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Greensboro Black Friday Slump Shows North Carolina Consumers Scared About the Future

Black Friday

Black Friday backlash in 2015 as sales dip

Image Source: Flickr User John Henderson

There’s always a lot of hoopla surrounding Black Friday sales, but this year, many shoppers seem to be holding back despite many positive economic trends. We wrote recently about the Greensboro, North Carolina drop in joblessness – which is a good thing – but now a local retailer reports that holiday sales are off to a slow start. Here’s what this means and why this could be a good thing for you.

Be a Smart Consumer This Holiday Season – 7 Tips to Protect Yourself When Shopping In-Store or Online


Guard your credit and identity this holiday season

Image Source: Flickr User COD Newsroom

Holidays are peak season not only for happy holiday shoppers but also for scammers. Fraud can strike you at retail stores, restaurants, online or anywhere you used a credit card or share personal data. Scammers hope that in the hectic pace of the holidays, your guard will be down, and they can take advantage. Don’t let that happen! Check out these seven tips to protect you now and all year long.

Can’t Afford Your Car Payments - Is Voluntary Surrender Better Than Repossession and Can Bankruptcy Help?

Car repossession

If you're late on your car loan, the repo man is coming

Image Source: Flickr User Emran Kassim

In most areas of North Carolina, a car is a necessity. You need it to get to work, to take your kids to activities, to run errands, and get to the doctor. Not only is going without a car an inconvenience, but it can be costly to rent a car or take taxis or Uber everywhere. And doing without transportation isn’t an option. That’s why it can be terribly stressful if you fall behind on your car payments. Today we’ll look at some options to consider if your car is in jeopardy because you’re delinquent on payments.

Are You Being Harassed By a Debt Collection RoboCall? How Can You Fight Back?

Call phone call

Are you getting constant debt calls to your cell phone?

Image Source: Flickr User Garry Knight

Debt collections are bad enough but when you’re contacted by a robocall computer that won’t stop calling, it’s even worse. But what you may not know is that, in some cases, robocalls for debt collections may be illegal and can result in a fine to the debt agency. Today we look at how to fight back against harassing automated calls over debt.

Celebrity Bankruptcy Alert: Another Real Housewives Star Turns to Chapter 7 for Relief – Robyn Dixon of RHOP Sought Debt Relief Before Landing Bravo Role

New York City

The Real Housewives of Potomac star Robyn Dixon filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy

Image Source: Flickr User Emilio Labrador

There’s something about bankruptcy and the stars of the Bravo franchise of Real Housewives reality shows. Teresa Giudice of The Real Housewives of New Jersey is serving time right now for bankruptcy and mortgage fraud. Giudice is an extreme example – most of the stars of the show used bankruptcy as it is  intended to dig them out of a mountain of debt. And news just broke that Robyn Dixon, one of the stars of the newest spinoff titled The Real Housewives of Potomac, filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy a couple of years ago.

Should You Feel Guilty About Bankruptcy? Do You Have a Moral Obligation to Pay Creditors? Thanksgiving Musings on Debt

Thanksgiving turkey

Thinking about debt instead of dressing this Thanksgiving?

Image Source: Flickr User Andrea Westmoreland

It’s Thanksgiving this week when people sit down, break bread, and acknowledge what’s good in their lives. But if you’re not earning enough to get by and are overwhelmed by debt, you may feel like you have little for which to be thankful. The good news is, there is a legal debt relief option available to most consumers – bankruptcy. Have you dismissed the idea of bankruptcy because you feel guilty about not fulfilling your debts? Do you believe you have a moral obligation to pay every penny of what you owe? Here are some things to consider.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Can Cure Financial Problems Today – Be Debt-Free for the Holidays

Debt stress

Your debt can be gone by the holidays with Chapter 7 bankruptcy

Image Source: Flickr User martinak15

For those too deep in debt, Chapter 7 bankruptcy can be a perfect solution. If you are overwhelmed with debt, are living paycheck to paycheck, and deal with harassing debt collections calls daily, there is a better way. If you qualify for Chapter 7, you can be debt free (and stress-free) for the holidays. Getting out of unaffordable debt can be life-changing – here’s more about how Chapter 7 can help you and how to find out if you qualify.

How Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Can Help Save Your Home from Foreclosure – Even if You’re Past Due on Mortgage Payments

Mortgage problems

If you are behind on payments, Chapter 7 may help save your home in some cases

Image Source: Flickr User Brian Jeffery Beggerly

Chapter 13 and Chapter 7 bankruptcy can both put a stop to foreclosure of your home. But if you’re behind on your mortgage payments, a Chapter 7 may mean you could lose your home if you don't try to remedy the delinquent balance. In some cases, letting a home go can be a positive move in the long run. If you’re upside down on your loan, if your home is in disrepair, if you can no longer afford the mortgage or the home doesn’t work for your family anymore, you may want to let it go. But if none of these apply and you want to try and keep your home – Chapter 7 bankruptcy can help in some cases. Here's how.

Greensboro NC Unemployment Drops by Nearly 1% - How Your Finances Impact Your Job Hunt

Help wanted

Want a new job? Your credit score may be a factor

Image Source: Flickr User Ming Xia

The latest unemployment numbers for Greensboro, North Carolina, show a promising shift in employment opportunities. Month over month, from August to September 2015 (the most recent period available) unemployment dropped nearly 1% from 6.2% to 5.3%. This is particularly significant for Greensboro consumers since the unemployment dip for North Carolina as a whole was lower at .7% (from 6.1% to 5.4%) and national employment remained stagnant at 5.1%.

Is North Carolina Bankruptcy the Solution to All Your Debt Problems?


Bankruptcy can keep debt from stringing you along

Image Source: Flickr User Clifton

Bankruptcy is a fit solution for many North Carolina consumers in over their head with debt, but is it right for you? Unfortunately, like with so many things in life, there is not a litmus test to tell you whether filing bankruptcy is the right thing to do. Today we’ll tell you some of the pros and cons of choosing bankruptcy to help you decide if it’s a fit. These are general points, but if you’re interested in finding out how bankruptcy applies to your specific debt circumstances, the Law Offices of John T Orcutt helps North Carolina consumers understand their options.

How Bankruptcy Can Protect Your Retirement and Golden Years


Don't drain your retirement assets for debt

Image Source: Flickr User American Advisors Group

In recent years, the number of bankruptcy filers in the age range of 65 and over has increased – between 1997 and 2010, the filing rate for seniors more than tripled and continues to climb. While this may seem a cause for concern, in fact, this may be a positive thing for those who turn to the courts for help with their finances as they head into their golden years. Here’s a look at how bankruptcy can help senior consumers in North Carolina.

Is Debt Wrecking Your Marriage? How Bankruptcy Can Save Your Financial Future and Your Relationship


Dumping debt may end the need for divorce

Image Source: Flickr User Jennifer Pahlka

You’ve likely heard the statistic that half of all marriages will end in divorce, but did you know the odds are higher for a split in a second marriage and even higher for a third trip to the altar? One of the leading causes of divorce is finances. It seems a shame that money can mess up a marriage, but it’s absolutely true. Debt stress can be devastating to an individual, but doubly hard when it comes to couples, particularly couples that don’t see eye to eye on their financial priorities. But filing bankruptcy can, in some cases, mend your marriage while it rehabilitates your finances. Here are some things to consider.

Can You Use Chapter 13 to Deal with Your Debt? 3 Things to Fix Before You File Bankruptcy


Chapter 13 barriers can be defeated

Image Source: Flickr User Dennis Skley

Chapter 13 bankruptcy can be a helpful way to deal with overwhelming debt. This bankruptcy chapter allows you time to catch up on past-due payments on secured debt such as your mortgage or auto loan. With Chapter 7 bankruptcy, late payments on secured debt can also be dealt with, but you either have to surrender the asset, refinance the debt, or work out another arrangement. Chapter 13 can also help make unsecured debt more manageable. Your repayment plan, which lasts three to five years, will deal with back balances and will also pay some towards unsecured debts like credit cards and medical bills. But at the end of your plan, the remaining unsecured balances should be discharged. If you’re interested in Chapter 13, you should be aware that there are some circumstances that could block you from filing or gaining a discharge. Today we look at these barriers and how you can fix them before (or after) filing.

Consumer Alert: Beware New College Financial Aid Scam That’s Driving a Government Crack-Down

Financial aid

CFPB sues alleged financial aid scam perpetrator

Image Source: Flickr User COD Newsroom

Paying for college is costly and student loans are an increasingly burdensome and common way for parents and students to finance the cost of higher education. Finding grants and scholarships can be a helpful way to reduce out of pocket costs for college as well as the need to borrow to finance schooling. But a new scam targeting parents and prospective college students has grown so pervasive that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is cracking down on perpetrators. Here’s what you need to know to protect yourself from this financial aid scam.

