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Should I Stop Making My House Payment If I Want A New Mortgage?

When homeowners are not able to make their house payments without difficulty, it is time to start looking for options to get rid of debt or reduce current expenses. There are several ways to do this, and one of the most well-known options is to file for bankruptcy. Bankruptcy is a great tool for getting out of hand finances under control, but it is not the only option. Another idea to think about is debt consolidation, which is a good way to wrap all of your monthly bill payments into one lump sum each month. In some consolidation cases you might even be able to pay less than the full balance due, which can significantly reduce your overall debt load. Refinance and modification of mortgages are also good ways to curb expenses, and it is important to know the difference between the two.

If you want a new mortgage you can get one by refinancing your current mortgage, just with a new lender. Or, you can ask for your existing mortgage holder to change the terms of your loan by modifying the note. A refinance requires you to apply for a new loan with a new bank, and essentially go through the entire loan process again. But this time around the lender will not loan the full balance, so you will need to have some equity in your home for a refinance to work. With a modification, you will not have to worry about equity or having your home appraised because the loan is changed by the current mortgage lender. But do you have to be current on payments for a modification or refinance? Here are some basics:

● For a refinance to work you should be relatively current on your payments. If you are not it can be harder to get a bank to work with you, because the risk of nonpayment will appear too great.
● In a modification most lenders will begin negotiations once you fall behind on your house payment, and contact them for solutions. This is not to say default is a requirement all of the time, but is common in most cases.

Deciding on what to do to get a new mortgage requires careful consideration of several factors. Only you know what facts apply to your situation, and we can help sort through the data and come up with options for your consideration. The approach we take involves providing you with a thorough explanation of all available remedies, so you are satisfied with your final choice.

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

Will Modifying My Mortgage Make My Payments Lower?

Mortgage modification programs are great ways to reduce your house payment. The way it works is that you apply with your current mortgage lender for a rewrite of your existing mortgage. The rewritten mortgage will have new terms, and the biggest change is a drop in interest rate. Once the interest rate on your loan goes down, your payment will decrease as well.

If you are struggling to make your house payment, you should consider applying for a mortgage modification. The steps required include:

● Filling out an application for modification with your current mortgage holder.
● Providing documents to your lender showing your income.
● Giving details about your current financial situation, and showing that you are currently experiencing a financial hardship such that a lower payment will relieve some financial pressure.
● Participate in a trial modification, if requested to do so, to prove to your lender that you are capable of making the new payment.
It is important to document your efforts, by keeping copies of all documents you send to the lender and keeping a diary of the dates and times of any telephone conversations. It is not out of the ordinary to have your lender request data you have already sent, and if that happens you will want to be able to show the lender the requested information has already been provided. This can take a lot of time and cause a great deal of frustration, and not all lenders will agree to give you a modified mortgage. For these reasons you need to partner with a qualified legal professional who can take on these tasks for you. A good lawyer will also negotiate on your behalf, so the modified terms offered are ones that are within your budget. We can help you analyze your finances and determine if a mortgage modification is right for you or if you need to explore other options. If so, we will let you know what options may work for your situation and help you decide what steps to take next in your efforts to becoming debt free. Our goal is to help you get back on your feet, and give you a positive financial outlook.

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

What Does It Mean To Use My House As Collateral For A Loan?

Most loans are made possible by having some type of collateral to use as security. For instance, when you buy a new car the lender takes a security interest in the car and holds on to that interest until the loan is paid in full. This interest is what allows an auto lender to repossess a vehicle when payments are not made. The same is true when you purchase a house, and use the house as collateral for the mortgage loan. Very few of us can afford to buy our homes outright, so a mortgage on the property is given, to provide assurances to the lender that the loan will be repaid. If not, the lender will initiate foreclosure proceedings to recoup their losses by taking back and reselling the property.

