Consumer Debt Bankruptcy

Decide IF its time to file for debt bankruptcy RELIEF

Filing for bankruptcy is the ultimate, last resort of credit card debt relief. You may feel like you are admitting defeat, but there are many cases where this is really the best option for you to get out of debt and start over. In fact delaying the decision of filing debt relief bankruptcy will risk more financial losses and cause more damage to your credit history. You are not the first, nor the last person, who has to decide whether to file for bankruptcy. However debt relief bankruptcy is a complex, legal debt relief process that requires expert advice to ensure that you achieve the best outcome and move forward with your financial life.

Pre-Bankruptcy Counseling

Pre-bankruptcy counseling

Pre-Bankruptcy Credit Counseling is a requirement of the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act (BAPCPA) of 2005. It is intended to avoid abuse of the bankruptcy legal process by those consumers who should use other debt relief services to solve their financial situation.

Basically this counseling process gives you an idea of whether you really need to file for bankruptcy or whether an alternative debt relief payment plan is a better solution for you. This counseling process is required regardless if it is obvious that an alternative debt relief option is not viable for your financial situation. That is, your debts are too high and your income is too low or you are facing debts that you find unfair and don’t want to pay.

The credit counseling agency will prepare a budget based on your income and expenses, and then review your options for repaying the debt. In most cases, the agency confirms that you don’t have any feasible options for dealing with the debt other than filing for bankruptcy.

The BAPCPA law requires only that you participate in the credit counseling. You are not required to agree or accept the agency’s payment proposal. However you will be required to file the credit counseling proposal along with your other bankruptcy documents.

 

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Chapter 7

Chapter 7 is the basic liquidation bankruptcy for individuals and is the most popular. It’s goal is to liquidate all of the individual’s assets to pay off the consumer’s creditors.

If you choose this option you must be prepared to lose property and/or be subject to liens and mortgages. The court appointed bankruptcy trustee manages the liquidation of all nonexempt assets under law-mandated procedures and use the proceeds to pay your creditors back. Most people who file bankruptcy can use asset exemption laws to their benefit and retain their property.

An individual must pass the means test if they have above-average income based on similar filings in their state. Also a consumer must also receive credit counseling months before filing for Chapter 7 (with few exceptions). The individual cannot have filed under Chapter 7 or any chapter if a prior bankruptcy petition recently was dismissed by the court

Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

Chapter 11

Chapter 11 bankruptcy is a legal process for a corporations, small business and partnership to restructure its finances through a plan of reorganization approved by the bankruptcy court. By reducing obligations and modifying payment terms, a Chapter 11 bankruptcy can help a business balance its income and expenses, regain profitability, and continue in operation. Under Chapter 11, the debtor also can sell some or all of its assets so it can downsize its business if necessary or pay down claims that it owes.

Normally no court trustee is appointed to oversee the operations of a business debtor filing Chapter 11. Instead, the debtor continues to operate its business in the ordinary course as the “debtor in possession” (DIP). However the bankruptcy court can appoint a trustee to take over operations from the debtor if it finds sufficient cause, such as fraud, dishonest or gross mismanagement.

However the business debtor does loses control over major decisions to the bankruptcy court. The bankruptcy court must approve for example:

    • Selling of major assets, such as equipment or real estate.
    • Entering into or breaking a lease.
    • Entering mortgage or other secured financing arrangements that allow the debtor to borrow money after the case is filed.
    • Shutting down or expanding business operations.
    • Entering into/modifying union, vendor, licensing, and other agreements.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Chapter 13

Anyone who is not permitted to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy will be directed to Chapter 13. Chapter 13 bankruptcy, unlike the former, is a court-approved plan for an individual to repay all or part of his/her debts over a period of three to five years. This form of consumer debt relief bankruptcy option adjusts an individual’s debt obligations in a way that the consumer’s debts are repaid, as much as possible.

It is a typical form of debt consolidation for individuals with steady source of income. If the income is within the middle or high income bracket (means test), unsecured debts will not be immediately discharged. However the individual will be allowed to keep some of the valuable assets that would have been liquidated under a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Because it does not require liquidating all assets, an individual may be able to keep his/her home, as long as the court mandated payments are continued.


Debt Bankruptcy Relief Considerations

Is It Right For You?

A consumer debt bankruptcy relief option is one you might need to exercise when you have no other means to get out of extreme personal debt. This is when your financial situation is in terminal state. It is the option of last resort due to its long-term negative impact on your personal assets and  creditworthiness.

Consumer bankruptcy law exists to help people who have taken on an unmanageable amount of debt to make a fresh start. But it isn’t a simple process and doesn’t always lead to a happy ending. Make sure that you are really, really sure about it.

The consequences of debt bankruptcy are significant, require careful consideration and legal advice should be consulted before taking this decision. Your credit history and personal life will be negatively affected for an extended period of time. Filing debt bankruptcy should not be considered unless you have reviewed all other debt relief options.

