Budgeting is difficult. Even when people start out with good financial habits, they often get talked out of them by persuasive marketing messages that praise the value of having things right now — even if it means extra debt.
At The Law Offices of Neil Crane, we understand that credit card companies target people — especially young college students and people who have been in previous financial trouble — telling them that credit cards are like free cash. This could not be farther from the truth. The best way to financial health is to stay out of debt.
The best way to avoid giving away your paycheck is to create a budget and stick to it. Your budget should list your net income as well as all your expenses. It should plan for paying off the principal amounts on debts as well as saving some money for future needs.
The only way to make a budget work is to follow it. At the Law Offices of Neil Crane, we can help. Our goal is to help you make long-term, smart financial decisions. To do this, we continue our representation until your financial goals are achieved. Whether we begin our legal representation with bankruptcy or foreclosure concerns, we make sure that you understand your debt to income ratio — and that budgeting can put your financial life back on track starting with how to control your spending.
7 Tips to Control Your Spending
- Set up, and stick to, a realistic budget.
- Learn how to balance your accounts.
- Pay cash as often as possible.
- Don’t impulse buy. Save up for more important and/or expensive items.
- Try to pay off cards as soon as possible to avoid interest rates and late fees.
- Reduce the spending limit on your credit card.
- Not ready for a credit card? Debit cards or prepaid cards can be good alternatives.
Your Debt to Income Ratio
Debt to income ratio is the percentage of your gross monthly income that goes toward paying debts. When it comes to your financial health, maintaining a good debt to income ratio is critical. Your family should have enough income to pay the debts it incurs every month — while paying all bills due and hopefully saving for the future.
At The Law Offices of Neil Crane, in Hamden, Connecticut, we often spend time talking with our clients — making sure that they understand the basics of financial health — so that they have the tools to make the right decisions about their finances. This usually includes a discussion about debt to income ratio.
There are many financial habits that lead to a good debt to income ratio:
- Using only credit cards that are underwritten
- Paying off the balance due each month
- Using debit cards instead of credit cards
- Limiting the amount of credit you have available
- Not taking out second mortgages
- Saving for items instead of taking out loans or putting them on the credit card
Maximizing your credit score or FICO Score is an important part of your financial future. There are many components to a good credit score – the most important components are a low debt-to-income ratio, and a history of timely payments.
Making Credit Work for You
Many people tend to confuse credit and debt as two separate, unrelated issues. This could not be further from the truth. The unrestricted, preapproved granting of “credit” creates insurmountable debt. The best way to think of these two things is that credit reflects your ability to borrow. Debt is what happens when you borrow too much. For too many people, credit becomes the path to debt. The “credit industry” thrives on the harsh, unreasonable interest rates that are instituted when people fall into debt. However, there are proper ways of making credit work for you, and you need to learn them as soon as possible.
At The Law Offices of Neil Crane, our Connecticut debt relief professionals provide experienced credit counseling to people throughout Connecticut. We can help you tackle your debt problems head on and give you the tools necessary to build and maintain good credit and avoid future debt problems.
Debt Reduction Is the Key to Good Credit
There are various key steps to making credit work for you and your family. The first step is to understand the dangers of debt — the flip side of credit. Lending institutions and credit card companies want you to confuse credit and debt as they make immense profits on your debt.
A lot of people assume that having a good credit score acts as a true measure of a person. While credit scores certainly have their place, they are only a small piece of your overall financial picture. True credit and financial health require low borrowing and solid financial planning with a sound debt-to-interest ratio. Debt reduction through a well-analyzed and implemented plan with committed professional assistance is the essential first step to long-term financial health and true “good credit.”
Call for a Free Consultation With a Connecticut Credit and Debt Professional
Our lawyers can help you figure out a debt relief plan that can help with credit consolidation and debt consolidation. Once an action plan is in place, we can help with rebuilding credit as a tool to future financial health. Consumer protection laws are designed to serve you. We have been helping residents throughout Connecticut get the financial relief they need for more than 35 years. It is time to stop working for your credit card company and start making credit work for you.
