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Brownsville Texas Bankruptcy Legal Blog

Will Chapter 7 bankruptcy resolve your financial issues?

These days, it would be difficult to find someone here in Texas who does not have some form of debt. The difference is that not everyone has the capability to repay debts, especially after some sort of financial setback such as a job loss or a divorce. Whether you experienced an event such as this or the amount of your debt simply got away from you, it might be time to consider your debt relief options, including filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

If your circumstances have reached the point where you receive daily, harassing calls from your creditors or collection agencies, bankruptcy may be looking like a good option. The same could be said if your auto lender threatens to repossess your vehicle and/or your mortgage loan lender wants to begin foreclosure proceedings because your loan is in default. Perhaps one or more creditors received court judgments against you and began garnishing your wages.

Will a Chapter 7 bankruptcy deplete bank and retirement accounts?

The inability to meet financial obligations is something that many Texas residents experience at one time or another. Some people are able to recover from these circumstances, but others cannot. In those cases, they may consider filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, but worry they may lose the money in their bank and retirement accounts.

Losing these accounts could be a real concern for some people. Fortunately, a large number of filers do not have to worry. The goal of bankruptcy is not to leave an individual or family with no means of financial support. However, if the balance of a bank account is above a certain amount, at least a portion of it could be used to repay creditors.

Avoiding credit card debt won't make it go away

It might surprise some Texas residents to know that not everyone pays attention to their financial obligations. One recent study conducted by U.S. News and World Report involving 1,000 adults found that approximately 21% of the participants did not even know if they have credit card debt. Under these circumstances, consumers could easily end up in a precarious position when it comes to their finances.

The amount of credit card debt of Americans reached $870 billion on around 480 million accounts in 2018, according to the latest reports. The Federal Reserve says that this is an all-time high. Current data indicates that 100 million of those cards were acquired since the recession.

Owning certain assets may make a Chapter 7 bankruptcy a bad idea

Perhaps a Texas resident has spent several years accumulating certain assets but then falls on hard financial times. With the debt continuing to mount, he or she decides to look into filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in an effort to correct the situation. However, if a person owns certain assets, this may not be the right move.

This type of bankruptcy is commonly referred to as the "liquidation" bankruptcy. The trustee sells the filer's property and uses the proceeds to pay creditors. Fortunately, not all of a person's property is sold since the law acknowledges that people need some assets in order to live. When filing a Chapter 7, the law allows filers to retain property that falls under the category of exempt.

Credit card debt continues to rise in the US

The economy has improved, and when that happens, people tend to loosen their purse strings and spend more money. Unfortunately, this often means incurring credit card debt. It may not surprise many Brownsville residents to know that this type of debt continues to rise across the country, which could end up causing serious financial issues for some.

Companies and banks that issue credit cards received upward of $113 billion in interest from their customers in 2018. That is a 12% increase over the prior year. Projections for 2019 indicate that number could rise to $120 billion by the end of 2019.

What to do when being sued for outstanding medical debt

Few people here in Texas, or elsewhere for that matter, have the financial resources needed for extensive, and expensive, hospital care. A sudden serious illness or injury can wipe out a person's finances in no time. That medical debt can follow him or her for months or years. Eventually, not being able to pay that debt could result in one or more lawsuits from medical providers.

Not knowing what to do when this happens could cause a Texas resident a great deal of stress and frustration. Taking certain steps could help relieve some of that stress and frustration and provide a way forward. First, it would be a mistake to ignore the lawsuit. The court could enter a default judgment against him or her that allows the medical provider to begin collection efforts.

Is social media influencing your spending habits?

Social media sites like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter rely on revenue from advertisements to allow users access for free. However, it’s not just paid advertisements that may be influencing your likelihood to spend on social media.

Here are a few of the ways social media may be driving you into debt.

What does a Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustee do?

When Texas residents experience financial difficulties, they often feel as though they lost control of their lives. Choosing to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection can help them regain some sense of control and receive a fresh financial start. However, they may continue experiencing that same stress during the proceedings since their fate often rests in the hands of a bankruptcy trustee.

The first thing to know about this individual is that he or she does not work directly for the U.S. Bankruptcy Court. These people are independent contractors, usually accountants or attorneys, who receive their caseloads from the Office of the United States Trustee, which is a division of the U.S. Justice Department. Their duties include reviewing a filer's petition for accuracy and completeness, analyzing the filer's financial situation, and looking for irregularities, such as potentially fraudulent transfers.

Millennials are starting to accumulate credit card debt

Growing up during the great recession initially resulted in millennials, those ranging in age from 18 to 29, doing their finances differently from their parents. They saved their money and avoided credit card debt, at least until recently. The number of delinquent accounts used by the younger generation here in Texas and elsewhere has risen, and many blame it on offers from credit card companies. 

It appears these companies have figured out how to tap into this previously financially skittish market. They offer competitive and attractive bonuses other than zero percent interest offers. Another factor could be rising interest rates. Locking in seemingly good interest rates of 18% to 25% could have helped millennials make the decision to sign up. Unfortunately, they now suffer from the same issues as their parents and grandparents -- they fail to make payments, and some accounts are in the 90 days and more delinquent category.

Medical debt a problem for 137 million patients

Paying for medical care can be tough, but most people in Texas hope that they will be able to tackle bills as they arise. Unfortunately, this is often not the case. Millions of people in America are struggling with medical debt. While most people truly want to pay off these debts and move on with their lives, doing so can be easier said than done.

New research from the American Cancer Society documented that over 137 Americans are having trouble paying off their medical bills. While it is not secret that many people struggle with paying for their medical care, this recent research highlights just how widespread the problem is. Perhaps even more upsetting is that 42% of all cancer patients run through their life savings only two years within receiving treatment.

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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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