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Michael D. Hart, P.C.
Helping You Move Forward Free Of Financial Problems
540-627-6520
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Posts tagged "Chapter 13 Bankruptcy"

Struggling with debt collection calls?

Many Virginia consumers find it difficult to make ends meet. They may turn to credit cards or loans to cover their expenses when they are unable to. Unfortunately, it can be difficult for people to find their way out of debt, especially if they are struggling with job loss or poorly paid work. Calls from debt collectors can lead to a miserable time, as people try to avoid their ongoing calls and demands for money. In 2017, over 70 million people across the country dealt with a debt collector, and one-third of all U.S. adults with credit had experienced a collection contact at some point.

Credit card debt is on the rise

Many Virginia consumers struggle to make ends meet. They may rely on credit cards to cover expenses, and the result is a growing amount of debt. At the end of 2018, people across the country owed around $900 billion in credit card debt. This marks an upswing from 10 years before, when Americans owed $792 billion to credit card companies. According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, people owe major cards like Visa, Mastercard and American Express $793 billion, while they owe $91 billion to retailers with their own credit cards.

Credit card balances in Virginia surpass $31 billion

A recent survey reveals that revolving debt in Virginia grew by more than $1 billion during the second quarter of 2019 and has now reached a worrying $31 billion. The average Virginia household owes $10,480 to credit card companies, which is a figure that is only surpassed in Alaska and Hawaii. The personal finance website WalletHub based the survey on data provided by TransUnion and the U.S. Federal Reserve.

Illness and injury often contribute to bankruptcy

Many Virginia residents struggle to pay their bills each month. While this could be the result of financial irresponsibility, debt is often caused by unavoidable circumstances. For example, debt could be tied to an illness or injury within a household.

More elders forced into bankruptcy

Elderly people in Virginia and nationwide are finding it more difficult to make ends meet. As a result, an increasing number of people are filing for bankruptcy later in life. There are a number of factors that are contributing to the problem, including major financial and social shifts in society. In 1991, only 2% of the people who filed for bankruptcy were elderly; that number has now reached 12%. People over 65 are often seeking relief from a range of debts. However, there are still obligations that cannot be discharged in personal bankruptcy, including student loans, tax obligations or overdue child support.

Taking on new debt during a Chapter 13 bankruptcy

Virginia consumers who are struggling with insurmountable debt may file for personal bankruptcy in order to find relief. Chapter 13 bankruptcy is available for people with higher incomes than the threshold required for a Chapter 7 liquidation bankruptcy. It has some advantages, such as lasting a shorter time on a credit report as well as allowing people to keep property while a payment plan is set up for their debts. However, an open Chapter 13 bankruptcy can persist for several years while the payment plan is in place. During this period, people can still take out new loans and get new credit.

Indirect methods of accruing credit card debt

Credit cards can be effective tools when Virginia residents are planning a vacation. This is because many cards offer cash back, airline miles or other perks that can be used to pay for a hotel or a rental car. However, using a credit card can also make a vacation more expensive than it needs to be. This can be especially true for those who want to take a trip now and pay for it later.

Credit card debt may be harder for women to repay

Credit card debt levels continue to rise in Virginia and throughout the country. The average credit card debt balance is $5,700, and women tend to have more difficulty paying down their balances in full. There are many possible reasons to explain why this may be the case. First, some believe that women don't have the same level of financial literacy as men do. However, this is not necessarily their fault.

FTC reveals entire industry behind robocalls

A recent crackdown by the Federal Trade Commission revealed that robocall operations out of Virginia and other states were tied to large illegal organizations. This most recent action by the FTC targeted groups that tried to sell fake products, multilevel marketing schemes or real products marketed using illegal tactics. The crackdown provides the clearest picture yet of the people and structures behind these illegal activities.

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