Blog
Law Offices of Chance M. McGhee

Call Today for a FREE Consultation

210-342-3400

Archive for the ‘Credit Card Debt’ Category

Will Bankruptcy Wipe Out All of My Personal Debts?

December 15th, 2020 at 1:25 pm

debtThe United States is a notoriously consumeristic society. Having good credit is a necessity to buy a home and a reliable vehicle. Credit must be built, often through the usage of credit cards and the ability to repay the credit card debt. Sometimes, however, we accumulate debt and get in too far over our heads. Other times, a major unforeseen life event occurs—one which we are unprepared to handle financially. When this happens, filing for bankruptcy may help struggling individuals and families. When considering bankruptcy, the first question on many minds is, “Will it get rid of all of my personal debts”?

Understanding Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy is a federally approved process through which an individual or a company can reduce their debt. Those who are authorized for the process may have debts written off or repaid under a new agreement. The method used depends directly on the type of bankruptcy approved. The most typical forms of the process are Chapter 11 for businesses or Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 for private consumers, although others are available under appropriate circumstances. These chapters refer to the specific section of the United States Bankruptcy Code that will apply in a given case. Meanwhile, while the process is underway, all collection activities related to your debts—including lawsuits and foreclosure proceedings must stop.

Will All Debts Be Cleared?

If you are wondering whether bankruptcy resets your credit, enabling you to begin as though the debt never occurred, the answer is “no.” Filing for bankruptcy allows those who meet eligibility requirements to rid themselves of some but not all debt. Financial obligations that do not typically qualify to be wiped clean are child support, alimony, taxes, student loans, and secured debt. Although they may not be totally discharged, some may be eligible for a restructured payment plan. Some of the most common discharged liabilities include:

  • Unsecured debt
  • Credit card balances
  • Income tax debt
  • Medical bills

Why Might You Choose Not to File Bankruptcy?

What prevents consumers from racking up unrepayable amounts on credit cards, filing for bankruptcy, and doing it again? It is illegal for employers to discriminate against those filing for bankruptcy, and many things, such as your house, could be exempt from being seized as you progress. However, possible disadvantages do exist, which may give cause you to look for bankruptcy alternatives. These potential drawbacks include:

  • Not all debts are eligible for discharge through bankruptcy.
  • Your circumstances will determine if your home or car must be sold to pay off your debts.
  • Depending on the type of bankruptcy, it can remain on your credit reports for up to ten years, preventing you from obtaining loans and causing increased interest rates.

A Texas Bankruptcy Attorney Can Help

You may know a relative or a friend who told you that filing for bankruptcy wiped away all of their stress and was the best decision they ever made. That is excellent news. However, it is not the right solution for every case. Your financial situation is as unique as your thumbprint, and it requires the assistance of a trained professional to analyze each detail and weigh the options. If you would like help determining if bankruptcy is the best solution for you and your family, contact an experienced San Antonio bankruptcy lawyer at the Law Offices of Chance M. McGhee. Call 210-342-6400 for a free consultation.

 

Source:

https://www.uscourts.gov/services-forms/bankruptcy/bankruptcy-basics

Bankruptcy and Debt Solutions: How Can I Find a Reputable Credit Counselor?

October 28th, 2020 at 9:03 pm

TX bankrupcy attorney, Texas debt lawyer, Whether you are planning on filing for bankruptcy or simply need assistance in developing a budget, credit counselors can provide you with the tools and resources you need. Unfortunately, not all credit counselors are created equal. In fact, some can leave you worse off than when you started, which makes finding an experienced, reputable credit counselor absolutely essential for your financial future. The following tips can help you find the one most suited for your needs and preferences and improve your chances of finding the financial empowerment you are looking for.

Know Why You Need a Credit Counselor

Each credit counseling agency and provider has an area in which they are best equipped to help their clients. With this in mind, it is critical that you first know why you need credit counseling. To find the answer, consider your goals and examine your current financial situation. If you are filing for bankruptcy, then you will also want to ensure you find a credit counselor that is approved by the United States Department of Justice since those who are not accredited will not be accepted by the courts.

