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Which generation has the most credit card debt?

Younger generations, especially millennials, have a poor reputation regarding money management. Older people may be quick to point out that this demographic has a lot of student loan debt and relies too heavily on credit cards for purchases. You may even have some of the same assumptions yourself. However, statistics actually say something different. 

Can you no longer realistically handle your debt?

Like most people, you likely did not wake up one day and find that your financial situation was out of control. Certainly, a sudden event may have started the decline, but your money woes may have worsened considerably over time before you reached a point that you felt unable to handle your affairs realistically.

Medical debt top cause of bankruptcy

Of those who file for bankruptcy in Illinois and throughout the country, roughly 66.5% do so because of medical bills. Individuals file either because of the medical debt itself or because of a lack of income caused by time spent out of work. This is according to a study that was published in the American Journal of Public Health. It found that the Affordable Care Act has done little to reduce the number of bankruptcies related to medical costs.

Guidelines to follow when filing for Chapter 13 protection

While there are several guidelines that must be met to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, there is no income limit to do so. However, an Illinois consumer seeking such protection will need to take a credit counseling course as part of the process. It will also be necessary to create a payment plan that is approved by the trustee, the bankruptcy judge, and the creditors involved in the case.

Bankruptcy filings may be down for multiple reasons

In September 2010, there were about 1.6 million bankruptcy petitions filed throughout the country. Eight years later, that number had gone down to over 770,000 cases. However, the number of bankruptcy cases was down in Illinois and across the U.S. for a variety of reasons that individuals may not have expected. One theory is that people have fewer assets to protect compared to several years ago. Therefore, they are less likely to file for protection from creditors.

Weighing both sides of Chapter 7 bankruptcy

Although we are only a few weeks into the new year, you may already be seeing the futility in keeping your resolution to get out of debt. Like many in Illinois and across the country, the pressure of overwhelming debt may be too much to bear. You may be experiencing many sleepless nights, and even your physical health may be suffering.

The hidden costs of debt forgiveness

Illinois residents who are struggling to pay their bills sometimes seek relief by pursuing debt forgiveness, but they often find the terms offered by credit card companies or debt collectors very difficult to meet. Lenders and collection agencies are primarily interested in recovering as much of the outstanding balance as possible, and any concessions they make are designed to provide either temporary relief only or secure the largest lump sum payment possible.

Studies reveal that many older Americans have money troubles

A recent study suggests that a worryingly high number of senior citizens in Illinois and around the country are struggling to cope with unmanageable financial situations, and spiraling medical debt is often to blame. Bankruptcy filings among Americans 75 years of age or older increased by 300 percent between 1991 and 2016 according to figures from the Consumer Bankruptcy Projects, and Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 petitions made by individuals between the ages of 65 and 74 more than doubled.

Automatic stays and emotional distress damages

Illinois residents who file for personal bankruptcy may be able to obtain actual and punitive damages if they are harmed by the purposeful violation of the automatic stay that is set in place when bankruptcy is filed. However, there is a question whether the actual damages they receive should include damages for emotional distress.

Medical debt can overwhelm family budgets

Overwhelming debt can make life extremely difficult for many families in Illinois. Not surprisingly, one of the biggest contributors to insolvency is medical debt. Almost half of the respondents to a 2017 Federal Reserve survey noted that they had received at least one medical bill in the past year that they could not pay.

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Rockford, IL 61108

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