According to dailyfinance.com, more than half of all American parents were planning to take on at least some holiday debt in order to buy presents for their children, and its likely you did, too. Consumer credit card debt in the U.S. totals almost $800 billion -- second only to student loans in the total held by Americans.
If you’ve been hit hard by the Great Recession, you probably have more bills than you know what to do with. A job loss, for example, not only means less income but a cascade of negative financial events. When people are struggling with unmanageable debt, they often try to throw every penny at debt and leave off saving for less urgent needs like retirement and college funds for the kids.
Despite the Great Recession being officially declared over, it’s still a tight job market. Many people remain unemployed, while others are still worried about their job security. Even some in stable jobs feel they can’t afford to take risks.
Recently, a bankruptcy filing by a Wisconsin bank holding company was held up by the New York Times’ DealBook blog as a model of prudent and, in fact, innovative management. Typically, when bank holding companies file for bankruptcy, it’s far too late to save the subsidiary banks. Holding companies generally don’t consider filing Chapter 11 until bank examiners and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation sweep in and take over their banks.
David Adkins, the comedian known as Sinbad, filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in May, claiming $11 million in debt, the vast majority of which is tax debt. According to documents cited by AccountingWEB, the 56-year-old performer owes over $8 million to the IRS and another $2.3 million to California taxing authorities. He also reportedly owes $32,000 to Bank of America and some $375,000 to American Express.
In order to get a discharge in bankruptcy, sufficient time must pass between the filing of two separate bankruptcy cases. So if a bankruptcy case is filed too soon, a discharge may not take place. While there is nothing to stop a debtor from filing bankruptcy too soon, it would be a waste of time and money to do so.
Rapper DMX, whose real name is Earl Simmons, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in New York last week, just days after being arrested in South Carolina on alleged drunk driving and driving without a license. DMX is a resident of South Carolina, but it seems the Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan was the best option for the performer, who hopes to use Chapter 11 to resolve perhaps $10 million in personal and business debts.
Written by Dan Marshall
If you are filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy and have a second mortgage, you may be able to "strip down" or "cram down" your second mortgage in something commonly referred to as "lien stripping."
As we discussed in our last post, more Americans file for consumer bankruptcy over insurmountable medical bills than any other reason. Of course, many people who can’t afford to pay their medical bills don’t end up filing for bankruptcy, which means there are a lot of people financially suffering over health care debt.