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Rogers Bankruptcy Law Blog

Some people can't afford to file bankruptcy

Bankruptcy is often thought of as a way to get control of your debt. The trouble is that some people aren't able to take advantage of it because it is cost-prohibitive. The cost of filing is too much for some people, so they just try to handle the debts as best as they can. This can become a source of extreme stress for them because they are unable to do much about the extreme debt they are in.

The cost of filing causes some people to wait until they get their tax refund to file. While this might seem like an ideal solution, it really isn't. Some people truly can't wait that long because they are being harassed by debt collectors and might be facing some extreme collection attempts.

How can you handle overwhelming medical debt?

Medical debt that has gone to collections can be frustrating. Did you know that around 80% of those who filed for bankruptcy due to medical debt actually had health insurance? It may not be surprising considering the high cost of deductibles, out-of-pocket co-payments and other expenses.

If you are in debt from medical procedures or a medical emergency, the top tip to remember is not to ignore those debts. They can go to collections, and they can impact your credit. Most medical providers won't wait more than a few months before sending you to collections.

Bankruptcy can have mental health impacts

The process of filing for bankruptcy is difficult for many people. Not only do you have to deal with the lifestyle changes that you are going through, but your emotions are probably suffering greatly. You might feel as though you let people down. You might be worried about how others see you now. You may be concerned about your job and your home. All of this can weigh heavily on your mind.

Financial difficulties can wear you down faster than many other problems. As you go through bankruptcy, keeping a few things in mind should provide you with some relief.

Can a liquidation bankruptcy help?

When it comes to debt relief, one of the primary options is a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Chapter 7 bankruptcy has many benefits for people who cannot afford to pay back what they owe. As a liquidation bankruptcy, it may require you to give up a portion of your assets for sale. However, there are exemptions, so that you don't have to start over from scratch -- and many people end up giving up nothing at all.

Many people worry about using Chapter 7 bankruptcy due to the potential for losing assets. The reality is that people who qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy can protect a fair amount of their assets. Non-exempt assets must be liquidated, but exempt assets, which could include a personal vehicle up to a certain value, necessary clothing or others, are protected.

Understanding the penalties for drunk driving

Arkansas laws place harsh penalties on drunk driving offenses. This is due to the need to keep the state's roads safe. Police who are out on the roads make a concerted effort to find people who are driving under the influence. They will watch for signs, such as weaving in and out of lanes, and stop vehicles that appear to have an impaired driver. Once they conduct the stop, they have to determine whether the driver meets the legal standards for driving while intoxicated (DWI).

When the driver appears to be impaired by alcohol, the priority becomes determining their blood alcohol concentration (BAC). This has an impact on the charge and the penalties the person could face.

Christmas is coming but doesn't have to involve debt

Even though most people don't want to think about it, Christmas is right around the corner. Now is the time that you have to think about what you are going to do for loved ones on that holiday. Some people will go overboard and buy gifts that they really can't afford. This is because they just didn't plan and now feel the pressure of the coming gift-giving season.

One thing that you can do is start a sinking fund to help cover the costs of Christmas. You have about four months to get as much money together as you can. Remember, every dollar that you can pay in cash is one dollar less that you will have to charge on a credit card. That single buck off of a credit card could save you a lot more than that once you remember that you won't have to cover interest and fees for the purchase if you pay cash.

Don't pay inaccurate medical bills

When you have to seek care in the hospital, you have a lot to think about. Not only do you have to miss work, you might know that you are going to start getting costly bills in the mail. There are a few things that you need to remember about these bills. One of these is that you must scrutinize them line by line so that you can ensure that you are only paying what you should. The second is that you need to come up with a strategy for handling them. A third is that you should only agree to payment terms if you are sure you can keep them.

As you review the bills, remember that you will have to ask for the itemized bill. Chances are that the hospital will only send you a generalized statement that tells you what the total bill was and what the insurance paid. It will also include the amount that you are responsible for. While this is good to know, it doesn't tell you whether you actually received everything they said. Even having to pay for one extra pill is too much.

Drug court can help people who are committed to the program

For some people who are facing drug charges, going through a full trial isn't desirable. Those who have charges involving possession without any extenuating circumstances might choose to pursue the possibility of drug court. This is a special criminal court that brings the punishments of the criminal justice system together with help to address addiction and some of the choices that come with it.

Drug courts in this state are handled through the Department of Community Corrections, which is the same office that works with parolees and probationers. You will have a dedicated officer over your case who you will work with to ensure that you are maintaining the standards set for you. On top of that, you will also have regular court appearances.

Eliminate medical debt for freer finances

Medical debt is a serious problem for many people, because it is quickly overwhelming even with insurance coverage. Deductibles, co-pays and coinsurance add up. On top of that, certain providers or people who worked with you during your treatment may be out-of-network providers, meaning that you have to pay even more for these services.

Medical debt doesn't have to mean the end of your financial security, even though it may seem like it. Very fortunately, there are ways to negotiate financial debt and to eliminate it. From negotiating with your medical provider to opting to go through bankruptcy, there are ways to avoid having medical debt impact you in the future.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy could help you become debt-free

Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a wonderful tool for those who have too much of an income to qualify for Chapter 7 liquidation bankruptcy. Chapter 13 bankruptcy is special, because it requires you to make payments for three to five years. You'll make those payments on time each month. If you fail to do so, then your bankruptcy will not complete successfully.

Another significant benefit of Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a good tool for those who have the funds to make monthly payments but who are overwhelmed by their current debts. The amount you'll pay each month is generally lower than what you'd pay on each debt individually, and the amount is predetermined by the court. You'll pay that fee to the court or a trustee each month, and your debts will then be paid by your single payment.