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October 2013 Archives

Rent-controlled units may become bankruptcy assets

Rent control for tenants in major cities is a critical program that provides financial relief for those who need it most. Impoverished populations throughout Washington, D.C., and other municipalities benefit from housing provisions, which can prevent underprivileged renters from plummeting into personal bankruptcy. Similar to Section 8 and other housing programs, rent-controlled apartments in major cities such as New York City provide disadvantaged residents with the protection they need to live quality lives. This program is now being threatened, however, by unscrupulous agencies who contend that a rent-stabilized lease can be considered an asset, similar to a home or vehicle. These changes could have wide-reaching effects for renters throughout the region, as they begin to worry about the future of their bankruptcy claims.

Shutdown increases homeowner foreclosure rates

The federal budget crisis may have had an unexpected side effect; it appears that an increasing number of homeowners in the Washington, D.C., suburbs are facing foreclosure because they could not pay their mortgages during the shutdown. Even though default numbers fell throughout the country, initial filings for foreclosure more than doubled in at least three counties surrounding the nation's capital.

Bankruptcy laws differ by state

Washington, D.C., residents are more likely to keep their vehicles during a debt relief proceeding, but they are also subject to rules that could lead to the garnishment of 25 percent of their wages. Bankruptcy code throughout the region - and throughout the nation - varies so widely that Washingtonians are unlikely to have the same experiences as even their neighbors in Virginia and Maryland. In fact, your location determines whether debt collectors can seize your paycheck, bank accounts, vehicle and other assets, according to expert reports.

Bankruptcy threatens federal workers

As the government shutdown has continued to affect workers throughout the Washington, D.C., region, a growing number of employees are wondering about their financial futures because of furloughs. Even though the federal government has agreed to compensate employees for their time spent away from work, civilian contractors and other associated workers may face permanent financial woes because of the government shutdown. Experts in the area acknowledge that a loss of just a few days of work could cause personal bankruptcy among those who live paycheck-to-paycheck. Even a relatively minor financial loss can lead to serious money problems for the average American.

Washington D.C. nonprofit shuts doors, files for Chapter 7

It appears that even nonprofit groups in the Washington, D.C., area are not immune to the ravages of the recent economic downturn. One of the most prolific volunteer groups in the area has been forced to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy after experiencing recent financial problems. HandsOn Greater DC Cares, known for its massive volunteer coordinating efforts, is closing its doors after a 24-year run in the community.

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