Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Foreclosure - Don't Panic & Don't Get Scammed!

If it's too good to be true, that means it is not true and you are about to be scammed. Hundreds of "foreclosure rescue companies" are aggressively marketing homeowners that are in jeopardy of losing their home to foreclosure. These companies obtain your personal information from public records and deliberately prey on you when you are at your weakest.

They will pull you in by say things like:
1. "Don't worry, you'll get your deed back in no time"
2. "We'll buy your house right now - but just temporarily, of course"
3. "We'll pay the mortgage payments for you"

They are selling snake oil and I advise you not to believe their lies...You are much better off contacting a nonprofit housing counseling agency for "FREE." They will help you for "FREE."

Contact a nonprofit housing counseling agency in your area for "FREE" advice on foreclosure solutions.

Take care and good luck.

Stephen M. Dunne, Esq.
Dunne Law Offices, P.C.
(215) 854-6342
1500 JFK Blvd, Two Penn Center, Suite 200
Philadelphia, PA 19102
dunnelawoffices@gmail.com
www.dunnelawoffices.com

Take care and good luck.

Stephen M. Dunne, Esq.
Dunne Law Offices, P.C.
(215) 854-6342
1500 JFK Blvd, Two Penn Center, Suite 200
Philadelphia, PA 19102
dunnelawoffices@gmail.com
www.dunnelawoffices.com

Foreclosure - Don't Panic & Don't Get Scammed!

If it's too good to be true, that means it is not true and you are about to be scammed. Hundreds of "foreclosure rescue companies" are aggressively marketing homeowners that are in jeopardy of losing their home to foreclosure. These companies obtain your personal information from public records and deliberately prey on you when you are at your weakest.

They will pull you in by say things like:
1. "Don't worry, you'll get your deed back in no time"
2. "We'll buy your house right now - but just temporarily , of course"
3. "We'll the mortgage payments for you"

They are selling snake oil and I advise you not to believe their lies...

You are much better off contacting a nonprofit housing counseling agency for "FREE."
They will help you for "FREE" and do that exact same thing.

Contact a nonprofit housing counseling agency in your area for "FREE" advice on foreclosure solutions.

Foreclosure - Don't Panic - Option Number 5 - Take Out a Reverse Mortgage

1. What is a reverse mortgage?

A reverse mortgage is a special type of home loan that lets you convert a portion of the equity in your home into cash. The equity that built up over years of home mortgage payments can be paid to you.

2. Do I qualify for a reverse mortgage?


To be eligible for a reverse mortgage, the homeowner must be 62 years of age or older, own home outright, or have a low mortgage balance that can be paid off at closing with proceeds from the reverse loan, and you must live in the home.


3. What's unique about a reverse mortgage?


You cannot be foreclosed or forced to vacate your house because you "missed your mortgage payment."
You don't make loan payments, because the loan is not due as long as the house is your principal residence.
The reverse mortgage pays you, and is available regardless of your current income. The amount you can borrow depends on your age, the current interest rate, and the appraised value of your home.

4. How much money can I borrow?


The amount you can borrow depends on your age, the current interest rate, and the appraised value of your home or FHA's mortgage limits for your area, whichever is less. Generally, the more valuable your home is, the older you are, the lower the interest, the more you can borrow. You can use an online calculator like the one on the AARP website to get an idea of what you may be able to borrow.

5. How do I find out more information?

Call 1 (800) 569-4287 toll-free, for the name and location of a HUD-approved housing counseling agency near you or click on the following word: "Reverse Mortgage."


Take care and good luck.

Stephen M. Dunne, Esq.
Dunne Law Offices, P.C.
(215) 854-6342
1500 JFK Blvd, Two Penn Center, Suite 200
Philadelphia, PA 19102
dunnelawoffices@gmail.com
www.dunnelawoffices.com

Monday, September 21, 2009

Foreclosure - Don't Panic - Option Number 3 & 4 - Chapter 7 & Chapter 13

Foreclosure - Don't Panic - Option Number 3 & 4 - Chapter 7 & Chapter 13

File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
If you are current on your mortgage, Chapter 7 may be a good option because it is relatively quick and inexpensive. Chapter 7 will allow your mortgage payments to be more affordable and therefore prevent foreclosure in the long run by eliminating your unsecured debt.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy will wipe out your unsecured debt, such as credit cards, medical bills, and personal loans. The net effect of wiping out your unsecured debt allows you plenty of money to pay your secured debts, i.e., mortgage and car payment.

