Unfortunately, these days there are many Americans who cannot afford to pay their bills. They are behind on mortgages, student loans and credit cards.
For some, going to bankruptcy court can seem the only way to survive. This option may not be the best because it is a serious blight on a financial record. There are other legal means to survive financially without taking this ultimate step.
- Making Mortgage Payments
Home ownership remains a primary means of acquiring wealth in the United States. It is the dream of manyAmericans.
Yet, too many people cannot afford to pay their mortgages. Consequently, foreclosure occurs when the lender uses the contractual right to retake possession of the property. The homeowner may also declare bankruptcy.
Rather than file for bankruptcy or suffer a foreclosure, homeowners can enter negotiations with their lenders.
If an owner knows they will be able to make regular payments sometime in the foreseeable future, a forbearance request is in order. Forbearance entails stalling current payments for a period. After this time, the lender expects on-time payments. Another possibility is a mortgage modification, in which the lender lowers the bill but extends it for a longer number of years.
- Surviving with Student Loan Debt
Similar to homeownership, attending college is one those things that Americans use to get ahead in life. Students are willing to take out hundreds of thousands of dollars in loans to pay for a degree.
The problem is that in tough economic times, there is no longer a guarantee that a well-paying job is down the line. Graduates may face difficulties making loan payments.
Bankruptcy may not even be an option for these unfortunate college degree holders. Usually, the federal government's loans cannot be included in these court proceedings. So paying is really the only choice.
Those falling behind on student loans may want to ask for a loan modification. In general, the lenders just want payments of some kind. Informing the loan company of the need to pay a smaller amount now in lieu of larger payments in the future may be acceptable.
- Getting Lower Card Interest Rates
During economic booms, the banks issue credit cards like candy. Everyone receives offers in the mail. These cards often carry higher-than-normal interest rates. Consumers who overspend and have a large number of these cards can find themselves swimming in debt.
Asking the credit card company to reduce or cancel the required interest rate is something that everyone needs to consider. With low or no interest, card balances often become manageable.
Speak With an Attorney First
The problem homeowners, students and consumers might have when trying to implement the ideas mentioned here is emotion. They have perhaps received countless phone calls from creditors, financial aid offices and mortgage companies.
Anger over their situation can cloud judgment. For this reason, it is often preferable for those who want to modify the terms of their debts to seek legal counsel from an attorney like Robert J Willis, Attorney at Law. This professional can usually more objectively put forth the case than can the individual.
Moreover, since these debts represent legal promises to pay, getting expert advice is a wise choice.