• Not Many Positives To Be Found In Latest Reports About Negative Equity, Delinquency Rates

    Delinquency rates rose in the June-to-September period for the first time since the last three months of 2009, the Associated Press reported on November 8, 2011. According to a report from TransUnion, 5.88 percent of homeowners missed two or more payments in the third quarter. That first sign of needing foreclosure help was an increase from 5.82 percent in the second quarter of 2011. The AP noted that the rise surprised TransUnion researchers who previously forecast late payments to fall for the quarter.

    A separate report also showed that 46.2 percent of single-family homeowners in the Chicago metropolitan area in the third quarter had negative equity. According to the AP, a report from Zillow Inc. found an increase from the 32.9 percent of homeowners who owed more on their mortgages than their homes were worth a year earlier.

    TransUnion is now forecasting a few quarters of elevated nonpayment rates due to the uncertain economic outlook, although the AP said the company still expects the delinquency rate to resume declining in 2012. The widespread problems that saw an increase in delinquency rates for all but 10 states and the District of Columbia could likely lead to many homeowners considering the benefits of filing for Chapter 13 or Chapter 7 bankruptcy .

    “More and more homeowners are likely to struggle,” Tim Martin, group vice president of U.S. Housing in TransUnion’s financial services business unit, told the AP. “I’m not sure this is a one-quarter blip.” If you are tired of struggling and want the help of an experienced Chicago bankruptcy lawyer in filing a bankruptcy means test , contact our office today to set up a free consultation.

    Benjamin Brand Services – Chicago bankruptcy attorney

  • Record Number of Americans Living in Poverty

    While the Census Bureau reported that there are 46.6 million people, or 15.1 percent of Americans, living poverty in 2010 under the decades-old official measure that considers only food costs and before-tax income, a new formula is trying to provide a fuller picture. The Associated Press reported on November 7, 2011, that a supplemental measure from the Census Bureau shows a record 49.1 million Americans, or 16 percent, lived in poverty in 2010.

    With millions of Americans needing foreclosure help or considering bankruptcy , the new measure takes a variety of expenses into consideration, including food, shelter, clothing and utilities, as well as accounting for different sources of income like food stamps and housing subsidies. According to the AP, Americans 65 or older sustained the largest increases in poverty when broken down by groups under the revised poverty formula, nearly doubling to 15.9 percent. Medical expenses such as rising Medicare premiums, deductibles and expenses for prescription drugs are not accounted for in the official rate.

    The AP noted that economists and anti-poverty experts “continue to differ widely on how best to calculate poverty,” and the Census Bureau acknowledged that its new measure remains a “work in progress.” You do not need to be formally recognized as living in poverty in order to pass the bankruptcy means test , but our Chicago bankruptcy lawyer can show you how filing Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy could very well be the fresh start you need to get back on your feet.

    Benjamin Brand Services – Chicago bankruptcy attorney