Can I Get a Loan Modification After Filing for Bankruptcy?

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If you are contemplating filing for bankruptcy but would very much like to remain in your home and to additionally keep possession of it – that is very much a possibility. If you were previously considering your options other than bankruptcy and had considered applying for a loan modification, filing for bankruptcy does not immediately disqualify you for a reorganization of your mortgage.

In order to be approved for a loan modification during the course of your bankruptcy proceedings, it will be necessary that you follow all proceedings to the letter. If your lender/mortgage company does come to an agreement with you about modifications to be made, these modifications must be first approved by the bankruptcy court handling your case. In most circumstances, the bankruptcy court will not hold you back from getting a loan modification during your New Jersey bankruptcy case.

With that being said, you will need to be aware that more paperwork is headed your way if you are filing for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, because your bankruptcy trustee will need you to amend your income/expense schedule appropriately so that your bankruptcy plan is accurate.

What normally happens after filing for bankruptcy in New Jersey, is that your mortgage company files proof of claim which will state how much you owe in total and how much, if any, you are in arrears (back or late payments.) The natural procession of bankruptcy cases requires that you, as the debtor, must pay back the total amount of your late payments/arrears that became due before you filed for bankruptcy. This can be a scary concept because many debtors are quite unable to pay back that money, but typically, they will be folded into the bankruptcy plan and you will be able to pay them back gradually.

If you are able to get approved for a loan modification during the course of your bankruptcy matter, your late arrears may very well be erased or spread out over the entire length of the loan. In some cases this will involve a balloon payment when the loan ends, but you can actively negotiate for no end balloon payment with an experienced NJ bankruptcy attorney working for you.

Once again, remember that if your bankruptcy court approves you for a loan modification while your bankruptcy case is active, you will need to make changes to your plan so that your loan modification details are included. This means that your income and expense schedules will have to be modified to show the amounts of your new payments and your increased amount of disposable income.

For more details about filing for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy in New Jersey, George Veitengruber can be reached at (732) 695-3303. If you would like to engage in a free consultation with Mr. Veitengruber, ‘like’ our Facebook page and simply mention that you have done so when you contact our office. If you feel more comfortable contacting Mr. Veitengruber in writing, simply fill out our ‘Contact Us’ form and we will contact you accordingly.

Changing Your Will After a Divorce

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Unfortunately, divorce continues to be a fact of life as we know it. We here at Veitengruber Law sincerely hope that your marriage remains one of love and devotion, but if it should happen to end in divorce, there are important things that you need to know about your Last Will and Testament.

Most married couples intend to leave all of their property to each other, should anything happen to one of them. These are often referred to as ‘I Love You’ wills, and they are used when a couple’s financial situation does not require intensive estate tax planning. These wills are simple and to the point, and read something like this: “Upon my death, I leave my entire estate to my spouse, outright and free of trust.”

What happens to your entire estate if you and your spouse divorce but you never change your will?

Although going through a divorce is without a doubt a time of intense emotional upheaval, and the last thing on your mind may be your estate, it’s imperative that you make adjustments to your will sooner rather than later. New Jersey wills essentially ignore the former spouse’s existence altogether, essentially skipping him or her and moving on to the next beneficiary.

Depending on the circumstances surrounding your divorce, your next-in-line beneficiary may or may not still be appropriate. Perhaps you have named ex-in-laws in your will. Many times, ex-in-laws become less than friendly after a divorce occurs, so you would need to make the appropriate changes to ensure that your Last Will and Testament is handled as you so desire.

In many cases, ex-spouses get along just fine and have remained good friends even after a divorce. If the situation sounds like yours, you may have both decided to keep each other as beneficiaries both in your will and in your life insurance policies. Many couples do this if the divorce was amicable and if there are children who will need to be supported at such time as the death of one of the parents. In this case, you will need to execute a will or codicil after your New Jersey divorce is finalized. In doing so, you tell the court that, although you are divorced, you still wish to have your ex-spouse as your primary beneficiary. You may also choose to have your Final Judgment of Divorce reflect your intentions to continue naming each other as beneficiaries in your will and/or your life insurance policies.

As there are many issues that need to be addressed under the N.J.S.A. § 3B:3-14 statute, including “survivorship” rights, retirement plans, insurance policies and more, it is important to revisit your estate plan after such a life-changing event as a divorce. Veitengruber Law can and will walk you through the process of making the appropriate changes to your estate plan in your time of need.

Does Your Money Mindset Need a Makeover?

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When you’re feeling “stuck” financially, you may very likely not be able to see beyond the bridge of your nose. Financial floundering can feel a little bit like swimming with ten pound dumbbells attached to both feet – it seems you’ll never see the surface again. Most of you wouldn’t give up the struggle and let yourself plummet to the bottom of the swimming pool, so why stop trying to break free from your financial burdens?

