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How to spot and avoid a foreclosure scam

Desperate homeowners seeking to retain their homes are a common target for scam artists looking to take advantage of a difficult situation. While there are legitimate programs out there, they are few and far between.

The reality is that when you have few options available to you, even bad ones start to look good. But a scam is always a bad option, so it's important to learn how to identify them before you find yourself in an even worse position.

A breakdown of the foreclosure process

 

The challenge of understanding the foreclosure process often only adds to the stress of the situation as a whole. Many New Jersey residents currently facing foreclosure feel overwhelmed not only by the process, but by the task of searching for a new living space. Below, families can get a better picture of foreclosure regulations and what to expect during such a difficult life chapter.

You can take steps to improve your credit

Facing debt is a common difficulty that most people deal with at some point in their lives, but some individuals get overwhelmed and feel it is too much to overcome. In many cases, the pressures of financial difficulties are so hard to bear that people may think that they have many fewer options than they truly have, or that their situation cannot improve, no matter what they do.

This is usually not the case, but it is not always easy to find the solutions one needs. If you have concerns about your financial world, especially as it concerns your credit score, you should take comfort in knowing that it is possible to raise your credit score over time, even after extreme financial measures such as bankruptcy.

Can I shed my second mortgage with Chapter 13?

In these uncertain financial times, many New Jersey residents may find themselves encumbered by second mortgages that leave them heavily in debt with home values that are upside down. That can be very discouraging and cause debtors to lose hope that they will ever get out from under the yoke of debt.

It's important for homeowners to understand that they do have options available to them for debt relief. One potential option is to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Can I talk to my creditors about my credit card debt?

You might believe that everything on your credit card bill from the interest rate to the minimum payment is set in stone, which in turn makes it impossible to get out from under your current credit card debt. Debt fears, however, should not overwhelm you or your New Jersey household. Contacting your credit card company and ask them for help in managing your debt might be the answer you are looking for.

Nerdwallet suggests that contacting your credit card company will, at the very least, not hurt. In a worst case scenario, your creditors will simply turn you down and you will not be any worse off than you were before. However, your creditors may be receptive to helping you, if for no other reason that by doing so they may maintain you as a customer, particularly if you have a long record of sending in payments on time.

Answering some common bankruptcy questions

People who are considering bankruptcy will, understandably, have a lot of questions about how the process works and what bankruptcy can ultimately do for them. Today, we would like to answer some of those frequently asked questions so that people who are in dire financial positions can better understand what bankruptcy could do for them.

One of the most common questions is "how much of my debt will be eliminated during the bankruptcy process?" This greatly depends on the circumstances of your case and which type of bankruptcy you file for. Chapter 7 will utilize the liquidation process to clear out many of your debts, but this of course requires some of your assets to be sold. Chapter 13 will use a repayment plan to reorganize your debts, allowing you to pay back your creditors over a longer period of time.

3 reasons a short sale isn't a good deal for you

A short sale is something that could help you sell your home and get out of debt. It could help you erase debt beyond what you can sell your home for and give you an opportunity to start over. However, there are some negatives that you need to consider.

Short sales take time, and they damage your credit badly. You could end up owing thousands of dollars in taxes for any short sale you complete, too. So, is it the right choice? Here are the negatives to consider.

Don't depend on the government for student loan debt relief

When students elect to continue their post-secondary educational journeys, in order to be able to afford tuition, books, housing and other school-related expenses, many apply for student loans.

There is nothing inherently wrong with taking out loans to further one's education. But the path to a college degree is often fraught withe unforeseen obstacles that can impede even the most devoted students' progress and prevent them from obtaining their degrees.

An automatic stay might help you avoid foreclosure

Between a monthly car payment, utility bills, a home mortgage and a job that never seems to pay quite enough, it is easy to fall into a never-ending cycle of debt. As a Monmouth County resident, you probably have friends and neighbors in the same situation. If you are having trouble making ends meet, it may not be long before you start receiving late payment notices.

The bank may have already begun sending you late payment notices that contain the threat of foreclosure. While some lenders might be willing to work with you to modify the loan, there are even more that will not. Instead, these lenders will start the foreclosure process. That involves the creditor repossessing the house and reselling it at a public auction. The lender will then use the money from the auction toward whatever remains unpaid on your mortgage, plus any legal costs incurred. By filing bankruptcy, you might be able to save your home.

Can you keep your home during New Jersey Chapter 7 bankruptcy?

There are many myths and lots of misinformation floating around about bankruptcy, especially Chapter 7 bankruptcy. People with significant credit card debt, medical debt or collection activity could benefit from bankruptcy relief and protections. However, believing inaccurate information about the process and its protections could be holding some people back.

One common fear is that filing bankruptcy means losing your home. Worse, having a note on your credit report for a full ten years after your discharge can prevent you from securing a new mortgage and buying a home shortly after bankruptcy. Usually, it takes at least a few years after discharge before lenders will consider you for a mortgage again. The good news is that, in many cases, at least part of your home has protection under federal and New Jersey state bankruptcy laws.

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With offices in Toms River and Neptune, attorney William H. Oliver is ready to answer your questions and help you find the right debt relief solution. Evening and Saturday appointments are available. Call local: 732-988-1500 or fill out our contact form.

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Toms River, NJ 08753

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