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Bankruptcy Secrets

Debt Relief Secrets in Raleigh, NC

Bankruptcy can often be beneficial for your credit. If you’re hesitant about filing for bankruptcy, it’s likely because you’ve come across misconceptions that it will ruin your credit, hinder your job prospects, or prevent you from owning a home. However, these claims are entirely unfounded and are often spread by the credit card and medical industries to discourage individuals from seeking bankruptcy relief. While filing for bankruptcy may negatively impact your credit if you previously had a good credit score, it can be a valuable tool in rebuilding your credit in the long term if your credit is already poor and you have no other feasible options. Bankruptcy is specifically designed to offer individuals burdened by overwhelming debt a fresh start. At Cameron Bankruptcy Law, we are committed to helping people navigate the complexities of bankruptcy and achieve the financial freedom they deserve.

Bankruptcy Secret #1 – Most People Can Have Their Debts Wiped Out In Chapter 7

Debt Relief Secret #1 with you: Chapter 7 bankruptcy offers a powerful solution to wipe out most of your debts with minimal long-term negative effects. Our team is well-versed in the regulations that enable you to qualify for prime interest rates on FHA, HUD, and VA loans within 2-3 years after filing, provided you consistently make timely debt payments and no foreclosure is involved. Trust us to guide you through this process with integrity and expertise.

If a government agency foreclosure is involved in your bankruptcy, the timeframe typically spans around 3 years. This includes 2 years after the agency has paid for the foreclosure, as it usually takes about a year for the foreclosure process to be completed. Here’s the rule: once 2 years have passed after the discharge or 3 years have passed after the foreclosure sale is settled, you will be eligible to apply for a mortgage without the bankruptcy affecting your application. At Cameron Bankruptcy Law, we understand the complexities of these situations and aim to provide you with the guidance and support you need throughout the process.

Within Six Months To A Year,

Within six months to a year, most individuals can obtain a car loan with the same interest rate as others if they make timely repayments on their remaining debts after filing for bankruptcy. With the assistance of reputable lenders, it is even possible to purchase a car on the same day as your bankruptcy filing. At Cameron Bankruptcy Law, we provide expert guidance to help you navigate the process and secure a car loan on fair terms. Trust in our expertise and let us assist you in rebuilding your financial future.

In a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy,

In a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, individuals can retain their property and focus on paying off secured debts for the assets they wish to keep. With the guidance of a knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney, approximately 2 million people annually overcome unnecessary debt through bankruptcy, often encountering minimal if any challenges. Even in cases of a Chapter 13 filing, individuals typically do not pay interest on their unsecured debts. Specifically in North Carolina, unsecured debts can be settled for as little as 0% of the total amount owed, providing a favorable repayment plan that extends up to 5 years. At Cameron Bankruptcy Law, we are committed to assisting you in finding the best solutions for your financial struggles.

The Few Problems That Regularly Occur…

The few problems that typically arise are often a result of disregarding the guidance of our attorneys or engaging the services of an inept attorney. At Cameron Bankruptcy Law, we prioritize providing sound advice and ensuring the competence of our attorneys to prevent such issues from occurring.

Bankruptcy Secret #2 – Filing bankruptcy can actually help clean up your credit.

Filing bankruptcy can have different effects on your borrowing ability depending on your current credit situation. If you file with good credit, it may make borrowing more difficult. However, if you’re unable to borrow money due to bad credit, filing for bankruptcy can actually make it easier for you to borrow, especially if you have significant debts that are preventing you from repaying them. The primary goal of bankruptcy is to provide a fresh start and to help you repay your creditors as fairly as possible without causing undue harm.

Lending Decisions Are Based Largely

If you owe more than you can pay, lenders will never loan to you unless they are predatory lenders. However, if you file bankruptcy and suddenly you don’t owe, you will be offered credit. At Cameron Bankruptcy Law, we understand that lending decisions are primarily based on your ability to repay, which considers how you repay others and the percentage of your income and debt. Our team of professionals is here to guide you through the bankruptcy process and help you find a fresh start with your finances.