Do not wait for your creditors to take action against you. We are ready to help you confront your debt problems and get on the path to a brighter financial future. Contact our Connecticut debt relief professionals online or call 203-230-2233 to schedule a free initial consultation at any of our five Connecticut locations. Understand what myths about Credit Card Debt Relief are by reading our 10 Common Myths about Credit Card Debt Relief
Myth #1: To Get a Perfect Credit Score, I just need to Pay on time
In the past, if you had a steady income and always paid your bills on time, you were rewarded with a higher credit score-even if you had an unhealthy debt burden.
Not so today. Outstanding debt is now a huge part in a FICO calculation-and that is why many of today’s so-called “perfect payers” are ending up with diminishing FICO scores. These utilization rates are the central component to rewarding perfect payers with perfect scores.
Myth #2: If I Pay my Bills on Time, then my Credit Card Debt Will Go Away
While it’s important for you to pay your bills on time (since our FICO score is determined in part by our payment history) focusing solely on making payments on time as an exclusive strategy to boost your score and pay off your credit cards isn’t wise.
Debt reduction is the answer. A healthy debt-to-income ratio is essential to a solid credit score and financial health. Too much debt makes it impossible to obtain good lending rates or a balanced monthly budget.
However, simply making payments on a $30k credit card balance is a bit easier said than done. In many cases, credit cards come with high interest rates, making it virtually impossible in some instances to pay off the principal in an acceptable amount of time.
Many of us may think about reaching into our 401k savings to pay off the debt. After all, it would give us an immediate clean slate, right?
This is a drastic and often improper alternative made by individuals and families in trouble. There are often better options and none should be overlooked or disregarded without experienced legal advice on better avenues for debt relief.
Myth #3: There’s Nothing I Can do to Fight Against the Credit Card Companies
Not True! Credit card billing disputes are the top complaints issued to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Credit card companies and banks regularly charge people and businesses late fees, interest and other improper fines and wrongful overcharges for payment mistakes that could have been avoided if better communication were put in place. Don’t be bamboozled – know your rights. Contact the experienced credit card billing disputes lawyers at The Law Offices of Neil Crane.
Credit card issuers regularly bury in small print or withhold information that is vital to consumers wishing to avoid fines. If you have incurred any sort of fine or incorrect charge from a credit issuer, our law firm can help you with effective analysis and aggressive advocacy.
We Handle Creditor Communication And Disputes Effectively
At The Law Offices of Neil Crane, LLC, we find an abundance of incorrect and egregious charges by card issuers or banks that think the law doesn’t apply to them. We can also assist you with instances of credit card fraud, excessive fees and other improper charges.
Myth #4: I Don’t Need a Lawyer for Credit Card Consolidation
National credit consolidation companies can be persuasive, but they don’t provide true permanent solutions — at best, it’s a quick fix.
While Large, Out-of-State Companies Are Taking Your Money, Your Creditors May Be Taking Serious Legal Action Against You Here in Connecticut
Many companies that promise to help you with your debt problems will make slow and limited progress on small debts. In the meantime, your creditors may be preparing to take legal action. Many companies continue to take fees as their clients receive endless collection calls and lawsuits here in Connecticut. These companies are a step in the wrong direction, not the required permanent cure. They cannot appear for you or defend you in suits in the courts of Connecticut. Only qualified and experienced lawyers can appropriately represent you and create real credit solutions.
Myth #5: Having a Good Credit Score means Everything
Do not let concerns over your credit score prevent you from taking real action when it comes to your debt.
The Myth of the Credit Score
Credit card companies want you to be afraid of that score. In fact, they created the credit score to save themselves time and money — not to serve or protect consumers. Your credit score is only one aspect of your overall financial picture. Talk to an attorney who can help you understand what you really have at stake to solve your debt and properly rebuild your credit score on a permanent basis. Debt reduction and an improved debt-to-income ratio are the beginning of a fresh credit report and a high credit score
Besides, taking real action to get the debt relief you deserve could end up helping your credit score. By working with your creditors to consolidate your debt into a plan you can actually afford, you can make timely payments and build your credit score faster than you could on your own.