But bankruptcy isn’t the end but often the first step toward a new life.  For many, it is the best and only sensible debt relief option for solving excessive debt problems that can happen unexpectedly in life.

If you find yourself in a situation where you are drowning in debt, with no solution in sight, you owe it to yourself and family to seek legal advice as to the potential benefits of consumer debt bankruptcy.

Does It Affect My Credit?

Yes it does.   It is trashed.  A consumer debt bankruptcy judgement is the most negative entry on your credit report.   It is simple to understand.  You  used the bankruptcy legal process to discharge your debt obligations and walk away from your creditors.

However, since you were already in a financial hardship situation prior to the consumer bankruptcy judgement, your credit history profile was already damaged due to late or non creditor payments.

Bankruptcy will affect your credit scores for as long as it remains on your credit reports. That’s because your scores are generated based on information found in your reports.

For a Chapter 7 bankruptcy judgement, it will remain on your credit report for ten years.  A Chapter 13 bankruptcy judgement is somewhat different because you agreed to repay your creditors in a three to five year period of time, so it will remain on your credit report for only seven years.

But the impact of your bankruptcy judgement on your credit scores will diminish over time.

Your credit scores should begin to recover even while the bankruptcy remains on your credit reports.  This assumes that you take steps to pay your bills in full and on time and use credit responsibly.

Your life goes on.

Credit Repair | Identity Theft

Frequently Asked Questions

Consumer Credit Basics

Convenience – Credit cards are a widely accepted form of payment and relatively safe versus cash or checks.

Leverage – If you are not satisfied with a product purchase using a credit card, you normally have the option of canceling and refusing payment.

Interest free loan – Most credit cards have about a 25 day period where no interest is paid on the balance.

Emergency Spending – Credit cards provide a ready source of credit for unexpected expenses.

Expense Tracking – Your credit card purchase are monthly summarized for your review and budgeting.

A secured credit card means that a security deposit has been set up to guarantee payments using the credit card. The amount of your security deposit is the credit limit for the secured credit card. This type of card is used by those that need to establish a credit history of consistent, on-time account credit payments.

A grace period is the amount of time after a due date of a bill before late fees are applied.

When you default on a loan to fail to make timely payments or follow other terms of the loan. When a borrower fails to make any payments due, it is referred to as a monetary default. When a borrower fails to follow through on any other terms of the debt, it is referred to as a covenant default.

Bankruptcy is the term that describes the legal court process a person must go through to relieve the debts they are unable to pay their creditors.

A late bill payment needs to be 30 days old before it will appear on your credit report. However, even if your late payment does not appear on your credit report, you will likely experience late fees and interest charges.

Late payments (30 days or more after due date), collections and foreclosures will remain on your credit report for seven years. Bankruptcy judgements will remain on your credit report for ten years.

Credit bureaus do no approve loans. Your perspective loan lender can request from the credit bureau your credit report to review as part of the application process. Credit bureaus do not make lending decisions. They collect consumer credit data to produce credit reports.

A lien holder is an institution, like a bank, that has the right to take and hold or sell the property of a debtor as security or payment on a debt or loan borrowed from them.

Debt consolidation is the process of combining multiple debts into one larger debt that can often lower payments and interest rates.

APR stands for Annual Percentage Rate, a term normally used with consumer loans. An APR includes the costs associated with obtaining the loan: interest rate, points, origination fee that you will be paying annually. The APR is used a means of comparison with like loan products.

Consumer Credit is simply the ability for a consumer to be able to borrow money in order to purchase a product or service. Borrowed money can take many forms, such as credit cards for product purchases. a student loan, a personal loan, car loan or home mortgage.

Most likely your credit report has errors.

The Federal Trade Commission reported in a study conducted in 2012 that 26% of the credit reports they analyzed had errors. Of those with errors, 5% who disputed these errors increased their credit scores at least 25 points. That is a significant change in a credit score.

You should not assume that your credit reports are completely accurate.

No. Your credit report is independent of your spouse. The same is true of your credit scores. However…

A lender will likely take into consideration both of your credit reports when deciding on a home mortgage, for example. If your credit report is bad and your spouse’s good you may find that the loan, if approved, has a higher interest rate than if both were good.

It certainly can. Many employers will do a credit check of a potential employee to determine the stability of the job candidate. For job positions that entail financial responsibility, it is most likely you would experience a credit report check.

This means that the issuer of the credit card has verified with a credit bureau that you meet its credit criteria and has pre-approved you as a quality candidate for its product.

However you will still need to apply in order to actually receive a new credit card. You may or may not be accepted once you have formally applied.

This simply means that the credit card issuer will make a quick decision about your application. Generally only those with good to excellent credit will receive rapid approval.

In the US, you need to be 18 years old to get a credit card using your credit history. You however can be listed as an authorized user by your parents.

There is a saying: “Everything in life is negotiable.” That also applies to your credit card interest rate.

