Chapter 7 bankruptcy and Chapter 13 bankruptcy are the two most common forms of personal bankruptcy. They both offer varying degrees of financial freedom, while also providing unique benefits to the filer. So what are the differences between these two forms of bankruptcy and how can you best utilize them?
Many Oklahoma residents choose to file bankruptcy as a solution to their debt problems. Equifax, a major credit reporting company, has traditionally treated Chapter 13 bankruptcy filers differently than the other two major credit reporting companies by displaying the bankruptcy on a consumer's report for three more years than the other companies. Recently, the company has elected to make changes to that policy.
Starting on Sept. 15, there will be a 180-day waiting period before an unpaid medical bill can show up on a credit report. Also starting on that date, medical debts in collections that are paid by an insurance provider will be deleted from a credit report. While that may be good news for some Ohio residents, it may not help everyone who has poor credit because of unpaid medical bills.
A Chapter 13 bankruptcy is one in which a person works out a payment plan to repay creditors over three or five years. Some Ohio filers may be concerned about their ability to rent or buy a home after the bankruptcy. While this becomes more difficult after they declared bankruptcy, there are steps that can be taken to increase the likelihood that a landlord or lender will work with them.
Ohio residents may believe that working with a debt settlement company is better than filing for bankruptcy. However, the impact to a person's credit score may be the same regardless of which option is chosen. In some cases, an individual could see his or her credit score fall into the 500s, which is generally considered fair or poor.
Ohio consumers who are considering filing for bankruptcy might want to be aware of new rules that may affect their cases. The rules, which were issued by Chief Justice John Roberts of the Supreme Court of the United States in April and sent to Congress, will modify several aspects of Chapter 13 bankruptcy proceedings.
There are many issues that Ohio residents may need to be aware of when it comes to how filing bankruptcy may impact their finances. The good news for those with a 401(k) or an IRA is that money inside of those accounts are often off-limits to creditors. The only exception is that the IRS may levy those funds if there are back taxes owed.
Ohio consumers who may have been prevented from bringing a class action suit against a bank or credit card company because of arbitration clauses contained in their agreements may now be able to do so because of a rule issued on July 10 by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The clauses generally prevented consumers from getting together to file a lawsuit. The rule will apply to new contracts and will not ban arbitration agreements. It will simply take away their power to stop class action lawsuits.
For people who are facing severe financial challenges, including the possibilities of foreclosure or auto repossession, filing for bankruptcy may offer relief. It can also come with unexpected surprises, as one Ohio couple learned. The couple filed for Chapter 13, and notice was sent to all creditors. A late filing attempt left one secured creditor out of the repayment plan.
Ohio residents who have credit card debt or mortgages with variable interest rates might want to consider the quarter-point interest rate increase made by the Federal Reserve on June 14. This increase affects loans with variable interest rates since they are based on the short-term rates set by the Federal Reserve. Because the Fed increased the interest rate, monthly payments on mortgages with adjustable interest or credit cards with variable rates may rise.