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Middle Tennessee Bankruptcy Blog

Buying a home after a bankruptcy

Many a Tennesssee resident found themselves in the difficult position of filing for bankruptcy during and after the great recession. Even with an improving economy, many more continue to struggle with unmanageable levels of debt and have chosen bankruptcy as their option to help them secure a better financial future. One of the big concerns many people who file for bankruptcy have is how they can ever buy a home again.

There is no one answer to this question as there may be many variables including the type of bankruptcy filed and whether or not a foreclosure also occurred. According to FHA.com, a consumer who is in the midst of an active Chapter 13 bankruptcy might actually be able to qualify for a new home loan.

Is crowdfunding the best option for addressing medical debt?

For decades individuals have utilized various methods of fundraising as a way to pay for activities or items. You may have participated in a bake sale, car wash or other similar event in your younger years or helped your child with such an endeavor more recently. Often, these fundraisers can help groups or individuals reach monetary goals in order to cover certain expenses.

In this age of technology, fundraising takes many different forms, and crowdfunding websites have become particularly popular. These sites can allow parties to reach people around the globe in hopes of obtaining donations for particular needs. Many parties even consider using these sites to cover their substantial medical bills. However, this option may not always be the best.

How many people file bankruptcy in Tennessee?

The great recession may feel like history now as the economy continues to improve in Tennessee and across the nation. However, that does not mean that three are not consumers who continue to experience serious financial difficulties. Businesses may still lay workers off and individuals might be forced to pay excessive costs for health-related matters ranging from direct medical treatment to in-home care and more. These are just two of the situations that often contribute to a person needing to seek help for unmanageable levels of debt.

If you are one of these people, you should know that you are not alone. This may help you avoid the feelings of embarrassment that sometimes accompanies financial problems and that may even prevent you from seeking the help you need and might receive. According to the United States Courts, there were more than 35,420 total filings for bankruptcy in the state of Tennessee from October 1, 2016 through September 30, 2017. Personal bankruptcies accounted for nearly all of these bankruptcy cases.

When shopping sprees turn into a shopping addiction

Most consumers are familiar with the term "retail therapy." Online shopping has allowed this hobby to become even more prevalent in the homes of millions of shoppers. The satisfaction of picking up a new television or a flattering new pair of shoes is evident, but can a shopping spree go too far? Some Tennesseans experience trouble in drawing the line when it comes to shopping. While the financial risks of such spending can certainly come with crippling costs, some experts point toward warning signs that indicate when harmless shopping becomes a psychological dependence.

As online shopping has gained more traction than ever before, Psychology Today reveals the dangers of compulsive buying. There are many factors that make shopping an incredible appealing activity, especially online shopping. Some of these factors include:

  • Online advertisements on social media
  • Open hours (online shops never "close")
  • Immediacy and convenience
  • Emotional gratification  

Declaring bankruptcy as a result of student debt

Receiving a higher education has long been idolized as a direct path to success. However, student loan debt is a topic that now overwhelms millions of Americans, and can even overshadow dreams of intellectual and financial prosperity. As the issue only moves further into the public eye, financial experts are debating the best ways to manage debt. Tennessee is home to thousands of graduates who struggle to make ends meet as a result of crippling student loan payment obligations.

It may come as no surprise that student loan debt is currently one of the most prominent issues in the country. As USA Today points out, student loan debt has surpassed credit card debt, having recently exceeded $1 trillion. Some may assume this problem will be short-lived, but the article in Today points to the contrary: the statistics keep climbing with little light at the end of the tunnel. As of April 2017, Americans faced $1.4 trillion in unpaid student debt. And while a great number of parents attempt to intervene by encouraging scholarship pursuits and pinching pennies, Today highlights the problem that wage growth is now dominated by rising costs. 60 percent of 2015 graduates from Tennessee faced student debt, with an average debt of $26,083. 

Which chapter is right for you?

