• Reasons to Hire a Foreclosure Defense Attorney

    As soon as you are served with a foreclosure notice, you should consult a Chicago bankruptcy attorney. A Chicago foreclosure attorney can help you delay the foreclosure process through a Chapter 7 petition or save your home altogether by filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition. If you are filing for bankruptcy, the court will automatically issue an order for relief, which prohibits your creditors from continuing their collection activity and can postpone a foreclosure sale.

    Representing You in Court
    Foreclosure Defense Attorney in Chicago Even after filing for bankruptcy, you may have to go to court in order to prese rve your homeownership. Without the help of a foreclosure attorney, it will be much more difficult to state your case and protect your interests. The banks you face in court will have legal representation, so you will be at a disadvantage if you go to court without a foreclosure lawyer by your side. If you are filing for bankruptcy in Chicago, a bankruptcy lawyer can maximize your chance of keeping your home, ensure that you never miss a legal deadline, and help protect your rights during this stressful time.

    Responding to a Foreclosure Notice
    Once you receive a foreclosure notice, you have a certain time period to respond. This time frame is even shorter once the foreclosure summons and complaint are filed in court. Usually, you and your bankruptcy lawyers will have only a few weeks to investigate the complaint and challenge your bank. In fact, banks count on you not being able to file on time, which will result in a default judgment for the bank. Consulting with Chicago bankruptcy attorneys will keep you on track so you don’t miss this deadline.

    Investigating Foreclosure Alternatives
    As a bankruptcy attorney will explain to you, there are many alternatives to foreclosure. Once you consult a Chicago foreclosure attorney, he or she will investigate your case and provide you with a detailed analysis of your options. Foreclosure attorneys are experts at investigating foreclosure alternatives, including loan modifications and short sales. A foreclosure attorney can also help you reduce your monthly payment or reduce the interest rate on your mortgage.

  • How can our law firm help protect your home?

    If you are currently at risk of losing your home to foreclosure, the first thing that you need to do is contact a foreclosure defense attorney from our law firm. Our firm is known for providing active, aggressive help in these cases. Not only can we answer the claim, but we can defend it in state court. Foreclosure Defense Lawyer Chicago

    In modern times, cases of foreclosure can be difficult because of how often ownership is transferred. It is not uncommon for a mortgage to be packaged with securities and then sold multiple times. When this happens, it can become convoluted and difficult to determine who has the right to foreclosure.

    Therefore, when we take on a case, one of the first things that we will do is make the bank prove that they actually have the right to foreclose, which can be extremely difficult in most cases. Should they face an error in the chain of securitization or title, it may be nearly impossible for them to prove that they have the right. Due to this level of difficulty, many banks may accept a loan modification proposal.

  • Understanding the Basics of the Home Affordable Modification Program

    The Home Affordable Modification Program is available to people who are employed but are having difficulty making their monthly mortgage payments. By participating in HAMP, a homeowner can lower his or her monthly payments, making them more affordable and sustainable in the long-term. This can help a petitioner facing financial difficulties avoid filing for bankruptcy, escape foreclosure, and still keep his or her home.

    Eligibility
    Home Affordable Modification Process Chicago If someone is considering filing for bankruptcy, he or she should discuss HAMP with a bankruptcy lawyer. A Chicago bankruptcy attorney can help a petitioner determine whether or not he or she is eligible for HAMP. In general, petitioners need to have obtained their mortgages on or before January 1, 2009 in order to be eligible. In addition, petitioners must owe up to $729,750 on their primary residences or single unit rental properties. In order to qualify for HAMP, a homeowner should consult a foreclosure attorney to ensure that his or her income is sufficient to support a modified payment plan. Someone participating in HAMP also can’t have a felony conviction within the last 10 years in connection with a mortgage or real estate transaction.

    Availability
    The best way for someone to determine his or her HAMP eligibility is by consulting a mortgage service provider. This will help the petitioner determine whether or not his or her mortgage company participates in the program. If the mortgage company doesn’t participate in HAMP, it might be willing to discuss other foreclosure prevention programs. A mortgage company may also offer loan modification options, so it’s important for a petitioner to discuss these options with a bankruptcy attorney .

