Copy Chapter 13 Bankruptcy: 5 Strategies for Keeping Your Home

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy: 5 Strategies for Keeping Your Home

 

Chapter 13 Strategies 

Under Texas bankruptcy exemptions, 100 percent of your home’s equity is protected from liquidation when you file for bankruptcy—as is some personal property. However, you are more likely to keep your home long-term if you file for Chapter 13 rather than Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

 Chapter 13 bankruptcy, also known as a “wage earner” or reorganization plan, assumes you have a steady income to pay your debts and ongoing bills. Under the supervision of a court-appointed trustee, you will keep all your property and pay all or most of your accumulated debts over three or five years. At the end of the plan, your unsecured debts will be discharged or forgiven. Debts with secured creditors, such as mortgages and car loans, cannot be discharged.

 Chapter 7 bankruptcy, commonly called a liquidation plan, requires that you have little or no income. While your home is exempt from being sold to pay creditors, Chapter 7 filers have non-exempt assets liquidated, and unsecured debts discharged. In addition, there is no provision to pay missed mortgage payments over time. So, to keep your home, you will have to come up with the money needed to bring your mortgage up to date and to make your regular monthly payments, which can be very difficult for most Chapter 7 filers.

 Even with a decent salary, making your Chapter 13 plan payments, paying your mortgage, and staying on top of your bills can be challenging and stressful.

 Friendlyhousebuyers offers the following five tips for a successful Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

      1. Don’t Miss Any More Mortgage Payments

Bankruptcy puts an automatic stay on any foreclosure proceedings under both Chapters 13 and 7. Your Chapter 13 payment plan should resolve your back mortgage debt during the plan’s terms and keep the stay in place. However, failure to make ongoing mortgage payments could trigger foreclosure proceedings. Some homeowners consider rolling their mortgage payments into their debt repayment plan to ensure they stay current on their mortgage during the plan period. Remember you will still owe the remaining loan balance at the end of the three or five years.

 

2.    Try to Modify Your Mortgage

Your lender may be willing to modify your mortgage terms. Typically, a lender will ask you to “reaffirm” the debt, preventing you from discharging any missed payments or penalties still owed after completing the payment plan. If your payments are lowered, you will have to report the resulting increase in your disposable income to your trustee. You may have to dedicate the additional funds to your repayment plan.

 

3.    Consult Your Attorney Before Taking on New Debt

Call your attorney if you are thinking of changing your debt profile. During your Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you will need the court’s approval to take on any new consumer debt or leases. Most likely, the court will not look favorably on your buying a fancy new car or purchasing a second home; but some debts, such as medical expenses or critical home repairs, cannot be avoided. Likewise, you will also need permission if you want to refinance your mortgage for more flexible terms.

 4. Consider Payroll Deductions, Even If Not Required

You may have no choice but to have your plan payments deducted directly from your paycheck, depending on where you live in Texas. For example, “Wage Orders” are required throughout the Southern District of Texas. In other cases, your trustee may require such a provision. However, even if it’s not mandatory, you may consider asking your employer to sign a wage order agreement. While this seems onerous, you will sleep better at night knowing your plan payments are automatically made. In addition, if you have elected to include future mortgage payments in the plan, you will rest even more peacefully.

 

  1. Consult Your Attorney With Any Changes

As mentioned above, Chapter 13 bankruptcies are for debtors who have consistent income. Contact your attorney if there are any unavoidable changes to your employment situation—such as a layoff or illness that keeps you from working. You may be able to get temporary relief from payments. If the situation is prolonged or permanent, you may need to convert your bankruptcy from Chapter 13 to Chapter 7.

 

You should also call your attorney immediately if you decide you want to sell your home during your plan period. Your attorney will have to negotiate terms with your trustee, and there is some complicated paperwork to be completed.

 

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Creating a Will

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Everything You Wanted to Know About Creating Your Own Will—But Were Too Afraid to Ask

 

It’s not pleasant to think about, but everyone should have a Will, in case the worst should happen. What happens to your children? How will your possessions be divided? What if you want to exclude someone from your estate? What do you need to do to make your Will legal?

