Credit Card Debt Help

Credit card debt affects people of all different lifestyles across the country who are unable to pay off unsecured consumer debt. When purchasing products and services using a credit card, you are required to make timely payments to the credit card company to pay off the purchase balance. Yet if you cannot make repayments or unable to make full payments, credit card interest and fees can add up. This problem leads to enormous credit card debts that can feel overwhelming.

There are many reasons why you may be unable to pay off your credit card debt. Yet there are also ways for you to deal with this debt, adopt wise money management strategies, and improve your credit score to become a responsible card holder. Once you feel confident on how to keep your debts and payments manageable, you can make smarter decisions when using your credit cards.

Are You Prepared for a “Rainy Day?”

Posted on February 3rd, 2017 by Amy Tanner

CNN Money recently reported that 6 out of 10 Americans don’t have $500 in savings, according to a new report from Bankrate. So what does one do if hit with an unexpected expense like a car repair, medical emergency or even the more costly car and home maintenance expenses? Well, 41% of adults reported having enough in their savings to pay for an expense of $500 or more. About 20% reported that they would use a credit card to cover the expense and another 11% would seek financial assistance from friends or family members. Only about 20% would cut back…Read   More

What is an authorized user? An authorized user is someone who has been “authorized” to use a credit card that is in someone else’s name.  For example, parents will sometimes add their children as an authorized user to help build their child’s credit or use while they are away at college. Benefits Establish or improve your credit score For an authorized user without credit, being added as an authorized user to an existing credit card account that has an impeccable pay record, may help establish or improve credit fairly quickly since the credit card holder will likely report the debt…Read   More

I have many friends who are watching their kid’s graduate high school this year.   Our turn will be next year and the thought of sending our daughter away from us to attend college is exciting but sad.  I remember when I moved away from home and the temptations of being my own “boss” was liberating and yet frightening.  We pray we give our children the tools to not only be successful in the classroom but remain true to who they are as a person. As a consumer bankruptcy attorney, I see that many of the financial problems my clients have…Read   More

Credit cards are readily available to the majority of Americans and, when used properly, can be quite useful. They are convenient for emergency situations and can provide more security. If you manage to be responsible with your credit card use, you can also build your credit score. This may help save money when financing something like a home or vehicle. Unfortunately, responsible credit card use is not as easy as it sounds. Aquiring Credit Card Debt Quite often, credit card debt begins with good intentions. You tell yourself that you will pay it off every month, pay period, or even…Read   More

About two weeks ago, two separate clients tried to convince me that they needed to keep a particular charge card from their respective bankruptcies.  Mind you, it is illegal to intentionally leave a creditor out of your bankruptcy.  And even though both of these clients were aware of that, they still felt compelled to plead their case in hopes of keeping this particular debt out of their bankruptcies. The Appeal of “Free” The debt, as you’ve probably guessed, was a Victoria’s Secret store charge card. What intrigues me is the reason that both clients wanted to keep their Victoria’s Secret…Read   More

This is the time of the year when we typically review what we have done in the past year and make plans for changes in the year before of us.  Many of us will resolve to lose weight, quit smoking or quit drinking.  We make these decisions because we are concerned about our health and general well-being.  We want to be happy and feel good.  We want to make responsible decisions that will help us to be better parents, spouses, friends, employees and employers. Debt is a Health Risk Having practiced consumer bankruptcy law for almost thirty years, I can…Read   More

So you just withdrew $100 from your bank account, and by the end of the day you have $12 left, but you have nothing to show for it.  Where did you spend your $88? What did you spend it on?  If you’re like most people you probably have no idea.  Most people do not have a clue how much they actually spend on their monthly expenses.  If you don’t know how much you’re spending, how do you know how much you should be budgeting? Track Disposable Income When we meet with clients during their free bankruptcy consultation most have underestimated…Read   More

Two weeks until the big day….Christmas Day!  Although it is 70 degrees here in Alabama, the trees are lit and the fake snow is falling at the shopping malls.  No matter what aspect of the season you and your family celebrate, it is easy to get caught up in the spirit of the season. Everyone feels a little more generous during the month of December. However, don’t let your generosity  put you in financial straits. There are plenty of opportunities at this time of year to expand your generosity in non-monetary ways. Those shopping lists can get out of hand…Read   More

During a consultation, clients may need to discuss how they can deal with a cosigned debt. It might be that they want to untangle themselves from a cosigned debt or it might be that they need to protect someone that has co-signed a debt obligation for them. Or, someone may say, “Well, my sister signed first and I signed second.” It is generally at that point I try and explain that as far as the creditors are concerned, it doesn’t matter who signed the obligation first or second, both who signed are equally responsible. If the loan was for the…Read   More

“Forgiven Debt” Really?

Posted on October 14th, 2015 by Suzanne Carlson Shinn

We often hear the phrase “Too good to be true”. Well, unfortunately when it comes to debt settlement, that statement may be truer (and costly) than you might think. Many people are traveling under the mistaken assumption that if they are able to work out a settlement with a creditor offering to pay less than the total amount owed on the debt, then the balance of the debt will be “forgiven” or “cancelled”. Tax Consequences of Debt Settlement If you are attempting to reach a settlement with a creditor, generally the creditor will mention that “there may be tax consequences…Read   More