Co Signers Put Themselves in Creditor’s Spotlight

Cathy Moran, Esq., (Redwood City, CA)

A white haired grandfather and teenage grandson are looking at the same laptop computer sharing the same passion or interest - friendship and family love concept

The responsibility of a co-signer is one of the single most common misunderstandings about law.

Put bluntly, a co-signer is just as responsible for the debt as the primary borrower.

Co sign someone else’s loan and you put yourself in the creditor’s spotlight.

That should make the hair on the back of your neck stand up.

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Chapter 7 Bankruptcy: What Is It, and Is It Right for You?

Forbes Advisor - June 2, 2022

student

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the bankruptcy filing most often used by consumers. It provides protection from creditors, puts a stop to most collection efforts and can eventually wipe debts away.

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When it Comes to Personal Finance, Budgeting is an Essential First Step

Melinda Opperman,
President, credit.org

Smiling young 30s woman in eyewear looking at smartphone screen, feeling satisfied with fast secure online service, paying household bills taxes or insurance, managing budget, calculating expenses.

Anyone hoping to take control of their personal finances must start with budgeting.

Simply put, a budget is a plan. People need to plan for how much they’ll earn, how much they’ll spend, and what their long-term financial goals will be.

There are many reasons we urge everyone to take the time to create a budget:

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People Facing Debt Have Many Options

Author: Melinda Opperman
President, credit.org

Mature middle-aged couple family wife and husband counting funds, savings declarations, investments,paperwork, financial documents, bankruptcy, court case, bills, pension with laptop.

When people are struggling with their debts, they have a lot more options than they might realize. There are professionals, non-profit organizations, and free online resources available to help no matter how one’s personal finances look.

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BFine Terms You Need to Know

BFine Administrator

e-learning education concept, learning online with webinar, video tutorial, internet lessons

Managing your financial future is easier when you understand what is being said. Below are some of the key terms that are used with finance and bankruptcy.

For more definitions visit:

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Study Reveals Racial Bias in Bankruptcy Cases

Ebony - Nov. 2, 2021

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According to a recent study, approximately 30 percent of African-American filers are more likely to have their bankruptcy cases dismissed than non-Black bankruptcy filers, Yahoo News reports.

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My dad declared bankruptcy. What happens to mom’s credit?

NJ Moneyhelp - Nov. 23, 2021

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Q. My father declared bankruptcy without telling my mother. How will this affect her credit?

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Budgeting

57% of young adults dread budgeting. Here are 4 easy ways to remove the stress.

USA Today - July 1, 2022

guy on computer

For many young people, budgeting can feel like a chore. A recent study found that 57% of young people dread the thought of budgeting..

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Essential Household Budgeting Tips

Credit.org

father_daughter_cooking

We’ve seen countless different household budgeting strategies over the decades we’ve spent educating consumers about managing their personal finances and conquering their debt.

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How to make a budget

CNN - Jan. 13, 2022

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Crafting your own monthly budget isn’t all that complicated, but it can be tedious and downright depressing when you’re first starting out. After all, creating a spending plan usually means cutting in areas you probably enjoy, such as dining out and entertainment. 

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How to catch spending mistakes

Business Insider - Dec. 25, 2021

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I spoke to financial advisors about how to catch spending mistakes and create a foolproof budget for 2022 .

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Lesson 3: Budget to Control Spending

Judge John Ninfo - May 20, 2021

Credit

Opt Out of Credit Card Offers

Credit.org

Two dads carrying child

How often have you checked your mail or answered your phone only to find another prescreened credit card offer?

Blank envelopes and phone calls from unnamed phone numbers may seem like official notifications. More often than not, answering these notices leads you to find yet another offer claiming that you have been prescreened for a new line of credit.

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How to Remove Negative Items From Your Credit Report

Nasdaq - July 7, 2022

Women sitting on floor drinking coffee

Your credit report is meant to be an accurate, detailed summary of your financial history — however, mistakes happen more often than you may think.

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Settled medical debt is now dropping off credit reports — here’s how to check your record and make sure it’s right

CNBC - July 1, 2022

A white haired grandfather and teenage grandson are looking at the same laptop computer

If medical debt you’ve already paid has been lingering on your credit report, you may want to see if that has changed. 

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Buy Now, Pay Later and Credit Reporting

Consumer Finance Protection Bureau - June 15, 2022

cfpb

In December 2021, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) launched a market monitoring inquiry into Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL).

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U.S. Congress looking into credit report errors, disputes

Philadelphia Tribune - June 3, 2022

cfpb

The U.S. Congress is looking into mistakes on credit reports and how disputes are being handled by all three major credit reporting agencies, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion, as a result of payment deferment programs and rising cases of identity theft during the pandemic.

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Where credit scores come from and why they don’t quite add up — but can

Boston Globe - May 30, 2022

ladder

Credit scores were founded on, and perpetuate, racial inequality.

