4 Mistakes To Avoid Before Bankruptcy

4 Mistakes To Avoid Before Bankruptcy

4 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Contemplating a Bankruptcy Filing

It is inevitable that when faced with financial hardship, most individuals will take steps to improve their financial situation.  These steps however, generally do not improve the financial situation and more often than not, a bankruptcy still becomes necessary.   If your faced with a mountain of debt that doesn’t seem to be going away, bankruptcy is often your best bet to achieving the financial fresh start you are looking for.  Below are some tips on mistakes to avoid before bankruptcy which can complicate your ability to file and become debt free.

  1. When faced with financial disaster borrowers will often look towards their own assets to liquidate before considering bankruptcy. Don’t fall into this trap!  Liquidating your retirement, your belongings and savings will only affect your ability to get back on your feet.  Most retirement accounts, household belongings, and savings are entirely protectable in bankruptcy and do not have to be liquidated.  Do not sacrifice your future to your present financial situation!  Before you clean out your 401K to pay off your debt seek the advice of a bankruptcy attorney, and learn the alternative options available to you that don’t require you to be penniless first!
  2. Avoid taking your name off of assets such as: real estate, bank accounts, and vehicles. Under the Bankruptcy Code transfer of property for less than fair value prior to a bankruptcy are considered fraudulent and can complicate your ability to file.  Before you transfer your house to a family member or friend consult with legal counsel to ensure that you are not going to hinder your ability to obtain a fresh start.
  3. With soaring credit card rates, late charges and fees, borrowers find themselves in a vicious circle of making high minimum payments only to be forced to re-incur debt each month to pay for basic living expenses. If you’re in this vicious circle of payments, stop using your credit and seek professional legal assistance immediately.  Get the education you need to break the cycle that will never end well for you and your family.
  4. Be aware that if you stop paying your creditors and are contemplating a bankruptcy filing please do not pay back your family and friends. In the eyes of the law, grandma is an equal creditor with visa, repayment on debt owed to family and friends is consider preferential and can create serious issues if you need to file bankruptcy.  There are numerous other options that will work far better.  Until you get specialized legal guidance, treat all your creditors the same and prevent issues arising from paying back grandma.  Notify your legal counsel immediately if you have debt to family and friends and they will be able to advise you on the proper course to take in handling that debt.

By keeping these four simple tips in mind, you will avoid common mistakes made by people in financial trouble.  There are professionals out there with the answers and education to assist you in getting out of your debt, and back on the road to financial success! Call us today to get answers to all of your Bankruptcy questions.  At the Law Offices of Neil Crane, we want to quick get you back on track quickly and into financial recovery.  Call us today at  203-230-2233, or complete our online contact form to get a free consultation.

Now Due: Debt Collection Post Covid-19 Shut Down

Now Due: Debt Collection Post Covid-19 Shut Down

Collection Actions and Default Judgments Recommence Post Covid-19 Shut Down

No one can deny that the Covid-19 pandemic has created greater financial hardship for our country than we have seen in a decade.  In a matter of one month the unemployment rate hit an all-time high of 14.7%.   In the months after March, 2020 thousands of households were forced to chose between feeding their families or paying their mortgage, rent, and credit card debt.  Although moratoriums currently exist on most mortgage and rent payments, as of September 9, 2020 the Connecticut Courts have allowed the recommencement of collection lawsuits for credit card companies, personal loans, lines of credit, medical bills, and utilities.   Thousands of families will be faced with debt collection post Covid-19.

Currently, the courts are allowing default judgments to be filed and without proper answers being pled by consumers, hundreds of judgments will enter against Connecticut residents without any resistance or even a Court hearing.  These judgments will lead to wage garnishments, bank executions, and liens on real estate, only further financially handicapping the Connecticut consumer.

Covid-19 has uprooted our way of life but many of its lasting financial effects can be avoided.  Options for collection defense, debt settlement, debt consolidation, and bankruptcy still remain viable options to get out of your debt and now is the time to take action to prevent further financial hardship.  These financial tools are available to consumers for the taking and with the right legal assistance and guidance you can achieve financial freedom in a post Covid-19 world.  The time is now to explore how to minimize your debt and increase monthly income so that you the consumer can focus on family, health, and your future.

