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Advice About Options on Debt Help When in a Settlement Program

I am currently enrolled in a settlement program but I am still behind on my mortgage. Where do I go from here?

I go through a settlement company now but I am still one month behind on my mortgages and bills. Do not want foreclosure. Where do I go from here, credit is so low and poor no one will give us a loan.

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Bill's Answer
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Since you have already sought the help of a debt settlement company and are still unable to meet your monthly obligations such as your mortgage, you may want to seriously consider consulting with a bankruptcy attorney to determine if filing for bankruptcy protection is a viable solution to your financial woes. While your debt settlement program is designed to help you resolve your unsecured debts, a bankruptcy filing may be able to provide an overall solution to your financial problems, since your unsecured debt is clearly not the only issue you are facing. If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, it is important that you consult with a qualified attorney in your area who will be able to review your circumstances and help you determine if bankruptcy is a workable solution to your financial problems.

There are two basic types of consumer bankruptcy, Chapter 13 and Chapter 7. Chapter 7 bankruptcy, also called liquidation bankruptcy, allows a debtor to discharge most unsecured debts. In your case, this would mean ridding you of your unsecured debts, such as credit cards and personal loans, thus freeing up money each month to apply to your mortgage and other bills. Whether or not a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is an option for you will depend on your income and the property exemption limits provided by your particular stateÂ’s laws. Some statesÂ’ exemptions are generous while others are strict. Also, if your familyÂ’s yearly household income is above the median income for your state, filing Chapter 7 may be difficult due to additional requirements and limitations imposed by the bankruptcy reform laws enacted by Congress in 2005. When you have your first consultation with your bankruptcy attorney, you can discuss the issues of income and property to determine if a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a good option for you.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy is basically a court administered plan to repay your creditors, both secured and unsecured; it is primarily designed for consumers with a relatively high income and substantial assets. For home owners who have fallen behind on their mortgage payments, Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows them to include their delinquent mortgage payments in their bankruptcy filing, thus bringing their mortgage current and allowing them to repay the delinquency over a longer period of time. Generally speaking, filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy can stop foreclosure proceedings and allow home owners who have fallen behind a fresh start with their mortgage payments. However, you should keep in mind that Chapter 13 bankruptcy involves making court-approved payments to repay your delinquent mortgage balance and your other debts; you will be required to make these payments in addition to your regular monthly mortgage payments if you want to keep your home. While a Chapter 13 can bring your mortgage current, it will not lower your mortgage payments or change any other terms of your mortgage agreement.

For consumers considering bankruptcy, the most important piece of advice I can offer is to find an experienced and well respected bankruptcy attorney. A good attorney will be able to fully analyze your circumstances and help you decide if bankruptcy is the right choice for you, and if so, which chapter you should file.

To learn more about bankruptcy, I encourage you to explore the bankruptcy information page. Hopefully this information will allow you to be better informed when discussing bankruptcy with an attorney. I wish you the best of luck in resolving your financial difficulties, and hope that the information I have provided helps you Find. Learn. Save.



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