Consumer Credit Issues

26 Sep Bankruptcy and Identity Theft: Protect Your Confidential Data

Bankruptcy and identity theft? How can this be an issue if someone is discharging debt? There are debtors who file for bankruptcy protection due to someone having stolen their identity. There are bankruptcy debtors whose identity is stolen and the thief files for bankruptcy. Then, there are those folks who worry about their identity being stolen while in bankruptcy due to creditor's who treat confidential information casually. When creditors release confidential data in public records, identity theft risk increases dramatically. What can the average person do to protect themselves, whether in or out of bankruptcy court?

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24 Aug Foreclosed Homes Bulldozed by Bank Of America, Wells Fargo, and Chase

Stephen Gandel, senior writerover at Time Magazine, discussed the recent news from Bank of America of BOA's plans to donate lots after bulldozing 100 foreclosed Cleveland homes. The lots will be donated to local government authorities. That donation adds to earlier donations of...

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20 Jul Top 3 Reasons Not To Reaffirm a Mortgage in Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy debtors should not reaffirm a mortgage. Reaffirmation of debt in bankruptcy prevents the debt from being discharged, a process explained in greater detail by Kevin Gipson in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy and the Reaffirmation Agreement. Yet, lawyers continue to debate whether to reaffirm a mortgage, without compelling argument on the affirmative side, even though state laws protect a homeowner, who continues to make voluntary mortgage payments without reaffirming the mortgage, from foreclosure, so long as payments are current or brought current within a reasonable time. So why should one reaffirm? Distinguished Missouri bankruptcy attorney Wendell Sherk once said "[T]he only reason to sign them is in order to get continued reporting of good payment status on the credit reports". In practice, mortgage companies dangle the prospect of reporting future good payment history to credit bureaus as a way for bankruptcy debtors to improve the credit score or qualify for future loans. If that is the only reason to sign, then that is actually a compelling reason not to sign. The unsaid corollary of that offer is that same mortgage company will report all information, good and bad, to the credit bureaus. And that information, both the good and the bad, can damage a credit score or derail a loan application. The more accurate part of the reporting argument is that the borrower should not want mortgage payments reported to the lender, because: 1. The debt to income ratio is minimized by not reaffirming the mortgage; 2. The likelihood a borrower actually makes mortgage payments on time is small; 3. The borrower can make the payment late, miss a payment here or there, catch up payment, pay whatever late fees accrue, all without risking a negative tradeline on the credit report.
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28 May Received Pre-Approved Credit Card? Do You Really Want It?

    Yesterday, my clients and I were meeting to sign their Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Documents for filing, when the client pulled out his just received in the mail Pre-Approved Credit Card Letter. Dear Mr. _______: "Your good standing has been found creditworthy by _______ Visa and that qualifies you for a new Visa credit card." My first thought was: Are you kidding me? Believe me, I could write an entire blog on the wonderful benefits of this piece of plastic. Note the sarcasm. I recently posted a video about which secured credit card would be the best to acquire after a person files for bankruptcy. The reasoning behind this video was simple. I wanted consumers to know that after they file for bankruptcy the secured credit card solicitations will begin to come fast and furious. Now, it seems like the credit card solicitation has been taken to an entirely new level.
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23 Apr Bankruptcy Basics: After Bankruptcy, Learning to Budget Means Financial Freedom

Often when I finish talking to a potential client about bankruptcy, the person will ask: "How will my credit score be affected? Will I be able to purchase anything on credit again EVER?" I tell them it is up to them how their credit score is rebuilt after a bankruptcy. My clients receive a information packet at the end of their case which offers suggestions for rebuilding credit. Also, in that packet is a list of websites
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