The Law Offices of Ronald I. Chorches

Wethersfield Office: 860-952-3878

Waterbury Office: 203-754-8000

Winsted Office: 860-952-3878

Hamden Office: 203-494-1700

Hartford Bankruptcy Law Blog

Medical bills can be addressed

Many Hartford, Connecticut, residents do an excellent job of managing their finances. However, sometimes debt can accumulate for even the most careful financial managers, necessitating an understanding of good approaches to debt relief. That applies to unpaid medical bills, which can be particularly nerve-wracking for a lot of people since they tie to their health. After all, no one wants to delay needed current and future health care because of concern about bills for past health care.

One key way to address medical bills is to have a good understanding of what your medical insurance covers. Confirm with your medical insurance provider that the doctors you've chosen are in the right network. Also, understand how much your deductible will be for specific kinds of medical care, so that you will know how much of each kind of medical care that you get will be covered by your insurance and how much you will get billed for. Doing that homework in advance is a lot better than getting surprised with bigger-than-expected bills later.

Be wise with financial planning for 2018

There are many prosperous residents of Hartford, Connecticut, but there are others facing financial challenges in 2018. The latter set would do well to make a set of financial resolutions to improve their debt management and related financial planning for the new year.

One of those can be looking at how vulnerable you are to identity theft. In 2017, one of the largest credit bureaus in the country, Equifax, was hacked into, which exposed the previously private personal information of up to 145 million Americans to criminals. Some Americans froze their credit because of that. Others, however, did not.

Banruptcy should be looked at by those with debt

Many residents of Hartford, Connecticut, are prospering, with plenty of money coming in and the ability to spend on anything they want. For others, however, there is a mismatch between income and expenditures, with the latter outpacing the former to the point of accumulating a lot of debt. That can happen for many reasons, such as a decrease in income or reckless shopping sprees. In those cases, declaring personal bankruptcy may seem to be a good option.

It may be psychologically difficult to do, because it feels like an admission of failure. After all, for many, it is pursued only after other options have in fact failed. For that reason, many people who really need to pursue it delay doing so. However, it can reduce debt and provide a path for climbing out of a financial pit that was years in the making. It can be looked at as a restart, as a new beginning that opens the door to successes in the future. Experts affirm that personal bankruptcy can result in improved financial standing.

Consumers should learn about debt management

The Hartford, Connecticut, area has consumers at the full range of income levels, from super-rich, to middle-class, to working poor. All of those consumers may run into credit problems from time to time, whether due to excessive spending or insufficient earning. When that happens, it is important for the consumers to know how long they will be adversely affected by those credit problems and the debt management strategies they can avail themselves of.

If you miss a payment that you owe, and are 30 days or more late, that is a delinquency and will stay on your credit record for seven years. It is good to avoid delinquencies in the first place by keeping track of when your bills are due and paying them early; however, if you do have a delinquency, the best thing to do is to pay it immediately. You may be able to get the company to which you owe the money to drop their late fee in return for you paying as soon as they agree to do so.

How do you start to get your debt under control?

Most people have two major financial goals: get out of debt and have a savings. For many, debt is the bigger priority because they can't even begin to start a savings account until they have some debt paid down.

Three good ways to view your individual debts

Chapter 11 bankruptcy and your reorganization plan

Chapter 11 bankruptcy is a process of debt reorganization primarily intended for businesses that are underwater with debt problems. Usually corporations are the ones that file for Chapter 11, but small businesses might file for it as well. Individuals might also file for Chapter 11 in limited circumstances.

Although the Chapter 11 process can take more time and cost more money than other types of bankruptcy, there are advantages that come with it.

Are you doomed to life without a credit card after bankruptcy?

One of the features of bankruptcy that tends to paralyze consumers into nonaction is the loss of their credit cards -- even though they may be mostly or totally maxed out.

Fortunately, bankruptcy doesn't mean giving up all credit forever. Consider the following tips -- but talk to your attorney before you act to get advice specific to your situation:

  1. There are companies that specialize in cards that "rebuild" your credit. However, the interest rates and fees are high, so only open one as a last resort. Only keep it until you get better offers -- then either negotiate for a better interest rate or dump the card for one that lets you transfer the balance and has a lower interest fee as soon as possible.
  2. If the only bank card you have now is a "debit" card, ask for a "credit/debit" card instead. While it still functions like a debit card and relies on what is actually in your account when you use it, the "Visa" or "Mastercard" logo on the card will let you do things like make reservations or pay bills online. That can ease the frustration of not having an actual credit card.
  3. You can get a secured card. Secured cards require you to put down an amount that's about equal to whatever limit the card has. In other words, if you put down $200, you can get a $200 card (although they may allow a lower deposit). The bank then has the reassurance that they already have their money if you do default.
  4. You can reaffirm on a credit card you already have. Be careful, though -- this removes that debt from all bankruptcy protections. However, if you have a small balance on a card, it might be worth doing. One note of caution -- if you pay that card off shortly after bankruptcy, the company will probably cancel it. However, if you keep a small amount of debt on it, they usually won't. Regular payments will then help raise your credit score faster.
  5. Ask a close relative or friend to list you as an authorized user on one of his or her credit cards if you feel like he or she trusts you not to abuse the privilege. That can really help raise your credit score and qualify you for regular card of your own faster.

What's the waiting time to buy a new home after a foreclosure?

Whether you've been through a foreclosure or a short sale, you're probably eager to get back on sound financial footing again by purchasing another home as soon as possible. However, those who have been through short sales and foreclosures will need to go through a waiting period before you can buy a new home.

Waiting times for foreclosures and deeds-in-lieu of foreclosure: Most people who have been through a foreclosure will need to wait 24 to 72 months before they can get approved for a new mortgage that has a competitive interest rate.

What should be looked at when considering personal bankruptcy?

Many people, including those in Hartford, Connecticut, seriously consider personal bankruptcy as an option. While viewed by some as a drastic measure, it can be right for some people in some cases.

To know if bankruptcy is right for you, you should ask yourself some questions.

Debt relief should be pursued carefully

Residents of Hartford, Connecticut, have varying levels of debt. They may have incurred that in order to start or expand a business, to build a home, for purely personal reasons or unintentionally by overspending. However, they got the debt, many now seek debt relief. To that end, they may look at debt settlement. Those who do should be aware of why it can be a flawed approach.

Debt settlement has had a troubled history, with many companies charging large sums to people who can ill afford them, promising debt relief and failing to deliver. That practice led to substantial regulation and enforcement, which has winnowed out some of the bad actors in the field and left a higher probability that people will actually get the service that they paid for

The Law Offices of Ronald I. Chorches

Wethersfield Office
449 Silas Deane Hwy
Wethersfield, CT 06109

Phone: 860-563-3955
Fax: 860-513-1577
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Waterbury Office
One Exchange Place
21 West Main Street
4th Floor
Waterbury, CT 06702

Phone: 203-754-8000
Fax: 203-841-0304
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Winsted Office
487 North Main Street
Winsted, CT 06098

Phone: 860-563-3955
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Hamden Office
2558 Whitney Ave
Hamden, CT 06518

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