2013 April 11 by jesse
I, Jesse Aschenberg, had a great time speaking at the monthly meeting of the Mile High Chapter of the Women’s Council of Realtors. Thanks for having me!
2013 April 9 by jesse
As a Denver bankruptcy lawyer, I have been receiving multiple calls from clients who filed bankruptcy a few years ago who are now eligible to re-finance their current mortgage or purchase a home.
The mortgage lenders and brokers frequently ask my clients “Did you reaffirm the mortgage?”
Wells Fargo, in particular, has been offering our past clients refinancing of their mortgage only to deny it later because a reaffirmation agreement was not filed in the bankruptcy case.
Wells Fargo tells our clients that they’ll approve them for a re-finance if they will file a reaffirmation agreement in their two-year-old chapter 7 bankruptcy case. Unfortunately, this is not an option. Once the bankruptcy discharge has been issued by the court, the court cannot approve a reaffirmation agreement.
Our solution: If you cannot re-finance with the mortgage lender you had when your bankruptcy was filed, apply with a different lender.
Our contacts at First Option Lending have recently told us that an individual who filed chapter 7 over 2 years ago is eligible to re-finance their mortgage now if they have not missed any mortgage payments and otherwise qualify. You don’t need a reaffirmation agreement to re-finance if your have a stellar payment history and your income is steady and verifiable.
It is common practice for bankruptcy attorneys to advise their clients to not reaffirm their mortgages and other debts. A Reaffirmation Agreement is an agreement made between the debtor (our client) and a creditor (like Wells Fargo) to agree to pay a debt that would otherwise be discharged (forgiven) by the bankruptcy.
The agreement is a court-approved new post-bankruptcy contract with the creditor. It gives back the lender the right to sue our clients (including wage and bank garnishment) if they default in the future.
How can a bankruptcy attorney advise his client to put himself or herself in that situation? Especially today when an astounding number of homes are underwater and the economy is so uncertain.
The benefits of signing the reaffirmation agreement are outweighed by the risks.
2013 March 28 by jesse
Dealing with financial stress, bankruptcy, foreclosure, and the uncertainty of the future is overwhelming.
For the last 13 years I, Jesse Aschenberg, have had the great privilege of working with individuals, couples, senior citizens, single mothers, divorcing couples, and business men who are in crisis. They are all in one stage or another of the grief.
I generally see two reactions to financial crisis. One personality type is doing all they can to fight and control their situation as best they can. The other has given up and has lost hope. Nevertheless, both types are asking the same question, “why?” Why is this happening? Why me?
The serenity prayer can be a helpful tool to calm the emotional storm and help you make the right decision or to just be at peace in the moment about your current circumstances.
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.
2013 March 27 by jesse
Last night we held our second Credit Repair and Home Ownership After Bankruptcy Seminar. Kevin J. Kust, Regional Manager at Continental Credit, LLC was our main presenter. He gave an informative talk about what factors make up your FICO score and strategies for re-establishing credit after a bankruptcy.
Here is Kevin’s top 10 list of how to re-establish good credit after a bankruptcy:
- Re-establish credit ASAP starting with opening 1 Secured Credit Card. After another 2-3 months get another secured credit card. Installment loans are great to, but credit cards are most important. (even clients in an active chapter 13 bankruptcy can get approved and are able to open a secured credit cards as long as they are very low limits – have to be under $1000 limit.)
- After opening a secured card never exceed 30% of your available limit on each individual card. Better yet, use these cards for only a few dollars every month and simply make your on-time payment to show you are keeping the account active and you are being responsible by not putting excessive debt on the account & you’re paying it on time.
- Stay away from offers/solicitations in the mail – OPT OUT of these offers by calling 888.567.8688.
- Do not apply for department store or jewelry accounts to re-establish credit history. Secured credit cards are more versatile and ensure to grow your score with all 3 credit bureaus
- Open a secured installment loan with your local bank (however make sure you have at least 6-8 months of reestablished secured credit card history first)
- Your Checking/Savings accounts do not help re-build your credit profile.
- 90% of all Bankruptcies report INACCURATELY to the credit bureaus (i.e. accounts involved in the BK still show outstanding debts or do not appear to be involved in the BK, etc.) Make sure your BK matches your declarations page and is reporting correctly on your credit report!
