Free Backpack Giveaway Event; Helping Our Community

Dorothy’s Outreach Ministry; Backpack Giveaway

This year, Debt Advisors Law Offices has teamed up with Dorothy’s Outreach Ministry to provide free backpacks filled with pencils, notebooks, rulers, glue sticks and other school supplies to children in need.

Dorothy’s Outreach Ministry is a non-profit, local organization right here in Wisconsin who has made a difference in our local communities by supporting children and families in need. The ministry operates through both monetary donations and the donation of school supplies. All proceeds go directly back to children in our local communities.
Free Backpack Giveaway Event
Over 200 free backpacks for all ages while supplies last!

backpacks for school, help with school suppliesDate: August 25, 2018

Time: 11:30am-5:30pm

Location: Kingdom Apostolic Ministry
parking lot at 5017 West Center Street,
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Can’t Make The Event?
Here are some additional ways to find cost savings while shopping back to school:
• Watch for end of summer sales, coupons, rebates and online-only deals
• Follow favorite stores on social media for additional savings
• Don’t be afraid to shop discount, consignment, grocery or second-hand stores
• Focus your savings on the biggest ticket items first
• Buy in bulk if there are several kids in the family
• Reuse items from previous year when possible

Purchasing Back To School Supplies

Back to school shopping July to September is big business for stores but hard on the wallet for so many families. According to The National Retail Federation, each student k-12 can expect to spend an average of nearly $700 purchasing back to school supplies. This number has increased in recent years due mostly to the cost of electronics, but even the basic school supplies will run about $500 per child. Middle and high school students will require more of a back to school investment than younger siblings.

July and August are the biggest spending months for back to school supplies, but during the month of September, stores can always expect some last-minute purchases. Purchasing a pre-made school kit or package containing specific items requested by teachers may eliminate some need for last minute purchases and provide convenience, but don’t necessarily provide a cost savings. Wisconsin’s tax-free holiday earlier this month provided relief for some families, and there are occasionally good bargains found online.

Although there are cost savings opportunities to be found, some families still have difficulty buying even the most basic necessities. For this reason, our law firm wanted to do what we could to help support school-aged children, as well as the efforts of Dorothy’s Outreach Ministry.

From all of us at Debt Advisors, we hope all kids in Southeastern Wisconsin have a great 2018/2019 School year!

Before It’s Too Late; Ask About Mortgage Modification

home mortgage reorganization, home loan modification, mortgage restructuring

Can’t Keep Up With House Payments?

Unexpected things happen in life that impact your finances in a negative way. When the situation doesn’t improve quickly, it becomes difficult to keep up with payments on a house. Defaulting on mortgage payments is a step closer to losing your home. Foreclosure is designed to force the sale of your home. How much time you have before the bank starts a foreclosure lawsuit depends on a variety of factors. Don’t wait too long. There is a point at which a foreclosure cannot be stopped. As soon as you find yourself behind on your mortgage; ask a bankruptcy attorney about how to do a mortgage modification.

Mortgage Modification or Mortgage Restructuring

You shouldn’t have to lose your home to foreclosure. One option is a to do a mortgage modification or otherwise known as a mortgage loan restructuring. During the home loan modification process, a new legal contract is negotiated and agreed upon by both the lender and the borrower. The new contract could modify all or just key points of the current loan terms. The idea is to ensure your new monthly mortgage payment is affordable enough to continue making payments as well as stay in your home.

Why Hire a Bankruptcy Attorney for Mortgage Modification?
If you’re in a desperate financial bind already, bankruptcy may do more for you, above and beyond saving your home. For example, if you’re still employed, but need to address other debts in addition to your mortgage, Chapter 13 Bankruptcy may be just what you need. Ch.13 can stop the foreclosure process while allowing the time to reorganize and possibly even reduce many other debts. The new budget will not only save your home; it will also create an attractive repayment plan and budget you can stay on top of.

