I Need a NJ Bankruptcy Attorney I Can Trust!

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As a general rule, people are scared to death to meet with attorneys. Asking for help can be extremely daunting to most of us, and even more so when you have to admit that you’ve made some mistakes managing your money. The mere thought of beginning the search for a New Jersey bankruptcy attorney is overwhelming enough that many people put it off much longer than they should.

The truth of the matter is, that if you have found yourself in a legal situation that is rather complicated and/or involves a significant amount of money or debt, you should not handle this problem alone. The right attorney will be interested in the details surrounding your case, and will become your biggest ally.

The best kind of attorney will coach you along the way, giving you the information you need to make sound and informed decisions about your legal problems. You should feel a good rapport with the attorney with whom you will be working closely in order to get your life back on track.

Meeting with a bankruptcy attorney is one of the hardest things you may ever have to do, and Veitengruber Law knows and understands this. Admitting that you may be about to lose your home and possibly many of your possessions is a difficult thing for anyone to go through.

Upon walking into our offices, you will be immediately put at ease by our extraordinary staff members. Every member of the Veitengruber Law family takes pride in giving great face time to all of our clients. We want you to feel comfortable and relaxed from the moment you walk in the door. It is our goal that all of our clients be able to relate to us as people who are here to help. We know that the more relaxed you are, the more likely you will be to open up to us. This is when our relationship with our clients blossom and become extremely worthwhile for everyone involved.

At Veitengruber Law, we want you to feel at home. We are probably the least pretentious law firm in all of Ocean County, NJ. We will never feed you a line just to get your business! In all honesty, we are IN THE BUSINESS OF HELPING people just like you, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Whether your legal problem stems from out-of-control debt or simply one particular loan that may be able to be modified to make your life easier, we are the NJ attorney team you want working for you. Are you being harassed by a debt collector? Is your house in danger of being lost to foreclosure? Do you wish you had a “Start Over” button?

We can help you with any of those problems and so many more. Don’t let fear get in the way of asking for quality legal help in New Jersey. You might also be glad to learn that your first consultation with us will be free of charge. We’re not scary – we promise. 🙂

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How Can I Get Free Legal Advice in New Jersey?

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Are you overwhelmed by bills that keep piling up higher and higher? Have you maxed out at least one credit card and can barely make the monthly minimum payment? Do you have months where all of your utility bills do not get paid? Perhaps you’ve been wondering if you are in over your head regarding your mortgage and fear that you may lose your home.

Many people who find themselves in any of the above circumstances can become quite distressed over the fact that they really do need legal advice, but feel that they simply cannot afford it due to their current financial position. It may feel like a no-win situation.

Every month that you continue living with a significant debt burden only makes that burden become heavier and heavier. If you have checked your credit report and/or score lately, you have most probably noticed a rapid decline in your credit score number if you have been living with continual, outstanding debt.

The numbers and information contained in your credit report are exceedingly important to your ability to achieve many of your life’s goals. Overdue bills and/or defaulted loans in your past can and will be noted on your credit report. With each concurrent negative mark on your report, your credit score will drop.

Any potential banks or lenders that you may wish to do business with in the future are going to take a look at your credit report in order to assess how risky it would be for them to lend you money. Any credit score under around 620 will send up a red flag, making it significantly difficult for you to obtain any of the following: auto loan, mortgage, life insurance, loan modification, rental apartment, security clearance, and in some cases, even a job.

Naturally, if you have found yourself with a low or less than optimal credit score, you are probably wondering if you’ll ever be able to turn things around. It can feel like a never ending downward spiral with no obvious way out.

Although you may be under the impression that free New Jersey legal advice doesn’t exist, this is one time when you will be happy to know that you are wrong.

Inspired by his years and years of helping clients in your current situation, George Veitengruber, Esq. has taken it upon himself to offer up a series of no-cost informative legal workshops in NJ. The goal of these seminars is to teach people just like you about: properly reading and comprehending your credit report, reporting and correcting any errors that may be contained in your credit report, understanding how to raise your credit score, and improving how you manage your budget.

The next free workshop will take place on October 30th, 2014 at 7 PM at the Colts Neck public library, located at 1 Winthrop Drive in Colts Neck, NJ. Regardless of your financial situation and the complexity of your money questions, come prepared to ask away! Along with providing you with a wealth of helpful (free!) legal advice, George will answer your specific questions. He will also be scheduling free one-on-one follow-up meetings as well, for those who want them.

