Have you received a letter from your mortgage company stating that you are eligible for a mortgage modification recently?  Does it list shockingly specific payment terms and include coupons?

A new streamlined mortgage modification process may explain the mail you have been getting from your mortgage company about a possible modification.

The new streamlined process that was started back in April is designed to shift the burden from the borrower to request a mortgage modification and provide the proper paperwork over to the servicer to offer a mortgage modification and work with the borrower to make it happen.

Eligibility for the program is as follows:

1.  You must be between 90 days and 24 months behind on your mortgage;

2.  This will only apply to a first mortgage that is worth more than 80% of your home and has been modified less than twice;

3.  The loan must be at least 12 months old;

4.  The loan must be a Fannie or Freddie Loan.

These modifications, when granted, would reduce the payments on the home an average of 30% but WILL NOT result in principal reductions.  Ever.

Our office’s experience with the program so far can be best described as sub-par.  I had a client send the payments in and deliver all of the required documentation and than some and was denied for failure to submit all of the documentation.

It is just like every other mortgage modification program out there, a complete run around that rarely resulted in a modification for a qualified buyer.

The New Jersey bankruptcy court now offers an excellent mortgage modification program within a bankruptcy proceeding.  This offers struggling homeowners a direct link to a modification representative, contempt of court proceedings in the event the mortgage co does not respond in a timely fashion, and stays any foreclosure proceedings so that all parties are working on the same goal at the same time, instead of the mortgage company working on a foreclosure and a modification at the same time (which all of you in loan mod programs should know…if you are behind they are working on a foreclosure.  I don’t care if they tell you they aren’t…rest assured they are).

Interested in talking to us about how to stop the foreclosure on your home?  Give us a call at 732-302-9600 or fill out our online consultation form and we will call you.

I am inevitably asked this question either during the initial bankruptcy consultation or immediately after the hearing:

“What do I do now?  How do I rebuild my credit?”

My response is that each person handles the rebuild after a bankruptcy case a different way.  Some of my clients don’t want to see a credit card again for the rest of their natural life, others want to get a credit card right away and have to be reminded that they have to wait for their case to be over.

The most important thing to remember about rebuilding after a bankruptcy case is that there is more to it than just going out and rebuilding your credit.  You need to rebuild a financial existence that includes emergency savings, retirement savings, careful budgeting to avoid getting into the same financial situation that caused your bankruptcy case.

I know, this is easier said than done, but we are here to help.  New Jersey Bankruptcy attorney, Bruce C. Truesdale recently wrote this article on how to rebuild your financial house after a bankruptcy, not just your credit.

Remember, if you ever have questions you should feel free to call your bankruptcy attorney and ask questions about how to rebuild.  We are happy to help you before and after your case.

Interested in how a bankruptcy case may help you get a fresh start on your financial future.  Give us a call at 732-302-9600 or fill out our online consultation and we will call you!

Recently I started getting the question….the same question I get at least 100 times at this time of year, every single year…

“Sarah, I am getting a tax refund.  What is going to happen to it?”

So this year, I am being proactive.  I am putting this information out for all everyone to see in advance because the answer to this question isn’t as easy as it may seem. It is a complicated by how we as taxpayers view our tax refund, how much you are getting, and which chapter of bankruptcy you are filing.

The short answer to this question is that we can probably protect your tax refund, or have already, the long answer is the most annoying of all lawyer answers, “It Depends.”

For more information about how a tax refund may be affected in your bankruptcy case, give our office a call at 732-302-9600 or fill out our online consultation form and we will call you.

“Which of my debts will disappear in my bankruptcy?”

This is a question that we are asked all the time in a first consultation.   It is important for clients to understand what debt they will still owe and what debts they won’t owe following a bankruptcy case.

The problem is that all too often there isn’t an easy or immediate answer to that question and, even worse, there is a lot of bad information circulating out there about what you can and cannot do in a bankruptcy case.

Lawyers.com posted this very basic article about what debts can be discharged in a bankruptcy case.  It is very simplified but it will give you a basic understanding of where you will be after your bankruptcy case.

However, if you owe tax debt it is critical that you speak to an experienced bankruptcy attorney and disclose immediately that you owe tax debt so that the attorney can go over your bankruptcy options with regard to that debt.

Have more questions?  Give our office a call at 732-302-9600 and we will be happy to answer any questions that you have regarding your bankruptcy options or fill out our online consultation form and we will call you!

Let’s start with a basic truth:  Every single person who walks into my office wants to pay their debt.  They have usually tried every possible avenue to avoid sitting in my office, draining 401ks, borrowing money, making deals, and so much more.

But sometimes you just can’t pay what you don’t have.

Debt payment plans will work for some consumers out there but you have to ask yourself, just because it might work, should you do it?

This article from Fox Business outlines the differences, pros, and cons of filing a bankruptcy case versus completing a debt payment program with a credit counseling agency.

Think you need assistance with your financial situation.  Call our office at 732-302-9600 or fill out our Online Consultation and we will call you!

A lot of folks out there have a lot of preconceived notions about how to fix their credit when they walk through our doors.

A friend of a friend has already told them how to do it, what to do, and what not to do.

Your friends mean well but don’t you want to talk to an expert about that?

Fixing your credit is going to take time, patience and good information.


Want to talk to one of our experts about your credit?  Give us a call at 732-302-9600 or fill out our free online consultation form and we will call you.

I get the same question from all my new clients.  Every single time.

“How do I rebuild my credit if I file bankruptcy?”

I love this question because I get to give them both good news and a yet more compelling reason to file personal bankruptcy.

