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Everything posted by Kayjc

  1. There are factors other than financial to consider. This may seem silly to some people, but I have three rescued dogs who are very important to me. Since my husband and I own our house, we can give the dogs a home without worrying about a landlord saying we can't have pets.
  2. Another possibility is for her to just stop paying. My understanding is that they cannot garnish social security benefits. If you go this route you may want to get her an answering machine to screen calls, since they will start calling if she stops paying. Also if she has a bank account with the bank that issued the card, she probably needs to change banks. Banks often have cross-collaterilization clauses that would allow the bank to take money from her account if she stops paying on the card.
  3. Would it be advisable to stop the monthly payments for a while? Might that push it from being "assigned" to being "sold" making it more likely to settle it at a lower dollar amount? Of course if I did that I assume that would make for an even worse situation with my credit rating...right? They are generally more willing to settle if you've missed several payments. A relative of mine was trying to settle credit card debt, and someone at the credit card company told him they wouldn't even consider settlement until he missed some payments. Of course, doing that does damage your credit. There is also the risk that they might sue you.
  4. Just want to say I think breeze is right. You can stop paying on some of the cards, save the money you've been spending on them, and wait for settlement offers. Generally, the longer you don't pay, the less they're willing to settle for. They will be calling you, so I would suggest getting an answering machine to screen your calls. (Keep in mind that when you settle these debts, the part you don't pay will be taxed as income.)This will trash your credit, but as you said, that isn't your immediate concern. You will be able to rebuild your credit after you get out from under this debt. As breeze said, this means going against your instincts. It's hard when you're used to being able to pay your bills on time every month and now you can't, but the situation has changed. You have to do what you have to do, and looking after your family comes first. Good luck.
  5. Find out if it would be illegal for her to transfer the Europe house to you, that way she is free to do what she needs to do and that house will not be an issue. I'm pretty sure you can't do that right before filing for bankruptcy -- fraudulent conveyance.
  6. That's nice, Maurice. I'm happy for you, your Chihuahua, and her pups. I'm also glad there's no lawsuit involved.
  7. Seems like I have a vague memory of reading somewhere about a parent who got a child a new social security number because of a situation similar to yours. I would contact the Social Security Administration and ask them about it. You'd probably want to do it pretty soon before your daughter has much of a work history with her current SSN.
  8. That's funny. If someone called, wrote, or emailed me claiming to be dead, I would definitely be skeptical.
  9. Have to agree with the comment at the end of the article that #1 is the dumbest thing I've ever read -- or at least in the top 10, probably top 5.
  10. If it were me I would try to settle. I'd want to get out of debt as cheaply as I could and worry about my credit scores later. Just my opinion. Good luck. Editing to add that you might want to consider the possiblilty of filing for bankruptcy.
  11. Please do. It will probably be helpful to others in similar situations.
  12. I'm not sure, but I think it is still considered a charge off. You settled for less than the amount owed, so they charged off the rest. As Settle said, try the letter.
  13. He's tried calling and they said they don't work with anyone who is current on payments. He has since quit paying and is waiting to see if they will offer any sort of hardship or settlement program.
  14. My knowledge is pretty limited, but from my experience and what I've read on the forums here, I'd stop making payments and wait for them to contact you. My son has had some financial reversals and tried contacting Citibank about a credit card debt he was unable to continue paying on. They basically told him they wouldn't deal with anyone who was current on payments. I've read that is pretty typical. After your dad misses some payments they will notice and contact him (or you, since you're Trustee). Then you can explain the situation and see if they will offer a hardship program or some sort of settlement. Be sure to get any such offer in writing. Of course if you are able to sell the rental property for enough to cover his debt it would solve the problem. If not, you might want to consider bankruptcy. First you'll want to see if you dad's house would be protected by the homestead exemption in your state. Many bankruptcy attorneys will give one free consultation, so you might want to talk to one. Another possibility is to stop paying and just let them sue. My understanding is that they cannot garnish his social security. They could get a lien against his property. Then they would have to be paid when and if the property is sold or upon the owner's death, but they can't force him out of his house. At least, that's what I've read. That's another thing you might want to discuss with a bankruptcy attorney during a free consultation.
  15. I noticed you said their house is in someone else's name. Depending on the circumstances (which I obviously don't know) that could possibly be a problem with a BK7. If a court thinks they transferred the house to a relative's name in order to protect it from creditors, this could lead to trouble. Please note, I am not saying they did any such thing. It may be that the circumstances are such that this is a complete non-issue. I just think it's something they need to talk to an attorney about before filing. The attorney could also advise them on whether they are judgement proof and what their options are.
  16. If I understand correctly, whether a homestead exemption would protect the house depends on what state she lives in. Some states are pretty generous with homestead exemptions, others not so much. I would definitely talk to an attorney. If she lives someplace where the house would be protected in bankruptcy, that might be the best bet. A bankruptcy attorney could advise you on that, and on whether she may be judgement proof. You might also want to change her phone number and/or get her an answering machine to screen calls.
