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postheadericon Use Chapter 13 to save your home!

Use Chapter 13 to save your home!

When do I know I need a Chapter 13 to save my home?

The easy answer is “when you are in foreclosure!”  But in all seriousness, it doesn’t have to get that far.  Yes, you can save your home from being sold on the courthouse steps, but I would much rather you contact me way ahead of that scenario.

Falling behind on your home isn’t an overnight thing.  You may lose income due to a job loss, or you may incur other expenses that cause you to have to miss a house payment.  Missing one payment isn’t going to lead to foreclosure.  The problem is that once you have missed a payment, the mortgage company may start refusing payments from you if those payments don’t bring the account completely current.  So if you are $1500 behind on your mortgage, and you send a payment of $800, the mortgage company may send that money back to you, causing you to fall even further behind.  This is when you should call me so we can do a Chapter 13 to save your home.

The bottom line is that the sooner you call me to do a Chapter 13, the less expensive and stressful it will be in the long run.

 

My mortgage company said they will work with me.

Unfortunately, I’ve heard this 10,000 times.  Mortgage companies, in recent years, have been under tremendous pressure to offer work-out options to their customers.  In the last couple of years, as the economy has improved, they are working with their customers less and less.  And even when they send you the paperwork for a loan modification, that does NOT mean you will get it!  In fact, you probably won’t get a loan modification.   Your paperwork will get “lost” or you’ll be denied for other reasons.

Don’t get me wrong – you should work with the mortgage company.  But you should also assume they are NOT going to help you.  I cannot control what the mortgage company does, but I can help you use Chapter 13 to save your home.  You shouldn’t put all of your eggs in one basket.  You should file for Chapter 13 relief to stop foreclosure and to restructure other debt.   You may also work with the mortgage company while in bankruptcy to see if you can work out a modification that makes sense to you.

 

How does Chapter 13 work?

In a nutshell, the mortgage company will get all of their missed payments paid in Chapter 13.  You will resume making regular, monthly payments to the mortgage as well.  We will deal with your other debts in the Chapter 13.  Most people who file for Chapter 13 relief do NOT have to repay 100% of their credit cards, medical bills, and other unsecured creditors.  So the Chapter 13 will help you repay the missed payments on your home, allow you to resume regular payments on your home, and help you manage other debts that you may have.

 

You can’t afford to wait.  Call me TODAY to discuss using Chapter 13 to save your home.  Don’t let the mortgage company make promises to you they won’t keep.  Don’t let the missed payments spiral out of control until you are 6, 10, 0r more payments behind.  Call TODAY to file for bankruptcy relief and get this process started.

 

Sean C. Paul, Attorney, can help you buy a car after bankruptcy!

Sean C. Paul is licensed to practice law in the State of Missouri. His practice is located in south St. Louis County, Missouri. He can help you with your Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy case. Talk to Sean about scheduling a bankruptcy strategy session.

Sean C. Paul will give you the individual attention you deserve. He will meet with you one-on-one to determine how he can help you. If you are considering filing bankruptcy in Missouri, please call today.

Sean C. Paul, Attorney at Law Google+ Profile.

Sean C. Paul, Attorney at Law
8917 Gravois Rd. St. LouisMO63123 USA 
 • 314-827-4027

postheadericon When to file for bankruptcy

When to file for bankruptcy

When you finally reach the conclusion that you can no longer pay your debts, you need to start searching for a good bankruptcy attorney.  You will certainly know when this is.  When you have started to miss payments because you need all of  your funds just to survive, it may be time to consider seeking bankruptcy.

If you have started to miss house payments and car payments because you are paying credit cards, you are probably already past the point of needing bankruptcy help.

Don’t wait until you lose your house or car.  Call today to seek help.

 

Sean C. Paul, Attorney, can help you buy a car after bankruptcy!

Sean C. Paul is licensed to practice law in the State of Missouri. His practice is located in south St. Louis County, Missouri. He can help you with your Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy case.  Talk to Sean about scheduling a bankruptcy strategy session.

Sean C. Paul will give you the individual attention you deserve. He will meet with you one-on-one to determine how he can help you. If you are considering filing bankruptcy in Missouri, please call today.

