Rapid Reader Questions – Bankruptcy, Collection Agent, IRS, Student Loans

Things will be okay.

Q: What happens if you don’t file bankruptcy but still have credit card debt or loans at the bank? A: You owe them. Q: A collection agency sent my debt to a lawyer with a court date do I have to acknowledge it? A: No, but you will then lose by default. Q: Do I … Read more

Rapid Fire Reader Questions – Levy, Attorney, Collection, Bankruptcy

Sometimes I get reader questions that don’t have enough information for a big answer. So here are some rapid-fire questions and answers. Q: Can a collection agency take money out of an account that is not the debtors? A: If the debtor is not a signer on the account and the account is in the … Read more

Do NOT Avoid Bankruptcy – Podcast

There is so much misinformation floating about when it comes to dealing with debt. Far too many people tell you bankruptcy is a last resort or you should avoid bankruptcy. But here is the ironic thing, that is often the worst advice possible. In this podcast, Damon Day and I talk about bankruptcy, myths and … Read more

Ten Real Things You Should Do to Survive a Bad Economy With Grace

Much of what we read is all high-level safe stuff about what people should do when facing tough economic times. And a whole lot of that advice is good for the masses, but what about what is best for the individual, you. The government wants consumers not to lose confidence during tough times. The economy … Read more

We’ve Been to Credit Counseling But Should We File For Bankruptcy?

Dear Steve Hi! I am a piano teacher, and due to the bad economy have very few students, even though I am used to having plenty. We just moved because we could no longer afford where we lived. We gave up our house in a deed in lieu of foreclosure. My husband took a cut … Read more

How Will Filing Bankruptcy in the UK Affect Me in the U.S.?

thinking pondering

Question: Jon, I’m a UK citizen & had good credit that I spent years building. Went to US to study/go to university, and opened up some credit cards while abroad. Debt mounted up & I lost job stateside and couldn’t afford payments anymore, and stopped paying CC’s. My question is, if I apply for bankruptcy … Read more

2005 Bankruptcy Reforms “Failed Miserably” to Help Students

It’s official, bankruptcy reform in 2005 totally sucked for people with private student loans. Academic research shows lenders won and consumers lost. Here is the abstract from a paper in the Harvard Law & Policy Review by Alexei Alexandrov and Dalie Jimenez that looks at the data of how the 2005 Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and … Read more

Chicago’s Bankruptcy Boom

This week we published a deep look at why bankruptcy frequently fails to provide relief to black Americans struggling with debt. The story focused on Memphis, Tennessee — the bankruptcy capital of the nation — where black debtors have for generations been funneled into Chapter 13, which usually requires five years of payments most have … Read more

Black People in the South Unfairly Get Less Relief in Bankruptcy

Paul Kiel, a reporter, sent me an email and described his latest article which is fascinating in a bankruptcy kind of way. I can attest having observed similar trends anecdotally for decades but his hard work and documentation makes this far too real. You can read the story How the Bankruptcy System Is Failing Black … Read more

When Bankruptcy for Seniors Might be a Bad Idea

This guest post by Eric Olsen is a great example that not all debt experts need to agree all the time. Eric presents a very valid point of view and mine is slightly different. Eric describes a situation where seniors may consider it unnecessary to file bankruptcy. In my experience, bankruptcy in similar situations can … Read more

Filed Bankruptcy, in the Middle of a Divorce, and Student Loan Forbearance Ending Soon

Question: Dear Steve, Bankruptcy discharge February 2016. Separation from husband March 2016. Still in divorce proceedings. My student loan is in forbearance that will be ending soon. What if your bankruptcy was filed prior to July 2015 date mentioned in the article and now I’m going through a divorce with no chance of child support. … Read more

Different Options for Debt Relief – Finding the Right Solution

Imagine you were sick. Really sick. Sick enough to go to a doctor or even a hospital. Perhaps you even looked up your symptoms on the Internet, visited WebMD, did a ton of internet research and were convinced that you needed a professional to help you get better – or things could get much, much … Read more