Benefits of Creating a Will include:

  • Creating a Will enables you to choose a guardian for your children, if you have any, rather than placing them with whomever the court system appoints.
  • Writing a Will also lets you exercise power over your estate, even after death. You decide which of your responsible family members will become Executor or Trustee for your estate. This person is responsible for carrying out your wishes according to your Will.
  • What if you don’t want your loved ones to spend a lot of time and money on funeral arrangements? Make it easy on them: express your funeral wishes in your Will.

Dying without a Will leaves the door open for the government to dictate what happens with your estate.

Common Questions About Creating a Will

Why Is Creating a Will Important?

You have worked hard for your money, home, and any other assets you have been able to accumulate over your lifetime. Don’t drop the baton right before you cross the finish line by allowing family members, friends, and business associates to make decisions about your assets you would not have made yourself.

It is not uncommon for siblings to disagree and even sue each other in court after the death of both parents in the absence of a Will. Without a Will, what the deceased would have wanted becomes a topic to be debated.

What About Your Coin Collection?

Why put your family in the position to fight over your stuff? The emotional trauma of your death will be more than enough drama in their lives. Creating a Will eliminates some of this kind of tension. You can decide in your Will where your assets go and how much to give to each person or institution.

Leaving these types of decisions to your family while they are still grieving is unfair and puts them in a bad position. Rather than leaving them upset and fighting with each other, your Will can shift the blame to you, which is a healthier outcome for everyone.

The only people who should not appear in your Will are your witnesses. They don’t even have to know what’s in your Will; they just have to witness the signing of the Will.

Writing Your Last Will and Testament

First, if you have been procrastinating, stop. Writing your own will can be liberating. Once you’ve done it, all you have to do is update it periodically when you have a significant life change. If you’re concerned about the expense, don’t be. There are many low-cost options available that can accommodate most people’s needs.

Inexpensive Ways to Create a Will

There are inexpensive, popular online resources like Nolo.com and LegalZoom where you can complete a Will in minutes for a fraction of what you would pay an attorney.

Of course, if you’re a multimillionaire, a lawyer might be more appropriate for your situation; you should consider hiring a local attorney to better serve your estate-planning needs. However, there are a few other scenarios for which you might want to look into hiring an attorney in your area, including:

  • If you have a large estate or multiple legal partnerships
  • If you want to disinherit a child or spouse
  • If you are concerned about someone contesting your Will for any reason, especially as a question of sound mind

If you chose a Do-It-Yourself Will (DIY), most online services include software that will walk you through the steps to complete your Will. You will then need to have your document and signature notarized by a Notary Public and signed by two witnesses.

With such providers, your Will is also kept online, where you can make changes whenever you need. Web-based services for drafting a Will, like Nolo and LegalZoom, cost less than eighty dollars—a bargain for the convenience and peace of mind.

You can also buy a book at Amazon on the subject for less than twenty dollars.

Whatever you choose to do, don’t choose procrastination. Something so simple shouldn’t be left unfinished, leaving your family fighting over your estate and wishes after you are gone. Decide now that you will do it, and you are one step closer to creating your own Will.

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Using Wills, Living Trust, And LLC’s Can Help Protect Your Assets From Taxes, Probate, And Creditors

 

Five Ways Smart Homeowners and Investors Protect their Texas Real Estate

 

Example of Wills and Trust

If you do business in the Lone Star State, then you’ve probably heard the phrase “Gone to Texas.” It’s a 200-year-old joke about the state’s homestead protection laws. The homestead–or legal residence–is an old American tradition, a symbol of family self-sufficiency.

Texas’ homestead laws help protect families’ valuable assets from debt-collectors. Over the years, other asset protection resources have become available to help protect your home.

Smart investors also make use of LLC holding companies, living trusts, and the efficiency and reliability of online legal document services.

Read on to learn exactly how smart homeowners and investors are protecting their Texas holdings, and how you can get started doing the same.

1.   File Your Homestead Legal Forms

The foundation of any Texas asset-protection plan begins with your homestead. Simply living on a piece of Texas real estate that you own, and using it as your primary residence qualifies it as a homestead. This is where the story “Gone To Texas” picks up again. As the story goes, back in the early 1800’s people started moving to Texas to escape the debt they had incurred in the financial crisis of 1819 and the best place to start over was in Texas.

Not only is your primary residence protected against most creditors, but so are many of your personal belongings, things like your furnishings, jewerly, and paid for cars. I should also mention you get to keep two guns, two horses, a saddle and blanket for each.

