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refinance attorney needed Should I hire an Attorney to Represent me in a Refinance?

Davenport Bank Building Davenport Iowa

Davenport Bank Building Davenport Iowa

refinance attorney needed Should I hire an Attorney to Represent me in a Refinance?

  • Hire Your Refinance Attorney Here. Fill Out Form for Immediate Response




Yes and No.

Yes, it is always good to have attorney counseling you on the meaning of any legal document you are signing.  No, it is not always necessary to have an attorney to sign standardized bank documents in a refinance unless you want to fully understand the refinance and make sure that you are getting what you bargained for.

Bottom line – Having an attorney at a refinance closing is a really great way to make sure that the interest rate your thought you were getting is right, that it is either fixed or is adjustable in the way you understood it.  It is also important to understand the rather large fees charged (and buried) in a refinance.  On average, a refinance costs $5000 in bank fees.  Bottom line – $250 for an hour appearance fee is a drop in the bucket compared to these fees and will help you feel comfortable with what you are signing.

Hiring the attorney, the problem is how to hire and attorney who can make these sorts of appearances profitable and desirable to do and also be qualified.  Usually an attorney belonging the Illinois Real Estate Lawyers Association (IRELA) www.irela.org will be competent in Illinois to represent you and usually has flat rates that are reasonable.

If you are hiring an attorney generically, try these tried and true questions and technics:

1.  Find three attorneys that serve the geographical area you need service in
2.  Confirm that the attorneys speak your language
3.  Call each attorney and ask three questions:

    • How long have you been in practice in Illinois
    • How many residential real estate closings have you done on average over the last five years
    • What is your flat rate for representation at a refinance including any trip charge

Based on your discussed with the attorney, you should be looking for the following answers:

  1. I have practiced in Illinois for over 5 years
  2. I do at least 10 residential real estate closings per year and it is one the core concentration areas of my practice.
  3. I charge a flat rate fee of $250 per refinance for up to 1 hour of representation.  Trip charge is maximum of $100.  {This illustrates that the attorney understands how to be profitable and thereby of good service both in the City and Suburbs}  Attorneys who charge too little and are unprofitable are not motivated to provide good and competent service and should be avoided.  Value is the golden rule in purchasing legal services whereas price is simply irrelevant.

For more information about representation in any real estate matter, call David Nelson at 877-464-6656 or email Dave at:  info@nelsonlawoffice.com

For more information about NLO Nelson Law Office, please go to:  http://nelsonlawoffice.com/practice-areas/ & http://nelsonlawoffice.com/attorney-bio/.

To read reviews of NLO Nelson Law Office, please visit http://www.yelp.com/biz/nlo-nelson-law-office-chicago-2.

cram down chapter 13

1973 Lincoln Town Car

1973 Lincoln Town Car

cram down chapter 13

Cramming Down your Auto Loan: How to Lower Your Interest Rate and Increase the Amount of time to Pay Off your Car!

How to lower the interest rate on your auto loan.  How to increase the amount of time to pay off your auto loan. How to lower your payments. It’s all a part of filing a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy and properly modifying your loan in the bankruptcy plan.

Here’s how it works:

If your car was purchased more the 910 days in the past and the current loan was used to purchase it…oftentimes referred to as a “purchase money loan” you are allowed to both reduce the total loan balance to the appraised value of the car on the date of filing your bankruptcy PLUS you can also reduce the Interest rate the Till rate. The Till rate is :

PRIME RATE (Click Here for Today’s Prime Rate) + RISK FACTOR (1-3%)

TILL v. SCS CREDIT CORPORATION, 124 S. Ct. 1951, 158 L. Ed. 2d 787, 541 U.S. 465 (S.Ct., 2004)
To Read More about Till Case, Click the Attached link:
TILL v. SCS CREDIT CORPORATION

 

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Example:

Jeff’s 2002 Mitsubishi Galant is worth $2400.00. Jeff’s automobile loan is with Wells Fargo. The loan balance at the time of filing his Chapter 13 bankruptcy was $5500.00. The interest rate on this his loan was 22%. He had 24 payments left on his loan. Jeff’s attorney modified the loan as follows in his bankruptcy plan:

Balance to pay off: $2400.00 (This is the current appraised value of the auto)
Interest Rate of Loan: 6.25% (Current Prime Rate of 3.25% plus maximum risk factor of 3% from the Till case.)

