Housing prices are on the rise. File bankruptcy before you get too much equity in your home.

Housing prices are on the rise nationally.  Some markets and some states still have depressed prices but they are on the rise in most areas.  Here in San Diego housing prices are rising rapidly especially in certain neighborhoods.  In San Diego some of that increase is due the economy getting better but that is not the only factor that is causing housing prices to rise here.

It is also a supply and demand problem.  There is a shortage in this city of supply of homes on the market.  I have been told by realtors that the shortage exists because homeowners are expecting housing prices to rise further so they are holding homes off the market.

It does not matter what the reason is for the housing price rise.  It is important that prices are indeed rising.  Soon many more people will gain equity in their homes which is normally a good thing.  But if you have credit card or other debts and you cannot pay them then you might be considering bankruptcy.

If it is true that you are looking to file a bankruptcy eventually then it might be the time now to move forward with it.  If your home continues to rise in price you will eventually have equity in your home again.  But this equity in your home could create problems for your bankruptcy filing.

If the equity rises past your ability to protect it with the allowable bankruptcy exemptions then your home may be in jeopardy if you file bankruptcy.  This is because the trustee could take it and sell it for the equity in it.  If you move quickly before this happens then you can usually protect your equity.

I am a San Diego bankruptcy attorney.  For further questions please visit my websites at www.farquharlaw.com or www.freshstartsandiego.com.  Or call my office for a free consultation or for any other advice about bankruptcy or debt at (619) 702-5015. Call now for free credit report and analysis!

For a free e-book on “13 things to do to prepare for your bankruptcy filing” please e-mail me at farquharesq@yahoo.com.

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Are people leaving the labor force? Is unemployment really rising? The labor force participation rate says yes!

There have been many articles and warnings lately that people are leaving the labor force.  These articles claim there are fewer people working or looking for work each year and that the labor force of employed or employable individuals is shrinking.  This is occurring while the population is still rising.  There is therefore apparently not a lessening of the population but a lessening of people in it that are eager to work.

That begs the question of why this is happening.  Is the population just aging?  Are people retiring earlier or are kids staying at home longer?  Or is it that more and more people just giving up and forgetting about working or looking for work?

And if these people are just leaving the workforce out of disillusionment with the current state of the economy then how are they surviving?  Is government (you and me) paying for them?  Are they living off friends and relatives?  Are they living off the land?  What are these people doing and why and will it continue?

According to a recent online article posted on ZeroHedge the labor force has declined in the month of April by 522,000 people.  That means that there are currently 88,419,000 people who are not in the labor force but who are of an age where you would expect that they would be (over the age of 16).  This represents a new low.

I found a definition of the “labor force participation rate” in the Winston-Salem Journal.  It is a term used by the Department of Labor and it simply means the number of people over the age of 16 working or actively looking for work.  According to this article the labor force participation rate for April 2012 is 70% for men which is the lowest since the government started keeping statistics on this in 1948.  For all Americans it has reached the lowest level since 1981.

Some say that high paid jobs are being replaced by low wage manufacturing and construction jobs.  This could account for the lowest level ever of men working.  Many of my clients have looked for higher wage jobs for years and can’t find anything.  Many of these people have given up trying to find a job out of disillusionment.  They simply won’t take a very low paid job at their age and skill level.

As far as 16 year olds are concerned most don’t currently work even if many of us adults think they should.  Indeed the current “failure to launch syndrome” tells us that 70% of children under the age of 30 still live with their parents.  Women make up more than 60% of college grads and they are entering the workforce in numbers which may contribute to lack of job availability for men.  The overall labor force participation rate peaked in 2000 when women really began “flooding” the workforce according to this article.

But still  it seems in general that more people are continuing to leave the workforce.  Some groups have a higher rate but every group seems to have fewer people working as the numbers for the whole labor force participation is at its lowest rate since 1981.

