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debt relief Archives

The reason credit card rates are increasing

For Louisiana residents and others with credit card debt, an increase in the federal funds rate can lead to higher bills. This is because the fed funds rate and credit card interest rates are linked together. In March 2018, the Federal Reserve increased this rate to 1.75 percent. While other debts can be impacted by changes to this rate, credit card balances are the most likely to be subject to variable rates.

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

According to at least one nonprofit credit counseling service, the number of people seeking help with debt has increased. Some Louisiana consumers could be among those who have mounting debt. 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.

What debt collectors can and cannot do

Most people do not fall into debt on purpose - despite what debt collectors would have you believe. When you are dealing with overwhelming debt, the constant calls and letters from creditors do not help. Instead, they just pile on the stress you already feel.

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.

Garnishment: Creditors take wages & freeze accounts to pay debts

Garnishment is an alarming prospect for families and individuals struggling to make ends meet. When facing considerable debt and harassing creditors, the threat of wage garnishment compounds the stress of financial hardship. When delinquent debts are not paid, creditors will request intervention from the court system to pay back the debt.