Blog
Law Offices of Chance M. McGhee

Call Today for a FREE Consultation

210-342-3400

Archive for the ‘San Antonio Bankruptcy Lawyer’ Category

Pay off Debt and Boost Your Credit with the “One-Two Payment Plan”

July 31st, 2015 at 10:56 am

Texas bankruptcy attorney, debt relief, Texas chapter 7 lawyer,Despite the ominous headlines about the national debt, the percentage of American households that have debt has actually decreased in the last decade, according to the National Census. Still, millions of Americans file for bankruptcy each year due to medical bills, lost employment, and other factors.

If you are facing insurmountable debt, then bankruptcy may be a viable option. There are also alternatives to bankruptcy that can help you manage payments and inch toward financial security. This article will discuss one such method, known as the “one-two payment plan.”

Break Down and Prioritize Your Debt

You might be familiar with the phrase “prioritize your debt,” but this can be a somewhat nebulous piece of advice without a thorough understanding of your current financial state. By carefully examining all of your debts and taking note of balances, interest rates, and payment histories, you will be able to identify which debts to pay first. These are usually the ones with the highest interest rates.

Create a Budget for Paying Debt

After identifying which debts to address first, it is time to create a monthly budget for payments. Often, people mistakenly adjust this budget after paying off their highest priority debt. However, it is critical that you maintain this budget until you have paid off all creditors. This not only will help you pay debts faster, but it will also improve your credit score with a steady history of consistent payments.

When in Doubt, Seek Professional Advice

Although the one-two payment plan can make a significant difference in your financial life, debt can be a difficult hurdle to overcome. In many cases, filing for bankruptcy is an intelligent decision that offers debtors a faster path toward financial stability.

If you would like to learn if you are a good candidate for bankruptcy, contact the Law Offices of Chance M. McGhee for a free initial consultation. As an experienced San Antonio bankruptcy attorney, Mr. McGhee can evaluate your financial situation and provide valuable guidance. To schedule a consultation, call our office today at 210-342-3400.

Benefits of Hiring a Bankruptcy Attorney

June 26th, 2015 at 7:03 pm

Texas chapter 7 lawyer, Texas chapter 13 attorney, Texas bankruptcy lawyer, For many Americans, bankruptcy offers a path to a debt-free life and freedom from the harassment of debt-collection agencies. However, the process of filing for bankruptcy is more intricate than most people assume.

Even if you know that you qualify for bankruptcy, the guidance of an experienced bankruptcy attorney may prove invaluable. Here are four reasons why:

1. An attorney can help you determine if filing for bankruptcy is a smart decision.

As Uscourts.gov highlights, a bankruptcy lawyer can assess your situation and help you determine if filing is a smart decision. There may be other ways to manage your debt, such as negotiating with creditors to reduce the amount owed or to establish a reasonable payment plan.

2. An attorney can explain bankruptcy laws.

A bankruptcy attorney can evaluate your case and explain the relevant laws. Different regulations apply to each chapter, and these laws my affect your eligibility.

3. An attorney can help you stop the actions of debt-collection agencies.

Dealing with insurmountable debt is hard enough without annoying calls from collection agencies. Your attorney may be able to stop those calls.

4. An attorney can help you avoid mistakes.

First-time filers often make mistakes that delay the bankruptcy process. There may be errors on the paperwork, or the person may break certain laws without knowing – such as excessively using credit before filing. An attorney can make sure you do not compromise your financial or personal interests.

With the right legal support, the process of filing for bankruptcy will become much simpler and easier to manage. A lawyer can guide you through every step – from filing the initial paperwork to managing finances after paying your debts.

If you plan to file for bankruptcy in Texas, contact Chance M. McGhee. Mr. McGhee is a dedicated San Antonio bankruptcy lawyer with more than 20 years of experience. He can evaluate your circumstances to determine if bankruptcy is the best approach to managing your debt. To schedule a consultation, call 210-342-3400.