If your debt load is far too large for a repayment plan, and your mortgage is severely underwater, a Chapter 7 may be your best option. Through Ch. 7 bankruptcy, a mortgage may be discharged. What makes it different from a Ch.13 is that a Ch.7 allows a person to eliminate certain debts instead of reorganizing them. Even if a mortgage loan was not reorganized or eliminated during a previous bankruptcy, it may still be addressed afterwards. In any case, an attorney who is familiar with both mortgage modification and bankruptcy should review your situation as soon as possible.

Hire Debt Advisors Law Offices
In 2017, the Wisconsin counties of Milwaukee, Kenosha, Brown and Waukesha had some of the highest number of properties involved in the foreclosure process. Our firm has offices in these areas as well as other locations in Southeastern Wisconsin. Our bankruptcy law firm is also familiar with foreclosure laws in Wisconsin. An attorney at Debt Advisors can be retained for as little as $100. If you hire Debt Advisors, your attorney will represent you through the entire process including, contacting your mortgage company and working out the details of your case. The first step is to request your free initial consultation.

Before You File Bankruptcy on Your Own

Filing Bankruptcy Without a Lawyer

bankruptcy without lawyer, bankruptcy without attorneyMaking the mistake of filing the wrong bankruptcy, filing bankruptcy documents incorrectly, missing information, or failing to meet important deadlines can be like walking off a cliff blindfolded.  If you’re considering filing bankruptcy, you’re already in a desperate financial situation.  Avoid taking the unnecessary risks that filing bankruptcy on your own can bring.

Bankruptcy Court Problems

Dealing with a bankruptcy court can be very intimidating, and for good reason; there are laws to follow, bankruptcy court deadlines to meet, and no room for errors. To file bankruptcy, one must be experienced with the procedures and well-versed with bankruptcy laws. The trustee appointed to your case will be appointed by the court uncover assets to repay creditors; not to watch out for your best interests. Ultimately, the bankruptcy court decides the details of your personal bankruptcy case, and the outcome. Filing bankruptcy without an attorney means the debtor is taking big risks without legal representation.  When bankruptcy is handled through an experienced bankruptcy lawyer, the margin of error is significantly reduced, if not completely eliminated.

Pre-Bankruptcy Consultation

What if you don’t need to file bankruptcy? Most bankruptcy attorneys offer a free no-obligation case evaluation. During this initial meeting to discuss your potential bankruptcy case, there is conversation about what bankruptcy can and cannot do. The bankruptcy attorney will do an initial assessment of your financial situation and determine which next steps are necessary.  If bankruptcy is not the best solution to your financial problems, there may be other insightful solutions recommended. If Chapter 13 or Chapter 7 bankruptcy are a good fit to resolve your debt problems, then your debt attorney can guide you through the process. Having the professional guidance, assurance, and advice is exactly what is needed to avoid common mistakes.

Hire a Debt Advisor

By far, the most important thing one can do to prepare for a possible bankruptcy case is to hire legal representation, a debt advisor and bankruptcy lawyer who is familiar with both federal and state bankruptcy laws. Before attempting to file on your own, consider the financial risks and unnecessary emotional toll this could cause.  At Debt Advisors Law Offices, you can retain an experienced bankruptcy attorney for as little as $100.

Bankruptcy Provides Relief for Shock of Medical Bills

Ch.7 Bankruptcy to Discharge Medical Debt

medical bankruptcy, medical bills overdue, help with medical bills, eliminate medical debt, discharge medical debtMedical care and prescription costs have skyrocketed over the years. Many folks are receiving medical treatment without a clue of how much it will cost them.  When the medical bill finally does arrive, the reaction is complete shock and disbelief. Consumers are less informed about the choices available and cost of medical services than about the cost and nutritional value of a big mac.

Price Menu For Medical Services

A restaurant menu or digital display nicely details items that are for purchase including the cost, descriptions such as photos and sometimes nutritional details as well.  Based upon the information available, consumers are able to make more informed decisions about their purchases.  The sales receipt also allows one to compare the charges with the order to ensure the two align prior to leaving the establishment.  If there is a discrepancy in charges, it can be handled on the spot. Unfortunately, there is no such “menu” for medical services.