So if you own a house in Texas, and it’s your primary residence be sure to file your homestead exemption. You can find more information about the Texas homestead exemption under  Article 16, Section 50 in the “mighty” Texas Constitution.

Filing for official designation, however, will qualify you for property tax exemptions under Article 8, Section 1-a and 1-b. You can also download this Application for Residential Homestead and submit it to your local county clerk.

2.   Create a Living Trust

Your residence only ceases to be a homestead if it is abandoned, or if you die. This is why you should create a living trust, and add your homestead and related assets to that trust. If your homestead is housed in a living trust, Texas Property Code Section 41.0021 allows it to keep its homestead status and exemptions upon your death, and during transfer to heirs.

A living trust is also executed by your designated successor trustee, completely outside of the court probate system. This adds a layer of anonymity, making it more difficult for creditors to pursue your family after your death.

3.   Start a Limited Liability Company (or Two)

The homestead protections we discussed so far only apply to your personal property–not your commercial properties or business assets. These assets should be held in a limited liability company (LLC) to create a layer of protection between them and your personal creditors.

If you have multiple properties, consider organizing as a series LLC. This allows you to compartmentalize each asset’s liabilities within a subsidiary, or series, in your LLC. This limits the any suit or default against an asset to its series in the company, and leaves your other investments outside that series protected.

4.   Create And Store Your Documents Online

Make the asset-protection process easier for yourself by using the internet and web-based services to create and store documents. You can find all the state’s basic business forms on the state department’s website, and all homestead-related forms on the comptroller’s website.

Once you’ve received official copies and certificates from the state, use the internet to store them securely on a cloud server. Google, Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft all provide free cloud storage accounts. These allow you to upload your documents to web-based servers.

This means that if something happens to your computer or documents at home, you can always access digitally saved copies in your cloud account.

5.   Designate A Power of Attorney

A successor trustee will be able to manage your assets held inside a living will if you become incompetent or incapacitated. For all other assets, you should consider delegating durable power of attorney to someone you trust.

Unlike a general power of attorney, a durable power of attorney is intended to adjust if you  become unable to take care of your own affairs. Like a general power of attorney, your agent can be granted as many, or as few powers, as you wish.

Ideally, your agent will ensure your business and personal affairs are managed according to your wishes if you cannot manage them yourself.

Conclusion

The homestead is the starting point of a Texas asset-protection strategy, but smart homeowners and investors don’t stop there. Protect your personal assets by housing them in a living trust, and safeguard your business assets inside series LLCs. Use online legal documents and cloud storage for easier filing and secure recordkeeping. Finally, delegate powers of attorney to a trustworthy agent in case you are incapacitated.

Follow all these steps, and you’ll have the peace of mind that you are protecting your investments with the full force of Texas law.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Cash Deals In Texas

Investment Property In Texas

 

If you’re looking for a long term residential investment property, we have a package deal you might be interested in evaluating.

Both properties are located in Texas, more specifically, Plano and Lancaster Texas.

Plano is located 15 miles north of Dallas and Lancaster is located 15 miles south of Dallas.

Both properties are rented for 1200 a month. Rents have not been raised in three years on either property. These properties are for sale AS-IS.

Both properties need some foundation work, updating, and new roofs.

Highlights:

Market Values:

Plano property

  • 3/2/2 1744 sq ft
  • Current rent: 1200
  • Potential rent: 1500-1900
  • ARV 235,000 plus a little

Lancaster property

  • 3/2/2
  • Current rent: 1200
  • Potential rent: 1300-1400
  • ARV 135,000 plus a little

 

Asking:

175,000 for the Plano property

100,000 for the Lancaster property

If you would like more information, email me in the box below, and I will send you a link with pictures and instructions for making an offer. You will have to submit your offer on a Texas Real Estate contract.

 

 

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Do I Need a Lawyer to Evict Tenants for Nonpayment of Rent?

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Landlord And Rental Property Problems

Eviction Process in Texas

 

Being a landlord can be rewarding and a pain in the rear. Things go wrong: pipes burst, ovens break, tenants throw wild parties—and the list goes on. As a landlord, you expect some of these things to pop up.

After all, homes need maintenance from time to time.

