Fridlin & Associates, P.C.
Eliminate Debt! Stop Foreclosure!
Frequently Asked Questions
1. I am struggling with paying my mortgage. What are my options?
In today’s always changing market, it is common for home owners to get behind on paying their mortgage. We are here to help you know all your options before you make any decisions. Some of your options are listed below.
- Loan Modification: reduce the APR or the monthly amount due.
- Debt Consolidation: get a new, lower interest loan to pay off the old loan.
- Debt Settlement: reduce the amount owed via negotiating.
- File for Bankruptcy: eliminate your debts by filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
2. Why is it important I get an attorney to help me relieve debt?
Although hiring an attorney can be costly, when it comes to finances and the law, there is simply too much to do yourself. If you are looking to relieve debt via debt settlement, debt consolidation, or bankruptcy, you need to hire an experienced lawyer who knows how the system works and what to expect. Besides stress reduction, hiring an experienced debt attorney will allow you to focus on life rather than learning all the legal terms, having to deal with creditor harassment, or completing a ton of paperwork. Being as a debt attorney is an expert in the matter, there are no surprises for you to worry about.
3. What if I get sued?
In the case you receive a letter stating a creditor or collection agency is suing you- get a lawyer and respond to the notice as soon as possible. The letter is typically in the form of “Summons and Complaint”. If you respond- you can know exactly why you are being sued and take the necessary steps to ensure debt relief. If you do not respond- the collection agency will file a default judgment. This will allow the agency to garnish your wages and add random additional court costs to your account. Once you respond- your lawyer will challenge the lawsuit with the hopes of lowering the owed debt and settling. Since so many credit companies ignore the Statute of Limitations and come after borrowers even though their allowed time to sue expired, you must make the company prove what you owe. Next, have your lawyer check the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and see if the collection agency violated any provisions. If the agency did, then you can sue that agency back, which will force the agency to pay statutory damages and possibly punitive and economic damages. Finally, if you are being sued for a large amount and you actually have to pay the collection agency, it might make sense for you to file for bankruptcy. If you do file for bankruptcy, ensure you have an experienced bankruptcy lawyer.
4. What happens if I file for bankruptcy?
If you file for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, your debts will be eliminated within months. Your credit will take a plunge for a while, until you rebuild it following your bankruptcy discharge. You will have to complete necessary 90-minute financial management courses and start over with a clean slate. If you file for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, you will pay off your debts over the course of 2-5 years. Your credit will be damaged until you are discharged, at which point you will have start over again. Both types of bankruptcies have certain exemptions as to what can be sold and taken as debt repayment as well as which debts may be erased. But under the Federal law, child alimony along with taxes is two debts that cannot be erased via bankruptcy.
5. What information do I need to prepare when I come in for a free consultation?
If you schedule to come in for a free bankruptcy consultation, please bring the following items:
- A legal form of ID (license, passport)
- Personal and Business Tax Returns
- Most Recent Pay Stubs (60 days)
- Most Recent Bank Statements (3 months)
- Last Mortgage
- Home Equity Line (Last statement)
6. How do I restore my damaged credit?
Credit restoration is not extremely difficult to do- but it does take time. If you end up filing for bankruptcy, you will have to start over as if you were 18 years old, with no credit history at all. First, always pay bills on time to avoid bad credit marks. Second, get a credit card or a CD and only spend what you have, making sure to not go over 20% allotted credit each month. Third, make sure to open a new account every so often and keep up with all payments. The more active accounts (that are up to date) you have, the higher your credit score will be. Lastly, change your lifestyle to a more modest one and slowly add in new rewards and activities over time.