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chapter 13 bankruptcy Archives

Buying a home after bankruptcy

Texas residents and others who file for bankruptcy may believe that they have no chance of buying a home. However, this is not necessarily the case. For many, the biggest obstacle standing in their way of home ownership is time. In some cases, a person may need to wait four years after the date that their case is resolved before they can buy a home. A minimum two-year wait is imposed by Fannie Mae while a minimum one-year wait is imposed by the FHA.

Why bankruptcy filings are up for the elderly

Older Americans in Texas and throughout the country are filing for bankruptcy more often than they have in past years. Individuals between the ages of 65 and 74 comprise 8 percent of all bankruptcy filings. This is an increase of 1 percent since 2008, and many people in this age group are filing because of medical debt. In addition to higher health care costs, a lack of financial literacy may also play a role in whether an older person files for bankruptcy.

Retirement contributions count as expense in bankruptcy

Texas residents who make contributions to a 401(k) plan can generally claim those deductions as expenses when filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. A trustee in one case claimed that a debtor needs to make contributions in the six months proceeding bankruptcy for them to count as a valid expense when calculating disposable income. However, an Illinois bankruptcy judge disagreed saying that the debtors in question were not doing so as an act of bad faith.

Phantom debt and consumer rights

Some consumers in Texas may be contacted by collectors of what is known as "phantom debt." This term is used to describe debt that is either already paid off or never belonged to the person. According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, in 2016, more than 40 percent of the complaints received about debt collection were about debt the consumer did not owe in the first place.

How to read latest bankruptcy filing data

Bankruptcy filings fell 1.8 percent for the latest 12-month period ending on Sept. 30. This marks a 10-year low in filings. Overall, Texas residents and others across the U.S. filed for bankruptcy 790,830 times in September 2017 compared to 805,580 in September 2016. While the number of bankruptcy filings has dropped, those who study the issue say that many people are still in a precarious financial situation.

Federal Reserve reveals worrying increase in credit card debt

Consumer spending in Texas and around the country was subdued in August according to a report released recently by the U.S. Federal Reserve. Total consumer debt in the United States increased by $17.7 billion in July according to the central bank, but only $13.1 billion was added to the nation's debt total in August. However, a closer scrutiny of the figures reveals a potentially worrying increase in credit spending and a sharp decline in student and automobile loans.

Things to know before filing bankruptcy

Texas consumers who are struggling with debt may already be aware of the protections conveyed by bankruptcy. Those who are considering filing a bankruptcy petition should take into account at least three considerations as they make their decisions. First, it's important to be aware of the different types of bankruptcy available. Second, individuals should know about the cost of filing and other costs associated with the process. Finally, knowledge of the limitations of bankruptcy protection is important.

Impact of Chapter 13 on buying or renting a home

Applying for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Texas will impact an individual's credit report and may present challenges when it comes to renting or purchasing a home. In most cases, though, it will still be possible to find a place to live in a desirable area even as an individual's debts are restructured and paid down. Depending on the specifics of the situation, a person may be able to purchase a new home after filing for Chapter 13 protection.

Medical debt remains burdensome despite credit bureau reforms

Unpaid medical bills confront many people in Texas. According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, 43 million credit reports contain medical collections. Although the credit bureaus Equifax, Experian and TransUnion will alter how they report medical debts as part of two settlements with state attorneys general, consumer advocates expect little relief for consumers.