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Signs Filing For Bankruptcy Might Be Your Best Option

December 7th, 2018 at 12:05 am

Texas bankruptcy attorneyIn today’s society, bankruptcy still has a stigma surrounding it. Many people think that if they file for bankruptcy they are failures or irresponsible for having to resort to such tactics. In reality, all kinds of people file for bankruptcy – rich and poor alike – for reasons beyond their control. Filing for bankruptcy can be a life-changing decision, which is why it should not be taken lightly. It is always a better choice to repay your debts than filing for bankruptcy, but for many people, their best option is to file for bankruptcy and start a clean slate. Making the decision to file for bankruptcy can be difficult, which is why we have compiled a list of three signs that filing for bankruptcy might be in your best interest.

You Have Already Tried Negotiating

If you have a lot of debt, one of the things you can do is contact your creditors to try to negotiate out a repayment plan that works for you. If you have already tried to do this and your creditors are not willing to work with you, then you do not have many other choices but filing for bankruptcy.

You Have Looked Into Consolidating Your Debts

If you have debt, especially credit card debt, another option is to refinance or consolidate your debt. This means that you will take out a personal loan to cover the costs of your credit card debts, and rather than paying back the individual credit cards, you will be making one monthly payment to your loan provider. This is often beneficial because the loan interest rate is often much lower than your credit card interest rates. If you have tried to consolidate your debt but you still have credit card debt, you might need to consider bankruptcy.

Your Liabilities Are Much Greater Than Your Assets

One of the major reasons people file for bankruptcy is because they simply do not have enough money to pay their debts. For example, if you owe $3,400 a month in debts and you only make $3,000 a month, you do not have much of a choice. If your liabilities greatly outweigh your assets like this, you may need to consider a bankruptcy.

A New Braunfels Bankruptcy Attorney Can Help You Make the Decision

Deciding that you would be better off filing for bankruptcy is a serious and life-changing decision. Filing for bankruptcy does not come without its challenges and you will have to be OK with the fact that you will have to deal with these challenges for a couple of years. If you feel like you are drowning in debt and you are not sure which way to turn, you should contact a Boerne bankruptcy lawyer to help you make a decision. At the Law Offices of Chance M. McGhee, we help people make the decision to file bankruptcy every day. We know the bankruptcy process inside and out and can help you prepare for what is to come when you file. Contact our office at 210-342-3400 to set up a free consultation.

 

Sources:

https://www.investopedia.com/articles/pf/08/bankruptcy-filing.asp

https://www.thesimpledollar.com/when-does-it-make-sense-to-file-for-bankruptcy/

https://www.thebalance.com/should-you-file-bankruptcy-960627

The Benefits of Bankruptcy

August 13th, 2018 at 3:40 pm

Texas bankruptcy attorney, Texas chapter 7 lawyerAlthough it is a decision that should not be taken lightly, bankruptcy is not the “end of the world” even though it can feel like it while you are busy deciding whether or not to file. With a constant and unyielding dark cloud looming over your head of unpaid debt – a detail the incessant calls from creditors will never let you forget – it may seem like there is no light at the end of the tunnel. What many consumers fail to realize is bankruptcy is that silver lining for which they have been searching, rather than an admission of defeat. For most, bankruptcy is often the beginning of a new chapter of life.

You Will Reestablish Credit

Although bankruptcy does appear on a credit report for seven to 10 years, dependant on the chapter filed, it does not mean that lenders will refuse to work with you or your spouse. Most people who file for bankruptcy can apply for a mortgage in as little as one year, so long as they work diligently to prove their picture of financial reliability.

In fact, mortgage lenders are sometimes willing to reduce the waiting period if the reason for the bankruptcy was a one-time occurrence, such as a death, job loss, or a divorce. Credit cards even begin sending you offers shortly after bankruptcy.  Most proposals for credit cards during financial hardship and after bankruptcy include high percentage rates and poor terms. Financial advisors suggest applying for a secured card to build your credit without the outrageous fees.

A No-Frills Lifestyle Is Key

Whether you file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, the last thing you want to do is find yourself in the same situation. The best course of action is to slim-down your expenses and adopt a no-frills lifestyle. Keeping your “eye on the prize” of being debt-free should be your primary motivating factor. A new car and a boat may sound like a great way to celebrate your new found financial freedom, but an inexpensive bottle of champagne will prove to be more budget friendly. A good rule of thumb to consider is: if you cannot pay for the item in cash, or it causes you to not pay for other necessary things in cash, you should pass on the offer.