Myth #6: My Credit Score Will be Ruined if I Claim Bankruptcy
Believe it or not, bankruptcy can help you improve your credit right away. It sounds like a paradox, but in fact, bankruptcy can end the cycle of bad credit. Chances are, you are no longer able to make even the minimum payments on your credit cards, and even if you could, it might take you 25 years at your current interest rate to pay off even a modest balance with minimum payments. Bankruptcy, allows you to throw off the yoke of crushing debt and provides you the opportunity to end the cycle of debt, improve your credit and obtain a fresh financial start.
Proper lending and affordable borrowing depend on three factors:
- Credit score – your FICA credit score
- Your debt-to-income ratio
- Your savings account balance
Good lending and good borrowing that will work for you and not against you depends on your debt-to-income ratio and your bank account. A high credit score is a solid and attainable goal that can easily be recovered after bankruptcy, along with an improved debt-to-income ratio and increased savings. The key is to build a cushion and get your finances in order before incurring more debt without a well-conceived plan.
Bankruptcy Immediately Reduces a Bad Debt-to-Income Ratio
It allows for a future with a chance of savings. Over time, the only means to a financial future is a balanced debt-to-income ratio coupled with easy steps and advice on increasing your credit score without overburdening debt.
Do not let debt collectors, consolidators or creditors mislead you about credit after bankruptcy. The bankruptcy credit myth is a fear tactic to discourage you from getting proper legal advice, and taking the steps that will benefit you, your family and your financial health and well-being.
We can help you discharge your debt, remove judgments, establish an affordable repayment plan for your secured debt and more – all of which can dramatically increase your credit score.
Myth #7: If I Claim Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, then I’ll Lose All of My Assets
The most common misconception about Chapter 7 is that filing Chapter 7 will result in a loss of assets. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth or the purpose of Chapter 7. The vast majority of all Chapter 7 cases are called “no assets” cases meaning that the filing party loses no assets at all. Instead, all of their property was “exempt” meaning yours for the future and “protected” from creditors. The purpose of Chapter 7 bankruptcy is to protect what you own and get rid of what you owe.
Properly prepared Chapter 7 bankruptcy petitions discharge unsecured debt in full and protect all personal assets in full.
Myth #8: If I Claim Bankruptcy for My Credit Cards, I’ll Be Left with Nothing
Chapter 7 laws were written to provide debt relief and the ability to obtain a new financial future. The authors of the law understood the need to preserve and protect “basic” assets needed by individuals and families to obtain a fresh start. They therefore create strong federal and state laws to exempt or protect certain basic assets from seizure or collection by creditors.
“Exemption laws” protect the assets necessary to assure that all individuals and families will be allowed to continue forward with the items that facilitate and promote their opportunity for a fresh start and future success.
Federal bankruptcy exemptions include a variety of protection provisions subject to certain value limitations:
- Automobiles are protected
- Equity in personal homes up to $75,000 per person is protected
- Cash accounts and other items of value are protected by the Wild Card Exemption to $12,725 per person
- Pensions, 401Ks, IRAs and other tax qualified accounts are protected
- Household goods are protected and valued at “tag sale” value
- Cash values in life insurance policies are protected up to $12,250
- Miscellaneous other items and belongings are also protected.
Myth #9: I Won’t be Able to Discharge All Unsecured Debt Using Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows for the discharge of nearly all forms of unsecured debt, including:
- Credit Cards
- Personal Loans
- Medical Bills
- Payday Loans
- Car Taxes over 1 year old
- Income Taxes over 3 years old
- Deficiency Judgments
- Other forms of unsecured debt
The primary function of Chapter 7 is the extinguishment or “discharge” of unsecured debt in full. Chapter 7 protects assets and future pay from old bills and allows for a financial fresh start. Obtaining the full range of Chapter 7 debt relief coverage and asset protection requires the knowledge and assistance of an experienced Chapter 7 attorney.