1.  Your credit can be rebuilt.

2.  Your credit will be rebuilt fast by filing personal bankruptcy than it will be if you spend the next seven years trying to get out of debt by doing payment plans with your creditors that will be very expensive.

Personal bankruptcy is a financial tool that allows the debt you are drowning in to be wiped out and give you a fresh start.  This means that instead of treading water in a payment plan the debt is gone and instead you can focus on moving forward.

But how do you move forward?  MSN money recently posted some excellent tips on rebuilding you credit after a bankruptcy and we have re-posted them for you.

Have more questions about how our bankruptcy lawyers can help you get a fresh start.  Give us a call at 732-302-9600 or fill out our online consultation form and we will call you.

I bet you have seen this ad in the newspaper or the sign on the side of a road.  I would also bet that your immediate reaction was something to the effect of “How is that possible?”

Short answer: It isn’t.

A member of our staff took a picture of one of these signs with her cell phone today.  Like a curious citizen, we immediately googled the phone number, found out who it was,  pulled their case record from the bankruptcy court’s website, and discovered that this attorney is doing many things but filing bankruptcy cases for $299.00 is not one of them.

This kind of advertising and signage is how attorneys develop bad reputations.  It  is particularly frustrating to those of us who try to conduct honest, up front relationships with our clients.  This looks like a “a bait and switch” as the flat fee for a bankruptcy case  is the same as the old Chapter 7 filing fee!

The most important advice I can give you as a bankruptcy attorney is that a bankruptcy attorney should prepare your bankruptcy case.

Mr. Truesdale and I can’t prepare your taxes or file your bankruptcy case for $299.00, but we can help you file personal bankruptcy correctly and for a reasonable fee.  Our primary area of practice is bankruptcy.  We don’t make you do your own worksheet, we do that with you. You will be asked to provide us with documentation but if you struggle with finding something you can call us and we will help you as much as we can. You hired us to assist you in preparing a bankruptcy filing and that is exactly what we will do with you.

Call us at 732-302-9600 so we can do the heavy lifting for you and get your financial life on track.



            So you have had some problems with getting things paid off in the past and there’s some bad stuff reported on your credit report.  Or maybe you have completed your bankruptcy case and you got a letter in the mail from a company claiming that they can get that bankruptcy case and the other negative credit information off of your credit report.  Hmmm, sounds interesting, right?

Your bankruptcy attorney told you that negative information can stay on your credit report for up to 7 years and that your bankruptcy case will stay on your credit report for up to 10 years.  But this letter from the company claiming they can clean the bad things off your credit report is on nice stationary and looks expensive, what’s the story the real story on this credit repair companies?

Well, your bankruptcy attorney told you the truth!  Remember the old adage that, “What sounds to good to be true probably isn’t?”  That applies here.

You are not helpless before the credit reporting agencies (Experian, Trans Union, Equifax).  Your Federal Government has enacted legislation to try to protect you and to give you some tools if your credit report is wrong.  The legislation is called the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.  The Act, among many other things, gives you the right to dispute any information in your credit report that is incomplete or inaccurate.

Now here is how those “Credit Repair Companies” try to “game the system” and get adverse information off of your credit report.

When you want to dispute inaccurate or incomplete information that appears on your credit report, you send a letter advising of the inaccuracy to each credit reporting agency that carries the disputed information.  Once the reporting agency receives your letter, it must investigate the accounts you dispute and record on your credit report the current status of the information you dispute or delete it within 30 days.  If the credit reporting agency cannot verify the information that you have disputed, the information must be removed from your credit report.  If the investigation finds that the information is inaccurate or incomplete, the agency must modify the information to make it accurate or remove it.

So here is the game the “Credit Repair Companies” play: They send in letters to the credit reporting agencies disputing all adverse information on your credit report.  If the reporting agencies verify that the information on your credit report is accurate, the information is updated and nothing is stricken from your credit report.  So, if that happens, the credit repair company sends out another letter and another letter and another letter disputing the debt.  You get the picture.  Their hope is that at some point someone fails to get the verification done in time or the reporting agency simply gets tired of verifying the information over and over again and it comes off of your credit report.  Some agencies may simply remove an item without investigating if rechecking the item is more trouble than it appears to be worth.

The credit repair company then sends you a copy of your “clean” credit report and asks you to refer them more clients.  Wow, great, so what’s the problem?

The problem is that your credit report is updated approximately every 30 to 90 days.  When it is updated it is more than likely that the negative information taken off, will come back.

The second problem is that you have paid a company to make fraudulent statements to the credit reporting agency on your behalf.  Now you probably won’t get in trouble for doing it, but we all have a moral compass that we carry around.  And if you want to play this game, why would you pay someone to do it for you?  You could do it yourself for the cost of postage because it costs nothing to request the investigations.


I’ll post some information on how to properly dispute incomplete and inaccurate information in the near future if you really do have some information on your credit report that is incomplete or inaccurate that you need fixed or removed.


Bruce C. Truesdale, New Jersey Bankruptcy Lawyer

The short sale is tempting.  The idea behind it appeals to every underwater mortgagor in the country.  I can sell my home for what it is worth, even it is less than I owe, and the mortgage company will accept it.  The short sale offers the opportunity to move on with a life that has been stalled due to an underwater mortgage and with no consequences whatsoever.

If only it were that simple.  Good rule of thumb: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

New Jersey Bankruptcy Attorney Bruce C. Truesdale understands the nuances of a short sale and explains them in detail in this article. 

Short sales are a tax trap that usually only solves about half the problems most debtors have when considering a short sale or declaring personal bankruptcy.

Contact our bankruptcy lawyers regarding how to move forward with your life and how best to handle your home mortgage.


For a Free Consultation Call 732-302-9600!