Bankruptcy Secret #3 – Aside From The People You Tell, Few People Will Know You Filed For Bankruptcy in Raleigh, NC.

Bankruptcy doesn’t make headline news, and it is against the law to discriminate against individuals for filing bankruptcy. For instance, most employers are prohibited from discriminating against people who have previously filed for bankruptcy. A bankruptcy filing does not prevent someone from obtaining a law license either. In certain situations, bankruptcy can even be beneficial. For example, it allows individuals to regain their driver’s license if it was revoked due to an inability to pay for damages resulting from an auto accident. While lenders may reject credit applications from individuals with a history of bad credit, most major lenders enable borrowers to rebuild their credit rating after bankruptcy. It’s worth noting that smaller lenders, such as town banks and credit unions, tend to be more discriminatory.

Bankruptcy Secret #4 – Bill Collectors Can’t Legally Harass You After You File For Bankruptcy.

When you file for bankruptcy with Cameron Bankruptcy Law, a Federal Court Order known as a “stay” goes into effect. This stay prohibits creditors from contacting you to collect the debt. Once you file, the Automatic Stay automatically prevents all your creditors, including those to whom you owe money, from initiating or continuing any legal actions against you. They are not allowed to harass you, garnish your wages, or seize your property. If a creditor violates this order, you have the right to sue them for punitive damages, actual damages, and attorney fees. It’s important to note that if it is proven that the creditor violated the stay, they will be required to pay your attorney fees. Filing for bankruptcy does not guarantee that creditors will never contact you again, but they will not have the right to personally demand payment from you. You may still receive bills in the mail after filing, as computer systems may continue to send past due notices. In such cases, simply mail a copy of your 341 hearing notice to the creditor.

Co-Debtors And Co-Signers Are Only Protected

Co-Debtors and Co-Signers receive protection under the “Stay” in Chapter 13 bankruptcy. While co-signers may have some safeguards while the Chapter 7 case is ongoing, once the discharge is ordered and the case concludes, they could become vulnerable again. At Cameron Bankruptcy Law, we understand the importance of addressing these concerns and provide expert guidance to ensure the best possible outcome for co-debtors and co-signers.

Secured Creditors frequently reach out for the specific purpose of securing a reaffirmation agreement or coordinating property retrieval arrangements.

The Collector Who Calls After Receiving Notice…

The Collector Who Calls After Receiving Notice understands the illegality of his actions. In Court, he will often deny making the call, or come up with excuses to justify it. It is important to bear in mind that the employee fears losing their job if they fail to collect the account. On the other hand, successfully collecting may lead to a commission, bonus, or promotion. However, if caught engaging in illegal activities, the employee will deny any wrongdoing and face termination. It is not uncommon for supervisors to instruct collectors to violate the law, only to dismiss them once caught. Interestingly, simply informing the collector that the call is being recorded can often put an end to harassment. They are aware that if the matter escalates to Court, their job will be at stake.

Bankruptcy Secret #5 – There Is A Special Way To Keep Real Estate

There is a unique way to maintain ownership of real estate in North Carolina. This specific form of ownership is referred to as “Tenancy by the Entireties.” Essentially, this type of ownership implies that the property (real estate) is owned by the marriage itself, rather than by the husband and wife as separate individuals.
When a married couple owns property by tenancy by the entireties, Cameron Bankruptcy Law understands the importance of protecting that property from creditors. In most cases, a creditor to whom only one of the parties owes money will not be able to attach a lien to the property. However, it’s important to note that there are exceptions, particularly for medical bills. Therefore, if you are relying on tenancy by the entireties to shield your property, it is crucial that you and your spouse purchased the property after you were married. Trust Cameron Bankruptcy Law to guide and assist you in safeguarding your assets.

If you did not purchase the property after you were married, you do not own it as tenants by the entireties, and therefore creditors of one spouse may attach a lien to that spouse’s interest in the property.

Doctrine of Necessaries – this is important when considering “Tenancy by the Entirety.”

