Mortgage Loan Modification–5 Questions and Answers

I get a lot of questions from folks concerning mortgage loan modifications.   Note that a loan modification is not a refinancing, and homeowners do not have the legal right to a modification.   In other words, your mortgage company isn’t required to offer you a loan modification.  And if you’re lucky enough to get a modification. you still have … Read More

What Happens if You Get Sued by a Creditor?

Being Served with a Lawsuit by the Sheriff Here in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh), anywhere between 100 and 150 credit card lawsuits are filed each week. So, what usually happens and what’s your best response? Well, a sheriff’s deputy will be required to come to your house to deliver the actual lawsuit paperwork to you personally. This can be unnerving … Read More

How to Prepare to Meet with a Bankruptcy Attorney

Income Information is Essential! Many bankruptcy attorneys offer a free consultation for those who are looking into bankruptcy as an option. So, how best to prepare for that meeting? The most important issue is to determine your total household income, particularly over the past 6 months. This is due to the “means test” requirement of the Bankruptcy Code, which spells … Read More

Got a Lot of Debt? Here are your Four Options

The Four Options for Getting Out of Debt When I meet with new bankruptcy clients for the first time, we review all of their options with respect to handling their debts. The reason they’ve contacted a bankruptcy lawyer is because they aren’t satisfied with their first option. So exactly what is that first option? Option Number One: Make Payment Arrangements … Read More

Student Loan Repayment Tips from a Bankruptcy Lawyer

 Student Loan Repayment Tips I’m spending more and more time talking with prospective clients about their student loans. No, I’m not suggesting that they should file bankruptcy to wipe out their student loans.   It’s simply getting hard to avoid talking about student loans when I see such large balances and on such a widespread basis. I’m talking more than … Read More

Before You Say “I Do”: How Your Future Spouse’s Credit Affects You

You might wonder why someone with virtually no debt and with good credit would contact a bankruptcy attorney. Ah ha, when that person is considering marrying someone who’s got credit problems. Thus, if you’re looking to get married to someone who’s dodging creditors, how is bankruptcy going to affect you? There’s good news and bad news to my answer. The … Read More

A Debt Calculator For Unsecured Debts

I subscribe to a lot of blogs relating to personal finance and bankruptcy law. And I’ve known about the for some time now. This website has a lot of information and advice for people with debt problems. But I didn’t know about their debt calculator, which I just learned about today, and which I find extremely nifty. Here is … Read More

Cancellation (and Collection) of Debts at the Same Time?

It boggles my mind that banks and other creditors can still collect on debts that they have “cancelled” for tax purposes. You might not know about the “cancellation of debt”, but you can read here about what the IRS says about it. First, I need to explain what this whole concept in tax law actually is. Basically, let’s say that … Read More

How Bankruptcy Improved One Couple’s Credit Rating

A Recent Case Study I wanted to show a recent Chapter 7 case that I filed. This is a married couple with two young children. They owned a home, and were up-to-date with their mortgage. Unfortunately, they had taken out a home equity loan several years ago in an attempt to pay off credit card debt, but despite their best … Read More

10 Big Changes that the Bankruptcy “Reform” Law Brought

Happy 8th Birthday to the Bankruptcy Abuse and Consumer Protection Act, also known as BAPCPA (pronounced “BAP-SEA-P-A”, if you’re interested). Enacted by Congress in 2005, it became effective on October 17, 2005, so virtually every bankruptcy lawyer in Pittsburgh, and for that matter, in America, was working day and night on the week prior to the law change. So, why … Read More