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You can avoid becoming the victim of a foreclosure scam

If you're facing the possibility of foreclosure because you've gotten behind on your mortgage payments, you may be willing to consider any option that will let you keep your home. Unfortunately, there are a lot of unscrupulous people out there who prey on people who are in this position with foreclosure scams that make money for them. They may charge large "service fees" or even trick people into signing over their homes.

Let's look at some signs that you may be dealing with foreclosure scammers:

Bankruptcy, snowball or avalanche: Which is right for you?

Taking a look at your finances can be a real wake-up call. Some people don't realize just how deep in debt they are until they gather all the bills into one place. When they compare the debt to their income and add in their normal bills, such as rent or mortgage payments, they realize that they can't possibly make everything work while making headway on the credit-based payments.

Filing for bankruptcy once you have this moment of realization, is one course of action. However, not everyone is comfortable with that. If you can't even make minimum payments on the bills, bankruptcy might be an option. If you are able to make the minimums and keep up with other expenses, you need to determine if you are going to have enough to live throughout the month. If you don't, filing bankruptcy could be an option.

Be prepared for the emotional toll bankruptcy can take

You've made the decision to file for bankruptcy. You've determined that it's the best option for dealing with your debts and getting a fresh start. You'll be busy with the bankruptcy process and adjusting to the changes in your life that come along with it.

At some point, bankruptcy is likely to take an emotional toll. That's only natural. We live in a country where people are often judged by their financial success and acquired possessions. For many people, self-worth and material worth are interconnected. Filing for bankruptcy can impact a person's confidence, self-esteem and even identity.

What is 'zombie debt?'

No, "zombie debt" does not refer to the credit card balances owed by characters on The Walking Dead. It's debt that is, like zombies, dead. It's no longer owed. That may be because the statute of limitations for collecting it has passed, it's been discharged in bankruptcy or it's already been paid off.

Unfortunately, if you have any zombie debt, you may still be receiving calls or other notifications for collectors trying to get you to pay it. That's because debt-buying companies sometimes purchase debt that can no longer be legally collected and contact the debtor in an effort to get payment.

What happens if you die in debt?

Many people feel like they'll be in debt until they die. Indeed, nearly 75 percent of people die with some debt. Let's look at what happens to your debt when you're no longer around.

A person's debts need to be paid from their estate before any of their assets can be disbursed to heirs and beneficiaries. If you die with more debt than assets, your estate will likely be depleted, with nothing left for your family or others. There are, however, some types of assets that creditors can't claim, like life insurance policies.

Louisiana among states with greatest foreclosure increases

Overall throughout the U.S., the number of foreclosure filings fell during the first half of the year. The total number was down over 296,000 from the first six months of 2018. That's an 18% drop in a year and a whopping 82% decrease from 2010. Those numbers are from ATTOM Data Solutions, which recently published its Midyear 2019 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report.

However, the news was not good in every state -- including Louisiana. Foreclosure filings rose by 19% over last year. All of the states that reported the highest increases are in the southeastern region of the country. Mississippi saw a 56% increase, followed by Florida at 28% and Georgia at 22%. Four metro areas within Florida were among the relatively few (16%) where foreclosure starts increased. They also made up four of the five metro areas with the highest increases from 2018.

More college students are getting mired in credit card debt

If you've got a child going off to college this fall, you'll be interested in -- and perhaps alarmed by -- this statistic: 36% of college students in this country report that they have over $1,000 in credit card debt. That's according to a recent survey by AIG and EVERFI.

College students are popular targets for credit card companies -- particularly those who've turned 21. They aren't required to have a regular income to qualify for a card without a co-signer.

What are some of the top benefits of Chapter 13 bankruptcy?

If all you did was take a passing glance, you might start to think that Chapter 7 bankruptcy is more beneficial for the average person in Louisiana then Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy involves the immediate discharge of unsecured debts if the courts approve your filing, while Chapter 13 bankruptcy typically requires that you continue to pay back your creditors for at least three years before discharge.

What happens to your bank, retirement accounts in bankruptcy?

If you are considering bankruptcy, you likely don't have substantial balances in your bank accounts. However, you may have one or more retirement accounts in which you've managed to save a fair amount of money over the years.

What happens to your accounts when you file for personal bankruptcy? That depends in part on whether you choose Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

McBride Law Firm

McBride Law Firm
301 Jackson Street Suite 101
Alexandria, LA 71301

Phone: 318-625-0471
Phone: 318-625-0471
Fax: 318-445-8066
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