To many people, bankruptcy appears to present a dilemma. Struggling families know that filing for bankruptcy has the potential to eliminate debt, but they believe it will be at the cost of giving up their most precious possessions.
What most folks don't realize is that there is a specific type of bankruptcy for those who'd like to keep their home, vehicles, and other essential assets. By filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Tennessee, it is possible to ease the burden of debt while protecting possessions.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy doesn't magically erase debt. What it does do is to establish a unique payment plan, allowing consumers to pay back some debt in affordable portions over a period of 3-5 years. At that point, any remaining debt is forgiven and filers are given a fresh start.
Tennessee bankruptcy lawyers have watched Chapter 13 assist thousands of homeowners with their debt problems while helping them avoid foreclosure and hold on to their properties.
Not only can filing for Chapter 13 help you avoid foreclosure, but it has the power to actually stop the foreclosure process once it's started. This is an especially timely advantage in the Tennessee area, where falling real estate prices have left countless homeowners with unaffordable mortgage payments, in homes they cannot sell.
Whether you've missed one payment, ten payments, or are about to lose your house to the bank, bankruptcy can offer a second chance. The sooner you file for bankruptcy in
Tennessee, the sooner your home will be protected by law.
If you've made some mistakes with your mortgage, never assume it's too late. Chapter 13 can often help homeowners regain financial freedom. In the meantime, here's a sampling of advice from a U.S. News & World Report story that may help Tennessee homeowners avoid the most common mortgage mishaps.
Keep an eye on credit
Credit and mortgage terms go hand in hand. Don't wait until you apply for a mortgage to find out you have a credit score that will stick you with a sky-high rate or no shot at getting that loan. Checking your credit early on can give you a chance to make changes that may help you attain an affordable rate.
Consider total housing payment
Maybe you can afford your monthly mortgage, but many homeowners run into trouble when it comes to property taxes and insurance premiums. Make sure you can afford not just the principal and interest, but also taxes and insurance.
Strive for stability
If you've been jumping from job to job before applying for a mortgage, it can negatively impact your rate. Tennessee bankruptcy lawyers know job stability isn't always within your control, but you might want to consider waiting to buy a house until your work situation improves.
The first rate isn't always the best. If you're pre-approved for a mortgage rate with one lender, great - but don't stop here. As with any type of purchase, comparison shopping ensures you end up with the best possible deal.
Read the fine print
All those loan papers may make your head spin, but make sure to read through them. If you end up agreeing to terms you aren't familiar with, you could become a victim of predatory lending - and you won't have a legal leg to stand on. It's important to know what you're signing. If you don't understand something in the documents, now is the time to ask questions.
More Blog Entries:
Tips for Refreshing Finances in 2012 with Tennessee Bankruptcy: January, 1 2012
10 Major Mortgage Mistakes to Avoid, by Colin Robertson, US News & World Report