Many who file for bankruptcy know that they are doing the right thing, but they likely still have mixed emotions about it. Nevertheless, they are hardly alone -- there were 767,721 bankruptcies filed by non-businesses in 2017.
The Supreme Court of the United States recently unanimously ruled in Taggart v. Lorenzen that creditors could be held accountable if they continue to harass those who have had their debt discharged through bankruptcy.
Medical debt is one of the biggest causes of bankruptcy in the U.S., so it is no surprise that debt collectors commonly attempt to collect millions of outstanding bills. Unfortunately, the public interest group reports that some of these businesses are using aggressive tactics in an attempt to collect debts, sometimes from the wrong customers. In the latter case, this erroneously puts an individual’s credit at risk. The organization reviewed 17,701 medical collection complaints submitted to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) reveal that problems with medical collection are widespread.
Many are surprised to find out that student loans are one of the few debts that are not discharged through bankruptcy relief. However, there is now a bill called the Student Borrower Bankruptcy Relief Act of 2019, which has bipartisan support from U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) as well as U.S. Representatives Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and John Katko (R-NY).
Filing bankruptcy is one of the most difficult things many will do. However, it can also be one of the smartest things an individual or couple can do to regain control of their lives.
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.