Wednesday, June 28, 2017
If you have heard about mortgage modifications and are wondering if this is the answer to your money troubles, you should take a moment to read on further. Mortgage modifications help thousands of people reduce their house payment and free up part of their income to pay other bills. But the process can be complex, and you should be prepared to be patient if you need to lower your house payment. In the end though, if you fill out the application and provide what is asked of you, along with the help of a debt management professional, the rewards are great.
Four things you should know before you modify your mortgage include:
• Will a new appraisal be needed? When you initially bought your house you had to have an appraisal done in order for the lender to agree to make the loan. This is because lenders must follow certain guidelines when making loans, and one of those guides is that a loan cannot be given for more than what a piece of property is worth. But with a modification there is no requirement to appraise the property. This is because the lender is modifying their own loan and as such does not need to verify whether the loan to value ratio exists; that part was done at purchase.
• You will be asked to provide proof of income, and the ability to make the modified payment. It might seem strange to prove you can make a lower payment than your current payment, especially if you are making the higher payment routinely. But this can be part of the process and you should be prepared to gather your documents and have them copied for your lender.
• You should also expect to wait a while before your new loan is approved. This can be frustrating, especially if you have an immediate need for financial relief. But with the help of a trained professional, you can rest easy knowing your lender’s questions are being answered, and are being answered timely.
• There will be a loan closing once the modification is approved. That means there are closing costs that will have to be paid, just like when you bought the home. But most times these costs can be made a part of the modified loan, so you are not out of pocket any funds.
Let us help you today if you are having a hard time making your house payment. We can go over the modification process with you, and help you to understand how it works and how you will benefit.
For more information about mortgage modifications, contact us at www.law-ri.com. We will help by coming up with solutions that work for you and have multiple locations to meet your needs for office visits.
Tuesday, June 27, 2017
If your house payments are out of control, you need to find a way to rein them in to a more affordable figure. One good way to do this is to have your lender modify your mortgage terms. A mortgage modification is a program offered by most lenders whereby you can reduce your interest rate, and by doing so also reduce your monthly mortgage payments. You might also consider reducing the amount of time you are paying on your loan, and this can save you thousands of dollars in interest over the years but will probably not give you a lower monthly payment. If you are struggling, reducing your payments is the best option, and we can help.
Before you decide to seek a modification of your mortgage you need to know a little bit about the process. Here are three key elements to getting your mortgage loan modified:
• There is an application form that you will have to complete. Like most things, an application is how things get started, and a mortgage modification is no different. In order to have your lender consider your loan for a modification, you will need to fill out the proper application and provide requested documents.
• You will need to provide pay stubs and other proof of income as part of your application. You might also be asked to provide copies of your tax returns for review. Whatever you are asked to submit, keep copies and a record of when and how you’re sent the requested documents to your lender. It is not unheard of for a lender to misplace documents, and ask for them to be resubmitted. This can slow down the process, but if you have delivery receipts and copies of what you sent you may be able to avoid sending duplicate copies.
• There may be a trial period. Some modifications first start with a trial period, where the homeowner makes the reduced payments for a period of a few months, and if those payments are successfully made then the lender will finalize the modification. It is important to know whether your case includes a trial period, because it is possible that during that time you may have reports being made that you are paying less than what is due on your loan. If so, you may be putting your credit at risk and will want to negotiate further.
Modifying your mortgage is a good tool when you are in too much debt, or your house is worth significantly less than you owe. For help throughout this process, call us today.
For more information about how to handle overwhelming debt, contact us at www.law-ri.com. We will help by coming up with solutions that work for you and have multiple locations to meet your needs for office visits.
Monday, June 26, 2017
Mega movie stars, pop singers, athletes, and favorite television actors seem to have it all. Most of them are considered more physically attractive than non-famous people, and for certain a celebrity has more money than the average person. But these “perks” do not always make for a perfect life, and a star can fall on hard times just as easily as anyone else. When they do, they might seem more relatable, and perhaps that is why it can be good to take a look at what to do and what not to do with your money, from a celebrity’s standpoint.