What is my auto loan is only 30 days old?

No problem, you can still modify the interest rate down to the Till rate of Prime Rate + Risk Factor BUT YOU CANNOT reduce the loan balance amount.

In this example, Jeff’s 2002 Mitsubishi Galant is still worth $2400.00. Jeff’s automobile loan is still with Wells Fargo. But the loan is only 30 days old and the balance is $5500.00. The interest rate is 22%. Jeff still has only 24 payments to go, but the loan is only 30 days old. In this case:

Balance to pay off stays at $5500.00
Interest Rate of the Loan goes to: 6.25% (Current Prime Rate of 3.25% plus maximum risk factor of 3% from the Till case).

Summary:

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy offers the ability to modify an automobile loan by either reducing the interest rate to Prime Rate Plus a Risk Factor or both reducing the interest rate AND reducing the loan payoff amount to the appraised value of the automobile depending on whether the auto loan is 910 days or older. The Till case is a watershed case that has been followed for years in providing for this treatment of the interest rate. However, the Bankruptcy Act of 2005 added the 910 day rule.

For more information about Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Illinois, please call NLO Nelson Law Office at 877-GO-GO-NLO (877-464-6656) or email NLO Nelson Law Office Information

loan modification not permanent

Mrs. Free's Studios Davenport, Iowa

Mrs. Free’s Studios Davenport Iowa

loan modification not permanent

Why Hasn’t My Loan Modification Become Permanent – I’ve made the trial modification payments and now I haven’t heard anything from the bank?

Homeowner is a woman whose house is worth approximately $100,000. She has a mortgage loan of approximately $180,000 and a new trial modification payment of $1000 per month. She has made all three trial modification payments of $1000 each on time and in compliance with the lender’s demands. At this time, she has now made a total of 6 payments and the lender has still not offered a permanent loan modification. After the third payment was made, the lender “asked for more information.” She has not been able to get any more updates from the lender.

What should she do?

If she wants to stay in the house for over the next five years regardless of whether the loan modification is made permanent, keep making the trial modification payments until the lender says otherwise.

If she does not want to keep the house unless she get the permanent loan modification, I would recommend walking away from the home. The homeowner should try a short sale, deed in lieu of foreclosure and ultimately bankruptcy to eliminate this debt.

Rationale:

Most residential primary household loan modification are done under the guidelines of the HAMP (Home Affordable Modification Program). This “program” is not a law and is not something that a homeowner can enforce against a lender. Instead, it is a law that provided “incentives” of up to $1000 to a mortgage servicer to keep a borrower from defaulting on their mortgage. The incentives HAVE EXPIRED. Lenders are simply offering modifications under these guidelines to improve their profitability by keeping more borrowers from defaulting. However, where a borrower really can’t afford the home long term, it can be surmised that lenders are simply “stringing along” borrowers for several months…without end at trial loan modification payments amounts to get them to pay more towards the lender until they ultimately give up, default, or go back to making their regular mortgage payments.

Therefore, in this case if the borrower simply stopped paying after 6 months of trial modifications, she would be:
1. In Default
2. Not have a modified mortgage
3. Be in arrears immediately because she had been making a lower payment than what was required by the lender
So why can a lender get away with this?
1. Lenders DO NOT have to give modifications after the trial period is completed
2. Lenders DO NOT have to give modifications even if underwriting says they qualify
3. Lenders CAN tell borrowers that they will accept lower payments and accept them and Still then declare a default at anytime and foreclosure AT THEIR LEISURE AND WILL
4. Borrower CAN BE SCREWED OVER at anytime in these modifications
5. Lenders CAN CHERRY PICK only the best borrowers and use modification processes to hurt borrowers and get the most amount of money from them
So is there any justice?

YES – in foreclosure, if the borrow hires good legal counsel for usually more than $2500 in legal fees, fraud can be alleged and judicial action can be taken against the lenders including rescinding the loan.

Why don’t we hear more about loans being rescinded?