Call our Law Office today if you are facing a large amount of debt that will now be due.  We can help save your car, your home and your financial future from debt collection post Covid-19. At the Law Offices of Neil Crane, you’ll never get a voicemail.  Call us today at  203-230-2233, or complete our online contact form to get a free consultation.

What Happens When COVID-19 Mortgage Forbearance is Over?

What Happens When COVID-19 Mortgage Forbearance is Over?

If you are facing COVID-19-related financial hardships, many federally-backed and most non-federal mortgage lenders offer moratorium periods of temporary payment suspension or mortgage forbearance. If you have any type of decrease in income and you agree to this suspension of payment or mortgage forbearance, you will be allowed to miss payments temporarily.  However, it is absolutely critical that you fully understand the terms of this relief plan.

Remember: mortgage forbearance is not the same as mortgage debt forgiveness. Whatever payments are deferred by your mortgage lender will still need to be paid at some point, whether it be in a lump sum at the end of the moratorium period or mortgage forbearance, larger installments, or added to the end of your mortgage. By agreement, there will be no additional fees or interest tacked onto your federally-owned mortgage, but it may still accrue regular interest. If your mortgage is not owned by the government, contact your mortgage loan servicer and find out what it’s moratorium or mortgage forbearance terms are.

Do not forget that Banks are not on your side even in an uncertain, frightening time like this. They extend a helping hand of payment suspension but it is an extremely short-term solution that, overall, still does not allow you to save any money. If your back is against the wall because of COVID-19-caused difficulty or any overwhelming debt that has been building since even before this crisis, we can help!  Contact the Law Offices of Neil Crane, LLC to discuss your options of financial recovery and stability today.

How Do I Prioritize my Finances During the Pandemic?

How Do I Prioritize my Finances During the Pandemic?

On top of huge concern for health and safety, many Connecticut residents are also facing some very overwhelming financial obstacles in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. In such an unprecedented time, it is critical to keep in mind what is most important regarding your financial circumstances.

Firstly, pay what is absolutely necessary. Food and utilities come first. Secondly, if you are unable to make payments on your mortgage or rent, there may be temporary protection from your Bank or Landlord. Government-backed lenders and many other banks are offering moratoriums on your payments and many landlords are willing to be accommodating. The foreclosure courts are briefly on hold.  The eviction courts are closed. You will not lose your house or apartment immediately.  Keep Thorough Documentation and Records. As things change with time, there will likely be confusion, so confirm everything you can in writing especially with the Banks, who don’t keep transparent records or designate specific people responsible for your account.  Long waits and numerous changing customer representatives aren’t going to evidence your account.  Keep records.

Nonetheless, these are all temporary fixes and you need a more permanent plan. If you have lost your job or your household has had a decrease in income, budgeting can still fail as you try to keep you and your family financially afloat, Mortgage moratoriums and temporary rent suspensions are also extremely short-term solutions, but there are long-term answers and smart ways to survive tough economic times and overwhelming debt. You have a legal right to financial recovery.

If it is difficult for you and your family to get by, please contact the Law Offices of Neil Crane, LLC. Contradicting information and constant policy changes make understanding your finances extremely challenging. Our team of attorneys can clarify what is actually going on and analyze your financial circumstances to help you explore your options.

Small Business Protection in Bankruptcy

If you are filing for personal bankruptcy, it is our job to make sure your business is protected. Small businesses, LLCs and closely held corporations are our clients’ source of future income, and properly prepared bankruptcy filings can protect these businesses throughout the bankruptcy process. If you are filing to preserve your business under Chapter 11 business bankruptcy, or filing under Chapter 13, your personal assets can be protected. Properly utilized, the law protects your personal assets from your business debt.

