Articles Tagged with Student loans

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Bankruptcy Lawyer Bryan W. Stone answers the question: “Can I get rid of student loans by declaring bankruptcy?”

In the United States, the cost of higher education is ever increasing. If you combine that with the difficulty of obtaining a reasonably salaried job after graduation, it is no surprise that student loan debt plagues graduates long after they graduate. An estimate of student loan debt currently owed in the U.S. is over $1.4 trillion dollars. Individuals with student loan debt may eventually fall prey to financial hardships. If an individual is struggling to pay bills and make ends meet, he or she may consider filing for bankruptcy. Student loan debt is often one of the largest debts a person can try to discharge in bankruptcy. However, it is extremely difficult for student loan debt to be discharged. There are specific and limited circumstances in which student loan debt will be discharged in a bankruptcy proceeding.

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Bankruptcy Lawyer Bryan W. Stone answers the question: “Can I get rid of student loans by declaring bankruptcy?”

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal discussed a tactic used by some debtors to escape what many once thought was inescapable: student loan debt. Bankruptcy rules were written in a seemingly ironclad way that prevents the vast majority of debtors from getting out from under potentially massive mountains of student loan debt. Though many have tried over the years, very few have succeeded.

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Bankruptcy Lawyer Bryan W. Stone answers the question: “Can I get rid of student loans by declaring bankruptcy?”

A single mother with two young boys was only briefly able to imagine a future free of her crushing debt burden. Against all odds, the woman won her case before a bankruptcy court in Alabama. This victory, though short-lived, was a big accomplishment given how skeptical bankruptcy courts are when it comes to granting relief for student loan debt. Sadly, the educational lender appealed the decision and a district court reversed, meaning the single mother will again assume responsibility for her six figures in educational debt.

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Charlotte Bankruptcy Lawyer Bryan W. Stone of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “Can I get rid of student loans by declaring bankruptcy?”

The Obama administration has put its weight behind a recent proposal calling for changes to be made to bankruptcy rules as they relate to student loans. The plan, proposed by the U.S. Department of Educations, calls for a series of reforms to the student loan system, one of which would ease restrictions on when borrowers would be allowed to bankrupt student loan debt.

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Charlotte Bankruptcy attorney Bryan W. Stone answers the question: “Can I keep my house if I file bankruptcy?”

 

You may have heard that bankruptcy can put a stop to foreclosure. Is that true? And if it is, is it always the best strategy for those homeowners facing foreclosure proceedings? To find out more, keep reading.

 

Locked door Charlotte Bankruptcy Attorney North Carolina Chapter 11 LawyerCan bankruptcy stop foreclosure?

 

The short answer is yes; bankruptcy can stop a foreclosure from happening. This works because of the automatic stay, which exists whenever a person files for bankruptcy protection. This stay is a court order that prevents all foreclosure proceedings and debt collections from moving forward. This can give the borrower time to get caught up on payments and reorganize other debts to be able to keep the mortgage current in the future.

 

When is bankruptcy a good option?

 

Though bankruptcy does work to prevent foreclosure, it may not always be the best bet. For those borrowers who have an ongoing stream of income and can afford their home but need an opportunity to reorganize, bankruptcy might be a good idea and can give you the chance to get your financial house in order. However, for those who simply do not have enough money to afford the house and don’t have a prospect of earning more, then bankruptcy really only delays the inevitable.

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Charlotte Bankruptcy attorney Bryan W. Stone answers the question: “Can I keep my house if I file bankruptcy?”

 

In the continuing saga over “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” star Teresa Giudice, it was revealed today in a report by a bankruptcy trustee that Giudice and her husband remained millions of dollars in debt despite filing for bankruptcy three and a half years ago.

 

TV Set Charlotte Mecklenburg Bankruptcy Lawyer North Carolina Debt AttorneyThe report by trustee John Sywilok showed that of the total $13.4 million in debt listed by Teresa and her husband Joe Giudice, only $7,500 in attorney’s fee had been paid. The two originally filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection back in October 2009, listing more than $11 million in debt.

 

In the initial filing, the Giudices said that the bankruptcy was due to real estate deals that had gone sour in a bad economy. Teresa spoke later in a blog post about the decision to file, saying that her wild spending habits showcased on the show had nothing to do with the Chapter 7 petition. Instead, she said that their attempts to buy and sell commercial buildings and apartment homes had gone bad and resulted in unmanageable levels of debt.

 

Problems went from bad to worse for the Giudices, as federal prosecutors ultimately brought bankruptcy fraud charges against the couple, citing examples of income and assets the two had hidden during the filing process. Earlier this year the couple pled guilty to charges connected with their 2009 bankruptcy and both now face possible prison time.

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Charlotte Bankruptcy attorney Bryan W. Stone answers the question: “What are the pros and cons of bankruptcy?”

 

Bankruptcy can certainly be a confusing thing for most people. The vast majority of those considering filing for bankruptcy protection have little if any experience with state or federal legal codes, let alone those dealing with bankruptcy rules and regulations. It might surprise many to realize that these laws can vary depending on your state, especially with regard to what kinds and how much property are allowed to be exempted from the bankruptcy process.

