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Chattanooga Bankruptcy Law Blog

Proposed rules would expand debt collection efforts

Many people who are struggling with debt know the awful feeling of being contacted by debt collection agencies. The letters that come in the mail can be intimidating and the phone calls can be even worse.

Now the Trump administration wants to give debt collectors more ways and more opportunities to contact debtors. Under new rules proposed by the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, debt collection agents would be barred from calling debtors more than seven times per week, but would be able to send unlimited numbers of text messages and emails. They would also be able to contact debtors through social media and private messages.

Aggressive approaches to alleviating credit card debt

Over the holidays, Chattanooga residents may have indulged in spending practices that are not normal for their lives. They may have bought gifts for their loved ones and friends, or they may have hosted extravagant parties with wine and food for the people that they care about. Some may have traveled great distances to be with the people who are important to them, and many may have spent more money than they intended to throughout the giving season.

As summer approaches, those individuals may be realizing that paying down holiday debts can be a lot harder than it sounds. While many individuals may have good intentions to get their holiday debts paid off within months of incurring them, actually doing so can be tough. That is because it can be hard to budget to pay more than one usually does on monthly credit card payments.

How income can impact a bankruptcy filing

Chapter 7 can be an appealing legal process for Tennessee residents who wish to eliminate their debts through the process of a bankruptcy discharge. In order to qualify for such a discharge, however, individuals must first qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Doing so requires that their incomes not exceed certain levels; if they do, individuals may have to find other debt relief options to pursue.

First, a bankruptcy court will look to see if the Chapter 7 filer's current monthly income is below the median income for the state in which they live. If the filer's income is below this threshold, then they may use Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If it is not, they will be subjected to the means test of the legal process.

What debts have to be repaid in Chapter 13 bankruptcy?

Any debt can be stressful for a Tennessee resident, especially if they do not have the money to pay it off according to the terms of their loan. Whether that debt is the mortgage that they must pay for their house, an unpaid tax bill to the federal government, or an outstanding statement for their credit card, a debt can place a black cloud of worry over a person until they are able to pay it off and move their life forward.

While some individuals can handle their debts without legal intervention, others choose to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy to reorganize their debts and create plans for repayment. Repayment plans are the heart of Chapter 13 bankruptcy filings and must be prepared by all individuals who use the process to remedy their debts. Not all debts must be specifically addressed in Chapter 13 repayment plans, and the status of a debt will determine its treatment during the process.

Report suggests relaxing student loan treatment in bankruptcy

At present, the United States Bankruptcy Code only allows debtors to have their student loans discharged in bankruptcy if those loans impose on them undue hardships. Proving that a student loan imposes an undue hardship on a debtor is challenging and not always possible, even when a debtor is buried under the weight of their obligation.

Recently, though, experts and professionals in the field of debt and bankruptcy issued several recommendations for changes to the laws that may help student loan debtors out.

Some debts are too old for collection efforts

Readers of this Tennessee debt relief and bankruptcy blog know that there are many reasons that Americans fall into debt.

While medical bills and unexpected job losses can quickly sink families into financial peril, the everyday financial grind of raising kids, paying mortgages, and covering basic costs can also erode the financial stability that individuals have worked hard to build. Debts come in many forms and from many causes, but all can have a negative impact on the financial well-being of Tennessee residents.

What is the credit counseling rule for Chapter 13 bankruptcy?

Personal bankruptcy is often the last resort for Tennessee residents who have found themselves dealing with insurmountable debts. After investigating debt relief options and trying to manage debts on their own, they may turn to bankruptcy attorneys to learn more about how they may break the cycle of financial hardship in their lives.

For those who do decide to pursue bankruptcy, preliminary requirements in the process may offer them means of taking care of their finances without actually finishing their bankruptcy filings.

Getting you through life's unexpected events

On slow days at work, a Tennessee resident may dream of the day that they hit it big and win the lottery. They may imagine being able to walk away from their job and live the life of their dreams. However, winning the lottery is an incredibly rare event. It is unfortunately more likely that a Chattanooga resident will suffer a devastating setback rather than an unexpected windfall.

The loss of a job is a surprise that no one wants to experience. It can mean having to scrape by and force their family to make sacrifices. It can mean struggling to keep a roof over one's own head and food on the table for their loved ones. It can mean financial uncertainty and economic worry.

Other than bankruptcy, how can I pay down credit card debt?

Credit card debt can become a problem for a Tennessee resident in the blink of an eye. The loss of a job or an unexpected medical bill can send a person of comfortable financial means into a tailspin of debt, penalties, and unpaid balances. When credit card debt takes hold of a person's life, they may be prepared to take drastic means to satisfy it.

While bankruptcy may be a good option for some individuals who wish to bring all of their outstanding debts together and manage them all in one legal process, a person with a single massive credit card balance may have other paths. For example, they may be able to work out a plan with their debt holder to repay their loan on terms that are different from what they originally agreed to.

Is tax debt dischargeable through Chapter 7 bankruptcy?

The income tax filing deadline is only about a month away. Tennessee residents may be pulling together their documents in order to have their taxes completed by professionals or to undertake their own plans for meeting this annual requirement. Some may have already filed their taxes and paid what they owe based on the income they earned in the prior year.

As readers of this bankruptcy and debt relief blog may know, there are many ways that individuals can end up with heavy debts. One way is through the failure to pay their income taxes to the government. A person who fails to do this may end up incurring fees, penalties, and other costs as they struggle to cover just the principal amount that they owe to the government.

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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