Can Creditors Garnish Wages?

If you can’t pay money you owe, creditors may take steps to garnish your wages and withdraw money directly from your paycheck. In most situations, both federal and Ohio state law limit garnishment to 25% of your wages, and most creditors must file a collections lawsuit in court and receive a money judgment first. But once the courts give them this judgment, creditors can keep collecting money from every paycheck until the debt is paid. Having your wages g... CONTINUE READING

The Consequences of Medical Debt on Your Credit Score

Medical bills, like any unpaid debt, can do major damage to your finances and your credit score. Nearly 3 in 10 Americans, even those who had insurance, had an unpaid medical debt sent to a collection agency, according to a recent Consumer Reports survey. According to the National Consumer Law Center, medical debts are a huge portion of the neg... CONTINUE READING

Who Inherits Debt After Death?

When a close family member dies, are you going to be stuck having to pay their debts?  Will you find yourself getting harassed by creditors and debt collectors for debts you didn’t even run up or benefit from? The answer depends on the situation. When people die, their estate goes into probate, and the estate owes the debt. Debts must be paid before heirs can receive their inheritance, and secured liens such as a mortgage on a house or a car loan, will be paid first.  Creditors are notifi... CONTINUE READING

Can One Spouse File Bankruptcy Without Affecting the Other?   

Can one spouse file for bankruptcy? Married people filing for bankruptcy in Ohio have the option of filing with or without their spouse.  There are advantages and disadvantages of both options, so deciding whether you should file for bankruptcy alone or together depends on your individual situation and needs. If you do file individually, it must be done in good faith.  The bankruptcy court will examine your circumstances, and if it determines that filing on your own was not done in go... CONTINUE READING

Do You Know Your Rights as a Debtor?

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) protects debtors from overreaching debt collection practices, such as abuse, deception and late-night phone calls. Still, many creditors and collectors blatantly violate its provisions and find loopholes and new ways to harass debtors. Anyone harassed by collectors should know their rights and what they can do to stop harassment.  The skilled and seasoned Ohio bankruptcy attorneys at... CONTINUE READING

How Long Does It Take for Credit to Recover Post-Bankruptcy?

Contrary to what many people think, filing for bankruptcy may be good for you and improve your financial situation.  Chances are that if you are considering bankruptcy, your credit is already suffering, and you are probably sick of being harassed by bill collectors and creditors, and faced with possible wage garnishments, evictions, lawsuits, and foreclosures. Not only does all that activity stop with bankruptcy, but bankruptcy can help your credit. Many of your debts will be eliminated, and... CONTINUE READING

Multiple Credit Cards? How to Decide Which Ones to Tackle First

Having multiple credit cards has become an American way of life, and it’s not necessarily bad – if you can pay off the balance each month. Unfortunately, too many of us use credit cards to keep pace with increased living costs, and since credit cards are one of the most expensive ways to borrow, we wind up unable to pay off our debts. According to the American Bankers Association, 43 percent of card holders carry a balance each month, and the Federal Reserve reports that outstanding card d... CONTINUE READING

The Dangers of Paying Rent on Credit

When you are feeling financially strapped, it may be tempting to use your credit card to pay your rent or mortgage. Credit cards allow you to postpone coming up with the money for payments, and you can get rewards like cash back or miles for using them. Unfortunately, there are also costs and consequences for credit card use that can get you deeper into financial trouble. People who don’t pay what they owe in a timely fashion or only pay the minimum balance on credit cards wind up in situatio... CONTINUE READING

Financial Life After Bankruptcy

Despite anything you may have heard, bankruptcy does not ruin your credit forever, and it is still possible to get a loan after a bankruptcy discharge.  In reality, bankruptcy -- a legal way to have many debts forgiven -- is a new beginning, and it can give you a fresh financial start.  There are things you can do after a bankruptcy discharge to begin rebuilding your credit. Bankruptcy will stay on your record for up to 10 years after filing, but... CONTINUE READING

Average Debt by Age – Where Do You Stack Up?

Debt keeps rising in the United States, especially in certain age brackets. Recent data from the Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finances shows that while total household debt dipped during the Great Recession, it has been going up ever since. According to the New York Fed, our country’s debt... CONTINUE READING

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    Debt Collections after COVID in Ohio

    We may be past the worst days of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the financial hardships that it has caused for so many Ohioans continue. Debt collections after COVID-19 in Ohio are in full force for some. While some COVID-19 debt collection restrictions are still in place, others have subsided. If you a...