of the process. The end of the process is the point at which you lose your home. The best way to deal with this process is to hire competent, experienced, Foreclosure Defense Attorneys.
Fighting foreclosures are difficult but they can be dealt with by experienced dedicated attorneys who understand the foreclosure process. Feel free to contact our office anytime for information or a free consultation regarding our mortgage modification, foreclosure, and bankruptcy services. We will help you decide which path is right for you and then we will help guide you through the entire process.
You can reach us 24/7 at 800-344-6431 or click here to e-mail us.
Picture courtesy of planohomesandland.com.
As readers know, our office has a significant bankruptcy practice (more bankruptcy information is available there). I addition to the issues Mr. Schlissel addressed yesterday, below are some more frequently asked questions and Mr. Schlissel’s answers. For help with Bankruptcy, or any other matter, you can always contact our office.
Q: How does filing for bankruptcy affect others, like creditors, family members, and co-signors
A: It depends on the type of bankruptcy. If it’s a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, which is very often called a “straight bankruptcy,” the purpose of that is to eliminate your debts completely. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, all of your assets are basically liquidated, except for exempt assets, and distributed to your creditor. Now, if you don’t have any assets, such as a house, chapter 7 is usually the way to go and at the end of the bankruptcy, you have no debts at all.
The problem is that if you file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and you have a co-debtor, only you are discharged from the debt. At the end of the bankruptcy, the co-debtor still owes the debt. Whatever portion you didn’t pay, or if you didn’t pay anyportion of it, the co-debtor or guarantor owes the balance of he debt. In those situations where there’s husbands and wives or co-debtors, it is very often recommend that they both file for bankruptcy.
In a Chapter 13, you’re entering into a “plan” where you pay a percentage of the amount owed. If it’s a secured creditor which has a lien on your car, or a bank that has a mortgage on your house, very often you’re paying 100% of what is owed to them. If the debt is owed to credit card companies, some plans have you paying as little as 10-15% of what you owe.
In a Chapter 13, there is a stay, or injunction, preventing any creditor from taking legal action against a co-debtor or guarantor. But that is only a temporary form of relief. It doesn’t release the co-debtor for the amount of the debt that is not paid under the Chapter 13 plan.
The law is complicated, even more so than a lot of other areas of law that consumers have to deal with. Not only that, but not all attorneys do bankruptcy work. In fact, most of them do not do bankruptcy. Very few attorneys get involved in dealing with federal proceedings such as bankruptcy.
Q: How long does the bankruptcy process usually take?
A: Chapter 7, from start to finish, will usually take between three and six months. But a Chapter 13 proceeding can take anywhere from three to five years.
Q: What sorts of things do you usually do to help your clients rebuild their credit after bankruptcy?
A: After filing for bankruptcy, most good attorneys talk with their clients about how they can rebuild their credit. If done correctly, you can rebuild your credit within six months to a year after filing for bankruptcy.
When an individual falls behind on their financial obligations, all sorts of negative credit information is placed on their credit report. Filing for bankruptcy can help most people in the long run as they can develop good credit becxause if you fall behind on your mortgage, credit card payments or car payments, your credit score goes way down.
After you file for bankruptcy and you’re discharged, you don’t have any debt. If you enter into an agreement for a secured credit card or something else of that nature, you can rebuild your credit score. People whose bankruptcies I have handled have credit scores of 750 because they have no debt. they are now debt-free and the have been able to reestablish credit and show that they’re making payments to their creditors on a timely basis.
Any good bankruptcy attorney should want to have a long term relationship with his clients and should discuss rebuilding the person’s credit. It’s something we always do for our clients. We feel that it’s part of the process of educating them on how to rebuild their credit after the bankruptcy is complete.
Contact us anytime for bankruptcy help.
Picture courtesy of hrbor.org.