Sean C. Paul, Attorney at Law Google+ Profile.

postheadericon Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Fees

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Fees

When you finally reach the conclusion that you can no longer pay your debts, you need to start searching for a good bankruptcy attorney.  The amount that each attorney charges for the Chapter 7 Bankruptcy fees will vary, but this is NOT the most important question you should ask.

You can buy your shoes very cheaply at Walmart compared to a sporting-goods store, but should you?  Quality is important.  What an attorney charges for his or her Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Fees may be an indicator of the quality of the product you are getting.  While it is not always true, a “discount” attorney may be cutting corners in order to give you the lowest price.  But will your calls be answered?  Will your paperwork be done correctly?  Remember that cheaper is not always better.

I strive to provide a great service at an affordable price.  Am I the “cheapest” attorney?  No.  I have to pay a staff to help serve you.  I take great pride in assuring that the product I deliver to you is what you would expect.  If my only goal was to provide you the least expensive Chapter 7 Bankruptcy fees, then I would not be focusing on the most important goal:  a quality legal representation.

So when you start looking for an attorney, don’t just ask about price.  Ask the attorney how long it will take to get a phone call back, or how the attorney can assure that the paperwork is completed properly.  Remember that you want quality legal representation, not simply the lowest price.

Sean C. Paul, Attorney, can help you buy a car after bankruptcy!

Sean C. Paul is licensed to practice law in the State of Missouri. His practice is located in south St. Louis County, Missouri. He can help you with your Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy case.  Talk to Sean about scheduling a bankruptcy strategy session.

Sean C. Paul will give you the individual attention you deserve. He will meet with you one-on-one to determine how he can help you. If you are considering filing bankruptcy in Missouri, please call today.

Sean C. Paul, Attorney at Law Google+ Profile.

postheadericon How to Purchase a Car While in Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

How to Purchase a Car While in Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

One of the most common questions we get from clients going through a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is whether they can purchase a new or used vehicle to replace their existing vehicle. Life doesn’t stop while you are going through Chapter 13 bankruptcy and it is not uncommon for the need to replace your vehicle to arise during the 3-5 years that you are making payments to the trustee of your bankruptcy case. If this is the case for you, the short answer is yes, you can purchase a new vehicle while going through Chapter 13 but, there are steps you must take first.

Determine if You Can Afford a Car Payment

When you filed your bankruptcy paperwork, your attorney had you fill out Schedule I and Schedule J. These are forms that list your income and expenses. You and your attorney will need to review these forms to determine your current income and expenses and whether or not you can afford a car payment. You may be able to reduce expenses in other places such as clothing and miscellaneous items.

Find a Car Dealer

Not every car dealer will sell you a car while you are in Chapter 13 but, many will as long as your credit is okay. Remember that once you filed for bankruptcy, the negative entries on your credit report stopped. Make sure that you inform the dealer of what you can afford and stick with your budget. This loan will be paid directly to the dealer or financing company, not the trustees as the contract will be outside of the bankruptcy.

File a Motion

Before you can purchase a vehicle, you must get permission from the court. To do this your attorney will need to file a motion to incur debt. The motion must state the whole loan amount, the monthly payment amount, and the reason you need to purchase a new vehicle. You will need a reasonable explanation for why you need to purchase a new vehicle, or the trustees will deny your request.

If the trustee does not object and the court grants your motion, the attorney may then submit the order. It will take a few days for the court to file the order. Once the order is filed, you may purchase the vehicle.

What if the Car You Want Sells While You Are Waiting for Permission?

Because the process of getting permission can last a few weeks, you may find that the car you want has been sold once you have received permission. Don’t worry about that as your lawyer will write the motion to include a provision in the event that the car you wanted to purchase is sold. You will be able to purchase a car with an equal or lesser payment amount to the one you were granted permission for.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy does not mean that you have to drive an old clunker. If you follow these steps, you will be able to buy a reliable vehicle for yourself and your family at a price you can afford.

 

Sean C. Paul, Attorney, can help you buy a car after bankruptcy!

Sean C. Paul is licensed to practice law in the State of Missouri. His practice is located in south St. Louis County and Downtown Kansas City, Missouri. He can help you with your Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy case.  Talk to Sean about scheduling a bankruptcy strategy session.