George specializes in credit repair, along with bankruptcy, foreclosure defense, loan modification, real estate, debt collection, estate planning, contract disputes, and adoptions. If you have concerns in any of those areas, he is more than happy to answer those questions as well. Free legal advice in New Jersey? It does exist! Tell a friend or bring a friend who may also need some financial guidance. There is absolutely NO obligation, and the only thing we want you to walk away from the workshop with is KNOWLEDGE!

To RSVP, or for more information about the Colts Neck workshop, email ivyjacotlaw@gmail.com, call (732) 852-7295 or click here to send us a message on our website. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter if you’d like to read our weekly blog articles about a wide variety of financial topics.

How Will a Foreclosure Affect My Life?

 

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What is Foreclosure?

A foreclosure can happen to a borrower if they are unable to stay on top of their mortgage payments. During a foreclosure, the bank or lender will attempt to gain possession of the home or mortgaged property.  They will then put the property up for sale in order to recover the unpaid balance.

If you have been having trouble paying your mortgage and have fallen behind by several months, you may be in danger of having your lender foreclose upon you. Some people are okay with letting their home go into foreclosure as a way to rid themselves of that particular debt so they can move forward and gain financial stability. By forfeiting their rights as a homeowner, they will then (hopefully) be able to move to more affordable housing, making their monthly payments more reasonable.

What Can Foreclosure do to My Life?

Before letting your house go into foreclosure, it is important to recognize the effects of doing so. It may seem like an easy way out of a mortgage you can no longer afford, but there are some repercussions that may make you want to think twice.

Primarily, a foreclosure on your financial record significantly drops your credit score immediately. In fact, it is possible for your credit score to decrease by up to 300 points! As you know, your credit report and credit score can affect many different aspects of your life, so suddenly a foreclosure has turned into a much more complicated and detrimental situation.

Along with your lowered credit score number comes difficulty securing a rental home because many landlords are now being much more strict about who they rent to. You may also be denied for things like: car loans, insurance (life, rental, car), and even credit cards. More and more employers are now doing credit checks along with background checks, especially if the job in question is in the financial field or has you dealing with money in any capacity. Your existing credit cards and other loans may suddenly bump up your interest rates when they find out about your foreclosure and lowered credit score, because you will be considered more of a “high risk” borrower.

Military personnel and employees may lose their security clearance if there is a foreclosure and other patterns of financial distress noted on their credit report, such as filing for bankruptcy or simply ignoring bills.

Even with all of this information, allowing a property to go into foreclosure can be the best decision for some people. If you have educated yourself regarding the seriousness of a foreclosure and still feel strongly about moving forward with it, just stay as informed as possible throughout the entire process.

What Can I do to Stop the Foreclosure Process?

If the information contained in this article has made you think twice about the far-reaching and long-lasting (up to seven years) effects of foreclosure, you need a good foreclosure defense attorney to help save your home.

An experienced New Jersey foreclosure defense attorney will fight for you during the foreclosure process using legal strategies that will slow down or stop your foreclosure altogether.

The reason why foreclosure defense can be very successful is because most lenders really do not want to take your home away from you. It would be much more beneficial to them if you were to continue paying your mortgage. Although they would very much like to receive your full mortgage amount each month, many lenders/banks are willing to negotiate how much you pay them, while allowing you to KEEP YOUR HOME.

Entering into negotiations with your lender/bank by yourself is not advised. By working closely with your New Jersey foreclosure defense lawyer, you will have someone (with experience on his side) to negotiate for you.

If you are about to lose your home to foreclosure or are already in the middle of a foreclosure process, but don’t want to lose your home, don’t waste another minute. Call our office today and set up your free appointment with George Veitengruber, Esq. He has saved homes from foreclosure for a multitude of clients. Why not let yours be his next success?

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Protecting Your Credit Score: A Free Legal Workshop 10/23/14

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As you have probably already realized, the numbers and information contained in your credit report and credit score affect a lot of financial decisions made in your life, both by you and others (including lenders, employers, landlords, etc).

If you are struggling financially and your credit score is suffering, there are things you can do to make significant and substantial improvements to that number. There may also be errors on your credit report which may be bringing your credit score down further.

