Someone who is experiencing a difficult financial situation may not feel comfortable negotiating a payment plan with creditors or collection agencies. Some will turn to nonprofit or credit counseling agencies who function as a go between a borrower and creditors to come up with a plan to repay debts. A debt management program is not unlike a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, which also strives to set up an affordable repayment plan to eliminate debt. Although they are similar in some respects, Chapter … [Read more...]
Many Americans Lament Lack of Emergency Savings
Three quarters of Americans regret not having enough savings tucked away for emergencies, a widely shared sentiment especially in the wake of the pandemic. Having adequate savings for periods of unemployment or to cover unexpected expenses is something all too many Americans lack. Millennials and Gen Xers in particular have little tucked away in savings compared to people 55 and older, who have had more time to set funds aside for emergencies. Even so, most savers often come up short; it is … [Read more...]
New Law to Help Those Who Cannot Pay Their Bills | Is It Enough?
Many people struggle to pay off debt, particularly credit cards with not-so-good interest rates which many rely on to make ends meet. When consumers get behind on payments, creditors may take them to court resulting in a judgement that requires payment of the debt with interest over very long periods of time - judgments that stay on credit history reports until they are paid in full. A new law offers help to low income consumers who are taken to court over unpaid bills in Illinois. Beginning … [Read more...]
Utility Shut Offs Loom as the Weather Improves
As the warmer weather approaches, some families face the prospect of having their utilities shut off for nonpayment. In many states a winter moratoriums run from November through the end of March (State Disconnection Rules), so as April approaches, some may lose power if they are running behind on their utility bills. Oftentimes an inability to keep up with utility bills is part of a larger financial struggle. Fortunately, Chapter 7 bankruptcy can provide immediate relief to those who are in … [Read more...]
Bankruptcy Discharge of Parking Tickets and Traffic Fines
Illinois Drivers can accumulate a number of parking tickets or traffic fines that can add up to big debt if they go unpaid. Many wonder if this type of debt can be tackled along with other debt through bankruptcy. Discharging Traffic or Parking Tickets in a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Unfortunately, fines owed to a government unit/city such as traffic fines or penalties and parking tickets are typically not dischargeable in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, although it may buy you some time. If you have … [Read more...]
Protecting Cosigners and Guarantors in a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Sometimes, borrowers seeking a loan may need a cosigner or guarantor to be approved by a lending institution. Reasons may include not having an established credit history, having no collateral to secure the debt, new businesses seeking funding, or perhaps a hiccup in a credit report such as a record of delinquent payments. Creditors may be willing to loan you money under any of these circumstances, but may require a cosigner or guarantor - typically someone with a higher income, assets and good … [Read more...]
Should I File a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?
Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 are the two main bankruptcy options available to people overrun by consumer debt. Before we look at the differences between the bankruptcies, there are two important terms to understand when considering bankruptcy: Unsecured debt and secured debt. Differences Between Secured and Unsecured Debt in a Bankruptcy Unsecured debt means that someone loaned you money without a lien. Credit cards and student loans are good examples of unsecured debt, because there's nothing … [Read more...]
Struggling With Debt? Affordable Bankruptcy May Help
Although there may be a negative connotation associated with filing bankruptcy for some, it is usually the first step toward financial health for those facing difficult financial circumstances. Very few people wind up in bankruptcy because they were spending too much or irresponsible with their finances. Rather, a bankruptcy case is more often filed by someone who is dealing with a difficult situation such as the loss of a job, unexpected medical bills or simply the mounting expenses of raising … [Read more...]
What is Secured Debt in Bankruptcy?
A debt is considered secure when it is tied to a specific item of property, called collateral, that guarantees the payment of the debt. Common examples of secured debts are car loans and mortgages, where the house or automobile serve as collateral for the debt. Secured debts may also include home equity loans or HELOC's, loans for a range of vehicles beyond cars from boats or tractors to RVs, loans for business equipment, machines or inventory and even store charges made with a credit card that … [Read more...]