Categories for Property Law

 In “the old days” (before 2005) a bankruptcy debtor with a mortgage problem could file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and discharge all of his unsecured debts, then immediately turn around and file a Chapter 13 to deal with real estate debt. Bankruptcy attorneys referred to this as a “Chapter 20” (Chapter 7 plus Chapter 13). The 2005 amendments to the Bankruptcy Code sought to kill...

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About half-way through your bankruptcy schedules you will discover "Schedule G – Executory Contracts and Unexpired Leases." While the Bankruptcy Code does not have a specific definition of an executory contract, it is commonly understood as a contract between the bankruptcy debtor and another party in which the terms have not been completely performed. If one party fails to complete the unperformed terms, the contract...

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What is Equity?

August 15, 2011

Equity is a very important term when discussing your personal assets. Generally, equity is the difference between the market value of an item and the amount of the claims against it. For instance, if your car is worth $5,000, and your auto loan balance is $3,000, then you have $2,000 in vehicle equity. If you own the vehicle jointly with your mother, you have $1,000...

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How Bankruptcy Empowers

August 12, 2011

 If you are struggling with debt, chances are you are feeling powerless. Collection agents are skilled at making you feel stressed and hopeless through embarrassing phone calls at work and home; threatening letters; and sometimes legal action. The collection companies want you to feel that your only choice to stop the harassment is to “pay up.” Fortunately, there is another option. The federal bankruptcy law...

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Home values in the United States have plummeted 26.7 percent since peaking in 2006, according to a report released by Zillow.com. The report also sites the hardest-hit cities are Miami-Fort Lauderdale, FL; Detroit, MI; Pheonix, AZ; Riverside, CA: and Orlando, FL, each recording more than a 50% dip since 2006. Zillow estimates that 27% of all U.S. homeowners have negative equity in their property. The Zillow press...

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The automatic stay is a powerful bankruptcy protection that immediately stops nearly all creditor action against a debtor.  The automatic stay is a temporary injunction against debt collection and is meant to give the debtor a “breathing spell” from his creditors.  The automatic stay permits the debtor to attempt a repayment or reorganization plan, or simply to be relieved of the financial pressures that drove...

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Just because a relative is older and living on a fixed income does not mean that he or she is also debt-free.  Many older Americans struggle each month to pay unsecured debts from very modest incomes.  The most common forms of unsecured debts are credit cards and medical expenses, and for many of our elderly even a small unsecure debt can be a big financial...

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New Home Sales Down

September 26, 2008

New home sales tumbled in August to the slowest pace in 17 years, while the average sales price fell by the largest amount on record, demonstrating the depth of the problem that Washington is trying to solve. The Commerce Department said Thursday that new homes sales fell by 11.5 percent in August to a seasonally adjusted annual sales rate of 460,000 units, the slowest sales...

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A close look at homes lost to foreclosure here in the first half of the year shows that the pain is being felt in almost every neighborhood. Dallas-Fort Worth home foreclosures for October up 35% But analyzing more than 11,000 homes sold at foreclosure during the first half of 2008, it’s obvious that some areas have been hit harder by home mortgage defaults. The Dallas...

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Foreclosures in Dallas Area

September 19, 2008

A close look at homes lost to foreclosure here in the first half of the year shows that the pain is being felt in almost every neighborhood. The Dallas Morning News reports, the largest number of foreclosures in the first six months of the year were in ZIP codes 75115 – which includes most of DeSoto – and 75052, Grand Prairie, according to data supplied...

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Housing Bargains

September 11, 2008

A new study on home prices shows that the Dallas area still has a big edge in providing affordable housing for relocating corporate 5c7e490cemployees. The Dallas Morning News reported, Coldwell Banker Real Estate’s annual home price comparison index tracks the cost of homes in more than 300 U.S. markets in areas that would appeal to "typical corporate middle-management transferees." But that’s substantially below the nationwide...

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No sign yet of a housing turnaround in North Texas. The Dallas Morning News reported, Pre-owned home sales slumped 18 percent in August compared with a year ago. And median sales prices slid 3 percent to $150,000, according to the latest statistics from the North Texas Real Estate Information System and Texas A&M University’s Real Estate Center. The fall-off in condo sales was even steeper...

