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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

Federal court decision slams AmEx for action that hurts consumers

Say that you're a principal manager with a credit card issuer (a lofty and singular position, to be sure), being part of the management team that supports the business practice of preventing merchants who accept your cards from recommending other cards to consumers.

Although such a business strategy might simply sound like good business practice grounded in common sense from your perspective, American securities law takes a dim view of the practice.

Mortgage fraud: Do criminal penalties loom for wrongdoers?

Millions of Americans might be reasonably empathized with as they continue to struggle with home-related finances in the aftermath of the country's so-called Great Recession of recent years.

In a staggering number of instances, that struggle resulted in a most heavy exaction, namely, the loss of a home through the foreclosure process.

So-called zombie foreclosures a continuing malady nationally

There is a stark dichotomy operative across the United States in the wake of the economic downturn of recent years.

On the one hand, the housing debacle (wrought by lending irregularities and bad-faith lenders' conduct), massive numbers of job losses across the country, plummeting money markets and other negative consequences of the Great Recession have not been universal and permanent features of the American economic landscape.

Are Americans feeling better these days about their finances?

Most people in Mississippi and across the rest of the country might reasonably think that the majority of their neighbors and acquaintances -- co-workers, fellow gym members, people at their church, other parents they see at school and so forth -- are doing reasonably well as far as their personal finances are concerned. Various empirical data indicate that the so-called Great Recession of recent years has largely passed and that economic activity has picked up nationally, so most people should be feeling fairly sanguine about their current situation and future prospects, right?

Wrong.

Taking a look at payday loans: boon or curse for most consumers?

As a discerning consumer, you might call a loan with repayment terms mandating an annual interest rate of 500 percent a lot of things.

It is unlikely that you would call it, as does one spokesperson for a large lending company, a “viable credit option.”

According to a media analysis of payday loans, things generally work out as follows regarding such financial instruments.

First, a consumer in dire need of instant cash approaches such a lender (note: there is certainly no scarcity of such lenders; they dot the landscape in every state, including in Mississippi). Typically, a payday loan is needed to cover expenses of a few hundred dollars at most. Borrowers customarily hand over a check marked with a future date, in an amount that covers both principal and a fee.

That certainly sounds simple. The complexity -- for many consumers, the unraveling -- comes when, as that future date approaches, the borrower realizes that he or she can’t make the payment.

Auto title loans: If at all possible, just steer clear

When it comes to auto title loans, that method of securing quick cash enabling a borrower in Mississippi or elsewhere to pay off immediately pressing debt can be a godsend -- for the lender.

For the borrower, unfortunately, obtaining a loan secured by a vehicle often results in a truly rough ride. In fact, and as we note in an article on our website entitled “Auto Loans Can Lead to Financial Disaster,” a loan secured by a vehicle as collateral often turns out to be a major headache for a borrower.

Here’s why.

If the economy is better, why are so many Americans stressed?

The so-called Great Recession hit the United States with a vengeance in late 2007, resulting in near-unprecedented job losses, home foreclosures and myriad other financial challenges for millions of Americans across the country.

Mississippians were far from spared from the carnage, with many state residents suffering major dislocations and, like high numbers of other people across the country, still clawing back from personal losses.

Still, and notwithstanding that the stark recessionary times of recent years are just now fading into the background, there has been a steady stream of positive economic news to buoy the national spirit. A persistent drum beat of upsides is sounding regarding job growth, company spending, lowered unemployment and other salutary developments.

What gives, then, with the continued pessimism being expressed by high numbers of people across the country?

Credit card debt again rising: a reason for concern?

When it comes to the topic of credit card debt, arguments in the debate over the repercussions -- if any -- of what consumers across the nation cumulatively owe spill both ways.

On the one hand, commentators on the subject can argue with conviction and a good deal of truth that rising card use after a period of retrenchment points to positive things. Increased card purchases signify enhanced consumer confidence again, following several fears of angst and outright fear concerning the economy. Higher outlays equate to more goods sold, which, in turn, brings about job creation.

On the other hand, though, there certainly comes a telling point when too many consumers begin to owe too much on their cards. Moreover, troubling signs arise when evidence points to card use growing for purchases of goods and services required for daily life, such as food, shelter, health insurance and so forth. When a high number of consumers begin to test the dollar limits of their card offerings, meaningful monthly payments become a truly worrisome issue.

A common medical debt scenario plays out often across the country

“Righteous indignation” might be a phrase that comes immediately to mind for many readers hearing about the situation reportedly faced by millions of American consumers

Here’s the gist. Imagine you sought medical services for treatment of an illness or other debilitating condition. You checked with your insurance company prior to doing so, getting its go-ahead to proceed. You duly produced your insurance card and related information to your health care provider.

And then, following the care you received, bill processing bogged down, as it typically does in millions of cases across the country. Information sent from your care provider’s billing department to your insurer seemingly went into a black hole. Months went by, with successive bills from your provider arriving in your mailbox demanding payment from you for services that were clearly to be compensated for by your insurance company.

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