Discuss Your Concerns with an Experienced Attorney

Most people wait to file for bankruptcy until it is nearly too late. Clients explain that their reasons for delaying the decision include they thought it would get better, were fearful of the social stigma, or thought they would lose their home. Most of these concerns typically fall to the wayside once consumers experience the benefits of living a debt-free lifestyle.

If you are struggling financially, a New Braunfels bankruptcy attorney can answer your questions. Sometimes, all you need is a neutral, non-judgemental third party to which you can verbalize your concerns. Law Offices of Chance M. McGhee understands the sensitivity of your situation, as well as the frustration of the constant collection calls. If you need honest and reliable answers, call us today at 210-342-3400 for a no-obligation consultation.

 

Source:

https://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/16/realestate/mortgages-life-after-bankruptcy.html

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.

Bankruptcy Filing Questions

June 12th, 2015 at 9:03 pm

Texas bankruptcy lawyer, San Antonio chapter 7 lawyer, Texas chapter 7 attorney,Making the decision to file for chapter 7 bankruptcy is not easy. The thought of selling a home and other assets to pay debt is stressful to say the least. However, chapter 7 bankruptcy is often a smart option for those who want to achieve financial independence and stop creditor actions.

Before filing any chapter of bankruptcy, it is important to learn about the process and qualification guidelines. There are certain questions you must ask, and an attorney can guide you through the proceedings, address your concerns, and ensure you do not make mistakes that compromise your interests.

If you are considering bankruptcy, be sure to ask your bankruptcy lawyer these two questions:

How Will My Income Affect My Bankruptcy Options?

An applicant’s income is one factor that determines whether chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy is the best course. If your income is greater than the state median, according to UScourts.gov, a request for chapter 7 may automatically convert to chapter 13 because the applicant will have the means to work with a structured payment plan.

How Much Debt Do I Owe?

One of the first steps in filing for bankruptcy is to calculate the total debt owed. This total may influence your eligibility for certain bankruptcy chapters, and there may be alternatives to bankruptcy based on the amount you owe.

Even relatively high amounts of debt may be manageable without bankruptcy — provided you are making concerted, proactive financial decisions. However, if you are finding that your living expenses are conflicting with your ability to make payments, then bankruptcy might indeed be the answer.

Different chapters do have maximum debt limits. For example, the maximum amount of unsecured debt allowed for chapter 13 bankruptcy filers is just greater than $380,000. The limit for secured debt is around $1,149,000. If your total debt is near these numbers, you should discuss your options with a lawyer.

If you would like to speak with a San Antonio bankruptcy attorney, contact the Law Offices of Chance M. McGhee. Schedule a free initial consultation by calling 210-342-3400.

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.

Are There Alternatives to Bankruptcy?

May 15th, 2015 at 9:04 pm

Texas chapter 7 lawyer, Texas chapter 13 attorney, Texas bankruptcy attorney,If you are considering bankruptcy, then you probably have several questions and concerns related to the bankruptcy process. There is no doubt about it: Filing for bankruptcy is a serious decision that can affect your personal and financial opportunities.

Here are the answers to three common questions about bankruptcy:

What Are the Alternatives to Filing for Bankruptcy?

In many cases, filing for bankruptcy is a smart decision that puts debtors on the path toward a debt-free life. However, it may not be the only option. Sometimes, aggressive budgeting and smart financial planning are enough to pay off debts.

Each case is unique, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution to repaying debt. Before you decide to file for bankruptcy, you should discuss the options with an attorney. Credit counseling services may also be helpful.

Will Bankruptcy Destroy My Credit?

According to the Federal Trade Commission, bankruptcy will stay on your credit report for as long as 10 years. Though this may seem like an eternity, many people do see their credit score steadily improve after filing for bankruptcy. Bankruptcy may impact your credit score, but refusing to address your debt is an even worse decision.

Will I Lose My Home during Bankruptcy?

Depending on the chapter they file, some debtors face foreclosure. Filing for chapter 13 bankruptcy is one way to maintain your home.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy involves the creation of a repayment plan, so it allows debtors to keep both their dischargeable and non-dischargeable assets. However, chapter 7 involves the liquidation of assets, and filing this chapter could lead to foreclosure.