- Make sure all accounts from your bankruptcy report as “included in bankruptcy” and have a $0 balance associated with the account
- Monitor your credit. Pull a report every 4-6 months to ensure your accounts are reporting correctly.
- Talk to an expert. Call Kevin J. Kust – Regional Manager at Continental Credit Restoration (ph. 303.868.0373) for a free analysis on your credit profile and potential options to remove some of the Bankruptcy from your credit report. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act Bankruptcies CAN affect your scores for 7-10 years, but this DOESN’T mean that they HAVE TO. Bankruptcies can and have been removed from credit profiles given the right circumstances. Call Mr. Kust to find out how.
2013 March 25 by jesse
A gentleman come to see me last week in a complete panic. He checked his bank balances on-line in the morning only to discover that his account had just been garnished. The creditor took everything in his account. There was nothing left in his accounts.
He was in financial crisis. The creditor took over $8,000 out of his personal bank account. They gave him no notice. Part of the money was his tax refund the other part was money he received from a settlement he won against someone. He was presently unemployed and had no other money to support his family except for what was sized from his bank account by one of his creditors.
Could we help him? Could we stop the bank garnishment?
Youbetcha! We filed an emergency chapter 13 bankruptcy and demanded return of the garnished funds.
The creditors released the funds back to the relief of our client. Crisis averted.
If you’ve been sued by a creditor for defaulting on a credit card or other debt it’s only a matter of time before they garnish your wages or garnish bank accounts.
By quickly filing a chapter 13 bankruptcy (not chapter 7) you can demand return of funds garnished from the bank account from most creditors. That’s the power of the automatic stay and chapter 13 bankruptcy in action!
2013 March 18 by jesse
We just had out semi-annual firm development t meeting last week. We took a quick picture of us all together. We have a great experienced bankruptcy staff.
2012 May 23 by jesse
Here’s a little humor for you – check out http://www.despair.com/. The site pokes fun at the motivational poster trend. They turn them around into “demotivational” posters. It’s all in good fun and a great website to get a good laugh. Here are a few of our favorites:
AMBITION: The journey of a thousand miles sometimes ends very, very badly.
BELIEVE IN YOURSELF: because the rest of us think you’re an idiot.
POTENTIAL: Not everyone gets to be an astronaut when they grow up.
2012 March 26 by jesse
“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear–not absence of fear.”–Mark Twain
“The unknown” can be a scary place. Taking risks and facing your fears throws you into this scary place and you can’t be sure what the outcome will be. This same risk can also be what makes it exciting.
What are your fears? Flying? Interviewing? Public speaking? Needles? Snakes? Nearly everyone is afraid of something, so don’t feel alone. If you’ve always wanted to conquer one of your fears, read on for some inspiration and motivation.
CLIMB OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE
It’s natural to settle into your comfort zone in life. It feels safe and easy. Taking risks and facing fears gets your adrenaline going and brings out flight instincts. You want to run away from a scary situation, it’s natural. But it’s difficult to expand your horizons and grow as a person if you stay hidden away in your comfort zone. So every once in awhile, consider dipping a toe outside of your comfort zone and see how it makes you feel.
GET TO THE BOTTOM OF WHY YOU’RE AFRAID
Do some soul searching and think about why you are so afraid of something. Are you afraid to die? Are you afraid of failure? Or of success? Get online and do some reading about your fear. You might find information that helps you understand the underlying cause of your fear. For example, fear of flying often comes down to a fear of not being in control of a situation – having to trust the pilots to handle problems. At least when you’re at the wheel of your car, you feel in control. Knowing this type of information can help you tackle your fear head on, armed with all the facts.
Before you book that skydiving trip, consider starting with some more reasonable adventures. Head to a part of town you wouldn’t normally go to and eat some exotic food. Drive up to a high elevation and enjoy the view. Look at snakes through the glass at the zoo. Meet a friend at the airport, go shopping, have a meal, and just watch the comings and goings. Consider yourself “dabbling” in facing your fears. Do something different, have fun, and change your perspective a little. Realize that you might feel afraid and take that in, be OK with it.