    Application
    In applying for HAMP, a homeowner needs to complete various forms and file them with his or her mortgage provider. A Chicago foreclosure attorney has the experience to ensure that these documents are completed accurately. Chicago bankruptcy attorneys understand how to fill out the Request for Mortgage Assistance Form and related IRS paperwork in Illinois. In addition, Chicago bankruptcy lawyers can help homeowners determine which mortgage loan modifications are best suited to their financial situations.

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  • Chicago Bankruptcy Attorney Addresses Financial Struggles Athletes Face

    The tragic tale of American professional athletes rising from poverty to fame, only to squander their earnings and file bankruptcy after retiring is becoming all too common. Professional athletes in popular sports in America can make anywhere from hundreds of thousands of dollars to tens of millions. Although their playing careers are shorter than those of other professions, many of these athletes make enough money to last them the rest of their lives.

    A report in 2009 from Sports Illustrated estimated that 78 percent of NFL players are either bankrupt or “facing serious financial stress” within two years of ending their playing careers, and 60 percent of NBA players are completely broke within 5 years of retirement.

    “When a 21-year-old kid get such big numbers, they go out and buy the big house and the fancy car,” said Robert Luna of SureVest Capital Management in Phoenix. Luna has served as a financial advisor to professional athletes, such as Arizona Cardinals offensive lineman Levi Brown. “Before they know it, they are out of the league and their income drops significantly.”

    Another problem is that because they are high-profile figures, athletes will have friends, relatives and organizations asking for money.

    “All sorts of people and advisers start calling,” said Brown, who was a high-profile fifth overall draft selection in 2007. “In any business where you make a lot of money, there are people trying to get their hands on it.”

    Young athletes should follow Brown’s lead and hire financial advisors. Please contact our firm for a free consultation if you are struggling with debt.

    Benjamin Brand Services- Chicago bankruptcy lawyer .

  • Q&A with a Chicago Bankruptcy Attorney–Borrowing from a 401(k)

    Q:      My wife and I are in our late 20s with a mortgage and almost $20,000 in student loan debt between the two of us. We each have 401(k) plans we have contributed to-should we cash one out to pay off student loan debts?

    A:      It may be very tempting to cash out a 401(k) to pay off any debt, including student loans and mortgages, but it is probably not in your best interests for your long-term financial security. If you do withdraw money from the 401(k) early, you will have to pay a 10 percent penalty on whatever you withdraw in addition to your tax rate. Hypothetically, if you make more than $75,000 annually, you will pay your 25 percent tax rate in addition to the 10 percent penalty. If someone tried to get you to sign off on a loan at 35 percent interest to pay off the student loan, you would think that person was out of his mind.

    People who have large student loan debt on top of other debt may want to look at bankruptcy get rid of dischargeable debt and focus on paying back the student loan debt, which is rarely dischargeable in bankruptcy. Contact or firm for more bankruptcy information .

    Benjamin Brand Services- Chicago bankruptcy lawyer .

  • Chicago Bankruptcy Attorney Evaluates Options for Student Loan Debt

    Student loan debt was been soaring for the last decade and a half, and many economic experts believe it could hinder a recovering economy. Student loan debt has increased by almost 500 percent since 1999, and in 2010 student loan debt in the United States surpassed credit card debt for the first time. Some analysts predict the total student loan debt in America to be in excess of $1 trillion.

    Student loan debt is not dischargeable in bankruptcy unless the borrower can prove extreme hardship endured by the borrower. Exceptions are rare. Illinois Senator Dick Durbin has proposed some solutions to the possible pending crisis, including bankruptcy protection for borrowers of private student loans. U.S. Representative Hansen Clarke (D-MI) introduced the Student Loan Forgiveness Act of 2012, which would allow borrowers to receive partial loan forgiveness. Under this proposed act, debtors can pay 10 percent of their income to their loans for 10 years; after that, the rest of the debt can be forgiven. Even more forgiveness incentives are available to graduates who choose a career in public services, such as firefighters or teachers.