As a spouse, you have a responsibility to support your partner, and as a parent, you have a duty to provide for your child until they reach adulthood. Even after they turn 18, we believe in supporting your child’s educational journey until they graduate from an accredited secondary school. Failure to meet these obligations can have serious consequences, as you may be held liable to anyone who steps in to provide necessities to those to whom support is owed. Trust in our expert guidance to navigate these obligations and protect your financial interests.

What is “necessary” varies from case to case, and is dependent upon one’s station in life. At a minimum, necessaries include food, clothing, shelter, and non-elective medical care. This means debts for these are always “joint” even if they are in only one spouse’s name.

Bankruptcy Secret #6 – Under the 1972 Privacy Act, Collectors Are Prohibited

This is important to consider when dealing with “Tenancy by the Entirety,” as it restricts third parties such as teachers, employers, neighbors, and family from being contacted regarding your outstanding debt. 

Bankruptcy Secret #7 – Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act,

Credit Reporting Companies are obligated to rectify inaccurate information in a Credit Bureau Report. If you find any incorrect credit information, you have the right to communicate with a credit reporting agency, which is required to thoroughly investigate the veracity of the information. This investigation involves writing a letter to the company that provided the information, and if the company fails to respond, the information will be automatically removed. At Cameron Bankruptcy Law, we understand the importance of accurate credit reporting, and we are here to assist you in navigating this process.

Some companies may charge exorbitant fees of up to $3,000 for “cleaning up your credit file,” where they simply send a letter to each person listed in your file. However, it is important to note that accurate and truthful information cannot be removed. The most effective way to remedy negative but true information in your credit file is simply by ensuring timely payment of the debts you owe. The Fair Credit Billing Act provides protection, as it mandates credit card companies to investigate any instances of improper billing or overcharges upon receiving a complaint. Trust us to guide you through the process and provide you with the necessary legal assistance for your credit file concerns.

Bankruptcy Secret #8 – Under the Truth in Lending Act,

Under the Truth in Lending Act, all charges must be accurately stated to you in the lending documents. The penalty for a lender’s violation of the Act is that the debt is wiped out.

Bankruptcy Secret #9 – Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act,

Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, you have the right to inform a Creditor that they should not contact you during work hours or at unreasonable times. Additionally, Creditors are obligated to provide specific disclosures to you. It is now necessary for them to explicitly state that their communication is an attempt to collect a debt. It is important to note that under the FDCPA, it is considered improper for a Creditor to engage in certain actions.
  1. call without giving their identity;
  2. use obscene language;
  3. threaten arrest, violence, or lawsuits unless it is a legitimate possibility;
  4. pretend to be Attorneys or law officers;
  5. misrepresent government affiliation or the character amount or status of the debt;
  6. use postcards;
  7. repeatedly call;
  8. Remain on your property if you ask them to leave.

Bankruptcy Secret #10 – If You Have Recently Been Denied Credit

If you have been recently denied credit (within the last 60 days), you are entitled to receive a complimentary copy of your credit report. Additionally, you have the right to obtain a free annual copy of your report. If you come across any inaccurate information in your report, it is important to file a written complaint. Rest assured, the report will be thoroughly investigated and corrected within 30 days. At Cameron Bankruptcy Law, we prioritize your credit report accuracy and ensure your rights are protected.

Bankruptcy Secret #11 – Your Spouse Is Not Responsible

Is my spouse responsible for my credit cards if he is an authorized user? No, your spouse’s individual credit will not be impacted by your filing, as long as they do not file as well. However, if they co-sign any unpaid debt, it will affect them. It’s important to note that your bankruptcy filing will not appear on your spouse’s credit report unless they also file for bankruptcy. 

Unless your spouse has signed to be legally responsible, they are not liable for any debts. However, credit card companies often attempt to argue otherwise and may negatively impact their credit report with a “no pay” notation if the balance goes unpaid. Your spouse can dispute this inaccurately reported information with any credit reporting agency, and the credit card company must provide evidence of their consent to be held accountable. If unable to do so, the item will be removed from their credit report. To summarize, while credit card collectors may try to collect from your spouse by asserting their liability, it is important to know that they are not legally obligated to repay these debts.