Are You a Struggling North Carolina Small Business Owner? Bankruptcy May Help Get You Back on Track

Out of business

Bankruptcy helps business owners

Image Source: Flickr User Larry & Teddy Page

Nothing can be more rewarding than owning your own small business, but it can also be stressful, particularly if the market shifts, the economy takes a downturn, or you’re hit with unexpected issues that reduce revenue or increase expenses. According to research by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, one-third of businesses fail within two years of hanging their shingle. But even businesses with financial problems can recover. And, in some cases, it may be better to file North Carolina business bankruptcy, close the business, work up a new business plan, and then start over. Donald Trump, after all, is a billionaire, and he’s filed business bankruptcy four times. Here’s a look at how business bankruptcy can help you.

Celebrity Bankruptcy Alert: Olympic Skater Debi Thomas in Money Struggle

Figure skating

Figure skater Debi Thomas in financial trouble

Image Source: Flickr User Dustin Gaffke

In addition to being an Olympic medalist, former ice skater Debi Thomas is an orthopedic surgeon. Each of these two attributes alone seems to indicate a bright future and together seem like a certain recipe for success. But Thomas filed for bankruptcy last year and, at the time, had no money in the bank, a mountain of debt and a troubled past. In today’s celebrity bankruptcy alert, we take a look at how this athletic great fell so far and how easy it is for anyone to get into financial stress and need the clean slate that bankruptcy offers.

5 Options if You’re Upside Down on Your Mortgage – North Carolina Bankruptcy Tips

Upside down

There are options if your mortgage exceeds your home's value

Image Source: Flickr User Tony Fischer

Finances can be complicated if you’re living in a home with no equity. But what’s worse is a home where you’ve got negative equity – this means you owe more than the home is worth. This is also known as being “upside down” on your mortgage. This can happen a number of ways. Maybe you bought the house at a decent price but then the market tanked so your value fell below your mortgage balance. Or perhaps you took out a home equity line of credit that ate up your equity then the market shifted. No matter how you got there, knowing your house is more of a liability than an asset can be upsetting. Here’s five things to consider if you’re upside down on your mortgage and how North Carolina bankruptcy may be part of the solution.

Can You Lose Your VA Loan Privileges Because You Filed Bankruptcy or Had a Foreclosure?

Service members

You can keep your VA benefits even after bankruptcy

Image Source: Flickr User US Army Africa

Serving in the military is a tough job – some say one of the toughest. Soldiers, sailors, and airmen work long hours, often far away from their families. The pay is not impressive compared to the sacrifices made by servicemen and their families, but there are a few benefits that are unique to the Armed Forces. One of these is the VA home loan program. The Veteran’s Administration home loan benefit allows service men and women to get a home loan with no down payment. But if you’re a veteran who has filed bankruptcy or lost a home to foreclosure, you may wonder if you lost this valuable benefit.

Celebrity Bankruptcy Alert: 7 Child Stars Who Went Broke

Child star

How bankruptcy has helped former child stars with money problems

Image Source: Flickr User chubstock

We cover celebrity bankruptcies here regularly, but today we’ll look at a special segment of this type of insolvency – that of child stars that went bankrupt. It seems like there are few children that find early fame that see long-term success as adults. Most of the cast of the Harry Potter movie franchise seem to be doing well now, for instance, but it may take decades for the full impact of financial struggles to hit. In some cases, it’s poor financial planning by parents to blame or the parents may squander their offspring’s money. For others, their financial downfall may come down to substance abuse or lack of purpose in their adult life. In this celebrity bankruptcy alert, we’ll dig into seven cases of child stars that went bankruptcy and look at why their finances turned sour.

Greensboro and Guilford County Rank 31st Among North Carolina Bankruptcy Counties

Greensboro, North Carolina

Greensboro NC and Guilford County rank 31st in state for bankruptcy

Image Source: Flickr User Joe Wolf

A recent survey ranked North Carolina bankruptcy filings by county and Greensboro bankruptcy filings put Guilford County as #31 on the list of 100 NC counties. The numbers analyzed were from 2010 and showed that for every 10,000 Guilford County residents, there was a little more than 15 bankruptcy filings. The numbers include those filing personal bankruptcy Chapter 7, Chapter 13, and business bankruptcy Chapter 7 and Chapter 11.


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