Newsletters

How Do You Remove Errors from Your Credit Report?

The Wells Fargo scandal last month is a reminder that some people have incorrect information listed on their credit reports, which can be very harmful for consumers. Errors might include debts that are not yours or the wrong names, accounts or amounts owed – just to name a few examples. Some credit reports might show signs of identity theft. Fortunately, it is possible to remove errors from your credit report. If you plan to correct errors, first review our blog post on how to pull your credit history for free. Pulling your free annual credit report will let you know of any mistakes before they come back to haunt you later. After you have received your credit report, it is time to develop a strategy for removing errors. Write dispute letters: You can dispute errors by sending handwritten or typed letters to TransUnion, Equifax and Experian. If writing is not…
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Can a Chapter 13 Plan Help This Family?

Emerging from a Downward Spiral of Debt with Bankruptcy Many people who are thinking about filing for bankruptcy have fears about long-term consequences, specifically damage to their credit ratings. However, when a person is in a downward spiral of debt, filing for bankruptcy can repair credit faster than not doing so. For example, let us say Bob, a local Kansas City college professor, has two mortgages and a home valued at $200,000 due to a downward turn in the real estate market. The first mortgage is $225,000 and an equity line of credit he took out to add an addition for his mother to live in was $50,000. In this scenario, Bob is considered “underwater” on the first mortgage. Bob’s wife recently has suffered some medical troubles and lost her job. Due to the loss of this family income and the medical bills piling up, Bob has been having trouble…
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Stripping Junior Mortgages in Chapter 13

As the economic climate has worsened, many homeowners have found themselves paying for homes that are worth less than the amount they owe. If you have multiple mortgages and the principal balance of the first mortgage is greater than the value of your home, you may be able to strip the junior mortgages in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy if you successfully complete your plan. Given the right set of circumstances, stripping a second and/or third mortgage may be an option worth examining. An experienced Kansas City bankruptcy attorney can help you learn whether your circumstances are suitable for stripping a junior mortgage. First Mortgages on a Primary Residence Cannot Be Discharged The Bankruptcy Code specifically protects first mortgages on primary residences from modification under Chapter 13; you cannot alter the terms of the debt. In other words, when the value of a residence decreases below the remaining balance of a…
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How the Supreme Court May Decide the Fate of Student Loans

With $1.3 trillion in student loans held by Americans across the country, there has been much discussion on whether Congress or the courts will be first to decide the future of higher education debt. While many people will pay off their student loans, others are stuck with unpayable balances and no means to discharge their debts. In some cases, student loan balances can grow above $200,000, accumulating more debt with capitalized interest and penalties. People with large student loan balances and no means to pay off their debts would be wise to observe the case of Mark Tetzlaff, a 57-year-old former business and law school graduate with $260,000 in student loans. The legal battle between Tetzlaff and the Department of Education has been ongoing since 2012, surviving appeals and gathering media attention. Despite possessing an MBA and Juris Doctor, Tetzlaff has remained unemployed since 2004. Tetzlaff has a criminal record…
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