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San Francisco Bankruptcy Law Blog

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. 

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If you are toiling in debt, back-to-school shopping may bring additional stress into your life. After all, kids (especially middle school and high schoolers) may want to keep up with their peers by having the latest fashions, and the tech demands that schools may have may stretch your budget too far than what you have to spend.

The average parent is estimated to spend $669 this year, which is up from last year, and up nearly 25 percent from five years ago. With these increases, parents must be savvy about their spending so that they don’t put themselves in further financial straits.

This post will provide some helpful tips.

How a financial education can benefit you

While the need for people to have a sound financial education may seem cliché, but it is increasingly important as the economy improves and many people get back to work. Part of the reason is that those who have had prolonged stints of unemployment may be saddled with heavy debts, and may have to sacrifice large sums of money to pay back debts.  With that said, this post will identify other benefits that people can enjoy.

Taking control of retirement security – If you are one of the 40 percent of Americans who are not currently saving for retirement, financial education can help you. Keep in mind that it is never too late to start saving for your golden years, especially if you are over 50 years old. 

How to save money after emerging from bankruptcy

After bankruptcy, spending money on large expenditures can be nerve-wracking. After all, getting back into debt is the last thing a person emerging from bankruptcy wants to do. However, there may be things that must be purchased, simply because they have broken down and may need to be replaced. With that said, money can be saved by purchasing some of these items used.

This post will identify them.

What to make of charged off debt

If you have been notified that a debt that you owe is being charged off, you may be under the impression that you are no longer obligated to pay the debt. Unfortunately, this is often not the case. Even more unfortunate, the obligation will continue to be reported to credit bureaus.

Charge offs are not exclusions are exceptions to debt. Instead they are merely accounting measures taken by a creditor in order to balance the books. If a debt is deemed to be uncollectable, it may no longer be considered an asset. Because of this, the debt may be “charged off.” 

Bankruptcy Center of John D. Raymond

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