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San Francisco Bankruptcy Law Blog

The number of people with collections accounts remains steady

If you have consumer debt that has been sent to collections, you are not alone. Seriously…it may sound cliché, but you are literally (and figuratively) not alone. According to a recent report, more than a third of all adult Americans have some type of debt that is in collections.

The report highlighted a study conducted by the Urban Institute, and the types of debt subject to collections were as diverse as the people who were responsible for the debts. Aside from the credit card debt, past due obligations included past-due gym memberships, unpaid cell phone contracts, and hospital bills were common culprits. 

Easy steps to create an emergency fund

There are countless people in debt because of emergencies that have morphed into financial crises. Whether it is a medical emergency or having to deal with unexpected housing repairs, financial trouble occurs when a person incurs debt responding to the emergency that cannot be readily paid back.

Because of this possibility, it is helpful to protect yourself from financial calamities by having an emergency fund. But if you are living from check to check each month, it may not seem realistic to create such a fund. Nevertheless, there are ways to create an emergency fund without relying on credit cards to do so. This post will highlight them.

Debt collectors using Facebook to get their way


Many people would agree that debt collectors are the bane of the universe. They call, write letters and generally harass people who tend not to have the money to pay their debts. If the phone calls and letters were not enough, some debt collectors may turn to social media to get in touch with debtors.

Indeed, debt collectors can use social media to locate people and to see if they have any assets that could be liquidated to pay debts. However there are some unscrupulous firms who use it as another means of contacting people. This tactic can raise a number of issues; especially if the debtor has not given their permission to be contacted in this manner. 

Signs that financial ruin could be near

For most people who are seeking bankruptcy protection, as well as those who are seriously considering it, they know that they have problems that have them teetering on the verge of financial ruin. For countless others who have not reached this point, they unfortunately may not know that their spending habits have them headed in the wrong direction.

Because of this, we find it prudent to identify a number of habits highlighted by that can lead to financial turmoil.

Garnishments still affecting consumers

It’s no secret that the economy is doing better, even if it is incrementally better each month. The benefits can be seen in monthly job reports and the increase of the stock market, which reached a record high earlier this month. Nevertheless, there are still millions of Amercians who are still struggling despite finding better jobs and working diligently to pay off debt.

The problem is likely linked to garnishments. According to a joint report between National Public Radio (NPR) and ProPublica revealed that collectors and creditors are collecting on judgments established after the last recession decimated incomes. 

Additional ways to save money during the holidays

While you may be complaining about seeing Halloween costumes and candy displays in stores, just wait until November 1. Almost magically, Halloween displays will disappear and the holiday season will be in full swing.

Who waits till Black Friday anymore? Certainly not retailers. It is almost like we are lucky that kids love Halloween candy as much as retailers like money. If that wasn’t the case, the holiday season would begin promptly after Labor Day; 80 degree weather and all. But make no mistake, retailers are perfecting their game plans as they watch parents and kids go Halloween shopping. Since they are plotting, so should you.  Beginning with this post, we will periodically give holiday shopping tips so that consumers don’t get themselves into trouble. 

Retailers are planning for the holiday. You should too

Depending on your sensibilities, you may cringe at the sight of Christmas decorations or displays being offered in September, but the reality is that the holiday season will be here before you know it. Because of this, retailers want to get a leg up on the holiday rush by making sure consumers are thinking about their products as far in advance of Black Friday as possible.

While retailers may be well into their planning for the holidays, consumers should be as well. Essentially, it is good to have a basic idea of what your budget will be, so you can have enough time to save money and avoid the temptation of overacting (and overspending) during the holidays.  In the meantime, consider the following tips in preparation for the holiday season.

Three ways to protect yourself when buying a car after bankruptcy

One of the big myths attached to bankruptcy is that a debtor may never qualify for a car loan again. Nevertheless, people commonly emerge from bankruptcy and can get decent credit terms and obtain auto loans. But now since the big Labor Day sales have passed, prospective car buyers may believe that they may not get a good deal on a car.

Again, the sales on passed year’s models will continue as dealers continue to get more inventory for current year models. So it is likely that former bankruptcy debtors will have choices on what they want. 

How can you rebuild credit after bankruptcy?

If you are emerging from bankruptcy, whether it be a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13, you may feel as if a great weight has been lifted off of your shoulders, and that you have a new lease on life. Of course, debt isn’t a problem right now, and you would be hard pressed to get back into debt again.

However, our economy runs on credit, and you may need to establish it in the event that you want to replace a car or purchase a home. But with a recent bankruptcy on your credit report, it is understandable that you may be ambivalent about your chances of getting credit again. As we have noted in the past, it is possible to have a distinguished credit score after a bankruptcy. This post will highlight three ways to achieve it. 

How can I know when it is time to file bankruptcy?

People who commonly struggle with debt may go through periods where they make headway towards financial recovery, only to have a setback that leaves them deeper in debt. It is not uncommon for people to experience several of these cycles before considering whether they should file for bankruptcy protection. Even after these cycles, many may still question when the right time would be to file bankruptcy.

 The reality is that every situation is different, so there is no standard “right” time for bankruptcy that will fit every situation. Regardless, there are a number of issues that can bring about bankruptcy. This post will identify three of them.