Understanding how to read a credit report is the first step to managing your money better. If you have the desire to get a handle on your finances, but have been wondering what the next step is for you, come out to our 100% free informational workshop presented by George Veitengruber, Esq., a New Jersey certified attorney who specializes in credit repair. The workshop details are listed below.

When: Thursday 10/23/2014 at 7:00 PM – 8:45 PM

Where: Howell Public Library – 318 Old Tavern Rd., Howell, NJ   07731

RSVP: To reserve your space or if you have any questions, call 732-695-3303 or send an email to: ivyjacotlaw@gmail.com. You can also send an inquiry via this link.

To reiterate, this workshop is completely free of cost to you and its main purpose is to inform the audience about: how to properly read and understand a credit report, repairing and improving your credit score, how to report and correct credit report errors, and how to get better at managing your budget.

George Veitengruber, who practices law in Ocean Township, New Jersey, will be the presenter of this interactive legal workshop. George practices law in the areas of: credit repair, bankruptcy, foreclosure defense, real estate matters, loan modification, debt collection, contract disputes, estate planning and adoption. During the workshop, George welcomes questions in any of those legal areas as well.

Come prepared with your most important legal or financial question(s) and prepare to have them answered free of charge! Bring a friend or friends – everyone is encouraged to attend.

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Is There a Statute of Limitations on My NJ Debt?

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Did you realize that debt has a statute of limitations? This means there is a set time limit during which you can be sued for money you haven’t been able to pay back. If you have a very old debt that you haven’t made any payments on in years, your lender may not be able to legally take you to court even if you never make another payment.

Although the concept of “limitations” on how long your debt can be collected may seem comforting, the process of proving that your debt has exceeded the statute of limitations time limit is actually quite difficult. It’s in your best interest to get as familiar as possible with the laws surrounding the statute of limitations on unpaid debt.

What Is the Statute of Limitations?

In this context, the statute of limitations is defined as a legal time period in which a lender, creditor or debt collector can sue you for money that you have not repaid in accordance with an agreement.

Each state has different laws regarding unpaid debt and the statute of limitations. The confusion and differing state regulations exist because the statute of limitations was not originally intended for the purpose of debt collection.

Because each state has different time limits for different types of debt, you’ll need to know which state your creditor may be suing you in. This in itself can be hard to uncover, because you can be sued in the state in which you reside, the state where you opened the defaulted account, or in the state where the creditor does business.

What Are the Different Types of Debt?

There are actually four different categories of debt, and they include: written contract, oral contract, injury, and property damage. Each of these different categories has a different time limit in each state. You can learn more about your specific type of debt and its time limits in all 50 states here.

You also need to know precisely when the clock started ticking on your defaulted debt. There are many things you can do that will actually “restart” your debt clock, which is why debt collectors are so doggedly determined to get in contact with you.

By making a promise to pay or simply admitting to a debt collector that you owe the money in question, you may start the clock over on your debt’s statute of limitations. Every time you make a payment, however negligible, you are also restarting the clock. So, if the statute of limitations on your unpaid credit card debt is 6 years and a debt collector calls you after 5 years – acknowledging responsibility or making a payment on the debt will reset  the statute of limitations timeline. You will then have to wait another six years for it to run out again.

An important thing to note is that there is no statute of limitations on federal student loans. Just as they cannot be discharged in a bankruptcy, they cannot be avoided due to the statute of limitations. In fact, a defaulted federal student loan can ultimately be taken out of your paycheck until it is paid back. Private student loans, on the other hand, do have a statute of limitations.

If you have an unpaid debt and feel that you will not be able to repay it in the foreseeable future, it is important to know all of the specifics behind the statute of limitations of your particular debt. It is also imperative that you contact a bankruptcy attorney if your debt is something that you cannot keep up with. An experienced bankruptcy attorney will help you formulate an effective way to address your debt. The right attorney can help you by defending you against a debt collector regarding statute of limitations, facilitating loan modifications or helping you file for bankruptcy.

It’s important to work with a qualified professional on this matter because the laws surrounding unpaid debt are confusing and laden with details. In order to avoid doing something illegal and/or getting yourself in even deeper debt, call Veitengruber Law and let us pull you out of debt for good.

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NJ Foreclosure – What is a Deficiency Judgement?

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Millions of Americans today are swimming in an unbelievable amount of debt. Many of them have taken appropriate steps to resolve their debt in the hope of staying afloat without an albatross weighing them down.

