finance

How Big Banks Can Bankrupt You Overnight

In the time of the Great Depression, many mortgages were written with a provision that allowed banks to call in the loan at any time. As they began to stumble towards failure, they frantically called loans and foreclosed on properties right and left. According to Dave Ramsey, mortgage laws have changed since those days. This was to prevent such a ruinous cascade of events taking out both the lenders and the borrowers in an “every-man-for-himself” race to survive at the expense of everyone else. However, there are still some sub-categories of loans that remain subject to such provisions– albeit in a backdoor fashion.

The Back Door Callable Mortgage

Of most interest to the general public are the terms that can be included in so-called HELOCs, or Home Equity Lines of Credit. These are financial instruments wherein you pledge the remaining value of the house over and above that of your existing mortgage in return for the right to draw upon that sum whenever you like by simply writing a check.

Protecting the Banks

How Big Banks Can Bankrupt You Overnight

There are two major dangers with such a loan. First, it is based upon the value of the home minus the mortgage held against it. In the event of a housing market crash, that difference between the two can be effectively wiped out by a fall in value of the underlying asset (your home) that serves as collateral. Secondly, it is also based upon your ability to repay the note. If you lose your job, or your second-income spouse dies, you may no longer qualify for the line of credit you have already received.

But Not You

In these instances, banks have been known to freeze the line of credit without notice– meaning that you cannot access any more of the funds than you have already drawn out. Next, they may decline to roll the HELOC over once it does come due. This arbitrary power of the banks can create an immediate problem because there are some HELOCs which are written with annual renewal clauses in them. In other words, some types of HELOC’s can be called due at the option of the lender regardless of whether you have been making your payments on time. In most cases, that effectively wipes out the homeowner and leads to the loss of all their accumulated equity.

How Big Banks Can Bankrupt You Overnight

Put simply, if a bank decides that your relationship with them is more of a liability than an asset, they can mess you over very quickly. According to CNBC, 78 percent of full-time workers are living paycheck to paycheck. This means that for a vast majority of us, we’re one cash flow disruption away from financial disaster. This might be why hundreds of thousands of Chapter 13 petitions are filed every year. If you have exposed yourself to these types of risky loans, are highly leveraged, with minimal emergency savings, you could be setting yourself up for some very stressful times in your near future.

Your Best Bet is to Go With a Trusted Credit Union

Unlike big national banks, credit unions are non-profit entities who operate to maximize the value for their members. At a credit union, you are not just a customer; you’re a stakeholder. While credit unions and banks operate under similar federal regulations and provide similar services, a bank’s priority is their bottom line, not necessarily your bottom line. Not every bank is scummy, but on average a credit union is going to work with you more and treat you better.

The best method for finding financial peace is to get out of debt and stay out of debt. 2nd Mortgages, HELOC’s, Title Loans, and unsecured notes are not tools for your prosperity – they’re ticking timebombs. Don’t sabotage your financial future.  Escape debt, build wealth, and use it to make a difference in your community. You can do it!

What’s The Difference Between A Chapter 7 And A Chapter 13?

If you’re trying to pay off a substantial amount of debt, bankruptcy is one option that could help, although it requires you to give up quite a bit of financial control over your life. You have two common bankruptcy options, and these are called Chapter 7 bankruptcy and Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Each works very differently and has its own advantage and disadvantages.

Liquidate or Restructure Your Debt

Because of how they work, Chapter 7 bankruptcy is also known as liquidation bankruptcy, whereas Chapter 13 bankruptcy is known as restructuring or reorganization bankruptcy.

With Chapter 7, you’re giving permission for the court to liquidate any assets that aren’t protected under the bankruptcy laws set by the federal government and your state. The proceeds of these sales goes towards your debtors. This type of bankruptcy wipes out many types of unsecured debt, although there are certain debts it can’t wipe away. These include student loans and tax debts. For secured debts, the debtors can repossess the collateral on the loan.

With Chapter 13, you’re setting up a payment plan with the court that will result in your debt being paid off within three to five years. You can negotiate the total amount you’ll pay and you can have late fees and other charges added to your debt to avoid repossession of any property. According to the Bankruptcy Law Office, a Chapter 13 can stop a foreclosure if the bankruptcy is filed early enough in the process. With secured debts, you can choose to either make those parts of your payment plan or let the debtor repossess the collateral to be done with the debt. You need to monitor how you spend your money while you’re on that payment plan, and the court may require you to use zero-base budgeting that you show to them at any time.

How Long Your Bankruptcy Will Last

Chapter 13 bankruptcy lasts until you complete your payment plan, which will likely be three to five years. Chapter 7 bankruptcy typically lasts between three and six months.

Qualifying for Bankruptcy

One important thing to keep in mind is that you don’t have 100-percent control over which type of bankruptcy you choose. Your income determines which one you qualify for. If you make enough for a payment plan, you’ll need to file Chapter 13 bankruptcy. If you don’t, then you need to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Bankruptcy is a major decision, and it’s important to understand as much as possible about it before you file. Think about which chapter you would likely qualify for, and then consult a bankruptcy lawyer to see if filing is a smart move.

5 Common Causes Of Car Accidents

If you drive a car long enough, you are likely to get into an accident yourself or at least see one on the road. Accidents can range from minor fender benders that do little or nor damage to major crashes that cause serious injuries and death. To avoid car accidents, it’s important to know the common causes.

Distracted Driving

5 Common Causes Of Car Accidents

The most common cause of car accidents, at least in the U.S., is distracted driving. This has been a problem as long as cars have been around, but it’s gotten much worse over the past couple of decades with the advent of cell phones and other small wireless devices. To help lower your chances of an accident caused by distracted driving, never use a phone or other electronic device while you are driving.

Speeding

Speed limits are in place for a reason: safety. If you don’t follow the posted speed, you are more likely to cause an accident. Speed limits typically reflect the amount of traffic and hazards present. Inner-city streets with lots of car and pedestrian traffic have the lowest limits, while highways and expressways have the highest one. Following the speed limit gives you time to brake properly and react to unexpected hazards.

Impaired Driving

5 Common Causes Of Car Accidents

Everyone knows that drunken drivers are more likely to cause an accident, but other impairments can also be a big risk. People on prescription medications can be impaired while driving and not even be aware of it. Sleep-deprived drivers also can be an accident risk. You should refrain from driving if you have been drinking, are overly tired or are taking a medication that lists driving impairment as a side effect.

Weather Conditions

A big contributor to car accidents is the weather. Icy or wet roads and poor visibility caused by rain, fog or snow are among the most-common causes of weather-related accidents. If you have to drive during inclement weather, you should slow your speed and make sure you are being vigilant.

Inexperience

There’s a reason that younger drivers pay higher insurance costs. Inexperience behind the wheel is a top cause of auto accidents. And it’s not just overall inexperience. Experienced drivers who are driving a different type of vehicle, such as a motorcycle or large truck, also can be more prone to accidents.

Car accidents kill tens of thousands of people each year in the U.S. To stay safe and avoid them, it’s important to know how they happen and take appropriate precautions.

References

https://braunslaw.com/practice-areas/car-accidents/

http://www.enddd.org/the-facts-about-distracted-driving/

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/growing-number-states-fine-slowpoke-drivers-highway-fast-lanes/

http://www.drivehomesafe.com/article/inexperience_and_immaturity_causes_teen_accidents__deaths-12.html