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chapter 13 bankruptcy Archives

Bankruptcy might discharge some tax debts under narrow conditions

Bankruptcy might offer relief to people overwhelmed by multiple debts in Louisiana, but tax debts often do not qualify for discharge. Bankruptcy laws, however, contain numerous exceptions to general rules, and certain circumstances could make the discharge of a tax debt possible.

Charity care from hospitals could help people avoid medical debt

People in Louisiana confronted by high medical bills should investigate whether their hospitals offer assistance to people unable to pay. Some hospitals that accept government funding have an obligation to set up charity care funds. They usually do not promote the programs, but hospitals have billions of dollars available nationwide to help people challenged by high medical costs. According to the American Hospital Association, U.S. hospitals offered $38 billion in financial assistance to patients in 2016.

Interest rate increase could mean more debt for some

Some Louisiana consumers could be among those who have mounting debt. According to at least one nonprofit credit counseling service, the number of people seeking help with debt has increased. Unfortunately, Americans have a pattern of feeling good when the economy is strong and loading up on debt that they then struggle to pay off during leaner times.

Rate hikes may make debts harder to pay

In 2017, people throughout the country added $92 billion in credit card debt. That is twice the annual average since the end of the Great Recession. For Louisiana cardholders, recent rate hike increases may have be harder to take even if the raises are only .25 point each. According to WalletHub, there have been four years in the past 30 that saw credit card debt increase by that much.

Bankruptcy's impact on credit is not permanent

Many people in Louisiana find it impossible to make ends meet due to the overwhelming impact of substantial debt. As fees and interest charges mount, it can seem impossible to escape the burden of debt. However, filing for bankruptcy can be an option that allows people to find debt relief, pay off their debts and make their way toward a better financial future. However, a number of widely held beliefs about bankruptcy may inhibit some people from making the decision to file.

Credit card debt creeps near 2007 levels

Residents throughout Louisiana and the rest of the United States have racked up a cumulative credit card debt of more than $1 trillion. In 2017, Americans accrued $92.2 billion in additional debt, which was the most since 2007. It also represents an increase in debt from $43 billion in 2015 and $87 billion in 2016. This surge may be attributed to the fact that banks have loosened their guidelines since the Great Recession as charge-off rates have declined.

Student loan treatment in bankruptcy questioned

Student loan debt can be one of the most difficult financial concerns for graduates in Louisiana and across the country. There are over 40 million people in the United States who owe approximately $1.4 trillion in outstanding student loan debt. While the amount of student loan debt can loom large for each of these individuals, this kind of debt also carries another unique burden: Unlike credit card debt, mortgages and other types of debt, the money owed on student loans cannot be discharged in bankruptcy. This policy began in the 1970s and has been strengthened over the years by a number of subsequent laws.

Medical debts highest among Generation X members

Studies show that an alarming number of families in Louisiana and around the country are struggling to cope with unmanageable health care bills, and soaring medical debts are a leading cause of personal bankruptcies in the United States. One in five Americans with health care coverage has trouble meeting their doctor and hospital expenses, and members of Generation X have the highest medical debt of all according to the financial information and services company Comet.

Bankrate survey paints grim financial picture

Many households in Louisiana and around the country are struggling to cope with unmanageable levels of debt, and it is often their credit card balances that they find most difficult to pay down. A recent study from the consumer financial services company Bankrate found that barely half of Americans have more money in their savings accounts than they owe to credit card companies. It also revealed that 39 percent of the adult population has no money at all put aside for emergencies.