The April 15 tax deadline for 2018 has now passed. As many went through their pay stubs, credit card bills and other financial information, the common refrain was disbelief at how much was spent and how little was saved.
Many talk about how well the economy is doing and the historic lows involving unemployment numbers, but the number of people in debt continues to climb. According to Lending Tree, there is an estimated $4 trillion in outstanding consumer debt at the end of 2018 and a chunk of that is placed with debt collection agencies. The numbers vary, but a portion of the 30 million people with at least one outstanding debt is turned over to debt collection agencies, who have an estimated recovery rate of about 20 percent.
Those who are contemplating filing bankruptcy or have already done so are likely very concerned about their credit score. There may also be talk of it when addressing certain financial issues or trying to sign up for a new credit card. It is first important to remember that there is no one true credit score, so keep this in mind whenever someone determines your credit score, particularly if they are trying to sell you a credit monitoring service.
Anyone with a credit card knows how easy it is to just charge it and carry balance on the card. Most of us need only look at our January credit card bill to see the damage done while shopping for holiday gifts. Unfortunately, that generosity or obligation can be a slippery slope that leaves many feeling that there is no end in sight.
Everyone likes to be generous during the holidays. Whether it is buying big-ticket items that the kids cannot live without, flying home to see grandparents, or perhaps even giving to the local homeless shelter, spending makes us feel better. Some will even use it as a motivational factor where you tell yourself to do a little more overtime in the coming year or pick up a side-hustle.
Many dream of the golden years when they can retire and perhaps spend time with the grandchildren or travel. Now data from a wide range of sources shows that the elderly are filing bankruptcy at five times the rate they did as recently as 1991.
People and businesses who file for bankruptcy go through some of the most difficult times in their lives. We work with them so that they can see that there is a light at the end of tunnel. With this in mind, nearly all of us here in the “Live Music Capitol of the World” will be happy to hear that Gibson Guitars is coming back from Chapter 11 Bankruptcy. Many of us have enjoyed playing their products and even more of us have seen and heard the iconic company’s many great models played by favorite musicians. The Chapter 11 filing enables a business entity to restructure its debt and create a workable plan for paying back debt while still staying in business.
Buying a car is likely to be one of your biggest loans, perhaps second in size to a mortgage. Those who are financially savvy will often come into a dealership with cash or a prearranged loan. While they are in business to sell cars, financial experts say that unscrupulous dealerships often come up with other ways to make additional money off customers.
The Federal Reserve estimates that Americans owe $1.5 trillion in student loans. This crippling debt is forcing many working folks to file bankruptcy. One reason may be because those with federal loans (such as those through Sally Mae) get offers for additional loans that can help pay for living expenses while in school.
The loss of a spouse often leads to a time of great difficulty. This challenge is greatly increased if your spouse had an accrued a large amount of debt. In community property states like Texas, this means there is a distinct possibility that you will assume that debt, or that your property will be vulnerable to his or her creditors. Typically speaking, the couple assumes the debt if they are married regardless of name on the account.