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Author Archives: Jim Zimmermann

Bankruptcy and Back Taxes: Are You Still on the Hook?

When you file for bankruptcy, tax debt may be a top concern, especially if other expenses — such as medical bills — have taken priority. If you are worried about tax debt, you will be relieved to learn that once you file for bankruptcy, both the IRS and the state of New Jersey stop tax… Read More »

What Property Can You Keep if You File for Chapter 7?

Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows eligible debtors to discharge their debt, making it an appealing option for many people living paycheck to paycheck with little hope of catching up on accrued debt. But while you may be able to eliminate all of your debt through Chapter 7, it isn’t a free ride. The bankruptcy trustee appointed… Read More »

Does Chapter 13 Protect Your Home from Foreclosure?

Losing your home to foreclosure can happen quickly even when you’re earning a steady income. If you or a loved one suffers a serious illness and faces extensive medical bills not covered by insurance, you may not be able to keep up with mortgage payments. And depending on your lender, it may take only three… Read More »

How Can You Repair Your Credit Score After a Bankruptcy Discharge?

Bankruptcy laws and procedures were designed to help people recover from overwhelming debt and start fresh. But even after your debt is discharged, your credit score still bears the mark of your former debt. Creditors still see you as a risk and want proof that you can make monthly payments on a loan or make… Read More »

What Is the Chapter 7 Means Test?

If you are considering filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which discharges debt, you must prove that you don’t have the means to pay back your debt. And you prove that by taking a means test. To be eligible for Chapter 7, you must show that your income is too low (and in some cases your expenses… Read More »

Who Can File for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

If you are struggling to pay off debt or keep up with monthly bills, you may consider filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Under Chapter 7, all of your eligible assets are sold off to pay down your debt, and the remainder may be eliminated. But if you have a home you want… Read More »

How Does Bankruptcy Affect a Cosigner?

Cosigning a loan, lease or another financial obligation for a friend or a loved one is a kind gesture but it involves crucial legal responsibilities. Before you cosign any document, you should take time to understand your obligations to creditors in the event that the borrower is unable to make the payments owed. If the… Read More »

Tips for Handling a Trial Mortgage Modification Period

Amending the terms of a mortgage by adjusting interest rates, or by extending the period over which the mortgage will be paid, can allow a borrower to better manage financial hardship. In fact, a mortgage modification is one of the most common ways to avert a home foreclosure. Before a mortgage company agrees to permanent… Read More »

Can You Be Sued After You File For Bankruptcy?

One of the benefits of declaring bankruptcy is that an automatic stay is issued, prohibiting creditors from coming after you for debt collection. Under the terms of the stay, many creditors cannot initiate litigation against you. Foreclosures and any pending lawsuits from creditors are paused as are previous lawsuit judgments requiring you to resolve unpaid… Read More »

Can You Short Sell a Home With Multiple Mortgages?

When you owe more on your home than the property is worth on the market, you may consider a short sale as a way to avoid foreclosure. This means the property is sold for less than the outstanding mortgage. Here’s an example of a short sale scenario: You owe $300,000 on your home and cannot… Read More »