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Blog Posts in February, 2009

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  • Bankruptcy Means Test May Harm Debtors During Recession

    Posted By admin || 27-Feb-2009

    When debtors file for bankruptcy, they are required to take a means test which will determine if their income is 1) above or below the median income of that state and 2) if they have enough income to repay at least some of their debts. The test is based on the debtor's income from the prior six months before they filed for bankruptcy. Unfortunately, if a debtor has recently lost their job, that ...
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  • Bankruptcy Myths

    Posted By admin || 27-Feb-2009

    For a long time a kind of shroud of mystery has surrounded bankruptcy, with the average American completely unaware of how important and valuable bankruptcy is to our society. Now that the economy has gone sour, many creditors are shaking in their boots because they know that bankruptcy is a legitimate option for debtors who are literally drowning in debt. So instead of revealing the truth, we now ...
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  • When Repossessions Become Deadly--How To Avoid The Violence

    Posted By admin || 27-Feb-2009

    According to an article in the Star-Telegram, a 67-year-old railroad retiree is dead after confronting a repo man attempting to tow away his vehicle at 2:30 in the morning. The article said: Alone in his mobile home off a winding dirt road, Jimmy Tanks heard a commotion at 2:30 a.m. just outside his bedroom window: Somebody was messing with his car. The 67-year-old railroad retiree grabbed a gun, ...
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  • Commercial Real Estate Sales Lowest Since 1984

    Posted By admin || 27-Feb-2009

    According to an article in the Dallas Morning News, commercial real estate sales in the Dallas-Fort Worth area have fallen to their lowest levels on record. In 2008 only 1,434 commercial buildings and land were sold, a 32 percent drop since 2007. Apartment buildings sales also plunged 58 percent in 2008 as more lenders withheld credit from those wanting to buy real estate. Retail real estate sales ...
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  • Foreclosures Spare No Neighborhood In Dallas-Fort Worth

    Posted By admin || 27-Feb-2009

    According to an article in the Dallas Morning News, over 21,000 Dallas-Fort Worth area homes were lost to foreclosure in 2008. Foreclosures even hit many high-priced properties. The article said: The average debt on homes foreclosed on here last year was just over $138,000, according to data from Foreclosure Listing Service. But lenders also took almost 100 homes with $1 million or more in debt. ...
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  • Mortgage Lobbyists Shut Down Bankruptcy Vote

    Posted By admin || 27-Feb-2009

    As we announced earlier this week, the House of Representatives were scheduled to vote today on the bankruptcy reform bill that would have allowed homeowners facing foreclosure to modify their mortgage in bankruptcy. But according to an article in the Star-Telegram, powerful mortgage lobbyists have welded their clout and convinced House Democratic leaders to abruptly cancel today's scheduled vote ...
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  • Mass Job Losses Increase By 50 Percent

    Posted By admin || 27-Feb-2009

    According to an article in the Dallas Morning News, the Labor Department reported that the number of mass job losses increased by 50 percent in January compared to 2008 numbers. The economy suffered over 235,000 job losses last month as employers shed jobs in an effort to stay in the black. Home Depot Inc., Boeing Co., Pfizer Inc. and Caterpillar Inc. all suffered massive job losses as they ...
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  • Nortel Networks -- More Job Losses

    Posted By admin || 27-Feb-2009

    According to an article in the Dallas Morning News, Nortel Networks Corp. announced that it is implementing an additional 3,200 job losses as it attempts to slash costs and emerge from bankruptcy profitable. The new job losses are in addition to 1,800 job losses it announced earlier this year. Nortel has been in bankruptcy since 2005 and many observers believe that the company should be forced to ...
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  • Americans Filing For Unemployment Rises

    Posted By admin || 27-Feb-2009

    According to an article in the Star-Telegram, the number of jobless workers filing for unemployment has jumped to 667,000 unemployed workers from 631,000 last week. The number of job losses has put a total of 5.1 million unemployed workers onto unemployment insurance not counting those who received benefits extensions. Experts had expected unemployment claims to drop; but the job losses have ...
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  • General Motors May Be Nearing Bankruptcy

    Posted By admin || 27-Feb-2009

    According to an article in the Star-Telegram, General Motors Corp.(GM) reported a $30.9 billion loss of revenue for the year of 2008 and burned through $6.2 billion in cash in the last three months of 2008. Facing the worse auto sales climate since 1982, GM is wondering out loud whether they can survive and avoid bankruptcy. The article said: GM and its auditors must determine whether there is ...
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  • Zale Corp. Job Losses

    Posted By admin || 25-Feb-2009

    According to an article in the Dallas Morning News, Zale Corp., a jewelry retailer has reported a net loss of $23.6 million and is implementing 245 job losses and closing 115 unprofitable stores. They are also cutting inventory in a effort to stop the bleeding and avoid bankruptcy. As we have mentioned several times on this blog, the retail sector is being hit by step sales declines and job losses ...
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  • Corporate Bankruptcy Burdens Workers With Medical Bills

    Posted By admin || 25-Feb-2009

    There's a very interesting article in the Rapid City Journal, which may serve as a sign of things to come. The article features the story of a family that is strapped with over $100,000 in medical bills because their employer went bankrupt. Jennifer Roberts was facing a cancer diagnosis; but since she and her husband were paying their medical insurance premiums they believed that the cancer ...
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  • You May Need To File Bankruptcy When...