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Dallas-area home prices continue to drift lower, dropping 3.2 percent over last year in the latest national study. But there were indications in the report that home prices in North Texas are bottoming. Also Online U.S. new-home sales rise a little The drop in local home prices has remained at just over 3 percent for several months in the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller home price index,...

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The Dallas Morning News reports, construction of homes and apartments fell in July to the lowest level in more than 17 years, the government reported Tuesday. The Commerce Department said that builders broke ground on 965,000 housing units on an annualized basis. That was down from a pace of 1.08 million in June and the weakest showing since March 1991. However, July’s performance was better...

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The latest foreclosure statistics show only a 7 percent increase in the Dallas-Fort Worth area from a year ago. But more than 3,700 homes are scheduled for foreclosure sale in September, according to the numbers released Thursday by Addison-based Foreclosure Listing Service. The Dallas Morning News reported, the biggest gain in September foreclosures is in Collin County, where the number of homes facing forced sale...

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The Texas residential real-estate market is experiencing a reduction in the number of homes hitting the foreclosure block. The San Antonio News reported, according to the July report compiled by Irvine, Calif.-based RealtyTrac, over the month of July, a total of 10,354 homes in Texas entered the foreclosure process — marking a 6.3 percent decline from the volume of filings posted in June 2008. Meanwhile,...

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North Texas Home Sales Down

August 11, 2008

North Texas pre-owned home sales were down 16 percent during July compared with year-earlier numbers. That means about 8,100 fewer homes have sold in the 29-county area in the first seven months of 2008 than in the same period of last year. But even with the substantial falloff, median home sales prices are virtually unchanged – down only 1 percent for the year and flat...

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President Bush on Wednesday signed a massive housing bill intended to provide mortgage relief for 400,000 struggling homeowners and stabilize financial markets. The Dallas Morning News reported, Bush signed the bill without any fanfare or signing ceremony, affixing his signature to the measure he once threatened to veto before normal business hours at the White House. “We look forward to put in place new authorities...

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Dallas Home Prices Down

July 29, 2008

Dallas home prices are down by 3.1 percent in a just-released study of the U.S. housing market. But the local price decline is modest compared to the almost 16 percent nationwide fall in May compared with the previous year, according to the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller home price index released Tuesday. The Dallas Morning News reports, The home price slide in the 20 major cities surveyed...

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The number of households facing the foreclosure process more than doubled in the second quarter compared to a year ago, according to data released today. The Houston Chronicle reports, Nationwide, 739,714 homes received at least one foreclosure-related notice during the quarter, or one in every 171 U.S. households, Irvine, Calif.-based RealtyTrac Inc. said. Soft housing sales, declining home values, tighter lending standards and a sluggish...

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President Bush dropped his opposition Wednesday to legislation aiming to calm the chaotic housing market despite his objections to a $3.9 billion provision. The House was expected to vote on the bill Wednesday, and it could become law as early as this week. The Dallas Morning News stated, under the bill, the government would help struggling homeowners get new, cheaper loans and would be allowed...

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Texas property markets will continue to outpace the nation, but things are likely to cool a bit through next year. “The Texas housing markets are going to be spotty,” said Dr. James Gaines, a research economist with Texas A&M University’s Real Estate Center. The Dallas Morning News states, some residential markets “will be doing very well and some will be doing poorly,” Dr. Gaines said...

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Home Foreclosures up 18%

July 21, 2008

Home foreclosure postings in the Dallas-Fort Worth area are up 18 percent in the latest filings. The Dallas Morning News reported, Almost 4,600 homes are scheduled for foreclosure next month, according Addison-based Foreclosure Listing Service. That compares with 3,870 postings for August 2007. Also Online Interactive map: 2007 Dallas-Fort Worth foreclosures by ZIP code Interactive foreclosure primer Despite the big increase since last year, total...

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Home foreclosure postings in the Dallas-Fort Worth area are up 18 percent in the latest filings. The Dallas Morning News reports, almost 4,600 homes are scheduled for foreclosure next month, according Addison-based Foreclosure Listing Service. That compares with 3,870 postings for August 2007. Also Online Interactive map: 2007 Dallas-Fort Worth foreclosures by ZIP code Interactive foreclosure primer Despite the big increase since last year, total...

