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Mayfield real estate and bankruptcy legal blog

Older people increasingly turning to bankruptcy

For a growing number of Ohio senior citizens, overwhelming debt and financial crisis is an ongoing problem. Many more people than in the past are entering or going through retirement with significant debt, and more older people than ever before are filing for personal bankruptcy. While the American population is aging and a growing number of people are retiring, the rise in bankruptcies among senior citizens far outstrips the overall demographic changes.

According to the Consumer Bankruptcy Project, around 12 percent of all bankruptcy filings are made by senior citizens. This represents a five-fold escalation since 1991. Seniors who seek bankruptcy are doing so because they face extreme difficulties in repaying their debts, especially in comparison to younger Americans. Older people have a more difficult time bringing in more income and are often relying on fixed income plans for their ongoing sustenance. By filing for bankruptcy, seniors are often able to remove or restructure their debts, forestalling creditor calls and collection attempts that add psychological stress as well as financial pressure.

Redefining undue hardship to include student loans

Individuals filing for bankruptcy in Ohio may be able to discharge some of their debt if it is deemed an undue hardship. Traditionally, it has been difficult for students to get their student loan debt classified as an undue hardship, so many have not been able to get it discharged when they filed for bankruptcy.

Congressman Peter DeFazio wants to change that. He introduced proposed legislation that would expand the definition of undue hardship to include some forms of student loan debt. Congress, as of this date, has not defined what undue hardship means. Judges who hear bankruptcy cases decide what undue hardship means on a case-by-case basis.

Ohio sellers: Increase your home’s value before your appraisal

The process of selling your home proves to hold multiple unknowns. How long will your home be on the market? Would it be wise to sell your home on contingency? Who should you hire as your realtor?

Yet one of the most nerve-wracking, subjective questions many Ohio home sellers ask proves to be, “How much is my home worth?” An appraiser determines whether your home’s value aligns with your asking price and the money you purchased it for. Being prepared for an appraiser’s walk-through of your home may drastically alter the end value of your home.

How to properly raise a credit score

Ohio consumers are likely some of the roughly 43 million Americans who carry a credit card balance in an effort to improve their credit score. This was one of the takeaways of research conducted by CreditCards.com. However, carrying a balance will not improve a score, and in some cases, it can actually harm it. Furthermore, carrying a balance on a credit card could result in paying additional interest. On average, an American carries $6,375 in credit card debt at an average interest rate of over 16 percent.

One of the most effective ways for a person to improve his or her credit score is to make payments on time. Millennials, women and those with young children were among the most likely to send payments after the due date. Among those who have not paid on time, 60.1 percent said that they forgot according to the CreditCards.com survey. However, using automatic payment tools may eliminate the possibility of paying late.

Filing for bankruptcy earlier can help avoid financial problems

For people in Ohio facing serious personal debt, medical bills or other unrepayable financial demands, bankruptcy can be an important step to protect their financial future. At the same time, the process can also be personally and emotionally challenging for many people. As a result, they may wait until the last possible moment to file bankruptcy, which can have ongoing effects on their finances. In fact, according to one 2018 study, the longer that people wait to finalize their bankruptcy filing, the more difficulties and struggles they face during the process.

When people delay filing for bankruptcy until it becomes absolutely necessary, they may sustain further damage to their financial lives, credit and well-being, which can hinder the potential for a fresh start that bankruptcy presents. Before filing for personal bankruptcy, including Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, people often endure a severely difficult financial time that can include lawsuits and judgments from creditors and a lack of access to even basic necessities like food or utilities. For many people, this period persists because they hesitate to take the final step of filing for bankruptcy.

Buying cars while in Chapter 13 bankruptcy

Ohio residents who file for protection under Chapter 13 of the bankruptcy code will be required to repay a portion of their debts during a repayment period that lasts three or five years. Due to the length of the repayment period, it is possible that the debtors may need to purchase vehicles before their bankruptcy cases are completed.

People who need to buy new cars while they are still in their repayment periods must do several things. They will first need to find lenders that are willing to work with them. Potential sources might be credit unions or dealerships that work with lenders who accept people with poor credit. After debtors have found lenders and dealers, they will need to have the dealers draw up buyers' orders that they can take to the trustees.

Why cardholders are late on store credit card payments

According to Equifax, the delinquency rate on store credit cards reached 4.65 percent, which is the highest it's been since 2011. There are many reasons why this is the case, such as the fact that interest rates on store cards tend to be higher than with other credit cards. The average interest rate in Ohio and around the country is 25.5 percent for a store card compared to 16.73 percent for all others.

Some consumers choose to stop making payments on their credit cards after the store goes out of business. Cardholders may mistakenly believe that they don't need to pay down the remainder of their balances. However, the lender that made the credit line available is still entitled to receive its money back. Failing to make a store credit card payment could be reported to credit bureaus, which could harm a person's credit score.

Title troubles: 3 FAQs for when there’s a lien on the title

There is a long list of things that can go wrong with the title when you’re looking to buy a new home. The good news is that there is an even longer list of solutions to clear up those issues. But figuring out where to begin in that process is a question with a lot of answers.

You went through all the right steps. You got title insurance and hired a title company to look into the title of your new home, now, just a few days before closing, there’s a lien on the title. That one detail can throw a pretty big wrench in your closing day plans.

Filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Ohio

Ohio residents who find themselves in unmanageable financial situations can pursue debt relief by filing a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13 personal bankruptcy. Individuals who file Chapter 13 bankruptcies consolidate their debts and then make monthly payments for between three and five years to pay them off, but those who file Chapter 7 petitions see most of their unsecured debts discharged and are generally no longer required to make any type of restitution.

This can make filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy seem like a far more appealing proposition, but not every individual with overwhelming debt is able to qualify. The nation's bankruptcy laws were revised in 2005, and new rules were put into place to prevent those who are able to afford monthly payments from filing a Chapter 7 petition. This means that most individuals who pursue this kind of debt relief are either destitute, unemployed or living on very limited incomes.

Commercial real estate can also entertain potential buyers

Many investors in Ohio are interested in exploring the growing commercial real estate market. When selecting a project to invest in, there are a number of factors to consider, especially when trying to choose a property that shows potential for great profitability in the long-term. Location is one major factor, but the industry is highly competitive; technological advancements can also play a role in making a particular commercial real estate venture appealing and profitable.

Commercial real estate developers can focus on creating an experience for potential clients. In fact, there are aspects of entertainment that can be incorporated into such projects. For example, theme parks plan and study the interaction of their visitors with each attraction. The layout of a park is designed to guide visitors through a planned experience. In commercial real estate, clients are not coming for a sensory experience. However, developers can add some entertainment factors and a keen sense of space to maximize the value of their properties.

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