• Cramming Down Car Loans in Chapter 13

    Cars begin to depreciate as soon as they are driven off the lot, so I deal with many clients who end up owing more on an automobile than it is actually worth. However, debtors filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy can reduce that debt to a lower amount by utilizing a “cramdown.” When debtors cram down car loans, they are proposing that lenders get what the car is actually worth instead of the entire loan balance.

    There are, of course, a few requirements in order to cram down a car loan. First, the car must have been purchased at least 910 days (or around 2 ½ years) before you file bankruptcy. Second, the loan must be the loan you used to buy the car.

    The good news for debtors cramming down a car loan in Chapter 13 is that the interest rate on the loan will often be lowered to less than the original rate. Even better, any unpaid balance left after you pay off the value will be wiped out when you get your Chapter 13 discharged.

    It should be noted that you can also cram down mortgages on real estate that is not your principle residence. Cramming down a mortgage also has enormous benefits, but mortgage cramdowns can be even more difficult to get approved than car loan cramdowns. If you are upside-down on either a car loan or a non-residential mortgage-or if both apply in your case-you should contact my firm at (866) 930-7482 today to set up a consultation to see what I can do to help you get a fresh start.

    Benjamin Brand Services – Chicago bankruptcy lawyer

  • After Foreclosure Exited Stage Left, Writing Took Center Stage

    Stephanie and Bob Walker paid $799,000 for a three-bedroom house with a view of the Hollywood sign in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles. Three years later, the couple was in the Barrington home of Stephanie’s mother after spending a year trying to hang on to their California home.

    The monthly magazine Chicago reported on December 14, 2011, that the foreclosure process Stephanie called “an extremely depressing and really scary ordeal” has actually helped her career. Stephanie first began writing about that ordeal at her blog, Love in the Time of Foreclosure, and later published an e-book of the same name. This year a play she wrote about the foreclosure, entitled “American Home,” won a Blue Ink Award from American Blues Theater. Thus far, Chicago said the two-act play has had a staged reading that is part of the development process, but Stephanie told the magazine that American Blues may go on to produce a full-fledged production, and if not, she wants to pursue getting the play produced by another company.

    “We learned we’re resilient,” Stephanie told Chicago in 2009. “We learned not to be so attached to material things. We learned that we have each other.”

    For homeowners in need of foreclosure help , it can be hard to imagine life ever getting back to what it was like before there were mortgage problems. That type of personal shame makes it difficult for people to ask for help, let alone even consider options that could help them stay in their house, such as filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy . However, the Walkers’ journey represents one way in which the foreclosed can use the experience for inspiration. Do you think your own story would make for a good play or movie? What would the title be?

    Benjamin Brand Services – Chicago bankruptcy attorney

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