All items from Oregon Bankruptcy Lawyer

The Oregon Bankruptcy Court’s recent ruling in In Re Watt requires a mortgage holder to accept title to a home surrendered in chapter 13 bankruptcy. Prior to In Re Watt, a borrower could surrender a home in Chapter 13 bankruptcy but wait for months, if not years, on end while the mortgage lender took its time foreclosing on the property. This was a particularly cruel fate for Oregon debtors with ongoing HOA obligations, but really a hardship for just about any Oregon homeowner/Chapter 13 debtor hoping to walk away from a property and really start over.
Oregon consumers who are currently in confirmed Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases should contact their attorneys to determine whether they now have the ability to force their lenders to take back the house.
The original post is titled Oregon Chapter 13 Bankruptcy for Homeowners New and Improved , and it came from Portland Bankruptcy Attorney | Northwest Debt Relief .

Posted 3 weeks 6 days ago

Oregon bankruptcy filers with bottom of the barrel credit scores might find that the quickest and easiest way to increase their credit scores in the wake of a bankruptcy filing is to become an authorized user on a family member’s credit card. As an authorized user, you get the benefits of someone else’s credit but with no legal requirement to pay the actual bills. What’s better than that?
As an authorized user, the credit card’s history will be reported on your report as long as you are related to the account holder. By allowing you to borrow your family member’s clean credit history, your credit score will ramp up quickly after your bankruptcy filing.
Keep in mind that the account holder must be related to the bankruptcy filer for the bankruptcy filer’s bad credit scores to benefit from this strategy. Try to select a family member with the same last name and address. The credit-scoring bureaus might otherwise not take into account your status as an authorized user and your credit score might not improve. The key here is to call the credit card company and make sure that they are reporting your status as an authorized user. You can also check your credit report to see if the account is appearing.

Posted 5 weeks 5 days ago

When  I meet with Oregon debtors for the first time in our Portland and Salem offices, I cannot help but notice that many of them are concerned that they will not qualify for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. For many of them, the worry is that they will be forced to pay back all their creditors. They have been told somewhere along the way that Chapter 13 is simply a reorganization of all their debt; that Chapter 13 is simply a mechanism for paying back all their creditors. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. The fact is many Oregon Chapter 13 Bankruptcy filers end up paying back less to their creditors than Chapter 7 Bankruptcy filers do.
First, Chapter 13 Bankruptcy normally means that you pay back what you can afford to pay back. Let’s say you owe $380,000 and you can afford to pay back $200 per month. At the end of the three year Chapter 13 payback period, you would have repaid $7200. Though you would have only repaid a small fraction of the $380,000, the entire balance would be eliminated.
Second, Chapter 13 Bankruptcy enables you to pay back any IRS, ODR or child support arrears back at zero percent interest over a three to five year period. This feature simply does not exist in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy.

Posted 5 weeks 6 days ago

The federal bankruptcy laws promise a fresh financial start for the honest but unfortunate Oregon debtor.  Any Oregon consumer considering bankruptcy should take care to avoid making any of the following mistakes.
Mistake #1: Incurring Debts Close to Filing Bankruptcy
Some people decide to charge up credit cards or take payday loans just before filing bankruptcy. Big mistake. If you have decided to file bankruptcy in Oregon, take care to avoid incurring additional debts. Taking loans with no intention of repayment on the cusp of filing bankruptcy could result in you not getting the full discharge of all your debts.
Mistake #2: Paying an Insider
The bankruptcy laws attempt to treat creditors fairly. One concern is that the debtor will pay loans back to either friends or family before filing bankruptcy. The thought is letting debtors do so deprives other creditors from receiving their fair share.
Family, business partners, friends and other creditors who have close relationships with the debtor are called insiders. Transfers to insiders can be avoided by the bankruptcy trustee if the transfer occurred within one year before the bankruptcy filing.