But taking out a mortgage to buy a home is not the only way a house is used for collateral for a loan. Here are some other examples:

• Refinancing your home will require you to use the house as collateral for the refinanced note. If your home is paid off, you will now have a new mortgage on the house and if you are only using the equity in your home you might now have two mortgages.
• A second mortgage is the most common type of loan where your home is used as collateral, and that is the instance of taking a loan against the equity you have built up in your house. A lender will only agree to this type of lending arrangement if the value of the home is significantly more than the unpaid existing mortgage, and will place a second mortgage on the house to ensure repayment.

These types of loans can become problematic if you fall behind on payments. Because if you have two mortgages you also have two payments, and two lenders looking to enforce their security interest in their home. It is not uncommon for a second mortgage holder to attempt foreclosure for non payment, even if you are making the payments on the first mortgage. This is likely to happen if you have equity, because any foreclosure by a second mortgage holder is done subject to the first mortgage. This area of law and a potential foreclosure in this situation is complex, but we can help. Whether the answer is to file bankruptcy, ask for a modification of your mortgage, consolidate debt, or some other solution we can help.

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

Will I Be Able To Get A Credit Card If I File Bankruptcy?

Having too much in credit card debt is the reason most people file bankruptcy, but the need for credit in an emergency still remains. So even if you need to file bankruptcy to get out of debt, you may still need access to credit from time to time in order to cover unexpected expenses like home repairs or medical bills. This paradox is puzzling to those that want to file bankruptcy to help improve their financial situation, so a quick run down on what to expect is in order.

Getting a credit card after you file bankruptcy is not only possible, but highly likely. Here are the most important things to know about bankruptcy and credit card debts:

• You can get rid of all of your credit card debt, or at least have the balances lowered to a fraction of what you owe, by filing for bankruptcy.
• When you no longer owe credit cards each month, you can use the money you were spending on minimum payments for other obligations. Elimination or reduction of credit card balances typically frees up a large chunk of disposable income for many consumers.
• Once your case is discharged, the credit card debts are no longer considered due and your card issuers cannot ask for repayment.
• Shortly after your bankruptcy case is discharged you may begin receiving offers from credit card companies, to take out a card and start rebuilding your credit. The interest rates on these cards will be higher than what you are used to, so be careful about accepting an offer and relying on a credit card after bankruptcy. After all, if credit card debt overwhelmed you prior to filing, you do not want to go down that road again in the near future.

Our best words of wisdom on getting a credit card and using it regularly after you have filed bankruptcy is to only do so if you are able to pay it off in full each month. Otherwise you will reenter the cycle of paying interest on top of interest, and racking up a balance that might become too much to bear. All of the hard work you do to get out of debt by filing bankruptcy should not be put at risk by jumping right back into a load of debt. Be careful about the new debt you acquire after filing bankruptcy, and work instead towards establishing an emergency fund so you do not have to resort to credit for large purchases or emergency situations.

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

The Top Two Ways To Change Your House Payment

Many Americans bought into the “American Dream” of home ownership only to be staring down large house payments years after signing on the dotted line. And for many, the monthly house payment is the single largest expense to pay every 30 days, leaving very little money left over for other necessities and bills. If your house payment is too high, there are things you can do to get some relief. Knowing where to look is the first step, and then deciding what will work for your family comes next.

The top two ways to change your house payment, and get on a more affordable repayment plan are to:

• Ask your lender to rewrite the note. This is done by modifying the mortgage, and the rewrite typically includes lowering the interest rate. Once the interest rate is lower, the payment will go down and become more manageable.
• Refinance your note with a new lender. If your current lender is not willing to help by modifying your mortgage, a different lender may be willing to refinance the note on your behalf.

This will require an approval for a new loan, which means you need to provide income verification and possibly have an appraisal of your home done. Most refinanced loans are only made if there is sufficient equity in the home to cover the refinance, as many lenders only offer refinance options for around 80% of the home’s value. So if your home has a lot of equity in it, meaning it is worth significantly more than you owe, you may be able to use that equity to your advantage by refinancing your existing mortgage.
When neither of these work, you can also consider filing for bankruptcy. While you still have to make your house payment if you want to keep your house, even if you file bankruptcy, what bankruptcy does is eliminate or reduce your other bills so your house payment is no longer out of reach. When you have fewer things on your plate to pay each month, a once unaffordable house payment suddenly becomes within your budget. Whatever your need or circumstances, we can help.

