Archives for July 2017

Drowning in debt? Losing your home? Here is how to overcome the stress and take back control of your life.

Are you drowning in debt that threatens your life and livelihood? Facing the loss of your home from foreclosure? No doubt you are feeling scared, angry, ashamed or in denial. These are understandable and common reactions, but will they make the problem worse not better. The New York Times recently posted a series of articles which point out how stress does not have to get you down and provide ways to deal with it, reduce its harm and even use your daily stress to make you stronger. NY Times, 7/30/2017- How to be Better at Stress

If you are in this situation, this series of  articles is a must read. It reinforces the approach we try to take in guiding people through these situations. First, take a deep breath and don’t panic or grasp at “too-good-to-be-true” promises. Secondly, take a good look at what the problem is, and plan. Get professional advice from people who are experienced and whom you think you can trust and who can help you map out alternatives. Consider and accept the worst case outcomes, but plan and hope for the best. Third, talk about the situation, with your spouse, children, family, and legal or financial advisers.

If you are in this situation, it may well not be one of your own creation. Even if it is, learn from what you might have done wrong, accept your own role, then stop obsessing over it. Time to move on.

Likewise, recognize what you may not be able to control (decisions by others to hire you or not, expenses greater than income), and work hard to make things happen that you can control (eg job search, cut back spending where possible). Maintain hope and confidence.

It’s not easy but done right, it achieves results. Most of our clients get back on their feet and move one to financial stability and happiness. The hardest thing is often controlling spending and accepting necessary down-sizing. But being able to afford the basics of living and supporting your family is a great achievement, and cause for celebration.

If you need our help or guidance, we are available to help you map out the choices and options that are right for you.

Being sued on student loans? Demand documents to support the loan

A recent New York Times article reports that certain student loan creditors have had their cases dismissed because they could provide proof to support the loan, and to support that the plaintiff suing on the loan actually owned it. As Paperwork Goes Missing, 7-18-17, Private Student Loan Debts May Be Wiped Away . As the authors point out, these loans have been sold off or handed off to loan servicers who did not get and cannot find the supporting documents. Many cases have been dismissed. Nevertheless, many suits simply result in default judgments because the borrowers being sued did not bother to respond and demand paperwork, or go to trial. So the lenders may still file suit, to see what happens when they do.

The lesson? Demand to see the signed loan agreements, and the endorsed promissory notes or assignments to show who owns and has the right to sue to collect. Better yet, be sure to get or keep all your paperwork from the get-go, including documentation of all payments or notices of transfer.

A caution is in order here, though. Not all loans will suffer from this problem, and defending these cases will cost money. But it may often pay to demand that the lender provided the documents to support their claim in order to be paid. Many may ignore these requests. You have a right to see the documents.

Also, if you file a bankruptcy where creditors file claim, eg a Chapter 7 with “assets” or  a Chapter 13, you can challenge the student loan creditor’s claim and demand the same documents.

Since student loans are almost always non-dischargeable, it pays to make sure.

Happy Independence Day

Happy Independence Day

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