Check and Verify Credentials and Qualifications

While credit counselors that are listed on the Department of Justice’s website most likely carry some of the highest levels of certification and meet some of the most stringent government standards, it is necessary that you check and verify the credentials and qualifications of all other credit counselors. The National Foundation for Credit Counseling and the Financial Counseling Association of America are both renowned agencies that ensure the quality of certified professionals, but the Council of Accreditation is also a reliable accreditation held by qualified credit counselors. You may also wish to check the agency’s rating with the Better Business Bureau to determine if they have any major complaints from other consumers.

Exercise Patience and Due Diligence

When you are dealing with debt issues, it can be easy to get in a rush. You want to finally be free, to feel like you are making some sort of progress, but this is not the time for impatience or hurried decisions. Many consumers spend weeks, months, or even years working with a credit counselor to fully resolve their debt. If you are not working with someone who has your best interests in mind, that can mean a significant amount of wasted time and money, and it could even hurt you in the long run. Take your time, be patient, and practice due diligence so that you can find a credit counselor that best suits your needs.

A Bexar County, TX Debt Management and Bankruptcy Lawyer Can Help

Whether you are looking to file for bankruptcy or need help finding an alternative path, the Law Offices of Chance M. McGhee can help. As a skilled consumer bankruptcy attorney, Attorney Chance McGhee has more than 25 years of experience in assisting consumers and small businesses with their debt and bankruptcy issues. Put your debt problems behind you. Call 210-342-3400 to schedule your free initial consultation with our knowledgeable San Antonio bankruptcy attorney today.

 

Sources:

https://www.nfcc.org/what-we-offer/bankruptcy-counseling/

https://fcaa.org/bankruptcy-counseling/

https://www.justice.gov/ust/list-credit-counseling-agencies-approved-pursuant-11-usc-111

Strategies to Avoid Credit Card Debt

July 17th, 2015 at 10:13 am

Texas bankruptcy attorney, Texas chapter 7 lawyer, Texas chapter 13 attorney,Credit can be a helpful tool when a person faces unexpected financial hardship, but it is also a major contributor to many Americans’ debts. The convenience of credit and bonus offers from credit card companies motivate many consumers to spend out of their budget.

By understanding how to manage credit cards responsibly, it is possible to avoid the stress and uncertainty that come with insurmountable debt. Read on to learn three strategies to avoid credit card debt.

Keep Diligent Records of What You Spend

Online shopping has made it particularly easy to overindulge with credit cards. People can spend thousands with the click of a few buttons.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, one of the best ways to avoid serious debt from online spending with credit is to keep a record of purchases. This will help you understand how much credit spending is affecting your finances.

Do Not Spend More than Half of Your Credit Card Limit

As a general rule, you should never spend more than half of your credit limit. This will ensure that you have credit available in a financial emergency. It can also prevent compulsive spending.

When Dealing with Debt Collection Efforts, Always Keep a Record

Collection agencies love to harass debtors who have outstanding balances. They often call debtors several times each day to request payments.

Even if you are in collections, it is important to understand that you still have rights. There are laws that limit the strategies collection agencies can use to recover payments. Be sure to keeping a record of your communications with debt collectors to protect your rights.

If outstanding credit card debt has become too much for you to handle, call an experienced San Antonio bankruptcy attorney. At the Law Offices of Chance M. McGhee, we can evaluate your situation and create a debt-relief plan. This may involve chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy, or a bankruptcy alternative. To get started, call our office today at 210-342-3400 for a free initial consultation.

Credit Card Debt: Can I Keep My Credit Cards When Filing for Bankruptcy?

May 29th, 2015 at 6:26 am

Texas bankruptcy attorney, Texas Chapter 7 lawyer, Texas Chapter 13 lawyer,Most debtors face similar personal and emotional conflicts. The uncertainty that comes with insurmountable debt can cause immense stress, and many Americans feel overwhelmed with the complexities of financial recovery. Although many debtors share these concerns, each case is unique.

There are many causes of debt—from medical bills to a sudden loss of employment. One of the most common sources is credit card debt. With high interest rates and the convenience of credit, these cards land many Americans in financial turmoil. This article will shed some light on credit card debt and address some of the associated concerns.