The problem is that the government only counts unemployed people if they are in the labor force. If they have exited for any reason then they are not counted.  So when you are told that the unemployment rate is declining then remember these figures.  Ask yourself if unemployment really is declining because it seems to me that it is still rising.  It also seems like there is an ongoing mass exodus currently from the labor force.  A mass exodus that is not showing up in unemployment statistics.

You might come to the same conclusion that we are being lied to.  That unemployment is rising, more people are out of work and these people appear to be so disillusioned that they have given up on work altogether.  All the while we are being told that the economy is improving and unemployment is falling.  I say don’t believe it.

I am bankruptcy attorney in San Diego.  Please visit my websites at www.farquharlaw.com or www.freshstartsandiego.com for more info. about any of these topics.  Or call my office for a free consultation at (619) 702-5015.  Call now for free credit report and analysis! 

 For a free e-book: “13 THINGS YOU SHOULD DO TO PREPARE FOR YOUR BANKRUPTCY FILING” please send a request by e-mail to: farquharesq@yahoo.com.

Commodity prices are going up, the dollar is dropping in value! It might be a good time to file bankruptcy.

(See my update on price rises and its affect on the economy: http://bit.ly/HUNMNJ.)

There has been a lot of talk about possible deflation or a spiraling price drop in the market.  This does not seem to be happening as commodity prices are going up across the board.

It started with gold but oil is up as are wheat and corn and milk and meat and just about everything else too.  There is an article in today’s LA Times talking about how prices for all commodities are going up, not just oil and gold.  Coffee, wheat, sugar, rice, cotton, soybeans, paper, cheese.  It’s all going up.

Inflation worries are returning.  Bad weather resulting in poor harvests are to blame but so is increasing demand from India and China.

US retailers and sellers of these goods like Wal-Mart and Kraft and General Mills have all announced that they will raise prices soon.  Some by as much as 40%.  This current situation appears to be highly inflationary and it doesn’t appear to be temporary.  I don’t think demand from China and India is going to lessen.  In fact it should increase over time driving prices even higher.  You should notice this at the grocery store soon.  All of your food, gas, an everything you need to buy is getting more expensive.  It looks like inflation will take over and not deflation.

The other important thing happening here is that the dollar is dropping.  It has dropped more than 12% since June against the other major currencies.  According to the LA Times this is because our government wants it to!  It appears to be the policy of our government currently.  They seem to think that our products will get cheaper so other countries will buy more.  But what about the US consumer?  How will he or she pay for these higher prices?

This drop in the dollar has caused investors to look for a way to buy something that will hold its value.  Investors often look to commodities when faced with this currency devaluation.  Investors buy up all of these commodities to preserve their wealth and in doing so they drive up the prices of the everything we consumers need.

This results in huge price increases for the consumer and thus I would argue that this is a foolish policy by the US government that is hurting the american people.  Americans are not getting a raise to pay for these increasing prices and in fact many people are unemployed with no prospect of finding a job.

It could also be government policy to encourage inflation as a way to pay back the huge debts with cheaper dollars.  Apparently the government is printing more dollars which is inherently inflationary.  It could be that the policy is to inflate our way out of these huge debts.  This was tried many times most notably under the German Weimar in the 1920s where hyperinflation did not save but actually destroyed the economy.  At the end of that mess Hitler came to power.

The reality for you and me in the stores now is that commodities are getting more expensive because it takes more dollars to buy them because of a faulty government policy of currency devaluation.

I would argue therefore it is a good time to file bankruptcy if you have old debts you cannot pay.  You may need your money just to buy groceries, supplies, and the other things you need to ride out this recession.  Don’t give your money to some creditor for some old debt that went to pay for something you forgot about if you need what little money you have just to survive today and into the future.

I am a bankruptcy attorney practicing bankruptcy law in San Diego CA.

For further help please visit my websites at: www.farquharlaw.com or www.freshstartsandiego.com.  Or call my office for a free consultation at (619) 702-5015.