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Why Aren’t My Student Loans Eligible For Bankruptcy?

Student loan debt is one of the largest growing debts in America. Most students come out of college and/or graduate school with insurmountable amounts of debt. Unfortunately it is necessary for most students to rely on student loans to pay tuition and cover other expenses related to their education, but upon graduation it is difficult to find a job that pays enough to repay educational loans. When consumers are overwhelmed by debt they often times turn to bankruptcy as a way to alleviate financial pressure. But not all debts are eliminated by filing bankruptcy, so before you file you need to know what you will and will not gain by filing a case.

If you are looking to get rid of your student loan debt by filing bankruptcy, you need to know the obstacles in place that may prevent that from happening:

● In order to discharge student loan debt you have to prove that you have made a good faith effort to pay back the loans prior to filing bankruptcy.
● You must also establish that if you are required to repay your loans, you and your dependents will suffer an undue financial hardship. This can be hard to prove, because the standard is pretty high. Most families have access to more than one income, and since your dependents rely on you as well as their other parent, whatever income your spouse makes will be taken into consideration when determining whether repayment of student loans is a hardship for your family. Most people are unable to prove this requirement.

These reasons are what make it hard to discharge student loan debt in bankruptcy, and most debtors do not even try. But each case is different, and it is worth taking a look at your specific situation before dismissing the idea off the bat. If you have large student loans and a small income, let us take a look at your case and give you a realistic outlook on what you can expect if you file bankruptcy. If you are not able to include your student loans in your bankruptcy, you may want to reconsider your options, especially if student loans are your only debt. We can help you find other ways to get out of debt if bankruptcy is not right for you, and we can also help you get out of debt by filing bankruptcy if that meets your needs.

For help with your questions about finances and how to get out of debt, contact us at www.DsouzaLegalGroup.com. We will help by coming up with solutions that help get you back on your feet.

Three Things Bankruptcy Can Do For You

Bankruptcy is a scary word to a lot of people, and the idea of actually filing a case is even scarier. But bankruptcy is a very real way to get out of debt and to stay out of debt. This is important if you are drowning in credit card bills, have a lot of medical expenses, or have had to rely on signature loans just to get by each month. When you file a bankruptcy case you can eliminate or at least drastically reduce these debts, and can also manage your secured obligations as well.

Three things bankruptcy can do for you if you need financial relief are:

● Stop wage garnishments and other collection lawsuits that are pending against you. When you file a bankruptcy case you get the benefit of the automatic stay, which is a legal mechanism that prohibits continued collection efforts from the instant your case is filed. When creditors are required to stop their efforts against you, you get a breath of fresh air and can rest easy knowing you won’t be called and harassed for payments you are unable to make.
● Wipe out unsecured debt, like credit cards and other loans that were not taken out for the purpose of buying a piece of collateral. Unsecured debt is one of the largest debts most households deal with monthly, and not having to make these payments relieves a huge amount of undue stress.
● Reorganize your debt into a manageable repayment plan. This is what happens when you file a Chapter 13 case and are given the opportunity to propose a plan of repayment for all of your debts. In a Chapter 13 case you will be able to cure any mortgage arrearage, pay back only a portion of unsecured debt, and pay the value rather than the balance for your vehicles. This type of bankruptcy provides substantial savings, giving you more money each month to cover other expenses like utilities and insurance.

If you are unable to pay all of your bills, filing bankruptcy will give you the relief you need to start over. Even though it might seem like an uphill climb, once you take the first step you are well on your way to financial freedom.

For answers to your questions about debt, contact us at www.DsouzaLegalGroup.com.

Will My Spouse’s Unemployment Hurt Our Chances At Mortgage Modification

Mortgage modifications are a tricky thing to get done. There is a fine line you walk between financial hardship and being able to make the payments on a modified loan. This is why the banks typically require proof of hardship as well as proof of stable income. Most people are able to provide the information needed to show a financial hardship, and the need to change the payment terms of their mortgage. But it is a different story when it comes to being able to show you have the income to maintain payments, even at a reduced amount. If you are married you get the benefit of providing proof of income for both you and your spouse, if you are both on the note, but if your spouse is unemployed the matter becomes more complex.

