Tips for Steering Clear of Student Loans

Although thousands upon thousands of people take out student loan debt, this is something that requires careful consideration. Especially if you have been asked to co-sign on a loan such as this, you first need to know all pros and cons. Even without securing a student loan, you or your child can earn a college degree. For example, you may want to compare tuition for several different institutions, looking for the most affordable. You can also work part-time or maintain a full-time job while attending night school. The bottom line is that before locking into a student loan, determine if there are other options. The greatest concern with student loans is that it takes 10 years or more to get out of debt, with the average student owing $30,000 at graduation. Even hiring a respected attorney in Herkimer does not guarantee the debt can be discharged in bankruptcy. Therefore, if you or your child look forward to college but a student loan is your only viable means of attending, expect to spend many years paying the loan off. As for co-signing on a student loan, remember that if your child reaches a point of not being to pay, you automatically assume the debt. For that reason, before co-signing, you need to understand that there is a risk of you becoming the person responsible for payment. In exchange for paying off another person’s debt, you enjoy no educational benefits for yourself. Co-signing on a student loan could actually stop any plans that you have for retirement, not to mention the potential for causing family discord. Something else to think about is that the student loan does not go away just because you or your child never graduates. Obviously, you do not want to spend years paying off student loans if you or your child drops out of school or never finds an excellent job with great pay as anticipated. Interestingly, of the people who default on student loans, college dropouts have the highest rate. Whether for you or your child, prior to taking out student loans, take the time to learn the exact amount that has to be repaid and how much time you have for repayment. When making the decision about student loans, consider both short- and long-term financial obligations, as well as goals. That way, you can decide if the additional financial burden is even feasible. An excellent option is to sit down with a qualified Herkimer attorney or financial advisor to analyze the situation before signing or co-signing on a student loan. If you are already burdened by student loans and recognize that bankruptcy is your only possible recourse, you definitely need to speak to a bankruptcy lawyer in Herkimer. With that, you will have more knowledge about your options as well as direction for taking the best course of...

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Responsibilities of a Chapter 13 Trustee

Also known as a “wage earner’s plan,” Chapter 13 bankruptcy is beneficial in some situations. For this bankruptcy filing, you are required to have regular income. In addition, you must come up with a plan for repaying your creditors. If the financial plan is approved, you are given between three and five years to pay back a portion or all of the debt. Although the court-appointed trustee is there to help you through the process, you may first want to contact a reputable Herkimer bankruptcy lawyer to determine if debt consolidation, credit counseling, or even a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is an additional or better option. If not, your bankruptcy attorney can assist with the Chapter 13. Before bankruptcy filing with the courts, you must meet with a trustee. This meeting is designed to accomplish two things. First, the trustee will review financial documentation that you provided to confirm that you are not committing fraud. Second, the trustee needs to determine if the bankruptcy is feasible. If there is no way for you to meet the obligations outlined in the financial plan or if fraud is suspected, there is no reason in moving forward. Ultimately, the trustee provides services beneficial to you and your creditors to make sure that everything is fair across the board. Because the Chapter 13 bankruptcy process can be intimidating and overwhelming, this is the perfect opportunity to talk to a trusted Herkimer bankruptcy lawyer for legal assistance. It is common for disputes between debtors and creditors to arise, which is why the trustee mediates. Because this individual is an unbiased party, meaning the trustee can talk to you and your creditors while being fair to both, compromises can be recommended. The goal is to find a compromise since this reduces that amount of issues that go through the court system. As such, you avoid wasting money and time. The way that the repayment plan works is that you pay the trustee, who then pays your creditors. In overseeing the Chapter 13 bankruptcy process, the trustee makes sure that payments are being made in full and on time while ensuring that the creditors are receiving what is due. To accomplish this goal, it is the trustee’s responsibility to make sure that you follow the rules by not selling off assets, refinancing loans, or incurring new debt after the bankruptcy filing. Just as the trustee is there to benefit the creditors, this person works to help you achieve success. Therefore, if some unexpected expense arises during the three- to five-year payoff period, you need to be upfront with the trustee. Perhaps your car broke down, you had some serious health problems that required hospitalization, or you needed home repairs. If something like this comes up, the situation will be reviewed by the trustee to help you make the right decision that will not cause a problem for your case. Instead of panicking when facing a financial disaster, talk to a qualified Herkimer bankruptcy lawyer. An attorney can answer any questions you have and offer sound advice for dealing with the court and the...

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What Documents Does Your Herkimer Bankruptcy Attorney Need?

