New Jersey Bankruptcy Law Blog

How do you know if you are experiencing creditor harassment?

If you find yourself dealing with overwhelming debt, you know how this situation can affect multiple areas of your life. One frustrating aspect of owing a significant amount of debt is the phone calls and letters you may get from debt collectors. Creditors have the right to attempt to collect on late balances, but they cannot carry out certain actions. 

As a New Jersey consumer dealing with collection efforts and creditors, it is prudent to know your rights and how to identify creditor harassment. Regardless of how much you owe, you do not have to put up with illegal or inappropriate treatment from creditors. One way to make contact with debt collectors stop for good is to file for consumer bankruptcy.

How Can I Create a Budget?

If you’re in search of debt relief options in New Jersey, you should know that budgeting is integral to remaining fiscally sound. After all, once you’ve paid off your debts and are back on track financially, you run the risk of falling into the same trap if you don’t correct irresponsible behavior. That’s why Forbes recommends the following tips to people who find it hard to stick to a reasonable budget.

Keep Track of Spending

Chapter 7 or Chapter 13: Which option fits your needs?

It doesn't take much to throw a proverbial financial train off its tracks. Financial stability is often fragile, dependent on many factors that may fluctuate in negative or positive directions, sometimes without warning. While it's always nice to receive an unexpected financial boom, you may feel quite the opposite if you encounter undue financial strain that you are not prepared to meet. Bankruptcy is often a viable option in situations where other solutions have proved unsuccessful.

There are different types of bankruptcy, however, and it can be challenging to determine which option is best in a particular situation. By doing a bit of research ahead of time, you can gather information to help you seek clarity about New Jersey bankruptcy laws and decide which may be the best path to take to resolve your current financial problems.

Can my wages be garnished for debt?

If you have debt issues in New Jersey, you may be plagued with calls or letters from collection agencies wanting to get paid. Debt is an issue many people struggle with. It is common to fall behind on payments and end up in collections. In some cases, if your debts are way overdue and all efforts to collect them have failed, a creditor may try to garnish your wages or bank account to get its money.

According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, your wages or bank account may be garnished by a debt collector if a court judgment has been made. One exception is if you owe money to a government agency. It may not have to go to court to collect payments in this way. The court order will state how much money can be taken and for how long. 

Rebuild your credit foundation after bankruptcy

If you've recently gone through a debt relief process, such as bankruptcy, it may take some time before you feel like your head is clearly above water again, financially-speaking. Remember that you are definitely not the first person, nor will you be the last, to encounter a temporary financial setback in life. There are several proactive steps you can take to begin rebuilding your financial foundation, especially your credit score.

For one thing, it often helps to talk to others who have gone through similar experiences. A friend or family member may be able to offer practical tips to help you steer clear of further financial problems in the future. As you research different ideas for increasing your credit score following bankruptcy, keep in mind that there are support resources available in case you run into trouble.

Filing for bankruptcy? Know traits of Chapter 7 and Chapter 13

When it comes to personal bankruptcy, there are two chapters that almost all people will utilize: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. The differences between these types of bankruptcies are important. When you consider that nearly three-quarters of filings are Chapter 7, and the other quarter of filings are Chapter 13, you can probably guess that income is a big factor in determining which bankruptcy you file.

Chapter 7 has an income ceiling, meaning that anyone that makes less than that can qualify for Chapter 7. Anyone over that ceiling will likely utilize a Chapter 13 filing. But what else differentiates these forms of bankruptcy? Let's look at a few points:

Would you qualify for Chapter 13 bankruptcy?

If you are currently experiencing financial problems, you definitely aren't the only one in New Jersey thrown off course. Whether treating credit like cash was a main factor or you experienced unexpected medical expenses or job loss, it's not uncommon for minor financial strain to turn into major financial crisis in a short amount of time. The good news is most financial problems are solvable. The key to success often lies in knowing what options are available.

Turning to experienced guidance to determine the best path to take in a particular situation is quite helpful when trying to right your financial ship in turbulent waters. Chapter 13 bankruptcy often proves to be a useful tool; however, in order to apply, you must meet all the qualifications.

New rules bring hope to those struggling with medical debt

Although your struggle with unpaid debt may feel like a lonely road to walk, you are not alone. In fact, if the main reason for your credit problems is unpaid medical debt, you are one of about 43 million in New Jersey and across the country. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau reports that this figure means there are delinquent medical bills included in about one in every five credit reports.

It may not be much comfort to know you are one of millions struggling with medical debt, especially if the burden has affected your life in many negative ways. Since medical debt is not always predictable, you may not have been able to prepare your finances to cover the bills, particularly if the debt arose from a medical emergency or accident. However, there may be a light at the end of the tunnel.

What should I expect from the bankruptcy means test?

Dealing with overwhelming debt is unpleasant, and it can bring a host of serious consequences to your life. From calls from creditors to possibly losing your belongings to repossession, you probably want to find a way to make it all stop and deal with your debt once and for all.

One of the most effective ways to deal with debt is to file for bankruptcy. While this might not seem like an ideal step to take, bankruptcy could actually help New Jersey residents achieve a stronger financial future. If you decide to take this step, you will have to take a means test. That will look at your finances and determine which chapter of bankruptcy it is you will have access to. 

Hiding a vehicle likely will not prevent repossession

When you purchased your new vehicle, you may have been in a stable financial spot and felt that you could handle the payments. However, after a sudden setback — or multiple setbacks — you may have found yourself in dire financial straits. As a result, your car loan payments may have continually gotten pushed to the side, and now, you have defaulted on your loan.

Because the idea of returning the car does not seem appealing due to needing it to get to work or carry out other tasks, you may wonder about your options. You may feel a great sense of panic if the creditor begins to take repossession actions against you in hopes of obtaining the vehicle. Due to feeling backed into a corner, you may consider hiding your vehicle.

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