Hard working people do everything they can to plan for a rainy day. When that day arrives, however, the money tucked away may not cover the rising living expenses for very long.
Most people tend to assume that successful doctors, lawyers, and business executives tend to lead similar lifestyles in terms of the clothes they wear, the cars they drive, the schools they send their kids to, and the houses they buy. This isn’t necessarily untrue, but recent research actually shows that doctors tend to buy slightly more expensive homes than other professionals earning the same income, at least in some states.
Even the healthiest people in Louisiana can fall victim to serious accidents or unforeseen health crises that require medical care and intervention. Medical technology has certainly advanced rapidly over the past decades, but unfortunately, it often appears as if medical costs have far outpaced any type of advancement in procedures in treatments. For same, paying off bills for even minor procedures and treatments can be a Herculean task with only one viable option -- personal bankruptcy.
Last time, we spoke about how exemptions work in Chapter 7 bankruptcy. As we noted, Chapter 7 exemptions refer to assets that are not subject to liquidation. In Chapter 13 bankruptcy, exemptions have a different function.
Last time, we mentioned that having a solid understanding of bankruptcy exemptions can help a debtor to determine not only whether Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy will allow the debtor to save his or her home, but also generally which form of bankruptcy is more appropriate for his or her overall financial situation. This assumes, of course, that the debtor has the ability to opt for either form of bankruptcy.
In our previous post, we began speaking about one of the main differences between Chapter 13 bankruptcy and Chapter 7 bankruptcy when it comes to home ownership. The difference, as we noted, is that because Chapter 13 bankruptcy does not involve the liquidation of non-exempt assets, it gives debtors a better opportunity to save their home. By contrast, Chapter 7 bankruptcy is not likely to allow most homeowners to save their homes. Why is this?
Wells Fargo will reportedly be setting aside $81.6 million to put an end to legal action involving claims that the bank failed to alert borrowers going through bankruptcy that their mortgage payments would be increasing. Wells Fargo admitted that this happened over 100,000 times between December 2011 and March of this year.
In our last post, we spoke a bit about student loans and bankruptcy, particularly the difficulty of having student loan debt discharged in bankruptcy. As we noted, bankruptcy courts will not discharge student loan debt unless a debtor is able to demonstrate that paying of that debt would constitute an undue hardship. Very few debtors are able to successfully do that under current case law, but it is possible that this could change.
In our last post, we began discussing the issue of how a spouse or fiancé can be impacted by a bankruptcy filing. For couples, it is important to realize that filing for bankruptcy can have an impact on a spouse not only by increasing that spouse’s responsibility for jointly held debts, but also by decreasing the debtor’s access to credit, thus putting more strain on the solvent party’s credit.
Bankruptcy can be a major disruption in the life of a debtor. And, when the debtor is married or engaged to be married, this disruption can impact his or her spouse quite significantly. For those who are married to an individual who has filed for bankruptcy, the question becomes: how much will this impact me, and how can I protect myself?