Three Factors Determine If Your Credit Card Accounts Will Close Due to Bankruptcy

All bankruptcy filers must provide a complete record of their debts. This includes credit card debt.

At some point during the bankruptcy process, your creditors will receive a notification of your declaration of bankruptcy. Credit card companies can choose to cancel your cards after receiving this information. In most cases, creditors will consider three main factors when making the decision to close an account or to leave it open:

  1.       The total debt owed;
  2.       The type of bankruptcy filed;
  3.       And the account holder’s credit score.

Although you must report all debts, you do not have to report credit card accounts with a zero balance. However, the trustee may require you to relinquish your credit cards.

Bankruptcy Appears on Your Credit History

Even if a creditor does not receive a notification of your bankruptcy, the information will still appear on your credit report. As a result, all of your credit card providers have access to this information. Upon review of your credit report, the creditor may choose to cancel the account.

Consult a Bankruptcy Attorney for Helpful Insight

Because each bankruptcy case is unique, an assessment from an experienced San Antonio bankruptcy attorney may prove invaluable. An attorney can provide useful insight and help you avoid making mistakes during the bankruptcy process. If you would like to speak with a bankruptcy lawyer, contact the Law Offices of Chance M. McGhee at 210-342-3400.

A Brief Guide to Managing Credit Card Debt

January 16th, 2015 at 11:26 am

managing credit card debt, San Antonio bankruptcy lawyerAlthough most Americans have some form of debt, many could have avoided financial hardship by responsibly managing credit cards. Having funds instantly available is a great convenience, but overspending can put a person in a world of trouble.

Minimizing expenses is the first step for getting debt under control. Then, develop a budget that incorporates personal income, assets, and expenses. This can be a difficult task, which is why you should consider consulting a financial advisor or an attorney. If the debt amount is too great to pay off in a reasonable time period, consider discussing the situation with a bankruptcy lawyer.

Reasons and Alternatives to Canceling Credit Cards

According to one source, the most common reason for a person to close a credit card account is to achieve greater financial control. However, closing an account can actually harm your credit score.

There are a number of effective alternatives to closing a credit card account; one of the most common is to contact the creditor to renegotiate a new interest rate. If possible, it is best to keep an account open as its age will factor heavily into one’s credit score.

How to Cancel a Credit Card the Right Way

If canceling a credit card seems to be the only viable solution, be sure to do it in a way that minimizes the impact on your credit score. The most important fact to keep in mind is that canceling a credit card does not make the debt go away; the amount will simply transfer to a collections agency.

In order to avoid collections, cancel the card after paying the balance in full. Also, consider opening a low-interest credit card soon after the cancellation. This may prevent your credit score from lowering.

If you are dealing with crushing amounts of debt from credit cards, loans, or medical bills, bankruptcy could be the answer. To speak with an experienced San Antonio bankruptcy attorney, contact the Law Offices of Chance M. McGhee at 210-342-3400 to schedule a free consultation.

How to Deal with the Debt of a Deceased Family Member in Texas

January 9th, 2015 at 9:22 am

debt of a deceased family member, San Antonio bankruptcy lawyerA death in the family is always a difficult time for loved ones. Add to that the financial costs of a funeral, and times of mourning can become even more challenging.

If the deceased has debt, it is important to know if relatives are responsible for paying creditors. When a person leaves behind debt from credit cards and other sources, it may be wise to contact a bankruptcy attorney for guidance.

No two debt cases are alike. If the debt was from an account that a living relative owned, the debt will be theirs to pay regardless of the situation. Debt from joint accounts and co-signed loans may also transfer to living relatives.

Selling Off Assets

When a person dies, it is common to sell assets to pay for debts. In some cases, though, the value of the deceased’s assets is not enough to cover the debt. In these cases, it may be wise to consult a bankruptcy attorney to discuss the options.

Talking with Creditors

In many cases, it makes sense to have an honest and open conversation with the deceased’s creditors about the situation. Some creditors may choose to reduce the amount owed—depending on the value of the debt—in the event that the debtor passes away.

Dealing with Debt in Texas

The process of paying off a deceased relative’s debt in Texas may seem complicated—and in many cases, it is. Community property law stipulates that relatives may have to pay the debt of a deceased family member.

