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After experiencing the dreaded foreclosure or bankruptcy, you might worry that mortgage lenders will reject you when you attempt to buy another home. Anxiety over, “Will they think it’ll happen again and not give me a chance?” is perfectly logical. Luckily, you have no need to worry. Buying a home after bankruptcy is still a real possibility.

Foreclosure or Bankruptcy is Not the End of Homeownership

While your foreclosure did mean the loss of your first home, it will not thwart your ability to buy a new one. Mortgage programs today all include guidelines for those who’ve experienced bankruptcy to qualify. There are several ways you can recover from your setback.

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bankruptcy
I’ve blogged about the new CFPB Consent Orders here, against both NCSLT and TSI which requires a halt to all collection activities for the vast majority of NCSLT trusts for private student loans, but what might it mean for pending bankruptcies?

First, the Consent Orders require the payment of millions of dollars in damages in some cases, so Schedule B must reflect the possibility of recovery against NCT, collectors and law firms.  It may be awhile before the Judge signs off on the Proposed Judgment due to several Motions to Intervene filed by various involved parties on the collection side.  But the Agreed Consent Order itself makes certain admissions of liability in the meantime.

The debt should be listed as disputed pending outcome of an audit (required to be completed within 180 days for accounts currently in litigation, within 365 days for all other accounts).

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aribtration
It’s simple.  If you are wronged, you should be able to pick the forum to go after the lender, bank, student loan company, credit card company, car rental company, credit bureau, you name it — and that forum should include the local courthouse and not just arbitration.  The CFPB recently ruled that mandatory arbitration clauses in the fine print of your contract is wrong.  Now Congress wants to repeal that rule.

Call Your Senators; Tell Them NOT to Take Away Your Day in Court Against Big Banks.

For too long, Wall Street lawyers and lobbyists have used a secret tactic, fine print contracts, to take away Americans’ constitutional right to go to court. After more than five years of studying and working on the problem, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued a rule to restore our right to join together and hold big banks and lenders accountable in court for unlawful behavior that rips us off and puts the American economy at risk. When financial bad actors are not held responsible for their bad behavior, disasters like the Equifax data breach and Wells Fargo fake-account scandal occur.

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https://www.tampabankruptcylawyerblog.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/10/2015/07/christie_d._arkovich_p.a_1_small.jpgAre you being sued by NCSLT as many of our clients are?

You should be aware that the CFPB just entered an Order requiring NCSLT to halt collections per the NYT.  The Consent Order is effective immediately although the Judgment itself still needs to be approved and signed by the Delaware Judge.

This “halting of collections” is most assuredly temporary.  The trusts “must suspend all further collection efforts until a compliance plan has been approved and implemented.”  It’s unknown how long that may take.

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https://www.tampabankruptcylawyerblog.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/10/2015/07/christie_d._arkovich_p.a_1_small.jpgFirst, don’t give up.  You may have numerous defenses available – we are a law firm that helps student loan borrowers.

Don’t let them get a default judgment against you where they can garnish 25% of wages and seize your bank accounts.  Over 90% of these cases go to default judgment.  Judgments last 20 years.  They are normally bankruptcy proof.  This does not need to happen.

There are many ways to defend these cases and we can help!  Some or all of these defenses may be applicable to your case:

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Hurricane Irma has caused an interruption in income for many people in Florida and elsewhere.  This information may be helpful for those who cannot make their mortgage or student loan payment when due:

For those in a rehab agreement on federal student loans to avoid wage garnishment:

Payments to Rehabilitate Defaulted Loans (§674.39).  During the time a borrower is affected by a disaster, an institution should not treat any scheduled payment the borrower fails to make as a missed payment in the stream of nine on-time, consecutive, monthly payments required for the borrower to rehabilitate the defaulted loan.  When the borrower is no longer affected by the disaster, the required sequence of qualifying payments may resume at the point at which it was discontinued.

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bankrupty-7Property owned by a husband and wife is ordinarily protected in Florida from creditors of only one spouse.  There are requirements to being able to use what is called the Tenancy by Entireties Exemption such as the property must have been acquired at the same time etc.

One question that was recently addressed by a bankruptcy court dealt with what happens if a debtor has exempted real or personal property in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and his or her spouse dies during the bankruptcy.  Is the exemption then lost?

The Chapter 7 debtor’s right under Code § 522(b)(3)(B) to exempt real property owned in a tenancy by the entireties with the debtor’s non-filing spouse was not extinguished by the postpetition death of the spouse. The rights of sole creditors against property held by the debtor as a tenant by the entireties are fixed as of the petition date, and the Bankruptcy Code does not provide for those rights to expand or contract upon the postpetition death of the non-filing spouse.

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Debtors are presently denied the opportunity to participate in income driven plans in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy in most of Florida.  Instead of allowing for an income based plan, the federal government places these loans in forbearance for the typical five year plan.  Do you know what happens to a federal student loan in forbearance for five years?  It balloons from 100k to 150k.  How does that help to provide a fresh start?

We are attacking this unfairness now in a case we are spearheading in Tampa, Florida.  Our client is being denied participation in IBR and Public Service Loan Forgiveness by the DOE’s policy.  The time is ripe for our Tampa Judges to address this.  While we undertake this challenge, the model plan which does not address this problem is up for revisions and there is comment period which expires August 31.

If you want to help us in our battle for student loan relief, please take 30 seconds to post a comment here before 8/31: http://pacer.flmb.uscourts.gov/localrules/comments-with-form.asp.  Just say something like it is unfair for debtors to be disallowed from participating in governmental income based/debt forgiveness plans just because they file bankruptcy.

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dollar-stretcher

A national web based publication, The Dollar Stretcher.com, picked up our article “Could Student Loan Debt Derail Your Retirement“.  We focused on sharing ways to avoid default and reducing student loan payments for Parent Plus loans.  It’s a problem and one that is only recently getting attention.  Too many parents are faced with paying the student loan debt that they incurred for their children — that they expected their children to pay once they obtained good jobs.  Or the parent may have always intended to pay the debt to send their children to college, but they have lost their own jobs and are unable to pay as intended.  Most people who lost their jobs during 2008-2012 who have been fortunate enough to obtain replacement employment are facing a lack of savings and usually lower wages than enjoyed previously.

Just know there are options out there.  Options that your servicer (Navient, Great Lakes, FedLoans, NelNet) may not be sharing with you.  Consult with a student loan attorney to make sure you are taking advantage of all available options to reduce and even eliminate student loan debt.  See our Student Loan Survival Center for more info or check out our free e-book “How To Take Your Life Back From Your Student Loans“.

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stop-debt-harassmentThere are limits as to when a student loan servicer can contact someone other than the borrower.  They cannot call the borrower’s place of employment if the borrower asks them not to.  They cannot robocall the borrower’s cell phone when the borrower asks them not to.  They cannot discuss the debt with a third party.  They cannot contact the debtor when the debtor has retained legal counsel.  These are all very clear rules proscribed by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”) and its Florida counterpart, the Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act (“FCCPA”) or the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”).

One quirk that I’d like to see how widespread it is, involves student loan servicer contacts with the debtor’s family members after the debtor has retained counsel.  In this particular instance, the contact involves asking for contact info for the debtor as well as their employment info.  At that time, the student loan servicer knows how to reach the debtor.  They know all contact regarding the debt is to go through legal counsel.  So why contact a reference or family member pretending they don’t know how to reach the debtor.  And ask for employment information from this relative.

There are two sub-sections of the FCCPA in play on this question:

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