  17. You are current. You can say it anyway you want, but you are current. Your credit report reflects that as you are under 30 days late. Biggest red flag in modifications is a current homeowner. 90% of the time there is always some I am trying to be pro-active! I am trying to do the right thing! by the homeowner. Actions speak louder than words is pretty true with hardship requests for mods. There is no such thing as being procactive or trying to do the right thing. If you can't afford a bill, you won't be able to pay it. If you can't afford the roof over your head, you won't pay it. You will go into foreclosure. Always. There is no in between or grey are, if you can't afford to pay your mortgage, you won't pay it and foreclosure is inevitable. Now there are many that are behind on their mortgage that can afford to pay, they are just are gaming the system or are very angry about being upside down and are trying to come across as being unable to afford their mortgage by missing payments. Or they know they will are going to go for strategic default. Everyone behind is not behind because of inability to pay, some are deliberately not paying for their own reasons and inability is not the reason. For most that can't pay their mortgage, credit is irrelevant. They are so far in the weeds - 30x - 60X - 90X - 120++ days late is nothing to them. Cars may be repo'd or regularly behind, CC's are crap. Collections often show up. Again, being current is a big red flag. I'm finding this confusing. At this web address http://homeloanhelp.bankofamerica.com/en/frequently-asked-questions.html Bank of America has frequently asked questions about home loan assistance. One of the questions is "Is a loan modification under the Home Affordable Loan Modification Program only available if I'm behind on my mortgage payments?" and the response is "No. If you're struggling now, or believe it will soon be difficult for you to make your mortgage payments on time (you may hear this referred to as an "imminent default"), you may qualify under the Home Affordable Modification Program. As a homeowner, you may find yourself in this situation because of a significant increase in your mortgage payment, a significant reduction in your household income, or some other hardship that makes it difficult to pay your mortgage. You will be required to document your income and expenses and provide evidence of the financial hardship." Why does Bank of America post this if it isn't true?
  18. I have a relative who owes about $9,000 on a credit card. It's mostly costs associated with starting a business, though it is a personal card. The interest rate is about 26%. He says he can't continue to pay, and wonders what will happen when he stops. I know initially he will get a lot of calls, and at some point he may be sued. He is worried about being sued. He wonders if he might have to go to court hundreds of miles away, or would it be in the city where he lives? He is also concerned about how much time it might take. His business is a sole proprietorship and he has no employees, so when he can't be there he has to close the store. He is also worried about whether he might lose his business. He does not own a house or the building which houses his business -- it is rented. He wonders whether the bank that issued the credit card could take his inventory, cash register, etc. I would greatly appreciate any information anyone can provide.
  19. I don't have any advice, but thought I'd bump this post up. I expect my mother-in-law will be in this position soon. Last time she got to her credit limit we paid it down for her. However, our financial situation has changed and we won't be able to do that again. One concern is that she has her checking account with the bank that issued one of her credit cards. I think if she stops paying they can take the money out of her account. Cross-something-or-other? So she'll need to change banks before she stops paying credit cards. That might be something your parents need to think about too.
  20. I've got no objection to the economy being driven by consumer spending, but I don't see how it can recover until people have jobs. I hear people talk about a "jobless recovery", and I don't see how this can happen. People without jobs don't have money to spend and people worried about losing their jobs are reluctant to spend unnecessarily. Not trying to be argumentative here, but I just don't see how it can work.
  21. This thread reminds me of some responses to an online article about relatives moving in together due to money problems. Mostly it was about differnt generations winding up in the same household after young adults moved back in with parents and/or older adults moved in with their grown children. One person commented that maybe this was a good thing, as it would bring families closer together. Someone else replied, "I love all my relatives, but if we had to live together we could be our own episode of 'Cops.'"
  22. 31 years for me and my husband.
