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Attorney Peter Daigle Speaks With Katherine On “This Needs To Be Said” About Finances And Bankruptcy.

 

Hello, everyone. Thank you so much for joining us on This Needs to Be Said. And our friend, attorney Peter Daigle is here with us the year we’ve had with 2020. It’s affected everyone in so many ways. No one was able to escape what 2020 and COVID has brought to our lives. I mean the way we do business, the way we work, the way our children are educated, everything has changed, but that didn’t keep life from happening and affecting our finances. So, as we’ve talked with attorney Daigle before about bankruptcy, how it’s able to, how you’re able to reset your life through this. I think we’ve been hitting emotionally so heavy that he is just the right attorney to help us consider financial advice ideas for 2020. Welcome back attorney Daigle. How are you, Katherine? Thank you. What a wonderful, introduction. Thank you so much. It’s always a pleasure to talk to you. It’s always a pleasure to talk to you and I’m going to go from attorney Daigle to Peter by the end cause they’re gonna know we’re friends, right?

That’s fantastic. So, so we’re going into 2021 and this is the time when people are going to be looking at their finances through April’s. very specifically because of tax season as an attorney, what would you, what would you even tell us to think about, given the year we’ve had and what might be happening next year Cause we’re not even fully released from wearing a mask and being, you know, socialized we’ve got social distancing. Okay, all right. Well thank you. That’s a great question. So, let me sort of, I’d like to break it down by certain, categories. We’ll call it, and we’ll talk through some options that you have and what’s occurred. So, obviously when COVID hit back in March, it sent a lot of people into financial distress. And so the difference between what’s happening in 2020 versus what’s happened in other downturns in the economy is the government stepped in and, and provide a lot of assistance as did a lot of the mortgage lenders, and financial institutions sort of all rolled up the sleeves and say, what can we do to get everybody through it?

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And the reason is, is they did not want to have the market flooded with people who couldn’t pay the mortgages, who could make the credit card payments and were defaulting on the leases and have a complete breakdown in the system and so we’re going to take each one of those issues apart, and I’ll explain to you what is happening with the law, and also what the, what the industry has done to assist, individuals. So with respect to your mortgages mortgage payment, for instance, if you are current at the time that, COVID hit in March and we’re making your regular payments and all of a sudden due to some, a loss of income from being furloughed or, or laid off, and you’re unable to, make your mortgage payments nearly all of the lenders, have, evented into a forbearance agreement, which says simply if you don’t make your mortgage payments, until you’re able to go back to work, we will let those accrue.

And then, until the end of the year until the end of December, and then whatever is, you are delinquent on, we will put those on the back end of your loan. So for instance, let’s say your mortgage payment was a thousand dollars a month and you missed eight payments. They would, they’ll be $8,000. And what they would do is they were tack it on to let’s see the year 2030 or 31, or whenever your mortgage was set to be paid on, you would just, you would just make eight more payments and so for those of you out there that were got behind in your mortgage, you should reach out to your bank and, and, and see whether or not they’d be willing to, to do that. And in fact, most banks have already preempted that by being in touch with, their customers and working out those details.

And so there’s good news for you, outside of bankruptcy and outside of any other sort of assistance with the mortgage companies themselves. Now, if, for instance, you will be hind on your mortgage already and you’re already in trouble, then it’s not gonna, these, this program is not gonna, BCU. Okay. Unfortunately, once the moratoriums, listen, I’ll talk about moratoriums in a second and then, you’re going to have to figure out another alternative besides this, adding it to the end of the loan. in fact, you may have to apply for an actual loan modification, and essentially go through the process of having the bank and look at all of your finances for us versus just pencil whipping a no problem. We can pay the 10 payments at the end, you know, maybe put through an exhaustive loan modification process, which we’ll sort of delve into the reasons why you were in default originally before March and what has changed in your life to improve.

So the option of modifying is still bad, but it’s going to a little bit of more, more of a rigorous application process than, just a missing payments as much. So in terms of the, the, what the government has done is on government backed loans. They are still in forbearance or more tournaments till the end of December. So a lot of banks can’t move on foreclosing if the loans are backed by the government. Okay. And after January one, they’ll be reaching out to their borrowers to either add those payments onto the end line, which we talked about or modifying the loan, or if there’s no response, commence proceedings. So you have about 30 days left to sort of figure out what you’re doing on your missing payments. Okay, okay. Now, should the bank, the unwilling to enter any sort of arrangement with you to work out the missing payments then obviously bankruptcy specifically chapter 13 would work because in chapter 13, you’re allowed five months to catch up.