File for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
This is a great option if you have a fairly stable income and you can afford a Chapter 13 repayment plan. Chapter 13 allows you to repay your missed mortgage payments over the life of your repayment plan which will allows you three to five years to get back on track.
You will end up only paying a fraction of your unsecured debt, such as credit cards, medical bills and personal loans. You may be able to "cram down" your car payment and end up payment the fair market value of your car today as opposed to the balance on your car loan.
Last but not least, you may be able to "strip off" your second mortgage on your home if the value of your home has decreased and the second mortgage is unsecured.


Take care and good luck.

Stephen M. Dunne, Esq.
Dunne Law Offices, P.C.
(215) 854-6342
1500 JFK Blvd, Two Penn Center, Suite 200
Philadelphia, PA 19102
dunnelawoffices@gmail.com
www.dunnelawoffices.com

Foreclosure - Don't Panic - Option Number 3 & 4 - Chapter 7 & Chapter 13

Foreclosure - Don't Panic - Option Number 3 & 4 - Chapter 7 & Chapter 13

File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
If you are current on your mortgage, Chapter 7 may be a good option because it is relatively quick and inexpensive. Chapter 7 will allow your mortgage payments to be more affordable and therefore prevent foreclosure in the long run by eliminating your unsecured debt.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy will wipe out your unsecured debt, such as credit cards, medical bills, and personal loans. The net effect of wiping out your unsecured debt allows you plenty of money to pay your secured debts, i.e., mortgage and car payment.

File for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
This is a great option if you have a fairly stable income and you can afford a Chapter 13 repayment plan. Chapter 13 allows you to repay your missed mortgage payments over the life of your repayment plan which will allows you three to five years to get back on track.
You will end up only paying a fraction of your unsecured debt, such as credit cards, medical bills and personal loans. You may be able to "cram down" your car payment and end up payment the fair market value of your car today as opposed to the balance on your car loan.
Last but not least, you may be able to "strip off" your second mortgage on your home if the value of your home has decreased and the second mortgage is unsecured.


Take care and good luck.

Stephen M. Dunne, Esq.
Dunne Law Offices, P.C.
(215) 854-6342
1500 JFK Blvd, Two Penn Center, Suite 200
Philadelphia, PA 19102
dunnelawoffices@gmail.com
www.dunnelawoffices.com

Foreclosure - Don't Panic - Option Number 2- Refinance

Some homeowners will find that the best option in their circumstances is to refinance at a better rate and pay off their old loan. Although this is not a option for everyone, it should be on the 'table' as an alternative option.

Recent legislation in Congress established the Hope for Homeowners Program, effective October 1, 2008. This program authorizes the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) to insure up to $300 billion worth of refinanced loans.

That means homeowners can modify their variable and teaser rate mortgages into lower interest, fixed rate 30 year mortgages. It is estimated that this program should be a lifeline for about 400,000 homeowners.

The following website provides the FHA contact information:

http://portal.hud.gov/portal/page/portal/HUD/federal_housing_administration


Take care and good luck.

Stephen M. Dunne, Esq.
Dunne Law Offices, P.C.
(215) 854-6342
1500 JFK Blvd, Two Penn Center, Suite 200
Philadelphia, PA 19102
dunnelawoffices@gmail.com
www.dunnelawoffices.com

Foreclosure - Don't Panic - Option Number 1- Reinstatement of Mortgage

Negotiate a workout with the lender with the help of a free housing counselor.
You may be able to reinstate your mortgage by making all the missed payments plus fees and interest the lender charges you.

Pennsylvania law allows a mortgage to be reinstated a maximum of three times in one calendar year and allows a reinstatement to occur all the way up to one hour before the bidding at the foreclosure sale.

The following is a list of approved free housing counselors in Philadelphia.

ACORN HOUSING CORPORATION
846 N Broad St 2nd floor
Philadelphia, PA 19130-2234
Phone: 215-765-1221    Fax: 215-765-0045
Type of Counseling:
Default/Foreclosure Counseling, Prepurchase Counseling

ASOCIACION PUERTORIQUENOS EN MARCHA
600 West Diamond Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122
Phone: 215-235-6070    Fax: 215-235-7335
E-mail: eaponte@amphousing.org
Type of Counseling:
Prepurchase Counseling, Rental Counseling, Default/Foreclosure Counseling

CENTRO PEDRO CLAVER, INCORPORATED
3565 N 7th St
Philadelphia, PA 19140-4401
Phone: 215-227-7111    Fax: 215-227-7105
E-mail: centro@Libertynet.org
Type of Counseling:

CONSUMER CREDIT COUNSELING SERVICE OF DELAWARE VALLEY
1608 Walnut St., 10th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19103
p. 800-989-2227 or 215-563-5665
f. 215-563-7020
info@cccsdv.org
Type of Counseling:
Prepurchase Counseling, Default/Foreclosure Counseling, HECM Counseling, Rental Counseling