Your spouse’s status as unemployed can affect an attempted mortgage modification in a couple of ways. Here are some examples:

• A lack of income goes a long way to showing you are experiencing a financial hardship, and in need of a modification. If there is only one income in a household where there were previously two paychecks coming in every two weeks, it does not take a rocket scientist to know you are experiencing a hardship.
• Being unemployed necessarily means you do not have an income, so when asked to show you are able to make payments, you will be required to prove the one income you do have is sufficient.

Lenders may initially shy away from a request to modify a mortgage where one spouse is no longer working. If this is your situation, you should not take this as a final answer. Many times the figures on paper, like pay stubs, do not tell the full story of a couple’s financial condition. It takes artful negotiation and consistent hard work to get lenders to take notice of intangibles and listen to the needs of their customers. This is where we come in, as we have a great deal of experience working with many of the major lenders. We have been successful in all sorts of cases with varying fact patterns, and can help you too.

For more information about how a mortgage modification can help you, contact us today at www.DsouzaLegalGroup.com. We will go over the facts of your case and let you you’re your next step.

The Three Biggest Benefits Of Mortgage Modification

Any time you engage in activity designed to help put you in a better financial position, it is always a good idea to have a basic understanding of the benefits available to you. With bankruptcy you will receive the benefits of eliminating or reducing debt, stopping a foreclosure or repossession, and putting and to garnishments and calls from angry creditors. A refinance of your home will let you start over with a new mortgage loan, hopefully at a lower rate. Debt consolidation is a way to wrap all of your obligations into one lump sum payment, making it easier to manage monthly expenses. Mortgage modification is no different, in that it also offers a distressed debtor huge financial benefits.

The three biggest benefits of mortgage modification are:

• Having your loan be considered current. When you modify your mortgage, any delinquency is typically wrapped into the newly modified loan, so you are no longer showing in a past due status.
• Adding any late fees and penalties to your new loan, so you do not have to come up with them right now or make a large payment in order to have the loan modified.
• Lowering your payment, permanently. The most important aspect of a mortgage modification is getting a lower interest rate. The lower the rate, the lower your payment. The money you save each month by having a lower payment makes it possible to maintain current payments, and to put extra money aside or pay other bills.

If you are struggling to pay your house payment, or other bills, consider these benefits from mortgage modification. The process requires you to fill out an application for modification, with your current lender, and provide documents and information on your need to modify. The paperwork can be daunting, but does not have to be so off-putting as to not complete an application. We can help! We have experience dealing with lenders, and giving them what they need to make a decision on modifications. We also have experience negotiating the best terms for your situation. Let us help you today by taking on your request to modify, and shouldering the burden of communicating with your lender for you.

If you are considering modifying your mortgage to help eliminate debt, or want information on other options, contact us at www.DsouzaLegalGroup.com.

The Three Most Common Hardships That Lead To Mortgage Modification

Financial hardship comes in many forms. Not everyone who is going through a tough financial time is there for the same reasons. But there are some common denominators, and any of them can lead to a fast financial downfall. When that happens the best thing to do is to take quick action to change the course of your finances, so you are able to keep up with bills without worry. A good way to take charge of your money problems is to modify your mortgage, because a modified mortgage loan means a lower house payment. Anytime you can make a permanent reduction to your monthly expenses, you can save money and have more flexibility in your spending.

Three of the most common hardships that lead to money trouble and the need to modify your mortgage are:

• Accumulation of large amounts of credit card debt: this can happen over time, or overnight. When credit cards are used as the primary source for payment of necessary expenses, but not paid back in full each month, the balances quickly spiral out of control. This is due to the revolving nature of the card, and the fact that interest is being added to the balance daily.
• Medical debts: sometimes an unexpected medical need arises, or there is an accident that results in high medical expenses. With medical expenses, the amount becomes quite large quite fast, because the cost of medical care is extraordinarily high. And if you do not have insurance, it is nearly impossible to pay medical bills.
• An unexpected life event: an unexpected death or illness leaves a family swallowed by debt, especially if the primary breadwinner is the one affected. When a two income household is reduced to only one income, it is difficult to maintain the same lifestyle and keep all of the bills paid on time.

Whatever has led to your need to modify your mortgage, know that we are here to help. We understand the process and have a proven track record of getting loans into a manageable state. Act today to take back control of your money and of your life, by letting us help you rework your mortgage loan.

For more information about mortgage modifications, contact us at www.DsouzaLegalGroup.com.

