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The Pros and Cons of Filing Chapter 13 Bankruptcy and How It Gives a Financial Fresh Start

Weight the pros and cons before deciding

The pros and cons of Chapter 13 should be considered

Deciding to file bankruptcy can be a difficult decision and it's certainly a serious step to take. But if you've fallen behind on your mortgage, car loan and have a stack of other debts stressing you out, it can be just the answer you need. What we see is that when clients come into our office, they don't understand that there are two different types of bankruptcy – Chapter 7 and 13. Each is very different and one versus the other may give you better results. Today we'll look at the pros and cons of Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Is Fame an Asset? How Infamous Celebrity Casey Anthony's Bankruptcy Case Changed the Law

What is fame worth?

Florida bankruptcy court considers whether fame can be used to pay creditors

If you don't know the name Casey Anthony, you must have been on a total media blackout for the last five years. Anthony was accused of murdering her two year old daughter Caylee Anthony back in 2008. She lied to detectives during the missing child investigation and was subsequently charged with first-degree murder. In 2011, her legal team was successful in defending her against the charges, likely because prosecutors filed too steep of a charge in seeking a premeditated murder conviction.

Do You Make Too Much Money to File a Raleigh Bankruptcy and Get a Financial Fresh Start?

Bankruptcy means test consider income

High earners can still qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy

The bankruptcy code was amended in 2005 to try and curb abuse of the system by those who can afford to pay their debts but simply choose not to. Because of these changes, consumers who earn a good living may think that bankruptcy protection is out of their reach, but this is often not the case. People of any income level can file Chapter 13, but the more expansive debt relief that Chapter 7 offers is available only to those that earn a lower wage or that can pass the means test.

Will the Affordable Care Act Actually Lead to More Medical Bankruptcies? Yes - Here's Why

Medical bills can mean financial disaster

Medical bankruptcies may continue to rise under the Affordable Care Act

Medical bills are one of the leading causes of individual bankruptcy. But with the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) enrollment deadline a little more than a week ago, you may think that this cause of financial problems is a thing of the past. Unfortunately, this is just not true. There are a couple of reasons for this. First, one issue that we've discussed here in the past is the ACA coverage gap.

When Is the Best Time to File a Personal Bankruptcy? What Are the Benefits of Filing Now?

Timing is everything

With bankruptcy, timing is critical

The notion of bankruptcy – even the word – can be intimidating and can inspire fear. For some, they see bankruptcy as a sign of failure, but instead, it should be seen as what it truly is – an opportunity for a fresh start when life has not taken the course you had hoped for, at least when it comes to your finances. But if you're struggling with debts you can't pay and worried about providing for your family, bankruptcy may be the best solution to protect yourself and your loved ones. The question is – when is the best time to file to get the best results and to protect your assets?

How a Raleigh Bankruptcy Can Benefit You If You Are 55 or Older to Protect Your Retirement

Senior citizens and finances

Learn how bankruptcy can safeguard your retirement

If you're in your retirement years, or getting close, and you've got overwhelming debt, now is a good time to consider filing bankruptcy to protect your retirement accounts and get a financial fresh start to make your golden years a bit brighter. Many circumstances can lead to financial problems serious enough to warrant this drastic of a step, but increasingly, more seniors are filing bankruptcy to protect their retirement.

Was Your Drivers License Suspended? How Filing Bankruptcy Can Get You Back on the Road Now

Bankruptcy can help get your license back

Are you driving on a suspended license? 

Image source: HardshipLicenseLawyer.com

In North Carolina, a number of actions can result in the suspension of your drivers license, professional license or wildlife license – most notable among these is failure to pay your child support obligations. Today we'll look at what circumstances can cost you any of these licenses and how bankruptcy can help you get them back, no matter why you lost them.

How to Protect Yourself from a Lien That Shows Up After Your Raleigh Bankruptcy Discharge

Fighting back against liens after bankruptcy

Find out how to fight liens that crop up after you file bankruptcy

Image source: AlbuquerqueBankruptcyLaw.com

For those deep in debt without the resources to service their debts, filing a Raleigh bankruptcy may be the best option to get a financial fresh start. Chapter 7 bankruptcy can clear out credit card bills, medical bills, most liens and other unsecured debts that are holding you back. It's your responsibility, when you meet with your North Carolina bankruptcy attorney, to list all of your creditors that have claims against you, but sometimes things fall through the cracks and you may leave something off.

Before and After Chapter 13 - What Happens During the Bankruptcy Process and What You'll Owe When You're Done

What happens in chapter 13 repayment?

What to expect after your chapter 13 repayment plan is complete

If your debts are too much to handle and you need some breathing room to get caught up, you may want to consider a chapter 13 bankruptcy to allow you to regain control of your finances. Some people that could qualify for chapter 7 instead choose to file chapter 13 because they want the chance to pay down their debts. Others opt for chapter 13 over chapter 7 because they're behind on their mortgage payments and want the opportunity to catch up on these and keep their home. Here's an idea of what you can expect after your chapter 13 repayment:

Before and After Chapter 7 - What Happens and What Your Debt Will Look Like When You're Done

Chapter 7 before and after

What your debt will look like after Chapter 7 bankruptcy

If you've got more debt than you can manage and the situation doesn't look to improve anytime soon, filing bankruptcy may be a wise decision. If you're being hassled by debt collectors and the stress of being in over your head financially is tearing you apart, this can be the perfect solution to get immediate peace of mind and get back on the road to financial freedom and responsibility. Of the two most-used forms of consumer bankruptcy – chapter 7 and chapter 13 – the former will get you out of debt faster, get rid of more of your debts and can be accomplished quickly.

