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Credit Repair

4 Quick Tips to Regaining Your Financial Health After Bankruptcy

A bankruptcy discharge can definitely hurt your credit score, but nonetheless, without the burden of your past debts, you can find it much easier to regain your financial health.

1. Plan a Budget

Budget planning is central to effective money management. On a spreadsheet or with the use of an online app, make a note of all your expenses, categorizing them on whether they are ‘essential’ or ‘non-essential.’

If the sum of your monthly income and expenses just break even or is in the negative, consider cutting on non-essential expenses until you can generate some savings.

2. Use Cash

Prioritizing cash spending can help you save money by limiting the amount you can spend at any time. With credit, it can be easy to indulge in excess spending, but while using cash, there is only so much you can buy before it runs out.

3. Set an Auto-Payment System

Regaining a good credit score means never missing the deadline on many repayments. However, with so much going on in our lives, it can be actually much harder than it seems. Fortunately, most financial agencies allow you to set up an auto-pay system to avoid any unintentionally missed payments.

4. Add Positive Accounts to Your Credit History

Provided they qualify, consider adding positive accounts to your credit history, such as your utility and phone bills, to improve your credit report. This can be especially helpful for those with little or no credit score.

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Payday Loans and Bankruptcy

Payday loans, also commonly known as cash advances, check advances, or paycheck advances, may seem like an appealing option to those falling behind on their bills. However, when people start to rely heavily on payday loans, they can get stuck in a pattern and end up filing for bankruptcy.

What is a Payday Loan?

A payday loan described as a short-term, high-cost loan that is generally for $500 or less. These act as a cushion to your immediate cash needs and need to be paid back within two weeks or close to your payday.

Since payday loans charge triple-digit annual percentage rates (APRs), they can be a burden to repay. In fact, if you’re not mindful, you may end up going overboard, and these negligent payday loans may end up costing you a lot more.

Can Payday Loans Be Discharged When Filing for Bankruptcy?

Payday loans are known as “unsecured debt.” This is because they do not entail any property as collateral in case of failure to pay. Unsecured debt is eligible to be discharged when someone files for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. It can also be added in the court structured repayment plan if filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Through this, the debtor is allowed to repay the loan over time at his/her convenience.

Hardship provision is an option given when filing for bankruptcy. This means that the debtor can remove all or a portion of these debts, according to his personal situation. This can be decided and determined by the bankruptcy attorney based on being unable to complete the repayment plan.

Sometimes, lenders will subtly include a disclaimer in your paperwork, which states that the debt cannot be foregone despite bankruptcy. However, you don’t need to worry; these disclaimers have no place in the court of law. Along with unsecured loans, cash advances and payday loans can be fully discharged in a bankruptcy proceeding.

Loans That Cannot Be Discharged in Bankruptcy Proceedings

The point of declaring bankruptcy is to achieve a fresh start rather than skirting creditors with the intention of never repaying their money. To ensure this, bankruptcy courts state that any debt or loan taken within 60-90 days before filing for bankruptcy cannot be discharged.

Things to Pay Attention To

It is usual for some payday loans to be renewed automatically every month till full payment is received. Lenders might try to twist this in the bankruptcy court to show that the loan is newer than 60 days. However, in such cases, your bankruptcy attorney can make the court aware of the loan’s initial date. This will help the court refer to the date you obtained the loan and rule in your favor.

In case a lender has a post-dated check for an amount that is out of your current budget, make a quick trip to the bank, pay a small fee, and get payment stopped on that check. This will relieve you of additional stress in bankruptcy court.

For more information, speak with an experienced bankruptcy attorney – schedule your free 1-hour consultation today: https://seanflynnlaw.com/calendar/

How to Handle a Debt Collection Lawsuit

Constant calls, emails, or lawsuits from debt collectors may stress you out, putting you in a frenzy, but they are more common than you know. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau states that over 70 million Americans have faced debt collectors at some point in their lives, while approximately 25 percent have felt threatened in their dealings.

Debt collection lawsuits are something people do not like to deal with. The type of language used in collection agencies is enough to ignite fear and panic in individuals. After all, when you are served with a lawsuit, and your wages, bank accounts, and assets are under threat, it is natural to become overwhelmed.

This blog will list down the steps you can take to defend yourself or your company against a debt lawsuit to help you stay composed and collected when served papers for debt. First things first- understand your rights.

Respond to the Lawsuit

If you get served a lawsuit or debt claim, the first thing you need to do is respond to it. Failing to respond in a timely manner results in notices arriving in the form of summons and complaints.

If you owe some debt but can’t afford to pay it, you still need to respond otherwise, the collection agency will form a default judgment against you. Then, they might collect their money through wage garnishments or from your bank account.