One of the toughest situation you’ll face is having to collect rent from a tenant who has to stop paying because they are having financial problems. It is one thing if they fall behind and pay late, but it’s an entirely different story if month after month goes by and your tenants still aren’t’ paying rent on time. If you carry a mortgage on the property or count on the cash flow for other expenses, this can really put you in a bind as a landlord.

What Are Your Options?

Sometimes, the only solution is to evict your tenants for nonpayment of rent. If your tenant has broken the lease agreement for non-payment and has stopped communicating with you, it’s time to take legal action to protect yourself and your property.

Evicting a tenant can be stressful for you and your tenant. It requires a commitment of additional time, and money from you to remove a non-paying tenant from your property.

If you have to evict a tenant, your budget should also include making repairs and prepping the house for a new tenant.

And of course, the big question is “do you need to hire a lawyer to evict your tenant?” And the answer is, it depends.

If you’re not comfortable with terms like “Notice to Quit” or “Notice to Cure or Vacate,” you might want to think about hiring an attorney. If you’ve never done an eviction before, it might be a good idea to get legal advice on the process before you miss a step and have your case rejected in court because you didn’t understand the law.

Texas Eviction Process

First, let’s start with why you might want to evict a tenant, after all, you signed a lease agreement with them to rent your property.

Some of the most common reasons to evict a tenant are:

  • Not paying rent
  • People living in the property who are not on the lease
  • Pets that are forbidden by the lease
  • Tenant caused property damage

If you find yourself in this situation, you can then proceed to terminate the lease agreement with cause, but first, you must serve the tenant with a three-day notice to vacate. After three days, if the tenant does not move out, and don’t expect them too, then you can file an eviction lawsuit with your local JP court.

What if you want to evict a tenant and you don’t have “cause”?

Let’s say your tenant has been in your property for a couple of years and in that time you have never raised the rents. Your tenants are borderline renters, and you know you could do better and increase your rents with new tenants.

If your tenants are in a month-to-month contract which frequently happens to small landlords because the checks keeping coming in the mail and neither party wants to rock the boat, then you can terminate the lease after you give your tenant a thirty-day notice. Your notice must clearly state the move out date.

If you have a fix term lease agreement with your tenant, you’ll have to wait until the end of the term before you can request that the tenant move out.

Sometimes Tenants Just Don’t Want To Move-Or Be Nice

To be fair, sometimes’s tenants just don’t have another place readily available to move into by the end of the move-out date. Legally, the tenant is considered a hold-over tenant, which is exactly what it sound like, they didn’t move out before or during the notice period.

If you are in this situation, you’ll have to serve the tenant a three-day notice to vacate your property after which you can then file an eviction lawsuit with the JP court in your area. Be prepare; tenants will often fight back in court to defend themselves against an eviction. It’s not because they want to continue to live in a property where the landlord wants them gone, it’s because they want more time before they have to move, and getting a judge to rule in their favor buys them that extra time.

It May Be Your Property But Never Behave–As If It’s Your Home

It can be frustrating to watch a tenant thumb their nose at you, so prepare yourself now by understanding the process and not putting yourself in danger. Even after you win the eviction lawsuit and or a forcible entry and detainer suit, you must wait for the court to set a date to move the tenant out with the assistance of an officer, usually a sheriff.

When the officer or sheriff shows up to evict the tenants, and if the tenants have not made plans to vacate the property, it is your responsibility to have men on hand to help you move the tenant’s property out of your unit to the curb. Generally, officers will give you two or three hours to get the job done. It’s not pretty.

Experienced landlords, or those who use property management companies, will often move forward with eviction proceedings without hiring an attorney. However, if you’re a novice landlord, or if this is the first time you’ve had to evict a tenant for failure to pay their rent, we advise you to consult with an attorney.

Landlord-tenant law can be highly nuanced, and you want to be sure to protect yourself before heading into the courtroom. It might cost you a dollars upfront, but you’ll gain the peace of mind that comes with knowing the eviction was handled correctly.

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Selling a Texas Home during Bankruptcy – What You Should Know

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Selling a Texas Home during Bankruptcy – What You Should Know

 

Bankruptcy and Divorce

We recently posted an article that got into the details of the different types of bankruptcy. Specifically, we wanted to help our readers understand the differences between Chapter 7 (“Straight Bankruptcy”) and Chapter 13 (“Reorganization”), the two most common forms of bankruptcy people file.