It is important to remember that every situation is unique. For this reason, the guidance of a family attorney may prove invaluable.

If you are struggling to pay debt and would like to discuss your situation with a lawyer, contact the Law Offices of Chance M. McGhee at 210-342-3400. Mr. McGhee is an experienced San Antonio bankruptcy attorney, and he may be able to help you reach financial stability and end harassment from creditors. Call us today for a free initial consultation.

Understanding the Different Forms of Debt

December 16th, 2014 at 11:06 am

Texas forms of debt, San Antonio bankruptcy lawyerMany Americans are aware different types of debt exist, but may not know some forms of debt are more manageable than others. The type of debt also can affect an individual’s options when trying to file bankruptcy.

According to Investor Place, the average American citizen carries $225,000 or more in debt. This accounts for America’s total debt in credit cards, mortgages, and various loans, as well average interest rates and the percentage of citizens with more than $500 put away in a savings account.

Credit Card Debt

Debt from credit cards is incredibly common. As an unsecured form of debt, banks and lenders consider an individual’s credit score when determining eligibility for credit cards and their credit limits. Unfortunately, high interest rates can make credit card debt escalate quicker than most people realize. Also, having too much debt on a card—even if the card has not reached its limit—can reflect poorly on one’s credit score.

The key to managing credit card debt is to keep balances about halfway below the spending limit and to meet or exceed each monthly payment. This will go a long way toward building good credit, making an individual appear reliable.

Debt from Loans

There are a variety of loans available to the average consumer. Auto loans, business loans, and mortgages are some of the most common.

If you are struggling to keep up with high amounts of debt from credit cards, loans, or a combination of both, bankruptcy might be a viable option. As an experienced and trustworthy Texas bankruptcy attorney, Chance M. McGhee is ready to help those struggling under crushing amounts of debt. He has been refining his understanding of bankruptcy law for the past 20 years. Contact the San Antonio Law Offices of Chance M. McGhee today at 210-342-3400 for a free consultation.

Federal Rules Debt Collectors Must Follow

November 27th, 2014 at 1:00 pm

debt collectors in San Antonio, Texas bankruptcy lawyerWhen a person owes a defaulted amount on an account, such as a credit card or prior utility bill, the company who the original debt is owed to will often “charge off” that debt after a certain period of time has gone by. Someone who is struggling with overwhelming debt may have multiple accounts which have been declared charge offs by the original creditor.

There are certain guidelines a creditor must follow before they can charge off an account. If the account is an installment loan (such as an auto loan or mortgage), then the delinquency must be at least 120 days past due. If the account is a revolving credit account (such as a credit card), then the delinquency must be at least 180 days past due.

At this point, the creditor has three options for debt collection for the account. The company can continue to pursue collection themselves; they can hire a third-party collection agency to continue collection activity; or they can sell the debt to a debt buying company. Debt buying companies purchase debt portfolio from creditors and any funds then collected on the debt belong to the debt buyer.

Regardless of what option a creditor decides on, there are federal rules that have been established that a debt collector must follow. These rules were established under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and include:

  • A debt collector must sent a written notice within five days of the first initial telephone contact which validates the amount of the debt owed;
  • Debt collection may only take place between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m.;
  • A debt collector may not contact a person at their workplace if they have been told either orally or in writing not to do so;
  • A debt collector must stop contacting a person if the person sends a certified letter to the debt collection telling them to stop all contact. The only exception to that contact would be the debt collector acknowledging the no-contact letter and/or contacting the person to let them know they will be filing a lawsuit or other activity;
  • If a person is represented by an attorney, then the debt collector must contact the attorney and not the person who owes the debt; or
  • Debt collectors may not harass, make threats, or make false statements in order to intimidate or scare a person into paying the debt.

If bankruptcy seems like a viable option for your financial situation, contact the Law Offices of Chance M. McGhee. San Antonio, Texas bankruptcy lawyer, Mr. McGhee has helped clients over the past 20 years regain control of their financial lives. Call the law firm at 210-342-3400.