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Millennial Money: What to do if you buy now, can’t pay later

The Associated Press - Jan. 18, 2022

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Buy now, pay later” can be a convenient payment method. But if you don’t factor the recurring payments into your budget, it can get messy.

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Consumer credit card debt and annual percentage rates are heading to an all-time high

CNBC - May 10, 2022

cfpb

Credit card debt is on the rise as consumers face higher prices almost across the board.

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Experts Agree It’s Best To Avoid Pulling Money From a 401(k).

Next Advisor - May 24, 2022

cfpb

When a financial emergency hits, you may find yourself scrambling to get your hands on the money you need.

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Lesson 1: Don't use credit cards to buy stuff you can't afford

Judge John Ninfo - October 26, 2021

Financial Literacy

Cash for Keys: What is it?

Credit.org

man holding a key

If foreclosure is imminent, and a lender is considering a deed in lieu of foreclosure “Cash for Keys” may be an option. Under this arrangement, the lender will actually pay you to vacate the home and leave it in good condition. Part of that deal is the home is not damaged or vandalized, is “broom clean” and there are no missing appliances, fixtures, wiring, etc.

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These four free personal finance courses can set you up for financial success in three hours or less

CNBC - July 20, 2022

two dads kid laptop

While personal finance isn't typically taught in school, we can still catch up with online courses.

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Personal finance course to be required in the future for SC students to graduate high school

WIS News 10 - July 18, 2022

high school students & teacher

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - To graduate high school, students probably had to learn the Pythagorean Theorem, memorize the three branches of government and their functions, and read a little Shakespeare.  But in the future, South Carolina students will also need to learn skills like managing credit cards and filing taxes to get their diplomas.

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Debt Consolidation Vs. Bankruptcy: What’s The Difference?

Forbes - June 14, 2022

class

If you’re looking for a way out from under overwhelming credit card bills and other debt, bankruptcy could wipe out your balances and offer a fresh start. But filing for bankruptcy has downsides, so you might consider debt consolidation as a way to simplify your finances and pay off debt faster.

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The Personal Finance Advice Every College Graduate Needs

LifeHacker - May 25, 2022

bfine grad

For years you’ve lived on a college budget, scrounging meals where you can, buying gas on a trip-by-trip basis, and never once pondering the term “401(k).”

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How women can take charge of their personal finance; here are 7 effective ways

Economic Times - May 24, 2022

woman1

Only 2% of women are investing for their retirement. It is important that you start early, start small and start investing in assets that leverage the power of compounding, like Equity Mutual Funds..

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Floridians see personal finance class requirement as a positive for students

WSFU - May 15, 2022

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Residents across north central Florida are optimistic about the potential impacts of a new law requiring a personal finance class for graduation.

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What Is a Homestead?

US News - May 23, 2022

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A homestead is an owner-occupied residence that can provide homeowners with certain financial and legal protections.

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State-by-State List of Statute of Limitations on Debt

The Balance - January 7, 2022

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A statute of limitations is the amount of time a person can take in order to take legal action on a certain event..

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If Your Finances Are Tight, Don’t Assume Fintech Is Your Friend

Forbes - Dec. 22, 2021

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Breaking a general rule, I’ll talk about a personal experience. Being in the market for a piece of equipment for personal and business use, I noticed a site offered a form of fintech-driven financing.

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The Anxious Guy’s Guide to Financial Security

The Arrow - Aug. 17, 2021

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If you want to get your money straight, get your head straight first.

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What is a recession? How economists define periods of economic downturn

Business Insider - July 30, 2021

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A recession is a period of decline in general economic activity, typically defined when an economy experiences a decrease in its gross domestic product for two consecutive quarters.

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What is right of redemption?

Bankrate - October 25, 2021

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No one wants to find themselves losing their home to foreclosure, but if you’re in this situation, there’s potentially still time to recover using the right of redemption.

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Loans

Cash for Keys: What is it?

Credit.org

man holding a key

If foreclosure is imminent, and a lender is considering a deed in lieu of foreclosure “Cash for Keys” may be an option. Under this arrangement, the lender will actually pay you to vacate the home and leave it in good condition. Part of that deal is the home is not damaged or vandalized, is “broom clean” and there are no missing appliances, fixtures, wiring, etc.

READ MORE

Tribal Payday Loans (What You Need to Know)

Credit.org

payday loan

The payday loan industry is notorious for its predatory practices and tendency to disregard the law. Federal and state governments alike have attempted to rein in payday lenders to protect consumers, especially since most payday loan borrowers ended up regretting their payday loans.

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Buy-here, pay-here financing: What you need to know

Credit Karma - Oct. 21, 2021

woman looking at cars

Buy-here, pay-here loans can help people with poor credit secure auto financing. They’re offered by car dealerships that provide in-house financing — meaning the dealership both sells and finances its cars. But you may encounter a speed bump or two with buy-here, pay-here financing. These loans might not help you build credit and can come with high costs — sometimes thousands more than the car is actually worth.