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.

Two Ways To Prevent Foreclosure

Foreclosure is your mortgage lender’s way to take back your house if you become delinquent on your mortgage note. Some lenders act more quickly than others, while some take a while to start the foreclosure process. In either case, you need to know that there are things you can to do prevent a foreclosure and save your house. If you are in this situation, let us help by explaining your options and putting a plan in action that will keep your family under the same roof they’ve enjoyed for years.

Two good ways to prevent a foreclosure are:

• Negotiate with your lender for a lower interest rate, or for more manageable payment options. You can do this by asking to have your mortgage loan modified, and you can also do this by working out solutions that defer past due payments until the end of the loan term or by some other creative financing option. The key thing to keep in mind here is that lender negotiations take on many different forms. You have no doubt heard of mortgage modifications, and the HARP or HAMP programs, but it is important to remember that these are not the only options. It is also important to know having a trained legal professional engage in negotiations for you gives you an edge over trying to take on the bank by yourself.
• File for the protection of bankruptcy, which puts an automatic stop to any foreclosure efforts your lender has undertaken. And, if your lender has not yet initiated foreclosure, filing bankruptcy will prevent the lender from doing so. Do keep in mind though that bankruptcy is not a way to keep your home without paying, so you will have to develop a repayment plan through your bankruptcy. The benefit of filing for bankruptcy is that you get an immediate reprieve from collection and foreclosure efforts, which gives you the time to come up with a plan you can handle.

There may be other options for you as well, depending on the specific facts of your case. To find out what will work best for you, a careful analysis of your situation is required. Our team of legal professionals is dedicated to helping you get out of crisis mode, and into a stable financial condition. We can help you save your home, your car, and stave of garnishment proceedings from overwhelming credit card debt.

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.

Three Ways To Get Out Of Debt For Good!

Finding a way to ease your financial burden is a tough order. But once you take the time to explore your options and put a plan in place, you will begin to feel better about your financial future immediately. There is no better feeling than knowing you are able to pay all of your bills, and that the collection calls and letters have finally stopped. As with most things in life, there is more than one way to get to this point, and we are here to help you figure out which one works best for your circumstances.

Three ways to get out of debt, for good, include the following:

• Refinancing your house (or modifying the mortgage) and using the extra money each month to pay off other debt such as credit cards and car loans. When your house payment is lower, you have more money on hand each month and can put it towards other debts that are weighing you down. The key is to pay off these other debts, and not allow them to be charged up again. Once you pay off one debt, add that extra money to what you are paying towards something else, and pretty soon you will see a snowball effect as your balances decrease.
• Consolidate your debt into one loan, so you only have to make one payment each month. Many consolidation loans have a lower interest rate than what you are paying, if you average all of the rates on all of your loans. This saves you interest and lets you pay things off faster. Again, the key here is to pay off the debt and then establish a savings account so you don’t have to rely on credit when a need arises.
• File for bankruptcy, which will eliminate most if not all of your unsecured debt and leave you with only secured obligations to pay.

For most of us, the majority of the debt load we carry is credit card debt. Filing for bankruptcy is a good way to reduce or wipe out this type of debt. If you are not able to pay all of your bills, or are barely getting by, let us help you find a solution.

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 Benefits To Reaffirming A Debt

When you file for bankruptcy you get to make certain choices about what debts you still want to pay. Most people decide to continue making their house and car payments, so they don’t have to move or find another mode of transportation. But when you make this decision, you need to know how you will be expected to continue paying. Prior to the change in bankruptcy laws in 2005 you could simply keep paying certain debts without having to take any other action in your case. But that is not necessarily the case now, and many lenders will require you to sign a reaffirmation agreement for the debt.

