I fell behind on the mortgage and the bank is foreclosing on my house. How long do I have before I have to get out?
It depends on what stage of the foreclosure process you are in. If the mortgage company doesn’t have a judgment against you yet, you have months before the sheriff would make you leave – and that’s only if you don’t respond to the lawsuit. If the mortgage company does already have a judgment, you still have a number of months at a minimum before you’d be forced to move. And if you hire an attorney to help you, it could be years before you have to leave. To learn more about how we can help, please call our office at (412) 378-5854.
How can I improve my credit score? I want to repair credit so I can buy a house.
If you want to repair credit scores, they are mostly determined in large part by your payment history and how much you owe. So if you want to improve your score, begin making timely payments and reducing your debts. Important in this process is checking your credit report regularly and making sure that your credit report is accurate. You can get your credit report for free from each of the three major credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion) once per year at www.annualcreditreport.com.
I fell behind on my student loan payments and now I'm being sued. What can I do?
Defend the lawsuit! If you are being sued for student loan collection, chances are they are private student loans, since the government doesn’t need a judgment to pursue repayment from you. Private loans in turn are more likely to have been bundled together and “securitized,” or sold to different investors in little pieces. If you have been sued by one of the National Collegiate Student Loan Trusts, or any other company with “Trust” in the name, that is what happened.
The key to your case (if you are being sued by a Trust) is the fact that your loan is no longer in the hands of your original lender. Because the loan has changed hands, it is much less likely that the Trust will have the original documents needed to prove (1) the terms of the loan, and (2) that the amount you’re being sued for is correct. It is also unlikely that the Trust has the documents to prove (3) that it owns your specific loan. Call our office at (412) 378-5854 to learn more.
I fell behind on credit card payments and now I'm being sued. What can I do?
If you are being sued by a company that’s different from your original credit card issuer, there’s a LOT that you can do. The reason there’s a lot that you can do is because your credit card debt was sold to a debt buyer – a company that buys up debt for a few cents on the dollar, and then turns around and tries to collect the whole thing. Debt buyers seldom collect all the information they need to prove that they own a debt (such as proof of sale), and that the amount of the debt is correct (the original credit card contract and all your old credit card statements). If they are forced to prove their case against you, they almost never can. To learn more about credit card collection laws, contact us give our office a call at (412) 378-5854.
I have been trying to modify my mortgage for months to avoid foreclosure, but the mortgage company keeps losing my paperwork and asking me for the same things again and again. What can I do to get my loan modified?
Depending on who the servicer and owner of your loan are, getting a mortgage modification can be very difficult. If your servicer continues to “lose” your paperwork, you should consider filing a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau at www.cfpb.gov. To get a general sense of whether you qualify for a mortgage modification, go to www.checkmynpv.com and fill out the data fields. This site will give you your “NPV” number, which stands for Net Present Value. Servicers and lenders use this number to determine eligibility for a modification. Finally, call our office at (412) 378-5854 to schedule a consultation. Loan modifications are tricky and much depends on what companies are involved.
There are errors on my credit report. How do I get them off?
You need to dispute the entries you don’t recognize with the three major credit bureaus (as well as whichever company is reporting the erroneous information). Be sure to dispute the errors in writing, NOT online. To do so, write the credit bureaus at the following addresses, and make a copy of your dispute letter to keep:
P.O. Box 740256
Atlanta, GA 30374
P.O. Box 9701
Allen, TX 75013
P.O. Box 2000
Chester, PA 19022
If the credit bureaus investigate and still don’t remove the incorrect information, you might need to take some additional steps that require an attorney’s help. To learn more, call our office at (412) 378-5854.