Month: January 2019

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Don’t let holiday debt get your 2019 off on the wrong foot

A lot of Georgians enjoy the holidays but for others it can be a bit of a season of mixed emotions. For many, it’s an opportunity for people to have extra time to spend with family members that they might not get to see often or to attend fun holiday celebrations with friends, co-workers and family. For many though, there can be a substantial monetary cost to the holiday season.  That cost goes beyond even the standard gift buying that Americans are unable to avoid. It includes things like planning and hosting parties or travelling great distances to visit loved ones. People already struggling to make ends meet often find themselves in an untenable situation and all of this added expense during the holidays can lead to significant holiday debt that can put a strain on their already difficult financial situation.

According to the The Motley Fool, nearly 50 percent of all people will find themselves in serious debt by January, nearly all of it related to holiday spending. 8 in 10 of those people will have driven up their debt load buying presents for friends and family. About 3 in 10 will have gone in debt to fund holiday travel and another 20 percent will have incurred new debt in order to fund events and celebrations during the holiday season.

Bloomberg, a major financial news outlet, states that the relatively healthy economy gives consumers the confidence to spend significant amounts this holiday season, especially compared to years past. Amazon has indicated that 2018’s Cyber Monday was the biggest shopping day ever for the company in its history and many other retailers are reporting extremely strong holiday spending during their Black Friday sales.

Mastercard  has put out news that online shopping in the holiday season exceeded 2017 spending levels by 19 percent. Total shopping sales for the entire year of 2018 rose by more than five percent over 2017 levels, as reported by Mastercard.

As we celebrate a new year, don’t let the prospect of serious holiday debt drag you and your family down.  With the average credit card interest rates exceeding 20% and rising, your financial future hangs in the balance with each passing day.  Don’t let the scourge of credit card debt ruin your 2019. Come see the attorneys at Harmon and Gorove today for a free consultation and let us develop a plan that can help you get your finances back on track and secure a bright future for you and your family.

What is foreclosure and what does it mean?

Foreclosure essentially means the process of repossessing real estate that the mortgage has fallen behind on to the point where the lender has reason to believe that you will be unable to catch back up.  Banks that complete the foreclosure process will list the home for sale in order to recover some or all of the money the bank lost on the original transaction. In the event that the bank has listed the home in the Multiple Listing Service, then the home can be put up for sale and the foreclosure process is complete.

There are three stages of the foreclosure process:

  • Pre-foreclosure: at this point the bank files a notice for lack of payment. This is generally when the homeowner falls behind two months in the payments. The owner will generally be afforded a period of between two and three months to attempt to refinance the loan or sell the property on short sale.
  • Auction: At this point the bank has set up an auction on the courthouse steps (a legal step in the foreclosure process in Georgia) in a bid to sell the home and recover its costs.
  • Bank owning: in the event that the home was not successfully sold at the auction, the lien holders have two options. The first option is being paid off by private mortgage insurance and the other option is that they can take a loss on the investment.

If successful, foreclosures can have a number of financial consequences for the former homeowner depending on the agreements that were in the loan agreement that you signed when you purchased the home. The most significant consequence is that the homeowner loses the home, is evicted and loses all the equity you have built up in the home. You could also be sued for any amount the lender does not recover in the sale of your home and you could also potentially face tax consequences with your state and the federal government. It is extremely important that a person knows their rights in the foreclosure process.

If you are experiencing a potential foreclosure call the experienced attorneys at Harmon and Gorove and schedule a free consultation with a dedicated attorney who can help you navigate the foreclosure process and potentially save your home and stop the process of foreclosure.  We have helped thousands of people save their homes, come let us see what we can do for you.