Articles Tagged with Chapter 13

mortgage-interest-paid-tax-credit-150x150Is your Chapter 13 plan paying mortgage payments that were delinquent when you filed bankruptcy?  Is your Chapter 13 plan paying the current mortgage payments through the bankruptcy?  If so, you are missing out on your mortgage interest tax deduction.

Your mortgage company often won’t send the IRS or the trustee the Mortgage Interest statement each year for what you paid through the plan.

So you don’t have any proof that mortgage interest was paid, and neither does the IRS.

Here is how you can claim the credit for mortgage interest: Continue reading

A Chapter 13 bankruptcy will work wonders on your debts and help to place you in control of the creditors.  Chapter 13’s help manage your debt obligations for a period of 3-5 yrs by a repayment plan.  You work with your bankruptcy attorney to submit a plan on restructuring your debt; making it easier for you to pay.  In addition, the Chapter 13 Plan addresses whether or not you pay anything towards unsecured debts.  Depending on your situation and desire, you could pay anywhere from 0% to 100%. Debts and bills overpowering you are now under control and reduced to an affordable amount.  This is an option available to you that offers a lot of benefits and puts you in the driver’s seat.

There are many benefits and advantages of filing a Chapter 13 in MS. Here are a few:

  1. If you have become behind on your mortgage payments, you can get caught up on the missed payments and stop the foreclosure.

Whether you are doing a debt consolidation, debt management, debt settlement, credit counseling, or bankruptcy, all negatively affect your credit.  The secret they don’t want you to know: your credit will suffer if you are not paying creditors exactly like you agreed or exactly like they want.  Debt consolidation, debt management, debt settlement, and credit counseling companies want you to pay them a fee in addition to what you pay on your debts.  These payments are NOT improving your credit and in many cases the payment won’t cover the interest on the debt.

Bankruptcy can get you back on track to good credit faster and cheaper than any of the other options.  Don’t sacrifice your financial future by using your savings or cashing out 401k’s and retirement accounts in an effort to stay afloat.  Right now, you need to do what is best for you and your family.  Things aren’t like they used to be.  Your credit will recover after bankruptcy.

Did you cosign for a student loan for your child or spouse?  Co-signers and the student  borrowers both owe the full amount of the loan.  The primary borrower might pay the loan now, but if they stop paying, those debt collectors will be coming after the the co-signer for the loan.  ***It’s important to keep in mind that the student borrower could file a Chapter 13 and protect you as the co-signer should they get into a situation where they cannot make their payments or, if necessary, you could file a Chapter 13 to protect yourself.*** But back to our discussion…

Co-signers can be released from student loans.  It’s tricky, but in many cases there is a way out for you.  The facts depend on whether it is a federal loan or a private loan and the terms of the loan.

For instance, if the primary borrower for a federal student loan dies, then the loan can be discharged and the co-signer is released.  It works the same way if the primary borrower becomes permanently disabled.

Stop – if you are thinking of filing bankruptcy – do not do any of these transactions until you have spoken with me. Waiting a few days will not matter. “Better to be safe than sorry.”  There is a right way to do things before you file bankruptcy, but there are also a whole lot of wrong ways to do things. Some actions could get you into a lot of trouble.  Put it on hold and let me give you the information you need to understand your options.

  • Don’t pay back money you owe to family members.
  • Don’t pay your friends back money you owe them.

wedding ringsMississippi is not a community property state and in most cases, a husband and wife are not responsible for each other’s debts. There are some exceptions, but they usually would only come up in a divorce or action between the husband and wife, not in a situation between the husband or wife and a creditor. A bankruptcy filed by one spouse should not affect the credit of the other spouse because that spouse did not file bankruptcy. The spouse’s name and Social Security number would not be listed on the bankruptcy papers of the other.

If there are joint credit cards or other joint debts then the spouse that did not file would still owe the debts. Otherwise, if the debt is just in the name of the spouse filing for bankruptcy, creditors would not even know the other spouse exists.

Bankruptcy law allows a married couple to file together, but they are not required to do so. Either husband or wife can file by themselves, or not file, or even file two different types of bankruptcy at the same time. Your spouse may not need to file bankruptcy at all or one spouse may need to file a chapter 7 and the other may need to file a chapter 13. You are allowed to file a bankruptcy by yourself and wipe out the debts you can discharge. You have several options!

credit cardsCan you pay your credit cards after filing bankruptcy?  Of course. You can pay anyone you want to pay. But should you? Let’s explore whether first of all you can keep them, and second if you have anything to gain by paying debts that were wiped out by the bankruptcy court…

Can you keep your credit cards after filing bankruptcy?  You should know that your credit cards will be canceled by the creditor once you file bankruptcy.  Even if you want to keep them and continue to pay, they will be canceled.  Credit card companies are constantly checking your credit reports and the moment they see the bankruptcy they will cancel the card.  This is a surprise to many people who thought that by not listing one or two cards in their bankruptcy, they could keep using them.  No company is going to let you keep a credit card. They all want you to reaffirm the debt and pay it off, but they will not extend the current credit privileges, even if you agree to pay what is owed. Now after filing bankruptcy, you may get flooded with new offers for credit cards (some offers may even be from the same companies!) but they will not allow the current account to remain open.

Why? Once a debt is discharged in bankruptcy, the creditor can’t have any contact with you. No letters, no phone calls, no law suits, no efforts to collect, and no reports to the credit bureau. You can sue them if they violate these rules. So if you repay the debt, the creditor can’t and won’t report it on your credit record. They will take the money, but you won’t any recognition or credit for paying it.

I have been a member of NACBA (National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys) for quite some time and was able to attend the 20th annual convention this year which was held in beautiful San Antonio, TX. I would strongly suggest that you bookmark the NACBA site as a resource for consumer bankruptcy matters.  Congress, their staff, the media, and the Judicial Branch all recognize NACBA as the lead voice in America regarding consumer bankruptcy law. The Association & it’s member attorneys put their expertise to work by frequently testifying before judicial and legislative bodies against any anti-debtor legislation introduced by an aggressive consumer credit industry. NACBA continues to play a significant role in forming the outcome of policy-related discussion and debates regarding consumer bankruptcy practices.  It truly lives up to it’s goal

To ensure that the voices of consumer debtors and their attorneys are heard in the halls of Congress, the Judiciary and other arenas affecting consumer debtors; and to help consumer bankruptcy attorneys represent their clients more effectively.

Bottom line, attending NACBA conventions provide a wealth of education and keep attorneys up to date on the latest in bankruptcy law – which is a must if you are going to provide the best protection for your clients. Multiple vendors also attend the conference, educating us on the latest available debt counseling programs and a host of other items designed to help consumers before, during, and after bankruptcy.  I’ll be blogging about some of the gems pulled from this conference a little later, so stay tuned! In the meantime, here are some pictures from the convention this past weekend…and yes – I’m the one in the toe shoes speaking with a good friend of mine, Mississippi NACBA State Chair, attorney Pat Sheehan.

Frank Coxwell explains bankruptcy chapters & how to recover from bankruptcy.

To listen to the program, click here

Money_TalksI joined the Mississippi Public Broadcasting (MPB) show – Money Talks – on June 18, 2013 to discuss the topic of bankruptcy, what the different chapters have to offer consumers, and how to recover from filing bankruptcy.  We covered a lot of really good information and were able to take a lot of calls from listeners with great questions.  If you are contemplating bankruptcy or even just interested in what it has to offer, I highly recommend you click above and listen to our discussion.