    These are some interesting options for the looming student loan debt crisis. This is a problem that must be addressed, but borrowers should not count on being able to discharge student loan debt in bankruptcy. If you are struggling with debt you may want to consider bankruptcy to discharge other debts so you are able to pay back your student loans. Visit our website for more bankruptcy information .

    Benjamin Brand Services- Chicago bankruptcy lawyer .

  • Chicago Bankruptcy Attorney Critical of Hostess’s Business Practices

    Hostess Brands, Inc. filed a bankruptcy motion seeking permission to close business and sell its assets in a high profile case in November, which was accepted by the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. However, the actions and financial decisions by Hostess executives have been brought to light and some former workers are not happy.

    Many Hostess employees lost their entire pension while assets were being sold off, and it was recently revealed that the judge allowed Hostess to use $1.75 million to pay bonuses to 19 executives. The act didn’t necessarily violate any federal laws because Hostess didn’t take money out of employees pensions, but rather failed to put money into their pensions without telling them.

    “It’s what lawyers call betrayal without remedy,” attorney James P. Baker told reporters-Baker is not involved in the Hostess case, but he specializes in employee benefits. “It’s sad, but that stuff does happen, unfortunately.”

    Some of Hostess’ creditors accused the company of raising and manipulating the salaries of executives in an attempt get around bankruptcy laws. The real victims are the employees who lost their pensions and will be struggling through hard times as a result.

    Please visit our site for more bankruptcy information .

    Benjamin Brand Services- Chicago bankruptcy lawyer .

  • Chicago Bankruptcy Lawyer Reflects on Detroit Financial Crisis

    Detroit has been in a financial slump for many years now, and the effects have been felt by public officials, business owners and certainly laid off workers. Some experts predict that Detroit may become the first major American metropolis to file a Chapter 9 municipal bankruptcy.

    As Detroit has faced hundreds of millions of dollars in bills, the city has continued to cut back on public services. Detroit is battling claims and lawsuits from creditors, city worker unions and retirees. The repercussions are being felt throughout the city as there are fewer police officers and firefighters available.

    It is possible that a federal bankruptcy judge could permit Detroit to renegotiate labor contracts or even nullify them.

    “It’s a situation of ‘Be careful what you wish for,'” says John Pottow, a professor at the University of Michigan Law School. “The judges are much more involved. They’re reflecting an amenability to serious labor cuts, and I think that’s surprising to a lot of people who didn’t think they’d do much in bankruptcy. We are in a new era of Chapter 9 and using it in new ways. It’s an unknown, uncharted and unpredictable process.”

    These cuts to unions and other programs may cause Detroit citizens to struggle with their own debt as government programs they rely on dry up. Please visit our site for more bankruptcy information .

    Benjamin Brand Services- Chicago bankruptcy attorney .

  • Chicago Bankruptcy Attorney Weighs In on Looming Fiscal Cliff

    As Congress and President Barack Obama continue to negotiate offers to prevent falling off the “fiscal cliff” before the end of the year, legislators are beginning to grow impatient. The metaphorical “fiscal cliff” is an anticipated financial crunch expected to occur as the Bush tax cuts expire, government spending cuts are implemented and payroll taxes increase all at the same time. President Obama has refused to accept any deal from Republicans that will extend tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.

    “I think we’re going over the cliff,” says Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.).”This offer doesn’t remotely deal with entitlement reform in a way to save Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security from imminent bankruptcy

    . It raises $1.6 trillion on job creators that will destroy the economy and there are no spending controls.”

    Experts may never agree on how they think the expiring tax cuts may help or hurt our economy in the long run, but in the short term it appears many Americans will be tightening their belts for a while. If you have been struggling with debt, it may be a good time to explore your options. Contact our firm for a free consultation.

    Benjamin Brand Services- Chicago bankruptcy lawyer .