 

Bankruptcy Qualifications: Can You File for Bankruptcy Twice?

May 8th, 2015 at 8:17 pm

Texas chapter 7 lawyer, Texas chapter 13 attorney, Texas bankruptcy lawyer,Provided that you qualify for bankruptcy, it is likely that you will only apply once in your life. If everything pans out well, the process should set you on a more financially healthy course. However, whether due to a serious injury, loss of income, or another financial hardship, some people may find themselves considering bankruptcy a second time.

Is There a Limit to the Number of Times You Can File for Bankruptcy?

For the most part, you may file for bankruptcy as many times as you wish — although this does not imply that you should. Applying for bankruptcy too soon after the first may void your ability to discharge your debts, according to the Federal Trade Commission. This is critical because, in many cases, the purpose of bankruptcy is to discharge debt to make your finances more manageable.

The amount of time you should wait before filing a second time largely depends on whether you are filing for chapter 7 or chapter 13. After applying for chapter 7 bankruptcy, you must wait eight years until applying for the same chapter again. This differs from chapter 13, for which the wait period is only two years.

The time period between your first bankruptcy and hypothetical second begins on the day you filed the first bankruptcy. You should only consider a second bankruptcy after researching other options and consulting a bankruptcy attorney.

Filing under a Different Chapter the Second Time

Regardless of your first bankruptcy, you are not obligated to file under the same chapter during subsequent filings. However, changing the type of bankruptcy you file may affect the wait period. If you file for chapter 7 first, you must wait four years to file for chapter 13. For the converse, the waiting period is six years, provided that you have not paid off all unsecured debt. It is also possible to apply sooner if you have made regular payments for more than half of the debt owed, and you can show that a chapter 7 discharge is necessary to gain control of your finances.

To speak with a San Antonio bankruptcy attorney about filing for bankruptcy, either the first time or the second, contact the Law Offices of Chance M. McGhee for a free consultation at 210-342-3400.

Can Bankruptcy Stop Wage Garnishments?

April 17th, 2015 at 9:58 am

Texas bankruptcy lawyer, Texas chapter 7 attorney, filing for bankruptcy, debt collection, A wage garnishment is a court order that requires a debtor’s employer to pay a portion of the debtor’s wages to one or more creditors. Many people consider filing for bankruptcy in order to stop or prevent wage garnishment.

According to federal bankruptcy law, only a chapter 7 bankruptcy can stop a wage garnishment. During chapter 7 bankruptcy, the filer liquidates his or her assets to pay off debts, and the court issues an automatic stay.

This immediately stops wage garnishments, as well as all other debt-collection proceedings such as foreclosures or evictions. Chapter 7 bankruptcy will only put a stop to commercial wage garnishments, such as those related to credit cards, certain loans, and mortgages, but it will not stop garnishments for child support or delinquent taxes.

To qualify for chapter 7 bankruptcy, a person’s monthly income needs to be equal to or less than the state’s median household income. People whose salaries are above this median must pass a “means test.”

The means test determines whether a person has enough disposable income to repay the debt. If the filer has enough income, then chapter 7 bankruptcy is not an option. However, the debtor may be able to file for chapter 13 bankruptcy instead. Chapter 13 bankruptcy does not stop garnishments.

Filing for bankruptcy is a serious decision. However, it is a smart one in many cases. Bankruptcy may allow you to keep your home, car, and other property, but it may affect your credit rating and stay on your credit history for up to 10 years.

Should you choose to file for bankruptcy, your first step should be contacting a skilled San Antonio bankruptcy lawyer. Attorney Chance McGhee has more than 20 years of experience practicing law. He can explain how the bankruptcy process works and discuss your options. Call 210-342-3400 for assistance with chapter 7 or chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Should I Use Savings to Pay Off Debt?