Posted 6 weeks 2 days ago

Economists with the National Bureau of Economic Research recently examined a half million bankruptcy filings in the United States in order to evaluate the effect of bankruptcy laws on consumers.
They have confirmed what many consumers in Washington and Oregon have long suspected. Namely that the bankruptcy code is an incredibly effective social insurance policy. Specifically found that confirmation of a Chapter 13 bankruptcy plan increases annual earnings by nearly six thousand dollars a year, decreases five-year mortality by 1.2 percentage points, and decreases five-year foreclosure rates by nearly twenty percent.
The authors found that the removal of the disincentive to work resulting from creditors garnishing worker’s paychecks resulted in workers putting in more hours. Moreover, mortality rates declined because resolution of debt issues significantly reduced stress.  Finally, because chapter 13 bankruptcy stops foreclosure and gives debtors a means by which they can catch up on their mortgages, foreclosures over all declined significantly.
If you live in Oregon or Washington and are coping with the stress of living with a greater debt burden than you can handle, it is time to get help. The upside to filing bankruptcy is almost always greater than you can even imagine. Please feel free to call me or set an appointment at our Portland, Salem or Vancouver offices.

Posted 6 weeks 5 days ago

Judge Brian Lynch has now been appointed as Chief Bankruptcy Judge for the Western District of Washington effective October 1, 2014. Before joining the court, Lynch was  a partner at the Seattle law firm of Bishop White & Lynch and then for years served as a Chapter 13 Trustee for the District of Oregon.     
Read More
The original post is titled Judge Brian Lynch Now the Chief Bankruptcy Judge for Western District of Washington , and it came from Portland Bankruptcy Attorney | Northwest Debt Relief .

Posted 7 weeks 4 days ago

It appears that the the new FICO 9 scoring model is going to be better for Oregonians with scant reporting and medical collection accounts. The new model distinguishes medical debt from non-medical debt. The upshot is that  Oregon consumers with unpaid medical collections could improve by as much as 25 points per account. Moreover, borrowers with multiple accounts in collection will no longer be penalized for any old debts carrying a $0 balance. Individuals with more than one account in collection could see scores boosted by as much as 50 to 75 points. The new FICO 9 formula is also kinder to Oregon consumers with limited credit histories, potentially making credit more readily available to younger Oregonians.
Our bankruptcy law firm generally believes that if you are carrying significant debt, the best thing you can do is improve your score is eliminate your unsecured debt in order to improve your debt to income ratio. Generally the best means for accomplishing that end is a bankruptcy filing.
The original post is titled Oregon FICO , and it came from Portland Bankruptcy Attorney | Northwest Debt Relief .

Posted 8 weeks 5 days ago

Interesting development for Oregon bankruptcy clients trying to rebuild their credit after bankruptcy. No idea whether the product is really worthwhile, but Rent Track allows Oregon renters to have their rent payments factored into their credit scores. It requires only the renter and property manager to sign a form and the tenant them makes payments online either by e-check or credit card. The payment is then reported to the credit bureau with scores reflecting the on time payment.  
Apparently twenty percent of Rent Track users have seen an increase in their credit scores by 10 points or more. So far at least one study on Rent Track forecasts that percent of renters’ scores will increase. I guess the real question is pricing. Keep in mind that most credit scores recover exponentially after bankruptcy anyway.
The original post is titled New Product for Rebuilding Credit After Bankruptcy , and it came from Portland Bankruptcy Attorney | Northwest Debt Relief .

Posted 8 weeks 6 days ago

I am pleased to report that attorney Mark Ditton who has long managed many of our bankruptcy cases in Portland and Salem, Oregon will be moving to Seattle this week to expand our Seattle Bankruptcy Law Office. Mark will now supervise all of our Washington cases including Chapter 13 matters in Vancouver and Tacoma. Our 
Read More
The original post is titled Expanded Bankruptcy Law Office Hours , and it came from Portland Bankruptcy Attorney | Northwest Debt Relief .

Posted 9 weeks 6 days ago

The Bankruptcy Code protects Oregon debtors from utilities disconnecting water, home phone, electricity or gas services. Utility services such as cable television, cell phone services or internet are not considered utilities for this bankruptcy protection because they.
A Portland or Salem utility company simply is not allowed alter, refuse, or discontinue service to an existing customer solely because either (1) the customer filed for bankruptcy protection; or (2) the customer failed to pay a pre-petition debt to the utility.
The protection is, however, limited and within 20 days after the bankruptcy filing, an Oregon debtor may have to give the utility company ” an adequate assurance of future payment,” which usually means ponying up a newsecurity deposit.
The law allows the utility to retain your prior security deposit and apply that deposit to your prior bill. If the debtor does not provide “adequate assurance of future payment” within the 20 day time period, the utility provider may discontinue services.
The takeaway here is that if you are filing bankruptcy and you have a back balance on your current utility account, you can eliminate the balances and not lose services, provided that you do a little foot work after your case is filed.

Posted 10 weeks 6 days ago