Some important things to learn from a celebrity’s finances can best be found by looking at stories of stars who have had it all, and who have also lost it all. Three of these things to learn include:
• Save, save, save! No one is assured of continued employment, whether that is at a retail store, a restaurant, in an office, or being in the movies. When you have extra money, save what you can! The only way to avoid a financial crisis is to plan for the times where funds might be out of reach or hard to come by.
• Avoid overspending and splurging. When superstars hit it big they tend to make extravagant purchases. But when the money stops rolling in and it is time to pay the bills for private islands and lavish vacations, even a celebrity can find themselves without the financial means to pay all of the bills. Your splurge might be gourmet coffee every morning, or eating lunch out with co-workers a few times a week. If so, consider brewing at home and brown bagging it once in a while.
• Come up with and stick to a budget. When you know where your money goes each month you are more likely to watch how it is spent. A budget is the perfect tool for keeping track of expenses and identifying areas where you can cut back on what you spend.
If you still need help with your money, that’s OK. We can give you options for getting back on track and help implement those options. Our goal is to help you resolve your money troubles, and avoid a repeat occurrence of financial hardship in the future.
For more information about how to handle overwhelming debt, contact us today at www.law-ri.com. We will help you come up with solutions that work for your family, and have multiple locations where we schedule appointments so you can make a choice that is convenient for you.
Friday, June 23, 2017
Debt collection calls and letters can cause stress and anxiety, and sometimes you can feel like you are being treated like a simpleton when a debt collector calls you. The minute you take the call you are talked down to, and even get told that the call is from a debt collector. This seems like a silly thing to say, because if you are behind on your debts it may not be a surprise to receive a call from a collector. To have that information repeated to you puts you on edge, and immediately on the defensive. So why do collectors take the time to let you know they are a debt collector and that the call to you is in an attempt to collect a debt?
The truth is that debt collectors are required to tell you these things, and if they do not inform you they are a debt collector and that they are attempting to collect a debt, they can get in trouble. The law requires:
• Every collection call placed to be prefaced with the information that the call is being placed by a debt collector.
• The collector has to let you know the call is being made in an effort to collect a debt
• The collector also has to tell you that any information you provide during the call will be used by the collector in their collection efforts. So if you are asked to provide banking information, or where you work, you can bet that your wages or bank account is about to be hit with a garnishment.
Rather than play into the collector’s hands, take a minute to clear your head and once the collector tells you who they are and why they are calling, politely decline to continue the call. Or, if you have already given the collector some information, ask for a transcript of the call, so you can verify that all of the appropriate debt collection warnings were provided to you. These warnings are required by a federal law called the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. If you catch a collector violating this law, you can bring a lawsuit against the collector and/or the collection agency for that violation. Often times holding the collector’s feet to the fire is the only way to bring about a change in collection activity, and put an end to the harassment. We can help.
If you have more questions about debt collection, contact us today at www.law-ri.com. We will help you come up with solutions that work for your family, and have multiple locations where we schedule appointments so you can make a choice that is convenient for you.
Thursday, June 22, 2017
Debt collectors are just about as much fun to deal with as tax collectors. No one likes to get calls or letters asking for payments, especially if there is not enough money to make the payments. And, debt collectors have a reputation of being hard to talk to, being rude, and relentless with the number of calls they place. None of this behavior makes it easy to gather your thoughts and come up with a plan to repay debts, but you can get a break from collection activity if you take a few simple steps.
One sure way to get a debt collector to stop harassing you is to file for bankruptcy. But if you want to try other things first, here are two tips for dealing with debt collectors:
• Send a written request for verification of the amount due, and identification of the original creditor. Debt collectors are just that, collectors. That means they are not the original lender you owed, and sometimes it can be hard to tell which creditor the collector is calling or writing about and which debt is being collected. You have a right to know this information, and can ask that collection actions cease until it is provided to you.
• Send a written request that all communications cease and desist. You have the right to be free from harassment, and when you put that request in writing you can enforce it if not honored.
