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How to Get Rid of a Judgment Lien with Chapter 7 or 13 Bankruptcy

Judge

A judgment by the courts can lead to a lien

When you are sued over an unpaid debt – typically for credit card debts, medical bills or the remaining balance after a car was repossessed – if you lose the lawsuit, the court can issue the creditor a judgment against you. With this judgment in hand, the creditor can pursue you more aggressively. In many states, judgments can be used to obtain wage garnishments. In North Carolina, creditors generally aren't allowed to garnish wages except for support payments, incomes taxes or student loans. But that doesn't mean they can't go after other assets and that's where the judgment lien comes into play.

Bankruptcy Checklist – 7 Questions to Assess Your Financial Distress

Checklist

Consider this checklist to see if bankruptcy is right for you

Image source: Flickr user mt 23

Bankruptcy is often referred to as an option of last resort, but as with most things in life, timing is everything. Most people wait until they get absolutely desperate before they consider bankruptcy. It can certainly help you when things are especially dire, but bankruptcy can be even more effective if you file before you exhaust all your resources trying to hang on to debt you won't be able to afford in the long run. But how do you know when things are bad enough to consider bankruptcy as a solution?

Why It's Absolutely Okay to File Bankruptcy

It's okay

It's okay to file bankruptcy

Image source: Flickr user popofatticus

People end up in debt for many reasons – whether it's a job loss, more medical bills than you can pay, a divorce or some other upheaval that's left you in financial trouble. You may be still drowning from something that happened years ago or it may be a new occurrence that's left your finances in disarray. Either way, there is no reason to let this unfortunate situation linger. Filing bankruptcy does not make you a bad person. It just means you're a good person caught in a bad situation.

Study Shows Medical Debt Still a Major Cause of Bankruptcy

Medical costs

Medical expenses continue to cause bankruptcy

A new study out of Northeastern University School of Law shows that medical debt continues to plague consumers and contribute to bankruptcies. We've written here before about how medical costs push far too many consumers to the brink of financial collapse and this latest research clearly shows the situation is not getting better. If you're overwhelmed with medical bills you can't pay - if you're running up your credit cards to pay medical costs – if you feel like you'll never get out from under medical debt – you're not alone and there is a solution. Bankruptcy helps you get a clean slate from these and other debts.

5 Sure Fire Ways to Build Up an Emergency Fund to Protect Your Finances

Emergency fund

Everyone needs an emergency fund

Many consumers live paycheck to paycheck. We hear this from our clients routinely no matter how much they're earning. We see people making six figures living on the brink of financial collapse the same as those earning very little. For those living that close to the edge, any little money crisis can break them – whether it's a higher than normal utility bill, a car breakdown, your refrigerator dying on you or any other unexpected expense.

How Do You Calculate Disposable Income for a Chapter 13 Repayment Plan?

Money

How is disposable income calculated in Chapter 13?

Image source: Flickr user Tax Credits

When you get behind on your bills, it can be hard to catch up. And, unfortunately, some creditors won't work with you to let you get caught up on back balances. If this is the situation you find yourself in, filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy may be a good solution for you. There is no income cap on a Chapter 13 filing, nor is there a means test you have to pass to be able to file. But what is important to getting your Chapter 13 repayment plan approved is your disposable income in comparison to your debts.

6 Things to Do After You Get a Bankruptcy Discharge

6 things

Six Things to Do After Bankruptcy Discharge

Image source: Flickr user Steve Snodgrass

If you were deep in debt and decided to pursue a bankruptcy, if all goes well, you'll end up with a bankruptcy discharge. With a Chapter 7, it takes about four months to get your discharge and with a Chapter 13, it will come at the end of your three to five year repayment plan. Once you have your discharge in hand, it's time to start rebuilding your credit and making the most of your fresh start. Today we'll take a look at six things you should do after you get your discharge to get – and stay – on the path to a brighter financial future.