February 24th, 2015 at 12:22 pm

savings to pay off debt, San Antonio debt relief lawyerMaking ends meet when facing steep amounts of debt can be a struggle—especially if you have a family. The truth, however, is that most Americans are in some kind of debt, which often involves expensive mortgages, high-interest credit cards, or student loans.

Many Americans want to end the burden of debt as soon as possible, which is why some of them dip into their savings accounts to pay off lenders. This article will discuss whether or not this is a smart idea.

Weighing the Options

According to U.S. News, one way to reach a decision as to whether or not to pull money out of a savings account is to analyze the long-term effects of debt interest. If the overall interest rate will end up costing you more money in the future, making payments with savings may be a smart decision.

Making minimum payments can feel like an easy way to manage large debts, but it is a healthy practice to pay as much as reasonably possible. In addition to reducing the term of your debt repayment plan, this practice may improve your credit score. In this vein, using savings to make extra payments might wise.

However, some people’s lifestyles and financial goals do not allow them to use their savings. For example, young graduates who want to own a home must save for a down payment. With the average student loan debt exceeding $29,000, some graduates may wish to purchase a home before completing payments.

In other cases, parents have children who will graduate high school soon, and they want to save money to afford college tuition. In this instance, maintaining a healthy savings account may be a smart idea.

Bankruptcy Lawyer in San Antonio, Texas

If you are facing steep amounts of debt and would like to speak with an experienced San Antonio bankruptcy attorney about your options, contact the Law Offices of Chance M. McGhee for a free consultation at 210-342-3400.

Fewer Bankruptcies Now, But Are More Coming?

February 10th, 2015 at 9:33 am

file for bankruptcy in Texas, San Antonio bankruptcy attorneySan Antonio bankruptcy filings are at their lowest rate since 2006, but the decrease may be short lived.

New case filings in the San Antonio Division of the Western District of Texas, which covers Atascosa, Bandera, Bexar, Comal, Dimmit, Frio, Gonzales, Guadalupe, Karnes, Kendall, Kerr, Medina, Real and Wilson Counties, fell 10 percent last year. Volume has declined every year since the Great Recession’s end in 2009. Observers cited a stronger economy fueled by high energy prices as the primary reason for this most recent decline. But, given that oil prices have fallen sharply to their lowest level in years, the area’s economic prosperity may be short lived.

The last oil bust, in the 1980s, triggered a ripple effect that plunged the state into recession.

Why People File Bankruptcy

The majority of bankruptcy filings actually has very little to do with the economy. Many marriages break up because of financial problems, and divorce often makes things worse. Meanwhile, high medical expenses are the leading cause of bankruptcy filings. And, like that 1980s oil bust, high medical bills trigger a ripple effect:

  • Credit Cards: Over 11 million people take on more credit card debt due to medical expenses. These people are not abusing credit cards to buy luxury items. They are forced to use plastic to pay for basic living expenses, and the interest charges start to mount up.
  • Skipped Prescription Medication: In times of financial strain, one in four people either do not take the required amount of medicine or stop taking it entirely. The “savings” can create a health care crisis and even more huge bills.
  • Depleted Savings: When credit cards are maxed out and there is nothing else to trim from the budget, many families dip into their savings to pay bills. Thus, when another financial emergency comes along, there is nothing to weather the storm.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy completely reverses this cycle. Instead of paying hundreds every month towards medical bills and credit cards, you can decide where this money will go. Many people choose to replenish their retirement account while responsibly rebuilding credit with a secured or low-balance credit card.

If you have more debt than you can repay, an experienced San Antonio bankruptcy attorney can show you how to get a fresh start. For a free consultation, contact The Law Offices of Chance M. McGhee for a free consultation at 210-342-8400. Mr. McGhee has a financial background.

RadioShack Receives Large Bankruptcy Loan Offer

January 18th, 2015 at 1:33 pm

RadioShack bankruptcy, San Antonio bankruptcy lawyerFor the last several months, news stories across the nation have profiled RadioShack’s financial troubles. The electronics retailer has struggled to remain relevant and compete with chains like BestBuy, and over the last few years, RadioShack has reported significant losses.