You should also consult with an attorney and allow them to field the calls on your behalf. This happens most times when you are preparing to file bankruptcy, and part of that process is to let your bankruptcy attorney know who you owe so they can include everything in your bankruptcy case. It is perfectly acceptable to have that attorney also take any calls from your creditors while your bankruptcy is being prepared. Our team of bankruptcy and debt management professionals has experience dealing with creditors, and is happy to take on that task for you while you get a breather. We understand how critical it is to have your wits about you when you are trying to pay off debt or file a bankruptcy case, and work with you to make the process as painless as possible.
If you have more questions about debt collection, contact us today at www.law-ri.com. We will help you get prepared for what comes after we file your case, and have multiple locations where we schedule appointments.
Wednesday, June 21, 2017
Bankruptcy is a way to reduce or wipe out your debts, but if there are certain things you want to keep you do have to keep making payments. Most people opt to keep their cars and house, and so continue to keep up with those monthly payments even if they file for bankruptcy. But what about some of your other needs, such as electricity and insurance? There are a lot of questions about how every day expenses are handled when a bankruptcy gets filed, and it is important to know the answers because no one wants to have the air conditioning turned off or get caught driving without auto insurance. The good news is that if you file for bankruptcy, you get to eliminate some debts, which makes it easier to pay others. For instance, if you no longer had to pay all of your credit card debt, you might be in a better position to pay your utilities and buy groceries every week.
Another expense that people are happy to continue paying when they file bankruptcy is their life insurance premiums. But since this is not a daily need, you might be wondering if you will lose your life insurance if you file for bankruptcy. You will not, and here is why:
• Your debt load will decrease when you file bankruptcy.
• When you owe less, you have more disposable income to work with each month.
• When you have more disposable income to work with each month, you can allocate the funds on hand to the things you need.
• Life insurance is a necessity for most families, and when you have enough money to pay the premiums each month, the provider will not cancel your policy.
Bankruptcy can also be helpful in other ways. For example, you can reduce the amount of debt on your car if you file a Chapter 13, and you can also lower the interest rate on an auto loan by filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case. If you file a Chapter 7 case you will be allowed to get rid of all of your unsecured debt, which is the appeal to this type of case for many consumers. High interest rate credit card debt is one of the most difficult types of debt to keep up with, but when you file a Chapter 7 case you no longer have to worry about how to pay off those card balances.
For more information about bankruptcy, contact us at www.law-ri.com. We will help by coming up with solutions that work for you and have multiple locations to meet your needs for office visits.
Tuesday, June 20, 2017
It would be nice to have enough money to pay all of your bills, have some extra each month for emergencies, and even put some back for the future. A good way to plan for the future is to start some investments, but this can be hard when you are living paycheck to paycheck. It can also be difficult to know what types of investments to make, because you will want to make sure that not only will the money you put in not be lost, but that over time it grows. The whole point to finding a good investment is to make money, so you have enough to live on as you age or become unable to continue working. Doing this on a tight budget might sound impossible, but there are some things you can do to start an investment portfolio even if you are short on funds.
Here are a few tips on how to afford making investments:
• Pay off smaller accounts and then put those monthly payments towards your 401(k) at work, if one is offered. Any time you can put money into an account that is added to, even in a small portion, by someone else (like your employer); you should take advantage of this plan. This gives you the money you put in, and also the money your employer offers. Turning down participation in a profit sharing plan is the same as giving away free money. If you are lucky enough to work at a place where the employer puts money into an account for you, even if you do not contribute, do not turn down that opportunity!
• Look for a checking account that rounds up to the nearest dollar spent and transfers the change to a savings account. This might not seem like an investment, but over time your savings can grow to a substantial sum, and those funds can be used to make other investments or may even be accruing interest and growing within the savings account itself.
• Try to keep a balance in your checking account if your bank offers interest payments on that balance. A good option here is to bank at a credit union, which typically offers more benefits than traditional banking.
If you think you just do not have the money left over each month to do these things because your bills are too high, talk to us. We can give you ideas on how to reduce or eliminate some of your debts, either through bankruptcy or debt consolidation. We can also help you negotiate more favorable house payment terms, or get lower interest rates on your credit cards.
If you have more questions about money, contact us at www.law-ri.com. We will help by coming up with solutions that work for you and have multiple locations to meet your needs for office visits.