Archive for February 2013

Filing Bankruptcy In New Jersey Can Protect Most Retirement Accounts.

Unfortunately many consumers finally investigate the bankruptcy option only after cashing out all their retirement accounts. In the majority of situations these accounts are small amounts of money compared to the overwhelming debt the consumer is faced with when the sky rocketing interest and penalties are included.

Bankruptcy allows consumers who file for bankruptcy to protect typical IRAs, 401ks, and 403bs just to name a few. It is very honorable that people feel so strongly that they should pay back their creditors, after all they did use the credit cards; however, bankruptcy law takes into account that sometimes life just happens. Furthermore, creditors even after getting state court judgments against debtors cannot attach or liquidate retirement accounts in the State of New Jersey.

Although it is honorable to want to pay the debt you incurred back it is very often unrealistic and impossible. The majority of the time people file bankruptcy after really life altering changes like divorce, illness, or death of a loved one. Remember you will need to live beyond the life of the actual debt you incurred. That is, if you file bankruptcy and wipe out the debt you will need your retirement accounts when you retire. It is more likely than not that social security benefits will run out in our lifetime. Just keep that in mind before you prematurely liquidate your legally protected retirement accounts.

New Jersey Homeowners Beware Of Loan Modification Companies!!!

Homeowners should be aware that the State of New Jersey regulates who can submit loan modifications on behalf of homeowners. Individuals submitting loan modifications for homeowners must either be an NJ licensed attorney or be licensed by the New Jersey Department of Banking. If you are a homeowner in a active bankruptcy case, the Court must approve the individual assisting you in the loan modification process if it is someone other than your bankruptcy attorney.

A few red flags usually standout:
1) Beware of Loan Modification Companies which contact you from outside New Jersey;
2) Very often loan modification companies do not have a business address or physical location listed;
3) For some reason as with debt consolidation companies, loan modification companies are often located or have CA or FL area codes;
4) Loan Modification companies often will begin collecting their fees before a homeowner is even in default;
5) Loan Modification companies most often are not licensed by the New Jersey Department of Banking (and will not indicate that it is licensed by the state); and
6) Many companies will at least verbally promise success.

If you are in an active bankruptcy case please discuss your interest in obtaining a loan modification with your attorney. If your attorney cannot assist you with the process then she can probably referred you to a reputable attorney who can assist you. Homeowners beware as there are a lot of people looking to exploit your vulnerable and desperate situation.

New Jersey Consumers Who Use Credit Cards May Now Be Paying Check Out Fees If Using Their Credit Cards

New Jersey retailers and businesses can now legally pass the fees they pay to the credit card companies to their consumers. This means you may be paying more at checkout.

Retailers and businesses will have to post signs advising consumers of the fees they will have to pay for using their credit cards. Receipts must also clearly indicate the amount of the fee being charged and what the fee is for. There are many benefits to using good old fashion cash (cheaper gas, less of chance of getting in over your head, etc.) and retailers just gave us another.

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