Foreclosure Figures

Home foreclosure is no longer making headlines like it did in the Recession, but Floridians are still feeling the impact from the economic downturn according to a survey by the University of South Florida and the Nielsen Company. Though Florida foreclosures have decreased, Florida ranks number two nationally in highest foreclosure rates in the third quarter, according to RealtyTrac.  They reported numbers in our area for September as follows: Clay County – One in every 368 * Duval County – One in every 541 Flagler County – One in every 497 Nassau County – One in every 516 Putnam County – One in every 506 St. Johns County – One in every 1,200 (* Note that Clay County is in the top five foreclosure counties in Florida.) While foreclosure is not currently the forefront of the news, if it is affecting you, then it is the headline of your financial life.  There may be a legal resolution.  Seek competent legal counsel to learn what legal choices you may have.   Read More

Consult An Attorney Before You File Bankruptcy

When everything else goes wrong, talk to an attorney before you file Bankruptcy.  Yes, you can file Bankruptcy on your own.  Yes, there are non-attorney services that can help you file.  Yes, you can get a textbook and do your own brain surgery…but should you? “Bankruptcy” is best used as a term of recovery rather than an act of desperation.  It can give you a fresh start or reset.   Sometimes it is easier to rebuild credit from zero rather than to spend years paying off all the creditors.  Depending on your circumstances, Bankruptcy can help you rebuild quicker—it stops the bleeding and starts the healing. However, while Bankruptcy often takes care of immediate debts, it can create problems for your future in terms of your credit score.  Bankruptcy tends to limit more severely your ability to get a loan for a house, a car, or an education. Seek competent legal counsel to discuss the specifics of your situation and whether Bankruptcy is the best strategy for you.   Read More

Mind Your Meds – Prioritize Your Debt Payment

Drugs can be important; they can also be illegal, but if a legitimate doctor has prescribed medicine for you, the only way that treatment has a chance of being effective is if you take it.  You cannot take your medicine if you have no means to pay for it.  Minding your meds is also a function of minding your money. Everyone should pay their bills, and everyone should put food on their table, gas in their car so they can go to work, keep up their rent to have a roof over their heads, and take their medicine if they are sick.  Despite pressure from debt collectors, keep your priorities straight and work to resolve your debt within your legal rights.  (Do not cash in your 401K to pay your Visa bill.  Do not stop paying your mortgage to pay your MasterCard account.) A legitimate debt collection company will follow the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act—an unscrupulous company will not.  Unfair Debt Collection Practices include statements that are not only untrue, they are illegal.  Some threaten consumers with jail time, or they say they will come into the debtor’s house and take the wedding ring off her finger. Just because […] Read More