Different Prices for Same Medical Services

Being upfront with the cost of medical services becomes more complicated when the same services are billed differently. One of the first questions asked upon entering a medical office or emergency room is, “do you have insurance?” If there is no medical insurance, the total cost for services is typically going to be much lower than for someone who carries health insurance.

After returning home from the doctor’s office, lab, or urgent care, patients are mostly unaware of what the total charges will be. Get the Fresh Start you Deserve.  In any scenario, when the medical bills come in, the reaction is often shock, then disbelief and panic. Legislators in Washington D.C. are working to make the system better by potentially forcing prices to be posted online.

 Wisconsin Family Medical Bill Shocker

For many folks, paying off medical debt is not only difficult, but fiscally impossible. An unexpected medical bill for $500 is a lot of money.  Worse yet, that $500 can quickly turn into $5,000, $15,000 or $50,000 in owed medical expenses. Even with good credit, this amount of medical debt can damage a credit score if not paid off quickly. Medical providers will do their best to collect their money, even if it means garnishing wages.

This Wisconsin family turned to Debt Advisors Law Offices to help get them out of medical debt.

Medical Debt & Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Stop wage garnishments, stop the harassing phone calls, and get help overcoming medical debt through Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Find out how the bankruptcy process works. Start by requesting a free bankruptcy case evaluation today.

The Flip Side Of Bankruptcy Stereotypes

is bankruptcy public, will bankruptcy ruin credit, cost of bankruptcy

Addressing Bankruptcy Cons

Bankruptcy is a tool that helps solve serious debt problems. It’s designed for those who are drowning in excessive debt. If you have never been in this position, it may be difficult to see the true benefits that follow a bankruptcy discharge. If you have experienced the pains of living beneath a heavy debt load, you are likely to relate to the flip side analysis of the bankruptcy stereotypes mentioned in this article.

Bankruptcy Is Emotional Rollercoaster

Consider the flip side:  Excessive debt that you can’t pay back, collectors calling, wage garnishments, car repos, and home foreclosure…these are the things that take people on an emotional roller coaster. If bankruptcy is a fitting financial solution for you and your family, then it should come as a relief. Hiring an experienced bankruptcy lawyer that keeps you informed will also ensure that you don’t have additional stress during this process. Bankruptcy is a legal proceeding that can either discharge or consolidate your debt. Your bankruptcy attorney can help determine which is best for you.

Bankruptcy Filings are Public

Consider the flip side: If you lose your home, your car, and your financial life to debt…everyone will know, and you may be miserable. Back when newspapers were the main source of information, bankruptcy filings would be published for creditors to obtain the information. Newspaper readership has declined over the years, and the internet has been introduced. Not only are bankruptcy filings no longer published in all the newspapers, but creditors are notified directly. There continues to be “public access” to information such as bankruptcy filings, but how many people do you know that are going to take the time to search for this, or pay fees to retain it? Most likely, the people you know will never hear about your bankruptcy unless you agree for a credit report to be pulled or tell everyone how much it has changed your life for the better. On a final note, people like you are choosing to make their bankruptcy filings public…just read our reviews!

Bankruptcy Will Ruin Your Credit

Consider the flip side: If you qualify for bankruptcy your credit score is likely to be very low to begin with.  You have just one direction to go, and that’s up!  After bankruptcy, you will be free to rebuild your credit score for the first in a long while. If bankruptcy has allowed you to rebuild your life; try to look at all the positive things it has done for you and move forward. Holding on to unmanageable debt would have prevented you from saving, getting a loan, or improving your credit score. In addition, there are banks and lenders that will work with people who have filed bankruptcy. Yes, you CAN buy a car or a home after filing bankruptcy. Allow us to help answer your “life after bankruptcy” questions.