Sean C. Paul will give you the individual attention you deserve. He will meet with you one-on-one to determine how he can help you. If you are considering filing bankruptcy in Missouri, please call today.

Sean C. Paul, Attorney at Law Google+ Profile.

postheadericon Learn good financial sense!

Learn good financial sense!

Unfortunately, good financial sense is not always taught in school. It is up to us to learn about finances and to teach our children about staying out of debt.

Here is some practical advice about money and financial sense:

Debt Prevention and Financial Advice for Teens

1.       Create a monthly expense report 

It is a good idea to budget your money, sit down and know where your money is coming from and where it is going. Start with income and the various sources you may be getting money from including jobs, rental income, retirement, and other sources. Next, use your bank statement (or written list of monthly purchases) to get an idea of how you are using your money.

Set a budget.  Figure out what items you have purchased in the last month that are “necessary” and what is “discretionary.”  You will quickly find that you can cut several things from your monthly expenses.

2.      Compound interest can mean savings 

Compound interest is when the interest that accrues on an amount of money accrues interest itself.  The longer you leave money untouched in an account, the faster it will grow.  If you start saving early in life, you can take advantage of the interest that will accrue in the retirement account or savings.

The below graph by J.P. Morgan Chase shows the benefit of saving early and is taken from an article that showcases the power of compound interest . It shows three individual examples of investors who put away $5,000 annually and provides you a good representation of how starting early can lead to tremendous gains in the long run.

There are two more graphs on the aforementioned article that further emphasize the importance of starting to save early. Bankrate also has an investment goals calculator that you can use to plug in real life examples.

Resource: http://www.businessinsider.com/amazing-power-of-compound-interest-2014-7

3.       Learn how electronics purchases using credit cards make no financial sense

Electronics. Most of us are enamored by them and the latest-and-greatest devices seem to get more expensive each year. While the marketing makes each generation of devices seem so much better than the one before it, these companies are doing this to MAKE MONEY.

Electronics, like smartphones, drop in price rapidly, so by putting cash away, their account balance will grow as the price for electronics goes down. When you use a credit card to buy electronics up front (as the price is going down), the amount you are paying is increasing.  So you are spending MORE for a DECREASING asset.

For example, let’s say a new phone costs $500. Assuming a credit card with 18 percent interest is used to pay for this device:

  • with a minimum payment of $15
  • you make this minimum payment
  • it would take you 47 months to pay off the debt
  • you accumulate another $200 in interest along the way

How’s that $700 phone going to be treating you in the four years it takes to pay it off?

4.       Teach your children early

If you have a younger teen (or even a pre-teen) who wants to buy something nominal, it’s never too early to teach about savings. A good visual representation is a picture of a big thermometer that you can put on your refrigerator with dollar amounts along the side of it that represent savings.

As your child saves money, they can fill the thermometer with color to represent how close they are to reaching their financial goal. This process helps them realize that saving takes dedication but comes with rewards.  Teach them that small purchases over time add up and take away from long-term goals.

Small goals and small changes will help you with your finances.  Learn now and teach your children practical financial sense so you and your family can be in a better position going forward.

Thank you Debthelper.com for some of the advice and links provided in this article.

 

Sean C. Paul, Attorney, can help you buy a car after bankruptcy!

Sean C. Paul is licensed to practice law in the State of Missouri. His practice is located in south St. Louis County and Downtown Kansas City, Missouri. He can help you with your Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy case.  Talk to Sean about scheduling a bankruptcy strategy session.

Sean C. Paul will give you the individual attention you deserve. He will meet with you one-on-one to determine how he can help you. If you are considering filing bankruptcy in Missouri, please call today.

Sean C. Paul, Attorney at Law Google+ Profile.

 

Debthelper.com is an IRS Approved 501c3 Non-Profit Florida Corporation dedicated to our mission to educate, advise and empower youth to seniors to handle debt, credit and housing and to provide affordable housing opportunities through the acquisition and rehabilitation of residential properties.”

postheadericon Bankruptcy Strategy Session

Bankruptcy Strategy Session

Why a bankruptcy strategy session?  Isn’t this just a fancy phrase for a free consultation?

