• Home Prices Rise Again, But Experts Warn Descent Is Imminent

    The fourth consecutive monthly increase of a closely watched index of home prices is probably the result of the boost the housing market gets over the summer, economists say. The Los Angeles Times reported on September 28, 2011, that the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller index of 20 American cities was up 0.9 percent in July over June but down 4.1 percent from July 2010. David Blitzer, chairman of the S&P index committee, told the Times that recovery was still a long way off. “Continued increases in home prices through the end of the year and better annual results must materialize before we can confirm a housing market recovery,” Blitzer said.

    A double dip in the housing market was confirmed earlier this year when the index fell below its previous bottom hit in April 2009, but despite four consecutive months of gains since then and the index bouncing back, some economists told the Times they predict prices will drop again in fall and winter.

    The increase in home prices will not offer any immediate solutions for those in need of foreclosure help . If your bank is trying to foreclose on your home, our Chicago bankruptcy lawyers can answer the complaint and defend it in court. If the bank is unwilling to accept a loan modification that would keep you in your home, our Chicago bankruptcy attorneys can also take advantage of the automatic stay that occurs after you file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Alternatively, our firm can also explain the benefits of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing. Do you believe the rise in home prices will have any effect on the number of foreclosures?

  • Credit Card Default Rates Drop In Chicago

    Fewer Chicago area residents defaulted on their credit cards in August as the rate fell from a year ago, the Chicago Tribune reported on September 20, 2011. According to the Standard and Poor’s/Experian Consumer Credit Default Indices, the Chicago area’s default rate dropped from 3.75 percent a year ago to  2.43 percent last month. The August rate also marks a decrease from the 2.54 percent in July, according to the Tribune.

    Nationally, credit-card default rates fell to 5.26 percent in August from 5.64 percent in July. David Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the Index Committee for S&P Indices, told the Tribune that indices show default rates well below where they were in the recession period of 2008 and 2009, and some are still falling. “While there were some moderately mixed results, the overall picture is broadly optimistic,” Blitzer said. The index includes credit cards, auto loans and first and second mortgages.

    While a lower default rate certainly is not bad news, some of the reduction could be attributable to higher-quality borrowers getting loans that lesser borrowers are not. If you are struggling through hard times and bordering on a default, you should contact our firm to set up a consultation with a Chicago bankruptcy lawyer. A bankruptcy means test can determine if you qualify for a Chapter 13 or Chapter 7 bankruptcy that could help eliminate bills and stop foreclosure. If you want to end creditor harassment and get deserved relief today, contact our office today to begin getting all the Chapter 13 and Chapter 7 bankruptcy information you need.

    Benjamin Brand Services – Chicago bankruptcy attorneys

  • Illinois Ranked Among Worst Business Climates

    Only two states have worse business climates than Illinois, according to a survey of 322 corporate executives by New York-based consulting firm Development Counsellors International. According to a press release on September 19, 2011, only California and New York have less favorable atmospheres, while Texas, North Carolina and South Carolina are viewed as having the best.

    According to Crain’s Chicago Business, Illinois took a hit this year when Gov. Pat Quinn approved an increase in the state’s tax on corporations, from 6.8 percent to 9 percent. Illinois was not among the worst states three years ago, but moved past Michigan, New Jersey and Massachusetts. The survey has been conducted every three years since 1996, according to Crain’s. California was named the least favorable business climate for the fourth consecutive time, with 70.5 percent of the responses. New York was second with 46.5 percent while Illinois received 24.4 percent of respondents naming it least favorable.

    Texas has maintained the No. 1 ranking since 1999, with 49.4 percent naming the Lone Star state as having one of the most favorable business climates in the most recent poll. Taxes, high costs and “anti-business climate/regulation” were reasons for most of the negative opinions.

    For those who have either lost a job or been struggling to find work, this survey gives little reason for optimism. However, you should know that if you are having difficulty paying the bills that seem to be piling up, you can get deserved relief today by filing for Chapter 13 or Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Whether you are facing foreclosure or are just struggling through hard times, our Chicago bankruptcy lawyers can answer all of your questions about a bankruptcy means test and help end debt collector harassment.

    Benjamin Brand Services – Chicago bankruptcy attorneys