Shortly after we posted that article, a reader (let’s call her Jessica) got in touch with us with a common predicament: Jessica and her husband got divorced last year.Her husband left her with the house – and a mortgage payment she could not afford on her own. She had a ton of student loan debt, and to make things worst, Jessica ended up in the hospital with an acute medical condition. Not only did Jessica lose her job, but she racked up enormous medical bills in the process. After exploring her options, it seemed like filing for bankruptcy was her best way out. Jessica recently filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, and the proceedings are ongoing.

Jessica contacted us because she wanted to know: Can she sell her Texas home while in the middle of bankruptcy proceedings? And if so, will she be able to keep the money or will it go to her creditors?

The answer: it depends

We are not lawyers, but we tried to offer some insight she could use as she discussed her case with her attorney.

Texas Is A Strong Property Rights State

As you may recall from our last article on bankruptcy, Texas has some of the strongest homestead protections in the country. In Texas, the equity in your home is exempt from bankruptcy proceedings, meaning that it cannot be sold to your creditors to cover your debts.

This also means that a Texas homeowner can sell his/her home during bankruptcy proceedings (both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13), but the timing of the sale is critical. You should let your lawyer know as soon as possible that you want to sell your home, and discuss how to do so before putting your home on the market. The bankruptcy court where your case is filed may have special rules you need to follow, such as whether or not you are required to use a real estate agent.

The bankruptcy judge overseeing your case will also need to review the terms of the sale and grant you permission to move forward. It can take upwards of a month to get a hearing before the bankruptcy judge, so you’ll want to plan ahead and include language in your Purchase & Sale Agreement that the sale is subject to the court’s review. Otherwise, you might miss important real estate deadlines that put your transaction at risk.

Filing a “Motion to Sell Property”

Plan to call your lawyer as soon as you sign a Purchase & Sale Agreement. In Texas, your attorney is required to file a “Motion to Sell Property” with the bankruptcy court. The motion outlines the terms of the agreement and proposes how to disburse the proceeds from the sale. As noted above, your equity in the home is protected under Texas’s homestead law, but there may be additional funds generated by the sale in excess of your equity.

A quick example: You have $100,000 worth of equity in your home and a $250,000 mortgage left on the property. Your home has appreciated in value over the years, and you plan to sell it for $500,000. You will receive $100,000 from the sale proceeds; another $250,000 will be used to pay off the mortgage. The Motion to Sell Property will outline how to divide the remaining $150,000 from the sales proceeds.

Your attorney might petition the court to give you a portion of those proceeds for moving or to reinvest in another property. Ultimately, your court-appointed bankruptcy trustee will decide how to distribute the remaining funds and to whom. Depending on the details of your case, the trustee may feel other creditors should be repaid first.

The more time and information you give your attorney, the more time he/she will have to negotiate with the bankruptcy trustee overseeing your case.

When You Sell Matters Most

If you want to protect the equity in your home under Texas’s homestead exemption, the timing of when you sell your home matters most.

Filing for bankruptcy is a long, multi-step process. The tail end of that process includes the court issuing a bankruptcy discharge before the case is closed. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharge releases you from your legal obligation to repay the dischargeable debts you owed when your case was filed. (Under a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, debts are not discharged outright, but rather restructured.) After your bankruptcy discharge is filed, it can still take another 3-6 months for your case to be closed officially and a bankruptcy decree is filed.

Bankruptcy discharge vs. bankruptcy decree – the difference may seem like minor nuances. In reality, the differences between the two are critical to when you sell your home.

In March 2014, the Texas 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that if a debtor in bankruptcy sells a home claimed as exempt under Texas law, the proceeds from that sale are only exempt for six months unless all of the proceeds are reinvested in another Texas homestead.

In other words, if you sell your home after your bankruptcy discharge but before your bankruptcy degree, you only have six months (180 days) from the date you sell your home to reinvest that into another property. Any amount not used to purchase a new home during that period becomes non-exempt and must be turned over to the bankruptcy trustee for distribution to your creditors. It may seem easy enough to buy another home within six months, but anyone familiar with real estate knows that buying and selling can sometimes be unpredictable – what seemed like a straightforward deal can become complicated, delayed, or fall through altogether for any number of reasons.

An alternative solution is to wait to sell your home until after your case officially closes and the bankruptcy decree is filed. This way, you do not have to reinvest sales proceeds into another home. You can spend that money however you want.

