Debt Relief

Growing Number of Personal Loans Could Mean Danger for U.S. Economy

The rise in personal loan debt has financial experts worried. According to a recent study from Equifax, personal loans are up 10 percent from the previous year. In fact, all three major credit agencies report a double-digit increase in the use of personal loans over the past few months.

More often than before personal loans are being utilized by consumers looking to pay for unexpected or needed expenses. In fact, personal loan debt was reported as being the fastest growing category of consumer debt.

Bankruptcy Law, Credit Card Debt, Debt Relief

How to Stop Harassment for Debts You Do Not Owe

Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)

Debt collectors will do just about anything to get a consumer to pay on a debt, their job depends on it.  This can even include the collection of old debts that are past the statute of limitations. According to recent figures from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), in conjunction with a complaint database through consumer advocacy group, U.S. PIRG Education Fund, 44 percent of all complaints against debt collectors have to do with attempts to collect on a debt that is not even owed by the person receiving the call.

The problem is many consumers are not aware that they do not owe on the debt, and they are not fully aware of their legal rights when it comes to debt collections. Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), third-party debt collectors are limited in how many times a day they can call consumers, as well as the type of communication and language they may use while collecting on the debt. If the communication constitutes harassment, the consumer has the right to ask the debt collector to stop contacting him or her, and file a lawsuit against the collection agency.

Bankruptcy Law, Credit Card Debt, Debt Relief

Debt Consolidation vs. Bankruptcy: The Pros and Cons

If someone is struggling with large amounts of debt, they may be weighing their options between debt consolidation and bankruptcy. There are positives and negatives to both- but ultimately, it depends on a person’s specific financial situation and life circumstance as to which choice is the right one for him or her.

What is Debt Consolidation?

Debt consolidation involves combining a person’s older debt from various sources into one new debt. This consolidation could be done by taking an unsecured personal loan to pay for the total amount owed or by transferring balances from multiple credit cards into one credit card.

Debt consolidation involves making payment to one lender, oftentimes at a lower interest rate.  These are two of its appealing factors.  However, we can tell you that debt consolidation rarely provides a long-term solution.  Our attorneys have helped many clients who were promised one result from a debt consolidation company only to receive far less, and stuck with the remaining debt.

Here are some of the disadvantages of debt consolidation.  

  • The debt cycle continues: While this option allows the consumer to consolidate multiple sources of debt, it only pays off that debt to combine it into one larger balance. Many consumers make the mistake of utilizing debt consolidation only to continue the cycle of debt.
  • Delaying the inevitable: Debt consolidation is oftentimes used as a ‘temporary’ fix, only delaying the inevitable. If a person is struggling to pay off various forms of debt, particularly if that debt is medical debt, credit card debt or personal loans- bankruptcy might be a better option, as the consumer would receive a complete discharge of these debts.

Choosing Bankruptcy as an Option.

Depending on an individual’s income and amount of debt, pursuing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case may be the wisest option to discharge the debt or a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case to reorganize and pay down qualifying debt. One factor to keep in mind is debt consolidation is a big business. It can be successful for some people, but for others, it may not provide the long-term solution the consumer needs.  The attorneys at Kingcade Garcia McMaken have helped thousands of people restart, rebuilt and recover through bankruptcy.

If you have questions on this topic or are in financial crisis and considering filing for bankruptcy, contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all of your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade Garcia McMaken has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade Garcia McMaken website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

Related Resources:

https://studentloanhero.com/featured/debt-consolidation-vs-bankruptcy/

 

 

 

Bankruptcy Law, Debt Relief

The Differences Between Secured Debt and Unsecured Debt

When it comes to debt and how it is handled in a bankruptcy case, two main categories exist, namely secured and unsecured debt. Even if you are not at the point yet where you will be filing for bankruptcy, knowing the type of debt involved can make a big difference, especially when money is tight, and you are worried about which debt to pay first: the mortgage or the credit card bill.

The main difference between secured and unsecured debt is the fact that one debt is secured by collateral and the other is not. Secured debt is debt that is guaranteed by collateral, which is something of value that the lender can seize for payment in the event the borrower is no longer able to pay on the debt.

Mortgages and auto loans are classic examples of secured debt. If you default on your mortgage or your car loan, the bank can foreclose on your home or repossess your vehicle to satisfy the debt. In comparison, unsecured debt is debt that is issued to someone but is not guaranteed by collateral.  The most common types of unsecured debt include payday loans, credit card debt, student loans, and medical bills.