Myth #10: Bad Credit Card Debt is Only for the Young College Student
Seniors often carry more credit card debt
As with younger individuals who file for bankruptcy protection, credit card debts and medical bills are two of the main factors in bankruptcy filings among older individuals. Often, these financial challenges are even more pronounced among the elderly. With health care costs on the rise and incomes in decline due to higher unemployment, stagnant Social Security payouts and cuts to pensions and retirement plans, today’s older individuals often end up feeling that they have little choice but to use credit cards to make ends meet.
Not only are older filers more likely to have credit card debt than their younger counterparts, but those who do tend to carry larger balances.
Higher medical bills
Medical debts also tend to be high among older individuals due in part to the fact that medical problems tend to become more numerous and severe as people age. Unfortunately, many older people also experience a decline in income at the same time as their health care costs are rising.
Especially for those living on a fixed income, even routine care and medications can be difficult to afford. For seniors with more serious health concerns, the bills can quickly pile up and become unmanageable.
If you are approaching retirement age and are interested in learning more about your options for getting out of debt, consider speaking with an experienced bankruptcy lawyer about your situation. A lawyer with an in-depth understanding of bankruptcy and debt issues can help you weigh your options and pursue a course of action that will meet your needs.
Providing Solid Solutions, Not Short-Term Bandaids
We are committed to curing your debt problems by providing permanent protection and long-term financial improvement. With today’s difficult economic times and Connecticut’s high cost of living, unsecured debt robs a family of the monthly income necessary to save homes, keep cars and make the essential payments required to meet your basic monthly living costs. Unsecured debt and credit card debt is the worst form of unsecured debt. It has the highest interest rates and it never goes away. Fortunately, with the help of an experienced Connecticut bankruptcy attorney at the Law Offices of Neil Crane, credit card debt relief is attainable through a variety of methods customized to meet your specific monthly budget. To understand all of your options, call us for a comprehensive analysis of your budget and all possible avenues for debt relief. We’ll take the time to provide you with the complete benefit of over 35 years’ experience in solving the financial problems of Connecticut residents.
Find out more about the Credit Card Debt Relief process
The process for credit card debt relief has 3 different stages.
Stage 1: Pre-Bankruptcy Planning: Expert Chapter 7 practice requires perfect preparation: The key to all Chapter 7 cases is advanced and well-developed preparation prior to filing. Complete evaluation with a Means Test and the formulation of a customized plan to achieve your goals is the critical element to all our Chapter 7 success. All cases are completed prior to filing so that results are predictable and all Chapter 7 discharges are granted.
Stage 2: Filing the Chapter 7 Case: In the hands of experienced and dedicated Chapter 7 counsel, the filing of a case is the final most predictable step in the Chapter 7 process. Properly filed, the Chapter 7 fresh start begins on the filing date and the clients only further involvement is an informal and respectfully conducted Chapter 7 meeting held in an office setting with our attorneys that routinely takes less than ten minutes.
Stage 3: Rebuilding your Credit: To learn more about credit scores pre- and post- bankruptcy, contact an experienced debt relief attorney at the Law Offices of Neil Crane. We have over 35 years of experience in providing solid debt relief solutions and credit score recovery.
Chapter 7 Protects Your Assets Through Exemption Law
By properly utilizing all the exemptions available under state or federal bankruptcy exemption law, our clients can obtain full Chapter 7 debt relief and protect:
- Home equity up to $75,000 per person
- Bank accounts up to $12,750 per person
- Cars, trucks and other vehicles
- Tools of the trade
- Life insurance policies
- Pension assets
- Household belongings and other important assets
Relieving debt while protecting personal assets assures you of the best possible financial fresh start.
Qualifying for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
We understand that many of our clients have several good reasons for preferring Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing over Chapter 13. If Chapter 7 is in your best interests, we want to help you get there. Chapter 7 can allow you to eliminate almost all debt, including credit card debt, medical debt, personal loans, deficiency judgments, and more. It will place an automatic stay on all debt collection activities, foreclosures, levies and garnishments.
To qualify for Chapter 7, you generally must be eligible under the means test, but every case is different. Even if your income is above the median standard, you could still qualify for Chapter 7 relief through a stringent evaluation of your income and liabilities by our experienced team of means testing attorneys.