How A Mortgage Modification Can Help Plan For Retirement

Being able to retire comfortably takes a lot of stress and anxiety of a person. But not having enough money to live on, or having to go back to work at an older age are even more stressful. For these reasons, it is critical to adequately plan for retirement, and this means taking steps to ensure you have enough money in the bank to cover expenses for the remaining years of your life. This is a difficult task for many reasons, specifically the years left in a life are unknown and there is no guarantee that the expenses you have today will not continue to rise as you grow older. Aside from typical retirement plans like 401(k)’s and other investments, it is wise to look at other avenues for an income stream or ways to reduce expenses so you don’t run out of money during your retirement.

A mortgage modification may seem an unlikely place to look for retirement assistance, but when you add up the benefits offered from modifications, you can quickly see that applying for a modification can be a smart part of your retirement planning process. Here are a few things to consider in this regard:

• Modifying your mortgage now, before retirement age arrives, give you the chance to save money now and put it aside for later needs.
• Modifying your mortgage now can not only reduce the payment, but it might also be possible to shorten the repayment term. This means your home can be paid off before you hit retirement age, so you are not worried about making house payments when you do retire.
• Modifying your mortgage after retirement cuts back on expenses, making it easier to live on a fixed income.

If you are considering modifying your mortgage, it is beneficial to know all the ways in which a modification can give you a financial boost. Many people do not consider the longest term impact of a modification, that which occurs at retirement and beyond. In an uncertain economic climate, it is always best to plan for any contingency and be proactive about your future financial needs. Mortgage modification is a great way to take care of tight finances now, while planning for a bright financial future.

For more information about how to get out of debt and save for the future, contact us at www.DsouzaLegalGroup.com. We will help by coming up with solutions that work for you.

How To Protect A Co-Signer In Bankruptcy

Sometimes it is necessary to have a friend or family member co-sign a loan for you when you need extra cash, or need to finance a large purchase like a car. A co-signer is just as financially responsible for repayment of the debt as the original obligor, and the bank will look to that person for payment if the loan becomes delinquent. If you have taken out any loans with the use of a co-signer and now unable to make the payments, your co-signer needs to be made aware of the situation as soon as possible. Rather than have your lenders come after your co-signer for payment, you may be able to work out other arrangements. For instance, perhaps all you need is a bit of breathing room to get back on your feet, and having your co-signer pay the bank while you pay the co-signer is a good idea. This works well if the co-signer is a good friend or a parent, who may be more willing to accept payment from you in order to keep the loan in good standing.

But, if you are not able to make any kind of payment and need to file bankruptcy, your co-signer is exposed to liability for the loan. This is true unless the co-signer also takes the protection offered by bankruptcy, and that most frequently happens in the following situations:

• The co-signer is your spouse.
• The co-signer is also facing financial hardship.

If your co-signer is unwilling to file bankruptcy also, you can take steps within your own bankruptcy case to offer protection to the co-signer. The best protection you can offer is to reaffirm the loan. A reaffirmation agreement is just like a new contract, and you are just as financially obligated to repay the loan after bankruptcy as you were before your case was filed. In this instance, the lender will still ask you for repayment instead of looking to your co-signer for the funds. Of course if you default on the reaffirmation agreement, both parties are still responsible for repayment. But, sticking to a reaffirmation agreement is usually not a problem, because other debts you have are no longer due when you file bankruptcy, which gives you the financial capability of making the payments on the reaffirmed debt.

For more information about bankruptcy, contact us at www.DsouzaLegalGroup.com.

Four Ways To Tell If Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Is Right For You

Making the decision to file for bankruptcy is a difficult one, and it is made all the more hard when you realize you have to determine what type of case you are eligible to file. The two types of bankruptcy available to individual and joint consumer debtors are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. In a Chapter 7 case you are able to discharge all of your unsecured debt. Unsecured debt is debt that is not tied to piece of collateral. The most common form of unsecured debt is credit card debt, and credit cards are what land most people in overwhelming debt. So, being able to wipe out credit card debt is a big incentive to file for bankruptcy. But, you do need to know if this type of case is right for you, and if it will meet your financial needs.

Here are four easy ways to tell if filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is right for you:

• If you are behind on your credit card payments, you will benefit from filing a Chapter 7 case.
• If you are not able to pay for necessary living expenses like gas and groceries without using a credit card, you should consider filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
• If you are receiving calls about past due payments, Chapter 7 bankruptcy will give you the relief you need.
• If you are being sued or have judgments against you for collection, which have been reduced to a wage garnishment or are not far away from a garnishment being issued, Chapter 7 bankruptcy will stop those actions so you can keep your entire paycheck.

