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Cincinnati Bankruptcy Law Blog

Changes to debt collection practices on the horizon

Many individuals in Ohio and elsewhere may feel that one of the most stressful parts of being in debt pertains to dealing with constant calls and letters from collection agencies. Fortunately, there are rules in place that provide consumers with protection against creditor harassment. However, recent reports indicate that the rules and regulations that govern the process of debt collection could soon undergo significant changes.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is set to release these new debt collection regulations in the coming weeks. According to reports, this proposal would bring about the first changes to the Federal Debt Collection Practices Act in more than four decades. Representatives from the CFPB have advised that these changes will mark an attempt to modernize the process of debt collection, and some fear that the new rules may give collectors the ability to send out emails and text messages.

The many reasons to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy

If you find yourself in a bad financial situation, it never hurts to learn more about Chapter 7 bankruptcy. While you may never go down this path, it could be the strategy you need to get your finances back in order.

Many people gravitate toward Chapter 7 bankruptcy because it provides them with a fresh start. With some of your debts discharged, it's much easier to get back on track financially. 

Bankruptcy: Deciding whether to build up savings or pay down debt

Many individuals in Ohio and elsewhere may consider it vital to begin saving for retirement as early in life as possible. However, those who are dealing with substantial amounts of debt may feel that paying down their debts could be more important than building up their savings. With their financial futures on the line, those who struggle to keep up with overwhelming financial obligations could benefit from seeking relief through outlets such as bankruptcy.

According to experts, individuals may find that the best time to start saving for retirement is now. However, this might not always be an option, especially for those who are carrying high levels of debt, as dealing with debt during retirement can be a stressful process. When it comes to deciding whether to save for retirement or pay down debts, experts suggest that the correct decision may depend on a variety of variables.

Bankruptcy: Debt levels continue to rise

While dealing with debt can be a harrowing process, for many individuals in Ohio and across the nation, it is also an unfortunate reality. Debt can come in a variety of forms, each of which could place a significant burden on a person's financial future. Those who are constantly struggling to get by due to high amounts of debt may wish to pursue the relief provided by outlets such as bankruptcy, but they might be uncertain where to turn for assistance in navigating the process.

Recent reports indicate that overall totals for consumer debt came in at just over $13 trillion in the fourth quarter of the previous year. These reports also suggest that credit card, automobile loan, mortgage and student loan debts each hit an all time high in this period. Experts suggest that a thriving economy and low unemployment rates have left many consumers feeling less hesitant about taking on new debts, despite the possible risks involved.

Bankruptcy: How problems with debt could disrupt relationships

Many individuals in Ohio and elsewhere may be aware of the financial ramifications of dealing with high amounts of debt. However, some might be surprised to learn that similar concerns could also affect other areas of life, such as personal relationships. Those who wish to keep similar concerns from disrupting their relationships could benefit from seeking guidance on how to pursue relief from debts through outlets such as bankruptcy.

It might not be uncommon for a person who is going through prolonged periods of financial strain to experience high levels of stress. While this may seem like a personal problem, stress can affect a person's behavior in various ways. High levels of stress could lead a person to do or say things to family members or friends that he or she may have previously considered unthinkable, and similar incidents could damage the relationship.

Bankruptcy: How far will consumers go for relief?

Many individuals in Ohio and across the nation may be aware of how stressful it can be struggle under the weight of debt. However, they might not be fully aware of just how much of an impact financial strain can have on their lives until they are forced to confront the issue head-on. While studies suggest that many consumers would be willing to go to great lengths to be free from the burdens of debt, some may still be reluctant to pursue this relief through outlets such as bankruptcy.

According to reports, as many as 46 percent of those who took part in a recent survey admitted that dealing with debt has caused them to experience high levels of stress. These studies also indicate that a significant number of those surveyed also assert that financial hardships have forced them to put off certain goals. Many consumers also admitted that their issues have left them with little to no emergency savings and that they would struggle to deal with even minor unexpected expenses.

Bankruptcy: Seeking advice on the available options for relief

While dealing with debt can be a stressful experience, choosing a strategy to pursue relief from overwhelming financial obligations could prove just as intimidating. While many individuals in Ohio may be aware of the potential benefits of pursuing relief through bankruptcy, they may be somewhat reluctant to begin the process. While there are a variety of options that may provide a person with relief during times of financial strain, some might not prove fruitful in every scenario.

The outlets that are available for those dealing with debt may differ depending on their outstanding financial obligations. For instance, those who are struggling to keep up with student loan debts could consider attempting to refinance their loans, and they might be able to obtain a lesser monthly payment in the process. For those who are dealing with high levels of credit card debt, consolidation could also be a viable option to consider.

Why should I do everything I can to avoid foreclosure?

Being faced with a home foreclosure puts a tremendous amount of emotional, mental and financial stress on you and your family. In addition to the risk of losing your home, there are many other negative aspects to the foreclosure process which is why it’s important to explore your options to avoid foreclosure.

If you are struggling financially and worried about how you will be able to continue paying your Ohio mortgage, it’s important to formulate a plan for taking back control of your finances.

Is bankruptcy the only option to stave off creditor harassment?

When dealing with overwhelming amounts of debt, many individuals in Ohio may begin to wonder if filing for bankruptcy is the only way to obtain protection from creditors. However, while this might be a viable option, it isn't necessarily the only way to protect against creditor harassment. Those who have yet to decide if bankruptcy is the best available option could benefit from gaining a better understanding of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

This act provides debtors with a variety of protections to shield against harassment. For instance, creditors can only reach out to a person between certain hours of the day, provided the debtor hasn't agreed to extend this time period. Any attempts to contact a debtor outside of the allowed timeframes is illegal and may thus be considered creditor harassment. Creditors must also refrain from contacting a person at work if they are aware that his or her place of employment prohibits such communication.

Bankruptcy: Using other lines of credit to escape debt

Being in debt can be a stressful and harrowing experience, and those who face the struggle of financial hardships may go to great lengths just to get by. While paying down on debts is the preferred outcome in most situations, in some cases, a person in Ohio may feel the only way to do this is to use other lines of credit for relief. Unfortunately, this mindset could only lead to a never-ending cycle of monetary struggle, whereas bankruptcy could provide a person with a much-needed fresh start.

Studies suggest that similar concerns have left many individuals turning to outlets such as a personal loan for financial relief. Experts indicate that the decision to use a personal loan to pay off other high risk debts has created a new concern. According to reports, the balances on outstanding personal loans reach totals of more than $125 billion, and while this might not seem as significant as the totals for credit card debt, it is still a rising issue.

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