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Construction of single-family homes fell in June to the slowest pace in 17 years although a change in New York laws helped give a big boost to apartment building. The Houston Chronicle reported,The Commerce Department reported today that construction of single-family homes dropped by 5.3 percent in June to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 647,000 units, the weakest performance since January 1991, another period...

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June Sales Down 20 %

July 8, 2008

Hot summer weather isn’t heating up the North Texas home market. The Dallas Morning News reports, June sales were down 20 percent from a year ago. And for the first six months of 2008, the number of pre-owned houses sold in the area is off 15 percent from the same period last year. The good news: Prices are holding up relatively well. North Texas real...

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The latest home price risk forecast shows that Dallas-Fort Worth is overall the safest place in the country for stable home values. The Dallas Morning News, also states the latest report by mortgage insurance company PMI Group ranked the D-FW area dead last among the 50 cities it rates for possible declines in home prices. That means PMI is betting there is less than a...

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Beleaguered consumer bank Wachovia Corp. will quit offering a mortgage payment option that allows borrowers to pay less each month than the bank charges in interest. The Dallas Morning News also state that the choice to pay less was one of the options of Wachovia’s controversial Pick-A-Payment mortgages, which offer customers four different payment options each month. Wachovia told The Associated Press on Monday that...

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Foreclosures Rise

June 30, 2008

Jacksonville is heading into the third year of the real estate slump and the number of home foreclosures continues to rise. The San Antonio News also reports ,so many homes are being auctioned off at the Duval County Courthouse that in July, the foreclosure auctions will be put online to move them through faster. "I don’t see any bright skies on the horizon," said University...

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KB Home, one of the nation’s largest homebuilders, reported a larger second-quarter loss Friday, as weak sales and falling home prices led to a 55% drop in revenue. The San Antonio News also reported that the company also booked charges to lower the value of unsold homes, joint venture deals and land option contracts. The Los Angeles-based company reported a loss of $255.9 million, or...

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San Antonio News Reported, Countrywide Financial Corp., the mortgage company being bought out by Bank of America Corp., is working with New Vista Asset Management to sell real-estate owned (REO) homes in San Antonio. These are homes that have been foreclosed on by the lender. Countrywide is in the process of working with New Vista’s network real estate professionals to sell these properties. The two...

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Dallas Morning News Reports, An influential economist who long predicted the housing market bubble cautioned Tuesday that the slump in the U.S. housing market could cause prices to fall more than they did in the Great Depression and bailouts will be needed so millions don’t lose their homes. Yale University economist Robert Shiller, pioneer of the widely watched Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller home price index, said...

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Home Sales Fall

April 24, 2008

The Dallas Morning News, Sales of existing homes fell in March while the median home price declined, compared with the price a year ago, as a severe slump in housing showed no signs of abating. The National Association of Realtors said that sales of existing single-family homes and condominiums dropped by 2 percent in March to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.93 million units....

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Dallas Morning News Reported Today, All the publicity about so-called rescue plans to help troubled homeowners isn’t having an impact so far on Dallas-Fort Worth foreclosures. The number of homes facing foreclosure in the area next month is up almost 40 percent from a year ago. More than 4,400 homes are scheduled to be sold at foreclosure auction in the four-county area on the first...

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Tarrant Foreclosures Up

April 18, 2008

Fort Worth News stated , Home foreclosures in Tarrant County are up 39 percent for May, with 1,380 homes posted for foreclosure at the May 6 auction, according to figures released Thursday by Foreclosure Listing Service. For the year, there have been 6,971 postings in Tarrant County, 29 percent more than a year earlier. Tarrant, Dallas, Denton and Collin counties combined had 4,426 postings for...

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U.S Home Prices Decline

March 26, 2008

The drop in U.S. home prices accelerated in early 2008 and shows no sign of bottoming. Preowned home prices nationwide fell by a record 11.4 percent in January, according to the monthly S&P/Case-Shiller home price index released Tuesday. And while Dallas home prices continued to hold up better than those in its peer cities, the closely watched report showed that values here fell by 3.3...

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According to the Houston Chronicle, after falling for six straight months, sales of existing homes posted an unexpected increase in February which may have reflected more aggressive price cutting by sellers in some parts of the country, a real estate trade group reported today. The National Association of Realtors said that sales of existing homes rose by 2.9 percent in February to a seasonally adjusted...

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