Holding on to as much of your take home pay as possible, and eliminating high interest rate debt so you can focus on other payments are two of the biggest benefits to filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case. However, there are certain requirements that have to be met before you will be allowed to file a Chapter 7 and one of those requirements is performance of a complex mathematical computation to demonstrate your need for Chapter 7. If you do not perform the test properly, or if the test shows you do not qualify for a Chapter 7 you will need to look how a Chapter 13 case can help you sort through your finances. We can do this for you, and will do it properly. Getting the answers you need right the first time is essential to the success of any financial problem, and that is especially true if you are filing bankruptcy. Let us put our experience to work for you!

For more information about bankruptcy, contact us at www.DsouzaLegalGroup.com. We will help by coming up with solutions that work for you.

Will My Social Security Be Safe In Bankruptcy?

After working a lifetime, it is nice to retire with financial security. For many, part of their retirement is social security payments from the government, so keeping these funds safe is of paramount importance. If you are receiving social security payments, but experiencing financial difficulty, you may be wondering types of actions put your social security payments at risk. Specifically, you may have questions as to whether your social security is safe if you file for bankruptcy.

Bankruptcy is a way to get rid of debt that you cannot pay, but it is not a blank check to stop paying debts and keep property or to keep certain funds that are not otherwise exempt. With social security, you can rest easy knowing it will be outside the reach of your creditors if you file bankruptcy. But there are some exceptions and it is important to have an understanding of a few scenarios before you file a bankruptcy case. For example:

• If you received funds from the Social Security Administration prior to filing bankruptcy, those funds are safe as long as they have not been commingled with other funds.
• If you expect to receive social security payments after you file a bankruptcy case, you will need to keep those funds separate from other income and document the separation for the benefit of the trustee assigned to your bankruptcy case. Doing so will make it clear from the outset the source of your funds, and prevent inquiry concerning whether your money is safe.
• If you have commingled social security with other monies, such that it is impossible to determine the source of your money, the bankruptcy court may attempt to seize your money regardless of the source.

We understand the need to maintain an income stream, especially if you have the need to file for bankruptcy, and can help ensure your social security remains untouched. Issues surrounding social security payments and how that money is impacted by filing for bankruptcy can become complex, and should be given the special attention needed to keep those monies safe and out of the reach of your creditors. We know how to pinpoint potential issues that might jeopardize your social security, and head them off before they become problematic.

For more information about how to manage debt, contact us at www.DsouzaLegalGroup.com. We will help by coming up with solutions that work for you.

How Does Having Equity In My House Help Me Get Out Of Debt?

If you have equity in your house then you have options available to you to get out of debt that those without equity lack. Equity in your home can be drawn on to pay down debt, or to pay it off in full. In order to get at the equity though, you do have to ask the lender to make it available. The first step in this process is to have an appraisal done so you know exactly how much your home is worth. The amount of value over and above what you owe on your mortgage is considered the equity, and is a valuable asset to have in your possession.
Once you know what your home is worth, you can ask your lender to make an equity line of credit loan. This type of loan acts as a second mortgage on your home and is required to be repaid.

Once you take out a second mortgage, you have two house payments to make each month, so it is imperative to determine if taking the equity is a financially prudent move to make. Here are a few ways you can tell if using equity to pay off debt is best for you:

• If the equity amount is significant compared to what you owe, you can save money by taking the equity and paying off all of your debt at once.
• The interest rate on the home equity loan should not be higher than the interest rates on the debt you intend to repay. If it is, you will not save money by using equity to pay off debt.
• The time it takes to repay an equity loan should not be longer than the amount of time it would take to pay off the debt you intend to use the equity loan for; if so you are not making any financial headway.

If you have already used the equity in your home to pay off debt and are still in financial distress, you can exercise other options to get out of debt. One of those options is to file for bankruptcy, which is a legal way to eliminate debts. In bankruptcy you have the ability to wipe out unsecured debts entirely, or at least reduce the amount you owe.

For more information about how to handle overwhelming debt, contact us at www.DsouzaLegalGroup.com. We will help by coming up with solutions that work for you.