Albuquerque Law Blog

When is the right time to regain control of your finances?

When it comes to significant life events, such as getting married or starting a family, most people struggle with determining when the time is right to move forward with a decision. But considering the unpredictability of life, there is often no perfect time for many of the decisions you have to make.

In terms of finances, various changes could affect your debt-to-income ratio without warning. Depending on how bad your financial situation becomes, you may consider filing bankruptcy. But how do you know when the time is right?

A look at credit counseling: What is it?

Before filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy in New Mexico, it is a requirement for individuals to complete a credit counseling course.

Considering bankruptcy can already be a stressful decision, but entering into it prepared can help relieve some of that stress. So, here is an overview of how mandatory credit counseling works.

Tips for handling creditor harassment

Falling behind on loans and other payments is extremely stressful. And that stress only increases when creditors begin harassing individuals to make up for missed payments. This harassment can increase if someone does not have the assets to pay their debts.

The first thing that anyone facing creditor harassment in New Mexico should know is that it is against the law. The next thing to remember is that individuals have options to stop this harassment.

A breakdown of Chapter 13 repayment plans

Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a versatile and flexible debt-relief tool that allows many individuals, or married couples, to achieve meaningful debt relief. While many confuse the Chapter 13 repayment plan with debt consolidation programs or similar schemes, the repayment plan allows people to reorganize their debt through a reasonable budget. Consumers are not necessarily required to repay all of their outstanding debt during the course of the plan. Many repay far less than their overall debt. Each case is unique. However, these plans require great attention to detail and sometimes complex legal guidelines. That is why working with a skilled lawyer is important.

Here is a quick overview of repayment plans.

In debt? Leave your retirement account alone.

Almost everyone in New Mexico and across the country spends years saving up for retirement. 401(k)s and other retirement accounts are often a person’s most valuable assets, thanks to the long-term contributions that they and their employer make.

When people run into significant financial challenges, it can be tempting to dip into one’s retirement fund to pay off debts. It may seem like a quick-fix with fewer consequences than debt. However, there are three important factors everyone should consider before using any retirement funds.

Could your debt lead to divorce?

If you are in debt, you know that owing people money can be stressful. While you have heard that having money does not make you happy, most people would like to have the opportunity to see whether that is, in fact, true.

For single people, financial problems can certainly be overwhelming. However, for couples with different spending habits and lifestyle desires, debt could sneak in and destroy what once was a happy marriage.

What to know about separate versus joint bankruptcy filings

The decision to file bankruptcy is not often easy. And that decision could be even more stressful for married couples. Fortunately, married couples have two possibilities to consider when weighing their choices.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy in New Mexico requires passing a means test

If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, you typically have a choice between filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

With Chapter 7 bankruptcy, most of your property becomes part of your bankruptcy estate.  Any property that is not able to be exempted may be sold to pay your debts. Chapter 7 is often the best option for consumer debtors, however those above a certain income threshold may not be eligible for chapter 7.

You don't need to let your credit card debt weigh you down

If you feel overwhelmed by your debt, you are not alone. Many Americans struggle to make ends meet. And countless others experience unexpected changes in income or expenses, which can lead to further debt.

In addition to your home mortgage, car note and school loans, you might have maxed-out credit cards. And you may not know what to do. But did you know that across the nation, credit card debt is at an all-time high?

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