BANKRUPTCY MEANS TEST
Qualifying for bankruptcy used to be a simple process. All borrowers/petitioners were eligible for the full debt relief of Chapter 7. But the Bankruptcy Code Revision of 2005 changed all that. Now, only certain below median income households are guaranteed to qualify for Chapter 7 relief.
For higher income families, the “means test” is the determining factor in qualifying for Chapter 7 full debt relief rather than Chapter 13 debt repayment. There are many circumstances where Chapter 7 eligibility is complicated, and only the knowledge of specialized counsel makes qualification for Chapter 7 relief possible.
The means test takes into account Internal Revenue Service (IRS) information, living expenses, income, numbers of dependents and other complex criteria in calculating eligibility for Chapter 7 relief. It is an extremely difficult and customized test of all available and actual income that requires years of legal practice and experience to interpret and apply to your fullest benefit. With hard work and practice, we have qualified thousands of middle-and upper-income Connecticut households for full Chapter 7 relief.
DON’T FEAR! The first step in examining families for Chapter 7 relief is an analysis of household income from all sources over a trailing six month period. This income, doubled, becomes the determining household annual income for purposes of determining eligibility for “automatic” Chapter 7 relief with its full discharge of unsecured debt and no repayment. Family size is determined by the number of dependents listed on the prior year’s tax return. In Connecticut, the numbers are approximately:
Family of 1 – $62,000+
Family of 2 – $79,000+
Family of 3 – $90,000+
Family of 4 – $111,000+
All additional individuals – $8,400 per person
For families who are over these median numbers, the 2500 law requires a “Means Test”. This is a somewhat complicated analysis of your income and expenses over the past six months. It utilizes formulated amounts of “allowable deductions” for certain expenses and overriding “actual deductions” for certain types of monthly expenses, such as mortgage payments, car loans, support obligations and others.
Excellent practitioners know how to use the fullest extent of the law to maximize client’s utilization of both elements of the examination, “household income” and “allowable expenses.” The rules are complicated and extensive, but the key to Chapter 7 relief under the means test is good lawyering and full implementation of all aspects of means testing rules and regulations. It takes work, but it’s worth it.
Understanding Canceled Debt
When a debt is canceled, such as a credit card, it can be a tremendous relief. It is easy to forget, however, that you need to declare canceled debts to the IRS. The IRS treats the cancellation of debt as income.
If you are already struggling to pay your bills, it can be difficult to imagine how you will pay for taxes on your canceled debt. At The Law Offices of Neil Crane, we can help you understand your options and properly avoid or resolve any outstanding tax debt issues you may have as a result of a canceled debt.
Taxes for Canceled Debt
When a loan is forgiven or a debt is canceled, you are required to pay taxes on that debt. This can include a wide range of debts, including:
- Car loans
- Credit card debt
- Medical bills
- Student loans
The IRS treats a forgiven debt as income for tax purposes. There are exemptions available in some circumstances. We have the full range of experience and knowledge to determine whether an exemption is available in your specific case.
If your canceled debt is more than $600, your lender is required to send you a 1099-C Cancellation of Debt form. Then, you will need to include that as part of your income taxes. If your canceled debt involves real estate, and your lender took your property in lieu of payment, you may be required to declare your gains or losses from the “sale” of your property.
Our attorneys understand how confusing tax concerns such as debt cancellation can be. We will clearly explain your legal options and your rights regarding your canceled debt. For example, if your canceled debt involves your principal residence, The Mortgage Tax Forgiveness Act of 2007 may provide relief. Under this act, you may not be required to pay taxes on debt that is canceled or reduced through modification or restructuring, so long as you meet certain forgiveness criteria.
Penalties for Nonpayment of Taxes
If you fail to pay taxes on your canceled debt, you could face serious consequences. The IRS or Connecticut Department of Revenue Services (DRS) can take your home, seize your assets or place a lien on your property. Additionally, penalties, interest and fees can build up if you delay in making payment.
Can I rebuild my credit after bankruptcy?
Individuals tend to have several questions that must be addressed before deciding bankruptcy is appropriate. These questions include what might happen to the family home, which debt is eligible to be discharged, as well as how bankruptcy might affect their life down the road.
