Peter R. Scribner, Esq. ATTORNEY AT LAW
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Rochester Bankruptcy Law Blog

What to do when credit card debt grows out of control

It is possible to go from paying off the balance on credit cards each month to an insurmountable mountain. Life happens. One serious injury, a lengthy illness or a job loss can tip the scales.

If each month seems to get worse, options exist. While you might not know how to pay it off, remedies do exist. Be proactive and learn some initial tips by reading this post.

Bankruptcy and retirement: Get the facts

When you're growing older, the one thing you want to guarantee is that you can have a comfortable retirement. You've worked for many years, and you deserve to be able to relax as you reach your golden years. Sadly, if you've lived beyond your means or are in a position where your expenses outweigh your income, you could face bankruptcy before or during retirement.

Many people put off filing for bankruptcy because of the fear that their retirement accounts will be affected by it. The reality is that you may not have to worry about your retirement being affected by bankruptcy at all.

3 common reasons people declare bankruptcy

If you have had trouble making ends meet recently, you are not alone. You probably have friends, family or neighbors in Rochester with similar problems. While some people continue to struggle and can never quite get ahead, others choose different methods to get their debt under control. For instance, a few credit counseling sessions might be enough for one person, but for another, bankruptcy might be more effective.

Many people consider bankruptcy to be something that should be avoided at all costs. However, there are many benefits to declaring bankruptcy such as automatic stays, which can stop creditors from coming after you or put a hold on foreclosure proceedings. But, how do people end up in a situation where bankruptcy is necessary? Here are some common causes of bankruptcy.

When is Chapter 13 bankruptcy the right option?

When people think of bankruptcy, they often conjure up images of someone who is too old or sick to work. While it is true that Chapter 7 bankruptcy has specific protections for those who have lower levels of income and fewer overall assets, that doesn't mean that only people in dire financial straits or who don't have jobs need the protection of bankruptcy.

In fact, those who work high-profile and high-paying jobs can often find themselves overwhelmed by debt. After all, you probably need a car, wardrobe and home that is comparable to those of your peers. The more you make, the more debt you may find yourself carrying at any given time. Even those with substantial assets and income may require the protection of Chapter 13 bankruptcy proceedings.

Don't be scared of bankruptcy: It can help you

Bankruptcy is sometimes difficult to consider, especially when you've worked hard for everything you own. You might be considering bankruptcy because of an expensive medical emergency or because you lost your job.

Whatever the cause, the reality is that bankruptcy can be a valuable option. Unlike what many myths suggest, you won't lose everything when you file for bankruptcy. People who opt to go through bankruptcy have exemptions open to them, which make it easier to keep the items you need, like your primary vehicle, home and other key assets.

Ideas for saving money for a rainy day

You may have heard that factors beyond a person’s control like job loss or unexpected medical bills are often the cause of bankruptcy. While many Americans survive paycheck to paycheck, you should do anything you can to prepare for a rainy day.

A financial hardship doesn’t have to be something as catastrophic as losing your job or a hospital stay; a surprise car repair bill or having your hours reduced at work could affect your livelihood. Having an emergency fund in situations like these immensely helpful because it means you can manage your bills better without using credit or making installment payments.

A quarter of Americans expect to die with debt

Debt follows you wherever you go and according to a new poll from, 25% of Americans expect their debt to follow them to the grave. There was also 65% of participants who don’t know if or when they pay off their current debt.

The poll only highlights the sad reality that many Americans deal with – living with debt without a chance at recovery. Luckily, the survey also found 35 percent of Americans expect to be free from their debt.

Spent beyond your means? Bankruptcy could be a solution

As you get older, it's normal to find that you have more money to spend. You may pay off your mortgage and have money to blow thanks to low credit card debt and few other expenses. However, if you continue to live this way after retirement, you could find yourself struggling in the future.

Aging persons can make some simple mistakes that place them at financial risk. Some may choose to sell a home that has been paid off for their "dream home," even though they're no longer working. Others rack up credit card debt thanks to high limits and the anticipation of receiving a monthly check.

Medical bills are pushing Americans towards bankruptcy

Life is expensive. Between the cups of coffee we drink every morning to the annual checkup we have with our physician, we are constantly forking over money to keep our lives moving forward. However, all those costs add up and make it difficult to continue maintaining specific expenses.

For example, costly medical bills quickly put families in a financial situation where they can’t maintain daily conveniences or mandatory payments, such as rent or mortgage. It forces more Americans to find alternative ways to repay their medical bills, including bankruptcy.


Peter R. Scribner, Esq.
1110 Park Avenue
Rochester, New York 14610

Phone: 585-800-9616
Fax: 585-256-6462
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