Virginia residents who have car loans, mortgages or credit card balances are carrying debt. While being in debt isn't necessarily a bad thing in itself, individuals may find themselves unable to repay their creditors in a timely manner. Fortunately, there are steps that individuals can take to get a better handle on their finances. For instance, it may be possible to consolidate multiple balances into one monthly payment by obtaining a personal loan.
A Virginia bankruptcy court has ruled that if a creditor does not act to stop a collection activity prior to a person's filing for bankruptcy, this could be considered a violation of the automatic stay. However, the United States Supreme Court will rule on this issue later in the year.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy may be an effective way for debtors in Virginia and other states to regain control of their finances. An individual might qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy by passing the means test. The means test evaluates a person's income to determine if it is above or below the state median. A person could also qualify to file for a liquidation bankruptcy if that individual has not had a Chapter 7 case discharged in the past eight years.
Virginia homeowners and others throughout the country may be interested in refinancing their mortgages after filing for bankruptcy. However, an individual will likely need to wait at least a year before a home loan can be changed in any way. Those who have an FHA loan will need to wait up to two years after filing for bankruptcy to change the terms of their mortgages. The waiting period decreases to one year if the bankruptcy was caused by circumstances outside of a person's control.
In Virginia, many older adults wonder if they will get out of debt before retirement. Some have spent numerous years accumulating debt. These individuals confront financial difficulties -- including the reality that they never had the chance to save any money -- by the time they retire. Unfortunately, debt usually begins early in adult life.
People in Virginia who are struggling with student loan debt might be considering filing for bankruptcy. However, even though Americans have a cumulative student loan debt that is more than $1.5 trillion, most student loan obligations cannot be discharged in bankruptcy.
Medical bills are a common reason why individuals throughout Virginia and the rest of the country file for bankruptcy. A TD Ameritrade study found that it was the most common reason why a person may consider liquidating a retirement account. However, it may not be wise to take a loan or withdrawal from such an account. This is because individuals could have to pay off the balance of their loans if they lose their jobs or switch employers for any reason.
It isn't uncommon for Virginia residents and others to do the bulk of their holiday shopping in the first few days after Thanksgiving. This is a time when retailers throughout the nation offer discounted prices and other deals designed to get people to spend money. Those who are planning to buy gifts this holiday season are encouraged to create a budget before they start shopping. They are also encouraged to take into account fees or taxes that may be added to a transaction.
Virginia residents may not necessarily be against using a credit card to fund their holiday shopping. A study from Creditcards.com found that 51% of respondents who had credit card debt were willing to go deeper into debt during the holidays. It also found that 50% of male respondents who had credit cards had no problem spending more on gifts and other related seasonal expenses. Only 41% of female respondents who had credit cards said the same thing.
Many people living in Virginia and around the country struggle with high levels of debt. While most people genuinely want to pay their creditors, the level of debt could be out of control, and an individual or couple may not be able to ever repay what they owe. In such cases, bankruptcy is an option.