Hatfield Harris, PLLC
Local: 479-250-1962 or Toll Free: 800-491-4103

Personal Bankruptcy Archives

Bankruptcy myths prevent consumers from filing for relief

Being saddled with unmanageable debt is a hard position to be in. The Arkansas consumer who is burdened with overwhelming debt is sometimes led into believing that filing a bankruptcy will be the virtual closing out of one's life. Nothing could be further from the truth. The consumer may do well to remember that these myths about bankruptcy are false and that they are largely the product of the credit card companies and other big credit interests.

Bankruptcy decision in Eleventh Circuit favors debtors

Can an out-of-state creditor come into a consumer's bankruptcy case and file a proof of claim for a stale debt that has gone over the maximum time limit for the statute of limitations?  A federal district court judge answered yes to that question. However, on appeal, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals reversed and held 3-0 that filing of an out-of-state stale claim in bankruptcy court is a violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. The ruling is likely to be accepted in Arkansas bankruptcy courts as legal precedent.

When should consumers file for bankruptcy relief?

There are many considerations that go into the decision of whether to file for bankruptcy relief in Arkansas. The best way to make a determination is to consult with an experienced consumer bankruptcy attorney. The attorney will review all of the pertinent bills, claims, judgments, lawsuits, if any, and will compare the debt load in the context of the current income. The attorney will also consider the nature of the assets owned and the type of debt that may apply specifically, as a lien or security interest, on any of those assets.

2 credit counseling certificates are required in a bankruptcy

If a consumer is overloaded with unsecured debt and unable to pay that amount off in a reasonable payment plan over the next five years, bankruptcy may be the best option available. When consumer debt overload spirals that far out of control, the truth is that strong and forceful measures must be taken for the sake of survival. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy will wipe out all unsecured consumer debt within a few months and allow for the individual or family to get a true fresh start. Arkansas residents will file the case here but the U.S. Bankruptcy Code will apply to processing and resolution of the matter.

One state resolution asks Congress to loosen bankruptcy rules

Despite all of the student loan defaults by economically pressed graduates, federal lenders made about $66 billion on loans for the federal government between 2007 and 2012. The industry is not suffering and would not suffer if Congress amended the law to liberalize the current standards for discharging such loans in bankruptcy. Arkansas residents stand with the rest of the country in hoping to see reform with respect to the dischargeability of student loans.

Sneaky retailer incentives can help push buyers into bankruptcy

Just like others nationwide, Arkansas consumers may also find it difficult to resist deals that look too good to pass up. It is often reported that credit card debt is the cause of many bankruptcy filings, and when looking at the devious ways in which retailers get consumers to spend their hard-earned money, it is not surprising. While many people think twice before falling for obvious tricks, such as "buy two for the price of one" offers, it is often the sneaky perks offered by stores that trick them into buying unnecessary items.

Bankruptcy may be the best way to handle payday loan debt

Many hard-working American families find themselves in a repetitive cycle of overwhelming debt that has spiraled out of control. This is related in part to a poor job market, low hourly wages, health care insurance that refuses to pay for essential services and consumer over-use of credit cards to purchase inflation-ridden consumer necessities. One industry that has taken advantage of the struggles of these families is the predatory payday loan industry. The companies have in effect forced many consumers in Arkansas and throughout the country into filing bankruptcy to eliminate harassing debt collections from the companies and their assignees.

Bankruptcy gives powerful remedies for those who qualify

There are two major options that consumer debtors in Arkansas and other jurisdictions can select between when contemplating a bankruptcy filing. They are Chapter 7, the liquidation or 'straight bankruptcy' section, and Chapter 13, the reorganization section. Chapter 7 involves discharging unsecured debt and going forward with a fresh start and a clean slate. That means that all credit card debt, medical bills and unsecured personal loans can be wiped out in a Chapter 7 pursuant to the provisions of the federal bankruptcy laws.

Bankruptcy can help to preserve a qualified retirement plan

It is becoming clear that there is a crisis nationwide and in Arkansas among many persons who are moving into the retirement stage of life without having prepared a sufficient retirement fund and a retirement financial plan. Additionally, it is harder to set up an adequate plan the older one gets because, of course, there is less time available to do it. Further, for those who need debt relief, it may be better to keep a retirement fund financed and eliminate the bills through a debt relief remedy such as bankruptcy.

Bankruptcy does not rule out new credit or credit repair

For residents of Arkansas and other states, there is no doubt that having a bankruptcy on one's credit report will send the credit score downward. However, it does not mean that new credit will be impossible to obtain. It also does not mean that one's credit record cannot be substantially repaired. This can often be accomplished within approximately 24 to 36 months after the bankruptcy, depending on individual fact patterns.