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Massachusetts Bankruptcy and Elizabeth Warren

Advocates for Massachusetts consumers are looking seriously at Elizabeth Warren’s record of pro-consumerism as the election nears. Warren, running for United States Senator from Massachusetts, aims to be the first woman senator from our generally progressive state. From the perspective of a Boston bankruptcy attorney, we could not have a better advocate for Massachusetts consumers who are at financial risk.
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Financial Writer Declares Bankruptcy

We have managed numerous financial trusts for clients, especially managing monies for someone after the settlement of a Massachusetts motor vehicle accident or other personal injury in Massachusetts. In keeping abreast of the law, and in researching and writing a Massachusetts consumer and bankruptcy blog, we have read numerous books and scholarly papers on personal finance, managing retirement accounts, for complex and general investments.
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New Mortgage Plan For Massachusetts Consumers

Massachusetts bankruptcy clients often ask us if we can help them to get a lender to refinance their homes. They say that if they can discharge their credit card debts, and refinance their mortgages, they would be fine, financially. We can get most folks a bankruptcy discharge, however, we can’t usually help with refinancing; that’s up to their current lender, or finding a new lender. Of course, going through a Massachusetts bankruptcy and refinancing is not easy to do anymore. Except if you can find a program like SUN.
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Elizabeth Warren: Consumer Protection Leader

Massachusetts consumer advocate and Harvard bankruptcy law professor Elizabeth Warren was grilled by Representative McHenry, the North Carolina chair of a House subcommittee the other day. The testimony was supposed to be about the direction of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in a report to Congress. The Congressman, however, seemed less concerned with what Professor Warren had accomplished at the CFPB, and more focused on character assassination, actually calling her a liar regarding the simple matter of scheduling the hearing. A video of the exchange can be viewed. The CFPB, the brainchild of Ms. Warren after years of careful study and implemented by Congress following the financial crisis, has been under attack by various factions with allegiance to large financial institutions.

Ms. Warren is now in a political tug of war: Some want her to return to Massachusetts and run for Senate; others want her out of power altogether in Washington. Regardless of where she goes after her temporary appointment, we see her devotion to protecting consumers where they interact with the financial world: credit card rights, 401k disclosures and consumer banking disclosures. The partisan attacks in Washington remind us of President Obama’s speech at the University of Michigan, last May, when he related a story of a letter written by a kindergartner asking, “Are people being nice?”

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Foreclosures and Massachusetts Bankruptcies

Will the foreclosure crisis continue in the United States? Will there continue to be record foreclosures in Massachusetts? Will record Massachusetts bankruptcies continue? Massachusetts foreclosures are down 67% from last year, yet there are thousands of Massachusetts properties in or near foreclosures. According to real estate researchers, 23% of households nationally are “underwater” in their mortgages; research reporting company Zillow claims that the number is closer to 27%. Furthermore, if you count the true costs of selling, such as realtor fees, moving and closing costs, an even larger number of folks have “effective negative equity” in their homes.
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Home Affordable Modifications Program Lawsuit in Boston

In March 2009, Congress passed the HAMP, the Home Affordable Modifications Program, in an attempt to assist folks refinance and modify their mortgages. Recently, in Boston, lawyers representing home owners who were denied access to the program filed suit in federal court asking the court to stop foreclosures of those homes. If successful, the lawsuit could affect thousands of homeowners throughout Massachusetts.
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Social Security Will Not Be Increased for Massachusetts Consumers

On October 15, 2010, the Social Security Administration announced that, for the second year in a row, that cost of living benefits will not be increased. This is based on the Consumer Price Index which was flat for the latest one year period. This is the second year in a row that Massachusetts consumers will not see any rise in there monthly benefits. Those folks that rely on Social Security payments for the bulk of their income, have had two years in a row of zero increase. This applies to all 58.7 million beneficiaries.
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Nobel Prize to Massachusetts Unemployment Expert

Massachusetts Institute of Technology economics professor Peter Diamond was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics. The Swedish Academy awarded Professor Diamond and two colleagues the award for an unemployment modeling that can be used in other economic arenas. According to the Nobel Prize Committee “the laureates models help us understand how unemployment, vacancies and wages are affected by [state] regulation and economic policies.” Also called “markets with search frictions,” the research examined the marketplace, including unemployment, where buyers and sellers don’t easily find each other. Massachusetts consumers who are concerned about jobs and employment should appreciate the timeliness of the award, considering the 8.8% Massachusetts unemployment rate.
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