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Stratford Bankruptcy Blog

Company penalized for consumer foreclosure actions

When an individual or a family is faced with serious financial problems, few things are more stressful than the risk of losing their home. In many cases, home ownership was a long-held goal, and achieving that goal was a significant source of pride, and a realization of the American Dream for Connecticut residents. When it appears that foreclosure is imminent, many people will go to great lengths to avoid that outcome. Unfortunately, that leaves them vulnerable to a number of questionable business actions in addition to downright scams.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has fined Fay Servicing more than $1 million. That fine is intended as a response to what the CFPB calls "illegal foreclosure practices" that harmed borrowers that the company claimed to have served. Specifically, the company was found to have kept borrowers in the dark regarding information about how they could apply for foreclosure relief. Fay Servicing was also found to have moved forward with foreclosing against borrowers who were in the process of seeking and applying for assistance. In certain cases, the company pushed foreclosures through to completion even as the homeowners were actively pursuing options to allow them to keep their homes.

Understand the importance of utilization in debt management

For those in Connecticut who are considering filing for personal bankruptcy, repairing the damage done to their credit score is a top priority for the months that will follow the bankruptcy process. Having that kind of forward-facing focus can make it easier to begin the steps leading to bankruptcy, which is a decision that no one wants to have to make. Fortunately, there are plenty of positives that accompany the choice to seek bankruptcy protection, including the opportunity to rebuild toward a solid credit score by using savvy debt management practices.

One of the most important aspects of credit repair involves credit utilization. This is simply the amount of available credit that a consumer puts to use. In order to increase credit scoring, it is necessary to use only a small portion of that available credit. Experts suggest charging between 10 and 30 percent of each credit card's limit.

Options for when Chapter 7 bankruptcy disappears

For many Connecticut residents, the decision to file for bankruptcy comes at a time of significant stress. It is easy to become overly focused on the negative aspects of Chapter 7 bankruptcy, while overlooking the fact that the bankruptcy process is a springboard toward lasting financial stability. A recent article looks at bankruptcy statistics, and notes that millions of Americans will soon have their personal bankruptcies removed from their credit reports.

According to researchers, the year 2010 saw a significant increase in the number of personal bankruptcy filings. Chapter 7 bankruptcy peaked that year, largely due to the housing crisis and economic instability. As we are now approaching the seven year mark on these filings, many consumers will soon see their personal bankruptcy drop off of their credit reports. That can lead to an improvement in credit scores and the ability to move forward with new financial aspirations.

Debt relief scams often target consumers with student loans

Earning a college degree is an exciting accomplishment, and one that can have a marked impact on an individual's future success. However, the fruits of student labor are often delayed for several years, as new graduates enter the Connecticut workforce and take entry-level jobs. During those early years, many people rely on credit cards to make ends meet, with the belief that they will soon enjoy increased earnings as they move up the ladder in their chosen field. Unfortunately, that outcome will not go as planned for some, and the need for debt relief will be significant.

Faced with a tightening financial scenario, some borrowers will begin to feel desperate for help. This is when they are most vulnerable to scams, and there are no shortage of companies out there that are ready and willing to take advantage. One such company, known as Strategic Student Solutions, has been closed by the Federal Trade Commission, and the owner will face charges in court for bilking consumers out of their hard-earned cash.

Basics of Chapter 7 bankruptcy

The phone keeps ringing, letters keep arriving and bills keep piling up. Sometimes it seems like there is no end in sight for a Connecticut consumer facing financial problems. However, with Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, there can be an end to the financial burden and relief for the individual.

Perhaps one of the greatest immediate benefits of Chapter 7 bankruptcy is that it results in an automatic stay as soon as the petition is filed and creditors are notified. This automatic stay prevents most creditors from attempting to collect debts or seize property. For the duration of this stay, a creditor is prevented from filing a lawsuit for collection against the individual and/or attempting to garnish one's wages. Furthermore, creditors are prevented from calling or contacting the individual in any manner.

How the Affordable Care Act impacts personal bankruptcy

A great deal of media attention has been focused on the Affordable Care Act and how it has impacted the average American. One aspect of the ACA that has not been given a great deal of attention is how Obamacare has impacted personal bankruptcy. Medical bills are among the leading causes of consumer financial strain, and many people who are burdened by high medical debt will eventually turn to personal bankruptcy. According to economists, however, the Affordable Care Act has reduced health care expenses for individuals in Connecticut and across the nation.

A new Consumer Reports study shows that the rates of personal bankruptcy fell considerably between 2010 and 2016. Multiple factors contributed to the decline, including changes to bankruptcy law and overall economic improvement. However, experts agree that, because more Americans have access to health coverage, fewer families turned to bankruptcy protection to address high levels of medical debt.

Is personal bankruptcy a good option for senior citizens?

There is never a good time to deal with overwhelming debt, but there may be some phases of life when financial strain can be especially difficult to manage. Perhaps the most challenging time to deal with high levels of debt is during one's retirement years, when many Connecticut residents would prefer to be focused on spending time with their grandchildren, pursuing hobbies and interests and generally getting to do all of the things that they had no time for during the demands of early and middle adulthood. In many cases, personal bankruptcy is the most expedient path out of crippling debt.

Research shows that approximately 65 percent of households in which the primary adult is 55 or older also has existing debt. An estimated 27 percent of American seniors who are 60 years of age or older have no pension or retirement savings to fall back on. That combination can lead to retirement years that are anything but golden. Factor in increasing health care costs, minimal savings and a longer life expectancy, and retirement begins to look like a frightening prospect for many Americans.

Debt management tips for reducing the cost of medical care

No one looks forward to having urgent or emergency medical care. Nor do they anticipate the financial fallout that will follow as the bills come rolling in. Figuring out how to cover the cost of a significant medical event can be almost as stressful as the event itself. The following tips are offered to assist Connecticut residents in medical debt management.

The ideal scenario is to have the ability to comparison shop prior to going in for a treatment or procedure. In reality, however, there is rarely time to shop for the best price when a serious medical event arises. Once those bills start rolling in, it is critical to take the time to look each one over carefully. Billing errors are more common than many people think, and resolving an error or discrepancy can save thousands of dollars.

Consumers beware: Debt collecting is going high tech

Anyone who has ever received a telemarketing call knows that those who initiate them can be unrelenting. Even if you put your number on the "Do Not Call" list, they seem to find you. Some of the least desired calls in Connecticut are from debt collectors.

There are regulations in place intended to provide consumers relief from dunning collection efforts, but they are often ignored. Taking advantage of the protections available bankruptcy is one of the ways to curb harassment from creditors. If after consulting with an experienced attorney about the various options available you decide to file for bankruptcy, one of the things that happens is that collectors have to cease and desist.

As important as whether is when to file for bankruptcy

Anyone can find themselves in financial difficulties. It seems there are stories in the headlines of Connecticut newspapers every week about wealthy personalities suddenly in debt trouble or facing unexpected tax obligations. People in the highest income brackets often point to someone they hired to manage their money as the reason they are in trouble.

The average Joe or Jane may not be able to make the same claim, but one thing that is common to anyone trying to deal with unmanageable debt is that they often come to face the same question: Should I file for personal bankruptcy?

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