Most of us take good health for granted -- until a serious injury or illness strikes us or a family member. The resulting medical bills, possibly coupled with lost or reduced income, can devastate a family financially.
The first quarter of this year brought some troubling news regarding consumer credit. The credit card industry saw an increase in the charge-off rate. That reflects the percentage of debt that companies don't expect to collect. While that rate (3.82%) is low by historical standards, it's still the highest in seven years, according to Bloomberg Intelligence.
The decision to file for bankruptcy should never be made lightly. However, it should be made based on accurate information and not on widespread myths and misconceptions.
The decision to file for bankruptcy should not be made lightly. If will have a significant impact on your credit for up to 10 years. It's always a good idea to look for other ways to whittle down your debt, such as by negotiating with creditors.
Americans are carrying more debt than ever before. That's the word from the Federal Reserve, which said that as of the end of last year, consumer debt totaled over $4 trillion. That's not even counting mortgages.
People who are diagnosed with cancer have access to more and better treatments than ever. However, those treatments come at a steep cost. So do medications like Gleevac, which is used to treat leukemia.
During the recent federal government shutdown -- the longest in history -- Americans saw and heard seemingly endless heartbreaking stories of people whose lives were thrown into chaos because they missed one paycheck and then a second. Even though the shutdown ended after just over a month, many federal employees weren't certain when they'd see the money that they were owed. Some contractors, depending on the terms of their contract, may never be paid for that period.
If one of your New Year's resolutions is to get your debt under control, a bankruptcy judge in New York's Northern District has some valuable advice. She notes that while sometimes the events that lead to bankruptcy are outside people's control -- like a job loss or an illness that results in exorbitant medical bills -- many of the factors that lead to bankruptcy filings are controllable.
Bankruptcy is a big step -- and not one that anyone should take without careful consideration. So when should you begin considering it?
The Federal Reserve has raised interest rates four times this year and nine times in the past three years. The latest rate hike of a quarter percentage point was just announced. While that's good news for people who have interest-earning accounts, it's troubling news for people with credit cards, home equity lines of credit, adjustable-rate mortgages and other types of debt with variable interest rates.