DIXON OF DIVERSIFIED COMMUNITY SERVICES
1920 S. 20th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19146
Phone: 215-336-3511   Fax: 215-551-4327
E-mail: demetra.hilton@verizon.com
Type of Counseling:
Prepurchase Counseling, Default/Foreclosure Counseling, Rental Counseling

GERMANTOWN SETTLEMENT
218 W. Chelten Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19144
Phone: 215-849-3104    Fax: 215-843-7264
Type of Counseling:
Default/Foreclosure Counseling, Prepurchase Counseling, Rental Counseling

HISPANIC ASSOCIATION OF CONTRACTORS AND ENTERPRISES
167 W. Allegheny Avenue, Suite 200
Philadelphia, PA 19140
Phone: 215-426-8025    Fax: 215-426-9122
Type of Counseling:
Prepurchase Counseling, Default/Foreclosure Counseling, Rental Counseling

HOUSING ASSOCIATION INFORMATION PROGRAM
658-60 N Watts St
Philadelphia, PA 19123-2422
Phone: 215-978-0224    Fax: 215-765-7614
Type of Counseling:
Default/Foreclosure Counseling, Rental Counseling, Prepurchase Counseling

HOUSING CONSORTIUM FOR DISABLED INDIVIDUALS
4701 Pine Street
Philadelphia, PA
Phone: 215-528-5056    Fax: 215-528-5848
E-mail: HCDIhelps@aol.com
Type of Counseling:
Rental Counseling, Prepurchase Counseling, Default/Foreclosure Counseling

INTERCULTURAL FAMILY SERVICES, INCORPORATED
4225 Chestnut St
Philadelphia, PA 19104-3014
Phone: 215-386-1298    Fax: 215-386-9348
E-mail: ifsi@isfinc.org
Website: www.ifsinc.org
Type of Counseling:
Rental Counseling, Prepurchase Counseling, Default/Foreclosure Counseling, HECM Counseling

KOREAN COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT SERVICES CENTER
6053-55 North 5th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19120
Phone: 215-276-8830    Fax: 215-224-8150
Type of Counseling:
Prepurchase Counseling, Default/Foreclosure Counseling, HECM Counseling, Rental Counseling

MOUNT AIRY, U S A
6639-41 Germantown Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19119
Phone: 215-844-6021    Fax: 215-844-9167
Type of Counseling:
Rental Counseling, Default/Foreclosure Counseling, Prepurchase Counseling

NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REAL ESTATE BROKERS HOUSING COUNSELING AGENCY OF PHILADELPHIA
1420 W. Susquehanna
Philadelphia, PA 19121
Phone: 215-235-3737    Fax: 215-763-3799
E-mail: C21H37004@AOL.COM
Type of Counseling:
HECM Counseling, Default/Foreclosure Counseling, Rental Counseling, Prepurchase Counseling

NEW KENSINGTON COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION
2513-15 Frankford Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19125-1708
Phone: 215-427-0322    Fax: 215-427-1302
Website: www.newkensingtoncdc.com
Type of Counseling:
Default/Foreclosure Counseling, Prepurchase Counseling

NORTHWEST COUNSELING SERVICE
5001 N Broad St
Philadelphia, PA 19141-2217
Phone: 215-324-7500    Fax: 215-324-8753
E-mail: nwcs@erols.com
Type of Counseling:
HECM Counseling, Default/Foreclosure Counseling, Rental Counseling, Prepurchase Counseling

NUEVA ESPERANZA, INCORPORATED
4261  N.  5th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19140
Phone: 215-324-0746    Fax: 215-324-2542
E-mail: motero@nueva.org
Website: www.nueva.org
Type of Counseling:
Prepurchase Counseling, Default/Foreclosure Counseling

PHILADELPHIA COUNCIL FOR COMMUNITY ADVANCEMENT
100 N 17th St Ste 700
Philadelphia, PA 19103-2736
Phone: 215-567-7803    Fax: 215-567-2236
Toll-Free: 800-930-4663
E-mail: mail@philapcca.org
Website: www.philapcca.org
Type of Counseling:
HECM Counseling, Prepurchase Counseling, Default/Foreclosure Counseling, Rental Counseling

PHILADELPHIA HOUSING DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION
1234 Market St 17th Fl
Philadelphia, PA 19107-3721
Phone: 215-448-3132    Fax: 215-448-3188
E-mail: thomasroberta@hotmail.com
Type of Counseling:
Prepurchase Counseling, Rental Counseling

PHILADELPHIA NEIGHBORHOOD HOUSING SERVICES, INCORPORATED
511 North Broad St 4TH Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19123
Phone: 215-988-9879    Fax: 215-988-1297
Type of Counseling:
Prepurchase Counseling, Default/Foreclosure Counseling

UNEMPLOYMENT INFORMATION CENTER
1201 Chestnut Street,  #702
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Phone: 215-557-0822    Fax: 215-557-6981
Type of Counseling:
Default/Foreclosure Counseling

URBAN LEAGUE OF PHILADELPHIA
251-53 S. 24th St
Philadelphia, PA 19103-5529
Phone: 215-451-5005    Fax: 215-451-5006
E-mail: rwsulp@aol.com
Type of Counseling:
Default/Foreclosure Counseling, Prepurchase Counseling, Rental Counseling, HECM Counseling

Take care and good luck.

