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September 2016 Archives

Credit card debt after retirement

Most retirees in Florida have long anticipated enjoying an active life in the sun after many years of work. Unfortunately, life circumstances often force seniors to use their credit cards to cover unexpected expenses. As a result, these retirees may find themselves strapped to excessive debt that they have difficulty paying off.

Pros and cons of filing for bankruptcy

Individuals in Florida who are dealing with significant debt issues may be able to find relief by filing for Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy. Chapter 7 allows an individual to liquidate assets to pay creditors while Chapter 13 allows debtors to reorganize their debt. However, before an individual decides to file, it may be a good idea to look at available alternatives. While there are several benefits to bankruptcy, it does stay on a person's credit report for up to 10 years.

Not all debts dischargeable in Chapter 13

When Florida residents are overwhelmed by their financial obligations, bankruptcy may be a good option. The two major forms of consumer bankruptcy are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. However, it's important to realize that federal laws impose some limits on the amount and type of debt that can be discharged by a bankruptcy court.

What chapter should I file under if I am facing foreclosure?

If you determine that bankruptcy is the best path for you to save your home. The next step is to figure out which Chapter makes the most sense for your needs. Every homeowner's circumstances are so unique. It really is a conversation that needs to be had with a qualified Florida bankruptcy attorney.

Darius Miles asks for protection from creditors

Miami Heat fans may be interested to know that former NBA player Darius Miles filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy after saying a string of bad investments led to financial problems. At the time of his filing, he reported $460,385 in assets and $1.57 million in liabilities including $20,000 in child support.

How elderly people can truly avoid debt collectors

There are many elderly people in Florida who struggle with money. Those that live mainly off of Social Security benefits may be forced to use credit cards to cover emergency expenses or just make ends meet every month. When credit card bills start to add up, an elderly person who has no prospect of earning additional income could end up being harassed by debt collectors.

It may be time to get help for out-of-control debt

Florida residents who struggle to pay their bills each month and have no extra money left over are not alone. In fact, 62 percent of people around the country do not have even $1,000 in a savings account, and one-third of Americans have no money saved for retirement. One of the reasons some people have such a hard time saving money is that they must make payments on multiple lines of credit each month.

Tips for eradicating credit card debts

With the high cost of living nowadays in Florida and throughout the country, a great deal of people may find it difficult to get by without using credit cards. In fact, because most credit cards carry interest rates of up to 30 percent and steep penalties for missed payments, credit card debt ranks as one of the most expensive types of debt.

Why Florida residents are turning to credit cards

According to WalletHub, Americans accumulated $34.4 billion in credit card debt during the second quarter of 2016. That is thought to be the highest amount of debt accumulated in a second quarter since at least 1986. That was the first year such data was collected, and consumers may go over $1 trillion in outstanding debt balances by the end of 2016.

What if I am underwater on my mortgage? Shouldn't I just walk away?

While the values of many Florida homes have recovered since the real estate crash, several homeowners still find themselves in a situation where they owe more on the mortgage than the property is worth. As recently as a few years ago, many homeowners simply walked away and allowed the bank to foreclose; a practice commonly referred to as a strategic default.

Reality TV star files for Chapter 13 bankruptcy

Chapter 13 bankruptcy is the latest development in the life of reality TV star Dawn Heflin that might interest Florida fans. Documents say that she owes over $263,000 and has assets worth $235,719. This includes $320 in checking and $100 in savings. She also has a house with a value of $172,000, households goods and clothing worth $1,000 each and two vehicles that are worth about $60,000 in total.

Most credit card holders do not pay off their balances

It is not uncommon for Florida consumers to have a lot of credit card debt. In fact, the majority of revolving debt in the United States comes from credit cards. Around 38 percent of households in the U.S. have credit card debt with an average unpaid balance of $15,310. Credit card debt tends to grow with time, and 65 percent of card holders do not pay their balance in full each month.

People are struggling with medical debt

According to a survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation and The New York Times, people in Florida and throughout the country are struggling with medical expenses even when they have health insurance. The study found that about 20 percent of Americans who had health insurance were having trouble paying their medical bills. Among people who did not have health insurance, more than half had suffered financially due to medical expenses.

Amending a Chapter 13 plan after confirmation

Florida debtors who have filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy may not be able to amend their plan after its confirmation unless they can demonstrate that their financial situation has significantly and unexpectedly changed. A North Carolina bankruptcy court ruled that a couple could not surrender their car to the lender after they had filed for Chapter 13.

Getting a new mortgage after bankruptcy

If a Florida homeowner has filed for bankruptcy, it may be possible to refinance an existing mortgage or obtain a new one after the case has been resolved. Those who wish to obtain a new loan from either Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac will have to wait two years after the dismissal date if the bankruptcy was because of an unexpected illness or job loss. However, the wait is four years if financial mismanagement caused the bankruptcy.

Learning more about bankruptcy

Filing for bankruptcy may make it possible to have debts reorganized and repaid over time or discharged completely. However, there are limitations to such a decision that Florida consumers should know about before deciding to file for protection from creditors. For instance, certain debts such as student loans or back taxes owed generally cannot be discharged. Furthermore, anyone who cosigns on a loan with the debtor may still be required to pay some or all of the loan back.

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