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Middle Tennessee Bankruptcy Blog

Harassment by debt collectors a widespread problem, study finds

If you live in Nashville and are struggling with debts that you cannot pay, you may receive contact from companies who are looking to collect on your outstanding balances. Creditors often sell their debts to companies who then attempt to induce consumers to make payment. Despite the fact that those agencies are restricted by certain regulations when it comes to contacting debtors, many do not follow the rules. At Rothschild & Ausbrooks, PLLC, we know how stressful it can be when a debt collector threatens or harasses you.

In order to understand how pervasive a problem creditor harassment is, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau undertook a study, reports Money Magazine. If you have experienced problems with a bill collector, you may not find the results surprising. Many people reported behaviors from collectors that are prohibited under the law.

Payday loans are no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow

Payday loans are tempting, especially if you have reached your stress level over being broke. The lure of quick cash may be too tempting to resist, especially due to its simplicity. You request an amount of money, typically less than $500, and the lender verifies your income. Within a few hours, you have money in your hand.

All you have to do is sign a check or give the lender permission to electronically withdraw the money from your account -- plus fees and interest -- on the day it is due, which is usually two weeks. At the end of the term, if you can't pay, you can return to the lender and request more time. You pay the fees and interest, and the lender will roll the amount over into a new loan with new fees and interest.

How are debts prioritized in Chapter 13?

If you have reviewed your debt relief options and have decided that you want to repay as much debt as you can and keep your assets, then Chapter 13 is likely going to be your best option. This plan gives people the tools they need to reorganize debt and establish a plan with creditors to repay some or all debt over time.

This process requires reprioritization, as all debts in Chapter 13 are not necessarily created equal. Some are a higher priority than others are, which affects when and how much of the debt will be paid off. Below are the three different types of claims for repayment.

Don't get swept up in credit card trends and rewards

If you are like 171 million other Americans, you have at least one credit card. In fact, chances are that you have at least a couple credit cards you use. According to recent reports, the number of credit cards accounts is growing quickly, and people are carrying higher balances on these cards than in recent years.

In other words, credit card use is booming, thanks in large part to an improved economy. And creditors are taking advantage of this environment by making their cards more attractive to consumers. However, before you decide to capitalize on these opportunities, take a step back and consider a few things.

If I file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, what will I have to give up?

Filing for bankruptcy is never an easy decision, and there are many reasons why Tennessee consumers are hesitant to take this step. There are many negative connotations associated with bankruptcy, but in reality, it is a smart step for many individuals who find themselves overwhelmed by debt.

One of the main reasons that people do not file for bankruptcy, even when they are unable to keep up with their debt, is because they are afraid that they will lose their property. In Chapter 7 bankruptcy, one of the most common types of consumer bankruptcy, it is possible that important property could be exempt from liquidation. This means that you may not have to give up your home and other valuable assets.

Don't panic about debt. Calmly check out your options.

Constantly dealing with overwhelming debt can have an extremely detrimental effect on a person's quality of life. Credit card debt and medical expenses are just two examples of debts that put a multitude of individuals through periods of financial struggle. Perhaps you are suffering under similar financial circumstances, and you may be wondering about available options for relief.

Carefully considering the impact and consequences of each decision is a good place to begin. You may be giving a fair amount of thought into some long-term options, and subsequently wondering if bankruptcy is the correct choice for you.

Stand up to unlawful debt collection practices

Debt collectors can be extremely persistent, intimidating and even downright rude. While they may have legitimate grounds for attempting to recover debts, they don’t have unlimited reign when it comes to the methods they use for doing so.

As a consumer, you have important rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. This federal law sets limits on how far debt collectors can go. It prohibits abusive and threatening tactics. It also gives victims of illegal practices the right to pursue compensation.

How long must you wait before filing bankruptcy again?

Are you feeling overwhelmed by debt…again? If you know you need to file for bankruptcy but already have one on your record, you are not alone. There are millionaires in this country who have filed multiple times. While there certainly are cases when the individual is irresponsible, for many people, a sudden, unexpected setback like losing a job or suffering high medical expenses can become a devastating financial burden, no matter how carefully they live.

If you are considering filing again, you are not alone

Planning on filing for bankruptcy? Avoid these like the plague!

For some reason, there's always been somewhat of a stigma attached to filing for bankruptcy. People living in Middle Tennessee or anywhere else in the nation often hesitate to use this legal option for fear of what others might think, or that they'll appear as financial failures to loved ones. If you're one of these people, you might find it surprising to learn that many financial advisers believe people who file for bankruptcy often wind up more financially stable than those who don't.

Financial crises typically develop over time. Yes, sometimes an unexpected catastrophic event occurs (loss of a job, death of a loved one, etc.) that brings sudden, substantial debt upon unsuspecting families. These families are often completely unprepared to meet such exorbitant expenses. However, more often than not, serious financial debt accumulates over time, often just trying to make ends meet for the family. 

New rule affects those in default on student loans

While filing for bankruptcy in Davidson can help alleviate many financial struggles, many types of student loans are not dischargeable in bankruptcy and some borrowers may find themselves struggling to make timely payments. In fact, the number of people who defaulted on student loans in 2016 was over 1 million, according to the Penny Hoarder.

Now those people may have something more to worry about. Previously, lenders were prohibited from charging borrowers fees if they were late on payments but making an effort to bring their accounts current. The Department of Education has now reinstated the ability for lenders to charge those fees, up to a rate of 16 percent of the outstanding loan balance. For people who are already struggling to make payments, such hefty fees would only add to their financial struggles.

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Rothschild & Ausbrooks, PLLC
1222 16th Avenue South, Suite 12
Nashville, TN 37212

Toll Free: 866-656-8909
Phone: 615-866-2265
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