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Rogers Bankruptcy Law Blog

Impaired driving comes with harsh penalties

Driving under the influence of any substance is illegal in Arkansas. It doesn't matter what the substance is. This includes alcohol, over-the-counter medications, prescription drugs and illegal substances, even if they are obtained legally.

No matter what substance is impairing a driver, the results can be the same. These drivers can cause serious accidents that can result in catastrophic injuries or death. This is why the legal system takes such a harsh stance against impaired driving. You can face the loss of your driver's license, have to pay fines and even be required to spend time in jail if you are convicted of this crime.

What can you do about high medical debts?

Medical debt is one of the most frustrating debts to overcome. It can total in the thousands or hundreds of thousands very quickly, depending on the severity of an illness or injury. Even with insurance, there is a possibility of having deductibles, copays and other expenses that add up.

The good news about medical debt is that it can also be one of the easier forms of debt to eliminate, especially if you can prove that you are unable to pay the debt back due to your income level. Did you know that some hospitals and medical providers offer services that help pay off medical bills for those in need? That's the first thing you should ask about when you receive bills that are too high for you to pay.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy might not be preventable

The decision to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy isn't one that is made lightly by filers. It usually takes a lot of debt and the exhaustion of all other options before most people file. Often, there are other circumstances that play a part in the need to use this protection.

One of the more common reasons for filing bankruptcy is that medical bills have become unmanageable. This happens in up to 60% of these cases. Divorce and unemployment also factor into some cases. When you file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you must be able to repay the debts, in whole or in part, in three to five years.

How can bankruptcy help you?

Personal bankruptcy can be the right choice if you're struggling with debt and don't see a way out. Personal bankruptcies help eliminate unsecured debts, giving you the opportunity to start fresh.

Things like student loans and taxes can't be discharged through bankruptcy in most cases. If those are the debts that are weighing you down most, you should look into other options that would allow you to pay them down.

Sexual assault charges stem from many circumstances

Many people think of violent crimes as things like murder or beating someone up. What they might not realize is that some violent crimes are much more subtle in nature. Sexual assault can be one of these under the right circumstances. Because most adults interact with other people on a daily basis, they should all have an idea of constitutes sexual assault.

One of the most important things to remember is that sexual assault doesn't have to include any type of penetration. Instead, any type of unwanted sexual contact is considered sexual harassment. This can occur because of threats of force or actual physical force. This is why it is so important to get consent if you are going to have any type of sexual contact with a person.

Student loan debt crushes some borrowers

People who have more debt than they can handle will sometimes turn to bankruptcy for a fresh financial start. This is beneficial to many, but some might find that they don't get as much relief from the filing as they expected. A study done by LendEDU of 1,083 filings shows that many people who file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy have student loan debt that isn't dissolved in the bankruptcy.

Around 32 percent of filers had this type of nondischargeable debt. Of those, student loans accounted for an average of 49 percent of their total debt. Unfortunately, these individuals might not see much of a benefit if they do file for Chapter 7 because they will still have the crushing student loan debt to deal with.

College students at risk for high credit card debt, report shows

Credit card debt can make your life miserable. It can weigh down your finances and make it hard to make ends meet. Even if you've only had to put a few thousand dollars on your credit cards because of an emergency, it can take many months, or years, to pay that debt off.

One group of people who is at risk of ending up in over their heads with debt is college students. College students may not be aware of how fast interest rates add up, or they may overestimate their ability to pay back what they spend.

At least 43 million Americans are behind on medical bills

Medical debt is an issue that can plague people. Most people who have it want to pay off those debts. The problem, however, is that these bills are often unexpected and usually high. Some medical providers are willing to make payment arrangements for these bills, but there are often multiple bills from more than one provider that stem from one medical care encounter.

There are at least 43 million Americans who have medical bills that are classified as overdue on their credit reports. Many of these have been turned over to collection agencies, which introduces the possibility that errors have been added to the account during the transfers.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy requires years of repayments

Some people associate bankruptcy with the ability to just have debts written off. What they don't realize is that there are different types of bankruptcies. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy is one that a person can file if they have too many exempt assets or an income that sufficient to repay some of their debts.

Unlike a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy requires you to make regular payments to the bankruptcy trustee so that the debts can be paid down. Once you have made all scheduled payments, the remainder of the balance you have with any creditor is discharged.

Should you consider bankruptcy if you're behind on payments?

A personal bankruptcy may never have crossed your mind in the past, but now that you've lost your job and have had to run up your credit to make ends meet, you're not sure what to do. You found a new job, but now what you earn isn't enough to cover the bills you've created when you couldn't work.

Your situation isn't as unusual as it may seem, and you do have options. One of those options is to reach out to your creditors, especially if you haven't been late on a payment yet, and ask for more time to pay or a reduction in payments. Sometimes, they'll forgive a missed payment or fees to help, too.