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06 Oct 2015

No one can see the future, and although no one deliberately makes decisions that lead to needing a Southern Colorado bankruptcy lawyer, it happens more frequently than you might think.  Debt accrues interest, fees, and grows beyond what many would ever imagine, and it becomes simply unmanageable. Excessive spending or the use of credit cards is only one possible reason. A lot of the time, unforeseen circumstances arise, like large medical bills for example. This can leave people in financial devastation that can not be undone given the monthly income they make every year.  These are reasons to consider the relief that filing for bankruptcy can offer.

  • Eliminate the Legal Obligation to Pay Many of Your Debts. This process of wiping the slate clean is called a discharge of debts. The goal of a discharge is to reduce debt to give you a fresh start. Whether it is through straight bankruptcy (Chapter 7 Bankruptcy) or through reorganization (Chapter 13 Bankruptcy), most or all of your debts can be cleared.
     
  • Stop Foreclosure on Your House and Allow You to Effectively Make Payments to Catch up on Missed Payments of Your Mortgage. If your home is in foreclosure, Chapter 13 Bankruptcy will stop the foreclosure any time prior to the sale. Bankruptcy does not eliminate mortgages on your property without payment. Rather, bankruptcy will structure a plan in order to repay your mortgage arrears (the amount that you are behind).
     
  • Prevent Your Car or Other Property From Being Repossessed. Even if the creditor has repossessed your car, filing bankruptcy can effectively force them to return your car or other personal property (if the bankruptcy is filed quickly enough). The past payments you have missed will be consolidated into your Chapter 13 Bankruptcy plan. After this you will no longer pay the finance company, rather you will make monthly payments to the trustee of your Chapter 13 Bankruptcy who will then pay the finance company.
     
  • Reduce or Even Eliminate High Medical Bills. Sometimes an unfortunate accident or major recently discovered illness can completely ruin a family. Many families have to make choices on allocation of bills. Often, bills that were once important become insignificant to the large medical bills acquired by a loved one. Filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy can greatly reduce the amount of medical bills.
     
  • Recent Loss of Employment. Studies show that loss of work is one of the most common reasons people file for bankruptcy. This is very easy to see. A family can get comfortable on two maybe even one salary. They can take on regular amount of debts, join clubs, and pay normal bills with relative ease. All of a sudden one or both spouses lose a job and a family must go from two salaries to one. Losing a job is closely tied to high medical bills. Losing a job means this family may be left without the protection of insurance that was once provided by their employer. Often times these two factors combined create an almost impossible mountain to climb without the help of bankruptcy.
     
  • Stop Harassing Behavior From Creditors. Some creditors do not always take the right course of action when attempting to collect a debt. Often, creditors will persistently call the home of a particular debtor with demeaning and abusive behavior. Not only is this unethical it can rise to the level of unlawful. In essence, bankruptcy will put on hold the demands of many creditors and stop the harassing phone calls and other inappropriate behavior all together.
     
  • Restore or Prevent Your Utilities From Being Shut Off. As you have probably seen many of these reasons overlap. Some lead to another. If your home is in risk of foreclosure then your utility bill may also be in risk of being terminated. Filing bankruptcy can prevent the utility company from leaving you in the dark.
     
  • Provide Help For Large Amounts Of Student Loan Debt. While it is true that your student loans will not be eliminated like several other types of unsecured debt, bankruptcy can consolidate your student loan debt. This consolidation will allow a debtor to make monthly payments through Chapter 13 Bankruptcy that are within the financial ability of the debtor.
     
  • End Wage Garnishments. Chapter 7 Bankruptcy will stop wage garnishment. Wage garnishment basically takes away your weekly earnings often times leaving you without necessities. Chapter 7 Bankruptcy allows you to purchase necessities for you and your family. Chapter 13 Bankruptcy will also help in this regard.
     
  • Challenge Certain Claims of Fraudulent Creditors. Bankruptcy will allow you to challenge these claims from creditors who are trying to collect more money from you than you really owe. An attorney can provide the support and the backing you will need to step up to these creditors. Attorneys often even the playing field between a big creditor and a single debtor. Filing bankruptcy with an attorney can stop fraudulent reporting by a creditor.
If you can relate to any of these scenarios, please contact the Colorado bankruptcy experts at The Law Office of Stephen H. Swift today.
15 Sep 2015
Experiencing a damaging credit event like a foreclosure, short sale or bankruptcy doesn’t mean you will never be eligible for a mortgage again.  As you prepare to buy your next home, take a look at this useful chart to see typical waiting periods before you can be approved for a mortgage.  If you experienced extenuating circumstances*, your wait time may be shorter than you think. 






*Extenuating circumstances are temporary events that are beyond a borrower’s control, such as the loss of a job, medical bills or death of a wage earner. Divorce and the the inability to sell the house after a job relocation do not qualify.  These events must be documented, and they are subject to review by the underwriting team.
26 Apr 2012

Some people make the mistake of swearing off credit cards in the wake of a Colorado bankruptcy.

This is not only unnecessary, Colorado bankruptcy attorneys know it's probably going to hurt you in the long-run because you need to rebuild your credit in order to earn consideration of future loans on a vehicle, mortgage and other items.


The key is to be wise about and protecting your score and your money. A Colorado bankruptcy allows you a fresh start, and a skilled attorney can help guide you through the process. It's you, however, who will have to call the shots and make wise decisions because the truth of the matter is, even with the Credit CARD Act (Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act), there are still a number of ways that credit card companies and banks can take advantage of you.

A few things to consider as you start on the path of rebuilding your finances:

1. Don't put more on the card than what you can pay off in a short period of time. This will not only help you to slowly boost your score, it's going to give you more leverage with the company if you're unhappy about a rate increase or an annual fee.

2. Keep an eye on your credit score and your credit history. Make sure things are up-to-date and you aren't a victim of any sort of fraud. Even a small, typographical error can bring down your score dramatically. It's a good idea to review it about three times a year.

3. Know what kind of protections your card offers - and what it doesn't. Sometimes, cards will offer extended warranties if your purchase is stolen or accidentally damaged. Of course, the card companies aren't going to highlight this to you, so you'll have to look through the disclosure statements to see.

4. Go over your credit card statement for errors. Billing errors are common, and fraud can happen to anyone.

5. Protect yourself from online identity fraud by making sure you are entering sensitive information into the company's secure database and don't give away your card number - or any other personal information - without being confident in the site.

 

 

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