Hello world! Please change me in Site Preferences -> This Category/Section -> Lower Description Bar

11

Nov 2021

Sports Gambling Comes to Virginia

Posted by / in Weekly Posts /

Sports Gambling Comes to Virginia

Like most people, I’ve noticed that ads for sports gambling have taken over the TV (at least on basketball and college football, which is about all the TV I watch.) Sports gambling was legalized in Virginia April last year and began in January 2021.

sports gambling

Legalized sports gambling is good for bankruptcy lawyers. But bad for American families.

Now in October and November, I’ve met two people who each lost more than $40,000 betting on sports in the last six months.  (Neither had a gambling problem before.)

Maybe a couple times a year I talk with people who are considering bankruptcy because of casino gambling at National Harbor.  From where I set, sports gambling is fast becoming a far bigger problem.  

I’m wondering if it takes about a year for sports gambling to suck people in.  A few bets here and there, a little more, and suddenly it’s a destructive, life-wrecking addiction.

That’s good news for bankruptcy lawyers.  But very bad for American families.

 

 

 

Please select the social network you want to share this page with:

18

Aug 2021

Getting Your Mortgage Statements After Bankruptcy

Posted by / in Weekly Posts /

Are you getting your mortgage statements after filing bankruptcy?

Some mortgage companies use bankruptcy as an excuse to stop sending mortgage statements. (Or they send them to your lawyer, not to you.) The law is completely clear. The law says to keep sending them to you. 

That law is Regulation Z. The Consumer Finance Protection Bureau issues and enforces regulations under the Truth In Lending Act. Here’s what that regulation says.

First, the mortgage servicer has to send you a monthly statement.  That’s 12 CFR 1026.41(a)(2).  (Sometimes consumers accidentally give up a right in small print without knowing it. So the official interpretation says the consumer can’t do that. You cannot give up your right to receive monthly statements.)

Man reading mortgage statement after bankruptcy

Even after bankruptcy, your mortgage company should send you a monthly statement

Second, bankruptcy does not change that. That’s in 12 CFR 1026.41(f). While they need to keep sending the monthly statement, they also need to say that they know about the bankruptcy and that the statement is for information purposes.  §1026.41(f)(2)

Third, you or I can tell them to stop.  We can tell them directly, or through papers we file with the bankruptcy court. If you are not planning to pay and keep  the house, we can tell them to stop sending those bills.  §1026.41(a)(2)(B).  (Some mortgage companies want your lawyer to request that you KEEP getting your statements.  That stands the law on its head.  The Official Interpretation says your lawyer has the authority to tell them to STOP sending payments.  Your lawyer does NOT have the authority to tell them to keep sending payments. Why? Because Regulation Z says to send the statements without being asked.)

What If You Don’t Get Your Mortgage Statements After Bankruptcy

OK.  They are supposed to keep sending your mortgage statements. What if they just don’t?

Send them an email and link this page. (Copy me on the email.) We’ll see how that works.  

The Consumer Finance Protection Bureau has enforcement authority.  Complain to the CFPB here.  Especially since the 2020 election, the CFPB is good about following up. Hope that works.

But if that fails, can you and I to to court to make them follow Regulation Z? That’s at best a gray area. It looks like we don’t have your own private right to go to court if this right is violated.  

Can the bankruptcy court help?

The bankruptcy court has general power to carry out the provisions of the bankruptcy law.  11 USC 105.  So, can the bankruptcy court require the mortgage company to do what they are supposed to do, so that you can do what you are supposed to do?

Maybe. Several of us talked about this problem at the 2021 annual meeting of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys.  I’m hoping they do a class on it next year.

 

PS Here’s the notice:

Here’s the notice to send to the mortgage servicer, if they are NOT sending you the monthly statement.

************************************************************************************************************

NOTICE TO MORTGAGE SERVICER

Mortgage servicer!  We are sending this reminder of the law to you.

Regulation Z orders you to send monthly statements to your customers, including the ones that have filed bankruptcy.  But you are NOT doing that. That’s why I’m sending you this this notice.

Please do what you are required to do. Send your customer the mortgage statements every month, like you are required to do.  You do NOT need my permission as your customer’s lawyer to send them.

You can take this as permission if you insist. But you do NOT need my permission to follow the law.  Just do it! — Robert Weed, Lawyer.

 

 

Please select the social network you want to share this page with:

15

Aug 2021

After Bankruptcy: Please Don’t Go Out and Co-Sign for a Car

Posted by / in After Bankruptcy, Weekly Posts /

After Bankruptcy: Please Don’t Go Right Out and Don’t Co-Sign for a Car

Got an email last week that made me sad.  Cherry filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy back in 2017.  She recently went to buy a car and ended up getting financed by Santander at 21%. After she did that, she asked why is her credit score so low, four years after bankruptcy?

When I looked at her credit report, here’s what I saw. Two months after her bankruptcy was discharged, she got a car loan with Regional Acceptance.  Regional Acceptance finances cars at terrible rates for people with terrible credit.  

Co-sign for car loan

After bankruptcy, don’t co-sign for a car.

I asked her, didn’t I warn you not to try to finance a car until at least two years–three is better–after the bankruptcy?  She said she didn’t “finance” a car: she just “co-signed for a friend.”

(The friend, of course, only paid for a year; and then the car got repossessed. Obviously the friend had really bad credit; so bad that Cherry right out of bankruptcy was needed as a co-signer.)

Instead of having the best credit of her life, four years after bankruptcy, Cherry’s score is stuck in the mid 500’s.  And Regional, if they bother, has two more years where they can sue and garnish her.

Two lessons.  First, if you have any way at all to get to work, do not finance a car until two years after your bankruptcy is discharged. Second, don’t co-sign for anybody whose credit is worse than yours. Ever.   

Please Don’t Co-Sign for a Car and Mess Up Your New Start in Life

Improving your credit score is one of five ways that bankruptcy gives you a fresh start.  Three years after bankruptcy you can have as good a credit score as anyone you know.  Don’t mess that up.  Don’t co-sign for a car for a friend.

 

 

 

 

Please select the social network you want to share this page with:

NORTHERN VIRGINIA BANKRUPTCY LAW OFFICES