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Personal Bankruptcy

Saturday, March 11, 2017

If Your College Closed, You May Not Have To Repay Your Student Loans


It is generally true that education is a good way to better your job prospects and your future, but that is not always the case. Over the past few years it has become clear that some colleges are more concerned with making money than helping their students get a good education. Students who attend these sorts of schools end up with a degree that is worth less than the paper it is printed on, and a mountain of student loan debt.  

Student loan debt typically cannot be forgiven even if the debtor files for Read more . . .


Tuesday, November 15, 2016

11th Circuit Decides - Bankruptcy Homeowners Cannot Surrender Residence in Bankruptcy and Later Fight Lender’s Foreclosure


What are your options when faced with losing your home in bankruptcy?

The 11th Circuit Court for the Southern District of Florida decided this past month that debtors who surrender their residence in bankruptcy under 11 U.


Read more . . .


Monday, October 31, 2016

Debt-Relief Phone Scam Targets Alabama Consumers


How can you spot a debt collection scam?

Living with debt you can’t afford to make payments on is stressful. Constant phone calls can cause additional tension and anxiety that you don’t need.  It doesn’t help when disreputable people try to capitalize on your situation to try and scam you out of more money. Unfortunately, this happens on a regular basis.

Fake Attorney General Investigations Division

Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange has recently warned residents of new phone scams popping up in the state.


Read more . . .


Friday, September 30, 2016

Credit Counseling: Not Just Another Hoop To Jump Through


A few years ago, Congress updated our nation’s bankruptcy laws. Conservatives and the financial services lobbies argue that the new law was needed to curb abuse of the bankruptcy system and teach people to be more financially responsible, while liberals and consumer advocates say that this law unfairly penalizes poor people who may be suffering financially due to illness, divorce or unemployment.

One of the things people who want to file for bankruptcy must now do, which all sides generally agree is a good thing, is undergo credit counseling.


Read more . . .


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Filing Bankruptcy as an Individual When You're Married


How will my spouse be affected if I file for individual bankruptcy?

If you are married and file for individual bankruptcy, your spouse may also be affected. The results will be different if you reside in a community property state or if you live in a common law property state like Alabama. In the latter case, your bankruptcy follows the rules of equitable distribution.

There are a great many complexities involved in filing for personal bankruptcy. The decisions made, such as whether to file individually or jointly as a married couple, and whether to file Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, may have serious consequences for both parties.


Read more . . .


Sunday, August 28, 2016

Bankruptcy Filings Increased in Alabama Over the Past Year Despite Decreasing Nationwide


The old saying “no news is good news” could basically be the mantra of all of us hoping that Alabama is finally starting to recover from the Great Recession of the last decade. The latest financial news is in fact, somewhat of a mixed bag. The Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts has just released its data on the number of bankruptcies filed over the past year, and Alabama has seen an increase while the country as a whole saw a decrease.
Read more . . .


Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Consumer Watchdog Reins in Debt Collectors


What is being done about abusive debt collectors?

If you're like many Americans, you have debts that are in collection, and may have been faced with aggressive practice of debt collectors. Now, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has announced new rules to curb certain practices of third-party debt collectors that engage in debt collection activities on behalf of creditors or purchase. The new rules are also aimed at reining in debt buyers that purchase consumer debt, often for pennies on the dollar.

This is another step by the CFPB, put in place under the 2010 Dodd-Frank law, to protect credit consumers. We have previously reported that the federal consumer agency intends to regulate payday lenders, and the CFPB has plans to roll out additional initiatives aimed at creditors and first-party collectors later this year.


Read more . . .


Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Consumer Debt on the Mend


How can I improve my FICO score?

In the wake of the financial crisis of 2008, many consumers saw their credit scores fall into the subprime zone with FICO credit scores in a range from 300 to 599. Now, the percentage of subprime borrowers is hovering at 20 percent, which is the lowest level in over 10 years. By comparison, in 2010 that figure peaked at 25.5 percent as mortgages, credit cards and other consumer debts went unpaid, and this prompted banks to tighten lending standards.

There are a number of factors that are contributing to the improvement of credit scores.


Read more . . .


Tuesday, June 28, 2016

What Does That Really Mean? Common Bankruptcy Terms Explained


What Does That Really Mean? Common Bankruptcy Terms Explained 

When the attorneys at our firm talk with someone who is thinking about filing bankruptcy, or someone who is already going through the bankruptcy process, we try to talk like normal humans rather than the legal mutants we are.


Read more . . .


Saturday, May 7, 2016

Law Student Allowed to Discharge Bar Study Loan


Can you be relieved of any education related loans in bankruptcy?

Student loan debt is a overwhelming problem in this country.  In fact, it has been calculated that the average person has approximately $28,950 in student loan debt to pay back to the government.  Those who pursue careers as professionals, such as physicians and lawyers, often have a much greater amount than that.  Some have hundreds of thousands of dollars in loans.  Unfortunately, student loan debts are generally considered nondischargeable in bankruptcy (with certain exceptions).
Read more . . .


Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Credit Card Debt: An Embarrassment, But Not of Riches

Who holds the highest revolving debt in the United States?

Most of us are well aware that revolving debt, including credit card debt, home equity loans and personal lines of credit, has risen sharply in this country. For many of us, this is a very personal issue since our own revolving debt is frighteningly high. According to a study by ValuePenguin, a New York-based financial company, by December of 2015, revolving debt had risen to $936 billion, up from $930 billion the month before. Credit card debt has reached its highest peak since the 2009 recession.

Ferreting Out the True Statistics

The study showed that average households in the U.S. now carry $5,700 in debt. While this may sound like a manageable amount, unfortunately, the reality is that the lowest income families and individuals are carrying the highest debt load.

Census Bureau and Federal Reserve Board reports differentiate credit card debtors into two categories: transactors, who pay off their credit card charges monthly and revolvers who carry credit card debt balances from month to month. It is the former who average the $5,700 amount in debt. For the revolvers, or balance-carrying households, the average amount of debt is $15,779. These debtors are also most likely to miss payments and are carrying their debt at interest rates as high as 18 percent.

These disturbing statistics point out the tail-chasing quality of credit card debt. Those who are least able to pay off their debts are paying the highest interest rates to begin with. As they make only minimum payments and sometimes miss payments, they accrue further fees and their debt becomes more and more insurmountable.

The Stigma of Debt Leads to Deception

No one wants to be in debt. In fact, there is such great stigma attached to being in debt that a great many people lie about how much money they actually owe. According to government data, there is an enormous discrepancy between how much lenders report lending ($683 billion) and how much borrowers report borrowing ($268 billion).

The figures show that people are more prone to lie about their credit card debt than about their mortgages or student loans. Apparently, there is far less stigma attached to borrowing to purchase a home or an education than to simply buy "things." According to NerdWallet, a personal finance information service, 70 percent of Americans believe that credit card debt is more shameful than any other type.

While, of course it is best to pay down your debt, paying off your highest interest credit cards first, in many situations this is impossible because of medical costs, for example, or job loss. If you have become overwhelmed with personal debt and are considering filing for personal bankruptcy, you should contact a reputable and experienced bankruptcy attorney to help you consider your best options.


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Bankruptcy Law News

Padgett and Robertson assist clients with Bankruptcy, Personal Bankruptcy, Consumer Bankruptcy, Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, Chapter 13 Bankruptcy and The New Bankruptcy Law in Mobile, Alabama and throughout southern Alabama. Alabama State Bar Association Regulations require the following: "No representation is made that the quality of the legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers." 11 U.S.C. 528 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code requires the following: "We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.”



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