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Orlando Bankruptcy Law Blog

Another Wells Fargo computer glitch blamed for home foreclosure

The banking behemoth Wells Fargo recently made national headlines after it admitted it wrongly foreclosed on hundreds of homes due to a computer error. The issue might not have been initially addressed, because another computer glitch was recently blamed for hundreds of more foreclosures. For those in Florida who are hoping to stop home foreclosure, this news may be particularly unsettling.

One of the affected homeowners says that everything started when they discovered mold in their home. After spending months of trying to fix the problem himself, he began to struggle with his monthly mortgage payment. He and his wife then contacted Wells Fargo, requesting a loan modification. At the time they asked for lower monthly payments and were initially told they were approved.

How can senior citizens achieve debt relief?

The American elderly are at risk, experts say, and it is not necessarily because of medical issues. A number of factors have come together to create an enormous debt problem for the aging Florida population. With shrinking or fixed incomes, many of these individuals are turning to bankruptcy for debt relief.

Even after decades of saving, those who are approaching or are currently in retirement have less money at their disposal than they might have otherwise expected. With many retirement accounts tied to the economy, the Great Recession in 2008 shattered the financial foundation that many people had built for their retirements. As the economy was slow to rebound, most seniors had little choice but to turn to lines of credit simply in order to survive.

Experts share their personal stories of credit card debt

Florida consumers may sometimes bemoan their lapse of knowledge when it comes to dealing with complicated financial matters. However, being a financial expert does not protect oneself from the unexpected or unavoidable accumulation of credit card debt. Credit card experts from the popular website NerdWallet recently shared some of their experiences with taking on this form of debt.

One woman ended up $5,000 in debt after she experienced multiple layoffs during the recent recession. She also credited a lack of available jobs at the time, looming student loans and uncertain financial decisions with the debt that she ended up taking on. However, much of what went onto her card was simply her everyday living costs, like gas for her vehicle and groceries. She also used her credit card to pay for equipment related to her work.

Are you one of the millions who qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy?

Suffering financially is often categorized as just another feature of being an adult. While virtually no one wants to have to stretch their money from paycheck to paycheck, adults in Florida are often fed the message that their struggle is not uncommon, and therefore they are doing all right. According to experts, this is not the reality that people should be living with. Instead, millions of people in America could benefit from pursuing Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Fewer than 500,000 people filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in 2017. According to one expert, this is a vast underuse of an important resource for Americans, particularly those who fall into the low-income category. Some even liken it to a tool for fighting poverty, as a fresh financial start can help individuals improve their credit scores and even potentially obtain better jobs.

Credit card debt could grow over holiday shopping season

Florida residents are no strangers to the lingering effects of the Great Recession and a decade of economic uncertainty. As a result, many people reigned in their spending habits. Now, experts believe that many consumers are suffering from frugality fatigue. With frugality fatigue hitting around the same time as the holiday shopping season, some individuals could end up accumulating more credit card debt than they otherwise anticipated.

So what is frugality fatigue? Restraining their spending habits was easier several years back, and after surviving years of listening to pessimistic economic outlooks, consumers are less psychologically capable of holding back. For other adult consumers, the current economy may be the only one they are truly familiar with, and as such they are more comfortable shelling out money for the holiday shopping experience.

Debt relief for medical bills is possible

Receiving an unexpected medical bill can be devastating for the average person's finance situation. But what about when a Florida patient is anticipating opening up their mailbox to find a large bill waiting for him or her? In some cases, knowing what is coming does not make it any easier. For those burdened by medical debt, debt relief can be a necessary component of financial recovery.

In 2008, an out-of-state woman was diagnosed with a particularly aggressive type of breast cancer. With treatment, she successfully beat the cancer. However, she says she is still living with the lingering effects from undergoing that life-saving treatment -- medical bills. She says that the cost of saving her life was so astronomically high that she is unsure how much the original total was. Unsure if she will ever be able to pay off that debt, she questioned whether she would have initially sought treatment if she could have known about her future bills.

Want to avoid home foreclosure? Look in housing-diverse areas

Losing a home to foreclosure is a traumatizing event that often feels unavoidable. Now, some experts believe there could be a way to minimize the risk of such an occurrence. Florida homeowners who bought houses in neighborhoods with a greater diversity of housing types may be less likely to face home foreclosure than those who bought in more homogenous areas.

Researchers from an out-of-state university recently published the findings of their study, in which they examined structural factors in neighborhoods across 14 different metropolitan areas in the United States. They were curious to see if housing types played a role in foreclosure rates. What they found was that neighborhoods with diverse housing options were more stable than neighborhoods with higher-than-average incomes -- the opposite of what most people generally expect.

Can I discharge my tax debt in Chapter 13 bankruptcy?

Tax season can be a time of incredible stress if you do not have the funds to cover what you owe the government. As these bills grow, accumulating interest, you may find yourself at the bottom of an impossibly deep hole. Chapter 13 bankruptcy can usually help individuals in your situation, but you also need to determine if your tax debt is dischargeable through this process.

Federal income taxes are usually what come to mind first when talking about tax debts, but you could be struggling with many other types of taxes. For business owners these could include Florida state sales and employment taxes, and virtually anyone could find themselves on the hook for unpaid Social Security taxes or property taxes. Since Chapter 13 generally allows for a greater number and variety of debts to be discharged, it is a good option if you are dealing with multiple tax debts.

3 ways you can ruin your bankruptcy case

If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, you are not alone. It is more common than you think and has actually significantly increased among retirees, shares U.S. News and World Report.

Whether or not you have made the decision to file, it is smart to know common mistakes people make that put their bankruptcies in jeopardy. Avoid these three things, among others, to improve the outcome of your case.

Consumers spend billions for credit card debt, interest

American consumers seem to be confident in their spending habits, but is the upwards trend sustainable? According to some experts, probably not. Consumers in Florida and across the rest of the United States are currently shelling out over $100 billion not in general credit card debt, but for the interest and fees on their cards alone.

During the second quarter of 2018, total outstanding debt for credit cards reached $829 billion. While spending might indicate a boost in consumer confidence, it could also showcase a serious problem. Personal income only rose by 0.2 percent in Sept. 2018, which was the smallest increase in income since June 2017. Not only has income rise slowed, but savings rates are also on a downward trend.

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