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Check for mistakes on your credit card statement

If you regularly use your credit card, it's important to closely monitor your statements. While you won't catch a mistake very often, these can occur from time to time.

For example, you may find a purchase on your credit card statement that you didn't make. Maybe you find that a merchant charged you more than they were supposed to.

How will you recover after a bankruptcy filing?

Filing for bankruptcy is one of the biggest financial decisions you'll ever make. While the process requires some effort, what happens after bankruptcy is every bit as important.

Here are five tips you can follow to put yourself on the path to a full financial recovery:

  • Review your credit report for accuracy: For example, make sure the debt included in your bankruptcy filing is noted as such on your credit report.
  • Set a budget: Without a budget, you could find yourself facing financial trouble once again in the near future. Know your income, know your expenses and do whatever it takes to avoid racking up debt.
  • Make payments on time: The easiest way to improve your credit score after bankruptcy is to make payments on time. For example, if you have access to a secured credit card, pay off the balance in full and on time every month.
  • Don't rush: Even though you want to take steps to improve your credit, there's no hurry. A slow and steady recovery is the way to go.
  • Watch your balances: Over time, there's the potential to slip back into your old habits. This can include maxing out your credit cards. Alongside your budget, keep close tabs on your balance.

Is it time to consider bankruptcy? Donít ignore these signs

No one wants to file for bankruptcy, but there may come a time in your life when you have no choice but to consider it. As complex as the process may be, once it's in the past, you'll look back and realize you made the best possible decision.

There are a variety of circumstances that can point you toward bankruptcy in Alexandria, including the following:

  • Wage garnishment: With this, a creditor obtains a court order to garnish your wages. This money goes directly to your creditor, so your paycheck will be smaller.
  • You can't keep up with your bills: This could happen for many reasons, such as an ever-increasing debt load, job loss, pay cut or a serious illness. If you're unable to pay all your bills, you have a few options. While cutting back on expenses is something to consider, you may find that bankruptcy is the only way to dig yourself out of serious debt.
  • You've received a foreclosure notice: If you fall behind on mortgage payments, your lender will eventually send you a foreclosure notice by mail. This isn't something you should put aside. It requires your immediate attention, as ignoring it could result in losing your home in the near future. With bankruptcy, the automatic stay halts the foreclosure process, thus giving you enough time to figure things out.
  • You continually hear from debt collectors: As soon as you fall behind on payments, you can expect to hear from debt collectors. They'll send letters, make phone calls and may even decide to file a lawsuit against you. Upon filing a bankruptcy petition, an automatic stay will protect you against creditors.

Do these things before beginning credit card debt negotiations

If you've tried everything but your credit card debt continues to grow, it may be time to contact your issuer to discuss your situation. This is much better than missing payments, hiding from your credit card company and hoping things miraculously improve in the future.

While you could easily call your credit card issuer on a whim and begin the negotiation process, there are some steps you first want to take to prepare yourself:

  • Know what you're asking for: Maybe you have $5,000 to put toward a $10,000 credit card bill. If you're okay parting with this money, ask your credit card company if they'll accept this and write off the rest.
  • Talk to the right person: There's a good chance you'll have to dig around to find the person who is in a position to negotiate with you. If the first person you speak with tells you no, don't give up there. Do some work upfront to determine who you need to speak with.
  • Know what you can ask for: You don't always have to focus on the balance. For example, you can ask for a lower interest rate to help prevent your balance from growing. Or maybe you request a lower minimum payment until you get back on your feet.

Do these things to properly prepare for bankruptcy

If you've come to the conclusion that filing for bankruptcy is the best way to escape financial trouble, there's no better time than now to take action. Proper preparation will put you on the right path to success while helping you avoid common mistakes that can cost you time and money.

Here are four things you can do to prepare for bankruptcy:

  • Review your finances: From your credit report to a list of assets and debts, you must have a clear idea of your financial situation.
  • Compare Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy: There are eligibility requirements for both, as well as a variety of pros and cons. Knowing which one is best for you is essential.
  • Stop spending: For example, don't run up a large credit card bill with the idea that you can discharge the debt in bankruptcy. If you're considering bankruptcy, it's time to stop spending.
  • Understand the process: You want to know what you're getting into, as this will help you decide if it's the right decision. For instance, Chapter 7 bankruptcy typically comes to completion within four to six months. However, with Chapter 13, you'll repay some of your debts through a repayment plan that lasts three to five years.

How to restore your life after bankruptcy

People wonder if there is life after bankruptcy. After completing the exhausting process, most bankruptcy survivors feel a heavy weight has been lifted. Relief may last a few days or weeks, but eventually, the euphoria might end. 

There is a hidden wall that becomes apparent at the end of the process; people call it "Life after bankruptcy." During the fight to complete bankruptcy, the future may not seem as important as the immediate urgency of dealing with documents, creditors, attorneys and possibly enduring bankruptcy court.

Do I have the right to file for bankruptcy?

Many debtors take advantage of their federally protected rights to file for bankruptcy protection when they are faced with mounting debts they are unable to pay. But that doesn't mean that all debtors in every circumstance will be able to file.

There are also some strict rules that all bankruptcy filers must follow. Let's review some of the restrictions and misconceptions surrounding bankruptcy filings.

Documents to bring to your bankruptcy attorney

Making the decision to file bankruptcy is monumental. It can be a daunting process, especially when it comes to all the paperwork involved. You may struggle to understand what documents and information you need to declare bankruptcy.

While dealing with legal and financial papers is not exactly "fun," it is not as difficult as it may seem. Here are some of the core bankruptcy documents you need to gather for your bankruptcy case. 

Should you use a personal loan to payoff credit card debt?

As your credit card debt mounts, you may feel like there's no way out. While this is a difficult spot to find yourself in, there are many ways to escape credit card debt to improve your financial situation.

A personal loan is one of the better ways to pay off credit card debt. Here's why:

  • You can group all your debt into one loan, saving you money on interest and making it easier to manage your finances
  • It's an unsecured loan, meaning you don't have to put up any collateral, such as your home
  • You can use it for other purposes, such as paying medical bills or taking on a home repair project
  • Using a personal loan typically costs less than a credit card, due to the fact that the interest rate is usually lower

3 of the top foreclosure defense strategies

It's scary to receive a notice of foreclosure, as this means your lender is inching toward repossessing your home. Although you're in a difficult spot, there are many ways to stop foreclosure.

By taking the right approach, you increase the likelihood of saving your home. Here are three of the best strategies:

  • Foreclosure workout: This allows you to work directly with your lender to settle on a plan that keeps you in your home. For example, they may agree to add missed payments onto the back side of your mortgage.
  • Bankruptcy: With bankruptcy, the automatic stay stops foreclosure. This gives you time to assess your situation, communicate with your lender and hopefully find a resolution. Keep in mind that bankruptcy won't stop your foreclosure forever. Instead, it's a temporary solution.
  • Short sale: This is when your lender lets you sell your home for less than what you owe, without any responsibility to make up the difference. You don't get to keep your home, but you are able to avoid the foreclosure process.

McBride Law Firm

McBride Law Firm
301 Jackson Street Suite 101
Alexandria, LA 71301

Phone: 318-625-0471
Phone: 318-625-0471
Fax: 318-445-8066
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