    Posted By admin || 25-Feb-2009

    You can no longer afford to pay the basics of living such as rent/mortgage, utilities, food and transportation costs. You can no longer pay even the minimum on your debts such as credit cards, medical bills and personal loans. You are being harassed by debt collectors. You are facing lawsuits and judgments from creditors. You are several months behind in your mortgage payments. You are facing ...
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  • New Debts May Be Added To Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

    Posted By admin || 25-Feb-2009

    Oftentimes a debtor who files for Chapter 13 bankruptcy will incur additional debt over the course of his/her repayment plan of up to five years. According to the bankruptcy law, certain debts that are classified as "necessary for the debtor's performance under the plan" can be included in the Chapter 13 bankruptcy plan post-petition. For example, if a debtor in Chapter 13 bankruptcy gets sick and ...
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  • Another Homebuilder Closes Its Doors

    Posted By admin || 25-Feb-2009

    According to an article in the Star-Telegram, Choice Homes, a Dallas-Fort Worth based builder is preparing to close its doors because it cannot secure the funding necessary to continue operating. A company that has been in business for over 21 years, Choice Homes is just one of many homebuilders who have closed its doors or filed for bankruptcy. The article said: "We are still talking with our ...
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  • Debtors Must Report Significant Income Increases In Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

    Posted By admin || 24-Feb-2009

    In the case of Midgley, Robert and Karen; In re, the bankruptcy court modified the debtors' Chapter 13 bankruptcy plan to seize $76,000 because of the debtors' failure to report income changes. When the debtors filed for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in 2005, they had a monthly income of $5,972 and $5,517 in expenses. The bankruptcy court ordered the debtors to pay $455 per month over the course of three ...
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  • Debtors Allowed To Modify Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Plan

    Posted By admin || 24-Feb-2009

    In the case of McCully, Paul and Jennifer; In re, the debtors were allowed to reduce the amount of their repayment plan and the number of payments in Chapter 13 bankruptcy because their income changed in such a way that it placed them below the median income level. The couple in bankruptcy requested a change in their Chapter 13 Bankruptcy case after one of them (the wife) lost her job. Because of ...
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  • Bankruptcy Does Not Destroy Future Financial Health, Crushing Debt Does

    Posted By admin || 24-Feb-2009

    According to an article in the Dallas Morning News, an opponent of bankruptcy reform that would help homeowners save their homes from foreclosure claims that bankruptcy is a "black mark" against borrowers and unlikely to help them. David Kittle, Chairman of the Mortgage Bankers Association said: "Our fear is that any borrower who can't be helped by this [Obama mortgage relief] program will have a ...
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  • Proposed Bankruptcy Changes May Force Mortgage Companies To Play Fair

    Posted By admin || 24-Feb-2009

    Bankruptcy Changes May Force Mortgage Companies To Play Fair For a long time, the mortgage game has been skewed in favor of the lenders with homeowners taking more than their fair share of risks. For the past ten years mortgage companies have made profits off of "new" and "creative" lending schemes that have left many homeowners "holding the bag" and teetering on the edge of foreclosure. But now ...
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  • Bankruptcy Reform Bill Headed To The House of Representatives

    Posted By admin || 24-Feb-2009

    Bankruptcy reform legislation that would give bankruptcy courts the power to modify toxic mortgages in bankruptcy is heading to the House of Representatives on Thursday. The bill will allow bankruptcy courts to help homeowners avoid foreclosure by decreasing interest rates on their mortgage, decreasing the principal of the mortgage and/or extending the life of the mortgage to up to 40 years. But ...
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  • Job Losses Forcing Divorcing Couples To Renegotiate Settlements

    Posted By admin || 24-Feb-2009

    According to an article in the The Dallas Morning News, many divorcing couples are finding themselves returning to the negotiating table after one party faces a job loss, reduced income or some other financial crisis. With the economy in turmoil, divorce settlements are becoming more fluid as job losses, foreclosures and bankruptcies reach a wider American demographic. With over 6 million ...
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  • Weak Manufacturing For Dallas-Fort Worth

    Posted By admin || 24-Feb-2009

    According to an article in the Dallas Morning News, manufacturing activity in Texas has declined significantly, signaling a bleak outlook for jobs and businesses. The article said: "Texas manufacturing activity continued to deteriorate in February, according to business executives responding to the Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey," the Dallas Fed said in a Monday report. "All indexes for ...
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  • Struggling Homeowners Are Not "Losers" Mr. Rick Santelli

    Posted By admin || 24-Feb-2009

    For those who have been watching the latest responses to the stimulus package designed to save homeowners from foreclosure, you may have seen Rick Santelli's rant about "loser" homeowners who are facing foreclosure because of toxic mortgages. Mr. Santelli accused the President and Congress of "promoting bad behavior" and riled up the Chicago Mercantile Exchange as he went on a rant against ...
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  • Dallas-Fort Worth Homeowners Going In Debt To Pay Property Taxes

    Posted By admin || 24-Feb-2009

    According to an article in the Star-Telegram, more and more homeowners are paying their property taxes by taking out a loan with a third-party lender. According to the article the number of homeowners who used third-party lenders to pay their property taxes went from 1,206 in 2007 to 1,839 in 2008, a 41 percent increase. The fact that more homeowners are using loans to pay their property taxes is ...
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  • American Workers In For A Rough Ride For 2009

    Posted By admin || 24-Feb-2009

    According to an article in the Star-Telegram, the recession gripping the nation is predicted to worsen, with job losses, bankruptcies and foreclosures reaching record numbers even with the stimulus package pumping billions into the economy. The article said: The country stands to lose a sizable chunk of economic activity in 2009 as consumers at home and abroad retrench in the face of persistent ...
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