Saturday, December 24, 2011
The loss mitigation people are employees of the servicer and are charged with communicating with often-frantic consumers about loan modifications, work outs, and forbearances. These individuals have a tough job, and some do it well and some do it poorly. However, the bottom line is that you will often hear from these folks that "everything will be fine," "we have your application and are processing it, everything looks good," "we aren't really going to foreclose," or "you have plenty of time to work through this with us." But all at the same time, another group of people at the mortgage company has hired a law firm to foreclose on your home. The law firm has no idea what you've been discussing with the mortgage company and has no reason to care: They were hired to do a job and until they are called off, they'll do it.
So what's the problem here? It's mixed messages. They are deceptive and can cause harm to a consumer if the loan modification or forbearance doesn't go through and the homeowner has been told not to worry and sits on their hands. Often a consumer will figure this all out in time, however. When you get an official court notice that a foreclosure is happening (under the Servicemembers Relief Act) and/or see an ad in the paper advertising your home for sale, it usually starts to seem unreasonable to rely on the phone statements of a mortgage employee. Often this is when people investigate their bankruptcy options in earnest, but sometimes (but not often) due to the need to come up with money to file, it too late.
Who's to blame? The mortgage servicer mainly is. It is the entity that employs the loss mitigation people and establishes the policies they work under. The mortgage servicer also hires and sets the parameters of the job for the law firm to carry out. If the misrepresentations are bad enough, that is why the mortgage servicer is the most natural party to be sued under 93A if the consumer suffers significant financial damage as a result of the violations.
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
First the basics: if you do it correctly, Chapter 11 allows the existing business owners to stay in control while the business is marketed for sale. Business owners often like this because they can remain in control and keep existing employees on staff (including themselves). The advantage to creditors is that the business owners are often the only ones who can really run the business as a going concern. Chapter 11 is premised on the concept that there is sometimes more value in an operating business than in a sale of its parts. That's why reorganization exists in the first place. If this is true in a particular case, that's why selling all the assets of business in a Chapter 11 is permitted: the net proceeds, even after factoring the increased costs of case administration, are greater than a straight liquidation.
The process of selling the assets of a business in Chapter 11 includes many challenges. Here are some:
- Any blanket lien holder, like a bank with an interest in cash collateral, must be dealt with. Usually it's necessary to convince such a lender that Chapter 11 route will result in full payment of their claim.
- The business may need cash to operate after filing bankruptcy. In which case, debtor-in-possession financing must be obtained. This is sometimes comes from the proposed buyer of the business assets. However, there obviously timing issues at play when a business is running so low on cash that basic operations are imperiled.
- A buyer must be found and the procedures for counter-bids must be fair.
- The price for the assets must in most cases must pay off all secured debt. That is because of, among other things, credit bidding, but there is a possible exception for sales via a confirmed Chapter 11 plan.
- The debtor may have to negotiate a deal with the committee of unsecured creditors to pay them a partial dividend from the sale or the sale may be tied up in litigation in the bankruptcy court.
- The estate must be administratively solvent.
Friday, December 2, 2011
Thursday, December 1, 2011
Friday, November 4, 2011
Saturday, August 13, 2011
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Payment Plans
The key with payment plans for Chapter 7 cases are that all fees and costs must be paid before the case is filed. At first glance, this may disappoint you, but for 99-plus percent of people it's not a problem. There are a couple of factors to keep in mind.
- First, this is the only legal way to offer a Chapter 7 payment plan. If an attorney extends a payment plan into the period after a Chapter 7 is filed, he or she is breaking the law. This is because unpaid, pre-filing fees cannot be collected after a Chapter 7 case is filed due to the automatic stay. Any bankruptcy lawyer who would consider offering an illegal payment plan is either ignorant about basic bankruptcy law or is playing fast and loose with the rules. You do not want this. In general, the Court will not excuse you from the law just because you were following the advice of an unethical lawyer.
- Second--and this is key--the payment plan period usually overlaps with the pre-filing process. In other words, you and your lawyer need time to prepare your case for a successful filing. This work is done along side the payment plan. Once the payments are made and the work is completed, the case is filed. One extra thing we provide is a service to handle creditor phone calls while you are in the pre-filing process. This makes the payment plan process comfortable by giving you some breathing room. Ask about this if you decide to call us.
Sunday, July 31, 2011
Monday, July 18, 2011
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Sunday, March 13, 2011
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Monday, January 10, 2011
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
|Money for utilities||$75||$500|
|Stock in trade||$500||$5000|
|Provisions for family||$300||$600|
|One computer & one TV||none||no stated dollar limit|
|Cash or savings (execution)||$125||$2500 on any day|
|Wages (execution)||$125||greater of 85% of gross wages or 50 times min. wage per week|
|Automobile||$700||$7500 wholesale, $15000 for disabled or elderly|
|Personal property||none||$1000 to $6000|
|Wages (trustee process)||$125||greater of 85% of gross wages or 50 times min. wage per week|
|Bank account (trustee process)||$125||$2500|