Garnishment: What it is, and what you can do about it

Here’s a hypothetical that’s just about assured to induce cold sweat for any Texas resident considering it.

You’re relaxing at home, attending to some personal budget matters. In perusing your bank statement online, you suddenly notice with due alarm that its entries seem strongly out of whack. Checks aren’t clearing. Your account seems frozen.

And then the mail arrives, with one official document informing you that, indeed, the bank has frozen your account pursuant to a garnishment order from a state court.

Do you think a scenario that plays out like that might be just a bit frightening?

So, what's a better option for me, Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy?

There has to be a clear and easy answer to that headline-posed question above, right? After all, Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 are clearly distinct bankruptcy options with altogether different parameters. Shouldn’t there be a relatively quick and simple process for determining the road to take in seeking the financial relief provided by bankruptcy?

Well, there is undeniably a process, but few people would deem it so slam-dunk simple that a debtor can arrive at a sound conclusion over a cup of coffee.

You see, there are formulas and so-called “means testing” involved that help a consumer determine the optimal path to take. A debtor might indeed qualify for one, but not the other, form of bankruptcy. In some instances, a party might be able to file for either Chapter 7 or Chapter, necessitating a well-considered choice.

Ignoring your creditors will not help you

Imagine for a moment that life throws you a curveball, and as a result your finances are thrown into turmoil. In response, you seek out new lines of credit or you start relying on your credit card far more than you ever have. As a couple of months go by, the life event that was causing you problems resolves and you're ready to get back to the way things were.

But you look at your credit card debt and it's far higher than you would have thought. It's so high you don't know how you'll pay it off. So you decide, like many people do, to ignore the problem and just hope it goes away.

Know your options with credit card debt

Yesterday marked the 56th anniversary of when charge cards were introduced to the public. Since 1958, the availability of credit cards to charge purchases has greatly impacted the buying landscape on a national and global level. However, while there have certainly been positives, many with credit cards also know about the negatives that can come with accumulating debt. 

At Davis Law Firm, we understand that most people are honest and hardworking and intend to pay their bills each month, on time. But, the truth is that this is just not always possible. Job loss, having to take a job that pays less, illness, a death in the family, or divorce are just some of the many unexpected events life can throw at a person, resulting in debt. When this happens though, know you are not alone and that there are often debt relief options available. 

Is bankruptcy a viable response to a financial emergency?

Have consumers changed their approach to finances in the wake of the 2008 recession and housing crisis? A recent report suggests there may be cause for alarm. 

Specifically, a survey conducted by an entity that trains community development professionals indicates that almost one-quarter of households in Texas and across the country have only enough savings to last 30 days. That’s not much of a financial cushion.

Wage garnishment: how a debt-relief attorney can help

Many Texas residents and persons living elsewhere across the country believe that things are getting better for the nation financially, following years of struggle that have challenged millions of Americans during the so-called Great Recession.

And, indeed, things do seem to be improving for many people nationally, with statistics across a broad range of considerations -- for example, housing starts and employment -- indicating positive momentum.

Notwithstanding that betterment, though, improved fortunes are hardly the reality for all Americans. Indeed, and as reported in a recent debt-related article authored by National Public Radio, increasing numbers of people across the country are continuing to stagger under crushing debt loads.

Foreclosure: a focus on some government assistance programs

Helping people in Texas and nationally avoid foreclosure when doing so seems a viable possibility promotes the interests of far more than those immediate homeowners alone.

In fact, foreclosure avoidance is broadly beneficial to myriad groups of people and special interests across the country, a fact that is distinctly recognized by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (commonly known as HUD). That agency addresses the foreclosure crisis and national need to provide remedies to effectively combat it in a HUD “Avoiding Foreclosure” page on its website.

That page makes a prominent reference to the Obama administration’s “broad strategy to help homeowners avoid foreclosure, stabilize the country’s housing market, and improve the nation’s economy.”

Not gonna take it: one consumer's battle with harassing collector

We mentioned in a prior blog post the sheer frustration -- often accompanied by fear -- that consumers in Texas and across the country feel when they are suddenly confronted by aggressive debt collectors.

The tactics engaged in by individuals and firms within that massive industry, as well as the overwhelmed feeling often experienced on the receiving end of harassing communications by beleaguered consumers, were alluded to in our August 5 post entry.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act: what it is, what it provides for

Sometimes distressed consumers -- through no fault of their own -- cannot even see one of the sources of financial challenges confronting them.

That challenge is posed by adverse information appearing in their credit reports, which can work in insidious and unknown fashion to undermine their credibility with landlords, lenders and even employers.

For obvious reasons, it is essential for any consumer in Texas or elsewhere in the country to be fully and routinely appraised of all the material information residing in his or her credit report and to be able to quickly effect repairs to erroneous data.

Bankruptcy: a powerful and often underutilized consumer tool

It is perhaps apt imagery to refer to the slippery slope of debt when discussing the financial difficulties that over time ensnare many Americans and introduce material instability into their lives.

Although the details vary from case to case, it is not uncommon for debt problems to first emerge for individuals and families after an unexpected expense arises relating to an unforeseen circumstance.

Many people nodding in agreement with that above sentence might likely point to a troublesome catalyst in their lives, such as medical debt, which is a common precursor of financial difficulty and a leading cause of bankruptcy filings in Texas and throughout the United States.

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