San Jose Bankruptcy Attorney Discusses Another Foreclosure Wave

It has been apparent that foreclosure notices are springing up more frequently in every neighborhood in the Bay Area.  But the worse has yet to come.  Zillow expects the resurgence in foreclosures this year, combined with excess inventory of unsold, bank-owned homes will contribute to a 3.7 percent national decline in prices before the market hits bottom in 2013 and stays there until 2016.

“The hangover from this crisis will far outlast the party of the boom years,” said Zillow chief economist Stan Humphries.

Getting through the remaining foreclosures and dealing with the resulting flood of homes on the market in the wake of the bank settlement is a necessary part of the healing process for the U.S. housing market, he added.

According to leading broker dealer Amherst Securities, some 9.5 million homes are still at risk of default and in February it said it expected to see the uptick in foreclosures start to hit in March and April.

There is other evidence that many of the foreclosures that did not happen in 2011 will happen this year.

A January report by the Neighborhood Economic Development Advocacy Project in New York found that in the first half of 2011 the number of 90-day pre-foreclosure notices in New York City outnumbered court foreclosure actions by a ratio of 14 to one, indicating that while proceedings were initiated against many homeowners, they were left incomplete.

“Now the banks have a settlement, foreclosure numbers for 2012 are going to be high,” said NEDAP co-director Josh Zinner.

So if you have a foreclosure or a notice of trustee sale for the coming year please give The Law Office of Eddy Hsu a call and we will be able to help you to stop the foreclosure sale and keep your house.  We look forward to meeting with you!



Our San Jose Bankruptcy Attorney Discusses Short Sales and Foreclosures

It’s a very difficult decision that many San Jose and Bay Area residents have to make: to have your house go into a short sale or foreclosure.  First, a short sale can prove to be difficult because the lender must agree with the value and then grant the short sale to go through before the debtor can sell their property.  This can be a very timely process and may end with no sale at all.  If the sale does go through, since the house is sold for less than what is owed, the debtor is taxed on the deficiency (the difference between the value sold and the value owed to the lender).  Therefore, after a short sale, many debtors are left with thousands of dollars in taxes that they are unable to pay.

If the debtor decides to let the house foreclose, the first lender will take the house as the security and the debtor is no longer liable for any deficiencies even if the house is sold at auction for less.  If the house is underwater and there is a second mortgage on the property, then the second mortgage becomes an unsecured creditor and collect the full amount in the second mortgage just like a credit card debt.  However, a bankruptcy can discharge the full second mortgage along with any other credit cards debts and unsecured debts that the you may have.  This is an option that many debtors can benefit from since it clears away all debt associated with the foreclosed home as well as the rest of the unsecured debts.

If you have any questions on short sales, foreclosures or bankruptcy, do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Eddy Hsu and we can schedule and appointment to discuss your situation in more detail.


Our San Jose Bankruptcy Attorney Discusses Bankruptcy and Stopping Foreclosure

One home in every 111 homes in the U.S. is currently facing foreclosure.  About a million home foreclosures have been pushed back from previous years to be foreclosed on permanently in 2012.  This means that the influx of foreclosures will cause the market to push back its recovery for another year.  If you are one of these the millions of homes that are facing foreclosure, there is a way to save the home and give you the time that you need in order to get your affairs together.  The idea of being kicked out of the beloved home that you have lived and loved for many years may be very daunting for most people.  But a bankruptcy can help to stop the foreclosure and also help to get your life back in order.  If you receive a foreclosure notice, a bankruptcy is the best way to stop the foreclosure.  Once you file a bankruptcy, the debtor gets the protection of an “automatic stay”.  This means that the debtor’s estate is stayed and no creditors or lenders can foreclose or collect money from the debtor.  A bankruptcy can also let the debtor catch up on the arrears that they have on the house and even strip the second mortgage off the property.

If you house is in foreclosure, please give The Law Office of Eddy Hsu a call and we will be able to discuss the options that you have to save your house.   If  We look forward to speaking with you soon!

Our San Francisco Bankruptcy Attorney Discusses Benefits of Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy can be a hard decision to make due to the complexity of each individuals situation.  Many people tend to shy away from the Chapter 13 bankruptcy because they do not know all the benefits that it can offer, which are many.  A Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a repayment plan over 5 years based on disposable income.  Therefore the amount of unsecured debt that you pay back could be pennies on the dollar.  To make it easier, I have outlined some of the benefits of a Chapter 13 bankruptcy below.

1.  Paying Back Pennies On the Dollar: The amount of credit card or unsecured debt that a debtor would be paying back in a Chapter 13 plan could be pennies on the dollar.  This is because the amount paid back is determined by the % of disposable income the debtor has after expenses have been deducted.  After such expenses as income taxes, mortgage, car payments, health insurance and retirement contributions, most debtors have very little left over to pay the creditor.  Therefore, the amount put into the Ch. 13 plan could be very small and at no interest.  This beats a consolidation company or debt settlement agency taking $500/mo to negotiate debt down since you would most likely be paying more to the settlement than the Ch. 13.

2.  Stripping a Second Mortgage Off the Property: Homes are becoming increasingly hard to maintain.  Nowadays it is not uncommon for a homeowner to have two or even three mortgages tied to their properties.  In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, if your house is underwater (you owe the lender more than what it is worth out on the market), you can do what’s called a “lien strip”.  Essentially, a lien strip is just removing the second mortgage off the property leaving only the first mortgage to be paid.  With this option in a chapter 13 bankruptcy, you could be losing hundreds of thousands of dollars, never to repaid again.

