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In life, circumstances arise that we cannot avoid - struggling with a mounting debt, stopping a foreclosure or garnishment, problems with your marriage or battle over child custody, support or visitation. These situations can have a profound effect on our lives. During these difficult times, you need someone by your side who can care effectively for your legal needs as well as providing you with personal service to best provide support for you during these incredibly personal and private crises.

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Ridgeland Bankruptcy Law Blog

How a proven attorney can help when foreclosure is a threat

It is likely that many people in Mississippi and elsewhere across the country believe that they must formally file for bankruptcy to protect their home when it is threatened by foreclosure.

Although that view is understandable, it is far from true in all instances, given that there are a number of options that many challenged debtors can consider when they are facing extreme financial hardship.

An established and client-empathetic debt-relief law firm knows those options well and can help a client identify and evaluate what might work best in his or her case.

Mississippi and credit card study: What exactly does it mean?

Mississippi has a prominently high ranking in a recent study focusing upon credit card use, and it’s kind of hard to say anything concrete about what the findings fundamentally mean.

So says a writer for the Jackson Clarion Ledger, who posits a certain ambiguity in the research results compiled on behalf of the national Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

At the outset, notes Jeff Ayres, some self-congratulatory backslapping and fist pumping by state residents seems duly warranted, given the high mark rendered Mississippi relating to credit card complaints.

FICO and credit scores: Taking a close look at medical bills

It’s quite likely that no Mississippi consumer would deem it fair if his or her credit score summarily plummeted owing to an unexpected avalanche of medical-related expenses.

After all, who can ever reasonably expect to be solvent one day and financially overwhelmed the next by medical bills that were entirely unforeseen?

Medical debt is more than just a bit unusual when considered alongside other forms of financial obligations, which can be planned for, with money set aside to make timely payments.

Primer, basic points: The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

Consumers in Mississippi and nationally who feel that they alone are facing the unfettered wrath of debt collectors and lacking resources to deal with abusive collection behaviors should quickly dissuade themselves of any such notions.

In fact, strong federal legislation addresses such matters in detail and sets forth legal limitations that curb creditors' harassing contacts and other behaviors.

That legislation is entitled the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, which serves as a strong warning to unethical debt collectors, setting boundaries that restrict unlawful activities.

Company preys on military with predatory lending scheme

Approximately 17,000 consumers were victims of a predatory lending scam run by a company known as "Rome financing." The company focused primarily on military personnel, operating many of its scams at kiosks in malls near military bases. Consumers would apply for loans to help fund purchases for computers, televisions, game consoles and other similar items. If approved, the consumer would often face steep finance charges that were not fully disclosed in the application.

This lack of disclosure coupled with deceptive and abusive collection methods for debt that wasn't even owed led the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau along with 13 state attorneys general to obtain $92 million in debt relief from the company, according to a recent report by the Department of Defense News.

Student debtors: Don't get burned by false promises of help

If you're a Mississippi resident working on paying back student loans you have incurred over the years, you know you're not alone.

In fact, taking on debt to pay for schooling is altogether commonplace across the country. Indeed, and for most people, the only way to pursue a college degree or participate in a professional training program is to borrow the money to do so.

Unfortunately, the flip side of that for high numbers of persons across the country is the great difficulty that attaches to making regular payments on that debt following graduation.

Here's a flatly jaw-dropping number: Reportedly, Americans owe about $1.2 trillion on outstanding educational loans, with many consumers having exactions that total scores of thousands of dollars.

Bankruptcy basics: A look at history, parameters

Many people in Mississippi and elsewhere who are interested in or contemplating filing for bankruptcy understandably lack detailed knowledge of the subject area.

That is for good reason. As noted in a comprehensive federal courts website, "The bankruptcy process is complex."

It is also replete with eligibility tests, arcane terminology and court-supervised requirements that stem from a voluminous federal Bankruptcy Code established in 1978 that has been amended multiple times.

Considering Chapter 13? Here are a few more details

Recently we discussed the two most common kinds of consumer bankruptcy -- Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. This week we wanted to add a few more points that might be helpful in case you're considering either form of debt relief.

Qualifying for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection means that you would have to pass a "means test" showing that you don't make enough money to bump you into Chapter 13. As we said before, if you have heavy debt despite your regular income, then Chapter 13 is probably for you.

Chapter 13 offers some advantages that Chapter 7 doesn't necessarily provide. For example, Chapter 13 can be particularly effective in preventing or stopping foreclosure or the repossession of a vehicle.

Your IRA: Is it shielded from creditors in Chapter 7 bankruptcy?

Few people who are involved in litigation expect that their legal matter will wind its way through various court levels. Fewer still ever anticipate that it will ultimately end up before the United States Supreme Court, with the decision of that tribunal broadly extending its implications to similar matters across the country.

That is precisely what happened in the case of a Wisconsin resident, who filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy several years ago. A central issue in that bankruptcy subsequently resulted in the woman’s case weaving its way through multiple appeals and inconsistent court rulings.

The matter was finally resolved earlier this month with a Supreme Court ruling commanding broad relevance across the country, including in Mississippi.

Restoration of credit following bankruptcy

A concern of individuals forced to file bankruptcy due to debt is that they will never be able to rebuild their credit. Rebuilding credit is a difficult though not impossible task. It will likely mean you will have to pay more in interest to borrow money.

Surprisingly, however, individuals who do declare Chapter 7 bankruptcy could appear to be a better credit risk. This is because the individual that filed bankruptcy all at once saw a great part of the debt that was weighing their credit scores down disappear. Also, lenders will be aware that you cannot file Chapter 7 again for a number of years.

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