California Homeowners Bill of Rights

Prior to 2013, many homeowners faced uncharted waters when it came to foreclosure.  While most of those problems still persist, to ensure fair lending and borrowing practices for homeowners, California passed the California Homeowners Bill of Rights, which guarantees fairness and transprency for homeowners in the foreclosure process.  Below are a portion of the new rules:

Homeowners must be contacted prior to foreclosure.  A mortgage servicer cannot record a Notice of Default until 30 days after the mortgage servicer contacts the homeowner to look at the homeowner’s financial situation.  Mortgage servicers cannot continue the foreclosure process if the homeowner is working on getting a loan modification.  Foreclosure proceedings are stopped until a decision is reached on the loan modification. 

If a mortgage servicer files multiple unverified and inaccurate documents, they may face a $7500 fine.  And, mortgage servicers are required to provide a single point of contact to homeowners who are at risk for default. 

Homeowners may have the right to seek civil relief for any material violations of teh new foreclosure process protections.  This includes injunctive relief.

If you or a loved one is under threat of foreclosure, call of the Law Offices of Michael H. Raichelson at 818-444-7770.

Bankruptcy Meeting of Creditors

Once you file a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy you are given a 341(a) meeting of creditors hearing date. This date is very important! It is not an actual court hearing where you go into a courtroom and a judge sees you. The meeting of creditors is also not a room filled with all of your creditors. However, in certain situations you may have a creditor appear to disclose an asset you did not include in the bankruptcy petition or if you have a home or car lender that wants to simply to find out what your intention is on the property.

Truth be told, it is not that scary, it is actually a meeting set to review your bankruptcy case with your appointed U.S. Bankruptcy Trustee, which will conduct the meeting, you and your attorney, if you are being represented.  You will be required to appear with your original social security card and driver’s license or another valid form of ID. Other documents may be required as well based on your case. The meeting of creditors hearing can usually be quick and painless, if you have disclosed everything and you are fully prepared.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to call us here at the Law Office of Michael H. Raichelson and let us help you through your bankruptcy process.

Detroit is Running out of Money – Could be Largest City Bankruptcy Ever!

After Mammoth Lakes, Stockton, and Riverside, it appears that another municipal bankruptcy is around the corner.  This time, it could be big.

The state of Michigan has appointed emergency financial manager, Kevyn Orr, to resolve the financial crisis of the city of Detroit.  According to Orr, Detroit is weeks away from running out of all cash and must cut long-term debt and retiree obligations. Detroit is already 14 billion in the hole in long-term debt and is possibly looking at filing municipal bankruptcy. However, Orr has a plan to save the largest city from filing bankruptcy. Orr lays out alternatives for dealing with long-term debts, including further change in pay rates and staffing, reducing interest rates, stretching out payment schedules, and outright forgiveness of principal or refinancing.

Stopping a Foreclosure – The Automatic Stay

Clients facing foreclosure or repossession need immediate relief to stop the foreclosure or repossession.  When you file a Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy, the automatic stay is triggered.  This is the immediate relief that is needed in that the automatic stay stop most creditors from continuing with collection activities, such as filing or continuing lawsuits, making written requests for payment, or notifying credit reporting bureaus of unpaid debt.  Importantly, it stops foreclosures and repossessions in their track.  This can provide a period of relief to debtors as well as the opportunity to a fresh start during bankruptcy.  The courts understand how it can be hard to organize your financial affairs with constant creditor harassment.  However, there are some exceptions to the automatic stay, so it’s important to learn about these before you file.

Actions not stopped by the stay:

  • Divorce and Child Support
  • Tax Proceedings
  • Pension Loans

Some debtors file bankruptcy just to trigger the automatic stay.  The debtor might not go through with the bankruptcy if they get their affairs in order.  For example, this may happen when a debtor is dealing with a foreclosure sale notice on their home and they may need extra time to gather money or to sell their home in a short sale before it is sold in a trustee sale.  Just filing the bankruptcy usually gives the debtor an extra month, at a minimum, to find a solution for their home.

If you are dealing with non-stop creditor harassment or you are facing your home being foreclosed on and you need a solution, we can help! At the Law Offices of Michael H. Raichelson we can help you get creditors off your back and stop home foreclosures. Call us now for your free consultation.

Sinbad Files for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Protection

Sinbad (real name David Adkins) filed for chapter 7 bankruptcy on April 4, 2013. The 90’s comedian has actually filed for chapter 7 bankruptcy two times since 2009 and the current filing is Sinbad’s third time. The first attempt to discharge his debts was dismissed due to lack of document production. The second bankruptcy filed was dismissed because of the Financial Management Course Certificate, a required credit counseling course that must be taken and completed for a chapter 7 bankruptcy, was not filed. Let’s hope this third time is a charm. The ball has been dropped twice by two different attorneys that each represented him in the last two bankruptcies filed. This third bankruptcy filing is yet by another attorney which must be under a lot of pressure to follow through with finally getting Sinbad a discharge, since the last two attorneys failed to.

According to the bankruptcy petition documents, Sinbad’s main debts and the reason for filing bankruptcy are income tax creditors, for his 1993-2005 Franchise Tax Board and 1998-2006 Internal Revenue Service unpaid taxes. There is also an unknown amount of taxes owed for unfiled taxes for 2009-2012 tax years. If done right, his taxes owed for 1993-2006 will be discharged in the bankruptcy.

At the Law Offices of Michael H. Raichelson, we are diligent in doing things right the first time and we do not fail; we do our part in not letting cases get dismissed. You too can get your taxes discharged, if you qualify, through a chapter 7 bankruptcy. If you are in tax debt, like Sinbad, and you are wondering if filing bankruptcy is the right option for you or want to know what your options are and want it done right, the first time, call us now for a FREE consultation.

Bankruptcy Fraud

Some debtors may think they can get away with hiding, selling or transferring assets before filing a bankruptcy, but the truth is it is nearly impossible to not get caught. In fact, it is a federal crime to conceal assets in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and if done it can result into some serious federal prison time and other federal punishments.

For instance, the Federal Investigation Bureau just convicted a woman named Diana J. Stout in Bethesda, Maryland for making a false statement and concealment of assets in her Chapter 7 filing. Stout thought she could transfer property to her daughter, withhold vehicles and jewelry from her bankruptcy petition to sell for money and not have to face any consequences. Inevitably, Stout is now facing 27 months in federal prison following with three years of supervised release along with a restitution obligation to be paid of $155,747.83.

It is always best to be completely honest when it comes to seeking federal help out of debt. At the Law Offices of Michael H. Raichelson we practice our integrity and protect our clients by making sure all assets are disclosed to prevent any legal problems in the long run. We follow through with the best possible solution for each client’s needs. Call us today for your free consultation.

Oreck Vacuum Company Files Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

One of America’s best-known vacuum and cleaning supply company Oreck filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Chapter 11 is a chapter of the United States bankruptcy code that allows reorganization, which is most prominently used by corporate entities. Oreck is still going to continue to operate its business while it seeks a buyer; however, documents filed suggest the company is unable to generate enough funds to cover necessary expense.

If you are a business owner, drowning in debt similar to “Oreck”, and need some reorganization, the Law Offices of Michael H. Raichelson can help. If you click on “Recent Bankruptcy Successes” (above) you will read how Michael H. Raichelson has been able to overcome seemingly impossible debt resolutions and he will do the same for you.