Work your way up from starting small, and take bigger and bolder steps until you’re ready to face your fear. Breathe deeply to calm your heart rate, stay hydrated, and remember that you’re in control. You can choose to be brave and courageous, or you can choose to give into fear. Remember that you’re doing this for yourself – to have a better life, to get to know yourself better, and to challenge yourself.
NEED MORE MOTIVATION?
Facing Fear, Finding Courage: Your Path to Peace of Mind
Facing and Overpowering Your Fears
Face Your Fear: Living with Courage in an Age of Caution
2012 March 26 by jesse
1. Where did you work before coming to work at Bankruptcy Law Professionals and what did you do there?
Before I came to work with Bankruptcy Law Professionals, I was a Legal Assistant for The Law Offices of Stevens and DiSante in Littleton. I directed calls and welcomed clients for one attorney while preparing documents, requesting medical records, and managing the office for the other attorney.
2. What will your duties in your new role be?
My new role will be setting appointments for clients, receiving and scanning all documents into client files, scheduling Jesse’s calendar and gathering marketing information for the firm.
3. What do you most look forward to working on?
I look forward to improving my own multitasking abilities while hopefully making my coworkers’ lives smoother and more manageable.
4. Outside of work, what are your interests?
Being a mother of four and a part-time student occupies nearly all of my time! But, I dream of having enough hours in the day to stay in a committed yoga routine – yoga is the best! I am also a Certified Massage Therapist.
5. Why do you like working in bankruptcy law?
Bankruptcy gives people a relatively quick new lease on life – a fresh start. I love assuring people through what can be a difficult time and assisting the firm in providing that bridge to a new beginning.
2012 February 16 by jesse
As we covered in the February 2011 Bankruptcy Law Professionals in Bankruptcy Myth #1, filing for bankruptcy does not necessarily hurt your credit. The bankruptcy will be reported on your credit file for up to 10 years. Bankruptcy gets rid of or manages your debt, so it should be considered the first step in rebuilding your credit. Here are five steps you should take to start repairing your credit after filing for bankruptcy.
1. REVIEW YOUR CREDIT REPORT
If you don’t have a recent copy of your credit report, get one from a reputable online source such as Annual Credit Report – it should be free once a year. If you see any errors, work on disputing that information directly with the companies. And make sure any debt that was part of your bankruptcy case is designated with a “BK” notation. Remember that you must exercise some patience here. It can take several years for your credit slate to be completely clean. You didn’t become bankrupt overnight, so you can’t recover it from it that quickly either.
2. APPLY FOR NEW LINES OF CREDIT
It’s time to get some positive credit activity going on your credit report to show that you are responsible and are ready to pay bills on time. You likely won’t get great offers and will have to pay higher interest rates, but you’ll use the cards sparingly. Consider making one small purchase a month, like a tank of gas, then pay it off with each bill. Don’t ever max them out, as your credit score goes up or down based on your ratio of outstanding credit to available credit.
You might start with your bank – ask if they have a “collateral” card program, which means you put money into an account up front and card purchases are taken out of that. It’s low-risk for the bank, but can help you improve your credit score.
3. GET A SMALL LOAN
Talk to your bank or credit union about getting a small loan, such as $500. These loans do have high interest rates, but they offer you an opportunity to pay them back in monthly installments, which looks good to creditors. Be very diligent about making payments on time. Consider setting up automatic payments that come directly out of your checking accounts at a set time each month.
4. PROTECT YOUR IDENTITY
This might seem like an odd step to take, but you cannot afford to have anything else major go wrong with your finances. An identity theft could be detrimental to your credit recovery. eHow Money has a helpful article on comparing identity protection programs, which is an excellent place to start.
5. SET A BUDGET
It probably goes without saying, but a major part of recovering from a bankruptcy is to avoid getting right back into old ways. Look into one of the free online services that help you set budgets and goals, like Mint.com. After some set-up on your part, Mint will automatically update with real-time bank account and credit card information, so you can see exactly where you’re spending. You can enter monthly budgets and it will send you alerts if you’re getting too high in a category. Mint also helps you set up Goals, such as paying off credit cards, buying a car, or paying off a loan.