No, that is not a headline that you want to see. It is definitely bad news. But the Maryland Independent’s top story for Friday, May 20 was “Charles Topped Maryland in 2010 Bankruptcies”. The rate of bankruptcies was 7.59 for every 1000 residents of Charles County. In 2009 there were 6.1 bankruptcies filed for every 1000, and in 2008 there were 4.5 bankruptcies filed for every 1000 residents.
Andrews, Bongar, Starkey & Clagett is one of (if not the) busiest firm for bankruptcy filings in Waldorf and Charles County. Our attorneys have filed a lot of bankruptcies since 2008 when the economic crisis hit, and last year was no exception. The story of Waldorf bankruptcies is a simple one: When the economic crisis hit, and real estate prices fell, people just couldn’t afford the payments on their house. Mortgage rates went up, and that adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) that looked so promising when you purchased the house was suddenly more than you could afford.
If you bought your house at the height of the real estate market, or close to it, it was now worth much less than what you paid for it. Sometimes, the value was cut almost in half. When your mortgage is more than the value of your house you are “upside down.” You cannot sell it, and cannot afford it. Foreclosure is on the horizon.
What can you do? Bankruptcy is often the only solution. You have to walk away from the house and deal with the big debt through a chapter 13 or chapter 7 bankruptcy filing. Loan modifications are recently becoming more popular too. In order to avoid a bankruptcy, sometimes your lender will modify the terms of your mortgage to make it affordable.
Our website has several free legal articles explaining bankruptcy, foreclosure and loan modifications. Take a look at that information if you think you may need it. We also offer a free consultation for bankruptcy cases, or any of these other legal matters.