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January 2014 Archives

How do you know whether debt discharge is the right choice?

Washington residents may not always know whether they should seek bankruptcy protection. When is debt discharge preferable to attempting an individual fix? Although bankruptcy is often unfairly stigmatized, it can be a good solution for those facing overwhelming consumer debt. Bankruptcy exists for a reason, and it is designed to help those Washingtonians who are truly in need of debt relief.

Affordable Care Act not the panacea for medical debt

Even though millions of Americans are now able to access health insurance through the Affordable Care Act, new reports show that the health care plans may still contribute to medical debt because of high deductibles. Those seeking debt relief through lower-end plans, such as bronze or silver options, may find that their deductibles range from about $3,000 to $5,000, costs that may still be burdensome for many Americans. A deductible is the amount of money that must be paid before the insurance begins to cover qualifying medical costs.

Is debt relief for homeowners a thing of the past?

Did you know that forgiven debt - including that related to mortgages - can be considered income and taxed by the Internal Revenue Service? In recent years, struggling homeowners have been provided with a tax break that could save them from additional charges related to forgiven debt, but that program apparently expired shortly before the new year. Now, some Washington residents could find themselves in significant financial trouble even after seeking debt relief for their mortgage woes.

Loan agency accused of creditor harassment, bankruptcy abuse

Washington residents with student loans: beware. Loan monitors throughout the nation are reportedly using unscrupulous tactics in an effort to collect overdue balances on student loans, many of which cannot be discharged during personal bankruptcy proceedings. An investigation into the agency that monitors student loan administration throughout the nation reveals widespread abuse of student loan borrowers, many of whom are suffering from extreme financial hardship.

Prior to bankruptcy, there was debtors' prison - now it's back

It used to be that financially insolvent individuals were put into "debtors' prison" when they could not pay their bills. Luckily, that archaic system has gone by the wayside in favor of the more humane and dignified American bankruptcy program. Now, though, critics are decrying the actions of many states as de facto "debtors' prisons," where individuals are held until they can pay overdue court fines and fees.

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