Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Secured And Unsecured Loans In Bankruptcy

When it comes to taking out a loan, you should know they are not all the same. There are many types of loans and the terms and conditions of a loan can vary greatly. Different types of loans each have their own benefits and risks. The terms of a secured loan can be stricter than an unsecured loan. One of the main differences between these two types of loans is how debt collection efforts are handled in the event you default on your loan payments. Your debt repayment options may be managed differently in a secured loan than an unsecured loan. In the event of an extended financial hardship, you may not be eligible to have certain types of loans eliminated through bankruptcy.

Secured Loans

Most major loan purchases, such as your home or car, are called secured loans. They are called secured loans because the debts acquired under this type of loan are secured against collateral. A mortgage loan is considered a secured loan. In a mortgage loan, the lender has the right to repossess the home if you default on your payments. Defaulting on a mortgage loan can lead to foreclosure, whereby the lender takes over the rights to the home and may sell the home in order to satisfy the debts owed. Loans for car purchases are also secured loans. The lender can repossess your car and sell it to recover the loan amount. If the sale of the asset does not satisfy the full amount of the debt that is owed, you may still be held liable for repaying the remaining amount owed on the debt.

A personal secured loan is one in which you are using your home or car as collateral, but the money received in the loan is used to purchase other items. An example of a personal secured loan is a payday loan, in which you put the title to your car as collateral against the loan. Even though the loan is not used for the purchase of the car, the lender has the right to repossess the car if you default on repaying the loan. If your car is repossessed during a payday loan, you are still liable for any debts still owed on your car loan through the originating lender. This can lead to further financial trouble and more debt.

Secured Loans and Bankruptcy

Secured loans can be more difficult to manage when if you find yourself in financial trouble. A secured loan may not be eligible for elimination if you file for bankruptcy. In some cases, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy can eliminate the debt owed on a secured loan, but you may risk losing the property to the lender. Legally, lenders are allowed to seize and liquidate some of your assets in order to fulfill the debt payments of a secured loan. However, there are many states whose bankruptcy laws may offer exemptions for some of your assets. Bankruptcy exemptions may allow for your home and car can be protected from liquidation during bankruptcy. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy can protect your assets from liquidation through a Chapter 13 repayment plan. The repayment plan allows for you to keep your assets while you make payments towards the loan over the course of 3 to 5 years. Once you complete the repayment plan, you will be relieved of your loan debt and own the rights to the property.

The most important thing to remember about defaulting on a secured loan, is that time is crucial for protecting your assets. Once you realize you may not be able to make your payment, contact your lender and discuss negotiating a modified repayment plan. Many lenders prefer to modify a repayment plan that better suits your budget, than risk losing money through selling the property through foreclosure or repossession. If your lender is not willing to negotiate, seek counsel from a qualified bankruptcy attorney.

Unsecured Loans

Unsecured loans are loans that do not have any collateral used against the loan. The loan is unsecured because it is based on your promise to repay the debt. In an unsecured loan, the lender is not given any rights to seize or liquidate a specific asset. If you default on the loan, the lender may make debt collection efforts but are not afforded the right to reclaim any of your property.

The most common type of unsecured loan is a credit card. Defaulting on a credit card may lead to collection efforts, but creditors cannot take your assets to pay for the debt. Some personal loans are considered unsecured loans if you did not put up any of your property as collateral for the loan. Defaulting on unsecured loan payments can lead to negative consequences such as damage to your credit, harsh collection attempts and legal action. Another example of an unsecured loan is a student loan. Generally, student loans are treated seriously by the lending institution and defaulting on such loans can lead to significant consequences. Federal bankruptcy laws do not protect borrowers that default on a student loan payment and you risk having your wages garnished for purposes of paying the debt owed.

Unsecured loans and Bankruptcy

Unsecured loans are much easier to have discharged through bankruptcy than a secured loan. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy can eliminate most of your unsecured debt. In some cases, the bankruptcy court may decide to allow for some of your assets to be liquidated to fulfill debt payments. However, bankruptcy laws offer exemptions to protect most of your assets in bankruptcy. As in a secured loan, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy will protect your assets as you make payments towards the debt.

Your debts are your responsibility, whether they are secured or unsecured loan debts. Although bankruptcy allows for debt relief when experiencing financial hardships, this assistance should not be abused. It is always best to repay your debts in full to prevent any further damage to your credit history and to maintain a good financial standing. However, good people may experience tough times. Bankruptcy can provide relief from your debts and protect your assets, but it is best to be properly advised about your financial situation before you decide to pursue bankruptcy. A qualified bankruptcy attorney can review your options and help you make the decision to put you on the path to financial stability.

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