Thankfully, for Jessica and others, Texas law provides tremendous protections for homeowners facing bankruptcy. As outlined above, it is perfectly legal to sell your home during bankruptcy proceedings – but there are some reasons why you may not want to. It really depends on your long-term plans, and whether you anticipate buying another home right away or not. We suggest speaking with a Texas bankruptcy attorney to explore your options.

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Divorce: Community Property Laws-Not As Straight Forward As You Might Think

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Texas Community Property Laws Complicate Divorce-Related Sales

 

Divorce In Texas

A Texas homeowner going through a divorce recently asked us: If the marital home is in my name only, can I sell it during the divorce proceedings?

As with all matters of the heart and real estate, there is no simple answer to that question.

If you are a homeowner dissolving your marriage, it is wise to contact a real estate broker to determine the market value of your home and to start planning where you are going to live after the divorce. In light of the state’s community property and homestead protection laws, however, you should be careful about signing any sale or purchase contracts before your divorce is finalized. You should also consult your attorney.

Texas is Only One of Nine Community Property States

Often in Texas, when a divorce is filed, the judge issues a Temporary Restraining Order that, among other restrictions, will prevent you from transferring property until the divorce is final. So, selling during the divorce—regardless of title–would not be an option.

If there is no restraining order in place, caution should still be exercised.

Texas is one of only nine community property law states. The others are Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Washington, and Wisconsin.

In a community property state, all property and debt—real estate and otherwise—acquired during the marriage is presumed to be community property and will be divided in the event of divorce or death. So, regardless of title, if the marital home was purchased after the wedding date, it is assumed to be jointly owned.

Therefore, in addition to needing your spouse’s permission to sell the property, you and your spouse will have to divide the equity remaining after any property debt is paid off. Further, if you purchase a new home before your agreement is finalized, your spouse could claim that home is part of the community property.

Title Does Not Always Mean Control

Texas does allow for some property to be separately owned. A property is “separate” if it was owned or claimed before marriage, acquired by a spouse by gift or inheritance, awarded in a settlement (unless it is intended as compensation for lost wages) or acquired with funds that were completely separate from the marital assets.

While you may be fully entitled to the proceeds from a sale of a separate property, the state’s homesteader rights allow your spouse to make certain claims to the property. That means the non-owning spouse will have to agree to the listing and the eventual sale of the property. The exception to this would be if the spouse had permanently abandoned the home.

Keep in mind; however, there is no legal separation in Texas.  If your spouse moves out of the home, community property laws and homesteader rights apply until you are legally divorced.

Your spouse may give you the green light to sell the property listed in your name and may promise to make no claims to the proceeds. However, make sure that all “gifts” and rights relinquishments are put in writing.

Can a Property Be Separate and Community?

Before going to divorce court, try to work things out with your spouse by coming to an amicable agreement about what is separate and what is community property and how assets will be divided, as well as when and how assets will be disposed of. The judge can then simply sign off on your agreement.

When couples cannot agree on the ownership and division of assets, simply having your name on the title of a property will not be sufficient to prove that it is separate property.

Through a time-consuming process called tracing, spouses will need to find “clear and convincing evidence” that the property is owned separately. And, in the course of that process, they sometimes find that what they thought was separate is actually community property.

For example, if you used separate funds for a portion of the purchase price, but your spouse contributed the remainder of the funds, only a portion of the property is separate, and the rest is community. If your parents gave the house to both you and your spouse as a gift, then the property is community rather than separate.

Prenuptial or post-nuptial agreements will also have an impact on whether a property is separate or community. You and your spouse may have signed an agreement that states all separate property becomes community property during the marriage.

Meanwhile, spouses who help make mortgage payments on or improvements to a separate property may be entitled to “reimbursements.”

Overall, our advice is to familiarize yourself with the law and proceed carefully and slowly. If you choose to have a judge preside over a “just and right division” of your assets and debts, you are likely to fare better if you show that you know the law and respect your spouse’s rights under the law.

If you are in the process of getting a divorced and would like to receive a cash offer on your real estate assets,  please call or email us. You can also take  30 seconds to fill our easy website form.

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North Texas Is Hot!!!

–Major Breakthrough In North Texas Real Estate Market–

 

“Why Are Investors Losing Money In The Hottest Real Estate Market In Recent History?”

