The temptation of getting into the runaway housing market is understandable. Simple savings accounts are returning less than 2% per year. CDs and bonds are not much better. “Safe” funds are yielding 5% pre-tax. And real estate is surging, offering both equity appreciation and tax protection. However, if you are in debt, it’s important to make sure you restructure it and consolidate it before taking the leap into the housing market.
So many see the risk of taking on a house that is beyond their means as worth taking in order to create value and build a financially secure future. The problem is that the lenders, once predominantly banks prone to conservative lending standards, now include pension funds, insurance companies and other investment entities eager to place loans to keep their money working.
It is not the lenders who will be hurt. They will move swiftly to foreclosure, recover the house, and resell it. It is the borrower who gets burned. Bankruptcy laws are changing in 債務舒緩 October and it will no longer be convenient to file bankruptcy to avoid creditors. Individuals, once protected from forced liquidations, will find that to be the norm rather than the exception. So it is more important than ever to learn how to renegotiate or restructure debt before one is forced into bankruptcy court.
Renegotiating debt is best done before you are too delinquent. With a solid payment history with your lenders you are more likely to find them willing to work with you when you approach them. Debt can be restructured a number of ways but there are some cardinal rules to observe so that you preserve your ability to control the restructuring of your debt.
1. Do not wait until the debt has been turned over to a collection agency. By then it is too late to deal with the original issuers of the debt who might have an interest in helping you. They have discounted and sold off your debt when it is turned over to collections. That means they have written off what they would have conceded to you to a third party. The third party’s only motivation is to make money off your bad situation.
2. Before you seek debt relief, develop a personal budget that is viable and a plan which you can handle. Now you are ready to lift the telephone and call for help.
3. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Advising the lender of a looming problem allows them to help you avoid it becoming a major issue.
4. Be persistent. “No” is easy for creditors to say. You will hear it a lot. Call back and try to get to someone else. Talk to the same person repeatedly until they begin to get to know you and start wanting to help you.