No!  Obtaining relief from debts is so much more than just  a “free consultation.”  This is the rest of your financial life we are talking about.  I want to make sure you can make the best of it!  I hope I can help set you in the right direction – even if that seems like a daunting task today.

Bankruptcy is only step one of your financial future.  How would you like to start saving for retirement?  Put some money away for a vacation?  Pay cash for a car?  Even retire early??

If you want to accomplish these goals, take advantage of my bankruptcy strategy session and start TODAY!  In my opinion, tomorrow is already too late.  You have already struggled too long for financial freedom.  Don’t wait any longer!

You deserve a better life, with financial security.  No – bankruptcy isn’t going to make you suddenly rich.  You will have a lot of work to do after you leave my office for the last time.  But wouldn’t you like to move in the right direction?  Wouldn’t you like to regain some financial freedom?

Please contact me today for your free bankruptcy strategy session.  314-827-4027.

Sean C. Paul, Attorney, can help you buy a car after bankruptcy!

Sean C. Paul is licensed to practice law in the State of Missouri. His practice is located in south St. Louis County and Downtown Kansas City, Missouri. He can help you with your Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy case.  Talk to Sean about scheduling a bankruptcy strategy session.

Sean C. Paul will give you the individual attention you deserve. He will meet with you one-on-one to determine how he can help you. If you are considering filing bankruptcy in Missouri, please call today.

Sean C. Paul, Attorney at Law Google+ Profile.

 

postheadericon Free Bankruptcy Consultation

Free Bankruptcy Consultation

Why would I offer a free bankruptcy consultation?  After all, nothing in life is free, right?  Or at least nothing worth getting.

Well, that is not always true.  I offer a 30 minute, free bankruptcy consultation to all of my new clients.  I want you to be able to make the best decision regarding your finances, and I feel like you need the information to make that happen.  If you are in financial trouble, it may be the best 30 minutes you will spend.  And it only costs you your time!

So, should you bring anything to the free bankruptcy consultation?  I want to make this as easy as possible, but there is no sense in not being prepared for what is ahead.  I feel very strongly that you will want to move forward and retain my services.  If you are picking up the phone to call me, you have probably already made the decision to file for bankruptcy relief.

With that said, you should bring a few things with you:

  • the last 6 months of pay stubs;
  • the last 2 Federal and State tax returns;
  • your picture ID;
  • a debit card or some cash

What??? You said it is a free bankruptcy consultation!  That is true, but, as I said, there is no sense in being unprepared.  I want you to make the decision to hire me.  If you are ready to move forward with my services, it makes sense for you to put down $100 or more when we meet.  So, yes, I was not kidding:  the consult is free!  But it is always best to be prepared so we can move forward should you make the decision to do so.

Please contact me today for your free bankruptcy consultation.  314-827-4027.

Sean C. Paul, Attorney, can help you buy a car after bankruptcy!

Sean C. Paul is licensed to practice law in the State of Missouri. His practice is located in south St. Louis County and Downtown Kansas City, Missouri. He can help you with your Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy case.  Talk to Sean about scheduling a free bankruptcy consultation.

Sean C. Paul will give you the individual attention you deserve. He will meet with you one-on-one to determine how he can help you. If you are considering filing bankruptcy in Missouri, please call today.

Sean C. Paul, Attorney at Law Google+ Profile.

 

postheadericon Should I buy a car before or after bankruptcy?

Should I buy a car before or after bankruptcy?

You most certainly CAN buy a car after bankruptcy.  Most of the time, it is advisable to wait until you have a discharge to buy a car.  I know lenders that specifically work with people who have filed for bankruptcy relief.  If you have steady income right now, they can almost certainly help you.

If you are doing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and you currently have a car payment this is too high, we can discuss giving that car up and getting a discharge.  Then, I will refer you to someone who can help you buy a car after bankruptcy. The interest rates offered to people who have just filed for bankruptcy relief is often better than the interest rate you would have otherwise gotten.  This may give you a lower car payment and a slightly newer car.

Sometimes, you can’t wait to buy a car after bankruptcy.  If you are doing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, we can ask the court to approve a new car loan.  Again, this may allow you to obtain a smaller car payment, but a slightly newer car.