Challenge the Collection’s Company Right to Sue

You can respond to a lawsuit by challenging the plaintiff’s right to file the lawsuit. Mostly, when a debt reaches this stage, it has already been sold. This means that person who owns the debt is legally required to prove that they have the right to file a lawsuit. Once served, the burden of proof rests with the plaintiff. This means that the person suing you has to prove that you are solely responsible for the debt, that they can legally sue you, and that you owe a specific amount.

To prove that you owe a specific amount, the collection agency needs to show proof of your balance increasing when you made purchases and that your current balance is accurate and accounts for every dollar you have spent.

However, if you choose not to respond, the court will assume that your silence means that you take responsibility for the debt.

Hire Your Own Attorney

If you cannot afford to pay back the debt, incurring further legal expense is not attractive. However, once you consult your attorney, you will be made more aware of your options and have a higher chance of defending yourself against the debt collection lawsuit.

Sometimes, all you need is a third-party to help you see things from a different situation and pick out key elements you might have missed out and could use to your advantage.

File for Bankruptcy

If you cannot pay back the debt, bankruptcy might be the only option. When you file for bankruptcy, an automatic stay is ordered. This means that all debt collection activity must cease until the bankruptcy process is handled.

For more information, speak with an experienced bankruptcy attorney – schedule your free 1-hour consultation today: https://seanflynnlaw.com/calendar/

Have You Ever Wondered Who Pays for Bankruptcies?

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If you are a debtor who is out of options and is now thinking of going bankrupt, it might be the right way to go for you. However, if you are an investor, a personal creditor, either secured or unsecured, the situation for you will be very different if one of your debtors goes bankrupt. This is why it is significant to understand how bankruptcies work no matter which boat you are in.

When you start understanding the legal procedures, the first thing that may come to your mind would be as to who really pays for bankruptcies? This question is completely valid. However, the answer is much trickier and complex than you might think. The rationale behind it is that bankruptcy is not a simple process with just one situation that can occur. There are different processes, involving different kinds of bankruptcies, which eventually results in different solutions to cover the costs of different loans that you have.

The basic difference in payment methods results from two different types of bankruptcies, i.e. chapter 7 and 13 bankruptcies. Chapter 7 is applicable when it can be proved that you cannot pay any of your loan at all and so all your assets are taken away to pay back your debts. This type is also called straight bankruptcy, although, there are still several complications in this as well.

Chapter 13, which is also referred to as reorganization, is a plan where the court revisits your payment plan and make changes according to your monthly income. This way, you get at least 3-5 years to pay off some part of your debt and see if there still exists a need of going completely bankrupt. One thing that you need to keep in mind is that both of these are still types of bankruptcies and so if you opt for them, you will have it on your credit for 10 years!

What if All Your Assets are not Enough to Pay Off Your Debts?

This is often the case when big companies go bankrupt. This is why corporate bankruptcy is the most harmful one. However, there is a process through which the court divides the amount recovered. This is done under section 507 of the code which states the hierarchy through which the amount is divided and who is given priority. The priority is always given to secured creditors, after which unsecured creditors are in line, which may include employees and lastly if there is still some recovered amount left, stockholders are entertained. Although, reaching that stage is a rare thing and so unless everyone else is covered, stockholders get nothing!

Even apart from companies, when we are talking about personal bankruptcy when the cost cannot be completely recovered and the money is not paid completely to the creditors, they have to find different, more indirect ways of retrieving that amount. Some personal investors increase their interest rates, while sellers have to increase the profit amount so that they can cover at least some of their losses!

Whether you are a debtor or a creditor, it is always necessary to get legal advice beforehand, to understand these critical processes in an easier way!

For more information, speak with an experienced bankruptcy attorney – schedule your free 1-hour consultation today: https://seanflynnlaw.com/calendar/

Planning for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy – 5 Quick & Helpful Tips

1. Any debt incurred after the bankruptcy filing date does not qualify as part of your discharge. Therefore, it is best to file when one is sure that they are reasonably sure that they won’t be incurring any further unmanageable expenses while during and after the bankruptcy process.

2. Include all qualifiable debts that you believe you won’t manage in your bankruptcy. Once a discharge is given, most debtors have to wait 8 years before qualifying for another debt discharge.

3. If you are moving to another state, time your bankruptcy filing accordingly. Depending on which state you are in and to which you are moving, it may be more advantageous to file while residing in the one with more generous exemption laws.

4. Be mindful of making large payments to preferred creditors, selling assets, or transferring them out of your name shortly before bankruptcy. It can raise suspicion of bankruptcy fraud, and the court trustee assigned to your case can get the money or property back using a clawback provision.

5. Don’t make the mistake of incurring any further debt shortly before filing for bankruptcy. The fact that you purchased items on credit knowing that you won’t pay the creditor back can make you subject to fraud allegations. Even if it does not result in a criminal investigation, the outcome could still be an objection to your discharge.

