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Will Chapter 7 work for you, or should you choose Chapter 13?

Filing for bankruptcy is often an effective way for people to climb out from under a mountain of debt and end creditor harassment. If you have decided to file for personal bankruptcy protection, you may be in doubt as to whether Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 is the better choice. 

Each has its advantages and drawbacks, but the first item up for consideration will be your income level.

Bankruptcy may actually improve your credit score

As the new year kicks into full swing, you may be hard at work on your list of resolutions. If improving your financial situation is one of your priorities, you may be weighing your options. While a bankruptcy filing is not right for every New Yorker, it is often an effective strategy for those swimming in an ocean of consumer debt. 

Even though a bankruptcy filing has many advantages, it also has some drawbacks. For example, those who file for bankruptcy protection often experience an immediate drop in their credit scores. Still, having too much debt can also cause your credit rating to tank. You should realize, though, that bankruptcy may actually be good for your credit score. 

Bankruptcy holiday spending tips

Many people are starting to understand the benefits of undergoing bankruptcy. However, there are times when the process can make aspects of life challenging.

Navigating the holidays can be one of those times. Thankfully, there are a few things people can do to help ease the strain of bankruptcy during the holidays.

Will you lose your home if you file for bankruptcy?

Filing for bankruptcy is a serious decision that can have far-reaching consequences, but for some Americans, it can be a great way to start putting the past behind them so they can begin to rebuild their financial futures. If you are among the many people across New York or Vermont considering filing for bankruptcy, you could feel concerned about the possibility of losing your home in doing so.

While there is no simple, one-size-fits-all answer to whether you will have to surrender your home during bankruptcy, determining whether you plan to file a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy case may help you get closer to finding the answers you seek.

Can you use your credit card right before bankruptcy?

Credit card debt is one of the biggest reasons why people have to file for bankruptcy. According to a recent report, the total amount of credit card debt in the United States increased by $36 billion in the last year. 

Most of the time, you can discharge most or all credit card debt in a bankruptcy. However, there are extenuating factors that could affect this. One of them depends on how much you spent on your credit card in the months leading up to the bankruptcy. It is for this reason you should avoid making unnecessary purchases on your card if you suspect you will need to file for bankruptcy soon. 

Your rights during a vehicle repossession

You lease a vehicle through a car dealership. Unfortunately, you lose your job and can no longer afford to keep the car. You begin to fall behind on payments, and you worry that the lender will come to repossess your car.

In New York, when you lease or purchase a vehicle through set payments, the leasing agent has the authority to reclaim the vehicle if you miss payments. Yet you still hold rights during the repossession process. Though you may prove unable to pay the missing payments, you still must receive specific notification if you own the vehicle through the lease.

Utilizing an automatic stay and identifying creditor harassment

The process of filing bankruptcy may bring significant emotion in your family. Though bankruptcy is a relief of debts, the decision to file is not usually made lightly. On top of your mixed emotions in determining which chapter to file and when to begin the process, you receive phone calls from badgering creditors with threats and claims that you owe more than you thought.

In New York, creditors have no authority to make false claims against you for debt owed, and you can report claims of unlicensed creditors to the Department of Consumer Affairs. Not only is it stressful to receive these phone calls, it is illegal if the claims are not valid. To protect yourself from creditor contact altogether, you may wish to begin the process of filing bankruptcy and receive an automatic stay to end all communication between you and creditors. When going through the bankruptcy process, especially if you face suspicious creditors, you want to hire an experienced attorney that can help you file an automatic stay, lead you in the direction of bankruptcy relief and help handle the illegal acts of creditors.

Understanding insurance law for renters

For some New York apartment dwellers, the rent they pay is already a big chunk out of their budgets, so if another expense like renter's insurance is optional, they may pass it up. State and federal insurance law does not require renters to carry insurance the way drivers must be insured. However, if individual landlords include the obligation to have renter's insurance in a lease, tenants must comply by law. Like any kind of insurance, the policyholder may assume he or she understands the terms, but it is always wise to know what the policy includes by asking questions before buying.

Insurance policies can be voluminous with many pages of tiny print. This is not because the insurer is trying to hide things from the purchaser but because there are many contingencies and exclusions to cram into one document. An insurance agent will go over the high points, but the purchaser can ask questions to get to the heart of the matter.

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