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Middle Tennessee Bankruptcy Blog

Missing credit card payments has steep consequences

People who are struggling with debt in Nashville may sometimes feel like they are forced to choose between which outstanding bills to pay each month. Things like housing and food are necessary for survival and will always take precedent over other kinds of debt. However, consumers should be aware that skipping even a single credit card payment can have serious consequences. Therefore, meeting the problem head on will likely lead to better results than ignoring it and hoping that it goes away.

According to CNBC, missing payments for several months in a row will likely result in the account being closed and sent to collections. Contact from collection agencies can be unpleasant and some debtors may find themselves facing a lawsuit.

Tips for negotiating credit card debt

Whether it is for once in a while splurges or for everyday essentials, spending is easy when there is a little piece of plastic in one's wallet. However, paying off those balances is not always easy for everyone in Nashville. When the payments become overwhelming, many people do not know what to do. However, one simple solution that is easily overlooked is to simply call the credit card company and ask for help.

According to WSMV Nashville, people who take this step are usually met with success. If a financial setback is only temporary, a raise in credit limit may be helpful. Studies show that people who ask are successful in getting their limit raised 90 percent of the time. In addition, 87 percent of requests to have a fee waived are approved. Another remedy that people might seek from their credit card company is a lower interest rate.

Is gender important when it comes to debt?

If you are struggling with overwhelming debt in Nashville, whether you are a man or woman may not really matter when you look at the big picture. However, there may be some fundamental differences in the way that each gender approaches money and debt that can give some insight into the problem and possibly help curb future problems, particuarly if you are in a relationship and share finances with a spouse or partner.

As in other areas of life, men and women often seek different solutions when it comes to financial struggles. According to Bankrate, men are more likely to earn extra money as a means of paying off debt while women are more likely to cut down on unnecessary spending.

Will debt relief help improve your life's next chapter?

Are you a little in over your head where your finances are concerned, or perhaps you've already passed that point and are in full-out financial crisis mode. It can be a very overwhelming feeling trying to keep your head above turbulent waters in a proverbial financial sea. One of the best things you can do in such circumstances is try not to panic. There may be resources available in Tennessee to help you obtain debt relief.

It doesn't matter so much what led to your current financial problems as much as it does that you know where to turn for help when you need it. Restoring financial stability may not be as swift a process as you would like, but it may indeed be possible with the right kinds of financial tools and know-how. There are several common types of debt relief, including Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy plans. Which one best suits your particular needs depends on several factors.

Tennessee's debt laws and debtors' rights

Millions of Americans live with credit card debt, but few know how to fully climb out of it. Nashville, like other states, is home to thousands of families who, especially after the 2008 Housing Crisis, struggle to pay for basic necessities such as the montly mortgage, bills and even food -- largely because of debt. Of course, there are a number of other ways one can accumulate unpaid credit card bills, but many individuals experience creditor harassment and subsequent legal action for failure to pay off debt.

The stress that can come with creditor harassment and suing can lead to, and even worsen, preexisting debt. Findlaw provides a rundown of the legal process involving creditors' suing for debt, stating that creditors typically prefer working out a payment plan over than initiate legal action. Most courses of legal action in this regard are highly expensive and can even make matters worse by prolonging payment. Creditors may sue for a variety of reasons, but also generally negotiate with debtors who make a good faith effort to repay the debt. Defense of a debt claim also requires an attorney to sort out legal courses of action.

Should I apply for a new credit card post-bankruptcy?

For many people in Nashville who file for bankruptcy, credit card balances were a big factor in contributing to their debt. Therefore, you may feel understandably wary of using a credit card again once your bankruptcy has been discharged. However, you may still qualify for one and be able to use it responsibly to rebuild your credit if you keep a few things in mind.

To begin with, if your credit score is very low, a secured card may be your only option at the beginning. According to Bankrate, with a secured credit card, you provide a deposit that the company holds on to as collateral should you become delinquent paying your bill. If you use the card without any problems, it may later be converted to a standard unsecured card.

What is the automatic stay and how can it benefit you?

When your debt issues begin to result in threats from creditors and other consequences, you know you need a way out of your current situation, fast. Like other Tennessee consumers, you may be unsure of how to deal with your debt in a reasonable way, but bankruptcy could be the right choice for you.

In addition to providing you with a way to deal with your debt, filing for bankruptcy enacts the automatic stay. The automatic stay essentially stops all contact from creditors, including any legal actions efforts currently against you, such as repossession and more. This is one of the main benefits of filing for bankruptcy, and it can bring much needed peace of mind to your life.

Consignment store files for Chapter 7 bankruptcy

A consignment store in a northeastern state has closed its doors as of July, according to local business news. In Tennessee and elsewhere, retail shops continue to struggle financially. Chic 2 Chic closed its doors unexpectedly and has since filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection. A creditor's meeting is scheduled for Sept. 12. 

According to the limited information currently available, customers were made aware of the filing on the morning of Aug. 10. Customers received notification via email, but have not been told whether they can expect to be paid back any money owed to them. Customers entering the store prior to closing were informed the store was not giving cash out for funds owed. 

Common tactics debt collectors use that are illegal

There are a lot of indignities that people in Nashville with insurmountable debt may face. Being contacted by a collection agency for a debt you cannot pay is bad enough. But when debt collectors resort to using sneaky or offensive tactics to try to get to you to pay, it can be extremely disheartening. At Rothschild & Ausbrooks, PLLC, we understand the stresses associated with being in debt and are strongly invested in protecting our clients’ rights.

While creditors are permitted to contact you about your debts, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act is in place to regulate how and when you may be contacted, as well as what collectors can and cannot say. According to CBS News, there are some common strategies that some debt collectors employ that are barred under the FDCPA.

What does the means test mean for my bankruptcy filing?

If you are struggling with overwhelming debt and feel like you are at the end of your rope, you may be aware of the benefits of bankruptcy and aware of how it could help you escape your current hopeless situation. However, outside of knowing the very basics about how this process works, you may be unsure as to which chapter of consumer bankruptcy is best for you or how to take the first steps.

Upon making the decision to file for bankruptcy, one of the first steps you will take is to complete the means test. This determines if you are eligible, and if you are, it identifies your eligibility for either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

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

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