Filing Bankruptcy is Expensive

Consider the flip side: Attempting to pay off medical expenses that would take more than a lifetime of income to achieve, that’s expensive.  Sending in minimum payments to cover a 22% interest credit card bill or high interest payday loan, now that’s expensive!  Attempting to file your own bankruptcy and making an error…that’s expensive! Filing can be complicated and it can lead to costly mistakes. Be sure to hire a bankruptcy lawyer. At Debt Advisors, you can retain one of our bankruptcy attorneys for as little as $100.  That’s nothing when we’re talking about getting your financial life back in order.  Not all bankruptcy law firms charge the same fees. Debt Advisors Law Offices is experienced, and fair.

Eliminating debt is an investment into your future.

Keep Property Assets In Bankruptcy

keep property during bankruptcy, file bankruptcy keep property, property and bankruptcy, keep assets and file bankruptcyWhat will I lose if I file bankruptcy? Will they take my house, my jewelry, my car? What about the clothes on my back, are they safe? These are legitimate concerns, but the misconception is that a person will lose everything when they file for bankruptcy.  Property exemptions are designed to protect what you really need to keep during the bankruptcy process. Your options depend upon a variety of factors. After meeting with an experienced bankruptcy lawyer, people are generally pleased they can protect all of their assets.

Property Exemptions in Bankruptcy

Exempt property is that which can be kept during and after the bankruptcy process.  Non-exempt property is the property courts will sell to pay back your creditors.  You will find a bankruptcy lawyer very helpful in this process, but truthfulness is an absolute must.  When sharing information about your property assets, anything less than the truth could constitute fraud.  Some of your property may be off limits, but first they must be revealed, then claimed exempt.

Common Types of Exempt Property (The Kind You Keep In Bankruptcy)
Exempt and  Non-Exempt property assets  are going to vary greatly between bankruptcy cases.  However, we have listed some common exempt property items here, just to give you an idea of what they may be:

  • Vehicles, (yes more than one), up to a certain value
  • Home, up to a certain value
  • Jewelry, up to a certain value
  • Wages, up to a certain value
  • Items necessary for the debtor’s trade or profession, up to a certain value
  • Reasonably necessary clothing & household goods
  • Retirement Pensions & Public Benefits
  • Child Support & Alimony

Federal vs State of Wisconsin Bankruptcy Exemptions
If you’ve been a Wisconsin resident for more than two years, you have the option of choosing federal or WI state property exemptions, depending upon which is more beneficial to your particular situation. The bankruptcy attorney you hire is familiar with both state and federal exemptions.

Keeping Personal Property Depends On Bankruptcy Filed
The largest factor that determines how your personal property is going to be handled comes in the type of bankruptcy that you file.  If you want to keep all of your property, Chapter 13 bankruptcy can allow you to keep both exempt and non-exempt property. The value of the property you keep will be calculated to determine repayment to creditors. Chapter 7 bankruptcies are a little more complicated, but if filed correctly by listing all assets, and using appropriate exemptions, you should be able to keep all of your property.


Keep Property You Need By Consulting A Bankruptcy Lawyer

Trying to handle your own bankruptcy without lawyer representation can be a big mistake. Handling property exemptions correctly is complicated. Your attorney can help prevent errors and ensure the bankruptcy process goes smoothly.  The whole idea behind filing bankruptcy is to eliminate debt as quickly and painlessly as possible. You’re going to have a lot of questions about bankruptcy property exemptions, and how to keep the property you want.  We are here to answer your questions. We are 100% dedicated to bankruptcy cases, and familiar with state and federal exemptions.  We’ll provide the guidance and support to ensure you get to keep all of your assets.  Start here to setup a meeting with a Debt Advisors bankruptcy attorney.

Social Security Overpayments Discharged in Bankruptcy?

When You Have To Pay Back Social Security Overpayments

discharge social security overpayment, government overpayment, pay back social security, social security Unless you receive money from the government yourself, such as social security benefits, you may not realize how often mistakes are made. In 2015, the Social Security’s inspector general reported disability overpayments totaling $16.8 billion over a 10-year period.  Many people are overpaid by the government. If this happens to you, it’s just a matter of time before the government comes back to collect those funds. When you’re living on social security benefits, and your expected to pay back large sums of money you didn’t expect to have to pay, this can cause a real hardship on you and your family.
Some government debts are nondischargeable in bankruptcy, but as long as there is no fraud involved, Social Security overpayments are not one of them. In Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the debt you owe to the Social Security Administration, (SSA), can be wiped clean.  If you received a large amount of money from a social security overpayment and can’t pay it back; contact a Debt Advisors bankruptcy attorney for more information.

