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Southaven MS Bankruptcy Law Blog

An experienced advocate ready to help with Chapter 13

The number 13 is often considered unlucky; for those struggling with debt in Southaven, though, 13 may prove to be a positive number. Residents seeking a solution to their financial challenges may find it in Chapter 13 bankruptcy, which helps individuals put a lid on mounting debt and effectively tackle existing debt.

How does Chapter 13 benefit local residents? Chapter 13 has the ability to both reduce and eliminate debt. In many cases, filing for Chapter 13 allows a debtor to get a handle on debts by agreeing to a repayment plan. The period of repayment lasts three to five years; in that period the debtor can start to establish a solid history of making timely, complete payments. At the conclusion of the repayment period, the remaining debts can often be discharged. Additional benefits of Chapter 13 including keeping one's home and keeping other items of personal property. Chapter 13 can also put an end to threats of garnishment, repossession and even foreclosure.

How does my marital status affect my bankruptcy filing?

Despite the term "individual bankruptcy," a person's bankruptcy filing can impact the whole family. For Mississippi families seeking relief from overwhelming debt, a personal bankruptcy can allow for a new financial beginning that can benefit spouses as well as children. Still, while bankruptcy offers many benefits to one's family, there are often plenty of questions that must be answered before filing. One question is how a filer's marital status or situation will affect their bankruptcy case.

First, it's important to know that a married individual can still file for bankruptcy on his or her own. At the same time, a married couple can also jointly file for bankruptcy. It may be helpful to speak with a local bankruptcy attorney regarding which option is best for one's personal and family circumstances. Filing alone may make sense if only one spouse has massive debt. Filing together may prove more appropriate if both spouses have significant debt that needs to either be discharged or reorganized under a repayment plan.

25 percent of Americans consider bankruptcy

As tax-filing season nears, many Mississippians are probably taking a closer look at their financial situation. What they may not realize is that a large percent of Americans consider filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy to get debt relief because of their financial challenges.

A recent study focused in on the bankruptcy-filing population. According to its findings, roughly 25 percent of American households have considered filing for bankruptcy. 18 percent of those surveyed actually carried out with the plan and filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The study reveals some reasons people may be more or less inclined to file for bankruptcy. Often, those families who make less than $40,000 per year file for bankruptcy. They understand that bankruptcy can offer a fresh financial start. Nevertheless, others are skeptical, believing bankruptcy to be somewhat "shameful."

Grounds for the denial of discharge of Chapter 7 debts

There are many reasons why a Mississippi resident may consider Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The individual may be struggling with debt that cannot feasibly be repaid in a timely manner; the debtor may also be seeking a way to stop creditor harassment and wage garnishment. Another reason why Chapter 7 bankruptcy is very compelling for individuals is the ability to get many debts discharged. For a person struggling with massive debt, this aspect of Chapter 7 is crucial.

It may be the case that not every single debt can be discharged under Chapter 7; for instance, child support obligations cannot be discharged through bankruptcy. Still, filers often find that most, if not all, of their outstanding debts can be discharged via Chapter 7. However, every once in a while, under certain circumstances, a denial of discharge occurs. While this situation isn't common, it's helpful for filers to know how this could happen.

Personal bankruptcy: Mississippi has highest foreclosure rate

More than a month after the New Year has arrived, many Mississippi residents are likely to be reassessing their New Year's resolutions. If one's goal was to become more financially secure, that goal -- like others, such as losing weight -- may have proven harder to achieve than originally thought. In fact, many state residents may be in need of significant debt relief, according to a new report.

A recent report from Black Knight Financial Services reveals Mississippi has the highest rate of properties that are either in delinquency or foreclosure. As a portion of active loans, the rate for Mississippi stands at a little over 14 percent. Coming in second was New Jersey at just under 12 percent, Louisiana at 11 percent, New York at 10.4 percent and Rhode Island at 10.2 percent. The wide geographic variation shows that foreclosure is still a problem nationally. The report also noted that nearly 3 million properties nationwide are past due by 30 days or more.

How does a Chapter 13 bankruptcy satisfy Mississippi creditors?

