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Chapter 7 bankruptcy may help you regain financial control

Some people who need to seek bankruptcy protection will file for Chapter 7. This is known as liquidation bankruptcy because your nonexempt assets will be handed over to the bankruptcy trustee and liquidated with the proceeds going to pay your creditors. If there are balances left on any of your accounts after this, those will be forgiven when the case is discharged.

When you want to file this type of bankruptcy, you have to pass a means test. You can't have assets or income that is above a certain level. If you can't pass the means test, you will have to explore the possibility of filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Repayment plans vary in Chapter 13 bankruptcies

People who file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy must take the time to think about how this is going to impact their finances. There are three primary concerns that you might have when you make this decision. First, you know that your debts will be rolled into one payment. Second, you will have to make payments to the bankruptcy trustee. Third, you will need to live without credit for a while since you can't take on new credit without the bankruptcy court's permission.

When you put all of these factors together, you can see that things will be tight financially for the duration of your bankruptcy. The court will set out the terms of these payments for you. These are made for three to five years, depending on what is necessary for your case. The trustee will send them out to the creditors based on a formula set by the court.

Use bankruptcy to keep creditors in their place

When you file for bankruptcy, you have to think carefully about how it will impact your finances. For many people, filing for bankruptcy helps immensely because it does away with a lot of the debts that are crushing them. Sometimes, the best thing that you can do is wipe the slate clean and turn over a new financial leaf.

As income tax season approaches, some people who have debts might be interested in paying them off using a refund they expect to receive. One thing to remember is that your creditors can't force you to pay anything from your taxes to them. These are private debts that don't lead to the creditor garnishing your tax return. However, they can get a court order that puts a levy on the bank account where you have the direct deposit routed.

What are the automatic stay and exempt assets in bankruptcy?

Filing for bankruptcy isn't ever an easy decision to make. It is imperative that you have all the information you need to make the decision that is in your best interests. Many things can impact this, so be sure that you get answers to your questions as soon in the process as possible.

There are some basic points that will come into the picture in every bankruptcy case. Understanding these can give you an idea of what to expect.

Should you use your tax refund to pay debts?

When facing the possibility of filing for bankruptcy, there are many things that you have to think about. When this close to income tax season, you may be wondering what you will do if you are expecting a tax return. There are several things to consider so be sure to look at all your options.

It is imperative that you don't let your desire to be out of debt cloud your judgment. The last thing that you need at this point is to make serious errors that could have a negative impact on your finances.

Can private creditors take tax returns?

Individuals who are in debt will sometimes look forward to tax season because they know they will receive refunds when they file. Unscrupulous debt collectors might claim that they are going to have your federal return intercepted or garnished. This isn't possible in most cases because the Internal Revenue Service doesn't seize tax refunds to settle private debts.

There is one possible way that the creditor could claim the refund. If the collection agency or creditor places a lien on your bank account, they might be able to deduct money from it when the large deposit from the IRS goes into it.

Out-of-pocket medical expenses can lead to bankruptcy

Medical bills are one of the leading causes of bankruptcy in this country. Some people might think that this problem only affects the underinsured or uninsured. This isn't at all the case. When you are reviewing your medical insurance policy, there is one major component you should check — the catastrophic coverage out-of-pocket expenses that you have to pay before your plan picks up the charges.

This coverage goes into effect if you have a medical emergency. The better the catastrophic coverage, the less you will pay out-of-pocket if you need medical care for a situation that falls under this part of the policy. For some individuals, the out-of-pocket expenses are so high that they won't be able to afford to make the payments even though they have good insurance.

Be careful what you do with your tax return before bankruptcy

Every tax season, millions of Americans rely on their tax returns to help them catch up on bills and find a little extra for special purchases.

Unfortunately, tax returns can become complicated issues once you file for bankruptcy. Once you've filed, any tax return you are due becomes a part of your bankruptcy estate and you aren't entitled to spend it until the trustee determines if any of that money is exempt.

Mistakes to avoid in Chapter 13 bankruptcies

A Chapter 13 bankruptcy, offers debtors the opportunity to escape insurmountable debts through a tightly-controlled debt-repayment plan over several years.

Some consumers won't realize any benefit from filing for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy instead of filing for a Chapter 7. However, if you have a lot of equity in your home, car and other assets, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy often makes the most sense because you can usually retain those things.

Don't be afraid to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy

A lot of people are terrified at the idea of filing for bankruptcy, for a number of reasons.

In reality, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy will have a negative effect on your credit for a while. There's no avoiding that. However, it's important to keep some perspective about the situation.

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