Usually borrowers are completely out of money and the will to fight any longer by the time the foreclosure begins and simply walk away. Lenders know this and build their business models to exploit this.

Bottom line – BE AN ACTIVIST! If you don’t get your permanent modification in three months as promised, don’t wait – take action. Call any attorney immediately to figure out your options:
1. Foreclosure Defense
2. Bankruptcy
3. Non-Bankruptcy Surrender Options
For more assistance and to schedule a free consultation, email the NLO Nelson Law Office today at info@nelsonlawoffice.com or by calling us at 877-464-6656.

Can I Modify my Home Mortgage in Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

Mrs. Free's Studios Davenport, Iowa

Mrs. Free’s Studios Davenport Iowa

Can I Modify my Home Mortgage in Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

  • Schedule Your Free Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Home Loan Modification Consultation




Yes – you can modify your home mortgage in a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy by Stripping Off The Second Mortgage and other junior liens.

Today, you can modify your home mortgage in two ways:  Get a modification from the lender or file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy and attempt to strip off the second mortgage on your home.  Oftentimes, this will reduce the balance on your mortgage by 30%.  While this isn’t perfect, it is oftentimes, the difference between being able to keep your home or being forced to surrender it in foreclosure.

So how does this work.? First it is important to determine whether you should file bankruptcy.  Second you need to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.  Third, your bankruptcy attorney files an adversary procedure with the court to rule that the value of your home is less than the balance on  your first mortgage.  Fourth get the Chapter 13 plan confirmed by the court whereby the second (third, fourth, fifth and any junior mortgages) are wholly unsecured and will be paid as unsecured creditors.  At the end of the plan (60 months), the second mortgage and all other junior mortgages are released by the lender and the debtor/s is left with a home with only one mortgage.

Does this work in real life applications?  In the last year over 40% of our firms Chapter 13’s had successful plan confirmations with the second mortgage being stripped.    On average this reduced the principal by 30% on the home indebtedness.

So what is not so great?  The first mortgage still has to be paid off in full with all of the arrearages paid back over 60 months along with the costs of collection plus the first mortgage may still have a balance that is more than the home can be sold for…so why has the court allowed this to occur – the answer is in the intent of the bankruptcy code, the idea was that if home mortgages could be modified in bankruptcy, why would anybody pay their mortgage?  Therefore, to save the ability for consumer to get home mortgages from banks, the bankruptcy code strictly prohibits the modification of a home mortgage this is wholly or even partially secured even if secured by only $1.

Bottom line – Chapter 13 offers a crude type of home mortgage modification by getting rid of unsecured mortgages, however, it does not fix long term problems with a first mortgage.  If your first mortgage is OK by itself then this type of modification is for you.  If your first mortgage is still a problem, then it may be wise to simply surrender the home in the bankruptcy and let the lender take the loss.

What are we seeing now is unbelieveable – it never used to happen in the past, but it is happening now: After filing the bankruptcy  and after stripping the second mortgage, the lender on the first mortgage voluntarily modifies the first mortgage to make the plan easier.

So what is this all about?

Well…here’s the best way to describe it.  Typically, the interest rate is reduced to 2% for the first five years and it increases by 1/2% per year after that until it hits the market rate and then becomes fixed at that rate.  The kicker is that the bank will put the arrears on to the balance of the loan.  Doesn’t seem like a big deal, but it is!  If your old mortgage payment was $2400 per month and you were 10 months behind at the time of your bankruptcy filing, then you owe $24,000 in arrears.  In a typical 60 month chapter 13 plan, you will pay $24,000/60 per month to pay back these arrears.  This is $400 per month.  In this case, the bank basically put this into the balance.  So basically, you are now paying 2% interest on $24,000 over the next 30 years or so.  Around $50 per month.  The benefit is theoretically that your home if you keep it for 15 years will finally be worth more than the mortgage; you can sell it, pay off the mortgage and have a happy life.  This is all true with one caveat.  What if you have to get out of the house one year after your bankruptcy ends and you are still “underwater”   Good luck – you just entered another bankruptcy or years of garnishments.

