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Will Credit Counseling Eliminate My Debts?

When you are faced with more debt than you can manage, there are several options for getting out from under water. One option is to see a credit counselor, who may suggest you try to consolidate your debt. Many credit counselors even offer to take on this task for you, but getting you to agree they can contact your lenders to work out more manageable payments. It sounds like a good idea, to have someone do the leg work for you by calling your creditors and negotiating a more reasonable interest rate, a lower payment, or an extension of the loan terms, but the results are not always this crystal clear. In fact, many times lenders refuse to work with credit counselors and the consumer is left in a worse position than when the efforts started. And, credit counseling in this way will not get rid of your debts.

If you are looking to eliminate debt, bankruptcy is a better option. Bankruptcy will do the following:

• In a Chapter 7 case you are allowed to totally wipe out all of your unsecured debt. So, things like credit cards, signature loans, and medical bills can be completely eliminated by filing bankruptcy. Doing this will give you more money in your pocket every month, and make it easier to pay your secured debts, such as your house or car payment.
• In a Chapter 13 you do not get to eliminate your unsecured debt in its entirety, but you can reduce the amount you owe to pennies on the dollar. You can also pay only what your car is worth instead of what you owe if you file a Chapter 13.

Filing for bankruptcy used to be considered “wrong” or “disgraceful”, but the stigma that was once associated with filing a case no longer exists. Everyone from celebrities to even our newest President, Donald Trump (or one of his companies), has taken advantage of the bankruptcy laws in some form. If you need help paying your bills each pay period, give us a call to learn how filing for bankruptcy protection can help you.

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

Three Steps To Take After Deciding To File Bankruptcy

When you don’t make enough money to pay all of your bills each month it can seem like there is no light at the end of the tunnel. Without a clear solution in sight it is difficult to concentrate on the things that matter, like your job and your family, and finances can quickly spiral out of control. But you do have options for getting out of debt, and if you decide bankruptcy is the answer you seek, you can expect to start out fresh once your case is filed. This is because when you file for bankruptcy, you are able to eliminate or significantly reduce what you owe and this means you can start paying your bills on time and even have some money left over to start saving.

If this sounds like something you would be interested in doing, the time to act is now. Three steps you should take after making the decision to file bankruptcy are:

• Gather all of your financial documents. This includes tax returns, car titles, mortgage and other house papers, credit card and medical bill statements, student loan notes, and recent pay stubs. You will need to present all of this information to an attorney to review, so your bankruptcy petition can be prepared and filed.
• Sit down and talk with an attorney about your financial goals and what you want out of filing for bankruptcy. It is always good to go into a bankruptcy case with a clear idea of what you need, so you can learn what types of results you can expect.
• Make a budget that includes debts that will be due after your case is finished. When you see what you will still have to pay after your bankruptcy is over you are better able to allocate your money to necessary expenses and identify areas where you can start to save.

Bankruptcy is a very real answer to a lot of financial problems. When you file a case your creditors are no longer allowed to call you, or to sue you for past due debts. This break in annoying calls from lenders gives you a chance to breathe and to formulate a plan you can follow. If you are having a hard time making ends meet, call to find out what to do next.

For more information about how to manage debt and how bankruptcy can help eliminate overwhelming debt so you can focus on what matters, contact us at www.DsouzaLegalGroup.com. We will help by coming up with solutions that work for you.

Inauguration Day Is Over, What’s Next For My Finances?

On January 20, 2017 Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States. Despite the Inauguration Day protests and the Women’s March that followed the next day, President Trump did not waste any time trying to make good on some of his campaign promises. Almost instantly, “the Donald”, put his signature on measures to being unwinding Obamacare and swiftly pulled the US out of controversial trade agreements. During the campaign voters across the country expressed concern with their rights, safety, finances, and whether those things would be secure under a Trump administration. While it remains to be seen how any of President Trump’s actions will impact the ordinary American, one thing stays the same; your need to pay your bills and to take action when you have more expenses than you do income.