#chapter7 #bankruptcy #legaltips #bankruptcyadvice #bankrutcyUS #TX #helpfultips #USLaw

—-Your Common #Bankruptcy Questions Quickly Answered—-

—-Your Common #Bankruptcy Questions Quickly Answered—-

1. Will I lose my house in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

In most cases, your house will most likely be exempted from being sold off in a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy case.

2. Can Bankruptcy take my social security?

As per Federal Law, your social security funds are exempt and thus protected in bankruptcy.

3. I am currently unemployed. Can I still file for bankruptcy?

Yes, your employment status does not bar you from filing for bankruptcy. It will, however, impact the chances of a successful outcome in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

4. Can my student loans be eligible for a bankruptcy discharge?

In most cases, your student loans are not eligible for a discharge under either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. However, it can be wiped out if you can prove that it is causing you undue hardship.

5. I make a lot of money. Do I still qualify for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

If your household income exceeds that of your state median, you may still qualify depending on how much are your monthly deductible expenses (e.g., childcare, taxes, debt repayments, utility, and food).

6. Do married couples both have to file for Bankruptcy?

Both you and your partner can file for bankruptcy individually or jointly. Depending on your debt situation and the state you reside in, either of the options could be more beneficial.

7. Will Bankruptcy affect my employment?

No employer will lay you off solely because of your bankruptcy, nor does it, in most cases, impact your employment prospects.

#bankruptcy #US #FAQs #Chapter7 #Chapter13

Renting an Apartment and Bankruptcy

You may believe that finding an apartment in Texas after filing for bankruptcy is close to impossible, but we’re here to help you achieve that dream. Landlords may be wary of the negative mark on your credit history, and everything will seem to go downhill from there.

However, it is entirely possible, albeit challenging, to rent an apartment after declaring bankruptcy. Below is a guide to help you through the application process to ensure you get approved for a lease- the hardest part:

Have an Open Communication

Lying to potential landlords about your bankruptcy is a terrible idea. Most of them will find out regardless when they run your credit history during your application process. Instead, having an open dialogue with them about the circumstances that led up to your bankruptcy, followed by what you have done since to counter it, such as a steady job or income, can help your case.

Proving your innocence and determination to do better is the key- once you convince the landlord to place his trust in you, you are more likely to get through the application process. If not, be proud of yourself for being truthful. Chances are that the landlord appreciated your frankness.

Pick Landlords Wisely

Keep in mind that different landlords have different policies for leasing their properties. Your best bet would be to rent from a private property owner, rather than a complex. They are more understanding and flexible with personal history.

With a bit of research, you might even be able to find an area with a “no credit check” policy. Renting an apartment near a college or university campus may be another factor you could look into. Landlords there have a history of catering to students who have a credit history, so they might be willing to adjust their policies for you too.

Provide Proof of Consistency

Everything aside, all that matters is that you pay your rent on time each month. If you can convince your landlord that you are consistent and reliable, you will have more chance of getting that lease.

If possible, provide your landlord with bank statements or previous rental history to prove that you are a grounded tenant who won’t give him a hard time. Another thing you could do is provide a larger security deposit that will cover the rent for the next few months’. While this could be challenging if you’ve recently come out of bankruptcy, it will make your landlord trust you more.

Find People Who Will Substantiate Your Claims

Most landlords will feel at ease if you can provide some reference to prove your honesty and integrity. These references could be your past or present employers, previous landlords, past roommates, or even some personal references. As long as you have a good standing with the people you refer to your landlord, all is well.

If all else fails, finding someone with good credit to co-sign the rental application will also help make an airtight case. This way, your landlord will (on paper) have someone to take the responsibility of clearing the dues in case you fail to do so.

For more information, speak with an experienced bankruptcy attorney – schedule your free 1-hour consultation today: https://seanflynnlaw.com/calendar/

Eliminating Medical Bills with Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

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Hospital and medical bills are mostly not under our control. Along with the emotional and physiological stress that comes when you or your loved one is in the hospital, dealing with the added pressure of overwhelming medical fees is not easy. This will why people often seek bankruptcy relief after an outstanding medical debt that might have spiraled out of control.

However, what happens then? Like we all know, life must go on. Can you file for bankruptcy and get out of paying your medical bills?

Medical Debt and Bankruptcy

To file for bankruptcy, debts need to be separated into two categories. These include the priority and nonpriority unsecured debt. When you file for bankruptcy, debts like domestic support obligations and overdue taxes do not get eliminated. In fact, they receive special priority treatment. This means that whenever you are in a position to pay the debt, these will have to paid off first.

Medical bills, however, fall under the category of unsecured debts. Like credit cards, they do not receive any special treatment. This quality results in them having the ability to be wiped out when you file for bankruptcy.

How Does This Happen?