Just like anything else you’ve ever tried to improve upon, this situation calls for a shift in mindset. So many of you probably have antiquated ideas about money without even realizing it. Want to make a change? Try implementing some of these thought-shifts into your life:

  1. Retirement isn’t just for “old” people. In fact, as soon as you have the financial resources, you can retire at any age! Retirement can happen in your 40s if you can manage to break down that mental roadblock that says retired = nearly dead. Not only can it come at any age, but retirement can look like whatever you want it to!
  2. Align your values with your financial goals. This is a big one! So many people are plodding along in life, working a dead-end job they hate and spending money completely wrong!  Your income and spending should reflect your family’s values and ultimate goals; otherwise, you’re going nowhere fast.
  3. Focus on opportunity. Millions of Americans are walking around frustrated and angry about what they don’t have, what they can’t get. This mindset is a huge hindrance on your future earning potential. Simply “thinking” about what you could do to get out of your current money rut won’t get you anything but a headache. You need to move beyond thinking, and start doing. Put your money where your mind is.
  4. Forget about the Joneses. Instead of taking a lavish vacation or updating your home every time you get a promotion, consider continuing to live your current lifestyle and investing the dollar amount of your raise in a much brighter financial future.
  5. Keep your eye on the prize. It’s so easy to swipe, swipe, swipe your money away these days. Online shopping and banking means consumers can shop anywhere, anytime, and check their balance here and there as well. And, although going paperless may be great for the environment, it doesn’t mean you have permission to stop keeping track of your spending. Frivolous shopping/spending is happening at a mind-boggling rate, right now, and every second of every day. While you’re working on shifting your money mindset, you’ll need to work on watching where your money actually goes, too. Mint is a fantastic mobile app that gives you the big-picture view as well as dollars and cents details about your money.

Your money mindset may very likely be keeping your from reaching your full financial potential. Becoming more aware of your bad money habits and how you can change them is a huge first step in the right direction!

Does Your Paycheck Fall Short? We Can Help.

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Do you find that your income falls just slightly short of covering all of your bills? Are you consistently filled with an underlying anxiety about whether or not you’ll bounce a check this month – which would push you even further into the red?

Money worries can take over your every waking thought, and can even wiggle themselves right into your nightmares, leaving you exhausted and stressed out! You may find yourself wondering time and time again how to possibly stretch your dollar just a little bit further, or if you could shoulder the responsibility of a second (or third) part-time job. Most likely, you’ve also considered selling everything and anything of value in your home that could potentially reap a decent profit.

If these are some of the thought processes that you deal with on a daily basis, what you need is some guidance. It may be possible to make that one job work for you. (It also may be a good idea to take on a short-term, part time gig until you’re not right on the precipice of late bills.) At Veitengruber Law, we’ve made it our business to teach people like you how to make your money work more effectively.

We’ll sit down and talk with you (in a FREE consult if you like our Facebook page) so that we fully understand the financial issues you’re dealing with. No problem is too small or too large for us to tackle. We can negotiate with any and all of your bill collectors so that your monthly payments are lower. If you have a mortgage on your home or another type of personal loan, we will work with your lender(s) to modify your interest rate, monthly payments, length of the loan, and/or mortgage insurance.

If your credit score has been damaged due to overdue payments or unpaid balances, we’ll work with you to teach you how to bring that score back up with no gimmicks.  There are legitimate things you can do to steadily raise your score, and we’ll help you do just that. As we watch your credit score rise, we’ll be able to negotiate your loan terms down even further in a few months, because lenders will see you as less of a risk once you have a higher credit score.

We’ll help you set up a monthly budget that you can manage, and if you are in real dire straits, we will of course discuss the option of filing for a New Jersey bankruptcy with you. If your mortgage is truly unmanageable, we’ll explain your options of selling your home via short sale and moving to a more affordable apartment or smaller home. Can’t afford your car payment anymore? We will negotiate with your car loan lender as well.

Bottom line: there are always possibilities and things we can do to help you out of your current financial situation. Call our office today and set up your consultation appointment. You’ve got nothing to lose, and a lot to gain. (732) 852-7295

We are Your NJ Foreclosure Defense

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If you are in danger of losing your home to a foreclosure, Veitengruber Law is here to be your New Jersey foreclosure defense. In order to make sure homeowners are aware of the foreclosure process, today we’ll do a rundown of what a potential foreclosure entails.

Firstly, a New Jersey foreclosure is a legal process wherein the court system orders that your home be sold because you haven’t been paying the mortgage. Homeowners will be considered in default if they have missed one mortgage payment. If you feel that your lender has filed for foreclosure in error, foreclosure can be prevented.

What is a mortgage?

Your mortgage is the agreement that you and your bank or lender have signed regarding the purchase of your home. It includes things like the interest-rate, the principal amount left on your loan, and a document called a Note. A Note is simply a fancy way of writing an IOU. It lists the exact amount of money you owe your lender and all of the terms regarding repayment of that money. As soon as you miss a payment on your mortgage, you will have violated the terms of the Note, and your bank may file a foreclosure case with the courts.

If the bank is successful at winning the foreclosure case in court, your home will eventually be sold at a public sale, also referred to as a “Sheriff’s Sale.” During a foreclosure case, you will not be able to attempt to sell your home in order to escape the foreclosure judgment. A ‘lis pendens’ will be published and available to the public noting that your property is in the process of being foreclosed upon.

Typically a foreclosure in New Jersey takes around one year to be completed, if it is not contested. If you want to contest the foreclosure, that is where Veitengruber Law comes in. Regardless of what stage of foreclosure your home is in, Veitengruber Law can help. We have helped many clients in various stages of foreclosure. We can allow for you to stay in your home while we defend your case.

The threat of losing your home to a foreclosure case is a stressful and completely overwhelming time. You will need help from an experienced attorney who knows how to defend you regarding foreclosures.

As soon as you contact our office, you will be set up with a  consultation appointment as soon as possible. Want to make this consultation free? Like our Facebook page. During our consultation regarding your foreclosure, we will take our time to get to know you and your specific situation. We respect that every client is an individual and every case is unique.

All options will be discussed with you, including: your desire to stay in your home, modifying your loan, selling your home as a short sale and more. From there, we will work closely with you to formulate a plan that is aggressive and smart.

We know what we’re doing, we have the experience you need, and we want to get you the results you’re looking for. The next step for you is clicking on this form so that we can call you today and start working on your foreclosure defense as soon as possible.