Articles Tagged with Foreclosure

Each one of these things can have serious consequences depending on the plan we develop for dealing with your debt, so:

1. Don’t borrow any more money. Don’t take out a second mortgage.
2. Don’t take money out of your retirement, 401k, or IRA.
3. Stop using your credit cards. Don’t use the convenience checks and don’t take cash advances. Don’t do “balance transfers” from one credit card to another.
4. Don’t keep your money in the same bank or credit union where you owe money. Stop all direct deposits into that account and redirect them to a different bank. Continue reading

I have found it helpful to share this checklist with people who call asking me “Should I file bankruptcy?” In a nutshell, if more than two of the following issues apply to you, it is possible that bankruptcy would be an option worth investigating further:

  • Debt collectors are calling you at home or at work.
  • You are utilizing payday loans to make ends meet.
  • Your wages will soon be garnished or are being garnished now.
  • Your bank account has been frozen.
  • The majority of what you owe is unsecured debt like credit cards, medical bills, payday loans, etc.
  • Your facing the threat of foreclose on your home.
  • The foreclosure process on your home has already started.
  • Your facing possible repossession of your vehicle.
  • You have had a vehicle repossessed.
  • You want to give up your house or vehicle and walk away without owing any money.
  • Your bill payments are more than 30 days behind.
  • You have been sued or are being sued over debt.
  • You have a significant amount of medical debt that will not be covered by insurance.
  • You have medical insurance but can’t afford to pay your share of the bills.
  • You owe income taxes that you cannot afford to pay.
  • Your total debts (other than house & car) are more than you could pay and still live, even over five or more years
  • You have high student loan deb, cannot defer payment any longer, and the notes are more than you can pay

Continue reading

mort debt relief act expiredMississippi homeowners who suffer a foreclosure or who sell their home at a loss will not be able to use the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act to exclude taxes on the “forgiven” or “canceled” debt from the loss.  The Act expired at the end of 2013.  Debt that is reduced by mortgage modifications also qualified for the relief.  Forgiven debt or canceled debt is any debt that is wiped away or written off.  Forgiven debt is considered taxable income by the IRS and you will now have to pay taxes on this money.

The Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act created an exception that allowed taxpayers to exclude this income.

Any debt modified or discharged in bankruptcy is not considered income and is not subject to payment of taxes.  Since the Mortgage Forgiveness Act has now expired, filing bankruptcy or using the Internal Revenue insolvency exception is the only way to get rid of this income and not be required to pay taxes on the forgiven debt.

MPB Radio BoothI had the pleasure of being a guest again on the Mississippi Public Broadcasting (MPB) show – Money Talks – on April 02, 2013.  It was “Foreclosure Prevention Week” so we spent the hour discussing the process of foreclosure in Mississippi and the options available to consumers to save their home. If you didn’t get a chance to hear the conversation, you can go to their main site and take a look at all episodes – they have a lot of great information on all sorts of financial topics and a lot of great guest speakers.

Be sure to catch their show Tuesday’s at 9:00am on MPB Think Radio. And be sure to save this link to their home page as a favorite.   Thank you Kevin, Chris, and Nancy!  Hope to see you again soon!

rental propertyThinking about walking away from your rental property? You are not alone. Over 11 million people are upside down on the house they live in. The same conditions affect your investment property. To make things worse, when tenants can’t pay their rent, you must still come up with the monthly note. Being a landlord is hard work when times are good. Tenants who can’t pay or empty rental homes will jeopardize your own home and financial security.  Filing bankruptcy allows you to give the property back to the mortgage company without having to pay for the property.

At least twice a month I receive calls from homeowners who are in the middle of the modification process with their mortgage company and they get notice of a foreclosure.  Over and over they had been told the modification was still being reviewed.  In some cases they were told they’d been approved.  But all of a sudden they find their home is being advertised in the newspaper and a sale date is set at the courthouse. Mortgage companies review loans for modification and try to foreclosure at the same time.  This is known as “dual tracking”.  They don’t stop the foreclosure process when a mortgage is considered for a modification.  If you are in the modification process with your mortgage company you can never assume that it will be approved or they won’t foreclose.  The foreclosure process in Mississippi is quick, so you can’t trust anything they tell you over the phone.  If you become aware your home is in foreclosure, contact our office immediately.  We can stop the foreclosure sale through filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy and you can still follow-up with a modification, if needed.  You never want to be in a position of trying to get your home back after the foreclosure.  Better to be safe than sorry and stop the foreclosure before it happens.

I will be teaching in the Millsaps College Community Enrichment program – 2012 Fall Series that is open to the public.  I will be hosting 2 sessions under the section “Money & Business”. Click here to register.

“Who Owns your Home? Mortgage Securitization in Mississippi” will be a 2 class session

Oct 4 & Oct 11 from 6:00pm – 8:00pm.  Millsaps Tuition Cost: $40.00 per person.

Mississippi is leading when it comes to mortgage delinquencies. In October 2011, there were more homeowners in Mississippi behind on house notes than in any other state of the union.

The Mortgage Bankers Association reported that there are 4.2 million homeowners across the nation more than 90 days late on their house note or are already in foreclosurStop foreclosuree status. Is this the indication of us being on the road to recovery that the media would us believe?

The fact is that mortgage service companies are not willing to provide modifications to help homeowners and as a result, foreclosures continue to rise. If you want to save your house, you cannot wait until the last minute, thinking a modification will come through.  Get your documents together and meet with a lawyer now that handles bankruptcy and foreclosure defense to learn what options you have available.  Get the information now  – before you need it.  Be prepared.  Plan ahead.  Think about it – what good is buying car insurance after the wreck? I continually meet with people that come in after the foreclosure sale date is set trying to figure out what they can do. In most cases we can still help and save the house, but it would have benefited the people so much more to have met with me as soon as their payments started falling behind.  Timing matters – and knowing your options is worth it’s weight in gold.  If you’re online, researching foreclosure because you’re worried about losing your home, the time is NOW to speak with someone. The most important thing is to save the home. There are options – the longer you wait, the less options there may be.

Foreclosure is the process that a mortgage company takes to repossess and sell your home when you fall behind in the payments.  In Mississippi, the mortgage company does not have to file a lawsuit against you and get an Order from the Court in order to sell your home.  In Mississippi, the mortgage company does not have to send you a letter telling you they are foreclosing and when the sale will be.  All they have to do is to run an ad in the newspaper and then auction your home.

When you fall behind on the mortgage, your mortgage company will typically send you a letter telling you that you have a thirty days or so to catch up before foreclosure proceedings start.  This is called an acceleration letter.  Once the mortgage has been accelerated, the mortgage company is no longer obligated to accept payments unless they are enough to catch up all of the past due amounts.  But this won’t be just the number of months that you think you are behind.  It will be all of the past due amounts they say you are behind, plus all of the fees and charges they have added on to your account, including foreclosure fees.

The lender must advertise the sale in the newspaper once a week for at least three weeks.  At the end of the advertising period, usually the fourth week, the foreclosure auction sale takes place on the courthouse steps.  Anyone can bid, including the mortgage company and the property goes to the highest bidder.