Articles Posted in Reboot Your Life

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arkovich_law-narrowI read an article today by the Ascent, that among all Americans, the average amount of time spent on financial management per day is 1.8 minutes.

That may include things like defining a goal, budgeting, saving for retirement, managing debt, planning for taxes, planning for emergencies etc.  I guess I’m not surprised.  I plan to have a few posts this month – straight from the horse’s mouth – an attorney’s view from well over 25 years of practice on How Someone Can Reboot.

If you are finding that you are making no headway on your debt, despite a good income, perhaps the time has come to talk with an attorney re: debt management, and yes, even bankruptcy.  A Chapter 13 for instance will allow you to make one payment monthly, and the trustee is responsible for divvying that out to your various creditors.  Makes your life simple.

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arkovich_law-narrowIf you’ve decided it’s time to take back your life, we can help devise a debt escape plan with you.  This may involve making decisions about what to pay, what not to pay, how to settle and create a plan to get out of debt.  This includes student loan debt as well as credit card or other debt.

There is not a one size fits all strategy.  There are many different kinds of debt.  Student loans, mortgages, car loans, personal loans, credit card debt, lines of credit and more.  It doesn’t make sense to use the same strategy on different types of debt.  Your income/health/age and other factors should play a large role.  Co-borrowers may play a role.

We have years of experience helping consumers with student loan debt and mortgage debt.  We are experienced foreclosure attorneys and bankruptcy attorneys.  The rules can be complex and they are often updated or vary jurisdiction to jurisdiction.  Why try and figure out everything on your own when there are resources and guidance available to help you make the best decisions going forward.

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arkovich_law-narrowOnce you get out of the habit of making a mortgage payment, it’s hard to get back to making that large payment every month.  This is particularly true, with student loans also restarting payments now.

What do we do that can help solve this problem for you?

We litigate mortgage claims, assert consumer defenses when available and defend foreclosures in Florida.  State law relating to foreclosures vary widely and we limit our practice strictly to Florida for mortgage related issues, generally in the counties surrounding Tampa Bay.  We’re a member of a local Tampa Bay foreclosure defense attorney group, and NACA which is a national consumer advocacy group where consumer attorneys share ideas, tips and trends.

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arkovich_law-narrow“When do you need a foreclosure attorney?” was one of our highest performing videos last month.  That has motivated me to prepare a series of blogs, guides and new videos to help consumers learn about their options and what they should be aware of when they are behind in their mortgage payments.  This information is not intended to help someone represent themselves in a foreclosure action.  That can get complicated and most people are not well suited to litigation.  But this information should help a homeowner know what options are available, where to turn, timelines, and likely outcomes.  All of that is necessary whether you are planning to keep a home or letting it go.

So why is this coming up now?

As of August 2023, many covid-19 related moratoriums have expired and have unplugged the pipeline of distressed properties.  We are now at about 100,000 foreclosures nationwide, where in 2008 through early 2010 we had over 900,000 homes in foreclosure nationwide.

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arkovich_law-narrowLots of folks bought second properties with a plan to do short term rentals through Airbnb or VRO — and now occupancy rates are dwindling, maintenance expenses are increasing, consumer disposable income is declining, and interest rates continue to soar.  While not yet an Airbnb bust, it is not the easy market it was back in 2020 and 2021.  Bloomberg covers some of the problems in its story this week Airbnb Hosting Isn’t What It Used to Be.

So far Florida’s short term rental market hasn’t been impacted all that much – despite the heat this summer.  But if the trends don’t reverse soon, many homebuyers will need to make some hard choices to get out from under the debt in a way that creates as much value as possible and with an intact balance sheet and credit report, before the decision may be made for them.

If this is you and you need help making a plan forward, please reach out to us.  Our practice areas make us uniquely able to find solutions – and the earlier the better in our opinion.  If times get tougher, it’s best to be one of the first out the door as opposed to getting trampled later.

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arkovich_law-narrowA bankruptcy claims trading platform called Xclaim just closed a $7 million fund raising round after adding a focus toward crypto claims.

If you have funds stuck in one of several centralized crypto related companies which filed bankruptcy last year, this may be of interest to you.  I have no recommendation of this firm and have never used it:

  • Genesis – up to 52.5%
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arkovich_law-narrow“It is now time”, states Judge Klein who is charting a path for discharging student loans without being reversed.  For years, bankruptcy judges were wary of ruling in favor of debtors who asked for a discharge of federal student loan debt.  In part, because those Judges knew their rulings would be appealed by either the Department of Education, or ECMC (guarantor litigator for the older FFEL loans).  Now it’s different.

In an opinion just out on April 5 (Love v U.S. Dep’t of Education, Fedloan Servicing, Nelnet; Adv. 21-02045-C), Judge Klein decried the “widespread belief that student loans are virtually impossible to discharge in bankruptcy.”  Now there is an attestation process, whereby a debtor can use factors like:

  • School closure
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Christie_1What is the IDR Waiver?

The Short Version:  if you have an older FFEL loan, even a prior FFEL Consolidation Loan, make sure to consolidate this to a newer Direct Loan asap if you want all of the relief this program allows (contact us if you have any doubts or concerns about losing prior IDR time, interest rate increases, effects on PSLF etc.)  While the deadline to do so is May 1, the servicers are busy and it doesn’t pay to wait until the deadline!!

For many years, student loan servicers steered struggling borrowers into forbearance instead of guiding them toward income driven repayment.  Income driven payment generally caps payments at no more than 10 percent of income, and ultimately leads to loan forgiveness after 20 or 25 years of repayment.  Many of these loan servicers also failed to accurately track borrowers’ progress toward forgiveness.  Some of these companies had no system for tracking payments and identifying when borrowers would qualify for forgiveness.

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Christie_1Did you realize that we have free videos on what to do about your student loan on our YouTube Channel “Student Loan Sidebar”?  Here’s a post from a few hours ago from one of our followers:
  • YouTube videos on student loan forgiveness have just been absolutely amazing. They break it down so it simple to understand. This whole thing has been so frustrating and these videos help to alleviate much of the anxiety I’ve had. Thank you! 
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