When it comes to trying to overcome financial obstacles, there's no one right or wrong way to do so. Your situation may be vastly different from your nearest Tennessee neighbor's. On the other hand, you may have several issues in common yet determine that your most viable options to resolve your problems are not the same. Whatever events led to your financial crisis to begin with, there's likely a light at the end of the tunnel of which you might not be aware.

One might call that light bankruptcy. If you grew up having a knee-jerk reaction to that word due to the negative stigma attached, you are definitely not alone. However, once you understand the different types of debt relief, you may come to realize that not only is it not necessarily a bad thing, it may, in fact, be quite beneficial in some ways.

Common obstacles of personal debt

Millions of Americans live with personal debt of some kind, and regardless of whether that debt is due to student loans, medical bills or other expenses, it can become crippling. Tennesseeans are not exempt from this problem, as countless residents struggle to make ends meet due to accumulation of debt. While personal financial matters are usually complex, has the issue trickled into other aspects of life?

For many, maintaining a driver's license has become a new problem all on its own. Last month, Slate magazine focused on an angle of personal debt that might otherwise be overlooked: that of the suspension of drivers' licenses. Although arguably part of a deeper problem involving power imbalances among states and institutions, the issue of revoking drivers' licenses stems largely from poverty. In many cases, Slate points out that tickets only spark a vicious cycle of debt, where drivers first face overwhelming fees for driving without insurance. There are slim chances that these drivers can afford their first ticket, but most states are hardly empathetic; some drivers fail to appear in court as a result of personal debt, which only prolongs the issue. Revealing the counterproductive aspects of license suspension, Slate adds that millions of drivers are left without a legal way to get to work or take their children to school -- a cycle of debt that has no end aside from reform. In Tennessee, lawmakers are challenging a 2012 law that enforces debt-driven suspensions.

Student loan debt: is there a solution?

By now, most Americans are aware of the issue of student loan debt. This nationwide problem is often masked by the appeal of college and the opportunities promised upon earning a degree. Although the advantages of acquiring higher-level education are evident, more graduates experience stress due to loan debt than ever before. Many Tennesseeans wonder about the outlook of this situation, and if relief from student loans is possible in the near future.

The Times Free Press is one of many news outlets reporting on the widespread issue of crippling debt caused by student loans. According to a study, the Times revealed in 2013 that Tennessee was one of the most successful states when it came to managing student debt. But that success has a darker side: an overwhelming number of graduates still struggle financially as a result of debt. As of 2011, Tennessee students graduated with the sixth-lowest debt in the country, and some areas in the state saw even lower amounts of debt. Many credit their post-graduate economic health to the Hope Scholarship.

Filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy in nashville

Personal bankruptcy in Nashville is an inevitably delicate topic: from deciding on the right financial plans to discovering which assets one may keep, the entire process can become long and complex. Many Tennesseeans wonder which type of bankruptcy is the most appropriate to file, and for those with large assets, this process can present a number of challenges.

For various reasons, many financial experts encourage those in economic distress to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Yet each case can present different plan needs, as The Balance reveals that many Chapter 13 bankruptcies are often intertwined with a plethora of questions and rocky emotions. Concerns such as maintaining possession of a house, car and other assets can clearly leave most in such distress, but The Balance adds that it is this very stress that can negatively impact a bankruptcy case. Some individuals wait great lengths before taking bankruptcy action, and others simply do not have the adequate funds for Chapter 13 to begin with. Yet procrastination is not the only factor in many Chapter 13 bankruptcies; according to The Balance, many individuals also experience a disruption in income, leading to issues down the road. 

Crowdfunding may not meet medical debt needs

Facing an unexpected medical emergency can leave you feeling physically unwell. Additionally, you may also have the added worry of how you could potentially pay for the medical treatment that the health condition may require. Often, many Tennessee residents do not have the personal funds or medical insurance coverage to meet all of their financial needs during this time.

In many instances, the idea of accumulating considerable medical debt can lead individuals to avoiding seeking treatment. This type of action may prove detrimental as a person's, condition may only worsen over time. As the age of technology continues to connect people across the globe, more and more people turn toward crowdfunding as a means to pay for needed medical treatment.

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

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