Medical debt can be eliminated with Chapter 7, as well as Chapter 11 bankruptcy. To understand which bankruptcy you should file for, you will have to consider your personal situation and see if you meet the qualification requirements.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

If you pass the qualification requirements for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, your medical bills will be wiped out along with other unsecured debts, including student loans. Fortunately, there is no maximum limit to the medical debts that you can discharge under Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Whatever bills that have been paid with your credit card will not be taken into account, along with the rest of your credit card bill.

To qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you cannot have a high disposable income. Your income needs to be low enough to pass the Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Means Test. This calculates your current income to see if you can pay back a portion of your debt. This test is used to disqualify those with high incomes. If you do not pass the means test, you cannot qualify for the Chapter 7 discharge. However, you may file under the Chapter 13 bankruptcy relief.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

In Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, bills are included in your repayment plan, alongside other unsecured debt. Unsecured creditors will have to be paid based on your personal income, expenses, and nonexempt assets.

Each creditor is given a pro-rata portion to make them aware of the amount of money going towards these debts. However, there might be chances that you are not eligible for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. You will be required to make enough income to pay all your bills in full as part of your repayment plan. This also includes priority creditors who need to be paid back as soon as possible. Moreover, medical bills and additional debts must fall under the Chapter 13 debt limits.

For more information, speak with an experienced bankruptcy attorney – schedule your free 1-hour consultation today: https://seanflynnlaw.com/calendar/

Coronavirus and Bankruptcy

Coronavirus and Bankruptcy

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The connection between coronavirus and bankruptcy is not a shock for any of us. The economy has been shakier than ever and there is no way everyone will be able to recover post-pandemic. Hence, it is quite obvious for people to think about going bankrupt as an option as the result of recent changes that the world has been facing.

If you own a business or are a debtor of a personal loan for which you now think that bankruptcy is your best option, we urge you to rethink your decision. There are several reasons why we are saying this, but what you need to keep in mind is that recent bankruptcies of 2020 should not be the cause behind your decision!

Things to Keep in Mind

If you are wondering whether the bankruptcy court is still working and is it still possible to file bankruptcy, then the answer would be yes, the process is still in place. Personal meetings are not happening, but the procedure can take place over a phone call as well.

Now comes the question as to if you should file for it or not. Businesses that have completely gone out of business or those who would have to come up with a new plan from scratch even post-pandemic are the ones that would be considering this option the most. The highlighted names involve restaurants and theatres for which the world has turned upside down. However, there can be other businesses that might have taken a hefty amount of loan before the pandemic and are now not earning good enough to pay their loan back according to the payment plan.

While thinking about all the bankruptcies of 2020, this can be an option for everyone listed above and also for those who might have taken a personal loan for a house, you need to keep in mind that going bankrupt doesn’t necessarily translate to being completely free of your loan. While chapter 7 is considered a straight option out by selling all your assets, chapter 13 which is also called reorganization, and chapter 11 which is the same thing but for business demands you to start a new payment plan through which either the interest or the amount of loan is decreased but you still have to pay some part of your loan in the next 3-5 years. Plus, there is always the stamp that will stay on your credit for the next 10years if you choose to go bankrupt!

What Should I do then?

Our recommendation would be to only opt for this if it is the only thing you can do. The reason why COVID-19 is not just a reason because of which you would want to file for it is because of the relief plan. If you are getting funds from there, you are not obliged to include them in your payment plan which is a benefit for the debtor. Plus, because of the situation, there are certainly different levels at which government and personal investors are allowing ease in the payment process so you can always talk it out.

Lastly, if you still opt for bankruptcy, do keep in mind that you need to first consult an expert and only then start the process. Also, while the dates might be delayed for the hearings, the filing and fee processes should not be delayed!

Colorado Couple Sees $200,000 in Student Loans Forgiven

Colorado Couple Sees $200,000 in Student Loans Forgiven

It is not often that you see student loans being discharged when a person files for bankruptcy. In fact, it so rarely happens that a lot of people have come to mistakenly believe that it is an unforgivable debt. This, of course, makes the new ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit in favor of a Colorado couple all the more newsworthy. Rejecting the claims made by the student loan giant, Navient, that the couple’s debt was non-dischargeable under bankruptcy law, the court wrote an amount of $200,000 off of their student loans.

“This has been a huge part of my life for so many years now … It affects your whole life. It affects your relationship with your kids, your marriage — everything”, Paige McDaniel (wife) told the news. In another interview, she also told that the loan company had threatened to garnish her wages to recoup the debt before the couple filed for bankruptcy.

The ruling sets a precedent, a loosening of the student loan discharge law that erstwhile have been very rigid its interpretation. It also months after a separate ruling was made in favor of another student loan borrower, Kevin Rosenberg, who saw more than $200,000 of student loan debt discharged under Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

As of current, there are some 45 million Americans saddled with student loan debts, representing a combined amount of more than $1.6 trillion.

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