If they harm their credit record, legal action may be pursued as grounds for a lawsuit. Credit approval is typically based on factors such as your past payment history, the amount of debt owed, the length of time you have been repaying existing credit, recent credit openings, and the types of credit accounts you hold.

Bankruptcy Secret #12 – Buy a home in just 2 years

If you file for bankruptcy, it is often possible for you to qualify for a home mortgage within 2 years after your discharge or 3 years after a foreclosure. In the case of a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, timely payments can allow you to refinance within just 1-2 years. This option has been utilized by many individuals as a means to successfully pay off their Chapter 13 plan. 

Your Bankruptcy Can’t Be Used To Deny You A Prime Mortgage

Your bankruptcy doesn’t prevent you from qualifying for a prime mortgage under FHA, VA, and other federal and state guidelines after 2 years. However, if you have a foreclosure on record, the waiting period extends to 3 years. Contrary to the myth, it is indeed possible to purchase a home after bankruptcy. 

If you find yourself surrendering a home in bankruptcy, Cameron Bankruptcy Law can guide you through this challenging situation. One advantage is that you can often continue living in your home without making payments for an extended period. During this time, while waiting for foreclosure, you have the opportunity to save the monthly amount you would have spent on house payments, which can easily accumulate to $1000+. By directing these savings towards the principal, you can build a significant down payment for a new home. Within a year, you could save up $12,000+ that may serve as a down payment. Even if the foreclosure process takes two years, you can save an impressive $24,000+ towards purchasing another home. Trust Cameron Bankruptcy Law to help you navigate through this process.

Bankruptcy Secret #13 – If your house is in your name alone,

If your house is solely in your name and you file for bankruptcy in North Carolina (NC), you will generally need to have $35,000 or less in equity in order to keep your home under Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in NC. However, if your home is in both your name and your spouse’s name, you can have up to $70,000 in equity. If you and your spouse purchased the home together after getting married, the amount of equity is not a determining factor. If you fall under any of these categories, Cameron Bankruptcy Law can provide the guidance and assistance you need.

  1. NOT filing jointly (as in just you are filing, as opposed to both you and your spouse), and
  2. Your house is in BOTH your name AND your spouse’s name, and
  3. The home was purchased during the marriage

Your home will probably be exempt under North Carolina’s (NC) Tenancy by the Entirety Law.

Market Value

If you own a house you will need to determine its market value. Market Value of real estate is different than tax value, but your property tax bill is your starting point. Typically the court uses Zillow to determine Market Value.

If you can’t get an estimate of market value from a Realtor, try one of these websites:

For Real Estate Valuations www.homegain.com www.housevalues.com We also need the exact payoff on your mortgage(s), based on what the payoff would be if you paid it off in the next 30 days.

Bankruptcy Secret #14 – Who Will Know I Filed Bankruptcy?

  1. ANYONE YOU TELL, OR ANYONE WHO IS TOLD BY SOMEONE YOU TOLD!
  2. Your creditors and anyone with whom you co-signed a loan.
  3. People who work in the court may find out.
  4. Anyone who attends the 341 meeting the day you have your 341 meeting (i.e., other people going through bankruptcy. 341 Meeting are BORING, and are not attended for the fun of it.)
  5. Court records are a matter of public record, so anyone could look it up, but WHY would they?
  6. Chapter 13 Debtors are often required to make payments through wage garnishment, which means the employer will learn about the bankruptcy. In some situations, this may be avoided.
  7. Anyone who looks at a credit report of yours — like a prospective landlord. Many of the larger apartment complexes are owned by banks, and banks tend to grant leases according to credit bureau reports. This may affect you. Small landlords will call former landlords and may not check credit reports.
  8. There may be a listing in your local newspaper of bankruptcies filed. Have you ever noticed this in the paper? Others don’t either. Often it is not listed — ask your local paper!
Raleigh Bankruptcy Attorneys

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