The housing bubble that began bursting in 2007 created negative equity in many of our homes in Georgia by pushing home values way down below the amount owed on the home. A recent report states that approximately 55% of homeowners in metro Atlanta are experiencing negative equity and owe more than the home is worth. This circumstance also has been referred to as being "upside-down" or "underwater" on the loan. The report states that the national average for underwater homes is only 31%.
Even so, according to the report, only 8% of metro Atlanta homeowners are delinquent on their loans. Options are available under Chapter 13 or Chapter 7 to control any delinquency and remain in your home or to get a "fresh start" and just walk away from an underwater home with no further liability for the amount owed. A free evaluation of your particular situation by one of our experienced attorneys can be life-changing.
Dealing with debt collectors
Many of our clients initially call us for help after a debt which the original creditor had stopped collecting and "charged-off' on its books is suddenly resuscitated. You are notified that a company with a name like B-Real or Round-Up Funding you have never heard of with now owns the debt and is attempting to collect the debt.
Welcome to the world of bulk transfers of debt. This business model was created from mountains of uncollected and charged-off' debt which was then packaged and purchased from the original creditor (or a successor) at pennies on the dollar to buy the right to collect the debt from you. It's a win-win for the creditors, but not so much for you.
What you are never told by your new creditor is that many of the debts purchased are stale debts and unenforceable under GA law due to a statute of limitations (a time limitation for the enforcement of certain debts).
Become educated about debt collection
After numerous telephone calls, some persons who are not aware of the state statute of limitations, or their rights under the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act or under the federal Bankruptcy Code, "cave in" to the pressure and agree to an installment payment of the debt. If you don't work out a payment arrangement and you are sued by the new creditor, you must determine whether challenging the complaint in state court is cost-effective.
Most of our clients have more than one debt and the pressure from the new creditor is just one more voice to be heard. Not all of these debts are stale and unenforceable, so you must find a way to get control of all of your debts so that you are able to have sufficient funds from your household income to provide housing, utilities, transportation, and other necessary monthly household expenses for yourself or for your family.
A free evaluation by one of our experienced attorneys can lead to control over your debts and can be life-changing. Either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 under the Bankruptcy Code is likely to be more cost-effective than your other options.