 

Texas Real Estate
Sell Now! Before It’s too Late.

As you know, the real estate market has finally come back, and some people say it’s the best we’ve ever seen.

The problem is, most people are betting housing prices will continue to rise, so they keep buying at the top, which is only good if you’re a seller. Guess what? Smart investors are selling now; taking money off the table, before the crowds grow too large to cash in. Why? Because good-times don’t last forever.

Sell Your House Fast
Cash Referral Program

But, before I get started with the bad news, to lighten things up, here’s a joke I think you’ll appreciate… A Texan, who was also a real estate investor was visiting California, there he met another real estate investor, and asked him how many houses he had. “Oh, I’ve got a bunch of houses,” said the Californian. “More than 50.” The prideful Texan puffed up and said, “You know, mister, I get into my car in the morning, I drive all day, and I still can’t get to all of my houses.”

The Californian laughed and said, “I know what you mean, I’ve got a car just like that.”

I use to be that Texan, I know you shouldn’t be prideful about your properties, but sometimes we are, especially, after we’ve poured our money, blood, sweat, and tears into our houses.

Bottom line, we’re real estate investors, and, we’re in this business to make money. And now is a great time to take some cash off the table”. Why…

I don’t claim to know when the market will turn, but I do know, it will turn again. Real estate prices are so high, you’re losing money by not selling, BEFORE, the bad news starts– like rising interest rates, home builders who have overbuilt, and rising unemployment rates.  

My company ABL, Properties, LLC which stands for “A Better Life” company was founded on the principle that everybody deserves “A Better Life”. “We Help Real Estate Investors Make Money”;

Warren Buffet, notably the world’s greatest living investor said to a friend, “I will tell you how to become rich. First, Close the doors. Be fearful when others are greedy. Be greedy when others are fearful.” In other words, “Sell high and buy low”. A simple and basic rule! Now is the time to sell!

There are some rules you don’t break in the real estate business, and “selling high and buying low” is one of them. We’ve broken every real estate record on the books, now it’s time to rasie cash,—and I want to help you take advantage of this incredible market—and the best part is…

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Avoid These 5 Mistakes

When You Want To Get A Cash Offer On Your Home

If You’re Considering Selling For Cash!

For most people their home is the largest investment they will ever make, and it can become the biggest reason for losing your life’s savings. When you want to get a cash offer on your home…

Don’t let your emotions dictate good old common sense when it’s time to make an important decision like selling your home or investment property.

If you can afford to wait for a buyer who is willing to pay your price, then by all means do so. Keep in mind, this could take months and the opportunity loss should be a consideration when you make this decision.

If you can afford to make the repairs to bring the property up to market value, again, you should do so.

Here are 5 mistakes to avoid when you’re considering getting a cash offer on your home:

  • Not Detaching From the Home. It’s normal to have some emotional ties to your house, but you have to be able to detach yourself. Doing so will help you be more realistic about the price, which actually makes it easier for you to get the price you want.
  • Overpricing Your Pride. Buyers might not agree to pay extra for what you think is an added-value characteristic. This is simple, you can’t get everything you want and the buyer can’t have everything she wants.
  • Taking Offers Personally. Getting a low offer doesn’t mean you should refuse it right away. Continue to counter to see if you can get them to go a little higher. Unfortunately, this is necessary when dealing with any kind of transaction like this.
  • Waiting Until The Last Minute. Property owners will frequently wait until the very last minute to sell their homes or investment properties. Why? Because they’re hoping something will change. And you know what, things do change, but you never know which direction the change will happen. You have to measure the risk carefully because it is always a case by case decision.
    Ignoring Your Gut Instinct. Something has prompted you to consider selling, (losses, repairs, life events, etc…) Don’t ignore your gut feelings by trying to make something really bad into something really good when it’s not. Rather than trying to hit a home run, learn from the big money players and make a lot of base hits.
    FILL OUT THE FORM AND GET A FRIENDLY FAST OFFER!

Get A Cash Offer On Your Home Now!

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Property Taxes: 5 Options To Help You Pay Delinquent Taxes

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Having Trouble Paying Your Property Taxes? We Have 5 Options You Should Consider.

