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Jackson Mississippi Bankruptcy Law Blog

The benefits and drawbacks of declaring Chapter 13 bankruptcy

When residents of Mississippi struggle with debts and begin to consider declaring bankruptcy, they have two main options. The first is Chapter 7, colloquially known as liquidation bankruptcy. The second is Chapter 13, commonly called wage earner's bankruptcy. Looking at Chapter 13 specifically, how will you know if it's a good fit for you?

The United States Courts highlight the numerous advantages of Chapter 13 bankruptcy. As an example, foreclosure proceedings can be stopped the moment someone files. Delinquent mortgage payments can even be cured over time. Additionally, other secured debts can be rescheduled so that they can be paid off in more manageable chunks spread out over a longer period of time. This can be helpful to those who have found themselves with multiple sources of debt.

Do you qualify to keep property in a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

If you face serious personal debt and need help creating some breathing room to get control of your finances, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy may offer what you need. Chapter 13 operates unlike other forms of bankruptcy that require a people to liquidate most or all of their personal assets to pay off whatever debts they can. Instead, Chapter 13 allows those who qualify to create a plan to pay off their debt over time, using existing income.

Unfortunately, Chapter 13 is not blanketly available to anyone. Those who qualify must meet certain income requirements and other stipulations that indicate a candidate's likelihood of completing the process, or ability to complete the process.

When does a hobby turn into a habit?

With the holiday season quickly approaching, sales are around every corner. Whether it is a new television set for the family or simply a personal shopping treat, the temptations to buy a plethora of products are at their strongest. What, then, is the end result regarding one's wallet? Although many Mississippi residents can coast through the holidays with financial ease, others find themselves in less appealing situations when they realize one shopping trip has turned into ten. 

The impulse to buy, especially at this time of year, can be incredibly difficult to ignore. An article in Psychology Today lists some common signs that a hobby may have turned into a habit, recognizing the definition for shopping addictions as "Oniomania." Known as a type of impulse control disorder, Oniomania is arguably as harmful as alcoholism or eating disorders. The end result is all-too-often an empty wallet and an emptier bank account. And as with most addictions, bad shopping habits can worsen over time and even threaten one's financial stability. Some of the signs that a person may be addicted to shopping include over-preoccupation with buying and feelings of guilt after shopping.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy and foreclosure

When you are facing financial difficulties in Mississippi, you may find that you also face the foreclosure of your home. Sometimes in this situation, you may want to consider declaring bankruptcy. We at the Pond Law Firm understand that you have many questions about Chapter 13 bankruptcy and how it can affect your foreclosure.

Although you may view bankruptcy in a negative light, this situation is not always negative when your home is being foreclosed on. FindLaw says that this is because you receive an Order for Relief after you begin the bankruptcy process. This means that your creditors cannot collect money from you. When you file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you typically establish a new payment plan for your debt. It is important to remember that this payment plan includes the mortgage payments you make each month, as well as the payments you have missed. While bankruptcy can postpone the foreclosure process for a few months, you still need to have the income necessary to make these payments.

What is a home equity loan?

For Mississippi residents like you who are struggling with debt, there are many different loans that you can look into. They all serve different purposes and have their own unique benefits and pitfalls.

One of the many types of loans is called a home equity loan. According to The Balance, home equity loans are secured by your house. What does this mean? Simply put, you're able to borrow the amount of money that's equivalent to the equity of your home, allowing large sums of money to be borrowed at once. Your home is used like collateral. Because of that, there is a possibility that you will lose it if you're not able to pay back the loan that you borrow.

How you can avoid building up debt over the holidays

The holidays are coming up soon. You want to give your family a fun and joyous holiday season. But you also want to keep your family on solid financial footing.

So, you might have some anxiety over the financial aspects of the holiday season. There are, after all, a lot of expenses that go along with this season. Among the things you might be worried about is such costs leading to credit card debt or other debt.

The problem of being medically underinsured

Regardless of what your political leanings are, you are likely aware that the Affordable Care Act has resulted in a great number of people in Mississippi and around the country having health insurance. While that may be positive in some ways, it certainly does not mean that health care has truly become affordable for everyone. The reality is that many people today continue to struggle with the high cost of health care even if they are insured.

A new report was recently issued jointly by the Kaiser Family Foundation and The New York Times that highlights a problem many might not have thought of. Everyone acknowledges and understands the challenges associated with being uninsured but there is another serious problem and that is being underinsured. This happens when people are forced into selecting plans with high deductibles and excessive co-pays because they cannot afford any other plans.

The outlook of medical debt in america

Student loan debt is not the only type of debt that causes millions of Americans to struggle. According to recent studies, medical debt has skyrocketed for countless individuals -- to the point at which many avoid basic health care altogether. But sometimes crucial procedures are compromised. In addition to filing for bankruptcy, some patients experience added health issues as a result of financial crisis. Unfortunately, Mississippi is not exempt from these medical woes. 

USA Today is one of many networks that has emphasized the dire situation of medical debt in America. According to research showcased in an article published earlier this year, more than a quarter of adults in the country face crippling medical bills. Many might assume that one too many shopping sprees is the root of personal bankruptcy, but medical debt has outnumbered even that of credit cards. USA Today goes on to share that medical debt is the numer one source of personal bankruptcy, with 40 percent of Americans having accumulated debt as a result of various medical needs in 2014. Although insurance certainly provides security, it does not appear to solve this nationwide issue. Instead, some point toward emergency savings accounts as beacons of light, should an unexpected medical need arise.

Why does mississippi lead the nation in medical debt?

Millions of Americans are living with debt -- a debt that can accumulate and linger for decades. When it comes to medical debt specifically, Mississippi leads the rest of the country. Recent news highlights a growing trend in the state's medical debt, revealing that financial struggles affect some groups more than others. What is the cause of this imbalance, and what can be done to solve the issue that has hindered the wellbeing of so many?

Just last week, The Clarion-Ledger focused on debt in Mississippi, presenting an angle from which the statewide problem can be assessed. According to a report from the Hope Policy Institute, the economic security of black males is incredibly fragile, which the Clarion-Ledger claims could have a connection to poor health across the state. And although the cause of this issue is complex, high rates of unemployment and low wages could partially be to blame. Those struggling financially often sacrifice health and general wellbeing simply so they can pay for basic necessities. Furthermore, the Clarion-Ledger points out that the stress of poverty can ultimately take a psychological toll on individuals and families. The state department of health also acknowledges the link between racial and socio-economic discrimination and obstacles to healthcare, as poverty-stricken areas are the most affected. 

Mississippi's current foreclosure climate

For countless families in America, mortgage issues did not follow the path of the nationwide housing crisis a decade ago; instead of improving over time, matters only got worse. Estimates in recent years show that this trend in mortgage crises has ultimately led to millions of home foreclosures. Mississippi is not exempt from this trend, but what could current statistics predict about the housing market in the coming months? 

National Mortgage News noted last month that, even with rising foreclosure rates, there is usually an expected increase in foreclosures in August -- the month where real estate also sees stagnancy. However, this past August's foreclosure numbers revealed that rates are twice the average 6 percent seasonal increase in August over the last 10 years. These statistics are not unlike those of the subprime mortgage crisis of 2007 to 2009. Although experts do not see these rates as cause for alarm, they could mean trouble for local markets where foreclosure rates have been steadily increasing. Mississippi was one of five states that saw year-over-year increases in foreclosure filings, with foreclosure rates up 9 percent.