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Chattanooga Bankruptcy Law Blog

Bankruptcy is an issue for an aging American population

It is a common practice of Americans to save their money so that one day they may be able to leave their jobs and enjoy their retirement years before health issues and old age deprives them of their happiness. With the help of investments, pensions, and other retirement tools, many Tennessee residents are able to achieve this dream and still have some money left over to give to their descendants in their estates. However, this is not the case for all older Americans. A disturbing study recently revealed that aging Americans are filing for bankruptcy at a much higher rate than in the past.

The study found that the number of individuals over the age of 65 who are filing for bankruptcy was 204 percent higher in 2016 than it was in 1991. This means that older retirement-aged individuals are facing financial strains as they move closer to the ends of their lives.

Prioritizing credit card debt when money is tight

If Tennessee residents can believe it, the holiday season has now arrived. It seems as though as soon as the last trick-or-treater got home with their bag of candy televisions across the nation were bombarded with advertisements for gift-giving, holiday-themed meals and other winter festivities. As the holidays approach, more and more people may slip into a problem that plagues many throughout the year: credit card debt.

Credit card debt can be a burden on someone who simply cannot get ahead of their payments. While it can be tempting to throw all of the money a person has at it, paying credit cards off before other debts may not always be a good choice. Readers are reminded that this post is not offered as financial or legal advice but only as an informational tool to help individuals understand how debt can affect their lives.

Debt is a problem for Americans of all ages

It is an erroneous assumption that the only people who go into debt are those who are careless with their money or frivolous in their spending. Tennessee residents may believe that young men and women are more likely to go into debt because they do not have the life experiences to teach them to save for the future. A recent national study of debt shows that this belief is a fallacy and that debt is a problem for Americans of all ages and social demographics.

Ramsey Solutions recently undertook an examination of individual debt patterns for people from different generations. The study focused on adults who fall into the Millennial, Generation X and Baby Boomer generations. Overall, individuals from all three generations have student loan debt and credit card debt, and each generation had in common fears about not having enough money to retire or handle large unexpected costs.

Individual debt relief support for specific client needs

When a Hamilton resident wishes to investigate their net worth, they may make several lists. One of those lists may include all of the forms of income that they have, which may include their wages, investments and received gifts. Another list may include all of their liabilities, which may include mortgages, car loans, and student debts.

If a person's debts and liabilities exceed the money that they bring in, they may run into trouble when it comes to paying down their loans and becoming debt free. As readers of this blog know, different debts are held to different standards, and while some debts are secured by collateral others may be unsecured and subject to different repayment rules. Home and car loans, student loans, medical debts, credit card debts and the many other forms of debts that people may possess can be pursued by different creditors and may hold different priorities when it becomes apparent that the debtor cannot pay them all off.

The requirements for filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy

Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a topic that has been discussed on this Tennessee debt relief blog a number of times and may seem to readers to be a good way to find financial freedom. While it is imperative that individuals seek the counsel of bankruptcy attorneys to fully understand how bankruptcy might affect them, this post will offer readers an overview of what they must do to qualify for the process.

First, readers should know that only people may file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. The process is not available to business. Second, anyone barred from filing due to a prior discharge or dismissal may need to wait before they can seek the support of the bankruptcy courts to take this legal route.

Is a short sale the same thing as a foreclosure?

The threat of foreclosure can loom large over the lives of Tennessee residents. That is because if a foreclosure goes through a family may lose its home as the residence is returned to the lender that secured the family's mortgage on the property. Foreclosures can occur after individuals fail to keep up with their mortgage payments and fail to take action when notices of foreclosure begin to arrive.

People who cannot pay their mortgages may have options for avoiding the foreclosure process. They may be able to talk to their lenders about changing their payment schedules to accommodate their compliance with them. They may also look into the short sale process to sell off their property before it becomes subject to foreclosure.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy as a path to financial freedom

Missing a payment on one's credit card or another loan is a serious financial matter, but often such an issue can be rectified with careful communication and timely consideration. However, when missed payments become the norm for a Tennessee resident and financial stability seems unachievable, they may need to take more drastic matters to get their money matters back on track.

Bankruptcy attorneys in the greater Chattanooga area are available to serve individuals stuck in this difficult dilemma, and attorney Kenneth Rannick is committed to seeking answers to the debt and bankruptcy questions of his clients. His practice is open to all individuals who are unsure of how to approach the process of bankruptcy and who wish to secure steadfast support from a trusted legal professional to guide them along the way.

A hardship discharge through Chapter 13 bankruptcy

The foundation of a Chapter 13 bankruptcy reorganization plan is the commitment of the debtor to the repayment of their debts. An individual who pursues Chapter 13 bankruptcy generally must have sufficient income that may be applied to the balance of their outstanding loans in order to be eligible for the process. However, from time to time a Tennessee resident who is pursuing Chapter 13 bankruptcy may experience a devastating setback that may prevent them from continuing with their repayment plan.

For example, consider a Chapter 13 debtor who is a few years into their repayment plan. They have been steadily chipping away at their outstanding debts and successfully applying their extra income to that purpose. If that person was afflicted with a serious illness or injury that prevented them from working, they could become unable to work and therefore unable to earn any income.

Why was my Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharge denied?

Debtors file for bankruptcy in order to achieve the elimination of their outstanding financial obligations. This is known as a discharge, and whether a Tennessee resident pursues Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 bankruptcy their goal is essentially the same: have the court approve the repayment of their debts and release them from their financial binds.

However, not all Chapter 7 debtors get a discharge at the end of their bankruptcy proceedings. There are a number of reasons that courts may use to justify the denial of debtors' discharges. This post will explore a few of those reasons and readers are reminded that they should discuss their cases with their own bankruptcy attorneys.

Credit CARD Act requires creditors to disclose vital information

For most people, credit card bills become due once every month. A Tennessee resident may be able to pay off the entire balance of their credit card bill and bring their outstanding obligation down to zero. Another person may not have the savings to pay their bill in full and may only be able to pay off the minimum of what their creditor says they owe.

Paying only the minimum due on a credit card can cause an individual to slide into steep credit card debt. This is because as a person accumulates a growing balance on their card their lender may apply to that balance a monthly interest payment that may balloon a modest balance into an overwhelming financial burden. Under the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009, also known as the CARD Act, creditors are required to inform their card holders of when their payments are due, the types of fees that may be applied to their balances, and any changes that the lenders may make with regard to the interest rates that are applicable to borrowers' balances.

Kenneth C. Rannick, P.C.
4416 Brainerd Road
Chattanooga, TN 37411

Phone: 423-624-4002
Toll Free: 800-257-7594
Fax: 423-624-0509
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