Articles Posted in Credit Cards

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The most common type of summons received after filing bankruptcy and obtaining a discharge is a foreclosure summons. When received, it can be very alarming. You filed bankruptcy, surrendered a home, and received a discharge. You moved out of the home and on with your life thinking you are no longer liable for the home. However, when you elected to surrender the home in your bankruptcy petition, this only took care of your financial responsibility regarding the home. The bankruptcy did nothing about the deed for the home being in your name. Therefore, the bank still has to foreclose on the property in order to get the property out of your name and to take legal possession of the property. When a foreclosure is purely to take legal possession of the home and not for any money damages, it is called an in rem foreclosure action. You do not have to answer the summons unless you believe you were incorrectly served or they are suing for money damages as well. The mortgage holder must serve you because you are an interested party due to your name being on the deed.

If the summons you received after bankruptcy is for a credit card or another kind of debt you believe was discharged in bankruptcy, then you need to respond to the summons stating that the subject debt was part of a bankruptcy. Before doing so, make sure the debt was properly listed on your bankruptcy schedules and it is a debt that can be discharged. If it was properly listed on your schedules and you received a discharge, then assert this in your response/answer to the summons. Once you show the debt was discharged, the action should be dismissed.

If you are unsure of what type of lawsuit you have been served with or whether the debt was properly included in your bankruptcy, you should consult with an experienced bankruptcy attorney. A simple review of the summons, accompanying complaint, and your bankruptcy petition by an attorney can help you determine what action, if any, you need to take. Contact the Law Office of David M. Goldman, PLLC by calling (904) 685-1200 to speak with an attorney today.

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risinggraphOne concern that seems to be unanimous for almost all those who are thinking about filing bankruptcy is when and/or will they be able to use their credit again. Each person’s ability to use their credit after filing bankruptcy depends on their unique situation, but the passing of time seems to be the one undisputed determining factor of when credit can be used again.


Credit After a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

At first it will be hard to get credit, but it will not be impossible. It will be even harder to get credit with favorable terms since those with bad credit or no credit simply have to pay more in order to borrow money. This means higher annual fees and interest rates, but you will have majorly lowered your debt to income ratio and eliminated your ability to file another Chapter 7 Bankruptcy for the next 8 years. Both of which make you a more favorable borrower to creditors.

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Jacksonville Bankruptcy AttorneyMany Florida residents are under the impression that once they have filed for bankruptcy and their debts have been “discharged” they are no longer liable for those debts. This is not always the case as there are certain debts that cannot be discharged in bankruptcy. This is especially important for people to know before they begin the process of filing for bankruptcy.

Each chapter of the bankruptcy code specifies which debts are dischargeable and which are not. Section 523(a) of the Bankruptcy Code lists the types of debts that generally cannot be discharged in bankruptcy. This means that even after the debtor has prevailed in bankruptcy court, if the debts have not been discharged, then the debtor is still responsible for paying those debts. According to the Code, these non-dischargeable debts are exempt from discharge for reasons of public policy.

If a debt falls into one of the exempted categories in Section 523(a), then it is usually automatically removed from the discharge and the debtor remains obligated to pay those debts. Most commonly, those are child support and alimony debts, some tax debts, debts that the debtor failed to disclose to the court during the application process, most federal student loan debt, personal injury claims against the debtor for DUI-related incidents and personal injury claims against the debtor for willful or malicious damage to a person or to property.

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Jacksonville Bankruptcy AttorneyMany times, when someone wants to make a large purchase, like a house or a car, they may need to have someone co-sign the loan with them. Simply put, a co-signer is someone who is making a promise to the creditor to repay a loan if the primary borrower cannot pay and defaults on the loan. We all know that if the primary borrower defaults (or files bankruptcy), the co-signer will be required to pay the loan back in its entirety. But what happens when it’s the co-signer who has filed for bankruptcy? How will that affect the primary borrower?

The best way to describe the situation is with an example. Picture this: Charlie is in the market for a new car, but can only qualify for a loan if he has a co-signer. His friend David agrees to be a co-signer on the land, but he will not be listed on the title as the owner of the car. Sometime later, David files for bankruptcy and is no longer required to pay the car loan. What happens to Charlie?

Charle, as the primary borrower, still has to pay the balance of the loan. Now, when Charlie pays off the loan, there will be no liens on his car, and the car will be titled in his name as the owner. The only difference between being a primary borrower and a co-borrower in an auto finance contract is who the car eventually belongs to after the loan has been paid. Thus, when David, the co-borrower, filed for bankruptcy, that amounts to a breach of the loan agreement and it could be considered default. The creditor, however, now has only one person to look to for the repayment of the loan.

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Marriage, Matrimony and Bankruptcy, Credit, Credit Score“What happens when I marry someone whose filed bankruptcy?” Is a common question. People want to know what affect a spouses’ prior bankruptcy may have on their own credit or borrowing power. The classic attorney answer is, “It depends.”

Generally speaking, the fact that your fiance filed a bankruptcy in the past is irrelevant to your current or future credit score. Marriage does not merge scores or credit histories, what it does do is require you both to sign some kinds of contracts when a lender extends you more credit.

One of the few ways having a spouse who has a bankruptcy in their past can effect you is when it comes to borrowing. You can only borrow as much as your credit allows. Married couples are allowed to borrow as much as their combined credit allows. So, if your spouse has a low credit score, your combined credit score will be lower, thereby limiting your combined borrowing power. There are ways around this. A co-signer with a strong credit score can help you qualify for a larger loan amount. Some banks, such as Bank of England even have programs by which you start a mortgage with a cosigner and then after one year of proper payments they may offer you a refinance to remove that cosigner’s name. Another way to deal with your spouses’ credit problems is to take time and work on increasing their credit score. By taking out a secured credit card, you can help build your spouse’s credit score but you must be sure that the card actually reports your history of good payments to the credit bureaus. Capital One offers a Visa that is supposed to report to the three bureaus. Some of these cards have annual fees, so shop around to find the best rates. After a year of good payment history, you should then have your spouse apply for a unsecured credit card with the same company -this time in only their name. They are more likely to get approved this way and once the card is in their name only, their credit should be able to build faster.

