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Monmouth County Bankruptcy Law Blog

Dealing with the emotions from a bankruptcy

Bankruptcy is designed to help a person start over after a financial devastation, but the reality is that many people who file bankruptcy often feel as if it is a moral failure. Emotions can range from embarrassment to depression. Some even resort to suicide rather than face a bankruptcy, but there are ways to cope with the fear and shame. One key thing to remember is that the majority of bankruptcies in the United States are due to a serious illness, a divorce or a loss of a job.

What can you do to manage your stress and emotions? 

  • Accept your feelings. Pushing feelings of sadness, anger and guilt to the side will not make them go away. The negative feelings will go away in time.
  • Find people you can trust and talk to them about your feelings.
  • Build a team of people to help you through the bankruptcy.
  • Have confidence in your decision. Sometimes, bankruptcy is the best option for your situation. If you explored other options and did not find the answer, a bankruptcy might just help you move forward without the stress of your current situation. 

How can I avoid having my home foreclosed on?

If you're struggling to pay your mortgage, you might find some solace in knowing that you're not alone. Each day, countless homeowners face that same dilemma.

While you might like to ignore the collection calls, you can't. Not only do you need to have somewhere to live, but doing so can impact your ability to qualify for credit or rent a new place.

New Jersey leads the nation in percentage of foreclosures

Residential foreclosure rates have generally dropped to below what they were prior to the recession a decade ago, and they are continuing to fall. However, the good news doesn't extend to all states, including New Jersey.

On average nationwide in March of this year, there was a foreclosure filing on one out of every 1,604 homes. In New Jersey, by comparison, that number was one out of every 497. That gives our state the unfortunate distinction of having the highest foreclosure rate in the country. In further bad news, a year prior to that, in March 2016, we were at number three.

Can bankruptcy relieve me from alimony payments?

If you find that your alimony payments are more than you can handle financially, it may be tempting to consider bankruptcy as a way to avoid them. However, that's probably not the best choice.

It's essential first to understand the difference between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy. In Chapter 7, some debts can be discharged. In Chapter 13, you have a court-mandated schedule for paying off your debts.

Private student loans and bankruptcy: Two good things to know

You may have heard that it is nearly impossible to get student loans discharged in bankruptcy proceedings. Generally, this is true, and there are more repayment options with federal loans.

However, private loans still come with wiggle room. Read on to find out more.

Why are more seniors overwhelmed by credit card debt?

Credit card debt is not simply a problem for young or even middle-age people. Increasingly, seniors are carrying large amounts of credit card debt. Moreover, they have challenges for paying it off that younger people may not, particularly if they're already retired.

The amount of credit card debt held by those over 50 has increased for a number of reasons. Seniors often pay medical bills using their credit cards. Medical debt and credit card debt can easily go hand-in-hand for older people who tend to have more medical bills -- particularly if they aren't yet eligible for Medicaid.

Should I file bankruptcy over medical debt?

Unpaid medical bills from an accident or illness that wind up in collection can really tank an otherwise adequate credit score. Consumers can avoid fiscal disaster by remaining proactive about their finances.

Make sure that you examine and thoroughly read your monthly medical bills and any policy changes or explanation of benefits.

Should you put your emergency fund toward your debt?

You have been saving up an emergency fund. It's taken you a few years, but you've slowly put money away and now you have $10,000 in the bank.

However, you also have $10,000 on your credit cards. You're wondering if it's better to have that emergency fund and your debt, or if you should just pay off everything that you owe on the cards. Then you wouldn't have any money in a jam, but you'd also be debt-free.

Foreclosure versus short sale: weighing the ramifications

If you can no longer afford to pay the mortgage on your home, you may be weighing the consequences of proceeding with either foreclosure or a short sale. Before you commit to one course of action or the other, consider the process involved and the tax implications of each option.

You may be feeling overwhelmed due to the stress of being unable to meet your financial obligations, but an experienced attorney can help you sort through the many details and arrive at a workable solution based on your particular circumstances.

Program aimed at helping Sandy victims avoid foreclosure

Many New Jersey residents suffered severe and in some cases irreparable damage to their homes during Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Nonetheless, many are still required to pay their mortgages even as they are working to rebuild their homes.

Now, thanks to recently-enacted legislation, New Jersey's Department of Community Affairs has announced a mortgage forbearance program. Some homeowners whose homes were damaged in the storm can suspend their mortgage payments for over two years. Those payments will be added on to their loans at the end of the loan's term.

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At the law offices of William H. Oliver, Jr. & Associates in Toms River and Lakewood, New Jersey, we represent clients in Toms River, Neptune, Trenton, Middletown, Red Bank, Wall, Lakewood, Lakehurst, Manchester, Asbury Park, Old Bridge, Jamesburg, Barnegat, Forked River, Manahawkin, Ocean Township, Brick, Manasquan, Howell, Freehold, Hazlet, Bradley Beach, Brown Mills, Long Branch, Keansburg, Marlboro, Bayville, Beachwood, Whiting, Sayreville, South River, East Brunswick, Monmouth County, Ocean County, Middlesex County, Burlington County and Mercer County.