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Jackson Mississippi Bankruptcy Law Blog

What does it mean to have a lien against my home?

You are either facing a foreclosure or getting ready to sell your house, and you get a notice that you have a lien against your property. Understandably, this may cause you some concern. What exactly is a lien, and how can it affect you? It may help you and other Mississippi homeowners to know how liens work.

SFGate provides a thorough description of property liens. A lien against your home means that another party is claiming you owe them a debt and they are attempting to collect. If you do not satisfy the debt, they may have a claim against a part of your home’s value. There are two different types of property liens, as explained below:

  • Voluntary lien – You willingly enter into this type of lien, which can be a home equity loan, home equity lines of credit or your first mortgage. Selling your home usually satisfies this type of lien.
  • Involuntary lien – This usually results from a financial judgement against you, such as unpaid taxes, a mechanic’s lien or the amount you are required to pay another party resulting from a lawsuit.

Getting through a chapter 13 bankruptcy

There are many challenging aspects to personal financial management, but bankruptcy can be among the most overwhelming. Mississippi residents currently facing this obstacle may be wondering what might happen to their properties, their vehicles and their futures. Filing for bankruptcy can be a frightening time, but there are basics to be aware of when beginning this process.

First of all, those going through this tough financial time likely fear for the shelter that protects them on a daily basis. When it comes to bankruptcy and home foreclosures, The Washington Post reflects on the ways many struggling homeowners grapple with the fine print. While bankruptcy can present its own set of challenges, it can also give consumers a second chance at dealing with money problems. As The Post states, not all property in a bankruptcy case gets put on the line; some assets can be exempt from bankruptcy, such as a home or a car. Details of the bankruptcy process can vary from state to state, but The Post also notes that consumers who file for chapter 13 bankruptcy can have the opportunity to work out a payment plan over three to five years, ultimately improving chances of keeping the property. 

4 benefits of bankruptcy

If you are like most people, you probably think that bankruptcy is something that should be avoided at all costs. But, if you have recently found yourself behind on car payments or maybe the mortgage on your home in Jackson, and you are running out of options to get your debt under control, bankruptcy could be the right choice. When credit counseling is not enough to get your finances back on track, bankruptcy could be your chance to get out of debt.

Many people fear that if they declare bankruptcy, the bank and creditors will take everything they own. Fortunately, this is generally not the case. By filing bankruptcy, you might actually be able to keep most of your possessions, such as your car or your house. In fact, bankruptcy comes with various potential benefits.

Bankruptcy filing data shows ongoing needs

Many people may believe that once a recession has been declared over and most economic indicators point to a positive economy, the need for personal bankruptcy no longer exists. This could not be further from the truth and plenty of Mississippi residents are all too aware of their continued need for debt relief.

As explained by the United States Bankruptcy Court in the Southern District of Mississippi, there were a total of 427 bankruptcy cases filed in Jackson County in 2017. Of those, 282 cases were for Chapter 7 bankruptcies and another 144 were for Chapter 13 bankruptcy plans. In January of 2018 alone, another 24 Chapter 7 bankruptcy filings and 14 Chapter 13 filings have been recorded.

What is a bankruptcy trustee?

If you are one of the many residents in Mississippi who has reached the point of realizing that your debt levels are higher than you can effectively manage on your own, you might be looking at filing for bankruptcy to help you out. A bankruptcy certainly has helped many people before you restore their financial health and move forward in a positive manner. Before you make a final decision about whether or not to pursue bankruptcy, you will need to identify which type of plan is right for you.

It is also important to learn about the steps in each bankruptcy and who is involved at each point. As explained by the United States Courts, your case will involve the appointment of either an individual or a business entity as your bankruptcy trustee. The trustee will do many things during your Chapter 13 plan including reviewing all information provided such as the schedules and your initial petitions.

Health care costs a major factor in bankruptcies

Whether insured or uninsured, it is not uncommon for people in Mississippi to struggle to pay costs associated with health care. In fact, the Kaiser Family Foundation indicated that medical debt is the single biggest reason that consumers in the United States seek debt relief from bankruptcy.

It is estimated that more than one in four adults in the U.S. have problems paying their medical bills. This number includes people who have health insurance. In looking at people who have health insurance coverage, found that one in five people under the age of 65 struggled to pay costs not covered by their insurers. Of those, more than one in four are said to have taken on second or more jobs just to find a way to pay those medical bills. And more than 60 percent of the people resorted to tapping into savings to cover these costs. For some people, paying medical bills used up all of their saved money.

Buying a home after a bankruptcy

Even though the great recession was several years ago now, many people in Mississippi continue to face the consequences of the financial problems they experienced during that event. Part of this is because the after-effects lasted for a while. A lot of consumers tried to make things work during the hardest part of the recession only to end up filing for bankruptcy or having a home foreclosed on by a bank a few years down the road.

For people in this situation now wanting to buy a home again, there may be good news. The Mortgage Reports suggests that consumers may even be able to get a new home loan in as little as two years after a Chapter 13 or a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The length of time that people need to wait can range in part due to the type of loan that they wish to obtain.

How do Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 impact various debts?

You're trying to decide between Chapter 7 bankruptcy and Chapter 13. What are the differences and how do they impact your debts?

The first thing you should know is that you may not be eligible for both. For instance, you can earn too much to qualify for Chapter 7. Assuming you do have a choice, though, let's take a look at both.

What should you know about Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

Choosing to file for bankruptcy in Mississippi is a big decision. Once you have made this choice and decided to file for Chapter 7, you may think there is little else you need to do. However, there is much more to this process and it is important for you to understand the fine details.

Once you file your bankruptcy, you case usually receives a trustee. According to the United States Courts, this person takes care of the administrative tasks related to your case. Additionally, the trustee distributes your assets to your creditors and informs them that you have filed for bankruptcy. The trustee also forms an estate that owns your property for a short period of time.

How can you dig yourself out of medical debt?

Unfortunately for many residents in Mississippi, one medical emergency could easily send you spiraling into debt. While it might seem like an impossible pit to climb out of at first, there are actually several ways that you can start tackling your debt today.

AOL offers four potential ways to handle medical debt, each serving a different possible scenario. To start, negotiation is one option. A collection agency may be called on behalf of the hospital if you're unable to pay your bill, but you can then negotiate with the collection agency to pay a full and final settlement. You may even be able to strike a negotiation with the hospital once your first bill comes in. It's possible to attempt to reduce it, or to work out a payment plan that allows you to pay your debts off without the involvement of a third party.