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Whose Credit does my bankruptcy effect?People contemplating bankruptcy often fear the effect it will have on their loved ones. Debtors often think that their credit is somehow merged with their spouse or that their children will be liable for their debts if they’re still outstanding at time of death. I would like to dispel these rumors because they at worst are untrue and at best are misleading.

First and foremost, from a credit perspective married couples might as well be strangers on the street. One spouse may have a stellar credit score while the other may not. Sometimes all the unsecured debts are all in the name of one spouse, while the home mortgage liability is in the name of the other and so on. Oftentimes, home mortgage liabilities are so great that they require the commitment of income from both spouses to justify the bank’s risk in permitting the loan. This is likely the reason people mistakenly believe that marriage results in the “merge” of credit. If there is any truth to this, it is like so: Once two spouses sign a mortgage note on a house, they are now in the same boat as to that debt. If that boat sinks, whose fault it is ceases to matter and they will both drown equally. This is why so many people file for bankruptcy soon after their divorce is completed.

The idea of inheriting debt is archaic. It’s true that there are account of our own Thomas Jefferson having inherited debt from his late father-in-law, but any such law transferring liability on debts by inheritance is a thing of the past. Still, there are some ways in which a son or daughter may ‘feel’ they have inherited a debt. For instance, when someone dies and leaves an estate, the personal representative of the estate must make an accounting of the decedent’s (dead person’s) property and pay their creditors off before allowing the property to be distributed to the heirs. This may make those who inherit feel as though they’re being forced to pay the decedent’s debts. The distinction here being that it is the decedent’s funds that are used to pay the debts and not those of the living heir.

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Debt Collection, Secured Debt, Unsecured Debt, Procedure, Debt DefenseThese days, debts are bought and sold like stocks. By the time a debt collector files suit against you, they may be the third or fourth agency to hold your debt. Generally, this is a good thing because Debt collectors assume that they will be able to win by default in nearly all of their cases. As a result, these collectors rarely keep proper documentation (or don’t even get it in the first place).

Adopted by nearly every state, the Uniform Commercial Code sets forth requirements that must be met by a secured creditor before they can assess a deficiency against a debtor. There are varieties of other provisions that can be used to protect consumers: the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the Federal Truth in Lending Act, etc. One of the most powerful protections a consumer has is the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure. When one knows how to get evidence and how to present pleadings properly, the strength of a case is greatly amplified.

When a collector files a complaint with the court, they must have the debtor served at their last known address. There are a variety of defenses that can be used: Perhaps the collector hasn’t properly shown that they are owed the debt, perhaps the debt amount has been improperly calculated, perhaps the debtor isn’t even the right person -the list goes on and on. What is important to keep in mind is that a lack of action on the part of the defense means that they consent to the facts alleged. This is called a default judgment. Default judgments are difficult, though not always impossible to “re-open” and work out properly. It’s far easier to defend such a case if counsel is sought prior to a judgment being obtained, preferably before the initial twenty days after service of process has occurred. By getting into a case early, a lawyer will almost invariably have a better chance at defeating the complaint and may be able to get attorneys fees or file a counter-claim for damages (suing the person who is suing you).

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If you want to reaffirm a debt after filing for bankruptcy, your must executed a new agreement with your creditor. This reaffirmation agreement must be written and must be signed by both you and the creditor. Should you sign this reaffirmation agreement? Here are some pros and cons.

Pros

First, if you want to keep the property, you must sign the reaffirmation agreement. Also, if you do sign, you will be certain what your payments will be, what your interest rate is, etc. Signing a reaffirmation agreement may also help rebuild your credit, since you are taking responsibility for a pre-filing debt and are making regular payments on a debt.

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As is most legal processes, bankruptcy can be a difficult thing to maneuver. There is a lot of misinformation out there, you need to be careful to get your information from a trusted source. Here are some myths regarding bankruptcy:

Myth 1: If I file for bankruptcy, everyone will know.

Like most legal proceedings, most bankruptcy documents are public record. Since I work at a law firm in the bankruptcy department, I search these records all the time. I even have a special username and password that allows me access online. However, how many times do you think your friends, family, or co-workers search through federal court records? The truth is that while your bankruptcy documents will be public information, it is unlikely that those you know would search to find them.

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The U.S. House of Representatives introduced a new bill, the Mobile Informational Call Act of 2011, that would allow businesses to dial consumers’ cell phones using an automatic dialing system. This practice is oftentimes called “robo-calling”. This means that the operator does not have to manually dial each number. Rather, the computer system can dial the numbers and play a prerecorded message on many phones at once. The current law is that operators have to manually dial the numbers (unless the customer consents to robo-calling), which is not very profitable for many collection agencies.

The down side to this bill would obviously be that creditors would be able to start robo-calling your cellphone. This does not sit well with many consumers. But some creditors say that the current regulations have not kept up with the technology of today, and that a lot of people do not have home phone lines anymore. Creditors are wanting robo-calling access to cell phones.

The upside to the bill, however, is that an airline company could robo-call passengers if a flight was cancelled or is running late. Or your credit card company could set up a system to automatically call you if they think someone is fraudulently using your card. Or your bank could robo-call with a message that someone changed the address or PIN number on your account.

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