A reaffirmation agreement is like a new contract, and signing a new loan while in bankruptcy is scary for many people. But here are three benefits to reaffirming a debt:

• Your lender will still communicate with you, so if you ever need to postpone a payment or ask for a late fee to be removed you will be able to get someone on the line at your bank. This is because a reaffirmed debt is not discharged, so the prohibition on lenders from talking to you about the loan does not apply.
• You may be able to negotiate a lower interest rate for the reaffirmation. This can save you money and it is worth your time to reaffirm if you are going to get a lower rate and payment.
• Your credit will reflect that you have reaffirmed and are paying the loan as agreed. This helps to boost your credit score, which comes in handy after your case is over and you begin working to rebuild and repair your credit.

We understand the decision to file bankruptcy is not one you’ve made lightly, and that the choices you have to make during your case can be hard. It is our job to explain the process, the benefits, and any consequences of decisions you make along the way. For help with bankruptcy and getting out of debt, call our office today. We will discuss the facts of your case with you and give you personalized assistance so you get the most out of your case.

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

Two Ways To Know If Bankruptcy Is Right For You

Finding a solution to money troubles is a personal and private matter for most people. It can be embarrassing to be turned away at a cash register because your debit or credit card is not accepted, but it happens to more people than you might think. The number of people who have more than enough money to pay all the bills and live a lavish lifestyle is pretty low, and the need for some form of financial relief is something most people encounter at least once during their life. One of the most popular ways to get out of debt is to file for bankruptcy. But the process can be scary, so before you make this decision it is important to make sure this is the right choice for you and your family.

Two ways to know if bankruptcy is right for you are to:

• Keep track of what you are spending each month versus how much money you are making each month. If you spend more than you make, you need financial help. Bankruptcy will eliminate some of your debts, so your monthly income will cover your monthly expenses. If you fall into this category, bankruptcy is a good option for you.
• Keep track of how much your balances are decreasing with each payment you make. If you are only making the minimum payments on most debts, chances are the balances are not budging. So you are basically spinning your wheels and making no progress on getting the debt paid in full. The longer you remain in this cycle, the more you will end up paying. Bankruptcy can eliminate or reduce debts, so you do not get stuck in a never ending cycle of payments that get you nowhere.

It is also a good idea to sit down with a legal professional who has experience handling bankruptcy cases. The process can be not only scary, but also somewhat complex. There are certain requirements to filing certain types of cases and if you want the most benefit out of filing a case, you need to make sure your case is handled properly. We have experience in bankruptcy and can put our experience to work for you.

For more information about how bankruptcy 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.

Five Things To Expect After You File Bankruptcy

Being prepared for what to expect during a bankruptcy case make it easier to decide whether to file. We all like to know what lies ahead, so we can plan for the things that need planning. But it is also nice to know what to expect after you have gone through a life changing event. And filing bankruptcy can be life changing, for the better!

Here are five things you should expect after filing for bankruptcy:

• Creditors will stop calling and asking you to pay past due debts. The instant you file a case it is against the law for your lenders to contact you about payment.
• If you have any active collection, repossession, foreclosure, or garnishment cases pending; those have to stop as well.
• You will have to go to Court, but probably only one time. A few weeks after your case is filed you will go to an initial meeting called a 341 meeting, or meeting of creditors. Your attorney will ask you a few questions about why you filed, and if any of your lenders want to ask questions this is their chance. Questions from lenders usually relate to whether you are going to keep making payments to them and keep the collateral for the loan, and are usually only asked by your mortgage and car lenders.
• You will not have to pay your unsecured debts, or at least not in full. This puts more money in your pocket, which allows you to stick to a budget and stay current on your bills.
• You will start receiving offers of credit soon after your case ends. Only take out a new loan or credit card if you are able to repay it without struggling.

Bankruptcy has been the answer to financial distress for years, and it can be your answer too! The relief you feel at not being able to pay all of your bills is immeasurable, and can give you a much needed break from the stress of having too little funds on hand. If bankruptcy sounds like the answer you have been looking for, call us to find out more.

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