On Monday 1/26/15 I had the pleasure of being a guest of Dr. James Gore on his radio show New Urban Unlimited on 1150AM KKNW in the Seattle area. I will be on the show which airs Every Saturday from 1 to 3pm, the last Saturday of every month . During our time Mr. Gore and I have a candid conversation about how consumers can get a handle on their financial problems and I provide tools and options in which consumers can utilize to get back on track. You can listen to our first episode here discussing financial solutions to debt:
The tools discussed in our chat included:
A chapter 7 bankruptcy can eliminate unsecured debts such as credit cards, medical bills and payday loans while most people can keep all of their assets. There are income restrictions that you would have to meet based on your family size to qualify for chapter 7 bankruptcy. A bankruptcy lawyer will advise you whether you are a candidate for chapter 7 bankruptcy during your free consultation.
A chapter 13 bankruptcy consists of a repayment plan of 36-60 months in which you can make up payments you are behind on a home, stretch out payments on debts while stopping interest from accruing, or for many consumers pay back less than you owe on your unsecured debts. Your chapter 13 plan payments will depend on your income, family size, home arrears, or other non dischargeable debts such as some forms of taxes or child support. In general those that don’t qualify for chapter 7 bankruptcy due to having a higher median income or trying to save a home may want to consider chapter 13 bankruptcy.
Debt settlement is an option for those who do not want to consider filing for bankruptcy, bankruptcy is not an option for various reasons or you only have a couple minor debts that you need to get resolved. Debt settlement does not make sense for everybody but in general, unsecured debts such as credit cards may be settled with most creditors for between 20-50% of what you owe. Your chances of success increases when your debt has been sold to a third party collection company but before you have a judgment entered against you due to a civil lawsuit being filed for non payment of the debt.
For those with low credit scores numerous negative items on a credit report, hiring a credit repair attorney may be an option. An attorney understands the federal laws such as the Fair Credit Reporting Act to leverage the law in your favor and improve your credit. In general if a creditor can not validate a debt, then it must be removed from your credit report. If you have many third party collectors reporting on your credit report, then credit repair may be a good option to remove these negative items and allow you to qualify for home loans and lower interest credit cards and car loans.
For individuals whose sole goal is to save their home and obtain a loan modification and have the forethought to plan ahead and seek help, foreclosure fairness mediation may be an option. In my last blog post I discussed the foreclosure timeline and how and when you may be eligible for foreclosure fairness mediation and what to expect during your mediation.
If you have additional questions regarding what your best options are to plan your financial future, give Symmes Law Group a call at 206-682-7975 to schedule your free consultation.