One effective debt resolution strategy is to file for NJ bankruptcy, which either wipes clean (Chapter 7) or reorganizes (Chapter 13) all monies owed. While filing for bankruptcy does affect one’s credit score, after 7-10 years, neither a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13 will appear on a credit report. This gives the debtor a shot at a financial “do over,” so to speak.

Many people who file for bankruptcy also allow their home to be sold via foreclosure. Once again, while not ideal for your credit score, a foreclosure allows significantly distressed homeowners a way to rebuild their finances.

In a foreclosure, the homeowner essentially gives their home to the bank or lender in exchange for not making any further payments on the mortgage. Since the bank then has full possession of the defaulted property, they can sell it at a foreclosure auction, during which the home is auctioned off to the highest bidder.

Because foreclosure auctions involve cash payments, the house usually sells for a lot less than was owed on the mortgage. In the past, it was typical for lenders to “write off” the discrepancy between the sale amount and the amount that was still owed. Most banks felt it was bad business to chase down former homeowners who were already in dire straits, so they settled for the amount they received from the foreclosure sale and that was the end of the story.

Due to the recent housing crisis, lenders have been losing more and more money (exceeding $1 trillion), and some of them have decided to take action against borrowers who had their loans foreclosed upon.

To do so, lenders can go to court and receive a judgment for the amount of the deficiency between the sale price and amount owed on the mortgage. This judgment is called a Deficiency Judgment.

More lenders are beginning to pursue Deficiency Judgments in order to collect on money they’ve lost through foreclosures, which means that many people who have just begun to get a solid foot-hold financially will essentially be slapped in the face. Making it all the way through bankruptcy court, giving your home up to foreclosure sale, only to then discover that you still owe tens of thousands of dollars can be utterly devastating.

Many years may have passed since you’ve even given a single thought to your former home when you discover that your wages will be garnished or that your checking account has been frozen until you pay off the Deficiency Judgement.

Fortunately, there is recourse. Although it may feel like your foreclosure was a thing of the past, a Deficiency Judgement is not something that can be ignored.  You need a NJ foreclosure defense attorney on your side. Veitengruber Law is here to help you defend yourself against lenders you thought were completely in your past. Call now. (732) 852-7295.

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What to do if Your Credit Report Has Errors

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Most people don’t give their credit report much thought until credit problems have already cropped up, but checking in on your credit report on a regular basis can ensure that there are no salacious errors that may be wrongly bringing your score down.

If you never take a look at your credit report, it may surprise you (and not in that “surprise party” kind of way) with information that is incorrect. The next time you need to submit your credit report for a loan or mortgage, you want to be sure that your report is accurate.

It has been discovered that many millions of Americans in fact do have mistakes on their credit reports – up to about 13% of the US population! The Federal Trade Commission reports that around 20 million Americans not only have mistakes on their credit report, but serious inaccuracies that can cause dire consequences when it comes to taking out a loan, applying for a mortgage, applying for a job, getting security clearance and getting insured.

With all of that being said, it’s hugely important for you to check your credit report at least once a year. If you do find mistakes on your report, they can be corrected.

In order to fix credit report errors, you will need to contact the credit bureau(s) that is/are reporting incorrectly. The three credit reporting agencies include: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.

Every American has the right to receive a copy of their credit report that contains any and all information included in your report before and up to the time that you request a copy.

You are also entitled to know who, if anyone, has requested a copy of your credit report in the last year (two years if it was a job-related request.)

If, when you receive a copy of your credit report, you discover that there are any inaccuracies, like unpaid debts that you do not owe or have already paid, late payments that never occurred, etc., you will need to file a dispute.

I have no idea how to file a credit report dispute! What should I do?

If you are confused and overwhelmed at the thought of filing a dispute regarding your credit report, your best choice of action is to contact a NJ credit repair attorney near you. Look for an attorney with experience successfully dealing with credit report problems in the past. Many times these attorneys also deal with bankruptcy and loan modifications, because these issues are all interrelated.

If you are also interested in raising your credit score, ask your NJ attorney what you can do to increase your score after the errors are addressed. Your credit score is a very important number for many reasons, and you should aim to keep it as high as possible (above 700 ideally) so that you can accomplish the financial goals that you may have set for yourself, like buying a home and a car. For more information about your credit score and how we can help, contact Veitengruber Law for a free consultation meeting.

