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NBA Baller Antoine Walker Talks Bankruptcy and Financial Ruin in New Documentary

Antoine Walker and Evelyn Lozada

NBA's Antoine Walker's turned to bankruptcy to save him

Image source - Big Stock Photo

We like to cover celebrity bankruptcy here to show how no matter what you earn, the same money problems can get the better of anyone. Today we take a look at retired NBA power forward Antoine Walker who filed bankruptcy, pulled himself through it and is now encouraging other professional athletes in financial literacy to avoid the financial troubles he's endured.

Combine Chapter 13 with Chapter 7 to Get More Complete Debt Relief (and Strip Liens)

Chapter 20

Chapter 20 may clear up more debt problems than one alone

Image source - Flickr User Nina Matthews Photography

For cash-strapped consumers that are thinking bankruptcy, one of the big factors when deciding which type of bankruptcy is best is whether you're a homeowner. If you are, are you current on your mortgage payments? Do you have a second or third mortgage? If you do have a mortgage(s) over and above your primary mortgage and you don't have a ton of equity in your home, a combination of the two bankruptcy chapters may give you the best possible outcome.

New Consumer Survey Shows the Recession Is Still Causing Problems in North Carolina

Recession

The effects of the recession are still lingering

Image source: Flickr Creative Commons User Rich Anderson

The Great Recession is over, or so say all the pundits, but perhaps someone should tell our wallets. For many families in North Carolina, the recession is still causing problems, even if it's gone - like a car wreck that's left us with residual aches and pains. A recent study published last month by the Federal Reserve on household financial well-being shows that many of us are still struggling. Let's look at some of the results and how they apply to us here in NC.

Deep in Medical Debt? Surprising Reason Your Credit Score May Be Going Up Soon

Medical bankruptcy

Medical bills will soon affect your credit less

Image source - Flickr User The All-Nite Images

One of the main concerns when you can't pay your bills is the impact it will have on your credit score. Your credit score determines how much you pay in credit card interest, for auto and homeowner's insurance, whether you can get a cell phone contract and if you can get a job you want. Medical bills are one of the leading causes of bankruptcy, but a new version of the calculation that will be implemented by FICO this fall will change things for those with lingering medical debt.

60 Days After Your Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Discharge, It's Time to Get to Work on Your Credit

Rebuilding

Rebuild your credit after Chapter 7 bankruptcy

Image Source – Flickr User Jewish Women's Archive

The whole purpose of bankruptcy is getting you a financial fresh start. This happens in several different ways. First is that you get to unload most of your unsecured debt (other than student loans, alimony, child support and some tax debts) so you have less debt to pay. Second is that it allows you to get a grip on paying the debt that remains. Third is the ability to begin improving your credit score right away.

Debt Dilemma! More North Carolina Consumers Than Ever in Collections

North Carolina consumer

North Carolina consumers are deep in debt and many in collections

Image source: Flickr Creative Commons User Joe Shlabotnik

Research group the Urban Institute has released a study titled Debt in America that shows the money woes with which many North Carolina consumers are suffering. In the South Atlantic region (which includes North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida and Georgia), nearly 40% of consumers have debt in collections. This region has the fourth highest debt amount in collections compared to regions in the rest of the country.

Why Filing Bankruptcy Will Make You Better With Money and Why It Benefits You in the Long Run

Use your brain

Your brain does not operate well under stress

Image source: Flickr Creative Commons User Pierre-Olivier Carles

The time period leading up to when you file bankruptcy will likely be one of the most stressful in your life. You'll have unpaid bills piling up, past due statements rolling in and your phone ringing off the hook from creditors and their debt collectors calling demanding their money. This can affect your work and can lead you to make terrible decisions that will make your money matters worse. But what you may not realize is that filing bankruptcy can actually enable you to make better money choices.