Obviously, the new car purchase will help you build credit.  This is key to getting your financial life back to normal.

Please contact me today to discuss how to build credit and make your life better.  314-827-4027.

Sean C. Paul, Attorney, can help you buy a car after bankruptcy!

Sean C. Paul is licensed to practice law in the State of Missouri. His practice is located in south St. Louis County and Downtown Kansas City, Missouri. He can help you with your Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy case.  Talk to Sean about how to buy a car after bankruptcy.

Sean C. Paul will give you the individual attention you deserve. He will meet with you one-on-one to determine how he can help you. If you are considering filing bankruptcy in Missouri, please call today.

Sean C. Paul, Attorney at Law Google+ Profile.

 

postheadericon Inheriting Money during bankruptcy – Missouri bankruptcy attorney

Inheriting Money during Bankruptcy

The most confusing and heartbreaking part of bankruptcy can occur if a loved one passes and you end up inheriting money or property in bankruptcy. It is confusing because it is a huge exception to the general rule that only assets that exist on the day of filing are part of your bankruptcy estate.  It is heartbreaking when you lose money you need to help you pay for a loved one’s funeral expenses.

Sean C. Paul, Missouri bankruptcy attorney, explains how inheriting money can affect your bankruptcy case.

 

The 180 Day Rule

This rule states that property inherited within one hundred and eighty (180) days of filing for either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the property will be available to creditors. If you inherit the property after that period and have filed for Chapter 7, you may keep all of the inheritance. In Chapter 13 filing, the judge may still require you to pay this amount over for the benefit of creditors if you are still under your repayment plan, since the rule in a Chaptr 13 is that all disposable income must be used for creditors.

Call your bankruptcy attorney immediately if someone dies.  The rule is based on when you become entitled to inherit – NOT when you actually get the money.  So if someone dies within 180 days of your filing, you must turn the money over even if you don’t get it within 180 days (which you normally would not, anyway).  If you fail to turn it over, you might lose your discharge in bankruptcy.  You could even be prosecuted for not disclosing assets!  If you have any doubt at all, CALL YOUR MISSOURI BANKRUPTCY ATTORNEY!

 

Spouse

Your spouse’s money is not necessarily your money.  If you file bankruptcy, and your spouse does not, you probably won’t have to turn that money over.  However, DISCLOSE IT!  Talk to your Missouri Bankruptcy attorney to make sure what you need to disclose and what you need to turn over.

 

 

Sean C. Paul, Attorney, discusses inheriting money or property in bankruptcy

Sean C. Paul is licensed to practice law in the State of Missouri. His practice is located in south St. Louis County and downtown Kansas City, Missouri. He can help you with your Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy case.  Sean can explain to you the rules about inheriting money or property in bankruptcy.

Sean C. Paul will give you the individual attention you deserve. He will meet with you one-on-one to determine how he can help you. If you are considering filing bankruptcy in Missouri, please call today.

Sean C. Paul, Attorney at Law Google+ Profile.

 

postheadericon Is all debt bad? – An opinion from Missouri bankruptcy attorney Sean C. Paul

Is all debt bad?  – An opinion from Missouri bankruptcy attorney Sean C. Paul

Firstly, let me state that it is generally best to stay debt free.  Even though I do firmly believe that there are “good” debts and “bad” debts.

Bad debts are obvious:  credit cards, medical bills, and collection accounts generally demonstrate an overall inability to afford routine expenses.  But even that can be overstated.  Even the most financially astute carry a balance sometimes in order to finance a temporary situation.  Pay it off quickly and it won’t become a problem.

What are “good” debts?  I like to think debts that help you gain leverage are good.  For example, if you buy into real estate, and that real estate increases in value over time, it is a net GAIN for you to have that asset.  Of course, if you can’t afford the payments on the debt, it can become a “bad” debt as well.

Are cars a good or bad debt?  Cars lose value quickly.  If you need to finance, you should do so at a low interest rate and a very short repayment period.  Again, if you can’t afford the payment, the debt will be even worse for you.  However, a short-term auto payment may help you gain leverage in that it will allow you to make more money getting to work.

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