 

Sold Sign Charlotte Bankruptcy Attorney North Carolina Mecklenburg Chapter 7 LawyerExemption rules involve those things that filers are allowed to keep after a bankruptcy has been discharged. This can include things like items of personal property, cars, homes, etc. Though there are federal rules regarding the exemptions allowed for those filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection, states have their own rules that can sometimes differ from one another.

 

For example, those filing for bankruptcy in Florida are allowed to exempt the entre value of their homes, a popular exemption that can be a real benefit in some cases. However, those filing in neighboring Georgia are limited to a much smaller $21,500 homestead exemption. Here in North Carolina, the homestead exemption is $35,000 in most cases, but rises to $60,000 for those over 65.

 

Curiously, lawmakers in Maine decided to place in a state-specific exemption for coal fuel, saying that filers were allowed to keep up to five tons of coal as a personal exemption. In Maine, the legislature decreed that those filing for bankruptcy protection could shield $1,000 worth of furs, a specific category that is not contained in most other states’ exemptions.

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Charlotte Bankruptcy attorney Bryan W. Stone answers the question: “What are my alternatives to bankruptcy?”

 

Former star of “Meet the Parents” and “West Wing” Teri Polo has announced that tax troubles have led to some seriously hard financial times. According to recent documents filed in a California bankruptcy court, the actress is seeking bankruptcy protection for nearly a million dollars in debt.

 

Calculator 1 Charlotte Bankruptcy Lawyer North Carolina Tax Debt AttorneyTeri filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy this past week, listing her liabilities at more than $770,000 in back taxes and $36,000 in credit card debts. Interestingly, Teri says that she is also being sued for more than $30,000 by her former landlord who claims the actress destroyed her apartment by leaving it full of large amounts of animal feces.

 

As Teri’s case illustrates, it is possible to discharge some tax debts in bankruptcy. Usually, older income tax debts are dischargeable, specifically those that were due at least three years ago. To be discharged, the return must usually be filed at least two years ago and the IRS must have first assessed the debt at least 240 days ago. Tax debts are also only dischargeable if the person seeking the discharge did not commit tax fraud or evasion.

 

And what happens if your tax debts are not dischargeable? If you’ve filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy then you should understand that the debts will be waiting on you when you have emerged from the bankruptcy. The only relief for a Chapter 7 will occur during the automatic stay period when all collectors are required to cease their efforts. Once the bankruptcy is done, usually only a few months later, the IRS will begin its pursuits again.

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Charlotte Bankruptcy attorney Bryan W. Stone answers the question: “Can I get credit after filing personal bankruptcy?”

 

Though it may sound like a cruel joke, the reality is that it takes some money to file for bankruptcy. This may be counterintuitive given that those in need of bankruptcy protection likely have little if any extra money to waste on filing fees, but unfortunately the bankruptcy court system requires sometimes-hefty fees to handle cases.

 

Green dollar sign Charlotte Bankruptcy Attorney North Carolina Chapter 13 LawyerWhat are the fees?

 

Bankruptcy has become more expensive than it used to be after the implementation of recent bankruptcy reform laws. Thank Congress for deciding to raise the fee for filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy to $306. Chapter 13 bankruptcies will run you $281 in filing fees while the filing fee for a Chapter 11 is a whopping $1,200. The money you pay in fees goes directly to the bankruptcy court clerk.

 

How can I pay them?

 

Though it seems silly to burden already struggling people with yet more expenses, the court system relies on these fees to fund its own operations and has shown no indication of cutting or eliminating the current fee structure. However, it’s good to know that the bankruptcy courts allow filers to pay the fees in installments. Though this doesn’t eliminate the cost of the filing, it does spread it over a longer period of time, hopefully giving you time to put the money together to cover the bill.

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Charlotte Bankruptcy attorney Bryan W. Stone answers the question: “Can I keep my car if I file bankruptcy?”

 

In a surprise to many who had begged GM to reconsider, the car company recently revealed it would ask a federal bankruptcy court to shield the company from lawsuits relating to defective automobiles that occurred prior to the company’s 2009 bankruptcy filing.

 

Detroit sign Charlotte Bankruptcy Attorney North Carolina Chapter 7 LawyerSeveral costly wrongful death suits have already been filed against General Motors regarding its faulty ignition switch system which has been linked to at least a dozen deaths. The problem involves the ignition switch slipping out of the “run” position, something that shuts down the engine and other crucial safety features like airbags. GM says the trouble has led to at least 13 deaths, though other consumer safety groups say the real number is many times higher.

 

GM has admitted that it first became aware of the problem more than a decade ago, yet it waited until February of this year to issue a recall. The choice to wait years and years to alert consumers to such a dangerous defect has stunned many and led experts to conclude the automaker could face billions of dollars in liability if it is discovered that many more people died in accidents related to the faulty ignition switch.

 

However, one thing GM has in its favor is its July 2009 bankruptcy filing. That bankruptcy led to a reorganization of the company and ensured that the GM which exists today is no longer liable for the liabilities incurred by the pre-2009 GM. Congressional leaders and safety critics had called on GM to avoid hiding behind the bankruptcy process, a call GM appears to have been unwilling to heed.

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