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Simon, Fitzgerald, Cooke, Reed and Welch
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Shreveport Bankruptcy Law Blog

Restructured payment part of Toys 'R' Us debt relief plan

Most Louisiana parents have purchased Toys 'R' Us products at one time or other. As one of the largest retail toy stores in the nation, the company is a household name in most states. That's why so many people were surprised to learn that the toy icon was in need of immediate debt relief; in fact, it was struggling to stay afloat.

The company filed for bankruptcy protection and had planned to cut down on its number of stores throughout the nation in an effort to restructure and rebuild. The plan did not work out, namely due to hedge funds that were owed more than $1 billion. The hedge funds activated litigation to force Toys 'R' Us to liquidate.

Are you facing credit card debt for similar reasons?

You may be one of many Louisiana residents who are currently struggling with finances. Perhaps you recently suffered a decrease in income or someone in your household lost a job. With the economy the way it is, it doesn't take much nowadays to go from minor money problems to serious financial debt. For many people, what really tips the scales the wrong way is credit card debt.

Various issues can prompt a high credit card balance that you are unprepared to meet. Maybe you or a family member needed medical treatment. It's no secret that any medical care, especially surgery, is expensive. In fact, medical bills are one of the most common causes of serious credit card debt.

Man's debt relief plan halts foreclosure process

Anyone in Louisiana currently trying to overcome financial problems may want to consider bankruptcy, among other viable solutions. There are often several debt relief alternatives and various factors may influence which option is chosen. A man in another state decided to file for bankruptcy, which has stopped a threat of foreclosure on 27 of more than 100 properties he owns.

A county fiscal officer involved in the situation reportedly joined forces with several other parties to try to collect what they claimed as more than $1 million in public debt from the man in question. At stake were his many properties, all of which he is said to owe taxes on. The man paid off thousands of tax liabilities regarding several of the properties.

Louisiana post-graduate students may benefit from debt relief

It is no secret that one of the most common causes of debt in Louisiana and elsewhere is associated with college loans. College students in this state and beyond take out hefty loans with good intentions of paying them back shortly after graduating. However, more often than not, such plans are not fulfilled and many people are left financially struggling, sometimes for decades, because of their college loans, prompting them to seek immediate debt relief.

Debt relief is a high priority for many young adults, not just those who have recently graduated from college. High costs of living, low employment rates and numerous other daily living challenges make it increasingly difficult to stay afloat financially nowadays. In fact, households often contain two full-time breadwinners; yet, many such couples still have trouble making ends meet.

Will Sears recover following bankruptcy debt relief plan?

Beginning with selling watches to railroad workers, Sears built its first stores and sent out printed catalogs to potential customers not long after the Civil War. The catalog sometimes filled 1,000 pages and sold just about anything anyone in Louisiana or any other state could possibly need. For more than a century, Sears was a leader in a booming retail industry until online shopping took the world by storm. Like many other retail stores in recent years, Sears recently filed for debt relief under Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Sears' liabilities currently outweigh its assets by more than $4 billion. Hedge fund manager, Edward S. Lampert, had plans to sell off many of the company's brands and properties, which he did. However, he also had plans to bring Sears into the 21st century by developing innovative new marketing schemes that would help it climb the ladder to success in the digital shopping realm. Unfortunately, that part of Lampert's plan was never realized.  

There are many things that can lead to a bankruptcy filing

As you review your personal finances, you may come to find that you've taken on more debt than you would like. Furthermore, there could come a point when you're unable to make ends meet.

There are many things that can lead to a bankruptcy filing, some of which you can blame on yourself and others that are out of your control.

  • Medical debt: Even if you're feeling healthy today, something could go wrong tomorrow. If you become ill or suffer an injury, it could result in debt that you're unable to pay. This holds true even if you have quality medical insurance.
  • Job loss: Just the same as a medical emergency, you don't always see this coming. It can sneak up on you at any time, thus making it difficult to pay your bills. Along the same lines, your company could reduce your income, which also affects your finances.
  • Credit card debt: As the months turn to years, you add more and more debt to your credit cards. Before you know it, you're unable to make your minimum payment and creditors are contacting you to find out why.
  • Unexpected expenses: You do your best to avoid unexpected expenses, but there's no guaranteed way of doing so. From a home repair to a sick parent, you never know if an expense will come into your life that you didn't plan on.
  • Budgeting problems: Your budget is meant to keep your finances on track, month after month. However, for many reasons, you could begin to spend more than you earn. Bad budgeting leads to many other problems, such as credit card debt.

Management company files for Chapter 7

Many Louisiana business owners facing financial difficulties seek debt relief through bankruptcy when needed. Chapter 7 bankruptcy typically includes a  liquidation of assets. Bankruptcy laws can be complex, so it often helps to seek support from someone well-versed in legal terminology.

A medical center in another state is currently navigating the Chapter 7 bankruptcy process. The company's management contract with the health care district was terminated. Shortly thereafter,  plans were made for another management company to be brought in to handle the business under a new name. A spokesman for the departing management company said that bankruptcy will also put the brakes on a lawsuit that Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield has filed against it.  

Credit card debt: Will filing bankruptcy lead to unemployment?

If you are one of many Louisiana residents who own a credit card, you may be also relate to those who have at some point carried a higher-than-preferred monthly balance. In fact, many people own more than one credit card, and any number of life issues may lead to serious credit card debt. Filing for bankruptcy is often a debt relief solution; however, some people hesitate to implement it because they fear they will be fired from their jobs or will not be able to obtain future employment, rent a home or will otherwise be outcast because of their financial situations.  

Employers are prohibited under federal law from discriminating against employees who filed for bankruptcy. In short, you cannot be fired because you request bankruptcy, nor can you be discounted for future employment on those same grounds. Sometimes, bankruptcy is simply a logical step to take to build up long-term financial strength. 

Hard inquiries often follow debt relief

When a Louisiana resident files for bankruptcy, it no doubt has numerous consequences in his or her immediate financial future. There are various types of bankruptcy and determining which type best fits a given set of circumstances can be challenging. Once a solid solution is found, however, debt relief can help avoid foreclosure and even wipe the financial slate clean. It also typically has an impact on a credit report.

Depending on whether a person files Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the filing will show on the filer's credit report for seven to 10 years. After bankruptcy, when the person seeks to obtain a line of credit, prospective creditors conduct hard inquiries. A hard inquiry means that a creditor is thoroughly reviewing a person's credit report.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy situation leads to customer complaints

A family-run store in another state came upon hard times as online shopping and home delivery grew more popular. At least, that's what a spokesperson for the company recently said. The owners wound up filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy in early September. The events that unfolded after that have affected not only those directly involved but the community at large as well. If a similar problem were to arise in Louisiana, those involved may want to seek outside support. 

There is a pharmacy inside the building where the grocery store was run. That pharmacy is still open for business. The problem is that the food in the grocery store was left to rot and a pungent smell began to fill the atmosphere. Customers started to complain, which led to officials setting up air fresheners at various spots throughout the building to try to combat the stench.  

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