Chapter 7 bankruptcy exemptions – getting it all under the umbrella

Understanding Chapter 7 bankruptcy exemptions is crucial for anyone considering bankruptcy.  A chapter 7 bankruptcy is based on a simple agreement with the bankruptcy court: surrender your property and you will receive a complete discharge forever for most debts, including credit card debt, mortgage debt, car loans, personal loans, medical bills and most other forms of  debt.   People considering bankruptcy ask, does this mean all my property? Will I be destitute, homeless and without any possessions?  The answer is absolutely not!   Even in bankruptcy, individuals and families are entitled to keep a certain amount of property.  This is known as exempt property, and Chapter 7 bankruptcy exemptions define what you get to keep.  What a person filing chapter 7 bankruptcy gets to keep is defined by the law of exemptions, which is different  in every state.        Continue Reading

Orlando homeowners in foreclosure find comfort in another study

Many Orlando residents are considering “strategic default” and voluntary foreclosure to fix their “underwater home” problem.  Earlier this week I reported on a survey by the National Association of Independent Landlords, showing that most non-corporate landlords are OK with renting to families and individuals who have lost their homes to foreclosure, if it was an isolated event and they showed an otherwise good track record of paying their bills on time.  Now, another study confirms that creditors are now beginning to take into account the deepening mortgage foreclosure crisis when assessing the credit worthiness of borrowers.  Credit monitor TransUnion reports that those who only default on mortgages are less likely to default later on new car loans or credit cards than are people who default on mortgages and at least one other debt at the same time.  This was the result of a study, entitled “Life after Foreclosure,” on 129,000 homeowners followed over a 12 to 17 month period.  The study found that credit scores for mortgage-only defaulters bounced back quicker, with credit scores rising a median 8 points 12 to 17 months after defaulting on a mortgage. The results of this study were similar to a study performed by credit monitor FICO, which last month reported that mortgage-only defaulters were savvy about credit, with better credit histories than other mortgage defaulters.        Continue Reading

Good News for Orlando Homeowners in Foreclosure: You are OK with landlords

Many Orlando homeowners are experiencing the trauma of loosing their homes in foreclosure.  I see this in my practice every week – there’s no doubt that  toxic mortgages, job loss, and other circumstances that have created a foreclosure crisis in the Orlando housing market.  Often with the help of an attorney who helps them defend the mortagage foreclosure,  some homeowners are trying to stay in their homes as long as possible.  But what happens  when they are unable to work things out with my mortgage lender?  Here’s some good news for you:  A very large majority (82%) of independent landlords say that they would rent to an individual or family that lost a home in foreclosure, if it was part of recent bad luck, like the loss of a job.  These were the results of a survey by the National Association of Independent Landlords, the county’s larges provider of services for small landlords.   Landlords are clearly taking current economic conditions into account and giving resposible applicants an opportunity to find a new home.  These landlords recognize that those who have owned homes in the past are responsible and have an interest in caring for their home.  They are willing to see these individuals as better credit risks, as compared to those applicants who demonstrate a more lifelong pattern of finacial irresponsibility.        Continue Reading