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The possible benefits of debt consolidation

Michigan residents who are looking for ways to better handle their high-interest debts may want to look into debt consolidation. This may allow them and others to make one payment each month at a lower interest rate than what is currently being paid. Debt consolidation may be best for those who have total debts that are less than 50 percent of their income.

Pitfalls to avoid when trying to escape credit card debt

Consumers in Michigan and around the country often turn to credit cards following an unexpected financial setback such as a layoff or illness. Paying revolving debt off can be difficult for people who are struggling to make ends meet because minimum monthly payments are made up almost entirely of interest, and other options to pay down debt, such as selling assets or borrowing at more attractive rates, are often not available to those with unmanageable financial situations.

Americans may carry credit card debt for years

Roughly half of Americans in Michigan and elsewhere who hold credit card debt carry a balance for at least two years. Of those who admitted to carrying a balance for at least two years, half said that they have had it for five years. This was according to a study of 2,000 adults conducted by Baby boomers and those in the Silent Generation were the most likely to carry such debt.

Chapter 13 and getting a home

Michigan debtors who are considering filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy may want to know if purchasing or renting a home would be feasible. Because Chapter 13 bankruptcy can remain on a person's credit for years, obtaining a home can be difficult. However, it would not be impossible.

Medical collection accounts may impact credit scores

Changes to the way that medical debts are treated on credit reports may be helpful to some Michigan residents. Starting on Sept. 15, 180 days must pass before an unpaid medical debt can appear on a person's credit report. In addition, a medical account in collections will be deleted if the balance is eventually paid for by a health insurance provider. While these changes may help, they may not help as many people as anticipated.

Types and costs of bankruptcy

Michigan consumers who are considering filing for bankruptcy might wonder what it will cost and whether it is the right choice for them. Depending on the situation, a person might file for Chapter 7, Chapter 12 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Each type has different filing fees, and if the debtor chooses to obtain legal representation, there will be attorney's fees as well. Possible alternatives to bankruptcy include negotiating the debt with creditors and selling something of value to pay off bills.

Bankruptcy attorneys object to trustee password request

When Michigan consumers file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, they are asked to provide information to trustees about finances and various accounts. However, at least two trustees in Maryland have deviated from the usual procedure by making a request for information that bankruptcy attorneys have called intrusive and warn may discourage others from filing for bankruptcy.

Credit cards and the death of a holder

Michigan residents dealing with the aftermath of a loved one's death might have to deal with unpaid debts on credit cards. When someone who was the sole account holder dies, then the creditor could make a claim for the debt upon the estate. Surviving family members would not be obligated to pay except for surviving spouses in community property states.

When debt consolidation is not a solution

Michigan consumers who are struggling with certain financial obligations might consider a debt consolidation loan. While this might appear to be a way to get control of debt and lower monthly payments, it might not be a long-term solution because if a person has a spending problem, it does not address that.

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