Northwestbankruptcyattorneys Blog Year End Review

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The year 2015 is almost ready for the history books.  Before we look ahead into what 2016 brings it makes sense to look back to get a greater sense of where we need to be headed.

This year I posted on a variety of bankruptcy issues, mostly general in nature to give my clients and anyone contemplating bankruptcy some issues to think about.

This year started out with looking at how loan modifications can still be pursued by debtors in chapter 13 bankruptcies. (They can be obtained and can be a great way to deal with a home that you had almost lost.)  I then looked at what happens to your car when you file a bankruptcy. (You have lots of options.)  Since so many of my clients are worried about how their credit scores will be impacted by the filing of a bankruptcy, we did a post on bankruptcy and your credit score. (The impact is not nearly as bad as people think.)  I then put together a post looking at some of the do’s and dont’s of filing a bankruptcy.  If you are contemplating a bankruptcy, please read or reread this post.  The award for the biggest northwestbankruptcyattorneys blog post goes to The History of Student Loans in Bankruptcy.  I did a ton of research for this post and am pretty happy with how it came out.  If you are at all interested in the topic, please give it a read.  The changes that have taken place over the course of 60 years are astonishing and terrible.  They remind me of the proverb, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.  From there, I tried to give potential filers some ideas of how they can find a good bankruptcy attorney in 5 Tips for Finding a Good Bankruptcy Attorney.  We then looked back at the topic of homes and bankruptcy in the Halloween Special Zombie Homes Attack.  (You do have options if you have a house that is stuck in your name after bankruptcy.)   The award for biggest rant post of the year goes to Credit Unions: The Devil is in the Details.  In that post we looked at the hidden dangers of using a credit union for a car loan and also having credit cards or bank accounts with those same credit unions.  Lastly, the Christmas Special this year was The Christmas before Bankruptcy.  In that post we looked at some of the hidden dangers of gift giving and receiving before filing a case.

In the coming year, look out for more posts on student loans and ways to deal with your small part of this national crisis.  Another post on zombie homes and getting rid of them through the bankruptcy process.  A more detailed look at what you can do to rebuild your credit.  A post on attempting to avoid bankruptcy.  There will be others as well as the inspiration strikes.  We are also open to writing on topics that people request, so if you have a topic you would like to see an article written on, please suggest it below.

Happy New Year from all of us at northwestbankruptcyattorneys.com and the Curtis and Casteel Law Group.

Steven M. Palmer, Esq.
Licensed in WA and OH
http://www.curtislaw-pllc.com
http://www.northwestbankruptcyattorneys.com

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Credit Unions: The Devil Is In the Details.

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Credit Union Customers love their credit unions.  They love the level of service that they get and they love the relatively low rates for loans and high rates for savings.  Much of this love is not reciprocated.  Credit Unions, if you are ever forced into a bankruptcy proceeding are fond of forcing reaffirmation agreements and enforcing their nearly ubiquitous cross-collateralization and future advances clauses.  These are things that you almost never have to worry about if you get your financing elsewhere.

Customers must beware.  If you take out a loan with a credit union because they offer you a great rate, beware of the details.  You will likely be signing a loan document that includes language allowing them to hold on to your title until you pay any other loan that you have with them.  If you are a credit union customer and you have a credit card through the credit union the credit card agreement may include language allowing them to secure that card to any future security interest that they hold.  For example, you get a credit card, you happily use it and are happy with the rate, you then decide that you want to get a car loan through the credit union because they are offering a great rate.  Now the car loan is obviously secured by the car, what is not obvious to almost everyone is that the credit card is also secured by the car.  This means that after you have paid off your car loan, the credit union can withhold your title until the credit card is paid off.  The same goes for personal loans with credit unions.

Now if something bad happens to you financially, and believe me it happens all the time, whether you suffer an injury, a job loss, get divorced, or have to support a relative, you could be forced into a bankruptcy.  If that happens and you have a car loan with a credit union you will end up having to pay off debts that otherwise would have been discharged in the bankruptcy if you want to keep the car.

To protect yourself, if you insist on using a credit union to get a car loan, do not take out any credit cards with them, do not take out any personal loans, and do not take out any lines of credit.  Keep your other finances fenced off from the credit union’s dragnet.

If you find yourself needing to file a bankruptcy and you have a car loan through a credit union and a credit card, a personal loan, or a line of credit, speak to a bankruptcy attorney right away and see if there is anything that can be done to protect your interests.  Your best bet is to stay clear of them altogether.

Best of Luck,

Steven M. Palmer
Licensed in WA and OH
http://www.northwestbankruptcyattorneys.com
http://www.curtislaw-pllc.com