• Proposed Ordinance Could Help Renters, Reduce Vacancies

    The video above is a CBS News segment from nearly one year ago discussing the problems foreclosures have caused in Chicago neighborhoods. As we have been discussing this week, foreclosure remains an issue for thousands of families here in the Windy City. However, the problem is not limited entirely to homeowners, as even renters can find themselves displaced when buildings are going through foreclosure.

    On July 24, 2012, the Chicago Tribune published a story that described some of the problems 36-year-old Juan Diaz faced in that situation, saying his story “is symbolic of the problems that [the Lawyers’ Committee for Better Housing] says are prevalent in Chicago.” A community group representative told Diaz that the building he and his family had been living in for five years was in foreclosure. It was after being informed that Fannie Mae had taken over ownership of the building in November that Diaz said he began receiving “unsettling phone calls.”

    “They kept calling me, telling me I needed to vacate,” Diaz told the Tribune. “They were trying to kick me out, and I told them I know my rights and I have three months.”

    WBEZ-FM reported on July 23, 2012, that Chicago aldermen were expected to introduce an ordinance that week that would help keep renters in buildings through foreclosure. The idea would be to not only prevent more renters from being displaced, but also to avoid even more vacant properties like some of the ones featured in the video above.

    While anything that could help Chicago’s renters would certainly be a welcome change for many families throughout the city, what about the homeowners still seeking foreclosure help ? Our firm can explain how you might be able to either delay a foreclosure process by filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy or possibly save your home by filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy . If you are tired of waiting for foreclosure assistance that never seems to come, contact our firm at (866) 930-7482 to start getting real, proven results today.

    Benjamin Brand Services – Chicago bankruptcy attorney

  • How a $140 Sewer Bill Could Cost New Jersey Plumber More Than $50,000


    If it was not surprising enough for 60-year-old Dominick Vulpis and his wife to learn last December that they had lost their home to foreclosure, imagine the shock when they learned exactly why: a four-year-old $140 sewer bill.

    NBC News reported on July 24, 2012, that the foreclosure was the result of a tax lien (see explanation in video above) his hometown of Middletown, New Jersey, had sold to a third-party investor. While NBC noted that this is “an increasingly common practice as cash-strapped cities and towns try to raise badly needed revenues to close widening budget gaps,” it also mentioned that situations like the Vulpis’ are rare.

    “It was never brought to my attention until it was too late and we were served with papers saying we had to move out of our house,” Vulpis told NBC. “I may pay a bill late, but I pay them. I’m not trying to beat anyone for $140.”

    NBC also noted that the National Consumer Law Center estimated that local governments raised nearly $15 billion through tax lien sales in 2010. Vulpis did manage to get the foreclosure overturned by rolling the bill into his mortgage balance, but NBC said that the total bill could exceed $50,000 when combined with attorney fees and added interest.

    While a majority of tax lien sales were for unpaid assessments on failed or unfinished commercial developments, such sales still land more people in foreclosure proceedings. A struggling economy has left more homeowners seeking foreclosure help , and this week we will focus on some of the pains caused by foreclosure. If you are facing foreclosure, you may be able to delay the process by filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy or possibly even save your home by filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy . Contact our firm at (866) 930-7482 to see how our Chicago bankruptcy lawyers can help you.

    Benjamin Brand Services – Chicago bankruptcy attorneys