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February 2012 Archives

States to receive at least $2B in foreclosure settlement

Across the country, 49 states are contemplating what they will do with their share of the $25 billion dollar national foreclosure settlement. Some states are already getting flack for planning on using the money for unrelated expenses, such as budget deficits. States have the freedom to use the money as they see fit, but residents of Washington, D.C., and elsewhere will likely prefer the money go toward helping people recover from unwarranted foreclosure actions.

Law students face overwhelming debt

Graduates with law degrees are finding it difficult to find lucrative jobs, a situation made worse by the oppressive debt they often accrue while completing their education. One such graduate, with $150,000 in student debt, found herself in bankruptcy court before she even graduated. She filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection and was tasked with proving that repaying the student loan would cause "undue hardship." It is a difficult measure to prove and many who seek bankruptcy protection from student debts cannot meet that burden of proof.

How to handle a future spouse's debt

When thinking about marriage, it may seem uncomfortable to bring up money. A person's finances, however, are an important part of life and something to consider when merging two households. Going into a marriage with debt looming can put a damper on the big day, but a little preemptive planning can help make the transition easier.

Fewer Consumer Bankruptcies in 2011

Some good news for consumers: 1.4 million bankruptcies were filed in 2011, according to Epiq Systems. While that may seem like a lot, that number is down a full 12 percent from 2010. While certainly heartening for those struggling with their finances, it does not necessarily indicate that the economy is vastly improved or fully recovered from the Great Recession.

To take advantage of tax relief, homeowners must sell soon

Many homeowners who were hit hard during the housing crash and subsequent recession had the unpleasant experience of getting a foreclosure notice or resorting to a short sale. The Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007 was designed to help alleviate some of the burden of homeowners who are underwater on their mortgage, meaning they owe more than their home is worth. Whether through a short sale or foreclosure, former homeowners would not have to pay taxes on the forgiven amount, thanks to the new law.

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