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Protecting servicemembers from costly auto loans and wrongful repossessions

CFPB - July 18, 2022

couple buying cars

If you take a drive down the main road leading to most military bases in the country, you’ll likely see car dealerships lining both sides of the street.

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How online loans like Affirm and Afterpay really work—and should you ever use them

CNBC - June 6, 2022

woman shopping on laptop

After the birth of her son, Lauren Hynds wanted a way to work out that would be easy enough to manage while caring for a newborn. That’s when she saw ads for Peloton, the workout bike with the cult following.

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Don't Let The Deadline for Public Service Loan Forgiveness Sneak Up on You

CNet - July 4, 2022 

man

You have until Oct. 31 to apply -- but if you need to consolidate your loans, you should start the process right away.

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Over 9M qualify for student loan forgiveness program, report finds: Are you eligible?

The Hill - June 12, 2022 

laptop

Over nine million Americans may qualify for federal student loan forgiveness under a program that’s already in place, according to a new estimate.

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A temporary student loan forgiveness waiver ends soon: Are you eligible?

The Hill - July 3, 2022 

student

In the fall of 2021, the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program was overhauled by the Biden administration. Since then, thousands of borrowers have received $8.1 billion in student debt relief.

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Student Loan Servicers Told to Hold Off on Sending Billing Statements

Wall Street Journal - July 3, 2022 

student_pottery_class

The federal government’s student loan servicing contractors have been instructed to hold off on sending billing statements ahead of an Aug. 31 deadline for ending the pandemic freeze on loan payments, giving companies little time to start loan collection processes if payments resume.

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How to avoid common car leasing mistakes (2022 guide)

MarketWatch - June 7, 2022

car

 Signing a car lease can be a big commitment since you agree to drive a vehicle for a fixed number of miles and months.

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Interest rates on student loans

SallieMae

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When you pay off your student loan in full, you’ll have paid more than the amount you originally borrowed. This is generally due to the accrual of interest and interest capitalization. .

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Loan Modification Vs. Refinance: Which Is Best For You?

Rocket Mortgage-  June 6, 2022

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You might want to refinance your loan if you’re having trouble making your mortgage payments or to take advantage of a lower interest rate. 

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Gen Z and millennials default on auto loans at far greater rates than before the pandemic

NBC News -  June 4, 2022

car

Data from TransUnion shows people between the ages of 18 and 40 were at least 60 days past due on their auto loans in the first quarter of 2022.. 

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Subprime Car Loan Defaults Rising

Kelley Blue Book -  May 24, 2022

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Americans with lower credit scores have begun defaulting on car loans at near-record rates as economic warning signs increase.

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Mortgage Relief Scams

FTC Consumer Advice 

ftc

Scammers promise to make changes to your mortgage loan or take other steps to save your home, but they don’t deliver.

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The Future of Student Loans and Bankruptcy

JD Supra:  Is There a Bubble Waiting to Burst? - Sept. 15, 2021

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In March 2021, the U.S. Department of Education noted that student loan borrowers owed $1.6 trillion federal and private loans. For many, loans are the only option to attend a U.S. university or college for undergraduate, graduate, and professional studies.

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Mortgage Servicing Rules - COVID-19 and CARES Act

The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau - Nov. 10, 2021

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Joint Statement on Supervisory and Enforcement Practices Regarding the Mortgage Servicing Rules in Response to the Continuing COVID-19 Pandemic and CARES Act.

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Buying A House After Bankruptcy

Forbes - Nov. 30, 2021

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Buying a house can be a challenge in itself, but if you’ve had to file for bankruptcy, owning a home may seem all the more difficult to achieve.

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5 Ways to Get Financing With a Bankruptcy in Your Past

The Motley Fool - Dec. 15, 2021

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Just because you've had a bankruptcy doesn't mean you can't get financing to invest in real estate. Find out how.

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Student loan processor Navient required to cancel $1.7 billion in student loans

CNBC - Jan. 14, 2022

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Navient, one of the largest student loan servicers, will cancel $1.7 billion in private student loans after a deal it reached with 39 states.

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Roaring U.S. housing market may cool, keep climbing as Fed ends emergency support

Market Watch - Jan. 14, 2022

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Why home prices could rise 6% to 10% this year, even if mortgage rates jump.

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Foreclosures Soar 94% From 1 Year Ago

The Ascent - Jan. 8, 2022

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More borrowers are losing their homes now than they were earlier in the pandemic.

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Mortgage delinquency rate reaches prepandemic levels

Housing Wire - Jan. 11, 2022

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In October, 3.8% of mortgages were delinquent by at least 30 days, compared to 3.7% in the same month of 2019.

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Student Loan Changes Are Coming: 5 Things to Expect in 2022

Yakima Herald - Jan. 12, 2022

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The last year has been quite a season of change in the student loan industry.

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