Achieve Full Financial Recovery
By Steven A Leahy
I have been helping people resolve their financial problems for more than fifteen years. I started my practice helping consumers file Chapter 7 bankruptcies. I quickly added Chapter 13 bankruptcy help. As part of my marketing, in the early 2000’s, when loan modifications were almost impossible, I targeted home owners facing foreclosure. Chapter 13 was really the only way to save someone’s home once they fell behind in mortgage payments, short of paying the full amount due, plus legal fees (reinstatement).
I should mention, I did help one homeowner with a loan modification before 2008 – only one. That case involved a cancer patient, who missed six months of mortgage payments while she underwent treatment. Once her treatment was complete and she was recovering, the mortgage company agreed to take the full amount she was behind and add it to the principle amount, then add time to the end of the loan. Her payment did not change, but she would have to pay on the loan longer. It was a sad, and happy, story. The story, I believe, was the only reason the mortgage company agreed to modify her loan.
In 2008, with the mortgage meltdown, the number and nature of the clients facing foreclosures changed. Many high income people lost their jobs or business owners suffered from the loss of their business. While Chapter 13 remained an option – loan modifications became a better option – because a loan modification often reduced the home owner’s monthly payments, in addition to resolving the foreclosure problem. I targeted my marketing to this segment of the market.
What I found out rather quickly, is that these clients were often facing IRS problems too. Around this time – 2009, I got involved with a national tax resolution group of attorneys who supported and educated me on how to solve IRS problems. Solving IRS problems fit perfectly with my skill set. In addition, it allowed me to help my clients achieve full financial recovery – help them save their home, resolve their IRS problems and end other credit problems. I have helped hundreds (thousands?) of Chicago area families and business resolve their financial problems and move on with their lives
This is what I have learned: People, mostly men – but not always, allow embarrassment and pride to get in the way of seeking help. Most of us believe everyone else is financially sound – we are the only one facing financial trouble. Not true.
One of my favorite stories to emphasis the falsity of this view involves a client I had in Chapter 13. Under Chapter 13, the debtor (homeowner) pays a monthly payment to a Trustee under a plan approved by the courts. At the time, the only form of payments the Trustee accepted were cashier’s checks, money orders or payroll deduction (recently, some form of online payments have been approved).
Every month my client went to the local branch of his bank and purchased a cashier’s check made payable to his Trustee Tom Vaughn (one of two Chapter 13 Trustees for Cook County). He often purchased the cashier’s check from the same Teller. After some months, the Teller said, “Do you mind if I ask you a question?” He said “sure.” The Teller asked, “I have customers come in here every day asking for cashier’s checks for this guy, Tom Vaughn. What the heck does Tom Vaughn do?”
That’s how many people in his neighborhood were in an active Chapter 13 bankruptcy. It leaves out those with an active Chapter 13 with another Trustee, those who sought protection under Chapter 7 bankruptcy, those facing IRS trouble, or those simply having financial problems. So, you aren’t alone.
If you need help solving your financial troubles, you should contact me right away. My name is Attorney Steven A. Leahy and I help people achieve full financial recovery. Call me at 312-664-6649. Call now!