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personal bankruptcy Archives

Appeals judges rule that debt collector lawsuit can continue

Debt collectors in California and around the country have been known to take legal action against consumers over debts that were taken out by identity thieves or other malicious individuals. These lawsuits are generally dismissed with prejudice once the true provenance of the debt has been established, but that does little for consumers who have had to spend significant amounts of time and money defending themselves.

Delaying bankruptcy can make a bad financial situation even worse

Individuals in California and around the country who are struggling with significant debt often put off filing for bankruptcy because they are concerned about the possible consequences. However, a recent study suggests that this delay can often be far more financially damaging. Researchers from the Notre Dame University Law Review came to this conclusion after scrutinizing data from the Consumer Bankruptcy Project.

Damages for distress may be available in willful violation cases

At least four of the U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals, including the 9th Circuit that includes California, have ruled that damages for emotional distress may be warranted in cases of a willful violation of a bankruptcy's automatic stay. The purpose of the automatic stay of collection efforts is to provide the bankruptcy petitioner with a breathing spell and temporarily relieve them of the financial pressures that led to the bankruptcy.

Filing for bankruptcy early on can help avoid difficulties

Bankruptcy can offer a life-changing escape and debt relief opportunity to people in California struggling with crushing debt. While the opportunities presented by filing for bankruptcy can be substantial, people are often hesitant to commit to filing. There are a number of reasons why this is the case: Sometimes, people simply want to see if they can avoid taking the additional step of bankruptcy. Other times, people feel a sense of guilt or shame. However, waiting to file bankruptcy can make a person's debt burden even harder to overcome.

Understand the truth about bankruptcy

Those who are planning on filing for bankruptcy in California or any other state should understand its true impact on their credit. For instance, some believe that a lack of negative information on their credit report prior to filing for bankruptcy will reduce its negative impact. However, the fact that someone has filed for bankruptcy will be a significant negative mark regardless of what happened before he or she did so.

Medical debts hitting Gen X harder than other age groups

Medical debts plague every adult age group in California, but data collected by Comet showed that members of Generation X are currently carrying the highest balances. Generation X represents people in their late 30s to early 50s. Their financial burdens include supporting children, paying for mortgages and keeping up with high credit card bills. These existing financial pressures too often make the timely payment of medical bills impossible.

Senior debtors experience stress relief with bankruptcy filings

The recession of 2008 imposed financial difficulties on people in California, especially among those who are 65 years old and older. Approximately 8 percent of debtors seeking bankruptcy relief fall within that demographic. Medical debt represents the top reason seniors fall behind on their bills, and once collection agencies start to contact them, their stress rises significantly.

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