3.  Stopping Foreclosures: A Chapter 13 bankruptcy can also help you to stop foreclosures on any homes with such notices.  This bankruptcy also allows the debtor to catch up on the arrears that are owed in the Chapter 13 plan instead of coming up with the thousands of dollars in one day to save their homes.

4.  Lowering Monthly Payments: You can also lower your monthly payments on student loans or car loans when you enter into a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.  Any outstanding loans that you may have can be put into the chapter 13 plan to be paid off in five years regardless of what you have agreed with the lender.  The interest is nominal and it spreads the payments out to make them more manageable.  Your car payments can even be cut in half to give you the breathing room that you need to keep up with your daily expenses.

A Chapter 13 bankruptcy can help many debtors out there, so don’t be afraid to call an attorney to discuss these options.  If you wish to discuss your situation, please do not hesitate to contact any one of our offices.  We look forward to speaking with you soon!

Loan Modification

Our San Francisco Bankruptcy Attorney Talks About New Loan Modification Law

If you are a person that has been struggling with getting a loan modification in San Francisco or San Jose, do not feel beaten, because as of June 1, 2010 the new HAMP laws came into effect helping many homeowners with modifying their loans.  Typically, when negotiating with a loan service provider, many debtors feel bullied and helpless.  This is because the loan providers hold all the cards when it comes to your modification.  You are at their mercy because they can say yes or no to the modification, it seems, at their whim.  As of June 1, 2010 however, many debtors will apply for a loan modification and find that they will be granted a loan modification and will be given a 90 day window to make the proposed modification payments.  This is due to the new HAMP modifications that was passed earlier in the year.  The law allows for a debtor who applies for a loan modification be given a chance at paying the proposed modification for 90 days, after which the lender can consider keeping the modification permanent.  Another benefit of the new HAMP modification is that debtors who are currently in Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcies will not be denied consideration for HAMP if the debtor’s bankruptcy attorney or bankruptcy trustee submits a request to the servicer.  Therefore, even debtors who are in bankruptcy will not need to worry that they will not be able to participate in starting a loan modification due to the bankruptcy automatic stay.

If you want more information about our firm, please do not hesitate to contact us.  Our bankruptcy attorneys can provide you with information and get you on the road to a fresh start.  We have offices in San Jose and San Francisco.  We look forward to meeting with you soon!

Tips for selecting the right bankruptcy attorney

The decision to file for bankruptcy can be a difficult choice, so don’t make it more difficult by hiring the wrong bankruptcy attorney. Here are some tips to consider when selecting an attorney.
1. Do not wait until the last minute! If you have a foreclosure, wage garnishment or an emergency deadline you will want to hire an attorney as soon as possible.
2. If you know someone who has filed for bankruptcy, ask them about their experience with their attorney. At the very least you may be able to find out which attorneys not to hire.
3. Ask for referrals from professionals that you know such as your accountant or another attorney. Our firm receives referrals from family law attorneys, CPA’s, bankruptcy Trustees and bankruptcy attorneys.
4. Attend your local 341 meetings and see how attorneys interact with the Trustee and their clients. Take note if the cases are concluded or resolved.

The Time to Save is Now

Let’s face it; we are not getting any younger and that means we have less time to save for the future. If your working career is consumed with repaying your debts, how will you save for your retirement or your children’s college fund? It is time to face the music, get out of debt and start saving. A chapter 7 bankruptcy discharges or wipes away most unsecured debts such as credit cards and medical bills and provides for a financial fresh start. Begin your New Year by seeking advice from a bankruptcy lawyer and become financially independent.

Three Ways to avoid getting your Chapter 13 case dismissed

Sometimes our clients feel so much relief from the bankruptcy filing that they neglect to follow the court ordered rules in a chapter 13 case.
1. Debtors must make their monthly plan payments to the Trustee in a timely manner.
2. If the Debtor has not filed their tax returns by the date of filing, they have 45 days to file the return(s) and submit proof to the Trustee.
3. If the Trustee’s objections are not resolved after continued pre-hearing conferences and the Trustee’s objections are well taken, the case will most likely be dismissed.
The dismissal of a case does not negate the bankruptcy filing on the Debtor’s credit report and does not provide for a discharge of debts.

California Homestead Exemptions increase in 2010

Effective January 1, 2010 the California homestead exemption will increase and it is about time. A single person will be allowed $75,000; a married couple $100,000 and elderly or disabled persons $175,000. Although this is a welcome adjustment, some of our clients still have equity in excess of the exemption and depending on the amount of non-exempt equity, the Trustee may not determine there to be enough equity to liquidate and distribute to creditors. The Trustee is entitled to a percentage of the money recovered and if no funds are left for the benefit of creditors thereafter the trustee will abandon the asset to the creditor.

Mortgage Modifications: Beware

I had a client express their frustration with their mortgage lender with a theme all too familiar to me. They requested a mortgage modification to reduce their interest rate and monthly payments but the lender advised them that they would need to be at least three months in default for their application to be considered. The lender would not accept monthly payments thereafter unless the default amount was paid in full and along came the Notice of Default. 90 days went by and here they are filing a chapter 13 bankruptcy to stop the foreclosure sale.