If you have been consistently making on-time payments on your credit card for a period of time, it is worth a call to your credit card issuer to see if they can reduce the interest rate. It is a competitive market and it might be worth your card issuer to reduce the APR to not lose your business. If not, you might want to take advantage of an offer from another card issuer, since it is a competitive market.

Also you can consider opening a balance transfer credit card, with a lower interest rate, to move your existing credit card balance to the new card. You need to make sure that the balance transfer card, after the customary promotional period, offer you a competitive APR.

Credit cards offer much more protection against theft and fraud for online purchases. In case of a buyer dispute, the funds have already left your bank account. That is not the case if you use a credit card.

Keep your debit card for local purchases, when it is more convenient than carrying lots of cash. Use your credit card for online electronic payments.

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Consumer Credit Basics

Convenience – Credit cards are a widely accepted form of payment and relatively safe versus cash or checks.

Leverage – If you are not satisfied with a product purchase using a credit card, you normally have the option of canceling and refusing payment.

Interest free loan – Most credit cards have about a 25 day period where no interest is paid on the balance.

Emergency Spending – Credit cards provide a ready source of credit for unexpected expenses.

Expense Tracking – Your credit card purchase are monthly summarized for your review and budgeting.

A secured credit card means that a security deposit has been set up to guarantee payments using the credit card. The amount of your security deposit is the credit limit for the secured credit card. This type of card is used by those that need to establish a credit history of consistent, on-time account credit payments.

A grace period is the amount of time after a due date of a bill before late fees are applied.

When you default on a loan to fail to make timely payments or follow other terms of the loan. When a borrower fails to make any payments due, it is referred to as a monetary default. When a borrower fails to follow through on any other terms of the debt, it is referred to as a covenant default.

Bankruptcy is the term that describes the legal court process a person must go through to relieve the debts they are unable to pay their creditors.

A late bill payment needs to be 30 days old before it will appear on your credit report. However, even if your late payment does not appear on your credit report, you will likely experience late fees and interest charges.

Late payments (30 days or more after due date), collections and foreclosures will remain on your credit report for seven years. Bankruptcy judgements will remain on your credit report for ten years.

Credit bureaus do no approve loans. Your perspective loan lender can request from the credit bureau your credit report to review as part of the application process. Credit bureaus do not make lending decisions. They collect consumer credit data to produce credit reports.

A lien holder is an institution, like a bank, that has the right to take and hold or sell the property of a debtor as security or payment on a debt or loan borrowed from them.

Debt consolidation is the process of combining multiple debts into one larger debt that can often lower payments and interest rates.

APR stands for Annual Percentage Rate, a term normally used with consumer loans. An APR includes the costs associated with obtaining the loan: interest rate, points, origination fee that you will be paying annually. The APR is used a means of comparison with like loan products.

Consumer Credit is simply the ability for a consumer to be able to borrow money in order to purchase a product or service. Borrowed money can take many forms, such as credit cards for product purchases. a student loan, a personal loan, car loan or home mortgage.

Most likely your credit report has errors.

The Federal Trade Commission reported in a study conducted in 2012 that 26% of the credit reports they analyzed had errors. Of those with errors, 5% who disputed these errors increased their credit scores at least 25 points. That is a significant change in a credit score.

You should not assume that your credit reports are completely accurate.

No. Your credit report is independent of your spouse. The same is true of your credit scores. However…

A lender will likely take into consideration both of your credit reports when deciding on a home mortgage, for example. If your credit report is bad and your spouse’s good you may find that the loan, if approved, has a higher interest rate than if both were good.

It certainly can. Many employers will do a credit check of a potential employee to determine the stability of the job candidate. For job positions that entail financial responsibility, it is most likely you would experience a credit report check.

This means that the issuer of the credit card has verified with a credit bureau that you meet its credit criteria and has pre-approved you as a quality candidate for its product.

However you will still need to apply in order to actually receive a new credit card. You may or may not be accepted once you have formally applied.

This simply means that the credit card issuer will make a quick decision about your application. Generally only those with good to excellent credit will receive rapid approval.

In the US, you need to be 18 years old to get a credit card using your credit history. You however can be listed as an authorized user by your parents.

There is a saying: “Everything in life is negotiable.” That also applies to your credit card interest rate.

If you have been consistently making on-time payments on your credit card for a period of time, it is worth a call to your credit card issuer to see if they can reduce the interest rate. It is a competitive market and it might be worth your card issuer to reduce the APR to not lose your business. If not, you might want to take advantage of an offer from another card issuer, since it is a competitive market.

Also you can consider opening a balance transfer credit card, with a lower interest rate, to move your existing credit card balance to the new card. You need to make sure that the balance transfer card, after the customary promotional period, offer you a competitive APR.

Credit cards offer much more protection against theft and fraud for online purchases. In case of a buyer dispute, the funds have already left your bank account. That is not the case if you use a credit card.

Keep your debit card for local purchases, when it is more convenient than carrying lots of cash. Use your credit card for online electronic payments.

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