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 negative information in credit reports, making up about half of debt collection amounts on these reports and affecting 43 million Americans. Having a low credit score has wide-reaching effects by making… 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 notified of the debt,… CONTINUE READING

Can One Spouse File Bankruptcy Without Affecting the Other?   

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 good faith, it may dismiss the case without discharging your debts. If you don’t file… 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 Fesenmyer Cousino Weinzimmer understand that even the most well-intentioned people can find themselves overwhelmed with debt.  We offer a free consultation to evaluate your financial situation and… CONTINUE READING

Millennials in the U.S. Are Feeling Financial Stress

There are lots of causes of stress out there, but for millennials, financial issues create more stress than politics, work or health. A new study by Wealthsimple, an online investment management firm, found that money problems are twice as stressful as work and several times more stressful than politics. The study showed that nearly half of millennial women find money the most stressful thing in their lives, compared with 34% of millennial men. This stress can be so overwhelming that another study conducted by Payoff showed that the symptoms for… 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 although there will be an initial setback in your credit rating, after bankruptcy… CONTINUE READING

Be on the Lookout for Cell-Phone Account Fraud

Your cell phone is a great convenience, but it also provides a dangerous privacy threat that can have a devastating impact on your finances.  By setting up a phony cell-phone account in your name, criminals are able to access your bank account, sign up for credit cards and run up huge bills you will be responsible for, or sell the phone number to other criminals. Unfortunately, cell phone fraud is hard to detect, and there are few consumer protections to help. By the time you realize there is a problem, criminals can… 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 situations… CONTINUE READING

Why Credit Card Users Might Be Seeing an Increase in Bills

Many credit card users don’t bother to read the fine print of their agreements with credit card providers. Unfortunately, the language in that fine print might result in increased payments for individuals who carry balances on their accounts. In March, the Federal Reserve announced it would increase the fed funds rate from 1.5 percent to 1.75 percent. These rate hikes can make it more expensive to pay off your account balances since, for many credit cards, there is a link between the fed funds rate and the interest rates charged.… 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 there are still ways to rebuild your credit and live… CONTINUE READING

Chapter 7 is the most common form of bankruptcy and has certain advantages, but that doesn’t mean it is the best solution for you.  Depending on your situation, Chapter 13 bankruptcy, which allows you to…

Student loan debt takes such a big toll on marriage that it can even lead to divorce.  Financial problems are the leading cause of stress in a relationship, and student loan debt, which now stands at…

If you’ve declared bankruptcy, you may feel that you never want to see a credit card again, especially if using cards irresponsibly is what got you into financial trouble in the first place.  However, getting…

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