How to Deal with Financial Stress: Dangerous Health Effects
January 20, 2015

Stress is a fact of life, but financial stress is one of the worst offenders & figuring out how to deal with financial stress can be difficult. If you are worried about money, know that you are not alone. In 2014, over 860,000 Americans filed for bankruptcy, the average American family had about $8,000 in credit card debt, and three in five families worried about paying their bills every month. It’s easy to image the ever-looming cloud of financial stress can negatively affect our mental health, but did you know stress can damage our physical health too? Effects of Financial Stress Managing… Read More

How to File for Bankruptcy – Questions and Answers
December 16, 2014

Filing for bankruptcy is a complicated process; just acquiring a basic understanding on how to file for bankruptcy seems daunting. And naturally, anyone considering bankruptcy will have many questions. Below you will find a list of some of the most common bankruptcy questions and answers. A Word of Warning before we Begin Please keep in mind this is a general overview of common bankruptcy questions. Bankruptcy is fact specific, so the answers to your questions will vary depending on the prospective filer(s) income, expenses, assets, debts, and other factors. No two cases are alike. It would be in your best… Read More

Short Sale or Bankruptcy
October 31, 2014

Short Sale or Bankruptcy for a Married Couple (and should they file Bankrupt Jointly or Individually)? Debt problems can create a lot of stress! And almost more overwhelming than the debt itself is navigating through the different “debt solutions.” That’s why it is so important to find the right professional to help guide you. In a recent conversation I had with a local real estate professional. She posed the following question: What is the benefit of a married couple filing for bankruptcy when the bankruptcy won’t benefit one spouse. Does a short sale make more sense? As a response, I shared… Read More

Foreclosure and Credit Scores: What Will My Future Look Like?
October 29, 2014

One of the most common questions I hear from people who are struggling with debt is, “How will foreclosure effect my credit score?” If you are considering foreclosure as a way to manage your debt, there are several things you should know. How Will Foreclosure Effect My Credit Score? Your FICO score—generated by one of the most widely referenced credit scoring systems in the country—can range from 300 to 850. Each time you apply for credit, the lender will consult this number. The higher the score, the less of a risk you are to the creditor. A low score suggests… Read More

What is Loan Modification?
September 23, 2014

Whenever a loan becomes unmanageable, the parties can agree to change (or modify) the terms of the loan. Any type of loan can be modified, including car loans, home loans, and unsecured loans. In order for a loan to be modified, all parties to the loan have to agree to the changes. Generally, the parties include the lender (usually a bank) and a borrower (often a consumer). What Loan Terms Can Be Modified? There are several different loan terms that could potentially be modified. These include: Altering the interest rate (this might be a lower amount or a switch from… Read More

Six Tips for Negotiating Debt and Dealing with Creditors
September 12, 2014

If you are struggling to pay down your debt, chances are, you’ll need to communicate with your creditors at some point. There are several things that can help make these conversations more effective. 1. Know What You Are Going To Say Creditors don’t want to hear a long, drawn out story about every financial bump in the road you’ve faced over the last couple of years. They do, however, need to know you are experiencing hardship and that you are actively working to overcome it. Once you realize routine conversations with your creditors are necessary, decide exactly what you are… Read More

Understand and Prevent the Most Common Causes of Debt
August 21, 2014

The vast majority of the population has, at some point, experienced debt. And many consumers find themselves asking: “How did this happen?!” Knowing the most common causes of debt will hopefully help you avoid them. If prevention isn’t possible, this information can help you identify your areas of weakness and begin to establish a sound debt management solution. An Imbalance of Income and Expenses According to a Clearwater debt relief attorney, a poor income-to-expense ratio is one of the most common instigators of debt. Usually an imbalance occurs when a consumer sees a reduction in income, but maintains the same… Read More

Avoiding Foreclosure in the Midst of Divorce
August 12, 2014

It is very common for debt issues to arise in the midst of a divorce. To avoid losing their home to foreclosure, spouses should consider the following options. Foreclosure Alternatives if No One Wants the Home If neither party wants to own the home, there are a few foreclosure alternatives to consider. Option #1: Sell the Property If neither spouse wants to own the property, the best way to dissolve joint debt is to sell the home. However, this might not be an option if the homeowners are “underwater”—owing more than the home is worth. If the home is underwater,… Read More

Appropriate Situations to Consider Bankruptcy Alternatives
August 10, 2014

The ideal debt management solution involves a minimal amount of risk, cost and credit impact. As such, bankruptcy isn’t always the best option. Often times, there are alternative solutions that are a better fit. For example, debt consolidation, negotiation, or litigation can be viable options for those considering bankruptcy. For consumers seeking financial stability—not just a short-term band aid—it is important to work with a multi-faceted financial professional. At Ziegler Law Office, we distinguish ourselves from our competitors because we do not offer just one solution – we are not exclusively a bankruptcy law firm or a debt settlement company.… Read More

Impact of New Statute of Limitations Case Law
August 7, 2014

The following article authored by Michael Ziegler, PA was recently published in the Clearwater Bar Associations monthly newsletter. For decades, practitioners could rely on well-established maximums to guide them in foreclosure law, such as “the mortgage follows the note.” After the advent of mortgage securitization, MERS, and other economic efficiencies, mortgage loan enforcement has become more dynamic, and the case law reflects the efforts of the courts to change with it. The most recent evolution applies to the statute of limitations. The basic functionality of the statute of limitations is to prevent litigation of stale claims. For all civil claims,… Read More