The economy is a tricky thing, and it fluctuates under each President. If you are worried about your finances under President Trump the best thing you can do is save when you can and cut back on luxuries where possible. If doing these things still leaves you without enough money at the end of the month, or if you are worried about how Trump initiatives could jeopardize your employment or financial status, you can always consider filing for bankruptcy. Bankruptcy can help by:

• Eliminating or drastically reducing debt.
• Keeping creditors from calling you to collect, and also from initiating or maintaining collection lawsuits against you.
• Allowing you to pay the value of certain things you own (like your car), rather than the balance due.

For many, bankruptcy is a chance to start over with a clean slate. When money gets too tight and things become too overwhelming, bankruptcy is a good answer. The fresh start you get by filing for bankruptcy will let you start out with a budget that fits your finances, and can even give you the opportunity to build up an emergency fund. For more information about bankruptcy and how it can help you, call our office today. We will let you know your options, and get you on the right track to financial freedom.

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.

Budgeting Tips Before, During, And After Bankruptcy

One of life’s least enjoyable tasks is to come up with a budget that works. But once you are able to get on track, and stay on track with your money each month, you can begin to live a life of financial freedom. In many instances the best way to get a fresh start so you can get on a budget is to file bankruptcy. But even filing bankruptcy takes some financial planning.

Budgeting tips for before, during, and after a bankruptcy, so you can live life debt free, include:

● Before you file: get all of your bills lined up and write down who you owe what to, and how much you have to pay each creditor every month. You should also write down your monthly income, so you can see how much money you have coming in each month. This way you will be able to identify what you pay, and what you make, and will know how short you are each pay period.
● During your case: you will have to decide what to keep paying for, and what you will have to return to the lender. To do this you will need to know what bills you will have once your bankruptcy is over, and this will include deciding what debts to reaffirm during your case. As soon as you know what you don’t have to keep paying vs. what you do have to keep paying for, you will be ready to move on to the next phase.
● After your case: when your bankruptcy case is over you will have a clear picture of what debts you still owe, and which debts have been eliminated. Now is the time to write up a new budget, and include only those debts that remain. The goal is to have more income now than debts, and to maintain that status. You can do this be cutting out unnecessary expenses, and by resisting the urge to splurge. Start up a savings or emergency account, so when you have an expense or event come up you don’t have to use a credit card or take out a loan to cover the financial need.

Eliminating debt through bankruptcy puts you on the path toward financial freedom. Let us help.

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

Five Ways To Fix Your Finances

With 2016 beginning to fade in the rearview mirror, now is the time to take stock and make a plan to implement any changes you want to see in the year ahead. This does not necessarily mean making a resolution, because most resolutions go unkept. But coming up with a plan for what you want to accomplish this year, and also in the years ahead and then putting that plan into action is a good way to make some progress towards your goals. When your goals include fixing your finances, the best place to start is with finding ways to mend financial fences that work for your particular circumstances.

Five ways to fix your finances, including the option of filing for the protection offered by If you bankruptcy are:

• Make a budget, first to see where all of your money goes each month and second to see where you can cut back on expenses. Most people are shocked to see what they spend on eating out, going to the movies, or even stopping for a morning coffee. You do not have to give up these little luxuries altogether, but if most of your money is going to these types of things, you can certainly reduce the amount you spend on these things by doing them less frequently.
• Negotiate with your credit card companies for lower interest rates. If you are a longstanding and loyal customer, many companies will take you up on your offer top repay what you owe at a lower rate.
• Shop around for insurance, auto and home. You might find a lower rate, or the thought of losing your business might cause your current provider to offer a better deal.
• Make lists when you shop, so you are not tempted to overspend once you get to the store. The biggest culprit of the temptation to buy on impulse can be the grocery store. But if you make a meal plan and then list out the ingredients needed, you can arm yourself with a shopping list you can stick to when you go out for groceries.
• Plan for emergencies by starting a savings account or emergency fund. This way, you will have the funds needed when an unexpected repair or other costs arises.

There are at least a dozen more things you can do to get your finances in line. But if you are in way over your head, bankruptcy is probably your best bet. This is because once you eliminate some of your debts, you are able to do some of the things above and get back on your feet. Call us today to find out what steps you can take to fix your finances.