Social Security Payment Mistakes can Be Discharged in Bankruptcy

The Social Security Act was signed into law back in 1935. The purpose of Social Security has always been to provide benefits to those in need.  This includes income benefits to the disabled and retired citizens over the age of 65. For these people, it is nearly impossible to repay Social Security debt because they have no way of working for it. If the Social Security Administration makes a mistake, it will want you to reimburse them, regardless of your age or disabilities.

Reasons Why Social Security Overpayments Happen

Social Security overpayments are usually due to changes in the beneficiary’s status that changes the amount of benefits due.  The change in status can result in losing eligibility for disability benefits altogether. However, payments may keep coming for a period of time.  People are mostly unaware that they are being overpaid.  You can imagine that they are pretty shocked when they receive a letter from the Social Security Administration, demanding repayment.  The amounts vary from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars.

Even if the overpayment mistake was not your fault, you have to prove to the SSA that paying back the debt would create a financial hardship.  It is more likely that you’ll have to pay this money back.  Either dip into your savings account, make payments, or do nothing and they’ll stop sending checks until the amount has been reimbursed in full.   If these aren’t realistic options for you there is another saving grace; that is to file bankruptcy.
Social Security Overpayments Discharged in Bankruptcy
Yes, you can wipe out debt, including a Social Security overpayment by filing bankruptcy.  Make an appointment with Debt Advisors Law Offices for a free bankruptcy consultation.  In that discussion, you’ll learn more about whether or not bankruptcy may be the best option for you.

The Ups and Downs of Student Loan Debt

student loan debt, student loan discharge, discharge student loans in bankruptcyThe topic of student loans has really come to the surface and received some attention over the past ten or so years.  There are usually two student loan topics that arise; the rising cost of student loans and the non-discharge ability of student loans in bankruptcy. However, to give credit, there are some positive points for Federal Student Loans to mention as well.

Breaking-Down Federal Student Loans

It’s a great thing, that in America, so many people have access to Federal Loans.  Most Federal Student Loans offer low fixed interest rates, deferment, repayment plans based on income and some forgiveness options for teachers and public service employees; this is pretty appealing to most students.  In addition, the chance of being approved for a Federal Student Loan, such as a Stafford Loan, is almost a sure thing.  Your credit history is not a factor what-so-ever, your credit is not checked, as it would be with a private lender. The ease of receiving a Federal Student Loan makes the dream of going to college very real for many.

Overwhelming Student Loan Debt

According to the Federal Reserve in June of 2010, Federal and private student loan debt surpassed credit card debt.  In short, this means that Americans have more student loan debt than credit card debt.  And, it’s not just college graduates that are experiencing this problem. Loan debt from classes adds up equally for all participants.  Regardless if you can’t find a job related to your degree, or if you never reach graduation, you are still left with the loans to repay. The opportunity to go to college is an honorable one, but it is something that really needs to be taken seriously because it involves borrowing a lot of money.  (The average annual tuition for a public four-year college is approx. $10,000 – $20,000.)  We need a combined effort on the part of student counselors, lenders, colleges, our legal system, and more to prevent this problem from continuing.

Student Loans and Bankruptcy Laws

Prior to 1976, student loans were dischargeable in bankruptcy.  However, there was a big concern back then that too many loans went into default.  As a result, Congress passed laws to protect Federal Student Loans, basically, laws that would protect these government investments.  Private student loans weren’t impacted until 2005 when the BAPCPA, Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act was passed.  Protection for WI Residents. This is the current law that makes discharging student loan debt nearly impossible. There are people today, including politicians and presidents that feel our government is profiting entirely too much from Federal Student Loans, including the defaulted ones. Until there is some consensus on this issue, it may not resolve for a very long time.