Unemployed or Underemployed? How Filing Bankruptcy May Actually Help You Get a Job

Need a job

Unemployed? How bankruptcy may help you get a job

Image source: Flickr Creative Commons User James Lee

In a competitive job market, employers can be increasingly picky about whom they hire, even for entry level jobs. Criminal record screening is standard for most jobs but, increasingly, decent credit is a criteria. Historically, it was only jobs that involved finances, retail or cash handling that triggered a credit check but, more and more, employers are now implementing credit checks as part of their pre-employment screening for jobs where credit worthiness doesn't seem relevant.

Why You Should Stay in Your House Even if You Can't Pay Your Mortgage

Home sweet home

Why you should stay in your home even if you can't pay your mortgage

Image source: Flickr Creative Commons User Diana Parkhouse

If you can't afford to pay your mortgage payments and know you won't be able to get caught up, bankruptcy can be an excellent way to shed that debt, related debts and unsecured liabilities so that you can get a financial fresh start. But it's important to know that even if you stop making mortgage payments, you should absolutely not move out of your house. If you move out sooner than is wise, you can end up getting yourself in much worse financial trouble.

How Chapter 7 and 13 Affect Your Credit Differently and Which Rebuilds Your Score Faster

FICO credit score

How Chapter 13 and Chapter 7 affect your credit differently

Image source: Flickr Creative Commons User Simon Cunningham

For those deep in debt and looking for meaningful debt relief, both Chapter 13 and Chapter 7 can be great choices to shed bills you can't afford to pay. But there are big differences in how these options affect your credit and how quickly you can rebuild your credit after filing. With either bankruptcy option, your credit will take a hit. But let's be real. If you're struggling to pay your bills, your credit rating is probably already taking a beating so filing for debt relief can stop the FICO hemorrhage and allow you to start rebuilding, but which option is better for you?

Bankruptcy Tip: Don't Over or Undervalue Your Assets – What's Your Stuff Worth?

Diamonds

Valuing your assets properly is important in bankruptcy

Image source: Flickr Creative Commons User Kim Alaniz

One of the most important aspects of your bankruptcy is how much you own in assets. Some assets like your car or home may have a debt attached to them so these are valued at the fair market value of the asset less the amount of debt attached (this is called equity). But you also have to list your other assets including your household goods, clothing, electronics, artwork, jewelry, computers and pretty much anything you own. This can be tricky.

Are You at Risk of Losing Your Car Insurance After You File Bankruptcy?

Car insurance concerns

Can you lose your car insurance because you filed bankruptcy?

Image source: Flickr Creative Commons User Internet Archive Book Images

We wrote last week about the special concerns military members have when it comes to money troubles. Today we address another concern that can affect servicemen and women who bank with, have loans through or purchase insurance through USAA (United Services Automobile Association). Most members of the Armed Forces are familiar with USAA - it's a private financial institution that provides banking, investing and insurance products and services to those currently serving or that have previously served in any branch of the US military. Today we look at concerns with USAA and car insurance as well as other financial products that can be impacted during bankruptcy.

3 Ways Filers Underestimate Their Transportation Costs and Shortchange Themselves in Bankruptcy

DIY car repair

Car repair expenses can be included as an expense on your bankruptcy budget

Image source: Flickr Creative Commons User Karen Green

The bankruptcy courts consider carefully (via the Trustee in your case) whether or not you can afford to pay your debts. If they find you have enough money to live on and pay your bills, you won't be able to get a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. In order for the court to be able to determine what you can afford, your attorney presents them with your budget of monthly income and expenses. It's critically important that you accurately reflect expenses, especially those that aren't controlled by set allowance figures as we wrote about earlier this week.

How Bankruptcy Can Protect Your Security Clearance If You Can't Pay Your Bills

Military members

Military members can risk their security clearance with an excess of debt

Image source: Flickr Creative Commons User US Army

If you're in the military in North Carolina, there's a good chance you have some sort of security clearance ranging from low level to ultra-top secret. Today's post is for all those serving our country that are also struggling with their finances. For those serving at Pope or Seymour Johnson Air Forces Bases, Camp Mackall or Fort Bragg, Coast Guard bases Air Station Elizabeth City and National Strike Force, Camp Lejeune, MCAS Cherry Point, MCAS New River or Military Ocean Terminal Sunny Point, today we've got money advice for you that will help protect your security clearance.

