3200 Guasti Road, Suite 100
Ontario, CA 91761
Phone: (800) 958-6760
Available 24/7/365 by phone
Monday – Friday: 8:30am – 7:00pm
Saturday: 9:00am – 5:00pm
Ontario Bankruptcy Attorney
The mortgage crisis’s impact was felt throughout the United States, but locally, in the Inland Empire its effect was especially jarring. Having an office in Ontario means that we are easily accessible to both Riverside and San Bernardino counties. One implication from the economic collapse was exhibited most recently in San Bernandino’s own bankruptcy filing. San Bernardino was one of several cities to file for bankruptcy in California last year. Plenty of factors contributed to this difficult situation. The widespread unemployment that affected so many of our clients also hit local city government. When fewer citizens are making money, there is simply less tax revenue to support the city’s services. It’s the same with retirement contributions. San Bernardino discovered too late that the public pension plan was inadequately funded. Because of corruption, the city did not notice the extent of the problem until it became aware that it no longer had enough cash to meet its debt obligations. One lesson we can learn from San Bernardino is that bankruptcy can be necessary for just about anyone (or any place). Our clients are just like the city. People face unemployment and, thus, depleted cash reserves. One thing that we always like to stress is that it’s important to come to us before it’s too late. While San Bernardino was fooled into thinking it was economically sound, our clients often do the same thing. We hear about clients who attempt to meet their obligations by dipping into their retirement plans. It’s heartbreaking to talk to those who are nearing retirement and have cashed out their savings in making mortgage payments for a house they would later lose. Facing large tax obligations for cashing in their retirement they still lose their house or are unable to continue paying their credit cards. They often end up filing bankruptcy after having lost an asset that would have been protected, even in a Chapter 7. This is why it’s especially important to consult with our office before you sacrifice your financial future.
Another area where Ontario residents have been impacted is the decrease in property values. We often meet clients in San Bernardino and Riverside Counties whose second mortgages are able to be stripped in a Chapter 13. However, there are countless others who, even without a second mortgage, are significantly underwater with only a first mortgage. Ontario and Fontana made national news lately by suggesting the government use its eminent domain powers to seize underwater mortgages. To put it simply, it’s not the homes the government would be seizing but the mortgages. The court would then have to determine the value of the homes and private investors would then finance the homes at their current value. It be a government seizure for widespread principal reductions. This idea received a lot of press because it would be the first widespread seizure of its kind, and would be a sweeping, shocking reform. Critics have pointed out that the proposed plan would only help those who are current on their mortgage, and, thus, not those most in need. It would not prevent those who were already in danger of foreclosure from losing their home. Also, the biggest losers in a plan like this would be banks who would be willing to mount a long fight in court against such an idea. Litigation of this kind would be difficult for local government due to the reasons discussed above. For now, this controversial idea is nowhere near taking place, and so, if you’re living near Ontario, and have questions about foreclosure, come see us. We understand the Inland Empire’s particular economic issues, are conveniently located and will always offer a free consultation.