“The wages of sin are death, but by the time taxes are taken out, it’s just sort of a tired feeling”

» Paula Poundstone- Comedian

 

Tax foreclosure sale

If you can’t pay your taxes, the government will take your property. The stress alone is enough to make you want to just say “I quit, do whatever you want,” but you’re a trooper, for whatever reason you hang in there until all of your options are exhausted.

You can’t ignore tax the notices, so when they hit your mailbox, you have to open them or risk waking up one day and finding out that your property has been sold at auction because you didn’t feel like dealing with the stress. Our advice is to get in front of your tax problem fast before it starts to drag you down a dusty, rocky, unforgiving path that will shave years off your backside.

Today, you’re fortunate because in North Texas we’ve never seen real estate prices at these levels before, so if you have owned your property for awhile, and you owe back taxes, now may be the time to sell or refinance your property before things change again.

Real estate values have increased significantly in Texas over the last four or five years, and so has your property tax bill. When homeowners come to us, this is what we see most often.

5 Reasons People Can’t Pay Their Property Taxes

  • You may have inherited a property that’s been sitting unattended for years. When this happens, your local municipality will step in and maintain the lawn and send you a bill for the services. However, instead of an average bill of twenty or thirty dollars, your bill is five or ten times that amount. Multiply that by six or seven times a year, times five or ten years, and you could have tax billed that exceeds your property value.
  • People who are self-employed will sometimes get in trouble because of late and or delinquent payroll tax payments. When this happens, the taxes accrue interest and penalties, and before you know it, things have gotten out of control and “the tax man cometh to collect.” And when he does, he doesn’t ask you how much you can afford to pay, he just takes it right out of your bank account.
  • Not escrowing your taxes with your mortgage payment can cause problems when you have unexpected financial losses that drain your cash reserves.People who do this have good intentions, but some unexpected event caused them to drain their cash reserves and get behind on their property tax payments.
  • Losing your job, getting a divorce, and medical expenses are also common reasons that we see when people fall behind on their property taxes. This one is really tough because there are multiple problems to deal with simultaneously, and to the homeowner they all feel urgent. So what can you do to save your property from foreclosure?

5 Alternatives For Homeowners Who Can’t Pay Their Property Taxes

Property taxes are regulated and collected by your local government. Generally speaking, most counties will work with you if you communicate with them.

  • Challenge Your Home’s Assessed Value: Because property taxes are calculated based on assessed values, you can challenge your home’s assessed value as a way of reducing your overall property tax liability. Typically, you will need to dispute the value of your home shortly after you receive the tax bill. To win the challenge, you’ll want to provide market data indicating why you believe the assessed value is inaccurate. Take pictures of your home with you to the meeting at your local appraisal district.
  • Pay What You Can: OK, so this isn’t the most reliable option because you may accrue penalties and fees. Pay what you can at the time your tax bill is due. Making payments shows the municipality that you’re making a good-faith effort to pay, but you simply can’t afford the full balance at this time.
  • Pursue an Installment Plan: Under and installment plan, you pay property taxes over a longer period. For instance, if the county typically expects you to pay annual property taxes in full all at once, you might be able to create an installment plan where you pay bi-annually or quarterly. Our best advice is to set up an installment plan with your tax collector before you fall behind on payments to avoid late fees or interest that may be charged to you if your payments become overdue.
  • Take Out a Small Loan: There are many community banks and property tax lenders that offer programs specifically designed to help homeowners pay overdue property tax bills. Just be careful that you are not robbing Peter to pay Paul – this alternative may be good if you have just experienced an unexpected setback (e.g. high medical bills) that made paying taxes difficult previously, but now you can afford to get back on track with regular payments. Beware of tax loan services with high fees and interest payments, you may be jumping from the frying pay to the fire, if you’re not careful. Read the fine print.
  • Sell Your Home: If you’re not attached to the property, and it is not your homestead, consider selling it, before the equity is eaten up by the local taxing authority. Even with overgrown weeds and the roof falling in, you may be able to sell the property for a profit that you can live with, and you can remove the headache of having to deal with tax collectors.

At the end of the day, the government doesn’t want to force you to sell your property, but they do want their money. Tax liens can hurt your credit, and in some cases, your ability to get a job. Don’t procrastinate about paying delinquent taxes, pay them off as soon as you can before things get worst.

Send us your questions and let us know how things worked out. Ask for a “cash contract” offer on your property, if you are interested in selling.

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