Four Reasons to Change Your Bank If You're Considering Bankruptcy in the Near Future

Wells Fargo bank

Protect yourself from your bank during bankruptcy

Image source: Flickr Creative Commons User Ken Teegardin

North Carolina bankruptcy exemptions allow you to protect a certain amount of assets and typically two months worth of wages. These exemptions are usually enough to protect most consumers but even if the state exemptions shield your money, that doesn't necessarily mean that it's safe. Your bank and other creditors may be able to take your money away just as you're about to get the financial relief you so desperately need. Here are four reasons to change your bank to shield your cash during bankruptcy:

Why the Chapter 7 Means Test Is Harder on Large Families and How to Fight Back

Big family

Large families have a harder time with the bankruptcy means test

Image source: Flickr Creative Commons User Family Hodgson

The bankruptcy reform that was pushed through back in 2005 was intended to keep people from taking advantage of the system. Instead, what has happened is that many people that legitimately need the financial assistance that bankruptcy provides are blocked from getting help. This is particularly true when it comes to larger families who may struggle to pass the bankruptcy means test even though they truly are cash-strapped and can't service their debts. If you've got a big family, here's how you can fight back to get the financial relief you deserve.

Small Business Owners: Is Biz or Personal Bankruptcy Better for You?

Business closing

Facing a business closure? What type of bankruptcy will protect you best?

Image source: Flickr Creative Commons User Dvortygirl

If you own a small business, are drowning in business bills and are desperate for a financial fresh start, you may think filing business bankruptcy is the best option for you. In fact, it may not be at all. Instead, you may be better off filing a personal bankruptcy instead. This is definitely true if you own a sole proprietorship that you haven't bothered to incorporate, but what if you have incorporated as an LLC or sub-S corporation to make your business “official”? The good news is that personal bankruptcy can still work if you take a couple of extra steps.

Can You Surrender Your Car After Bankruptcy If You Don't Want It or Can't Afford It?

Should you keep your car?

What happens if you want to give up your car after bankrutpcy?

Image source: Flickr Creative Commons User Bill Debevec

If you have a car with a loan and you're completely current on the monthly payments, it's very likely that you can keep it. But what happens if you file bankruptcy, keep the car but then decide you can't afford it, it breaks down or you lose your job and can't pay the bill? If any circumstance makes it so that you can't keep or don't want the car anymore and you're still making payments, you can still enjoy some of the protections of bankruptcy, even if you've already filed.

Can You Be Refused Medical Care After Bankruptcy If You Didn't Pay Your Doctor Bills?

Medical care

Can filing bankruptcy when you owe medical bills impact your health care?

Image source: Flickr Creative Commons User COD Newsroom

Unaffordable medical bills are one of the leading causes of bankruptcy in America. If you've got a pile of unpaid doctor and hospital bills that you can't afford, Chapter 7 will wipe them out – this is one type of unsecured bill that can be easily taken care of in bankruptcy. This can offer you instant peace of mind, but you may worry that a doctor, hospital or other medical practice can turn you away after you file bankruptcy. Here's what you need to know.

What to Do If You're Being Harassed by Debt Collectors After Filing Bankruptcy

Past due bill

Debt collectors should stop pursuing you for past due bills once you file bankruptcy

If you've filed bankruptcy to get debt relief, your creditors are bound by law not to continue trying to collect the debt during the automatic stay. If you file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you generally should not hear from any of your creditors whose debts will be discharged (credit cards, medical bills and other unsecured debts). Because these debts are no longer active as of the filing, they shouldn't ever contact you again. For a Chapter 13, there's an automatic stay that should keep creditors off your back until you get your repayment plan in place.

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