Stephen M. Dunne, Esq.
Dunne Law Offices, P.C.
(215) 854-6342
1500 JFK Blvd, Two Penn Center, Suite 200
Philadelphia, PA 19102
dunnelawoffices@gmail.com
www.dunnelawoffices.com

Foreclosure - Don't Panic You Have Options

The following is a list of 7 options that you can utilize in the case of a foreclosure.

1. Negotiate a workout with the lender with the help of a free housing counselor;

CONSUMER CREDIT COUNSELING SERVICE OF DELAWARE VALLEY
1515 Market St Ste 1325
Philadelphia, PA 19102
Phone: 215-563-5665    Fax: 215-563-7020
Toll-Free: 800-989-2227
E-mail: dtagliaferro@cccsdv.org
Website: www.cccsdv.org
Type of Counseling:
Default/Foreclosure Counseling, Rental Counseling, Prepurchase Counseling, HECM Counseling


2. Reinstate the existing loan by making up the missed payments, plus costs and interest;

3. Refinance the entire loan;

4. Arrange a short sale or deed in lieu or foreclosure;

5. Arrange a reverse mortgage if you have enough equity and are 62 years or age or older;

6. Delay the foreclosure sale by filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy;

7. Fight the foreclosure in court and either stop or delay it.

Stephen M. Dunne, Esq.
Dunne Law Offices, P.C.
(215) 854-6342
1500 JFK Blvd, Two Penn Center, Suite 200
Philadelphia, PA 19102
dunnelawoffices@gmail.com
www.dunnelawoffices.com

Sunday, September 20, 2009

How To Successfully Plan Your Bankruptcy?

Consider the following questions so that you can properly plan your bankruptcy:

1. Do you expect an inheritance within the next year or could you get a tax refund within a couple of months? Bankruptcy property includes not only the property you have at the time of filing but sometimes property that you may acquire or get later. You are allowed enough property to start over but no more. Inheritances, tax refunds, lottery tickets and personal injury lawsuits are especially property that the court looks at although you don’t have the money the day of filing. Be sure to list these as assets or you lose them.

2. Do you expect to have major medical expenses within the next year? Maybe you want to wait until after you have these expenses to file or if you had injuries from an auto accident you may want to reconsider filing. Lawsuits are an asset that the bankruptcy court may own if you can exempt it.

3. Have you paid a creditor more that the normal monthly payment or paid someone close to you anything within the last year? This is a preferential transfer which may be avoided by the court and the person you paid may have to pay the court back. Preferential transfers are when anyone gets something for less than its fair market value just before filing. This includes giving a mortgage to an unsecured creditor or paying a creditor off just before filing or giving a car or other property to a relative or friend before filing. Transferring assets just before filing into your retirement account within 6 months or into other exempt forms is also a preferential or fraudulent transfer.

4.Do you have child support, or alimony, or is there a pending dissolution of marriage? Overdue alimony and child support can only be repaid in a Chapter 13. It is never discharged. You must be current on support or a spouse may object to the discharge and have your case dismissed or get other sanctions. You can't fall further behind with your child support if you are in a Chapter 13.

5. Do your have old tax debts? Some debts like taxes are dischargeable if you wait the proper period of time (3 years after filing the taxes). The statute of limitations for tax collection is 10 years. Also if you went crazy and charged up your credit cards just before filing they won’t be dischargeable unless you wait 90 or more days. Such credit card charges are looked at as fraud.

6. Are you unable to keep payments current on secured property? If so, a Chapter 13 is never the long term answer. You will eventually lose property that you can’t keep up the payments on. You will eventually have to file a Chapter 7, and/or surrender the property or repay the deficiency. You have to live within your budget.

7. Do you have regular income or valuable non exempt assets? If you have regular income you may have to file a Chapter 13 unless your expenses exceed your income. If you have valuable assets that you can’t exempt, you may have to file a Chapter 13 or lose them.

8. Are you able to produce a list of your debts and financial records? You need to know who you owe, how much you owe, and the addresses of your debts. Fail to list a debt or tell your attorney about it and you may have to pay it. You may also have to provide bank and tax records and copies of deeds mortgages and titles.