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How to File for Bankruptcy and Keep Your Home

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Many people who are hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt have probably considered the option of filing for bankruptcy. Those who are hesitant are many times hung up on one detail or another that keeps them from moving forward with the bankruptcy process. One such common detail is the fear of losing literally everything, including your home.

Filing for a chapter 7 bankruptcy and allowing your home to be sold in foreclosure is definitely one option available to debtors who are struggling with no real end in sight. For these debtors, allowing their home to sell via foreclosure frees them up to move to a smaller home, apartment or other rental that falls within their budget. Additionally, sometimes these debtors have the ability to stay with friends or family indefinitely, so allowing their lender to foreclose on their home is not as big of a deal.

On the other side of the coin are different group of people who will do anything to avoid losing their family home. Perhaps the home has been in the family for many generations, or the home has special meaning for other reasons. It’s also possible that staying in the home may be the most financially feasible option for some people, and they may not have anywhere else to go if the home is foreclosed upon.

So the question this group of people asks themselves is, “Will I lose my home if I file for bankruptcy?

Filing for bankruptcy while keeping your home is definitely a possibility, but the devil is in the details. Depending on your income, credit score and any savings you may have, it may be possible for you to apply for a loan modification. With the help of a bankruptcy attorney in New Jersey, you could make settlement offers with your creditors that will allow the accounts to close and get you on a repayment schedule so that your credit score can begin to repair itself.

Depending on your age, you may also be eligible for a reverse mortgage, and under certain circumstances, any income tax debt may be dischargeable in a bankruptcy.

Filing for a chapter 13 bankruptcy is your best option when retaining your home is your ultimate goal. A chapter 13 bankruptcy is a repayment plan which reorganizes your debt in such a way that is appropriate and affordable to you. Chapter 7 is a liquidation bankruptcy option, which would mean you would lose your home and many other assets in order to be able to repay your other debts.

For more information about filing for bankruptcy in NJ and keeping your home, call or contact our office today. We offer all new clients a free consultation.

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If I File for Bankruptcy, Will I Lose My Business?

Aged Come In We're OpenIf you are considering filing for a personal bankruptcy in New Jersey and you are a business owner, the biggest question on your mind has got to be, “Will I be able to keep my business?”

After all, your business is your livelihood and likely provides you with your income, so many business owners who incur personal financial troubles wonder how they will be able to provide for themselves and their families if their business goes under due to filing for a personal bankruptcy.

If you are filing for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, whether or not you will lose your business largely depends on what type of business you own. If you are a sole proprietor, you may be forced to shut down your business (hopefully only temporarily). This needs to happen so that the bankruptcy trustee can fully evaluate the value of your business and if any of your business assets qualify for exemption. This process may take several months, but after that you may* be able to reopen your doors.

Those sole proprietors who have no assets, such as freelancers and consultants, most likely will be allowed to continue working because they have a low risk profile of incurring further debt.

If you are part owner of a partnership or LLC (Limited Liability Company), the trustee will most likely be prohibited from taking any assets from the business because it will affect the other members/partners. However, your percentage of the profits earned by the partnership or LLC will be taken into account in your bankruptcy, and the trustee will be able to take any of your profits in order to pay off your debts. Sometimes, partnerships or LLCs will require you to bow out of the company before filing for bankruptcy. If you signed an agreement to this effect, you could be sued by the other owners if you file for bankruptcy while still involved with the company. This is a very important detail that you must examine before beginning the bankruptcy process.

In order to avoid these difficulties, it is a good idea to set up your business as a corporation. This means your business will be considered a legal entity and you will have a share in the corporation. During a Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceeding, your share of the corporation will become property of your bankruptcy estate, however, you will be able to repurchase your share of the business after your bankruptcy is finalized.

Forming a corporation will allow you to file for bankruptcy without dragging your partners down, because they will also be shareholders in the business, and their shares will be unaffected by your personal bankruptcy.

Another option is to file for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy rather than Chapter 7. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy reorganizes your debts in such a way that they are much more manageable for you to repay. A Chapter 13 will allow you to retain possession of your business assets – which will in turn allow you to keep your business doors open without any worries. You will not be able to discharge your debts, but they will most likely be significantly reduced.

The bottom line regarding filing for personal bankruptcy when you also are a business owner is to work closely with a NJ bankruptcy attorney who has experience helping business owners get their finances back on track without losing their business in the process.

Image Credit: Czarina Alegre (Flickr)