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Archives for January 2015

How does chapter 13 bankruptcy help individuals in debt?

Individuals who are having trouble repaying their debts, whether they live in New Jersey or some other state, have a few bankruptcy options, including filing Chapter 13. This type of bankruptcy is also known as the wage earner's plan because it helps regular-income earners develop financial plans so that they can repay part or all of their debts. With Chapter 13 bankruptcy, individuals have the chance to prevent foreclosure on their homes, whereas Chapter 7 means that the individuals liquidate … [Read more...]

Debt may keep some people from retiring

New Jersey residents approaching retirement may wonder when they will be able to retire in light of debt that remains unpaid. Credit card debt and student loans weigh in as two debts that some older individuals may still need to pay off. Some baby boomers may benefit from mapping out their finances before retirement. Today older Americans owe nearly $43 billion in unpaid student loans for themselves or their children. In 2005, this amount was $8 billion. One plan for reducing student loan debt … [Read more...]

Addressing credit card bills in New Jersey

New Jersey consumers carry an average debt of more than $62,000 each, an amount that is about $15,000 higher than the national average. Their per capita credit card debt is the second highest in the nation. With such high levels of consumer debt, it is no wonder that many people need to find ways to reduce their credit card payments and balances in order to find relief. There are several methods for reducing credit card debts which people can consider. First, if possible, the best way for … [Read more...]

Eligibility for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in New Jersey

A Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows those with a steady income to repay some or all of their debts over several years. Those who have an income below the state median level will repay their debts over a period of three years. However, it may be possible to extend that period if there is cause to do so. Those with an income above this level will repay their debts over a five year period. Creditors may not start or continue any type of collection efforts during this time. Therefore, a debtor may be … [Read more...]

New Jersey ranks high in foreclosures

Homes are more than mere shelter. It is where people not only sleep and eat, but also carry out their lives. However, some people are at risk of losing their homes due to economic conditions or employment issues. In New Jersey, new foreclosure filings were up by 115 percent in August compared to the same period last year. The state ranks in the top four in foreclosures nationwide. Statewide, one in every 553 housing units is in foreclosure. The rate is even higher in Atlantic County where one in … [Read more...]

Bankruptcy counseling and education requirements

New Jersey residents thinking about filing for bankruptcy might be interested to learn about the credit counseling and debt education requirements for individual debtors. Before filing for bankruptcy, debtors are required to attend pre-bankruptcy counseling. After the individual has filed for bankruptcy, he or she must attend a debtor education course. Both the counseling session and the education course can be completed online, by phone or in person. The required credit counseling session will … [Read more...]

Many mortgages ending up in the courtroom

Even though the real estate market meltdown has ended, a huge number of New Jersey homeowners are still facing foreclosures that some legal advisers say could be questionable. In addition to seeking out information on bankruptcy options, many of these homeowners are also filing lawsuits against debt collectors. Some homeowners are finding that the mortgage service companies they contracted with in order to help act as middle-men between themselves and their main mortgage companies actually did … [Read more...]

New FICO rules may not help everyone

New changes in the way FICO scores are computed could mean that some New Jersey residents will see an increase in their credit scores. With the new formula, outstanding medical debts will make less of an impact on scores and paid medical collection accounts will not be factored in at all. According to FICO's director of public relations, the existence of medical debt is not a reliable indicator of whether a person is a good credit risk. Though the changes are designed to prevent an unnecessary … [Read more...]

Seeking verification of outstanding balances

Residents in New Jersey who owes credit card debt could be interested in the answers to questions posed by a consumer who was being pursued by a credit card issuer's collection agency recently. The debtor wanted to know whether consumers have the right to demand proof of the debt from them and what they can do if the collection agency refuses. According to Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, a debtor has every right to request a verification of debt. However, that request must be in writing … [Read more...]

Eligibility requirements for Chapter 7 bankruptcy

New Jersey residents who have overwhelming debt may be interested in what it takes to be eligible for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Depending on the person's financial situation, this may be the appropriate action in order to discharge debt. In a Chapter 7 liquidation, debt is discharged in return for the sale of a debtor's assets by a bankruptcy trustee. The proceeds from this sale are used to pay off creditors that hold the debt. Some of a debtor's assets are exempt from this sale, and each state … [Read more...]

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