9. Have you filed bankruptcy within the last 8 years or had a prior bankruptcy dismissed. You may not be able to file a Chapter 7 just yet then.

10. Have you charged large amounts, sold property and not paid the lender or obtained a loan by fraud such as overvaluing assets or giving property as security that you don’t own? If you charged a large amount within 90 days prior to filing you may not be able to obtain a discharge but such a lawsuit (adversary proceeding) against you is hard to prove and win.

11. If you have bought or sold property, was the lien or mortgage properly recorded? If a mortgage or lien was not properly recorded the bankruptcy court may own it. For that reason we need the mortgages and titles of property you own or that you bought and sold within the prior 2 years.

Stephen M. Dunne, Esq.
Dunne Law Offices, P.C.
(215) 854-6342
1500 JFK Blvd, Two Penn Center, Suite 200
Philadelphia, PA 19102
dunnelawoffices@gmail.com
www.dunnelawoffices.com

What is a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

Chapter 13 is a type of bankruptcy where you file a repayment plan with the bankruptcy court to pay back some or a portion of your debts over three to five years. Chapter 13 plans operate very much like a consolidation loan, in that, debts are consolidated into one monthly payment which is paid to a Trustee and the Trustee then pays the creditors.

The 7 major benefits to a Chapter 13 are:

1. A Chapter 13 can be used to repay certain debts that a Chapter 7 cannot, such as fraudulent debts, child support, divorce settlements, taxes less than 3 years old and student loans.

2. If you can’t finish paying the plan but you have repaid the majority of the Chapter 13 payments you can get a “hardship” discharge for having made most of the repayments as long as you have repaid what a 7 would have repaid. The plan can also be modified or lowered or increased. If your Chapter 13 is dismissed voluntarily or due to a willful violation of a court order, you may not obtain a discharge by filing another Chapter 13 for years. You may be able to obtain the stay to stop a foreclosure by proving that it will work a second time but you won’t get a discharge of your unsecured debts. If it was dismissed involuntarily due to no fault of your own, you can re-file immediately. If you were in a credit counseling plan and fail to finish paying payments you go back to owing as much as you originally owed

3. If you can’t finish the repayment, a Chapter 13 can also be converted to a Chapter 7. This is often useful if you filed a Chapter 7 less than 8 years ago and you need relief now but want to convert later.

4. A Chapter 13 protects co-signers, as long as the Chapter 13 pays the debt in full, and it allows you to keep property that you might otherwise have to turn over in a Chapter 7 liquidation bankruptcy. (A Chapter 7 does not protect co-signers and only protects joint property belonging to the Debtor while the Chapter 7 stay is in effect.)

5. Chapter 13 is often used to stop foreclosures or refinance a mortgage. After just one year after you start a Chapter 13, agency lenders (VA FHA HUD KHC) can refinance or finance a home mortgage at prime rates even while you are in a Chapter 13 if you repay on time while you are in the Chapter 13.

6. You can also avoid (destroy) a second mortgage that has no equity in a Chapter 13. However you must prove that if the house sold that no money would go to the Second mortgage.

7. You can also effectively discharge many of your debts in a 13 by reviewing your debts prior to them being approved to be paid. If you file motions to object to questionable debts then many lenders will not bother to supplement their claim or fight your objection.


Stephen M. Dunne, Esq.
Dunne Law Offices, P.C.
(215) 854-6342
1500 JFK Blvd, Two Penn Center, Suite 200
Philadelphia, PA 19102
dunnelawoffices@gmail.com
www.dunnelawoffices.com

What is a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is sometimes called "liquidation" bankruptcy -- it cancels your debts, but you might have to let the bankruptcy court liquidate (sell) some of your property for the benefit of your creditors. ("Chapter 7" refers to the chapter of the federal Bankruptcy Code that contains the bankruptcy law.)

If you properly file a Chapter 7, you will no longer have to repay your debts and your debts will be “discharged”. A discharge in bankruptcy means that you no longer personally owe the debts.

Your goal in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy should be to “exempt” all of your assets so that you can keep all of your property and still wipe out all of your debts. However the U.S. Trustee will attempt to sell any assets you fail to properly “exempt”. You can’t exempt property you don’t claim which is why you must list all of your property.

In a Chapter 7, you are allowed to keep a certain amount of property that is called exempted property. The bankruptcy court and creditors cannot take “exempted” property from you unless they have a lien or mortgage on it.