Choosing which chapter to file is one of the most important steps in the bankruptcy process. Your income and several factors will affect this decision. An experienced bankruptcy attorney can recommend a bankruptcy chapter that would be ideal for your particular case.

If you would like to speak with a San Antonio bankruptcy attorney, contact the Law Offices of Chance M. McGhee at 210-342-3400 for a free consultation.

Tips for Dealing with Debt Collectors

April 24th, 2015 at 9:53 am

Texas bankruptcy attorney, overdue bills, Texas chapter 7 lawyer, As anyone with experience can relate, debt collectors can make life stressful. The sound of a ringing phone is enough to cause anxiety, and although some collectors may be easier to work with, their persistent efforts can feel overwhelming.

Many debtors are surprised to find out that there may be several options available to help them climb out of debt. Some of these can stop the actions of collections agencies almost immediately. In the meantime, here are three tips for dealing with collector calls:

Answer the Phone

According to Creditcards.com, one of the most important steps when dealing with debt collectors is to be responsible and answer the phone. It is equally important to respond to any written notices. Even if the debt seems like it is not yours, do not let it stagnate. Ignoring calls and attempts to contact you can hurt your ability to work out a payment arrangement.

Note the Details of Each Call

There are several laws governing what collection agencies can and cannot do. It is important to take notes about each call just in case the collector is breaking the law. While on the phone, you should jot down:

  • The name of the collection agency;
  • The name of the agent you spoke with;
  • What time of day he or she called you;
  • The total balance owed;
  • Payment dates;
  • Any threatening or abusive language; and
  • Contact information.

If a collection agency has knowingly violated consumer laws, it may be required to pay you money. The only way to prove inexcusable activities, however, is to keep proper records of each conversation and transaction.

Do Not Agree to Payments You Cannot Make

The offer of scheduling a payment just to stop the calls seems tempting — even if you are not sure you can afford it. However, you should not make empty promises with debt collectors. Your credit report may show missed payments. It is better to ask the collector to call you another time when you have reviewed your finances fully and can schedule a realistic payment.

If you would like to end creditor harassment or inquire about other debt relief strategies including bankruptcy, contact an experienced San Antonio bankruptcy attorney. Call the Law Offices of Chance M. McGhee at 210-342-3400 for a free initial consultation.

How Bankruptcy Laws and Your Finances May Affect the Bankruptcy Process

April 10th, 2015 at 11:01 am

Texas bankruptcy attorney, national income median, Texas chapter 7 lawyer, In addition to the stress that bankruptcy can cause, there is a long list of steps that you must take before filing. However, you should keep in mind that bankruptcy can put you on the path toward a debt-free life, so completing the necessary procedures may be a smart decision.

According to the U.S. Government Printing Office, the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act passed in 2005. It requires people in Texas to complete credit counseling six months prior to filing for bankruptcy. You must also complete a financial management course after filing.

Your income and expenses may determine the bankruptcy chapter that you need to file. This is why chapter 7 filers must complete a means test to determine if their income is low enough.

Chapter 7 filers typically have incomes that are below the national median. In most cases, filers must be able to commit to at least $100 per month over the 60 months after filing.

When determining which chapter to file, you will need to calculate if you can pay at least 25 percent of your unsecured debts. These may include medical and credit card debts. If you cannot afford this, then you may need to file for chapter 7.

Before you file for chapter 7 bankruptcy, make sure you have the following information:

  •         Your current income amount and income sources;
  •         Financial transactions for the previous 48 months;
  •         Detailed list of all living expenses;
  •         Secured and unsecured debts;
  •         Value of applicable property and possessions;
  •         Income tax documents; and
  •         And loan or mortgage papers.

Your bankruptcy lawyer will help you file petitions for any exemptions. It is important to remember that any fraudulent documents or omissions found during the evaluation of your application can result in an immediate dismissal of your petition.

The First Step: Contact an Experienced Bankruptcy Attorney in Texas

A San Antonio bankruptcy lawyer can assess your case and help you determine if filing for bankruptcy is a smart decision. Attorney Chance McGhee has more than 20 years of experience helping people from all backgrounds get the fresh financial start they need through bankruptcy. Call 210-342-3400 to schedule a 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.

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.

Call today for a FREE Consultation

210-342-3400

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