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Washington DC Bankruptcy Law Blog

Controlling your spending habits

Washington D.C. residents may have filed for bankruptcy due to falling into debt. While that's a good solution for a short-term debt problem, it's also imperative to set long-term habits so that debts don't start piling back up again after a person has been freed from them.

Time offers advice on how to control your spending, which can be one of the easiest ways to cut down on debts that are built up over time. They suggest being very careful with credit cards in particular, as it can be far too easy to swipe a card and forget how much money is actually being spent over the course of the month. Using apps that monitor every use of the card, or switching to cash more frequently, are both good options that can make a person more cognizant of how much they're spending.

Getting back your repossessed vehicle

Residents of Washington D.C. who have had their vehicle repossessed are in a huge bind. People use their vehicles to get groceries, make important doctor's appointments, and go to work to make a living. So what can be done if a vehicle is repossessed?

The Nest has a budgeting segment that offers advice on how to retrieve a repossessed vehicle. Perhaps surprisingly, there's more than one way to go about doing this. For example, if someone pays off the loan within two weeks of their car being repossessed, they can redeem it. They could also pay the amount that's due up to fifteen days past the time of repossession, which is a significantly less expensive option. This will reinstate the loan.

What are lesser known consequences of foreclosures?

Washington D.C. residents like you face plenty of pressure to keep up with housing payments, lest you risk your home being foreclosed. Foreclosure can be catastrophic to your happiness, health and finances in many ways, though some may not be as well known as others.

For example, McClatchy DC Bureau reports on the squatting epidemic that was sparked by the huge number of foreclosures that have taken place since the housing bubble burst. Whether invited or not, it's possible for foreclosed houses to become a hosting spot for people who are down on their luck. This can unfortunately cause a lot of complications for all parties involved, from the realtor to the bank and anyone else with items or money invested in the home.

What is an unsecured debt?

As someone living in Washington, D.C. and contemplating bankruptcy, you've likely heard these two terms before: secured debt and unsecured debt. But what exactly is unsecured debt? What does it mean for you if you have unsecured debt?

The Balance states that lenders cannot collect collateral on unsecured debts, which is the primary difference between these two types of debts. Your assets cannot usually be captured, and there is no collateral that's taken before the loan is given out. This makes them high-risk for lenders, as they have no way of ensuring that you'll be able to repay what you owe. For this reason, delinquent unsecured debts are taken quite seriously.

The door may not be closed on your foreclosure situation

If you live in the Washington DC metro area, you are likely no stranger to the economic challenges that have plagued this area, as well as surrounding regions, for more than a decade. In fact, there's probably not a major city (or rural area, for that matter) that remains untouched by the roller-coaster economy that some say is finally beginning to stabilize. Hopefully, things are looking up in your corner of the world, but if you're one of many still facing financial disaster, you are not alone.

In fact, many people received mortgage loans in recent years based on questionable lending practices that took advantage of the desire to own a home. Maybe you were one of those people, and now you're left holding the bag on a debt you are completely unprepared to meet. Perhaps securing a loan was no problem, and making payments was going along just fine, until extenuating circumstances occurred to throw your finances off-balance.

Are these bankruptcy alternatives for you?

Washington, D.C. residents who are struggling beneath piles of debt may be looking into bankruptcy alternatives. While there isn't anything wrong with filing for bankruptcy if you need to, there may be other methods of finding your way out of personal debt that could work for your unique situation better than bankruptcy could.

U.S. News echoes this sentiment as well, stating that bankruptcy is not the be-all end-all that it's often made out to be, but that there are also bankruptcy alternatives that are sometimes overlooked in favor of immediately turning to Chapter 13 or Chapter 7 bankruptcy. For example, they advocate getting financial help if it's necessary and you're in a position to do so. If you're holding back for the sake of pride or not wishing to be burdensome, you may want to consider it a second time.

Can filing for bankruptcy get you back your license?

Bankruptcy can be beneficial in numerous ways, from the obvious alleviation of financial debt and the stress that goes with it to much lesser-known benefits, and we at Ammerman & Goldberg Bankruptcy Law Office will shed light on both. For example, residents of Washington, D.C. who have had their license suspended may actually have a solution in filing for bankruptcy.

There are certain situations in which a suspended license may be restored by bankruptcy. Minor traffic violations count, for one. For example, unpaid parking tickets or driving without a license can result in your license being suspended. In the case of a parking ticket, you can regain your license for 4 months and then work out a payment plan that works for you in order to pay off the ticket. The payment plan can take place over a period of 3 to 5 years.

Will you lose everything if you go bankrupt?

If you're struggling with the possibility of bankruptcy in Washington, D.C., you may be wondering exactly what you'll lose. There are plenty of bad rumors about bankruptcy that could turn anyone away from it, but we at Ammerman & Goldberg Bankruptcy Law Office are here to help you separate myth from reality.

Exemptions exist in many cases, and you may find more of your property protected than you initially believe. A common misconception about bankruptcy is that the person filing for it will lose everything. This can include their car, house, or even personal possessions with great sentimental value. Horror stories can be found across the internet detailing tales of people who claim that they sold wedding rings or prized family heirlooms for bankruptcy.

How can you pay off your mortgage early?

Washington, D.C. residents like you who have mortgages to pay are surely waiting for the day when you make that final payment and no longer have to budget around it. However, there may be ways that you can pay your mortgage off more quickly, thus shaving years off of your payment plan and allowing you to enjoy a mortgage-free life sooner.

As an article on MoneyTalksNews highlights, there's one main way to pay your mortgage off early, and that's by paying more than the minimum amount that's due every single month. This can seem daunting, but it's the easiest and surest way to get through your mortgage payment faster. If you budget in advance, you'll be able to afford higher payments every month without the risk of going into debt or being unable to keep up with these higher amounts.

Can you get a better mortgage rate without refinancing?

Residents of Washington D.C. like you may be looking into refinancing your mortgage in the hopes that you can cut down on some of your monthly costs. But are there better ways to land a new mortgage that doesn't involve having to jump through the hoops of refinancing?

Fortunately, there is a way to get a better mortgage without having to fully refinance. This is good news for all homeowners, because refinancing can come back to haunt you in the future if you're not extremely careful in the way you go about it. Forbes states that reducing your mortgage rate is a possibility that many homeowners overlook, but that it can be exactly what's necessary to help someone avoid refinancing.

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