For 2009 in Pennsylvania, you were allowed to keep $3,225 equity in a car, $10,775 in personal property, $20,200 in your home, a 1,075 wildcard exemption plus another $10,100 wildcard exemptions if the home exemption isn’t used. These amounts increase every year for cost of living. You also have an almost unlimited exemption for retirement funds ($1,095,000.00). It is very important to be aware that these figures are doubled for married joint filers.

The principle of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is that the Debtor is allowed to keep a small amount of necessary exempted property to start over with and his creditors keep the rest of the property. However, with the proper pre-bankruptcy planning, it is rare that any property is handed over in a Chapter 7 case. Most people do not have any assets to hand over after they are allowed to keep their exempted property.


Stephen M. Dunne, Esq.
Dunne Law Offices, P.C.
(215) 854-6342
1500 JFK Blvd, Two Penn Center, Suite 200
Philadelphia, PA 19102
dunnelawoffices@gmail.com
www.dunnelawoffices.com

What Will It Cost To File Bankruptcy?

If you choose us as your Attorney, we have a flat fee for an uncontested Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Almost all bankruptcies are uncontested. However, there can be additional fees under some rare circumstances.

Our flat fee is $1,4000 for a single uncontested bankruptcy petition and $1,600 for a joint uncontested petition. Chapter 7 court costs are presently $299. Your total cost is $1,699.00, but this can change. Chapter 13 court costs are $274. Attorney fees in a Chapter 13 are approximately $2,400. Attorney fees in a Chapter 13 are paid as you pay payments and are set by the court.

We DO charge for filing any adversary proceeding to discharge student loans, recover garnishments, or avoid a judicial lien filed on your property. These problems are rare but, you should always check to make sure you have not been sued and that you have no liens on your home.

We also charge a small fee if you need to file motions or proceedings to redeem property or to avoid judicial liens on real property (such motions are not included in the fees charged by us in filing an uncontested bankruptcy). Removing a judicial lien requires an additional hearing, motion, and a real estate appraisal requiring more legal work than a standard bankruptcy. A bankruptcy can get rid of a judicial lien (such as a lien resulting from a lawsuit or tax lien), but you must ask us to remove any lien before the bankruptcy is discharged and give us a copy of any such lien, your deed, and an appraisal. If you don’t tell us about it we can’t remove it.

Stephen M. Dunne, Esq.
Dunne Law Offices, P.C.
(215) 854-6342
1500 JFK Blvd, Two Penn Center, Suite 200
Philadelphia, PA 19102
dunnelawoffices@gmail.com
www.dunnelawoffices.com

What documents do I need to file Bankruptcy?

Required Supporting Documents

1. A certificate of Approved Credit Counseling prior to filing;
2. Evidence of income for the prior 6 months so that your income can be
averaged including the last 60 days of pay stubs together this is a total of
the prior 7 months. Also this is household income not just your income even
if your spouse is not filing;
3. At least 6 prior months of bank statements, loan dates for secured debts;
4. A detailed list of personal property;
5. Past utility or medical bills;
6. Statement of monthly net income and any anticipated increase in income or
expenses after filing;
7. Court Orders if you have child support or Alimony obligations including the
address of the person you pay. Proof that you are up to date on your
domestic support obligations alimony child support;
8. Copies of your Deeds and Mortgages showing time stamped date of when it was
recorded;
9. Bank statements for accounts which you have an interest or signature
authority on the date you file. Tell your attorney if you are on someone
else’s bank account, car title or property;
10. Titles to all vehicles, jet skis, trailers or boats titled in your name
(again tell your attorney if you are on someone else’s car);
11. Proof of full coverage insurance if you have a loan on your car;
12. Photo Id and Social Security Card;
13. The last four years of tax returns, not your copy, the transcript from the
IRS which takes time and money to get; plus tax returns filed during the
case. If you have not filed returns you cannot file. Often we will get
these for you if you don’t have them but you must sign papers allowing us to
get them for you.

By no means is this a conclusive list of required documents but this will certainly get the ball rolling in your bankruptcy case.

Stephen M. Dunne, Esq.
Dunne Law Offices, P.C.
(215) 854-6342
1500 JFK Blvd, Two Penn Center, Suite 200
Philadelphia, PA 19102
dunnelawoffices@gmail.com
www.dunnelawoffices.com

What Property Can I Keep in Bankruptcy

Most states like Pennsylvania use the Federal Exemptions which allow you to keep a large amount of your property. The federal exemptions increase with the cost of living every year.

