Dealing with Debt

Everyone knows – at least generally – what it means when a person is “bankrupt.” It means that a person no longer has the money to pay off their debts. But what, exactly, does “bankruptcy” mean, in a legal sense? This article is intended to provide an answer to that question as well as a very brief introduction to the two major forms of bankruptcy that are available to individual consumers: “Chapter 7” and “Chapter 13.”

Perhaps your debts have become unmanageable now that you are living on a fixed or more limited income. Maybe the unexpected costs of medical treatment or prescription drugs have pushed you to the brink. How you deal with the situation will depend on your particular circumstances.

Sometimes seniors find themselves owing past due federal and state income taxes they cannot afford to pay.  Notices from the IRS and state tax collector can be especially frightening.  There are solutions.  If the sum owed is less than $50,000, the IRS will accept monthly payments over five years.   So for example, if $6,000 is owe to the IRS, monthly payments of around $100 can be made.  There are also laws in place that provide that persons unable to pay their taxes can be placed on “uncollectable status” with the IRS and not have to pay their past due income taxes.

Most people think that if they are injured in an auto accident, they file a claim with the other driver’s insurance and get paid for their damages.  They may need a lawyer, especially if there is a dispute over who was at fault, but at the end of the day they expect a check for vehicle damage, medical expenses, and pain and suffering related to their injuries.  Once upon a time, back in the early 1980’s, that’s the way it was.  But over the years health care provider liens have eroded a plaintiff’s right of recovery under personal injury law.

While title, payday, and internet loans may be necessary for emergency money needs, they’re expensive.  Would you pay $750 for a TV that was selling for $500?  That’s what you dong if you borrow $500 and end up paying back $750.  Before you sign, take a close look at how much you will end up paying and ask yourself “Is it worth it?"  The less you borrow the less you’ll have to pay back – don’t let them talk you into taking more than you really need.

This website has been prepared for general information purposes only. The information on this website is not legal advice. Legal advice is dependent upon the specific circumstances of each situation. Also, the law may vary from state-to-state or county-to-county, so that some information in this website may not be correct for your situation. Finally, the information contained on this website is not guaranteed to be up to date. Therefore, the information contained in this website cannot replace the advice of competent legal counsel licensed in your jurisdiction.