Recent news has suggested that despite RadioShack’s insistence that it does not intend to file for bankruptcy, the company might have to make some drastic financial choices in the coming year. How does a business understand when it is appropriate to file for bankruptcy? Much of it depends on understanding industry trends and knowing how different forms of bankruptcy affect a business.

For businesses considering bankruptcy, discussing the financial state of the company with a bankruptcy attorney may be helpful. Depending on the options available, bankruptcy can be either a positive or negative choice.

Is RadioShack in Trouble?

There is no doubt that RadioShack is struggling to compete with larger retailers. Even small stores for cellphone companies are taking revenue from RadioShack. According to The Wall Street Journal, Salus Capital Partners has offered a $500 million bankruptcy loan to the electronics supply chain. With continuous losses over the last few years, accepting this loan might be a smart move.

Bankruptcy for Smaller Businesses

While corporations like RadioShack will likely choose to file chapter 11 bankruptcy, most small businesses will end up filing either chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy. The decision depends on a number of different factors including the company’s intentions after filing.

Chapter 7 offers several advantages for both sole proprietorships and partnerships. Since chapter 7 includes a very direct form of clearing debts, it is popular among businesses that want to liquidate and close down. While there are some ways that an owner can retain possession of assets and remain in business, such aspirations are more suitable for chapter 13.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy is not available to partnerships and corporations. The owner of the company will hang on to any vital business assets while restructuring debt through a payment plan. It is important to keep in mind that the business as an entity is not filing for chapter 13; rather, the owner is filing.

Bankruptcy Lawyer in San Antonio Texas

If you are a business owner considering bankruptcy, the guidance of an experienced San Antonio bankruptcy attorney may prove invaluable. Contact the Law Offices of Chance M. McGhee at 210-342-3400 for a free initial consultation.

 

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.

Is Taking Out a Loan a Smart Way to Get Out of Debt?

January 6th, 2015 at 10:43 pm

getting a loan, San Antonio bankruptcy attorneyNo one wants to be in serious debt, however, carrying some form of debt is unavoidable. To start, everyone needs to build credit, and one of the most effective ways to accomplish this is by taking on “good” amounts of debt and paying it off in a timely fashion.

While credit can be a luxury for some, for others—especially those in a low income bracket—credit becomes a way to help with bills, groceries, and other daily expenses. Unfortunately, even a small amount of debt can be a precursor to bankruptcy if a person falls on hard financial times.

The truth is that filing bankruptcy is a smart decision in many cases. However, there may be other ways to solve debt problems. One method that many people consider is consolidating debt by taking out a loan. This often is an effective strategy, but it is important to understand a few basic aspects about debt and loans.

Understanding What Taking Out a Loan Means

When the money from a loan comes in, paying off credit cards and other debt can feel like a giant weight has been lifted. With a zero balance and no creditor phone calls, one might even feel like they are out of the woods. It is important to understand, however, that the debt is still there and requires payment.

Start Putting Money Away, Know How Much You Owe, and Do Not Add to the Debt

It is important never to lose sight of how much debt you actually owe. An effective strategy is to write down the total amount of the debt while slowly saving enough money to meet each payment—or to pay it off entirely.

There are a lot of benefits to taking out a loan. According to BB&T, loans often have lower interest rates, and placing all of the debt into one area can really make a difference when it comes to focusing one’s own finances. By sticking to basic fiscal wisdom, a personal loan can be a tremendously beneficial means of taking control of debt.

If you need to speak with a Texas bankruptcy attorney, contact the Law Offices of Chance M. McGhee. Call us today for a free consultation at 210-342-3400.

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.

Call today for a FREE Consultation

210-342-3400

Facebook Blog
Back to Top Back to Top