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.
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.
Texas residents may be interested in an important change Equifax made to its credit reporting policies. The change may impact thousands of customer's credit scores if they have filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
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.
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.
Some people in Texas may not realize that there are consequences to choosing debt settlement over bankruptcy. For example, they might not know there will be tax to pay on the forgiven debt. They might also think they will lose all their possessions in a bankruptcy, but laws protect against this. Furthermore, debt settlement still has a significant negative effect on a person's credit score.
When a Texas resident files for bankruptcy, it can be a scary and uncertain time. How a bankruptcy affects a person's life and assets depends heavily on the type of bankruptcy they file. While there are many questions a person should ask before choosing a bankruptcy type, one important question is what happens to investments.
Consumers in Texas will soon find it easier to file lawsuits against banks or credit card companies as part of large, class legal actions. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued a new rule on July 10 that stops these consumer finance corporations from using arbitration clauses to prevent such lawsuits.
A bankruptcy court has ruled that secured creditors must file proofs of claim on time if they choose to file them. The specifics of the ruling may be enlightening to Texas residents who have filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection. Chapter 13 gives individuals who have a regular source income the opportunity to restructure and relieve debt without requiring them to give up their property. Debtors must provide the court with a plan to repay debts using future income.
Texas consumers are likely to see monthly debt service payments increase following an interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve. Homeowners, home equity borrowers and individuals who use credit cards will pay more for their revolving loans as a consequence of the quarter-percentage point increase of the short-term key rate.