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July 2018 Archives

Preparing for your meeting with the bankruptcy trustee

One of the more important individuals in your bankruptcy case will be the trustee. After the United States Trustee Program appoints one, the trustee has several duties to perform for your estate whether you file a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Some of these tasks include reviewing and rounding up all of your property, selling your estate and distributing any payments made to creditors.

When collection calls continue after bankruptcy

When debt becomes overwhelming for a Louisiana resident, bankruptcy is an option. One of the benefits of filing for bankruptcy is the automatic stay, which means that creditors and bill collectors are legally prevented from making contact to collect payments. However, some collection efforts continue after bankruptcy is filed. While this could be an innocent mistake due to a creditor not having yet heard about the bankruptcy filing, it might be a willful violation of the automatic stay. When the latter happens, the creditor or bill collector can be held accountable.

The downside of carrying a credit card balance

Louisiana consumers who are trying to increase their credit score should refrain from carrying a credit card balance. As a general rule, doing so has no bearing on a person's ability to establish good credit. Instead, it results in a person paying interest unnecessarily. The average credit card interest rate is over 16 percent according to data from Those who carry too large of a balance on a credit card could actually put themselves at risk of lowering their score.

Student debt may be dischargeable in bankruptcy in some cases

Many borrowers in Louisiana and across the U.S. are struggling to pay down their student loans. According to personal finance website Make Lemonade, students graduating in the year 2016 had an average student debt load of $37,172, and $1.5 trillion is owed collectively by more than 44 million student loan borrowers nationwide. Typically, student loans are not dischargeable in bankruptcy, but there may be steps borrowers can take to have student loans discharged or to make their payments more manageable.

Study suggests delaying bankruptcy could increase struggles

It's only natural for people to want to put off filing for bankruptcy, mainly because it's often seen as a sign of failure or viewed as something meant to be a last resort. However, a law review study suggests that the longer individuals wait to file bankruptcy, the more their personal and financial well-being may be affected. What this could mean for debtors in Louisiana considering bankruptcy is more of a struggle with getting a fresh start.