Restoring Your Credit Score
One of the most common questions people have following the bankruptcy process is how they can restore their credit score. Obtaining new credit after bankruptcy can be difficult, but there are steps people can take to begin rebuilding credit for the future. These steps include:
- Take on as little new debt as possible – debt to income ratio is an important credit score determinant.
- Obtain a secured credit card if your previous cards have been cancelled (this will establish a positive payment history).
- Pay off credit cards at the end of every billing cycle and avoid charging more than 30 percent of their limits.
- Pay with cash whenever possible.
- Avoid submitting multiple credit applications (credit scores take a hit with each inquiry).
- Develop a budget and abide by a strict budget.
This list is not exhaustive, but following these recommendations can jump start even a recent bankruptcy filer on the road to a sound financial future. Bankruptcy is designed to give debtors a fresh start, so it is important to realize anyone can emerge from bankruptcy with a positive outlook for the future.
Anyone who is considering bankruptcy or wondering how they can rebuild their credit should speak with a qualified attorney immediately. The experience bankruptcy attorneys provide is invaluable before, during and after the bankruptcy process.
Post-Bankruptcy Credit Scores
Post-bankruptcy lending at low rates has never been more available than it is today. Lenders love post-bankruptcy customers – They have no debt. But you need to be more careful than ever, since high post-bankruptcy credit scores can become a trap, instead of a solution.
It is important to realize that your FICA credit score is not nearly as important as your debt-to- income ratio or your bank account balance. Learn to make your high credit score a tool for financial health and not an invitation to financial disaster. We offer many tips to improve and protect your credit rating after bankruptcy:
- Budgeting is key – make a budget and stick with it
- Get a credit card and pay if off every month – never carry a balance
- Keep a credit card as credit and not as debt
- Make down payments – do not buy houses or cars with no money down
- Create a personalized layaway plan and save for large items
Credit Card Offers After Bankruptcy
Credit card solicitations will arrive immediately after you file for bankruptcy. Be careful. There are numerous ways that this can become a trap. Our experienced bankruptcy and debt relief attorneys, know how to make bankruptcy and debt relief the beginning of a solid high credit rating, lower interest rates and a sound financial future. Be certain to contact us to learn how we can make a difference in your credit life.
Begin Rebuilding Your Financial Health
We offer a free initial consultation to help you determine your eligibility and evaluate the proper path in your unique situation. Call us today at 203-230-2233, or complete our online contact form. When you call us, you will always speak to an attorney. We do not use voicemail. We are committed to providing excellent service and legal protection.
Understand what the options are to get rid of Credit Card debt
There are various proven legal options for debt reduction, including debt settlement and debt relief. And, an experienced debt relief attorney will know the best option under your specific circumstances, including Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
In our society, bankruptcy is often regarded as a last resort, a decision that will crush your creditworthiness in perpetuity. But this simply isn’t true.
Why You Should Consider All Avenues for Debt Reduction And High Credit Scores
Paradoxically, your FICO scores may in fact go up post-bankruptcy because of the reduction in your utilization. Credit card offers and car loans are actually available within weeks or months of a bankruptcy discharge and getting approved for a mortgage no longer takes years.
Bankruptcy is an important legal decision that is used by many people, but only with the benefit of experienced legal counsel. In certain circumstances, it is the appropriate method to a lasting financial future within increased credit scores and a healthy reduction in your overall household debt burden-all while preserving your savings and retirement portfolios that took decades of work to build and grow.
Learn All Your Debt Relief Options in Advance
At The Law Offices of Neil Crane, we offer true debt relief through proper consolidation, settlement or other legal options all customized to your particular needs. As experienced attorneys with over 35 years of knowledge, we can assist you in all types of debt relief and negotiations with your creditors.
We help our clients pursue many options designed to restore their financial health. These may include Chapter 7 bankruptcy, Chapter 13 bankruptcy, and foreclosure mediation. Regardless of the option you choose, we will make sure it’s the proper option for your problems and guide you through the process from beginning to end.
