Strategic Default Monitor – How To Strategically Default

Friday, April 8, 2016

Greece Economic Crisis : Pros and Cons of Debt Forgiveness

A recent Bloomberg article provided, in my opinion, the most succinct analysis of the pros and cons of debt forgiveness.

Bloomberg reported on the economic plight of Greece. Greece basically "strategically defaulted" on its debt due to it's inability to pay its creditors. Greece fell victim to Europe's debt crisis when Wall Street imploded in 2008. All of the risky investments finally caught up to Greece like so many other countries, companies, and individuals. A group of European countries tried to help Greece (to keep it from destroying the European Union) by providing several bailouts to Greece totalling, at least, $264 billion. At the same time, the International Monetary Fund (as a condition to lending money) has been pushing for the forgiveness of Greece's debts by its creditors.

The article briefly outlined the benefits of debt forgiveness as follows:

"Beyond a certain point, high indebtedness does more than crush directly the recovery efforts of the debtor. It also inhibits new capital from coming in as fresh providers rightly worry about being contaminated by what is already an excessive existing liability. Without the much-needed oxygen provided by capital inflows, the debtor suffers even more, rendering growth almost impossible and making the debt trap even deeper."

The article briefly outlined the drawbacks of debt forgiveness as follows:

"Debt forgiveness is never granted easily, and with good reason. Even when it is a financially viable solution, the concept raises fundamental issues of fairness and incentive-compatibility. Why should a deadbeat debtor be granted relief when others have labored to pay off their debt? What about the creditors who worked hard to earn the money that they lent; why should they be punished? And doesn't the granting of debt forgiveness encourage other debtors to be less diligent, potentially undermining the overall flow of credit that supports economic growth and broader opportunities for well-being and prosperity?"

Greece has taken more debt to pay off its debt i.e. Greece is "robbing Peter to pay Paul." For Greece, like many other indebted countries, debt forgiveness will be the only way out.

If debt forgiveness is good for Greece than debt forgiveness is good for all people. Since it will be impossible to pay off all of the debts accumulated by countries, companies, and individuals debt forgiveness will happen in some form.

Thus, if debt forgiveness will be the solution then a well executed strategic default will continue to be an important strategy for individuals, companies, and countries.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Strategic Default Alert

2 factors driving the trend toward strategic defaults for student loans 1-13-2016
The term “strategic default” was added to the financial glossary during the housing crisis of 2007-08. It meant homeowners made deliberate decisions not to keep making mortgage payments because they believed foreclosure would ultimately cost less than continued ownership of underwater homes. Now, the trend is gaining ground among recent college graduates with student loans--but it is impacting certain types of students and schools far more than others. Nationally, about 14 percent of all federal student loans default within three years after students leave college. A default generally is declared when a student fails to make timely payments for 270 days, and the consequences are severe including wage garnishment, loss of Social Security benefits, and confiscation of federal tax refunds. Read More at BenefitsPro

Short sale tax break on verge of being extended until 2017 12-18-2015
Homeowners who had short sales in 2015 are about to get big break on their taxes, thanks for a massive federal spending bill that’s about to be signed into law by President Obama. The Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Act was set to expire at the end of 2015, and without an extension, any mortgage forgiveness achieved in a short sale would have been counted as income for homeowners whom banks allowed to sell their homes for less than the amount of their mortgage during 2015. But an extension to the Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Act was included in the fiscal 2016 federal appropriations and tax relief bill, which passed both the House of Representatives and the Senate on Friday. Read More at the Housing Wire

Thursday, December 10, 2015

How to Prevent Loan Modification Denial

Strategies to Prevent Loan Modification Denial:

As the borrower, you must be involved in the loan modification process at every stage of the process. The #1 reason for a loan modification denial is the lenders claiming that you did not send complete and accurate documentation in a timely fashion. You must keep detailed and organized records of all communications to and from the lender to prove you provided the lender with all of the documents required for a loan modification application. You must always keep in mind the following strategies to prevent a loan modification denial.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Using a Mind Map

I began using mind mapping software in 1998. A mind map is a visual outline of my thoughts...of my ideas on any subject matter. The mind mapping software provides tools to help connect and to help organize my brainstorms. The underlying premise of mind mapping software is simple. It is a graphical outlining tool. A mind map project always begins with the main concept. The software allows me to create an icon of my main concept. I can then create "branches" of additional ideas that "grow" from the main concept. For example, I am working on an online tool that can assist homeowners with applying for a loan modification. The name of my project is "Loan Mods Made EZ". This is how the mind map may start out: 

As you can see from the Loan Mods Made EZ icon I created connecting branches of elements of what I believed to be necessary to move the project forward. Most important, I efficiently captured my thought process. There is no limit to how large a mind map can grow. The mind mapping software allows me to connect files, videos, web pages, and pictures. Most mind mapping software contain useful tools that allow one to create, connect, and organize all of the information needed to develop an idea or concept. I have been using visual mind since 1998 however there are many great mind mapping products to choose from.  
Needless to say that using mind mapping software does not necessarily equate to launching a successful business. I have a few mind maps that...let's say...have been sitting on my hard drive waiting to be re-opened.
The tool has allowed me to better organize my priorities. My many mind maps act as reminders of my desired objectives. The maps keep me focused on the purpose of my daily grind. The maps have helped me maintain perspective during some of the most difficult times in my life. The maps have contributed to my successes. A mind map is simple to create yet a powerful boost for growing your empire.   

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Preparing for the Loan Modification Process

Steps to a Successful Loan Modification:

  1. Determine your eligibility status before contacting your lender
    • You must have suffered a financial hardship that makes your current. mortgage payment at the current interest rate unaffordable.
    • You must have steady income (other than unemployment benefits) for at least 3 months.
    • Your income must be greater than your expenses (excluding your mortgage).

Monday, September 14, 2015

Debt Defense News Alert

Consumers Will Get $60 Million in Refunds From Debt Collectors 9-12-2015
Two of the nation’s largest debt collectors must refund nearly $60 million to consumers and stop trying to collect on another $128 million in debts, after an action filed by federal regulators Wednesday. San Diego-based Encore Capital Group and Virginia-based Portfolio Recovery Associates are accused of pressuring consumers with false statements and churning out lawsuits using robo-signed court documents by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The two firms and their affiliates purchased a mammoth amount of debt resulting from unpaid bills — together, more than $200 billion in defaulted consumer debts on credit cards, phone bills and other accounts, according to the CFPB. Encore and Portfolio purchase the right to collect on the debts for pennies on the dollar, then attempt to collect the original amount from consumers... Read More at Time Money

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Student Debt Update

Recent news on the student debt movement have brought light to the solutions commonly associated with mortgages and linked them as the potential solution to the growing issue of student debt. Aside from the utilization of the approach of strategic default, increased concern by the government has led to debt forgiveness initiatives targeted to students who had been misled by for-profit colleges across the United States. Check out the link to the Student Debt Monitor page to read more.