When you are not able to continue paying on your unsecured debt, the lender cannot collect your property to satisfy the debt. However, they can report your account as delinquent, which will hurt your credit score. They can also pursue a legal judgment against you for the debt, resulting in a possible wage garnishment.

For the most part, secured debt tends to carry a lower interest rate on the amount owed. The main reason for this difference is the lender has some type of guarantee that they will receive payment, even if you default later. The lender does not have that same guarantee with unsecured debt. It is for this reason that unsecured debt tends to carry a higher interest rate because the investment is seen as more risk for the lender.

When it comes to a bankruptcy case, secured debt is handled differently than unsecured debt. If you are filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case, unsecured debt normally ends up being discharged at the end of the case, while secured debt can stay with the asset. If you are struggling to pay unsecured debt, such as credit cards or medical bills, filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case may be a viable option for dealing with the debt. If you are struggling to pay for both secured and unsecured debt, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case may be a good option to allow you to continue paying on your mortgage and stay in your home while discharging unsecured debt at the end of the payment period. An experienced bankruptcy attorney can evaluate your financial situation, after looking at the different types of debt you are carrying to determine which plan is best for you.

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If you have questions on this topic or are in financial crisis and considering filing for bankruptcy, contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all of your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade Garcia McMaken has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade Garcia McMaken website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

 

Bankruptcy Law, Debt Relief, Timothy Kingcade Posts

Personal Loan Debt Reported as the Fastest Growing Category of Consumer Debt

A new trend is being observed when it comes to consumer debt across the country. More often than before personal loans are being utilized by consumers looking to pay for unexpected or needed expenses. In fact, personal loan debt was reported as being the fastest growing category of consumer debt in 2018. Personal loans reached a record high of $291 billion as of the last quarter of 2018, according to a new study from credit reporting agency, Experian.

Experian compared lending figures from 2017 to 2018 and found an 11.9 increase in personal lending in the course of one year. In fact, the increase of consumers taking out personal loans was nearly double the growth rate of consumers taking out new credit cards. Between 2017 and 2018, an increase of 5.9 percent was seen in credit card applications while personal loans grew at the reported 11.9 percent. In comparison, car loans saw an increase of 4.3 percent while student loans saw a jump of only 5.8 percent and mortgages at 2.8 percent.

One reason for the increase of personal lending has been attributed to the similar increase of online lenders and other financial technology that makes it easier for someone to get these type of loans.  These loans require only a signature as a promise to pay. High interest personal loans are oftentimes a last resort for borrowers who are in financial trouble and lenders know it. The terms and conditions are not favorable to the borrower.  If the borrower wishes to pay off the loan early, there often exit fees and penalties that come as a result.

According to the study, currently 36.8 million outstanding personal loans exist in the United States. These loans vary depending on whether they are secured by collateral or were issued unsecured. Many consumers utilize personal loans as a means of consolidating debt, while others use personal loans to finance larger purchases. Regardless of their reasons, it is estimated that 10.8 percent of adults have at least one personal loan debt.

It is estimated that the average personal loan balance, as of the end of 2018, is $15,143 with an average monthly payment of $353. Personal loans tend to carry a higher interest rate, especially those that are unsecured, and the average annual percentage rate on a personal loan is currently 9.37 percent.

Of all the age categories surveyed, the Baby Boomer generation had the highest average personal loan balance owed of $19,403. Millennials carried an average balance of $12,574, while Generation Z held the lowest balance of $5,941.

The survey found that Washington had the highest average personal loan balance in the amount of $27,295. Washington was followed by South Dakota who had an average loan balance of $26,597, Oregon with a balance of $26,527, North Dakota with a balance of $26,281, and Montana who had an average balance of $24,725. Of all the states surveyed, New Mexico was the state that had the highest number of personal loans taken out per person in the state, with a rate of 1.7. Other states with similar rates included Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas.

Of all the states surveyed, Hawaii was found to have the lowest average personal loan balance of $12,638. Other states with lower average balances included Kentucky, Illinois, and Georgia, as well as the District of Columbia.

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If you have questions on this topic or are in financial crisis and considering filing for bankruptcy, contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all of your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade Garcia McMaken has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade Garcia McMaken website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.