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Tyler Texas Bankruptcy Law Blog

How far in debt will you go this Christmas?

Like racers on their mark, many shoppers barely get through their Thanksgiving dinners before they are running out to begin making their Christmas purchases. If you are among those who enjoy the rush and throng of Black Friday, you may get caught up in the excitement, spending more than you had planned. Thankfully, you remembered to bring your credit cards.

However, did it occur to you that the balances you still owe on your credit cards date back to last Black Friday or perhaps even the year before? A recent review of data finds that 25 percent of consumers who will use their credit cards this shopping season still have a balance from the previous Christmas. This means that any money you saved on those Black Friday deals last year you likely lost in the interest you paid on your credit card balances.

Elderly people becoming more likely to file for bankruptcy

Filing for bankruptcy is never an easy decision, but one many elderly people are forced to make. A recent study by the Social Science Research Network revealed that from 1991 to 2016, the rate of Americans over 65 filing for bankruptcy has increased approximately 204 percent. Out of all the people that filed for bankruptcy over this period of time, the number of elderly people increased five times.

The study also addressed potential reasons for this increase in bankruptcy filings among the elderly. First, elderly people may have medical issues, and while Medicare covers some of them, many are not covered. For example, Medicare does not generally cover extensive medical procedures, hearing aids or dental procedures. Some people also cannot afford to pay the deductibles or copays required. Also, many people suffering from medical issues are also unable to work and find themselves drowning in medical bills, even with the help of Social Security. Financial experts say that a 65-year-old couple will need approximately $280,000 for their medical care during retirement.

Protections from creditor collection and harassment

When struggling with debt and past due bills, it is important to be familiar with what creditors can do and what they cannot do. Though creditors have rights, it is important for struggling consumers to be aware that creditor harassment is illegal, that they also have important rights and to be familiar with the remedies available to them if they are suffering with creditor harassment.

It is useful to note that once a filing party files for personal bankruptcy protection, usually either Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, an automatic stay immediately goes into effect which prevents creditor collection actions while the bankruptcy process proceeds. In addition to stopping creditor harassment and collection, bankruptcy options can also provide important protections to struggling consumers.

What is the debt discharge in bankruptcy?

At the end of the bankruptcy process comes the debt discharge which allows the filing party to enjoy debt relief. Because of how important the debt discharge is to enjoying a fresh financial start, which is the reason the filing party likely filed for personal bankruptcy protection, it is important for those considering filing for bankruptcy or who have filed for bankruptcy to understand what the debt discharge process is like.

In general, the debt discharge comes at the end of any bankruptcy process including at the end of the Chapter 7 bankruptcy, Chapter 13 bankruptcy or Chapter 11 bankruptcy process. The bankruptcy discharge releases the filing party from liability for certain debts. It is permanent order that prohibits creditors from pursuing any of the debts that have been discharged. The timing of the debt discharge can vary depending on the type of bankruptcy that was filed but can range from 4 months following the filing of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition to a period of time considered by the court to be as soon as practicable in circumstances of other types of bankruptcy protection.

The different bankruptcy protections for business owners to know

This blog has recently discussed business bankruptcies and it is important for any sized business, including small businesses, to understand bankruptcy protections and relief that may be available to them. Struggling business owners should understand the relief that may be available to them through different bankruptcy options.

Small business that may wish to better understand or seek bankruptcy protection can include family-owned businesses; sole proprietorships; partnerships; limited liability companies; closely-held businesses and other small businesses. Similar to personal bankruptcy, business bankruptcies can provide relief to businesses in different situations and can also provide different types of relief based on the needs and goals of the business.

Clearing up misconceptions about bankruptcy

If you lie awake at night worrying about money and you are beginning to see your financial troubles affecting nearly every area of your life, you may be ready to make a change. There are only so many ways you can cut back on your budget and so many hours in a day to take on extra work.

Perhaps you have researched your alternatives for debt relief, but your search left you with more answers than questions. You may have even found misinformation that left you confused and anxious.

Sears closing 9 stores in Texas as part of bankruptcy

Business bankruptcy options are available to help struggling businesses overcome their financial struggles. A total of 9 Sears stores will close throughout Texas as part of the company's announcement that it will file for Chapter 11 reorganization bankruptcy. The company has been experiencing declining sales and increasing debt and will close 142 stores as part of the liquidation process of some of its stores. Changes in the retail landscape, shopping habits and technology have resulted in declining sales for the retailer.

The Chapter 11 bankruptcy process could impact other businesses and the manufacturer of various appliances. Chapter 11 bankruptcy is a debt reorganization option for businesses that allows the business to restructure its debts and look towards the future and profitability. The Chapter 11 bankruptcy process allows the struggling company time to raise capital and to also attempt to shed some of its debts.

What is the automatic stay in bankruptcy?

The automatic stay is an important protection during the bankruptcy process and those considering filing for bankruptcy should be familiar with how it works. The automatic stay goes into effect once the filing party has filed for bankruptcy protection and protects them from collection actions during the process.

During the bankruptcy process, creditors are prevented from pursuing collection actions against the filing party while the bankruptcy process is underway and until it is concluded. This is true of any bankruptcy including Chapter 7 bankruptcy, Chapter 13 bankruptcy and others. The automatic stay is an important protection to be familiar with because it stops a collection lawsuit that has been brought against the filing party by any creditor, collection agency, government entity or anyone else seeking money from the filing party.

Texas-based mattress retailer filing for bankruptcy

Reorganization bankruptcy options are available for both businesses and individuals to help both when they find themselves struggling. Texas-based Mattress Firm is reportedly filing for bankruptcy protection that will likely lead to restructuring.

The mattress retailer has experienced a couple of tumultuous years since its acquisition by an international conglomerate. The mattress retailer was purchased for $3.8 billion and had grown to be one of the nation's largest mattress chains in the years leading up to it being acquired. It also carried $1 billion in debt at the time it was acquired. The company that acquired the mattress chain noted that it had too many stores in certain markets comprising a total of 3,400 stores nationwide. Store closures are expected as part of the debt reorganization process.

Understanding who may qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy

When facing any financial crisis, it is important to be familiar with the personal bankruptcy options available to struggling consumers. Because there are requirements to qualify, and different options to consider, it is best to understand eligibility requirements and which option is best for then needs and circumstances of the filing party.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a liquidation bankruptcy in which the filing party is able to liquidate non-exempt assets to repay creditors. Because of the nature of this personal bankruptcy option, there are requirements to qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Those who may not qualify for one reason or another, however, should not despair because additional personal bankruptcy options may be available to them and it may also be able to convert a bankruptcy from one type of personal bankruptcy to another.

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