Thorough and thoughtful financial planning by experienced legal counsel is essential to protect yourself and your business in bankruptcy. At The Law Offices of Neil Crane, LLC, our lawyers help small-business owners throughout Connecticut take the right steps to preserve their businesses. Home foreclosure, credit card debt, tax debt and any other personal financial problems can be properly resolved without interrupting the finances of your business.

Contact us today to schedule a free initial consultation. We take the time to discuss your full financial situation, understand your objectives and work diligently toward your financial fresh start. Our attorneys serve clients at offices across the state, including Hamden, New Haven, Bridgeport, Waterbury, Rocky Hill and Ridgefield.

We Focus On Keeping Your Business Open and Profitable

Your business is your livelihood, and our lawyers can help you protect your business. We can help it to prosper despite a variety of difficult financial situations. Even if your best debt resolution option is filing for small-business bankruptcy, your business assets and the well-being of your business can still be protected. Your revenue streams can often improve as a result of a properly implemented business or personal bankruptcy.

A solid bankruptcy plan and dedicated legal representation can protect your business without risk of loss or business interruption. In the hands of our professional legal counsel, your business will not be touched by creditors or the court. Instead, it will be relieved to proceed forward and become more profitable. We know that the success and security of your business is integral to your future and that of your employees.

Filing for bankruptcy with our guidance and representation will not jeopardize your business. Personal debt can be eliminated so that high-interest consumer borrowings used for your business will no longer threaten your personal or business finances.

Contact a Small Business Debt Lawyer | Connecticut Business Bankruptcy Lawyer

Your business interests and your personal livelihood demand professional protection. Call us today at 203-230-2233, or complete our online contact form to schedule a free initial consultation. When you call us, you will always speak to an attorney. We do not use voicemail. We are committed to providing excellent service and legal protection.

8 Helpful Tips For Credit Consolidation

1. Get Educated
There are various types of credit card consolidation, and the credibility of companies varies drastically. The decision to consolidate your debt will have very significant consequences and all cases affect your credit. Educate yourself and do your homework in advance.

2. Get References
A good company should be able to provide you with the history of the company’s success as well as positive references from satisfied clients. Check
with the Better Business Bureau and the Department of Consumer Protection before choosing any company to handle debt on your behalf.

3. Review The Numbers
Check the plan the company gives you carefully to be sure that all of the numbers add up. Review all monthly payments and any associated fees over
the length of the plan to be certain the totals are correct. Do NOT start a plan that simply does not look right. Do NOT be afraid to ask questions and get answers in advance.

4. Be Sure To Include All Your Accounts
Make sure you know exactly which accounts are not covered. Many credit card companies or collectors will not participate in certain plans. As a result the
creditors of accounts that are not included can send you to collections, or pursue other legal action against you. This often means additional fees, interest and costs of collections that you will have to pay. Be Aware. Consolidation can NOT help with student loans, tax debt, foreclosures, repossessions, or any debt where a lawsuit or arbitration has already begun. Credit consolidators are also often unsuccessful with medical bills, legal bills, and cosigner
accounts.

5. Consumer Beware!
Stay clear of companies that claim to be able to settle your debt at a later date but require the money immediately. NEVER use these companies. These are often the worst scams in an already dangerous industry. Be aware and very wary of internet companies. Don’t depend on a company you can’t meet in person.

6. Verify Your Budget
All plans depend on having enough surplus income to pay all your regular monthly bills and still leave extra. Be sure that the numbers in your monthly expense budget make sense and take into account one-time or “surprise” expenses. Leave a “cushion” of at least $100 – $200 extra each month – You will need it.

7. Payment Methods
Be careful of direct deductions from your bank account. All direct deductions give 3rd party direct access to your family’s checking account. This direct access by others should be avoided whenever possible.

8. Do Your Own Checking
Finally, check on your own that the arrangements have been agreed to by each individual creditor. Be sure ALL accounts are included. No amount of hard work and payments can protect you from a plan that is flawed at the start. Nothing is sadder than making months or even years of payments and then having a plan fail, often through no fault of your own.