Taking a Financial Bath on Home-ownership

Real estate data firm RealtyTrac found that foreclosures rose to a record 1.05 million last year, eclipsing the previous record of 918,000 a year earlier. That means there were 2.9 million homes that received foreclosure notices in 2010, with 20% more than that total expected to be in trouble this year. In a nutshell, 26% of all homes sold in 2010 were foreclosures. These foreclosure numbers aren’t expected to ebb anytime soon.

It really doesn’t matter how famous you are, how many cars your garage has in it, how many pools you have, or how many different homes you own, all homeowners are subject to the same market forces. Just because you have a lot of money invested in a home doesn’t mean you won’t take a financial bath if the market drops or your own finances change. This phenomenon is happening all across the economic spectrum, it is even happening to celebrities.

Scarlett Johansson is an American actress and singer who has acquired celebrity status and been recognized through numerous nominations for various awards as an actress as well as a singer. She has been recognized by several different entities as one of the sexiest women in the world, yet, despite all the celebrity attention that has made her famous, she has taken a financial bath from the sell of her 1931 Spanish hillside villa which is located in the swanky Outpost Estates in Los Angeles. She paid a little over $7 million and sold it for just less than $5 million in 2010.

Nicholas Cage, the famous actor, sold two of his $3.5 million homes in New Orleans for a combined $4.5 million, sold his $8.5 million Las Vegas home for $5 million, sold a $9.5 million Manhatten apartment for $7.5 million, and sold his Bel-Air Tudor mansion that he listed for $35 million for the paltry sum of $10.5 million after it had gone into foreclosure.

Foreclosure is a symptom of bankruptcy. When you get behind on payments and default on a mortgage loan, most of the time, it is because some event occurred in your life that has suddenly affected your financial status. Some of these events can be a loss of income, divorce, mismanagement of your finances, a poor economy, health problems, or just bad timing. In the Case of Scarlett Johansson, she had just broken up with her husband, Ryan Reynolds, and maybe the impending divorce played a role in her decisions to sell their home at that time for a loss. Nicolas Cage blamed his business manager for his foreclosure and financial losses, then sued him for $20 million. The lawsuit really didn’t do much good because the former business manager counter-sued Cage and reported the actor’s spending sprees on $33 million in homes, 22 cars, 47 pieces of rare artwork, and a dinosaur skull he had purchased for a reported $276,000.

Whether you have just recently divorced or mismanaged your finances, if you have been foreclosed on, there is a real distinct possibility you might be bankrupt. Becoming bankrupt can happen to anyone. It can happen to the rich and famous, it can happen to you. If you are bankrupt, then the question becomes what you are going to do about it.

Filing for bankruptcy is a legal proceeding that is designed to protect both creditor and debtor and to allow the honest person or business to work their way out of a bad financial situation, or in some cases, to completely start fresh. If you have been foreclosed on and are afraid of losing your home, filing for bankruptcy can be a way to protect you from the loss of your home. The moment you file a bankruptcy, a judge will order all collecting actions to cease, an important feature called the automatic stay. The automatic stay, applicable to all types of bankruptcy filings, means that the mere request for bankruptcy protection automatically stops and brings to a cessation certain lawsuits, foreclosures, utility shut-offs, evictions, repossessions, garnishments, attachments, and debt collection harassment.

You don’t necessarily have to take a financial bath when owning your own home. You can coose to protect your home through filing for bankruptcy, bankruptcy laws can be complicated, and common sense indicates you will probably need a bankruptcy lawyer in order to properly understand how these complex laws may apply in your situation. If you determine you are in need of relief from the stress associated with debt and you live in or around the metropolitan areas of Sarasota or Bradenton, Florida, contact us today at www.betterbankruptcy.com . We will help you find a bankruptcy attorney in your area that will help you with any questions you may have on bankruptcy law.

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