Choosing between the two primary types of individual bankruptcy is not so simple of a task for Mississippians. With the advice of a qualified Mississippi bankruptcy attorney, a person in need of debt relief can select a type of bankruptcy that is most appropriate for their needs. For many residents of Southaven, this may be Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Unlike Chapter 7 bankruptcy, Chapter 13 bankruptcy centers on a repayment plan, rather than asset liquidation to satisfy creditors. Typically, Chapter 13 bankruptcy is appropriate for those who have a steady income and are able to commit to a repayment schedule made up of manageable payments. The repayment plan satisfies creditors by either providing for a full repayment of the debts in question, or full utilization of a debtor's disposable income for a period of three to five years. Disposable income refers to the money that is left over after an individual has paid their living expenses as well as any taxes.

Protecting one's rights in an asset forfeiture situation

One of the most intimidating aspects of overwhelming debt is the threat of asset forfeiture. When Mississippi residents receive notice that they may see their wages garnished or their vehicles repossessed, what are the proper steps to take to remedy the situation? A Southaven bankruptcy attorney can guide an individual through the process of protecting one's personal property.

Some local residents may not know that filing for bankruptcy can put a stop to garnishment, repossession and even foreclosure. As soon as one files for personal bankruptcy, both garnishment and repossession actions are halted. In addition, individual bankruptcy also puts an end to creditor harassment. Individuals and families no longer have to cope with the frequent phone calls that come from collectors, nor the threatening notices that are received regarding asset forfeiture.

Purchasing a home after filing for bankruptcy

Both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13, two forms of individual bankruptcy, often make a person's life more financially sound after the filing. However, while personal bankruptcy can go a long way towards forming a better financial future, many filers have questions regarding what life will be like afterwards. For instance, many filers might wonder if they may be able to buy a home again after bankruptcy and, if so, how long that process might take.

Residents of northern Mississippi will likely have to exercise a bit of patience with regard to home buying after bankruptcy. While bankruptcy can bring immense debt relief, as well as other benefits such as the ability to stop repossession, it will have an effect on a filer's credit score. Mortgage lenders are typically wary of lending to someone whose bankruptcy has not yet been discharged. This can actually work in a filer's favor, however, as it gives the individual time to get back on solid financial ground before making the financial commitment of a mortgage. Typically, individuals must wait about 24 months after a bankruptcy discharge before being considered for attractive mortgage rates.

January is an appropriate month for confronting credit card debt

Now that the holidays have come and gone, many Mississippi residents are pondering how to get rid of two things: extra pounds and extra credit card debt. After the holiday season, credit card debt may be particularly challenging. Tax season is around the corner and many families may already be struggling to pay the government while also paying back their consumer debt. In addition, credit card debt tends to have notoriously high interest rates and thus the New Year becomes a fitting time for a reassessment of one's financial situation.

If debt isn't entirely overwhelming, there may be several strategies that prove effective for paying off or paying down credit card debt. For those who find it tough to stay motivated, paying off the smallest card first may provide the mental boost needed to tackle larger balances. This may not be ideal, however, for balances of over $1,000. If a debtor's balances are over 30 percent of their available credit, they may want to try confronting the card with the highest interest rate first. However, a cardholder must continue making at least the minimum payments on other cards in order to avoid slipping further into a negative financial situation.

Do you need an attorney to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy?

Mississippi residents who are contemplating filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy are likely to have limited financial means. Also known as asset liquidation, Chapter 7 is often an appropriate option for those who owe overwhelming amounts and have little realistic hope of making inroads on repayment of such debt. While Chapter 7 can be an effective solution to overwhelming debt, some Mississippi residents may worry that they cannot afford a bankruptcy attorney.

Chapter 7 for individuals, however, can be extremely difficult without an attorney. While certain entities, such as corporations, are required to have a lawyer in order to file bankruptcy, individuals are technically allowed to file "pro se," or minus an attorney. This may be tempting to those coping with financial challenges, but going it alone may cause more problems in the long run.

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Subscribe to this blog's feed Visit Our Bankruptcy Law Website Heidi S. Milam

Attorney at Law, P.L.L.C.
7160 Tchulahoma Road, Suite A5
Southaven, MS 38671

Phone: 662-655-1605
Toll Free: 888-341-8136

Fax: 866-267-5360