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October 2017 Archives

Chapter 13 debt limits

When individuals and couples living in Florida realize that their debt has become unmanageable, they often seek relief in consumer bankruptcy. In bankruptcy, debtors can stop creditor harassment and either seek a complete discharge of debts in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy or enter into a manageable payment plan in Chapter 13.

How to spot errors on a credit report

Florida residents and others may have a lower credit score than they deserve. This could be because of inaccurate information on a credit report. Anyone who sees erroneous information on their report should take steps immediately to rectify the issue. Even if an error doesn't impact a person's credit score, it could still make it harder to get the best rates on insurance and other products.

Iggy Azalea has tax, credit card debt

Florida fans of the rapper Iggy Azalea might have heard that she could be having some financial problems. She owes almost $300,000 in credit card debt and is being sued by American Express. The credit card company reports that this sum is over $250,000 more than the limit on the card.

How to avoid being scammed by debt relief companies

Florida residents likely hold a portion of America's collective $1.4 trillion student loan debt. Those who are trying to manage their debt may be tempted by offers from companies or other parties claiming that they help them accomplish that goal. However, many of those companies may be doing nothing more than peddling scams to vulnerable debtors. In October 2017. the Federal Trade Commission, 11 states and the District of Columbia unveiled its "Game of Loans" initiative.

Consumer credit and bankruptcy

Many people living in Florida understand that credit can be a two-edged sword. Being able to take out a mortgage, car loan or obtain a credit card can be a solid financial strategy. Yet, taking out too much debt can result in extreme stress and even financial disaster if one's income becomes insufficient for making payments.

Foreclosure up ahead? How to find an alternate route

If you own a home in Florida, you've likely encountered ups and downs regarding your financial status (and ability to make payments). Although it's not uncommon to face money problems once in a while, a particularly trying time may call for extra support.

Don't take my car

You need your car. It is not a want; you really do need it. You kill yourself already trying to get around town to school, work and the various other things in which you are currently active, so public transportation just is not going to cut it.

Post-bankruptcy credit cards

When Florida residents complete the bankruptcy process, many are eager to take advantage of their financial fresh start and reestablish creditworthiness. While it is true that credit scores take a significant hit after a bankruptcy, making it hard to get credit or qualify for a loan, it isn't impossible to get a credit card. Strategic use of the card or cards can also help people increase their credit score more quickly.

Debt reduction mistakes

Many Florida residents are living with increasing amounts of debt. In most cases, they genuinely want to meet their obligations. However, without guidance from a financial professional, people often make serious mistakes that either slow down their debt repayment or make matters worse.

How to deal with unpaid medical debts

Florida residents may feel anxiety or stress after hearing from a debt collector about an unpaid medical bill. In some cases, those who couldn't afford to pay their bill originally may not be in a position to pay it after getting that call. Those who are facing a lawsuit over an unpaid medical debt should plan on going to court. Otherwise, the debt collector or other party seeking payment will win by default.

Over half of all Americans keep credit card debt for years

According to a study conducted by Creditcards.com, most adults in Florida and around the country carry credit card debt for two years or more. The study looked at the credit card debt of more than 2,000 U.S. adults and found that half the people with debt had been carrying a balance for at least five years.

Equifax changes policy on bankruptcy reporting

Florida residents may be aware that a Chapter 13 bankruptcy normally stays on a credit report for seven years. However, the credit reporting agency Equifax kept Chapter 13 filings on credit reports for 10 years if a person failed to complete the bankruptcy plan. After ProPublica asked Equifax why it reported such information differently than than TransUnion or Experian, the policy was changed.

Once again, Americans are being saddled with credit card debt

In the wake of the 2008 crash of Wall Street and the American banking system, many consumers across Florida lost their jobs, their home equity and their ability to pay their credit card bills. For many Americans, the Great Recession left them with piles of unsecured debt and the grim prospect of facing repossessions, wage garnishment orders and ruined credit profiles.

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