My Views on Redeeming a Car Loan while in Chapter 7

Last week, I wrote about the bi-monthly cattle call of Pittsburgh bankruptcy lawyers in Judge Bohm’s courtroom for “Reaffirmation Day”. One commenter from my blog post last week mentioned that I hadn’t talked about vehicle redemption as an alternative to reaffirmation. Simply put, redemption in a Chapter 7 case is a legal strategy to reduce the overall balance on your … Read More

3 Pros and 2 Cons for Reaffirming Loans in Bankruptcy Court

There’s a new scene up in the Bankruptcy Court in Pittsburgh recently. Judge Carlota Bohm is the judge assigned to the vast majority of Chapter 7 cases. She took the bench as a new judge about a year ago. Before she took the bench, judges rarely scheduled hearings when you wanted to sign a reaffirmation agreement. Now, we’ve got hearings, … Read More

An Update on How Long for a Mortgage Foreclosure in Pennsylvania

Back in 2010, I wrote about how long mortgage foreclosure takes in Pennsylvania. Again, here are the basics. In Pennsylvania, we have a judicial foreclosure system, which means that foreclosure cases must be filed in Court. Still, there are specific steps to follow: 1) Notice of Intention to Foreclose, which is a letter sent to the homeowner by the mortgage … Read More

How are Missed Chapter 13 Payments Made Up?

This is a frequent question, and it’s best understood by learning more about the concept of the “plan base”. Let’s say that your Chapter 13 plan is for 60 months and that the payment is $1,000 per month. Then your plan base is $60,000. Obviously, this is a total of all of your payments over the course of the plan. … Read More

Who’s the Guy Outside my House Taking Pictures?

I get this question a lot from clients who are either in foreclosure or mortgage default. Just who is this person with the camera in my front yard? The answer is that your mortgage company is permitted to inspect your home if you fall behind (the technical term is “to default”) on your mortgage loan. I’ll bet you that right … Read More

Treating Student Loan Claims in a Chapter 13 Plan

Given that so many people have student loan debts these days, I’ve been meaning to write something about this topical issue. And particularly, I wanted to write about how student loans are treated in Chapter 13 here in Western PA. Quickly, here’s a review: in Western Pennsylvania, we have a conduit trusteeship that requires secured loans to be repaid inside … Read More

4 Reasons that your Chapter 13 Plan Payment Increased

I wrote earlier about 12 tips to better understanding the Chapter 13 plan payment calculation process. Here’s some more insight into just how your Chapter 13 payment might be increased during your plan term. And please remember that Western Pennsylvania has a “conduit trusteeship” which means that all secured loan payments are to be made through the Chapter 13 plan. … Read More

12 Tips to Understanding Your Chapter 13 Plan

Here in the Western District of Pennsylvania, we have “conduit” Chapter 13 plans, which mean that all of your secured loan payments are made inside the Chapter 13 plan. As I’ve written before, don’t draw conclusions about the way that the Chapter 13 process is handled from State to State (or even within your State). It helps to first recall … Read More

Beware of Payday Loan Telephone Scam

A follow up on the recent post on payday loans. I’m finding a lot of my clients with old payday loans are getting threatening phone calls from debt collectors. These collectors will call cell phones or at home or at work. They use highly-aggressive tactics. For example, they may pose as a police investigator or court official. These callers will … Read More

P is for Payday Loans in Bankruptcy

P is for Payday Loans in the Bankruptcy Alphabet. I love it when clients tell me that they have payday loans. Why? Because bankruptcy is a great tool with which to fight back against these lenders. Recently, Pennsylvania legislators chose not to permit payday loans in Pennsylvania. However, folks in Pennsylvania can still go to the Internet to enter into … Read More