One of the things Tyler, Texas, residents frequently are willing to take out a loan on is a new or gently used car. After all, relatively few families are blessed with having the thousands of dollars in savings that it takes to purchase a vehicle when they need one, and cars are an essential part of daily life for most residents of this city.
Veterans who have been injured in combat often face significant challenges as they seek to resume their lives back in Tyler and elsewhere in the United States. Physical and psychological injuries commonly require intensive, long-term treatment and can turn everyday tasks into hurdles to overcome. Recently, it was reported that thousands of veterans and their families are shocked to find that they owe thousands for survivor benefits to the government, threatening their family's financial stability.
For Tyler residents who earn some form of income but struggle with debt, there is good news. Chapter 13 allows individuals to file for bankruptcy and obtain a fresh financial start while protecting their assets, as long as they can keep current on a court-ordered payment plan that typically lasts up to five years.
We make efforts here on our Tyler Texas bankruptcy law blog to address the pervasive myth that homeowners will automatically lose their homes if they file for bankruptcy. Especially with Chapter 13, filers can generally keep their homes if they can stay up to date on their repayment plans. Even some Chapter 7 filers may be able to keep their homes, thanks in part to Texas' strong homestead laws.
We'll pick up this week where we left off from our discussion of debt relief companies and credit counseling services. Tyler residents searching for debt relief options are likely to encounter these two types of entities, and it's important to understand the difference between the two as well as their limitations.
Tyler residents burdened with debt and seeking some debt relief have a number of options. Credit counseling (usually offered by a non-profit organization) is one common option; another is debt settlement through a private company. The two are similar, which may leave consumers wondering: just what is the difference between debt settlement and credit counseling services?
$1.4 trillion: this is how much American graduates owe in student loan debt today. If that figure sounds alarming, there is more bad news in a recent Brookings Institution study of the latest data released by the U.S. Department of Education. The study sought to examine student debt over a longer term than the often-studied first few years after graduation. It found that, of borrowers who started college back in 2004, nearly two in five will likely default on their student loans within the next five years.
Although it is often the last thing that a debtor wants to consider when they are facing insurmountable financial challenges, bankruptcy is an excellent option for many people who want to be in control of their loans and other financial obligations. Texans have several options for bankruptcy that may allow them to receive judicial discharges of their debts and, depending upon the form of bankruptcy that they choose, the process of reaching a discharge can look very different.
It can happen to even the most fiscally responsible person. Sometimes a financially catastrophic event occurs -- a serious illness, a job loss, a divorce or another major life event -- that makes it difficult if not impossible for a person to pay their bills. It is not pleasant to be in a situation where a person has to decide which bills to pay (or not pay) and still keep food on the table and a roof over their head. Fortunately, people in Texas and across the nation who are drowning in debt may be able to file for bankruptcy.
Any person in Tyler, Texas could sometime find themselves facing financial hard times. It is not easy to choose between paying your bills, putting food on the table or gas in the car. Eventually the debts add up to the point where paying them off simply is not possible. This can be a devastating blow, one that is made all the more stressful and frightening when debt collectors start calling or foreclosure is threatened.