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July 2016 Archives

Bankruptcy gives more complete relief than debt settlements

A resident of Arkansas who is facing overwhelming debt problems will understandably seek out professional help to find a strategy for debt relief. In just about every case, a person in that situation is solidly in favor of paying off his or her debts in a payment plan of some sort. However, prior to retaining the services of anyone, the individual should make a thorough search and act carefully. There are unethical and usurious companies around every corner so that caution must be exercised. The consumer should also compare the features of any programs offered with the powerful and swift remedies available in a federal bankruptcy proceeding. 

Financial hardship arises when insurers reject medical bills

With all of the controversy over mandated health insurance coverage, one very prominent problem still needs to be addressed by legislators. It is the fact that even though a person has health insurance coverage, not all of his or her prescribed treatments and medications are being paid by the insurers. This phenomenon is occurring in Arkansas and across the country, and it continues to create severe financial hardship that will likely result in bankruptcy filings in the foreseeable future.

Bankruptcy relief for many consumers may be around the corner

The middle class economic struggle seems to be worsening throughout the country, including here in Arkansas. More and more people are confronting deep financial frustration as they try to find ways out of the morass. The fact is that it is not easy to pay for excess medical bills, accumulated student loans, high-interest credit card debt and for all of the trappings of American life on hourly wages of $10 or even $15 per hour. That shows how difficult it must be for those who earn even less, and it portends a future where consumer bankruptcy will once again be the only viable choice for people who need meaningful relief.

Felony battery charge on woman accused of using switch

In Arkansas, the criminal laws are strictly enforced. That's what both a 12-year-old girl and her 70-year-old great grandmother recently learned when the girl had the older woman arrested for battery. However, judging from public opinion, it was an unpopular enforcement decision by the Hot Springs Police, who are on the hot seat for arresting the older woman for doing what many people seem to feel was the right thing to do.  

Legal and filing fees in bankruptcy are paid prior to filing

In Arkansas and other states, a bankruptcy proceeding is initiated by filing a petition. The petition, accompanying schedules, and other mandatory forms make up a comprehensive package containing details of the filer's financial affairs, including bills, loans, tax obligations, income records, assets, household budget and a series of financial questions. The federal bankruptcy filing also includes counseling certificates, along with a special formulation of the filer's income and debts, called the means test, which is designed to determine the debtor's qualifications to file the petition.

Student loans may be dischargeable in bankruptcy

Student loans can account for a significant portion of a person's debt load, and many have trouble repaying the debt. Fortunately, despite popular belief, it's not quite true that a person in Arkansas or any other state cannot discharge a student loan obligation in bankruptcy. In fact, if one files for bankruptcy, it may be advisable to list the student loan as a dischargeable debt and try to get it wiped out. The rule that the court will use to decide the issue is called the undue hardship test.

Increased credit card use may indicate new bankruptcy increase

The use of credit cards is increasing in Arkansas and nationwide, and more consumers are missing payments, according to reports issued by Synchrony Financial, the largest distributor of retail store credit cards. Economic experts view this as a sign of an oncoming recession. It may also bring an increase in bankruptcy filings in the near future.