Archive for July, 2011
July 28th, 2011 categories: Ask the "Specialist"
I think this article is more appropriate today as our government is also about to default on its loans. I want to thank Regina King for this wonderful post.
When your income falls short to cover your debts and expenses, it means bankruptcy and foreclosure are not far away and you should take immediate steps to get your finances back on track. However, by preparing an effective budget and working with your mortgage lender for a convenient and affordable repayment plan, you may be able to pay back your debts and can manage to stay in your home.
If you are a homeowner, who is struggling with unmanageable debt obligations, consolidation may be your greatest tool to keep bankruptcy and foreclosure at bay. By consolidating your existing debts and replacing them with a home equity loan, you can simplify your repayment procedure. You can use the equity in your home to pay down the high-interest debts at low second mortgage interest rates. This savings on interest often provides more breathing room in your monthly budget, allow you to pay down your debts and most importantly help you to stay current on your mortgage. However, stay alert and keep in mind that a default on a second mortgage loan can result in foreclosure, as your home serves as collateral for the second mortgage.
As soon as you realize that you can’t make your mortgage payments, contact your lenders and confide you current financial impediment in them. Mortgage lenders can certainly help you to pay back your missed payments or to modify your current mortgage terms. Lenders have several tools at their disposal to make your monthly payments more affordable. For expert guidance, you can seek helpfrom the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD, which offers free or low-cost mortgage counseling in every U.S. state. HUD-approved counselors can assist you to explore your viable debt relief options, as well as teach you to cut back unnecessary expenses.
If you have no other way but filing bankruptcy, it could also resolve your debt and foreclosure issues to some extent. Under the Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you can reorganize your debts and can repay them over the course of three to five years. Once you file a petition for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the bankruptcy court put a halt to foreclosure proceedings and allows you to stay in your home. However, if you can not catch up the past-due mortgage payments over the stipulated period of time, you may lose your home.
Last but not the least, if you are looking for a third party to negotiate your debts or mortgage, make sure they are reputable and reliable concerns and not shady companies, blowing their own trumpets. According to the Federal Trade Commission, the companies which claim to be nonprofit, yet charge steep up-front fees, and may even require you to stop making monthly payments on your loans and credit card accounts, should be strictly avoided. Make sure you check the reputation and reliability of the third-party debt negotiation companies with the Better Business Bureau, your state’s Attorney General and your local consumer protection agency, before making the final deal.
Regina King is a financial writer and currently associated with Oak View Law Group. She has been consistently providing people with unique advice on investment,budgeting and debt settlement since 2007. You can reach me at: regina.king85(at)gmail(dot)com.
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Chicago Has Most Foreclosed Homes Of Any City In Americafrom The Full Feed from HuffingtonPost.com by The Huffington Post News EditorsAlthough it never shared the notoriety of Miami, Los Angeles and Phoenix during America’s foreclosure crisis, the Chicago area now has the nation’s largest inventory of foreclosed homes because it is harder to unload troubled properties here than in most other metropolitan areas. The inventory data compiled by RealtyTrac, a California company that tracks housing sales, place Chicago first among the country’s 20 largest metropolitan areas. Real estate experts attribute the high concentration of foreclosures to numerous factors including the strong protections built into Illinois law to protect borrowers, the impact of the “robo-signing” investigation by the Illinois Attorney General, and the reluctance of banks to dump properties at prices far below the value of mortgage loans on their books.
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