Beware: New Gmail Scam Uses Phishing to Access Personal Info How to Protect Yourself

Google Drive scam

The bogus log-in screen for Google Drive scam is hard to spot

We wrote recently about the Netflix scam that uses a fake Netflix access error page to entice you to call a bogus customer service agent, install spyware and pay for the privilege. This scam is outrageous, but it's only one of many scams sweeping the web right now. Today we look at a new Gmail scam that can put all of your personal information at risk and can be difficult to recognize as a scam – that's what makes it so dangerous.

5 Rules to Live By to Avoid Bankruptcy and Enjoy 100% Financial Security

Ways to avoid bankruptcy

Ways to protect yourself from financial problems for good

No one starts out their adult life planning to file bankruptcy at some point. As a matter of fact, 99% of our clients never thought they would be in this position and are embarrassed to find themselves so deep in debt that they have to turn to Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy. If you want to be sure that you never end up needing a debt relief solution this serious, here are five rules to live by, if you dare...

Fraud Alert: Beware the Netflix Scam!

Beware a new Netflix scam

Aggressive new Netflix scam is coming to a computer near you!

We have a brand new, highly aggressive scam to warn you about. What's really bad about this one is that it's centered around a service we all know, love and use on a daily basis: Netflix. How it works is that a fake Netflix page opens either when you search for the streaming site or as a pop-up type of window. The page looks like Netflix to a T and even has Netflix in the URL but then has some extra letters before the dot com.

Part Two: Top Celebrity Bankruptcies of All Time - Who Went Broke, Why and How It Turned Out

Toni Braxton

Toni Braxton is a two-time bankruptcy filer

Today we round out our 10 top celebrity bankruptcies of all time. You can check out Part One here and read about Mike Tyson, Walt Disney, MC Hammer and more. One of most alluring things about celebs is that their lives are much more glamorous than our everyday, hard-working lives. But when it comes to financial problems, famous people fall prey to the same issues we do, just on a much larger scale. Losing a job or getting a divorce can create financial distress whether you're earning $20 thousand a year or $20 million. Check out our top five celebrity bankruptcies of all time and see how they went broke and how their lives have turned out.

Part One: Top Celebrity Bankruptcies of All Time - Who Went Broke, Why and How It Turned Out

Kim Basinger

Kim Basinger filed bankruptcy after bad business decisions

One of our favorite topics of discussion here is celebrity bankruptcy. This is not because we enjoy gossip or want to draw undue attention to the cross-section of fame and debt, but more so to demonstrate how, no matter how much money you make or how many advantages you have in life, financial troubles can still occur. Some of the celebrities we cover got themselves in deep by overspending, some by bad business decisions and some by major life occurrences such as unemployment or divorce. This is the same for the rest of us – the only difference is how many zeroes and commas are involved in the debt.

Dirty Foreclosure Tricks to Watch for and How Filing a Raleigh Bankruptcy Can Help

Avoiding foreclosure can be a challenge

Image source: Steven de Polo via Flickr Creative Commons

Find out more about avoiding foreclosure through loss mitigation or foreclosure

If you're behind on your mortgage payments, you may be looking for solutions to avoid losing your house and to give you time to catch up. Sometimes, your lender may be open to working with you and sometimes they may fight it. What can also complicate this is if your loan servicer (who is likely not your lender) makes a practice of trying to force foreclosure rather than working with you to find a viable solution. If none of the other foreclosure-avoidance measures presented by your loan servicer will work, filing a Raleigh bankruptcy can be an effective last-resort measure to keep you in your home.

Can You Sell Stuff Before a Bankruptcy?

Selling your stuff

Image source: giuliana_miranda via Flickr Creative Commons

Selling your stuff pre-bankruptcy is okay if you follow some rules

If you are struggling financially and are looking for different solutions to help get you out of your debt dilemma, you may be thinking about selling off some of your stuff to raise money to pay bills. If you think you may want to file bankruptcy in the coming months, you must carefully consider how you go about disposing of your property and how you use the money you raise from these transactions. Here are four things to think about:

What Happens to a Tax Refund in Bankruptcy?

Tax refunds in bankruptcy

The difference between chapter 7 and chapter 13 when it comes to your tax refund

If you've already prepared your taxes and know you're due a refund, this can be exciting news. But if you're in the midst of a Chapter 13 repayment or a Chapter 7 filing, your tax refund may not be yours to spend. If you are involved in any type of insolvency proceeding and are expecting money back when you file, you need to know what happens to your tax refund in bankruptcy. Here's what you can expect depending on your filing circumstances.

7 Steps to Get a Mortgage After Bankruptcy

Getting a mortgage after bankruptcy

What to do to get a mortgage after Chapter 7 or Chapter 13

If you have filed bankruptcy (or are considering it) and worry that this will mean that you will never be able to qualify for a mortgage again, we can tell you that is absolutely not the case. Even if you surrender your home in bankruptcy because you're facing a foreclosure, you should still be able to purchase a home in the reasonably near future. These are the seven steps to take to get a mortgage after filing chapter 7 or chapter 13:

Is Your Bank Charging Illegal Overdraft Fees?

Overdraft fees can make life hard

Banks scoring big with overdraft protection

Have you ever swiped your debit card for a small purchase only to see on your bank statement that your $4 McDonald's lunch feast caused you a $35 overdraft fee because you really didn't have the money in your account? This and similar situations caused many consumers huge problems in the past and back in 2011, a Federal Reserve rule went into effect and changed this troublesome financial quicksand. But because banks are always looking for the next quick buck, they devised schemes to profit on those who occasionally (or even frequently) run short on cash.