In a nutshell – if you want to live in your house a long time and don’t have a big need to move soon and don’t believe you will be forced to move, then this is the ticket.  Basically, the bank cuts its price on loaning you the money.  But if you need to be more flexible and actually have the debt load be less immediately, then you are out of luck and better surrendering the home in bankruptcy.

Examples:

Ron and Karla bought a home in 2006 for $200,000.  The first mortgage was $160,000 from Wells Fargo.  The Second Mortgage for $40,000 was from Banco Popular.  Ron and Karla were doing great until Karla lost her job in 2008.  The couple missed 8 payments.  The couple was five months into their foreclosure action when they filed a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy.

Ron and Karla hired David Nelson to file their Chapter 13.  David suggested that they keep their home, but attempt to strip off the second mortgage.  Ron and Karla agreed.

Ron and Karla make approximately $70,000 per year together and have two children.  Their budget is tight and the means test says that they need to contribute on 10% of their plan to paying unsecured creditors.

Ron and Karla have no other debts besides the home.  Their mortgage payment was $1400 on the first mortgage, $500 on the second and their tax escrow was $300 per month.

Ron and Karla were $11,200 in arrears on their first mortgage when they filed their bankruptcy.

Here is how their plan payment is figured.

$1400 for payment of the first mortgage regular payment
$300 for tax escrow payment on the first mortgage
$67  (10% of $40,000 divided by 60 months) for payment of the unsecured second mortgage
$187  ($11,200 divided by 60 months)
$1954 Subtotal
$195  Trustee Fee (10% of payment)
$2149 total payment

So how does this work out with their budget

$70,000 Gross Income Per Year
$5833 Per Month Gross
($1458)  Taxes
$4375 Net Income Per Month

$2149 Plan Payment
$250  Gas & Electric
$800  Food
$194  Clothing
$100  Laundry
$250  Medical
$502  Transportation
$130  Auto Insurance
$4375  Subtotal

Square Budget.  Home Saved.  Overall home mortgage modified by overall reduction by 20%

Bottom line – this Chapter 13 accomplishes good things.  With other applications we might have an auto loan, additional credit card debt or other unsecured debt.  For those discussions, please see my other blog postings.

For more information about bankruptcy, mortgage modification or other debt relief options, please call NLO Nelson Law Office at 877-464-6656 or email us at info@nelsonlawoffice.com

When Should I File Bankruptcy?

When Should I File Bankruptcy? – NLO Nelson Law Office  Generally people should file a bankruptcy immediately if possible to avoid further damage to their credit, stop lawsuits and eliminate harassing phone calls and solicitations.  However, the time to file can change when the following situations arise.

1.  Home Mortgage Modification.  Generally speaking, you should wait to file a bankruptcy after the modification has become permanent.  It is a good idea to wait until the modification is delivered to you in  writing.  However, if a lender is delaying a decision on a modification or has withdrawn a trial modification then the time to file a bankruptcy is now.  Oftentimes after a trial modification has failed, the next step is a Chapter 13 bankruptcy which allows a debtor to command debt relief instead of requesting it from a lender.  The only downside being that a Chapter 13 requires adequate income to afford the Chapter 13 Plan.

2.  Foreclosure not started or not completed where a deficiency judgment is unknown.  In a situation where a debtor is filing a bankruptcy for no other reason than to get rid of the liability on a deficiency judgment in foreclosure, often times it is good to wait to see if the deficiency judgment is actually entered and whether the creditor pursues collection.  Bottom line – if it is beneficial to wait and see if a bankruptcy is necessary – than wait – however, what is you become ineligible for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy while waiting or you have unnecessary stress while waiting to file bankruptcy.  The key is case by case, however, the old rule of thumb which is to file now is usually good except for special circumstances such as these.

3.  Recently a debtor came into my office with about $60,000 in credit card debt and two lawsuit filed.  He asked whether he need to file now and was worried about having enough time to get his legal fees together prior to filing.  Basically in this case, you file shortly before the garnishment actions start from the lawsuits.  The best time to file is several days before any citation order is entered.

We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code. CALL 877-GO-GO-NLO (877-464-6656) FOR A FREE BANKRUPTCY CONSULTATION TODAY! SATURDAY APPOINTMENTS ARE AVAILABLE.