What to do about Overwhelming Loan Debt

If you have questions about what to do about your student loan debt, or any other kind of consumer debt that you may have, it doesn’t hurt to ask a local bankruptcy attorney just to be sure.  If your student loans can’t be consolidated or discharged in bankruptcy, we can steer you in the right direction to possibly get them consolidated, or forgiven.  In many circumstances, we are able to identify other areas of your economic situation that can address to significantly impact your financial future in a positive way.  You just don’t know, until you ask; we encourage your questions and respect your inquiry.  Your first consultation is free. Start Right Now.

Save Some Money In Budget For Enjoyment

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Saving Money For Fun

This time of year many folks are thinking about making New Year’s Resolutions that may impact their pocketbooks.  This could mean paying off debt from the holidays, or simply a commitment towards better monthly budgeting for the new year ahead.  Some may need additional planning to ensure adequate money is set aside for things such as family vacations, weekend getaways, or other fun things that may not otherwise be budgeted for.  After a season of spending, the message to budget for “enjoyable” items may be far from the mind.  Paying off debt, and saving money for things like medical emergencies, job loss, and retirement should still be top of mind.  Without lessening the importance of those items, it is also a good idea to set money aside for enjoyment items as well.  Doing so will give more control over your finances.  Putting together a monthly budget and testing it for a couple of months will give you an idea about how attainable your entertainment and enjoyment goals are compared to where you are today. It will also allow you to spend your “fun” money without guilt once you get there.

Those who desire to be responsible with their money will want to know how much “fun money” they are spending on a monthly or yearly basis.  It’s a good idea to have a separate savings account for your enjoyment money, especially if you’ll be saving larger sums over a longer period of time.  On a monthly budget, fun money can cover entertainment and small things each month such as movies passes or trips to the ice-skating rink.  Ideally, making purchases or attending events that are for entertainment shouldn’t come from an “emergency” savings account.  However, having one savings account that does it all is better than none at all.


Who Budgets?  Who Saves? 

Over the years, many studies have been done to learn more about the demographics of who maintains a budget, what they budget for, how they budget, and so on.  One recent survey from found that A18-29, (millennials), are actually better at saving than any other age group.  They are not saving more in quantity, but they are in the habit of saving in smaller amounts, and at a younger age.  Another recent study conducted by U.S. Bank, concluded that only 41% of Americans use a budget.  This leaves a lot of room for improvement.  You’re never too young or too old to start saving.  For any savings to grow there must be a budget.  For a budget to be successful, it will take commitment, fiscal responsibility and reasonable expectations.

A household that is financially responsible will have a budget, regardless of the income that household may be.  Nobody wants to have to deal with the stress and anxiety that comes with overspending; budgets are going to ensure that finances stay on track with both short and long-term enjoyment spending goals.  It is the financial tracking document that shows what limitations you may have based upon how you’re allocating money.  Once finances are tracked in a monthly budget, you may be surprised at the findings.  It’s possible that there may be places where you can cut back to save a little extra, or you may find that there is more currently being spent on enjoyment than what can be afforded.  After you’ve identified your current situation, you can make adjustments accordingly and possibly begin contributing to your long-term savings account for enjoyment.

If you’re not saving currently, then there may be an easy fix for that problem.  Budgeting apps are available for nearly every kind of phone.  From our website, you can download a free budget template.


How Much To Save For Fun Activities

The answer to how much savings should be designated into your enjoyment savings fund is a little more complicated.  The answer lies in a variety of variables, based upon your personal situation.  If you’re expecting work bonuses, or commission checks, maybe those could go towards your enjoyment fund.  In any case, small discretionary items such as movie night, a night at the Dells or new bike purchase…all the way up to the purchase of a new boat should be planned for.  Once a budget is established, you’ll know more about where your hard-earned money is going.  In addition, it will provide a good indication of how much money is left over every month after bills and other obligations.  That amount that is left over is what you have to work with.  If your discretionary income is only $150 a month after all of the bills are paid and food is on the table, then that is what you have.  Keep in mind that “fun money” is really not “fun” to spend unless you know that the important things are taken care of anyway.