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Okay, five years, excuse me, five years to play catch up. So if you were down that $8,000 that we talked about earlier, you’d have five years of, of payments, you know, one 60 of each month for 60 months to pay off at $8,000. So there’s still relief available to you shouldn’t be behind on your mortgage. Okay. So that is one program that’s coming to existence and this program was not in it just any time before, it’s just, again, collectively between the government and the private industry, they’ve figured a way to try to soften the blow, from, from the loss of war with respect to evictions, evictions have been done on a state by state basis every state has a date in which evictions can proceed. again, so if you’re behind on your rent, again, depending on the state that you live in, you’re going to have to check what the law is on whether or not a moratorium and again, the Massachusetts it’s, it was October 17th that the, the moratorium ended, unless you applied for some specific government aid, but a little bit of a twist to it.

But anyway, I don’t want to spend too much time on that, but if you’re, if you’re being evicted for, for non-payment of rent and also your local housing association should be able to help you, each community County generally has a housing assistance program that you can speak to, and they should be able to help you with respect to your rent, with respect to credit card debt and the like, again, that will be on an individual basis. In 2020, we, we found that a lot of the credit card companies were willing to suspend payments, during, COVID and, have various programs for 2021 on being able to, again, get current with the cards that is on a specific card by card basis. So you have to reach out to your credit card company and find out what options are available to you.

so those are three examples of ways in which, in cooperation with your creditor, you can explore options that you have, and of course, bankruptcy is always an option again, as we spoke, not only for if you’re behind in your mortgage, but if you’re behind in your rent or you’re unable to make your credit card payments, you can use, the tools of bankruptcy, to work yourself out of that. And, and how we would work for you specifically would be, based upon the discussion that you have with a bankruptcy attorney. Okay, let me ask you a question. So, eviction, so that’s for someone who’s renting, I have to tell you, as long as I’ve talked with you, of course, I’m not an attorney, so this, this may not be silly, but it feels silly now that I’m thinking about it is bankruptcy only for people who own their home?

No, no, you can, you have options. I’ll go. Let me tell you. Let me sort of give you some of the basic ground rules of individuals that are renting and how bankruptcy affects them. So if you have a lease with guarantees that you can stay in your location for period of years, whether it be, you know, six months, one year, five years, whatever, and you’re behind on your rent, your landlord would be forced to accept the missing payments, either over time or to be discharged completely in the bankruptcy. And that’s something that it’s going to be based upon your lease and your individual area, but you have options available to you through bankruptcy to either catch up on your back rent or discharge your rent. If you have a lease, if you don’t have a lease, you’re at the mercy of the landlord.

And if you’re what’s, called a tenant at will, and he can evict you anytime that he feels that he wants to. So the bankruptcy will protect you from any back rent that you would have, but it doesn’t protect your tenancy. So you would not have, if you file for bankruptcy without a lease, you would not have to pay back your back rent, but you have to start looking for another place to live. Okay, gotcha. That’s the difference. And that it was I’m sorry. No, I didn’t mean to talk across. You always thought that, bankruptcy was for people who own their home. I mean, I know you’ve talked about, you know, credit cards and our car payments, but I just assumed that you had to own your home and these other things kind of fall under it as bullet points. So I’m glad that this question came up. I’m not so happy about the year we’ve had, you know, totally, however, there’s been some gifts, but this made that come up because this year, like I said earlier, we’ve all been affected by this year. And in many of the same ways financially, how we educate our children, like I said, so it would come up, you know, cause people pay rent. So I I’m glad it came up because in all the time I’ve talked with you, I just have never asked you that. I don’t believe I have. I don’t believe I have.

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Well, you’ve learned something today. That’s great! Absolutely! Well, what I want to do before we go any further, we’re going to have to have another continued conversation, but tell people how to get in touch with you as well as what do you want to close our conversation with What do you want to share with the audience last well I guess first of all, just to become educated and, and, and, some of the options available, if you don’t, don’t, rely on rumors or talking to your friends or, you know, or even necessarily reading online, seek out the best information that you can, to assist you because, you know, so many times in life when we’re misinformed or we operate off of assumptions, it causes not only fear and anxiety, but we make the wrong moves. So I would encourage you to talk to a professional, attorney or, or, or your housing association, in your community or something to find out what your options are.

And go from there because you may have options that you have not even thought of yet. Okay. Well, I would, I would say that’s probably the best advice that I could give you is that, you know, consult, a knowledgeable person as to options, in terms of getting a whole, let me goals, Daigle law office, D A I G L E law office, his name of my firm and it’s Daigle law office.com. So if you want to go on my website there’s all kinds of blogs and information. I offer a free book that you can order. And so, and if you’d like to schedule an appointment, you can also schedule it through our website. If you’d like to speak to me, you can call me and that again is Peter Daigle at (508) 771-7444. Okay. And D A I G L E is the spelling of that name. So, all right, until next time Peter, have a super day. Thanks, Katherine.

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