The 2009 Federal Exemptions:

1. A home exemption for $20, 200. The exemption applies to each debtor who resides in the home and who is on the deed so it would be doubled for a married couple filing jointly if both individuals are on the deed. In that case, the home exemption would be $40,400. Bankruptcy Code Section 522(d)(1)

2. A $3,225 vehicle exemption per debtor. U.S. Bankruptcy Code Section 522(d)(2)

3. A $10,000 household goods exemption. U.S. Bankruptcy Code Section 522(d)(3)

4. An additional $1,000 general wildcard federal exemption for additional property the debtor wishes to keep. U.S. Bankruptcy Code Section 522(d)(5)

5. If the real estate exemption is not used, then ½ of it becomes a "wildcard" exemption which can be used for any property the debtor wishes to keep. U.S. Bankruptcy Code Section 522(d)(5)

6. A retirement exemption that is almost unlimited or to be exact $1,095,000 in retirement funds. U.S. Bankruptcy Code Section 522(d)(12)

Stephen M. Dunne, Esq.
Dunne Law Offices, P.C.
(215) 854-6342
1500 JFK Blvd, Two Penn Center, Suite 200
Philadelphia, PA 19102
dunnelawoffices@gmail.com
www.dunnelawoffices.com

Debt Management is a Bad Alternative

Debt Management may allow you to repay your debts over time just as Chapter 13 however:

1. Debt Management companies pay themselves first and have gone out of business taking your money with them.
2. Your credit is still damaged with Debt Management.
3. Debt Management is taxed as income for any debt that is "forgiven."
4. Debt Management lacks the power of federal court orders.
5. Creditors are court ordered to a Chapter 13 and they cannot opt out or refuse to participate in a court ordered Chapter 13 repayment plan.
6.Debt Management requires repayment at 50% and a Chapter 13 may pay less than 10%.
7. 90% of all Debt Management plans fail while Bankruptcy allows conversions and hardship discharges if you cannot complete a Chapter 13 repayment plan.


Stephen M. Dunne, Esq.
Dunne Law Offices, P.C.
(215) 854-6342
1500 JFK Blvd, Two Penn Center, Suite 200
Philadelphia, PA 19102
dunnelawoffices@gmail.com
www.dunnelawoffices.com

Advantages & Disadvantages of a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Advantages of a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

1. A Chapter 13 can allow you to eliminate and destroy a 2nd Mortgage by lien stripping where the 2nd Mortgage has no equity in the home. (If the home is worth less than the 1st Mortgage).
2. Only a Chapter 13 will "cure " a foreclosure.
3. By reviewing and objecting to improper claims you often eliminate much of the unsecured debt.
4. If you are unable to complete the Chapter 13, you may convert to a Chapter 7 or obtain a "hardship discharge."
5. A Chapter 13 may be paid off early by cashing in a retirement, inheritances or a mortgage.
6. Often a home can be refinanced at a lower rate 1 year after on time payments in a Chapter 13.
7. Debts such as taxes, that are not dischargeable in a Chapter 7 may be dischargeable in a Chapter 13.
8. Cosignors can be protected in a Chapter 13 not in a Chapter 7.

Disadvantages of a Chapter 13
1. Partial to complete repayment is required.
2. A typical Chapter 13 repayment plan lasts for three years or five years.
3. Annual budget reports are required.
4. You lose your annual tax refund in a Chapter 13 if your plan is less than 100% until discharge.

Stephen M. Dunne, Esq.
Dunne Law Offices, P.C.
(215) 854-6342
1500 JFK Blvd, Two Penn Center, Suite 200
Philadelphia, PA 19102
dunnelawoffices@gmail.com
www.dunnelawoffices.com

Qualifying for a Chapter 7 with high income

The "Means Test' has two parts in determining if you qualify for a Chapter 7:
In the first part you automatically qualify if your household (family) income for the prior six (6) months is below the average from your state and county.
However you may still qualify for Chapter 7, if:

In the second part of the Means Test, you are able to deduct for secured and necessary expenses such as child support, child card, food, utilities, medical, telecommunication, auto, insurance, etc. If you cannot afford a reasonable payment in a chapter 13 after these deductions, you still qualify for a chapter 7.

That means that many people will still qualify for a chapter 7 bankruptcy even if they make slightly over the average income if they have high necessary or secured expenses. Naturally, it would be essential to have proof in the form of documentation.

Stephen M. Dunne, Esq.
Dunne Law Offices, P.C.
(215) 854-6342
1500 JFK Blvd, Two Penn Center, Suite 200
Philadelphia, PA 19102
dunnelawoffices@gmail.com
www.dunnelawoffices.com

Saturday, September 19, 2009

How to stop creditors from harassing your family?

Sometimes Creditors become quite aggressive in their debt collection practices and continue to harass people after they have filed bankruptcy. In such cases it is always prudent to take the higher ground and offer to fax/email/mail a copy of your hearing notice to the creditor and this should stop the creditor from continually calling your home or office.

However, some creditors frankly don’t care and will continue to call you even though such behavior is illegal in the hope that you will pay by mistake. You do not have to put up with this harassment because these creditors are breaking the law.

