• Your Housing Market Concerns Are Justified

    Are you worried about the housing market? Doug Duncan, chief economist of Fannie Mae, told the Chicago Tribune on October 10, 2011, that you have a right to be. “You have to think of recession scenarios,” Duncan said while in Chicago for the Mortgage Bankers Association’s annual convention. “It’s a coin toss whether or not we have a recession. It’s hard to find a lot to be optimistic about.”

    On the same day of the Tribune story, a monthly consumer sentiment survey from Fannie Mae showed for the fourth consecutive month that a majority of consumers expect home prices to continue declining over the next year. The survey of 1,000 people found that the average annual anticipated price decline of 1.1 percent is the highest expected decline since at least September 2010, according to the Tribune. However, Duncan predicted that home prices of non-distressed properties will fall another 3 percent nationally through mid- 2012, and the anticipated decline would grow to 7 percent if foreclosures and short sales are factored into the equation.

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  • Chicago Business Owners More Pessimistic Than Optimistic

    Economic and job recovery will persist, and the slow pace of growth will be insufficient to make much progress in lowering Chicago’s high unemployment rate in the coming year, PNC Bank said in a new study. The Chicago Tribune reported on October 8, 2011, that small and midsize-business owners in Chicago are less optimistic about the economy and prospects of a recovery in the short term.

    After 23 percent of the 150 business owners surveyed in the spring said they were optimistic about their company’s prospects for the next six months, the most recent study found only 14 percent reported feeling optimistic. Conversely, the Tribune reported that 53 percent of participants interviewed between July 26 and Sept. 12 felt pessimistic about the local economy, compared with 39 percent in the spring.

    Furthermore, results also revealed that 38 percent of local business owners plan to raise their prices, and 92 percent of that group said they are doing so “to avoid a profit squeeze from higher costs,” according to the Tribune.

    Is this starting to sound familiar? Have you seen your income decrease while seemingly every other cost of living increases? You should know that if you are struggling through hard times, a bankruptcy means test can help you achieve an affordable bankruptcy now. Our Chicago bankruptcy attorneys can answer all of your questions surrounding the Chapter 13 and Chapter 7 processes and determine which filing will help you eliminate bills and stop foreclosure. If you want to get deserved relief today and end creditor harassment, contact our office now to set up a free consultation.

    Benjamin Brand Services – Chicago bankruptcy lawyers