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Shreveport Bankruptcy Law Blog

Misguided debt relief information may worsen financial problems

One of the most important things a Louisiana resident can do when facing serious financial crisis is research state laws regarding debt alleviation options. It's also crucial to make sure one fully understands any and all implications of a proposed alternative debt relief plan. Some people in the past have met with further frustration beyond their initial financial problems when they mistakenly thought debt settlement was a better choice than bankruptcy.

One particular woman was quite dismayed after opting for debt settlement over bankruptcy. She did not realize at the time that she would have to pay tax on the amount of debt forgiven. Another person thought he would lose everything he owned if he filed for bankruptcy, so he chose debt settlement instead. It is actually often possible to file for bankruptcy without losing personal possession.

Is bankruptcy a legal decision or a moral one?

You've always been told that bankruptcy is something to avoid at all costs. You think it's the closest thing you can do to breaking the law without actually becoming a criminal. You think it's wrong, you feel shame for even considering it, and you know you'd never do it.

Why?

Breathe a sigh of debt relief with one of these options

Even when the Louisiana economy is strong, the average resident may run into financial trouble at some point in life. Various factors contribute to such problems, with no two situations being exactly the same but with many having some issues in common. For instance, loss of employment tends to create almost immediate money problems for many people. Sometimes, serious financial crises may prompt people to seek immediate debt relief options.

It's often difficult to determine which means for resolving debt problems would be most suitable to a particular situation. That's because there may be several options available and each may have different implications on a given situation. It's important to weigh the pros and cons of each potential solution in order to develop a formal plan of action.

Some say Sears in serious need of debt relief

Louisiana baby boomers may fondly recall paging through the Sears catalogues that would arrive at their doors on occasion in their childhoods. The department store mogul is reportedly hanging by a thread financially, and some say the company is in serious need of immediate debt relief. In fact, a hedge fund connected with ESL Investments Inc. has apparently loaned Sears more than $1 billion in the past several years.

As many others do when they're in dire need of cash flow, Sears forged new alliances as well as sold off assets, including it's famous brand name tools, Craftsman, to Stanley Black & Decker, Inc., which was said to be worth almost $1 billion. Sears currently has its Kenmore brands, and Home Services and Auto Centers businesses up for sale. The company did secure a helpful deal with MetLife, Inc., however, when it annuitized more than $500 million in pension liabilities.

Hoping debt relief comes before a creditor calls again?

Anyone facing current credit card debt or other financial problems may relate to the phrase "ringing off the hook" where their telephone is concerned. Incessant calls from creditors can cause someone to become desperate in the need for immediate debt relief. However, some Louisiana residents may not know that there are actually federal laws governing what creditors can and cannot say or do in their attempts to collect debts.

For instance, a creditor may not call someone at home to discuss a debt situation before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m. A creditor also can't hound someone at work if an employer does not permit such calls. On the other hand, anyone who owes a debt can (and perhaps should) contact his or her creditor right away to discuss the issue and request an alternative payment plan until financial stability is restored.

3 major reasons for credit card debt

Credit cards are so common that you can now save them on your phone and pay instantly at many stores, without even using the card itself. They're a way of life in the United States.

With this comes mounting debt. One study found that the average person had $5,100 of debt that he or she carried on the card. Why is this so high? Below are three reasons.

Don't fall for these common foreclosure scams

If you have found yourself barely getting by each month, you are not alone. Many people in the Shreveport area as well as across the country are struggling to pay their monthly utility bills, keep food on the table, and still make their mortgage payments. Like many of them, you put avoiding foreclosure and keeping a roof over your head as the number one priority. But, as debt swings out of control, you can suddenly find yourself watching everything you own slip away. This is especially true when financial problems, such as a job loss, divorce or the death of a family member occur.

When people are struggling to make ends meet, scammers seem to come out of the woodwork. It is almost like they are watching and waiting for just the right moment to strike. If it seems like foreclosure is just around the corner, an easy solution to your debt problem may seem like a dream come true. However, keep in mind the old adage that if something seems too good to be true, it probably isn't. Read below to find about some common foreclosure scams so that you do not become a victim.

Companies accused of widespread debt relief crimes

The ebb and flow of the nation's economy has more than one Louisiana resident struggling to stay afloat financially. In fact, it's not uncommon at all nowadays to go through some sort of financial crisis in life. The problem is, some people are being duped into debt relief schemes where they wind up in worse financial condition than they were to start.

An active investigation is taking place in another state where a group of companies whose funds are conjoined is accused of defrauding people out of approximately $70 million. The alleged scheme has been ongoing since 2013. At least 150 telemarketers, managers and other staff members were supposedly involved.

Watch out for these credit card debt risks

A fluctuating Louisiana economy in recent  years has caused many people to feel as though they're struggling to keep their heads above water at times. For many, even the slightest change in finances is enough to land them in debt up to their ears. Others are able to avoid serious financial problems by paying close attention to the top causal factors of credit card debt; that way, if they notice signs of potential debt, they can make changes before their finances land them in a downward spiral.

As long as a person earns more income than the amount of money he or she is spending, there's really not much to worry about where debt is concerned. However, many people not only spend more than they make, but they obtain additional credit cards when the ones they use regularly (to cover the expenditures beyond what their incomes can pay for) max out. Budgeting helps avoid such problems although many people live without budgets, which often leads to debt.

Wells Fargo being sued by Chapter 13 filers in class action case

Many Louisiana residents (and others throughout the nation) seek debt relief options when they run into financial trouble. For some, Chapter 13 bankruptcy is the most viable option. Otherwise known as a wage earner's debt relief plan, it allows people to reorganize their finances and develop secure payment plans to satisfy their debts over time, without losing their assets.

A couple in another state chose to file Chapter 13 bankruptcy in 2014. They thought all was going fine as their mortgage payments were current. However, they later defaulted, claiming no fault of their own. In fact, the couple says Wells Fargo bank is responsible for their defaults because changes were made to their loan of which they were unaware.

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