Whether it be never ending phone calls, threatening letters, or being falsely accused of owing money, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (or “FDCPA”) protects consumers from abusive debt collectors. The FDCPA allows those consumers who have endured creditor harassment to sue the debt collector for up to $1,000.00 statutory damages, plus actual damages (e.g., mental anguish, phone charges, etc.), plus attorneys fees.

The best resource for finding out whether you have a valid case against a debt collector for violations of the FDCPA (or other consumer protection law) is a local consumer attorney. If you have been illegally harassed by abusive creditors, contact the Dunne Law Offices at (215) 854-6342 and speak with an attorney to determine whether you can sue the debt collector for statutory & actual damages for breaking the law.


Dunne Law Offices, P.C.
(215) 854-6342
1500 JFK Blvd, Two Penn Center, Suite 200
Philadelphia, PA 19102
dunnelawoffices@gmail.com
www.dunnelawoffices.com

Common Bankruptcy Errors

1. Tax Refunds may be lost if refunds are so large that they cannot be covered by federal exemption laws or the bankruptcy petition is filed at the wrong time. Protecting your tax refund can be accomplished with the right pre-bankruptcy planning.

2. Taxes (contrary to popular belief) can be discharged in bankruptcy if they are older than 3 years old. There are lots of different technical rules relating to discharging taxes but the most important thing to remember is that they can in fact be discharged in certain circumstances if they are older than 3 years old.

3. Failure to list creditors on your bankruptcy petition will result in a creditor not been discharged.

4. Failure to appear at your meeting of creditors with a photo id and social security card will result in your bankruptcy case been closed without a discharge.

5. Failure to take the second credit counseling course after the meeting of creditors will result in your bankruptcy case been closed without a discharge.


Dunne Law Offices, P.C.
(215) 854-6342
1500 JFK Blvd, Two Penn Center, Suite 200
Philadelphia, PA 19102
dunnelawoffices@gmail.com
www.dunnelawoffices.com

Philadelphia Bankruptcy Attorney

The Dunne Law Offices, P.C. provide affordable, experienced and accessible representation at six office locations throughout the Philadelphia area.

Some of our areas of practice include:

• Bankruptcy
• Contracts
• Corporate Formation (Corporations, Limited Liability Companies, Partnerships)
• Divorce (Uncontested)
• Immigration
• Landlord/Tenant
• Leases (residential and commercial)
• Name Change
• Small Claims
• Wills,Trusts and Estates

Reasonable Prices -- Reliable Personal Service.

• Contact us for a free 1/2 hour initial consultation.
• Evening & Weekend appointments available upon request.
• Flexible payment plans.


Please visit www.dunnelawoffices.com to learn more about the firm or simply
call 215 - 854 - 6342 to speak with us.

Dunne Law Offices, P.C.
1500 JFK Boulevard
Two Penn Center, Suite 200
Philadelphia, PA 19102
215 - 854 - 6342

WWW.DUNNELAWOFFICES.COM

DUNNELAWOFFICES@GMAIL.COM

Friday, September 18, 2009

Bankruptcy Vocabulary

What is a Bankruptcy Discharge?

The goal in any bankruptcy case is to obtain a discharge of a clients' debts. A discharge essentially means all your debt is deleted or extinguished.

What is an Automatic Stay?


Once a bankruptcy petition is filed with the court, a temporary court order called an automatic stay immediately goes into effect which temporarily stops all debt collections, real estate foreclosures and vehicle repossessions.

What is Lien Stripping?

Lien Stripping allows you to get rid of a 2nd Mortgage if the home securing the 2nd Mortgage has depreciated to the point where the home is worth less than the 1st Mortgage. The best way to explain Lien Stripping is to give an example.

Let's say you buy a home for $100K on a 1st Mortgage and a few years later the home appreciates in value up to $200K. At this point you decide to take out a 2nd Mortgage for $100K to do repairs and renovation on your home. A few years later, the real estate market crashes and your home is now worth $100K. This 2nd Mortgage on your home has no equity securing the 2nd Mortgage because the home is worth $100K and that only secures your 1st Mortgage.

In a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, the 2nd Mortgage is treated as an unsecured debt (like a credit card) and discharged. The 2nd Mortgage is released at the end of a Chapter 13 repayment plan. This can be done by showing the Court that the home is only worth $100K (get an appraisal) and filing a motion to strip the mortgage with the court. This can save you thousands of dollars.

Dunne Law Offices, P.C.
(215) 854-6342
1500 JFK Blvd, Two Penn Center, Suite 200
Philadelphia, PA 19102
dunnelawoffices@gmail.com
www.dunnelawoffices.com