Bankruptcy laws are much different today than years ago. The process of filing for bankruptcy is more complex, and to be successful, you must provide a great deal of documentation. Because the trustee scrutinizes everything, you need to hire the best Herkimer bankruptcy attorney possible. To avoid any problems, this attorney reviews documentation prior to filing. At first, you need to provide your bankruptcy lawyer in Herkimer with a copy of your: driver’s license social security card W2 tax form. Once the attorney files the bankruptcy petition, you must provide more documentation, including state and federal tax returns that show income history and funds received. With these documents, your attorney verifies that you have disclosed all information on businesses and other assets. If you fail to provide your Herkimer bankruptcy lawyer the necessary tax documents, the petition may be denied. In addition, your attorney needs at least two recent paystubs, as well as other documents, to determine if you qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Without this information, the court may dismiss the case. Your bankruptcy attorney in Herkimer also needs copies of all outstanding bills, whether in collection or not, as well as balances owed on credit cards. In addition, your attorney needs documentation on any automobiles, homes, and other assets. Mandated Documentation The trustee reviews tax documents to determines if you paid bills with refunds or spent lavishly. Therefore, your bankruptcy lawyer needs proof by way of receipts or bank statements.  You need to provide your attorney with a recorded deed/mortgage as well. If you do not have this, you can get a recorded copy from the county clerk. There is a fee involved that if you cannot afford to pay, let your attorney know. With this documentation, the trustee confirms the home’s value. Ownership, as well as the secured creditor for any vehicles, is something your bankruptcy attorney verifies. As part of this, the attorney determines value by looking at current mileage, special amenities, and listed worth in Kelly Blue Book or NADA. If you are retired, you must provide retirement documentation used by the trustee to see if account funds are protected as part of the bankruptcy. The trustee also reviews bank statements, looking for transfers of large sums and determining if the court has any interest in the funds. If you are divorced, your Herkimer bankruptcy lawyer needs a copy of papers to confirm that you do not owe your ex-spouse money. For instance, if your ex-spouse cosigned on a loan, you may not be able to include it in the bankruptcy petition since the trustee considers the debt as support. Because creditors have the right to see proof of insurance on your vehicle and home, you must provide documentation. Failing to provide your lawyer with this information could result in repossession and/or foreclosure. The process of filing bankruptcy is long and challenging. To get out of debt while salvaging as many assets possible, you want the best bankruptcy attorney in Herkimer in your...

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Will I Lose My Car if I File for Bankruptcy?

Will I Lose My Car if I File for Bankruptcy? For many people, a vehicle is one of the few possessions that offers independence and value, so losing it in bankruptcy is devastating. If you are facing major financial problems and have concerns about losing your car in a bankruptcy, the first and most important step is to hire a reputable Herkimer bankruptcy attorney. Seeking Protection Because there are numerous facets of bankruptcy, you need a top-quality Herkimer bankruptcy lawyer on your side. The amount of money owed on the vehicle, if any; the current balance; and whether you are up-to-date or behind on payments will be determined. While bankruptcy offers a number of benefits, it is not a perfect solution. Therefore, losing possession of your car is a real possibility if you are not current on payments to the lender. With a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the lender will repossess the car if payments are behind. Therefore, your Herkimer bankruptcy attorney will advise you to catch up prior to and even after filing. For Chapter 13, the court will offer you the chance to bring payments current. Determining Car Value Your attorney will also help to determine the value of your car. Valuation from an expert or the dealer is mandated if there is a secured loan. However, if the loan is paid off, private party or trade-in valuation will probably suffice. Once the value is determined, equity is calculated by deducting any amount owed to the lender. For example, if the value is $12,000 but the outstanding loan is for $9,000, equity is just $3,000. Home Equity Prior to talking to a Herkimer bankruptcy attorney, you may feel confused as to what your home equity has to do with your car. In truth, your home’s value and any outstanding mortgage balances are important. For one thing, the court can determine if carrying a car loan would be too much for you or something that you could handle. When you file for bankruptcy in New York State, you have two options – state and federal exemptions. With New York State exemptions, each person who owns a home gets protection for up to $75,000 of equity. Therefore, if you own your home with another individual, the total amount of protection jumps to $150,000. In comparison, only $22,000 is offered through federal exemptions for home equity protection. If there is only a small amount of equity in your home or you do not own a home at all, the federal exemption of $22,000 can be used to protect your car in the bankruptcy case. In this case, if you have only a small amount in car equity and do not own a home, using state exemptions to protect your vehicle would be challenging. It is up to the court-appointed trustee to determine the outcome of your car, which could consist of it being sold, the court taking it, or the equity going to the lender. Keep in mind that on occasion, a vehicle can be purchased back, but for this, the trustee must grant permission and the money has to be paid quickly. Because bankruptcy can be complicated, it’s important to find a local bankruptcy attorney you can trust. Our Herkimer bankruptcy team is here for you. Your confidential, no-obligation phone consultation is always free. Call us today at 855-269-2889 to discuss your options....

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