Sunday, May 20, 2012

What is an IRS Form 1099c?

A debt that is forgiven to you on your Bucks County residence is considered as income to you. Your mortgage company reports the forgiveness to the IRS which will then send you a form 1099c with the amount of the forgiveness which is subject to federal tax.  Different states have different standards as to whether or not the forgiveness is considered as state income.  In any event, you may have to pay taxes on this amount unless you qualify under the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act passed in 2007.

In addition, if an individual enters into a debt forgiveness or consolidation with a company, they are likely to receive a 1099c at the end of the year if the company reduces their debt.  I have written about my disdain for "debt settlement" companies before, and the 1099c "surprise" many of their users receive is another reason I still detest them.  Rarely do they reveal, or only in fine print, that if the company is able to negotiate a debt (which they rarely do), you get stuck with taxes due at the end of the year.  

Thursday, May 3, 2012

What are credit rating bureaus and what do they mean for Bucks County bankruptcies?

Credit bureaus gather information on Bucks County debtors provided by lenders you deal with and compile it into a report . Frequently, Bucks County bankruptcy clients already have unfavorable credit scores.  I often tout the benefits of a Bucks County bankruptcy and how they normally overshadow a potential "hit" to one's currently low credit score.  

A numerical credit score is assigned to your report which reflects your likelihood of repaying your debts.  The most used credit score is the FICO score;  ratings range from 300 to 850. The higher your score, the better your rating and chance to be approved for the loan or product you are seeking. The FICO score is a proprietary number, and each credit bureau guards the algorithm behind what goes into a credit score.  

There are three major credit bureaus: TransUnion, Experian and Equifax.  You are entitled to receive a free credit report annually from each of these bureaus.  

Here are the phone numbers for you to call but remember that to get your FICO score, there is a fee:
TransUnion: 800-888-4213
Experian: 888-397-3742
Equifax: 800-685-111