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Brownsville Texas Bankruptcy Legal Blog

Do women plus student loan debt equal Chapter 7 bankruptcy?

A portion of the approximately 44.7 million people who owe student loans may live right here in Brownsville. Surely, some of them are women. In fact, recent research indicates the odds are high that many of those owing student loans are women. The next question some may ask is whether this could mean that a disproportionate amount of women will file Chapter 7 bankruptcy in order to make more room in their budgets to pay their student loans.

The research suggests that around two-thirds of the nearly $1.59 trillion in student-loan debt is owed by women. Not only do more women have student loans than men do, but they also tend to owe more than men do as well. Women also tend to earn degrees more often than men do.

Medical debt is out of control even among the insured

There is no way around the fact that suffering from a sudden and serious illness or injury in this country is an expensive prospect. Like elsewhere in the country, Texas residents who have health insurance often find out that it provides only a false sense of financial security. Most insurers will not cover all of the medical debt incurred, which leaves unsuspecting patients with significant financial struggles as they try to keep up with what medical providers say they still owe.

A recent poll found that of the 91% of the people who responded had health insurance; of those, 53% still struggle to pay their medical bills. People deplete their savings, use their credit cards and may even switch jobs in order to pay for health care. Not surprisingly, the monetary struggles do not end with the patients. Family members may also find their finances affected as they try to help care for ill loved ones. Even paying for basic necessities can become difficult.

Has job loss resulted in overwhelming credit card debt?

In order to meet financial needs, most Texas residents need to go to work and generate an income. It is common for people to rely on that income to meet their basic needs, make rent or mortgage payments, stay on top of credit card bills, and for numerous other financial matters. As a result, if you lose your job, you undoubtedly will worry about your finances.

Whether you anticipated losing your job because rumors of layoffs were going around or being let go came as a total shock, you likely did not have time to make preparations before the event happened. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to prepare for job loss in any capacity, and you may already feel the stress of not generating an income.

Could personal loans lead to more Chapter 7 bankruptcy filings?

Struggling with finances is something with which many Texas residents can relate. Finding ways to deal with ever-increasing prices for basic needs such as food, shelter and transportation often leads individuals to live above their means more out of necessity rather than some design to get into overwhelming debt that could easily lead to Chapter 7 bankruptcy. When credit cards no longer suffice to meet their needs, many people turn to personal loans to get by.

Under these circumstances, it may not be surprising that personal loans are rapidly becoming the fastest growing form of debt. According to Experian, the number of personal loans taken out by consumers from the fourth quarter of 2017 to the fourth quarter of 2018 increased 11.9%. With an average $353 per month payment on an average balance of $15,143, this could quickly become another debt crisis.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy doesn't have the same stigma it once did

The financial struggles that Texas residents go through often lead them to a variety of debt relief options. Sadly, many of them will not work for everyone, and those individuals may consider filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy, but worry about how it will look to others. Fortunately, the stigma that used to surround this legally protected process has virtually vanished.

People who do worry about how it will look if they file bankruptcy often consider how friends and family will react. The truth of the matter is that no one really has to know. Yes, a bankruptcy may be part of the public record, but it is not something most people go actively looking for about people they know. It may come up in an employment or housing search, but those results should not be made public.

What does the foreclosure process entail?

Brownsville residents who get behind on their mortgage loan payments could face legal ramifications from their lenders. Upon purchasing a home, it becomes collateral for the loan, which means that failing to make the agreed-upon payments could mean the lender will initiate foreclosure proceedings. During this process, the lender attempts to take possession of the loan's collateral -- the home.

Seizing the property is the short version of what a foreclosure entails. In reality, the lender must go through a legal process. Most foreclosures go through the "judicial foreclosure" process in which the lender files a lawsuit against the homeowner, demanding payment of the remaining balance of the loan or surrender of the home. If the borrower fails to pay within the prescribed amount of time and the court rules in favor of the lender, the home could be sold at auction. Texas law allows for both judicial and nonjudicial foreclosures.

Did Texas contribute to high medical debt for some residents?

States had the option to opt into the expansion of Medicaid offered by the Affordable Care Act or not. Texas decided not to do so. It appears that millions of dollars in medical debt across the state was the result.

According to recent data compiled by the Center for Public Policy Priorities, approximately 23 percent of white residents received calls from medical debt collectors while around 29 percent of those in the same situation were of color. This disproportionate amount of debt is blamed on the fact that many of families of color could not afford or did not have access to medical insurance. Latinos in the state were also in the same position.

Care planning for the future is important for you and your family

Do you know what will happen if you if you are no longer able to speak for yourself and express your own wishes regarding your medical care? Who will take care of you if you become sick and unable to care for yourself? These are only a few of the most serious questions that people must ask themselves when drafting complete and thorough estate plans.

Care planning is one of the most important aspects of having a complete plan in place, yet many people overlook this step. You may understand why, as it is not pleasant to think about what could happen in the event that you become incapacitated. You may also understand that many people simply fail to see the need to take this step as they are currently healthy and young.

Credit card debt surpasses student loans for millennials

Without a doubt, many people throughout the country, including here in Texas, owe tens of thousands of dollars in student loans. However, a recent report indicates this type of debt is not necessarily the highest that numerous millennials have. Instead, student loans take a back seat to credit card debt for about 25% of those who participated in the survey.

To clarify, the study used the definition of millennial from the Pew Research Center, which included people ranging in age from 23 to 38 as of 2019. This generation of Americans tends to believe they will not be able to retire debt free and carries more debt than their parents did when they were within the same age range. To make matters worse, around 22% of those with significant credit card debt do not even know what the interest rate is on their cards.

Sometimes creditors commit violations in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy

When searching for a debt relief option, Texas consumers often search for relief from the calls, texts, emails and other communications from creditors. Those struggling with overwhelming debt do not need the constant reminders of what they already know -- they are unable to pay their debts. Filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy stops this activity through the automatic stay. Creditors are required to adhere to the law that states that they cannot continue to pursue payment as long as the stay is in effect.

Sometimes, creditors fail to stop collection efforts despite this mandate. In the first days after filing, a Texas consumer could continue to receive communications from creditors, but this is often blamed on the fact that news has not yet reached them. Filers are encouraged to keep their case number and other important information with them in order to advise creditors that continue to call of the filing.

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Limon Law Office
890 W Price Rd
Brownsville, TX 78520

Phone: 956-465-2661
Fax: 956-544-4949
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