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Jackson Mississippi Bankruptcy Law Blog

Options to reduce credit card costs

Many people in Mississippi who find themselves with increasing levels of credit card debt may often wonder how in the world they can eventually make their debt decline instead of continue to grow. Even when making payments every month, interest rates, annual card fees or late fees can counteract their best efforts to get out of debt. Bankrate suggests that there is one relatively simple thing people might try to help.

A 2017 survey found that 69 percent of consumers were able to have their credit card interest rates reduced by simply picking up the phone, calling their credit card servicers and asking for this rate reduction. Making this request should be done within reason, however. For example, if a person's current interest rate is 25 percent, they should not expect to receive a reduction to five percent. They should also do their homework to be educated about current rates.

The price of medical care: What you should know

You may think that if you went to the emergency room in Mississippi seeking treatment for a broken leg that your expenses would be comparable to if you were seek medical help for the same injury in Arizona. Interestingly enough, medical expenses vary from state to state, depending on what type of service you are seeking. Research from the National Chartbook on Health Care Prices looked at payment data and medical claims to determine where states fall when it comes to pricing medical services. For example, a pregnancy ultrasound in Arizona is much cheaper than in Alaska, which costs over three times the national average. Mississippi is above the national average when it comes to medical costs.

The place where the procedure is performed can also affect the cost. For instance, if a knee surgery is performed in an outpatient clinic, it is less expensive than if they were to have the surgery in a hospital.

Getting a mortgage after Chapter 7

Residents in Mississippi who struggle with unmanageable levels of debt may try to avoid filing for bankruptcy for many reasons. Some people may feel that seeking bankruptcy relief is a sign of personal failure. Others worry that the black mark they may receive on their credit reports may preclude them from getting credit again in the future and especially from buying a house someday. The reality is that all of these beliefs are incorrect.

When it comes to getting a home loan after filing for bankruptcy, it is definitely possible to do. As explained by The Mortgage Reports, consumers should expect to have to go through a waiting period before applying for a new mortgage. The length of time they will have to wait can vary in part on the type of loan they would be seeking. Generally speaking, wait times for mortgages after Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharges span from two to four years.

Should I try to fast forward my Chapter 13 debt payment?

Sometimes financial fortunes in Mississippi can change quickly. You have received a large inheritance, or maybe your boss has given you a robust holiday bonus and even a big raise. No matter the reason, if you are in the middle of a Chapter 13 bankruptcy and have received a big financial windfall, you may want to accelerate the bankruptcy process by paying off your debts early. This might seem like a wise move, but there are drawbacks.

Remember that your Chapter 13 bankruptcy comes with a payment schedule. If you elect to pay your debts early, you are changing that schedule, and your creditors might have issues with such a quick alteration. Also keep in mind that, as Bankrate explains, under Chapter 13, creditors may decide to allow some of your debt to be discharged at the end of the bankruptcy process. So if you are paying off only some of your debt, your creditors may insist that if you wish to pay off your bankruptcy early that you go ahead and pay the full debt amount.

1 way that bankruptcy makes you a good risk to lenders

Those who consider filing for bankruptcy often worry about their credit score and whether they will be able to get loans in the future.

After all, as Americans, credit is just a way of life. We take out mortgages to buy homes. We take out loans on new and used vehicles. We use credit cards to buy groceries or gasoline. If you cannot get any loans, credit cards or lines of credit after declaring bankruptcy, is that worse than being in debt? It's a common fear that people have.

Mississippi has fourth highest bankruptcy filing

People in Mississippi who are struggling to pay their bills and still provide for their families are not alone. New data shows that the state has the fourth highest rate of bankruptcy filings nationwide. In addition, the number of individuals and businesses that have filed for bankruptcy is on the rise.

As reported by AutoRemarketing, Mississippi saw an average of 4.32 people per every 1,000 residents submit an application for bankruptcy in August of 2018. That is considerably higher than the national average of 2.51 for the same period of time and than the 2.49 seen nationally from January through July of this year. The three states with more bankruptcy filings than Mississippi in August were also in the south. Alabama, Texas and Georgia held the top three spots for states with most bankruptcy filings per 1,000 people with rates of 5.73, 5.56 and 4.62, respectively.

Medical bills not always accurate

People in Mississippi have often been taught to appropriately respect health care professionals and those who support them. This respect may be warranted in many cases but should not prevent a person from making sure they fully understand the bills they receive from doctors, labs, hospitals or other providers and facilities. In fact, careful review of these bills may expose inaccuracies that could otherwise contribute to excessive and inappropriate debt for patients.

As explained by Forbes, it is sadly not uncommon for medical bills to be incorrect. Some of the incorrect billings that occur may be due to honest mistakes such as the transposition of digits in a medical billing code. Other incorrect billings, however, might be the result of fraudulent activity on the part of a doctor or other medical business or biller.

Older millennials saddled with high credit card debt

Residents in Mississippi who are struggling to make ends meet every month and end up seeing their debt increase instead of decrease may start to consider bankruptcy as an option. Certainly, this can help and deciding which type of bankruptcy to file for will depend in large part on the type of debt a person has. For people with predominately unsecured debt, such as credit card debt, and few assets to lose, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy might be the right way to go.

As reported by Payments Journal, a study conducted by Northwestern Mutual found that consumers between the ages of 25 and 34 are commonly weighted down with excessive credit card debt. people in this group, called the older millennials, are said to have an average of $42,000 in personal non-home loan debt. Of this, approximately one-fourth is on credit cards. The next age bracket up includes consumers between 35 and 49. For these people, credit card debt was the second biggest source of debt followed by educational costs and vehicle loans.

Financial challenges for divorcing women

If you are a woman in Mississippi facing an impending divorce, in the midst of a divorce or even already divorced, you may find yourself in a difficult financial situation that you never before imagined. There may be many reasons for this including the fact that you and your partner or former partner now must support two households on the same income that previously supported only one household.

Forbes explains that women often end up surprised by some of the lingering financial effects they face due to divorce. Results of a survey about women's experience through divorce conducted by Worthy were recently published. These results showed that nearly half of all women polled were surprised about the reality of their financial status due to divorce.

Bankruptcy: The right choice when you lose financial footing?

Bankruptcy is something you may not want to have to use in your life, but there are many times when it's necessary. For someone who suddenly lost a job and hasn't been able to find work, suffered a life-altering disability or has other financial problems as a result of their lifestyle, a bankruptcy could be the difference between getting their finances back on track and struggling with debt for years to come.

Many people don't want to enter into bankruptcy because of the fear that it will ruin their credit. The surprising thing about this fear is that most people who are facing bankruptcy already have ruined credit. Entering into bankruptcy isn't necessarily going to make it worse.