Note: Register for this month’s CLE, “Current Developments in Tax Law,” from 1-2 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Nov. 18.Despite recent murmurs that the recession may be easing its grip on the United States, debt continues to sap the financial strength of millions of families and businesses around the country.Home foreclosure is one of debt’s most wrenching symptoms. In August, according to RealtyTrac, foreclosure filings were reported on 358,471 properties. That number amounts to one of every 357 housing units in the country.There was a smidge of good news. Filings were down 1 percent from July. Still, there were 18 percent more than in August 2008.Meanwhile, August consumer bankruptcy filings totaled 119,874, an increase of 24 percent over the number of filings in August 2008,according to the American Bankruptcy Institute, a nonpartisan organization that analyzes issues relating to insolvency. Here, too, there was a little bit of good news: The number of bankruptcy filings in August 2009 fell by 5 percent from July.In the face of these numbers—and the very real personal turmoil they represent—more attention is being given to how lenders can cooperate with borrowers to reduce their debt, modify their mortgages and other obligations, and, in some cases, even… Read full this story
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