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

Three Tips To Picking The Right Bankruptcy Attorney

Few things are more stressful than not being able to pay your bills and provide for your family. But this is the situation many Americans are finding themselves in day after day, and a way out has to be found. One way to manage debt and get back on track is to file bankruptcy. The process is complex, and should only be done with the help of an experienced bankruptcy attorney. But, how do you go about finding an attorney that is right for you? Some people rely on referrals from friends and relatives, and this is always a good place to start. However, there are some other things you can do on your own, to find an attorney that can help you.

Three tips to picking the right bankruptcy attorney for you include doing the following:

• Do some research about any attorney you are considering, by checking their experience level. You can do this online, and should put your trust in an attorney that has filed several recent cases. The bankruptcy laws are complicated and involve performing difficult mathematical calculations in order to make sure the right type of case is filed. If you do not get it right, you can find yourself having to make amendments, which costs you valuable time.
• When meeting with a potential lawyer for your case, ask as many questions as you have about how the process works. An attorney that is right for you is one that will answer your questions to your satisfaction, so that you understand what lies ahead. There is no such thing as too many questions, or a question that does not make sense. You deserve to feel comfortable with what you are undertaking, and it is your attorney’s job to provide that comfort by answering your concerns.
• Make sure the fee charged is reasonable, and affordable. If you are struggling to pay your bills you might be wondering how you can afford an attorney. A good bankruptcy lawyer will lay out your payment options, and work with you in this regard.

After making the decision to file for bankruptcy, let us help you. We will explain the procedure to you, and make sure all of your questions are answered. Call us today to find out how we can help.

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

How Does Bankruptcy Eliminate My Debts?

When people have more debts than they have income, turning to bankruptcy as a way out of debt is a good choice. But the way bankruptcy works is confusing, so it is important to understand the process before you begin the work needed to get a case filed. It is also important to know that bankruptcy is not a free pass, where you get to keep things without making payments. Difficult decisions on what to keep and what to give back will have to be made throughout your case, but once those decisions are made you can rest easy knowing a large chunk of your debt load is eliminated.

The way bankruptcy eliminates your debts is as follows:

• The ultimate goal of filing bankruptcy is to obtain an order of discharge. The discharge is the legal entry into your case that means your debts are no longer due. A discharged debt cannot be collected on, and you are no longer obligated to pay the lender for the loan.
• All of the debt you have is listed in your case when it is filed, this means at the outset all of your debts are eligible for discharge. But, along the way you will want to decide what pieces of property to hang on to, and for the ones you pick you will still have to make payments. The most common pieces of property that people keep when they file bankruptcy are their home and car.
• When you decide to remain in your house and to keep driving your car, you will have to keep up with the payments for these things or the lender will take action to recover their property. This recovery can be done outside of the bankruptcy court, once the lender gets the automatic stay lifted, by way of a foreclosure or a repossession action. If the debt was not reaffirmed, this is the only remedy the lender has because a discharged debt is no longer considered due. But, if you reaffirmed the debt, the lender can also seek a money judgment against you for a defaulted debt.

The benefit to discharging some debts, such as credit cards or medical bills, while opting to reaffirm others is that the payments you once made on discharged debts no longer have to be made. This means you now have more money to pay for necessities, like your home and car. Let us help you figure out your financial needs, and then file a case for you that will help you meet those needs.

For more information about how to manage debt and how bankruptcy can help eliminate overwhelming debt so you can focus on what matters, contact us at www.DsouzaLegalGroup.com. We will help by coming up with solutions that work for you.

Is There A Benefit To Reaffirming A Debt?

If you have less money than you do bills, you might be thinking about filing for bankruptcy to alleviate your financial pressure. Among some of the decisions you will have to make, such as when to file and what type of case to file, you will need to decide what debts to reaffirm. Reaffirming a debt is like signing a new contract for the obligation, and you will be responsible for repayment of anything you reaffirm even after your bankruptcy case comes to an end. Making a choice to obligate yourself financially to paying certain things seems counter productive to the goals of bankruptcy, but can be helpful depending on your particular circumstances.