Need a Car and a Job? Uber Is Offering Both to Responsible Drivers with Credit Problems

Uber driver

Uber is helping people get cars in exchange for driving for them

Image source: Uber.com

If you are out of work, aren't earning as much money as you need and also have auto issues, that can be a problem. But now, there's an option available to those who need to earn money and need a new car – even for those with bad credit. Car and employment problems can often go hand in hand and produce a vicious cycle – you can't afford a car without a good job and you can't get a good job because you don't have a car. Breaking out of this cycle can mean a real change in your life, but how to make it happen? Taxi alternative company Uber is helping people in this circumstance get car loans. Here's how.

What Happens When the Company You Work for Files Bankruptcy?

Going out of business

Is your company going out of business?
Image source: Flickr user Larry & Teddy Page

You always hear on the news about this or that company filing bankruptcy. Large corporate bankruptcies often make headlines but small to mid-sized businesses can go unnoticed. And although bankruptcy filings are a matter of public record, that doesn't mean the information is easy to find or will be common knowledge. If your company has filed or may file for bankruptcy, this can be a concern for you as an employee. Today we'll take a look at what happens to employees when their employer goes belly up.

4 Ways Credit Cards Can Cause Your Finances to Spin Out of Control

Credit cards

Don't get into credit card trouble

Image source: Flickr user John Lambert Pearson

Credit cards are not necessities and are not needed for most things in life – renting a car is the only activity that requires an actual credit card. Most transactions can be taken care of with a debit card from shopping online to online bill pay and more. But, used wisely, credit cards can help improve your credit score. Used unwisely, they can trash your score and cause you significant financial problems. Here are four ways credit cards can send your finances spinning out of control.

Can Your Alimony Payments Be Taken in Bankruptcy to Pay Your Bills?

Mom with son

Is your alimony at risk if you file bankruptcy?

Image source: Flickr user photosavvy

Most concerns about alimony in bankruptcy that we hear from our clients is from the person that's making the support payments. We are asked if they can reduce back balances owed, if they can pay a lower amount or get some of the amount they owe discharged along with their other debts. The answer to these questions is no, no and no. The bankruptcy court can't alter your payments for alimony or child support, nor can they discharge any back balances. You have to go to family court to address these. But recently, we had a client with a different concern. She receives both alimony and child support and is concerned that the Trustee might want to take some of these monies to give to her creditors. Here's a look at what you can expect in a North Carolina bankruptcy with regard to alimony and child support.

5 Reasons to Take a Second Job No Matter Your Budget

Help wanted

Should you get a second job?

Image source: Flickr user Andreas Klinke Johannsen

Whether your budget is super tight and you're living paycheck to paycheck or you're doing well, you may want to consider taking a second job. A second job can offer many benefits over and above the money you'll bring in, although there are down sides to consider including being tired or stressed from working extra hours and time lost from your family or social life. But with these caveats in mind, here are five reasons to consider a second job – especially at this time of year when the holidays and gift buying season are rapidly approaching.

5 Tips to Help Seniors Targeted by Debt Collectors

Senior citizen

Seniors may be subjected to illegal or extreme debt collection tactics

Image source: Flickr user A. Stakey

The watchdog agency, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), reports that shady or illegal debt collection tactics are their top complaint category and one of the groups most affected by bad debt collecting behavior is seniors. Now, more than ever, seniors are carrying increasing debt loads into retirement and these can be tough to juggle on a fixed income. If you're an older American, are struggling to pay your bills and are being harassed by debt collectors, here's what you need to know to protect yourself.

Bankruptcy Court Lets Illinois Woman Keep $10,000 Bible Against Trustee Wishes

Old Bible

Bankruptcy courts usually let you keep the family Bible

One of the major concerns of most people considering bankruptcy is what will happen to their stuff. We get this question from clients all the time. Most normal people who have standard assets – a home with a modest amount of equity, a reasonable car (not a high end sports car), furniture, computer, etc – are just fine. One of the items most people take for granted that they can keep is their family Bible. But one Illinois consumer faced losing her good book when she filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Today we'll look at what happened in this interesting case.