Benefits of Bankruptcy in Debt Relief and Credit Improvement
Through Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the reorganization, reduction or elimination of overwhelming debt and missed payments begins a new era of manageable debt, and good credit scores.
Chapter 11 bankruptcy allows business owners and professional practices to reorganize business liabilities and debts for proper payment treatment in order of their priority, while eliminating or reducing unsecured debts and protecting assets.
Chapter 13 allows debtors to restructure debt, to create Chapter 13 Plans with manageable and affordable three- to five-year repayment of existing arrears while eliminating or modifying non-priority secured and general unsecured debt.
Should I File Bankruptcy or Try Credit/Debt Management?
If you feel like you are drowning in debt, you are probably receiving many offers from debt management and credit consolidation companies promising to help you pay off or manage your debt. At first, their proposals and offers sound reasonable and appealing, but most of these programs don’t take the time to be sure that their plans will really work for your specific problems. They offer alternatives to bankruptcy under the guise of credit management, debt management or mortgage modification.
Never trust any management programs that don’t include extensive early budget review and an in-person free analysis.
There may very well be options available to you, but often these ubiquitous, impersonal companies from distant states do not have your best interests in mind. They do not take the time or effort to understand your budget in full, they don’t live in your community and they don’t meet you in person. These programs don’t take the time and resources necessary to customize a plan that might work for you. Many are out-of-state companies and Internet scams that actually make matters considerably worse by collecting your hard-earned money, and not paying your creditors. Many of these so-called solutions are not carefully thought out or properly based on the facts of your individual circumstances. The company selling the plan always benefits when you don’t.
At The Law Offices of Neil Crane, we help our clients throughout Connecticut avoid the myriad scams in credit consolidation and mortgage modification. Your problems and our solutions require a face-to-face meeting and work hard to guide our clients toward the best resolution for their particular needs, goals and personal situation. It cannot be overstated that it is in your best interest to consult with a highly qualified and experienced bankruptcy and debt relief lawyer before making decisions that will significantly impact your life and financial future.
Finding the Right Debt Solution for Your Budget
Debt negotiators and consolidators often prey upon people with money problems because that is how their own business is designed to make money. They are well aware of how trusting and vulnerable a person can be when suffocated by debt. For months, they may promise to negotiate down your debt, settle a small bill and continue charging you fees. In the end, you don’t have a full and successful resolution, and you’ve squandered your household money on an ineffective program or scam that plays on your hopes and fears
In many cases, not all bills are covered by the plan. Collection actions continue, harassing phone calls do not cease, and you continue to snowball deeper into debt. You end up paying monthly fees you can till afford, usually by the company’s direct deduction from your accounts. These monthly deductions often continue as creditors commence lawsuits against you here in Connecticut.
While true debt consolidation can be a very valuable alternative to bankruptcy, your case needs to be analyzed and crafted by a trained and insightful professional who possesses a full complement of experience, knowledge and skill coupled with an intimate in-person understanding of your special circumstances.
Our attorneys are well versed in all debt consolidation options as well as debt settlement. We take the time and interest to meet with you to explore all options for reaching a solid, long-term solution. Not a band-aid quick fix, but something that will help you thrive for the long-term.
We help our clients vet all available options thoroughly and make informed decisions for all the options that will best fit their budgets. We will advise and represent you while protecting your rights as a borrower, consumer and property owner in every way we can, analyzing debt relief options including:
- Debt consolidation
- Chapter 7 bankruptcy
- Chapter 11 bankruptcy
- Chapter 13 bankruptcy
- Foreclosure defense in Connecticut
- Foreclosure mediation
- Mortgage modification
- Second mortgage and lien removal
- Other debt settlement options
- Small-business bankruptcy
Bankruptcy may be a good option in the face of insurmountable debts. Nevertheless, creditor harassment is illegal based on numerous other laws and legal protections. Debt collectors and creditors aggressively pursue even the smallest debts that are past due. Sometimes, they harass consumers over just a few dollars in late fees.
