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Medina Bankruptcy Law Blog

Expert says bankruptcy is smart, not morally wrong

It's time to break down one of the most common bankruptcy myths: That's it's morally wrong to file. If you don't think that already, you may think it's absurd, but rest assured that a lot of people struggle with this. It's one of the main reasons that people who could really use bankruptcy are reluctant to file. They feel like they are doing something wrong, and they can't stomach it.

It's not clear exactly how this myth got started, but we need to put an end to it. Bankruptcy is a financial tool. It's legal. It's common. It's useful. Experts note that they think it's smart, not morally questionable.

Can independent contractors have their income garnished?

Having your wages garnished is frustrating and difficult to cope with when you're already struggling financially. What happens, however, when you aren't actually an employee? If you're an independent contractor who works for yourself, does a garnishment order still apply?

Well, there's good news and bad news.

If you get a foreclosure notice, can you just sell your house?

You receive a foreclosure notice in the mail after failing to make a number of mortgage payments. You know that the bank is eventually going to take your home back and then sell it at auction.

You're looking for another way out, and you decide that you want to put the house on the market. If you sell it, doesn't that mean this isn't your problem anymore?

Can you file Chapter 7 if you have previously gotten a discharge?

Modern life is expensive, and even those with a job and the best intentions can find themselves struggling to stay ahead of their debts and their bills. Many people live on credit and then find themselves in trouble when their income changes.

Bankruptcy is often the last resort for people struggling to take control of their finances, and many people benefit from the fresh start offered under Chapter 7 bankruptcy protections. Instead of needing to repay some or all of their debts, those who qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy can simply discharge their debts and move on with life after court hearings.

A bankruptcy doesn't affect everyone's job prospects

Young professionals often find themselves between a rock and a hard place. When they first graduate, they often struggle to find employment. This leads many down a path of debt. Creditors come knocking. Many consider filing bankruptcy for a fresh start. They hesitate in filing for it out of fear for how it may affect their job prospects though.

Millions of Americans that have filed for bankruptcy have gone on to rebuild their credit. Many haven't done it at the beginning of their careers though. Others have done so in a less technologically-inclined era. Many of them weren't subject to extensive background and credit checks before a job offer was extended to them.

Don't ignore the medical bills: How to face your debt head on

Even if you have health insurance, a serious illness or an accident that leaves you with injuries can cause your medical bills to pile up – and fast – when you consider deductibles, co-payments and co-insurance. You can't afford to pay those bills, especially if you lost income while dealing with the illness or injury.

Here are some tips to cope with your medical debt before you face calls from debt collectors or begin to ponder bankruptcy.

  1. Don't ignore medical bills. Not opening the mail as it comes and pushing the bills into the back of a drawer or hiding them in a book won't make them go away.
  2. Open that bill and study it. Just as in any circumstance, mistakes can be made with medical billing. If you see anything that looks wrong, call your provider and ask to have it explained. You just might find that you have been billed for a procedure you didn't have, and that simple bill can save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Also, if you find your insurance hasn't paid for a procedure, call the insurance company and inquire why.
  3. Negotiate with your provider. Call the billing clerk and advise them that you won't be able to pay this bill and ask for a discount. It never hurts to ask.
  4. Figure out how much you can afford each month and ask to make payment arrangements. Make your payments as scheduled so that your account won't be sent to a collection agency.
  5. If you believe you might qualify for Medicaid, contact the Ohio state Medicaid office. If you qualify, Medicaid can be used, under some circumstances, to pay back medical bills.

Student loan troubles? Don't pay someone to end your debt

The phone rings and the robocaller on the other end tells you just what you want to hear: Your student loans could qualify you for a debt forgiveness program and to take advantage, call this number back right away for the details.

Struggling to make the repayment on your thousands of dollars of loans, this could be just the break you need, you think.

Don't become a victim of foreclosure fraud

If you think back to when you first purchased your home, you'll probably remember your Ohio title company having you review and sign a variety of documents. The foreclosure process is just as paperwork-heavy as the closing process. It's when you're in your most vulnerable financial state while you're facing foreclosure that you're most apt to be defrauded by others.

When the Great Recession hit its peak in the United States in 2008, countless deceptive individuals and companies seemed to come out of the woodworks. Many of them set their focus on homeowners who were struggling to make mortgage payments. Some of them contacted unsuspecting homeowners within a week after they defaulted on their home loans.

Why do people fear bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy seems like it's a scary experience, but the truth is that it is a fair process that allows you to preserve at least some of your assets, potentially including your home, your vehicle, your retirement accounts and more. The idea behind bankruptcy isn't to take away everything you have.

There are two main kinds of bankruptcy, Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Both allow you the benefit of keeping at least a portion of your assets, if not all of them.

What is a zero-based budget?

You file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. You know that means that you're going to have to make monthly payments on the balance of the debt until you pay it back. Since you have a steady income, you know it's possible.

However, you also know that this means you'll need to make a strict budget and stick to it. Many experts suggest a zero-based budget. What is this and how does it work?

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