5 Ways to Not Let Your Overwhelming Debt Ruin the Holiday Season

Christmas gifts

Don't let money woes put a damper on your holidays this year

Image source: Flickr user Kylan Robinson

Being in overwhelming debt is never fun but it can be even more stressful around the holidays when you feel obligated to give gifts to friends, when kids expect a list of toys and there are holiday parties and meals to prepare and all of this costs money. If your budget is already strained or you're living paycheck to paycheck, the start of the shopping season can be the start of your stress season. But you shouldn't let debt ruin your holidays. Here are five ways to balance money issues and the demands of the season:

Celebrity Bankruptcy: Real Housewives of New Jersey Jacqueline Laurita's Messy Finances and Possible Fraud

RHONJ Jacqueline Laurita

Real Housewives of New Jersey - Jacqueline and Chis Laurita accused of bankruptcy fraud

Love them or hate them, the Real Housewives franchise are hit shows. The Real Housewives of New Jersey show, though, has spawned two very controversial celebrity bankruptcy cases – that of Teresa Giudice and now Jacqueline Laurita. We've written here before about Giudice's bankruptcy case including the fraud charges. Both Teresa and Joe Giudice have been sentenced to prison time and now another RHONJ star is facing possible fraud charges.

Beware Companies Promising Student Loan Relief

Student loan help

You don't need to pay for student loan help

Image source: Flickr user Betsy Weber

Student loan debt now averages nearly $30,000 per borrower. For some, their debt is less than this but, for many others, it's much more than this median amount. No matter how much you owe in college debt, if it's more than you can afford, you're likely looking for solutions. If your school loans are federal loans, there are a number of helpful solutions for those that legitimately can't afford their loans. But there are also a number of illegitimate solutions that you should avoid. Today we'll show you how to avoid these bad solutions that can actually get you into deeper debt and to look to those that can truly help.

Banks Investigated for Violating Bankruptcy Law by Keeping Old Debt on Your Credit Report

Bank of America

Bank of America and other banks investigated for bankruptcy law violations

Image source: Flickr user torbakhopper

The whole purpose of bankruptcy is to get you a much-needed financial fresh start. It's a serious step to take and not one to be taken lightly. Once you make that leap, the law protects you and promises you a clean slate on eligible debts. But a new investigation by the US Justice Department indicates that many large banks are skirting bankruptcy law and are allowing zombie debts to linger on consumers' credit reports post-bankruptcy. Here's what you need to know and how to protect yourself.

If a Creditor Sues You – You Should Show Up in Court Even If You're Broke!

Courtroom

Don't avoid court if it's necessary

If you're received a notice in the mail that one of your creditors is suing you, you may be in a panic. When you can't pay your bills and have to let some of your debts go delinquent, this is a likely consequence. The usual responses to a debt lawsuit that we see are that people ignore it because they know they can't pay it, that they don't want to take the time to deal with it or they hope, if they don't show up, that nothing bad will come out of it (the old head in the sand approach). None of these strategies are wise. We'll show you the flaws in each, then tell you exactly why you should show up in court no matter what.

Celebrity Bankruptcy: Flex and Shanice Tell How They Overcame Financial Disaster

Flex Anderson and Shanice

Flex Anderson and Shanice survived money troubles and came away stronger

Today in celebrity bankruptcy news, we bring you a tale of two married celebs that used bankruptcy to conquer their debt and get a new lease on life. In 2001, actor and comedian Flex Anderson was cast in a starring role in the UPN show One on One. His wife Shanice was an R&B hitmaker who was Grammy nominated for her single I Love Your Smile. They were pulling in more than a million bucks a year but, five years later, they were struggling and eventually were evicted from their home. Today we'll look at how these two used bankruptcy to get a fresh start and have remade their lives.

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