Blog - The Law Office of Michael A. Ziegler, P.L.

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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

Florida’s Standing in the Midyear Foreclosure Report
July 15, 2014

RealtyTrac, a California firm that tracks foreclosures, recently released their Midyear 2014 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report. The findings were generally encouraging, yet highlight the progress Florida residents still need to make. National Information The report cites just over 613,000 U.S. properties with foreclosure filings in the first half of 2014. This is a 19% drop from the previous six months and a 23% decline since the first half of 2013. The national foreclosure activity in June was the lowest since the housing bubble burst in the summer of 2006. If the current market responds as history dictates it should, the… Read More

Filing Bankruptcy? 8 Things You Need to Know
June 30, 2014

Filing for bankruptcy is a difficult decision. There are a number of things to consider. Your reasons for filing are important and will help determine which type of bankruptcy you should seek. Before you begin the process, take some time to study these steps to success. Ask: Is Bankruptcy Right for Me? Many people see bankruptcy as a quick fix when it may be overkill. If there is a reasonable way to avoid bankruptcy, now’s the time to really consider your alternatives. Bankruptcy provides an unmatched benefit, but it can come at a cost. For some people, as part of… Read More

Loan Modification 101: Don’t Lose Your Home
June 20, 2014

The Florida real estate market is starting to show some signs of stability. However, not everyone is out of the woods. Many homeowners remain behind on their mortgage payments, or their home payments are unaffordable and they will not be able to continue making payments. For those who want to hold onto their homes, a home loan modification may offer a possible solution. The Problem After a loan has fallen several months behind, lenders generally won’t allow a borrower to restart making their normal payment again until the entire missed balance is caught up. For homeowners who are several months… Read More