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Santa Rosa Bankruptcy Blog

Is your credit card debt drowning you?

Perhaps you have had a credit card in your wallet since you were a senior in high school. Maybe you took one with you to college just for emergencies and were amazed at the ease with which you could make purchases — paying for pizza, treating friends to beer or getting new clothes for your first internship.

Now that you are responsible for larger expenses and perhaps a family, you understand how reckless you were to charge your whims without a thought about how to pay for them. Your credit cards have come in handy over the years for unexpected expenses, such as car repairs or medical costs. They have also helped your family enjoy much-needed vacation time. However, you are seeing signs that your credit card debt is out of hand.

Are you experiencing harassment from debt collectors?

California readers know there are many negative consequences to owing a significant amount of debt. One of these downfalls is the constant contact from creditors and debt collectors who are trying to collect on owed payments. They can call you, send you mail and make other efforts to communicate with you. However, this only adds to the stress of your overwhelming financial situation. 

If you are dealing with constant contact with creditors, it is possible you are experiencing creditor harassment. While debt collectors do have the right to attempt to collect money, there are limits to what they can do. As a consumer dealing with debt, it may be beneficial for you to learn more about your rights.

Should you offer the IRS a compromise?

Living in a California county where housing costs and other living expenses are high can be challenging at times. For instance, if you're used to living on two full incomes, then you or your spouse loses a job, your entire financial foundation may suddenly be on shaky ground. Even if you're both still employed, an unexpected matter, such as urgently needed medical care or a family crisis, can throw your finances out of whack so that you have trouble paying what you owe the Internal Revenue Service for taxes. 

The IRS won't forget that you owe payment on a tax debt. If you can't find a way to pay your taxes in full, you might want to consider an offer in compromise. While the IRS is often hesitant to accept such an agreement, there are times when it may be the most viable solution. An OIC allows you to pay back less than what you owe. Support is available to help you determine if an OIC might be a better option that filing for bankruptcy. 

Do I qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy?

Many California residents have, over the years, found themselves in tough financial positions. Living in this state is expensive. Job loss, emergencies, health scares and a number of other things can arise that make paying one's bills impossible. If you've found yourself in a difficult financial bind, there may be debt relief options available to you -- such as bankruptcy.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is just one type of personal bankruptcy that may be available to individuals or couples who cannot meet their debt obligations. There are certain requirements that one must meet, though, in order to receive court approval on this type of bankruptcy.

Have you received a legal complaint regarding creditor claims?

You, like most California residents and individuals across the country, likely have some form of debt. While your outstanding balances may have once been easily managed, you may have found yourself struggling to keep up with payments due to unexpected life events or other issues. Now, your debt has become so overwhelming that you feel uncertain whether you will ever have the ability to pay it back.

While you certainly remain aware of your financial situation and want to take action to address it, you may not take steps in time to avoid a lawsuit from a creditor. Though creditors cannot threaten to put you in jail for outstanding debt, they can take legal action against you by suing you for owed funds. If a creditor has brought a claim against you, you may wonder how to handle the situation.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy: is it the right choice for you?

California readers who are overwhelmed by debt may know that bankruptcy could be a reasonable option for them. Filing for bankruptcy may not be your first choice, but it could be a way to obtain a better financial future that is free from the threat of losing your home and the harassment from creditors.

If you are dealing with the possibility of losing your home to foreclosure or specific types of debt, Chapter 13 bankruptcy could be the right choice for you. Even if you believe that this is the practical choice for your individual situation, it is smart to have a complete evaluation of your case in order to fully explore all of your options. Filing for any type of consumer bankruptcy is a serious decision, and it is prudent to take care to know all of your options before you proceed.

Will I lose everything in a bankruptcy?

A job loss, a divorce or a medical emergency are some of the most common events that can send a family budget into crisis. If you experienced any of these, you know how difficult it is to bounce back. You can take a part-time job and cut back on expenses, but there are only so many hours in a day and so many extras to cut from your budget.

After struggling with your finances long enough, you have finally decided to examine the benefits of bankruptcy protection. Undoubtedly, you have heard myths and misconceptions about people who have gone through bankruptcy. However, you may find relief in learning the truth about bankruptcy and how it can potentially help you.

A medical crisis often leads to a financial crisis

If you have been keeping up with your expenses, making ends meet and even socking a little away for a modest vacation or home repairs, you may have felt discouraged when you or a loved one suffered a chronic or sudden illness or a debilitating injury.

Even if you have health insurance, you likely faced thousands of dollars in deductibles before the insurance benefits kicked in. Perhaps, like many in California whose employers do not provide health insurance benefits, you may have found the premiums too costly for your budget. Now you are facing overwhelming medical debt.

Knowing when a debt collector goes too far

If you woke up this morning with a tension headache or a knot in your stomach because of your financial situation, it is probably not the first time. In fact, you know things have gotten bad if you start your day by planning how to avoid your creditors. Knowing that at a certain time of day the phone calls will start certainly doesn't make it easy to greet the day with any positivity.

While it may seem like those debt collectors are calling constantly, it is likely that they are acting within the limits of the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act, which permits and prohibits certain behaviors of creditors trying to get you to pay what they say you owe. It is important that you have a good understanding of those limits because some unscrupulous collectors may rely on the fact that not many borrowers know their rights.

One of these options may help you keep your home

Whether you got behind on your mortgage loan payments over time or due to a catastrophic event such as a job loss or medical emergency, your lender is knocking on your door for payment. In fact, your lender may already be threatening to foreclose on your home.

When you borrowed the money to buy your home, you gave your lender your home as collateral. Now, as you experience financial difficulties, your lender may consider taking that collateral to satisfy the loan. Fortunately, most lenders have no desire to own your home. Instead, they would prefer for you to keep paying. This means that it may be possible to keep your home.


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