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Rogers Bankruptcy Law Blog

Seek a fresh financial start when you're drowning in debt

With the holiday season right around the corner, some adults are going to start thinking about what they are going to get everyone. Some people will pay for these with cash, but others will choose to use credit cards to make these purchases.

Millennials are the age group most likely to rack up credit card debt during the holiday season. Around 60% of them are going into debt for Christmas. Next common is Gen Xers, who have a 49% willingness rate. Baby boomers come in third place with a 34% willingness of going into debt for the holidays.

Can you drive drunk in an emergency?

Everyone has seen the unusual cases where someone had to drive when they shouldn't. For example, a person who was intoxicated might have to drive to get an injured friend to a hospital or to get themselves there due to an injury.

The reality is that drinking and driving can result in charges no matter when you do it. Yes, you may have a case of duress if you can prove that you had no other choice but to drive, but unless you can show that there were really no other options, that defense may be weak.

Know how to react during a traffic stop

Being pulled over by the police is a difficult experience. Many people aren't sure exactly what they should do if this happens. You can't be unprepared for this. Instead, you need to be ready to do things in an appropriate manner during the traffic stop.

One of the most important things to remember is that you shouldn't ever get out of the vehicle unless the officer tells you to. Police officers often think that people who try to get out of the vehicle are doing so to either run from them or to fight them.

Budgeting can help you during a Chapter 13 bankruptcy

When you file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you have to make sure that you are ready to live on a budget. The case has a major impact on your finances because you will have to pay the bankruptcy court on a set schedule. Making sure that you can make ends meet during this repayment period can be a challenge, but it isn't impossible.

You must try to cut your expenses down as much as possible. Just cutting out one beverage from a coffee shop isn't going to make much of a difference but going to see the barista twice per day five days per week will add up quickly to money that you can put toward other living expenses. Look at your shopping habits, how often you eat out, and what regularly occurring bills you have coming out of your account.

How does a DWI affect you financially?

If you get a DWI, you could be convicted. If you are, your life may take a turn for the worse, at least in the short-term.

After a conviction, you will face a few issues. First, you may lose your license, which means that you'll need alternate transportation to get to and from work or school. In some cases, you can get a special license for work, but you'll still need to be able to obtain insurance. If you can't, then you won't be able to drive legally.

Medical debt sometimes leads to bankruptcy

Getting medical care for an emergency or a chronic medical condition shouldn't mean that you have to face bankruptcy; however, this is the reality for many people because they aren't able to keep up with the payments of the care. Unfortunately, medical care in the United States is expensive. Even some people who have excellent insurance find that the co-pays, deductibles and other expenses are more than they can handle.

You might need to turn to bankruptcy to get control of your financial situation. One thing you need to know is that you can't pick and choose what debts you will include. All of your debts must go into the bankruptcy, which means that you have to give up your credit cards. You also won't be able to open any new lines of credit.

Protect yourself against making self-incriminating statements

Drunk driving is a danger to those on the roads, which is why it's taken so seriously. Still, it is easy to make the mistake of believing that you are less intoxicated than you are. For example, you may think that you are below the .08% limit because of having only a few drinks over the last few hours, but depending on a number of factors, you could find that you're actually exceeding that blood alcohol content (BAC).

If you decide to go out and drink, the best thing you can do for yourself is to plan for a sober way home. Whether that's calling a taxi, riding in an Uber or Lyft, calling a friend or relative or walking home, choosing to stay away from the driver's seat will save you a lot of trouble.

Keeping your financial freedom after bankruptcy

There are many different methods for getting back on financial track after you file for bankruptcy. While you are in the midst of the process, you will have to live on a cash budget. Once the court discharges the case, you have to determine what type of financial lifestyle you are going to live.

You have two primary options. The first is that you can continue to pay for everything with cash. The second is that you can start to build your credit again. No matter which one you choose, you have to act responsibly with your finances.

Now is the time to plan for Christmas purchases

Christmas is just under three months away, so now is the time to start looking for good deals on the gifts you want to purchase. While you don't have much time, you can start saving now so that you aren't having to spend a lot on credit cards for this holiday.

Sometimes, you just can't help having to use a credit card to buy Christmas gifts. If this is what is going to happen to you this year, set your budget now. Take the time to figure out what you will be able to repay in the first few months of 2020, so you can stick to what you know you can afford.

Bringing in too much income? Try Chapter 13 bankruptcy

Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a type of bankruptcy that allows you to make payments on the debts you owe over time. The bankruptcy lasts between three and five years, during which time you pay a set amount each month toward the debts you owe.

At the end of the bankruptcy, any remaining debts included in the Chapter 13 filing are discharged. While this kind of bankruptcy does require you to make payments, those payments could be lower than what you're currently paying each month.