Breaking down the average annual expenditures:  (According to a study from the United States Bureau of Labor Statics) (Info here taken from (updated Jan. 2017)

  • Housing – 33.9%
  • Transportation – 17%
  • Food – 12.8%
  • Personal insurance and pensions – 11.1%
  • Health care – 5.9%
  • Entertainment – 5.6%
  • Apparel and services – 3.6%
  • Cash contributions – 3.4%
  • Education – 2.%
  • Miscellaneous – 1.7%
  • Personal care and services –1.2%
  • Alcoholic beverages – 0.9%
  • Tobacco products and smoking supplies – 0.6%
  • Reading – 0.2%


When Saving Money Is Difficult

At Debt Advisors, we understand that following a budget can be especially challenging for some folks who struggle with debt.  If you have very little discretionary income due to debt overload, please contact us.  We help people with debt-related issues that may be resolved with chapter 7 or chapter 13 bankruptcies. Paying off debt is always going to make saving money easier, and more fun.  Have more questions for us?  We’d love to help!  Ask for a free Debt Advisors consultation.

Prevent Overspending This Season

Bankruptcy and Holiday Spending

file bankruptcy after holidays, can i wait to file bankruptcy, racking up credit cards, bankruptcy attorneyIt may come as no surprise that filing bankruptcy is usually put off until after the holidays. It’s a season that people think more about spending than saving or eliminating debt. Americans who are tempted to overspend will likely do so this time of year. According to a recent report from the National Retail Federation, consumers are expected to spend an average of $967.13 this year. This number has been increasing steadily each year since 2009. Many people have already begun to purchase gifts.

It’s not a good idea to over-spend these next few months. Overspending could impact the amount of non-dischargeable debt you have if you file bankruptcy after the holidays. So, it’s never too late to do some good budgeting to stay in check. Here are some small things that you can do this holiday season that may work for you:

• Encourage guests to bring a dish to pass so that you don’t carry the full cost of hosting a party.
• Avoid large purchases; make some hand-made gifts or home-made dishes that are personal and can be shared with many.
• Make a list and budget before heading to the mall, and stick to it. Avoid the temptations around you.
• Refrain from using credit cards. Once the holidays are over, you could be left with a pile of debt.
• Keep things simple. Money spent on things like house lights or Christmas tree décor can add up.
• Remember that people and relationships are more important that things.

Waiting to File Bankruptcy after Holidays

Whether you’re filing bankruptcy to resolve medical or credit card debt, the sooner you file, the quicker finances can be resolved. Sure, it’s ok to wait a few months to file bankruptcy. Ultimately, the timing of when to file is up to you. Keeping finances on track this time of year is especially challenging. If you’re buying some time due to the holidays, at least avoid adding unnecessary debt.

Here are some quick facts about filing bankruptcy after the holidays:
• After the holidays, bankruptcy may NOT eliminate all of the new debt from Christmas shopping.
• Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a good option for credit card debt, but may NOT cover recent, unnecessary charges.
• Debts over that past few months that are deemed necessities WILL likely be dischargeable after the holidays.
• You CAN file bankruptcy at any time. Even the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
• Creditors WILL continue to harass you for payment, even over the holidays. Stop harassing phone calls
• Things like gifts and work bonuses that often come this time of year WILL increase your reported income.
• Bankruptcy CAN give you a fresh start, no matter when you file.

Bankruptcy on your Christmas List
Bankruptcy is not something most people want on their Christmas list. Ideally, it would have been great to have eliminated debt before the celebrations began. But the truth of the matter is that the holidays are upon us and bankruptcy may still be on the “to-do” list. Put yourself and your family first by initiating the fresh start that bankruptcy can provide. For more information about chapter 7 or chapter 13 bankruptcies, contact our experienced bankruptcy attorneys at Debt Advisors Law Offices. We can answer all of your questions and put your mind at ease. We have great client reviews because we like to help people, just like you!

Get free advice. Start here.

The less you have to worry about finances, the more you can enjoy the holiday season.