There are many options for stopping creditor harassment and abuse. You can carefully examine and discuss these choices with a lawyer dedicated and experienced in consumer relief by calling an attorney at The Law Offices of Neil Crane. We don’t use a voice mail; you will have the chance to speak directly with an attorney experienced in protecting your rights against improper creditor practices.
We Stop Creditor Harassment
We help you weigh the consequences and the benefits equally in every form of debt relief. Our local attorneys help people from Stamford to Hamden to Hartford stop harassing phone calls, threats, deception, unfair debt collection practices and other violations of fair debt collection practices.
We fight creditor harassment and handle all communications with debt collectors and creditors once we represent you in legal action against them.
We are located right here in Connecticut. This means that you can talk with us face to face and really get to know your lawyer. You can stop by our comfortable law office, speaking directly with an attorney regarding important questions. Our clients always understand in advance how and why the plan we choose will work for them.
Please do not hesitate to call us today at 203-230-2233, or complete our online contact form to discuss your questions and concerns with an experienced attorney.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection provides for the elimination or discharge of debts while protecting assets from creditors, collectors, and court judgments. At The Law Offices of Neil Crane, in Hamden, Connecticut, we have successfully provided over ten thousand families with Chapter 7 bankruptcy relief. We are the largest provider of Chapter 7 relief in Connecticut.
Can credit card debt be discharged in bankruptcy?
Chapter 7 bankruptcy provides permanent legal relief from various forms of debt; including:
- Unsecured debt relief: Filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy relieves most unsecured debt obligations, like credit card debt and personal loans. This enables people to focus their financial resources on more critical debts, like making mortgage payments, rent and car payments. Unsecured debt is the worst form of indebtedness, since it has the highest interest rates and the longest payment terms. Unsecured debt destroys the ability to repay more important obligations by undermining a family’s debt-to-income ratio.
- State and federal tax relief: Chapter 7 bankruptcy provides for the discharge of certain types of federal and state income tax debt. Qualifying for the discharge of local, state and federal tax debt requires the assistance of experienced bankruptcy legal counsel.
Bankruptcy Offers A Fresh Financial Start
Chapter 7, Chapter 11 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy filings provide an automatic stay, which halts liens, levies, garnishments, lawsuits or collection actions. The bankruptcy filing also relieves you or your business of various types of unsecured debt.
Benefits of Discharging Unsecured Debt
Credit card debt has high interest and low principal payment. It stresses the family budget each month and is rarely ever reduced or eliminated. Credit card use leads to credit card dependence, as high interest credit cards are used for all family necessities like gas, groceries, and even the smallest of purchases. This is credit card dependence, and it quickly interferes with much more important car payments and mortgage payments.
Maintaining low debt-to-income ratios are essential to Connecticut middle class families, and most families cannot afford to lose any current monthly money to credit card debt for past purchases. Credit card debt is a permanent and unproductive form of debt. You can’t drive it or live in it, and often, credit card payments can lead to car repossession and home foreclosures. Controlling or eliminating credit card debt is the key step to long-term financial health and home ownership in Connecticut.
Since 1983, we have been helping people just like you find the debt relief necessary to get their finances permanently back on track. A financial fresh start through bankruptcy allows you to completely discharge all unsecured debts (e.g., credit card debt). Debt discharge and bankruptcy can help you in several other ways, including:
- Discharging tax debt
- Freeing up money to pay off secured debt such as a mortgage loan or auto loan
- Helping you rebuild your credit score
- Placing an automatic stay on all collection actions
- Protecting other assets
- Removing tax liens and levies
- Stopping and preventing repossessions
- Stopping creditor harassment
- Stopping foreclosure
- Stopping unfair debt collection practices
We can protect your assets and the path to a financial fresh start through bankruptcy protection. We help you find the permanent debt relief you need with personalized legal help. With six different office locations throughout Connecticut, we are available to meet with you at your convenience to map out a plan for your best possible debt relief option and a successful financial future.
Talk to a Bankruptcy Lawyer About How Chapter 7 Can Benefit You
We offer free consultations. Please do not hesitate to call us today at 203-230-2233, or complete our online contact form to discuss your questions and concerns with an experienced attorney.