Some of the benefits to reaffirming a debt in bankruptcy are:

• You might be able to get the lender to negotiate the repayment terms, such as by lowering the interest rate as part of the reaffirmation agreement. Because the reaffirmation agreement becomes the new loan, the terms in the reaffirmation govern. If your lender agrees to lower the rate to incentivize you to sign the agreement, your payments could be less.
• You will be able to communicate with your lender after bankruptcy. A reaffirmed debt is not discharged, and thus the lender is still allowed to talk to you about your loan without violating the bankruptcy discharge order. This can come in handy if you fall behind on payments and need your lender to extend a grace period or make other concessions.
• If you need a new loan after your bankruptcy case is over, a lender with whom you have reaffirmed a debt is more likely to work with you than a lender you have not continued to pay.

We understand the need to get things right when you file bankruptcy, so you can get back on your feet financially. Deciding to continue making payments for debts when you are experiencing financial hardship is difficult, but we can help you make the right choice.

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

What Is A Deficiency Balance And How Can I Avoid Paying It?

When loans are taken out, the lender expects that they will be repaid in full. When payments are not made, the lender might undertake collection efforts. Some of those efforts include repossession of personal property, or foreclosure of real estate. When a repossession or foreclosure takes place and the property gets back in the hands of the lender, a resale is the next step. But all too often, whether it is your car or your house, the collateral is resold at less than what is owed on the loan. The difference in price is referred to as a deficiency, and the borrower is still liable for payment of that amount. In fact, many collection cases that involve autos are for collection of the deficiency after repossession. This shocks most consumers because it can feel like a done deal, with nothing left to handle, once your car has been repossessed. The good news is that there are ways you can get out of paying a deficiency balance.

One option to avoid payment of a deficiency balance is to challenge the amount the collateral sold for, and show the Court the sale was not reasonable. This can be hard to prove, because industry standards allow for some pretty low resale values on cars. Another good choice is to file for bankruptcy, and doing this will help with more than just an auto deficiency balance. Here are some other types of debt bankruptcy can help to eliminate or reduce:

• High interest rate credit cards
• Deficiency balances on real property that has been foreclosed
• Signature loans
• Payday loans
• Medical bills
• Student loans, in extraordinary circumstances
• Mortgage arrears
• Loans for recreational vehicles such as ATV’s, or boat loans

We want to help you get out of financial trouble. If you are having difficulty stretching your dollars, call us for help. We will let you know what to expect if you decide to file for bankruptcy and will let you know what type of case you are eligible to file. Our goal is to get you back on your financial feet, so you can start over with a clean slate.

For more information about deficiency balances, contact us at www.DsouzaLegalGroup.com. We will help by coming up with solutions that help get you back on your feet.

Will I Still Owe On My House If It Goes To Foreclosure?

A foreclosure is a legal way for the bank to take back your house if you are not making your mortgage payments. Many times, when the bank is successful in foreclosing on your home, the home is resold by the bank in an attempt to recoup the loss taken on the loan. But most times the amount paid at resale is less than what you owe, and if that is the case the bank might come knocking for payment of the deficiency. This can come as a shock to most people, who think that the matter is over when the bank gets the house back at foreclosure sale. So, what do you do if you still owe money for your house after it has gone through the foreclosure process?

One thing you can do is to file for bankruptcy, which will eliminate any deficiency debt owed on your home. Bankruptcy is also helpful because it will:

• Eliminate or reduce the amount of unsecured debt you owe. If you have a lot of high balances on credit cards or owe your dentist for an emergency root canal, filing bankruptcy will let you wipe those debts out or at least allow you to pay less than the full balance owed.
• Allow you to pay the value of your car instead of the balance owed. This is beneficial to most every person who owns a car because as we all know, cars depreciate rapidly. If you file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the option of paying what your car is worth is available to you. You might also be able to reduce the interest rate on your car loan if you file a Chapter 13 case.
• Immediately stop any collection actions being taken against you, including any wage garnishments.

The benefits of bankruptcy are much more far reaching than what is mentioned above, but because every case is different it is impossible to list them all. To find out how you can benefit from filing a bankruptcy case, call one of our knowledgeable bankruptcy and debt management attorneys today. We will explain your options, and help you make a decision about what to do next.
For answers to your questions about debt, foreclosures, and bankruptcy, contact us at www.DsouzaLegalGroup.com.