  23. Another article on the subject: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/10/magazine...-wwln-t.html?em The Way We Live Now Walk Away From Your Mortgage! Chris Schedel Published: January 7, 2010 John Courson, president and C.E.O. of the Mortgage Bankers Association, recently told The Wall Street Journal that homeowners who default on their mortgages should think about the “message†they will send to “their family and their kids and their friends.†Courson was implying that homeowners — record numbers of whom continue to default — have a responsibility to make good. He wasn’t referring to the people who have no choice, who can’t afford their payments. He was speaking about the rising number of folks who are voluntarily choosing not to pay. Such voluntary defaults are a new phenomenon. Time was, Americans would do anything to pay their mortgage — forgo a new car or a vacation, even put a younger family member to work. But the housing collapse left 10.7 million families owing more than their homes are worth. So some of them are making a calculated decision to hang onto their money and let their homes go. Is this irresponsible? Businesses — in particular Wall Street banks — make such calculations routinely. Morgan Stanley recently decided to stop making payments on five San Francisco office buildings. A Morgan Stanley fund purchased the buildings at the height of the boom, and their value has plunged. Nobody has said Morgan Stanley is immoral — perhaps because no one assumed it was moral to begin with. But the average American, as if sprung from some Franklinesque mythology, is supposed to honor his debts, or so says the mortgage industry as well as government officials. Former Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. declared that “any homeowner who can afford his mortgage payment but chooses to walk away from an underwater property is simply a speculator — and one who is not honoring his obligation.†(Paulson presumably was not so censorious of speculation during his 32-year career at Goldman Sachs.) The moral suasion has continued under President Obama, who has urged that homeowners follow the “responsible†course. Indeed, HUD-approved housing counselors are supposed to counsel people against foreclosure. In many cases, this means counseling people to throw away money. Brent White, a University of Arizona law professor, notes that a family who bought a three-bedroom home in Salinas, Calif., at the market top in 2006, with no down payment (then a common-enough occurrence), could theoretically have to wait 60 years to recover their equity. On the other hand, if they walked, they could rent a similar house for a pittance of their monthly mortgage. There are two reasons why so-called strategic defaults have been considered antisocial and perhaps amoral. One is that foreclosures depress the neighborhood and drive down prices. But in a market society, since when are people responsible for the economic effects of their actions? Every oil speculator helps to drive up gasoline prices. Every hedge fund that speculated against a bank by purchasing credit-default swaps on its bonds signaled skepticism about the bank’s creditworthiness and helped to make it more costly for the bank to borrow, and thus to issue loans. We are all economic pinballs, insensibly colliding for better or worse. The other reason is that default (supposedly) debases the character of the borrower. Once, perhaps, when bankers held onto mortgages for 30 years, they occupied a moral high ground. These days, lenders typically unload mortgages within days (or minutes). And not just in mortgage finance, but in virtually every realm of our transaction-obsessed society, the message is that enduring relationships count for less than the value put on assets for sale. Think of private-equity firms that close a factory — essentially deciding that the company is worth more dead than alive. Or the New York Yankees and their World Series M.V.P. Hideki Matsui, who parted company as soon as the cheering stopped. Or money-losing hedge-fund managers: rather than try to earn back their investors’ lost capital, they start new funds so they can rake in fresh incentives. Sam Zell, a billionaire, let the Tribune Company, which he had previously acquired, file for bankruptcy. Indeed, the owners of any company that defaults on bonds and chooses to let the company fail rather than invest more capital in it are practicing “strategic default.†Banks signal their complicity with this ethos when they send new credit cards to people who failed to stay current on old ones. Mortgage holders do sign a promissory note, which is a promise to pay. But the contract explicitly details the penalty for nonpayment — surrender of the property. The borrower isn’t escaping the consequences; he is suffering them. In some states, lenders also have recourse to the borrowers’ unmortgaged assets, like their car and savings accounts. A study by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond found that defaults are lower in such states, apparently because lenders threaten the borrowers with judgments against their assets. But actual lawsuits are rare. And given that nearly a quarter of mortgages are underwater, and that 10 percent of mortgages are delinquent, White, of the University of Arizona, is surprised that more people haven’t walked. He thinks the desire to avoid shame is a factor, as are overblown fears of harm to credit ratings. Probably, homeowners also labor under a delusion that their homes will quickly return to value. White has argued that the government should stop perpetuating default “scare stories†and, indeed, should encourage borrowers to default when it’s in their economic interest. This would correct a prevailing imbalance: homeowners operate under a “powerful moral constraint†while lenders are busily trying to maximize profits. More important, it might get the system unstuck. If lenders feared an avalanche of strategic defaults, they would have an incentive to renegotiate loan terms. In theory, this could produce a wave of loan modifications — the very goal the Treasury has been pursuing to end the crisis. No one says defaulting on a contract is pretty or that, in a perfectly functioning society, defaults would be the rule. But to put the onus for restraint on ordinary homeowners seems rather strange. If the Mortgage Bankers Association is against defaults, its members, presumably the experts in such matters, might take better care not to lend people more than their homes are worth. Roger Lowenstein, an outside director of the Sequoia Fund, is a contributing writer for the magazine. His book “The End of Wall Street†is coming out in April.
  24. I don't know about student loan consolidations, but I do have a suggestion about your credit. This may sound strange, but the fact that you have no credit cards is probably bringing your credit scores down. If you go to the credit forum you can read a lot of stuff by people much more knowledgeable about credit than I am, and they will tell you that having credit cards in good standing raises your score and helps you get a mortgage. If you post a question there they can probably advise you about which cards are easiest to get when you're just starting to apply for credit cards. (You don't want to apply for too many at once, since applying lowers your score temporarily.) I understand that you're cautious about credit, because some people do get in over their heads, but keep in mind that having credit available doesn't mean you have to get into debt. If you use a credit card for things you'd buy anyway like gasoline and groceries and then pay off the balance on time every month it can help you with your credit score. Sorry I couldn't answer your question. Maybe someone who can will come along soon.
  25. If it's selfish for a woman to have kids in her 60s isn't it just as selfish for a man to father kids at the same age?
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