Four Ways to Manage Credit Card Debt

October 21st, 2014 at 12:18 pm

credit card debt Texas, San Antonio bankruptcy lawyerCredit cards are a double-edged financial sword. Aside from their obvious benefits and functions, many banks offer points systems and other rewards for using their cards. Many Americans, however, are all too familiar with the possible risks associated with credit card use—especially when one falls behind on payments.

Nearly every American has a credit card–and likely more than one. According to TIME, the overall amount of debt incurred by Americans has actually been in decline. While this is great news for some, others are still facing the challenge of keeping up with payments, dealing with harassing creditor calls, and possibly even considering bankruptcy.

Solving debt problems is about active financial planning and making smart choices. Here are four helpful ways to regain control of credit card debt:

1. Make Monthly Payments, Meeting or Exceeding the Minimum Payment

What is the most basic solution to solving debt? Paying it off. Unfortunately, resolving debt is not always that simple. Debtors should make every effort to organize their finances and make sure enough money is available to meet those credit card payments every month. Late payments result in penalties and harm an overall credit score.

While purchasing an expensive item and only having to pay a small amount each month is alluring, making only minimum payments is not always the best choice. If possible, it is always a great idea to try to pay more than the minimum—sometimes twice as much.

Aim for minimum payments, and try to exceed them when possible.

2. Focus on High-Interest Debt

It is often surprising to many Americans how quickly credit card interest can add up. This is why it is so important to prioritize payments for cards with the highest interest.

By paying off high-interest cards first and continuing to make minimum payments on the low-interest ones, overall debt levels become much easier to control.

3. Limit Credit Card Use and Spend Wisely

Depending on one’s financial and living situation, this may be difficult. When attempting to solve a serious financial problem, limiting credit card use while paying them off is critical for lowering overall debt. Again, many people rely on their credit cards for day-to-day living, so this can be a challenge.

Try to pay for items with cash first. Only use credit cards for necessities.

4. Save Money

This is another challenge for those in debt, but is important. While every attempt should be made to pay down credit cards, savings should not be neglected; this is key to establishing long-term monetary stability. After paying off high-interest cards, not having any cash saved away can often cause the debt to come back as the credit cards become an easy way to make purchases.

Prioritize paying off debt, but be conscious about the necessity of saving money.

If your credit card debt has become too much to handle, we may have a solution. Bankruptcy, for many Americans, is not only a way out of debt but is also a path to financial success and independence. As an experienced San Antonio, Texas bankruptcy attorney, Chance M. McGhee has helped clients for the past 20 years solve their financial challenges. Call the Law Offices of Chance M. McGhee today at 210-342-3400 for a free consultation.

Warning Signs of Financial Trouble

September 24th, 2014 at 7:30 am

Bankruptcy Financial TroubleAll of us struggle with finances at one time or another. However, for many people, that struggle may become overwhelming and feel as if it is never-ending. For those people, bankruptcy can often be the first step to gain control over their financial future.

There are certain signs that financial advisors point to as red flags that your debt has become unmanageable and bankruptcy should be considered. These signs include:

  • The balance of your credit card debt continues to increase, yet your monthly income is either staying the same or has decreased;
  • You pay only the minimum amount due on your credit cards. Some months, you pay even less than the minimum or completely miss the payment;
  • You have multiple credit cards and they all have balances on them;
  • When you receive an offer for a new credit card, you immediately apply;
  • You are using credit cards to pay credit card bills. If you have applied for a credit card, only to take cash advances in order to pay other credit card bills, that is a definite red flag to serious financial trouble;
  • You are close to or at the limit on most or all of your credit cards;
  • You are charging more each month on your cards than you are sending in for your monthly payment;
  • You are using your cards to purchase food, gas, utility bills and other life necessities;
  • Your credit cards are no longer used for ‘extras’ or for convenience sake. Instead, you are using them because you do not have any money;
  • The phone is ringing and letters piling up in your mailbox about your late bill payments;
  • You do not know the true amount of what your total credit card debt is, and you do not want to know.

If you recognize your situation in this list, then it may be time to consult with an experienced San Antonio bankruptcy attorney. Find out what your best options may be to help and get you back on the road to financial recovery.

Call today for a FREE Consultation

210-342-3400

Facebook Blog
Back to Top Back to Top