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New Bern Bankruptcy And Debt Relief Blog

Determine Chapter 7 eligibility with the bankruptcy means test

If you are drowning in medical bills, facing overwhelming credit card debt or otherwise struggling to keep yourself afloat financially, you may be wondering whether bankruptcy might be an effective method of getting back on your feet. You may also have heard that different types of bankruptcies exist, among them Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy filings, but you may not be clear on the difference or whether one option might make more sense for you.

The majority of today’s personal bankruptcy filings are of the Chapter 7 variety, which essentially allows you to eliminate most of your debts, with some restrictions. However, whether you have the option of pursuing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy depends on how you perform on the bankruptcy means test.

3 things you can do when you cannot pay your medical bills

Getting news of a serious illness or going to the emergency room may result in financial hardships. According to a report by USA Today, medical debt is the top reason that Americans file for bankruptcy. Even if you have health insurance, your coverage may not be sufficient enough to help you afford your expenses. 

Receiving your medical bills in the mail may give you a sense of dread and hopelessness. Fortunately, you can take care of your medical bills. Here are some methods for handling your medical debt.

Campbell Law School Student Receives General Education Scholarship

We are pleased to announce that Craig Dye, a student at Campbell Law School in Raleigh, NC is the recipient of our 2018 General Education Scholarship. The scholarship was offered to students currently enrolled in a full-time program at an accredited college or university. Students attending an accredited law school or graduate school program were also eligible.

Is fear of bankruptcy a good reason to delay divorce?

First things first: There are no "good" or "bad" reasons to divorce or to not divorce. Each person must decide for themselves what they prioritize and what works best for their situation.

So, if the fear of having to file for bankruptcy is a major reason you have not filed for divorce, that is a valid fear. It may help to gather some facts (if you have not already) so you can make an educated decision.

Can I use bankruptcy to lower my car payment?

If the car you are paying for each month is causing you extreme financial hardship in New Bern, you might be looking for ways to lower it. When you add up all the interest you are paying on it, you might realize you are paying far too much for a vehicle that is no longer worth its original value. 

Before you rush to file for bankruptcy, take some time to consider the following information on Chapter 13 Bankruptcy and making your car not more affordable. 

3 tips for coping with the emotional difficulties of bankruptcy

Declaring bankruptcy does not only impact your finances–it also affects your emotions. You may feel guilt while you are facing financial difficulties. If you are experiencing shame, frustration, stress, anxious or sadness because of your bankruptcy, you are not alone.

While virtually everyone who files for bankruptcy experiences some sort of emotional distress, you do not need to drown yourself in shame for making this decision. It does not need to have a devastating influence on your mental health. Here are some ways to emotionally cope with bankruptcy.

How To Pinch Pennies on a Budget

You may think that you are already on top of things by packing your lunch and buying groceries in bulk, but there is much more to making the most of your money without giving up the things you love. Once you have realized budgeting, coupons and sales are not the enemy, dive into our list of helpful penny-pinching ideas to learn how you can be thrifty on your own terms.

Keep Track of Spending to Make Your Dollars Go Farther

The first step to spending smarter is to write out a budget and keep track of where your money goes. This does not mean that you have to say no to every shopping trip or dinner and drinks, but it is important to draw a line between things that are absolutely necessary and those that are not.

Once you've pinned down your monthly bills and expenses, consider if there are any redundancies. Do you really need Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, HBO, Showtime and basic cable? If you can save $10-20 a month consolidating subscriptions and monthly fees, it can add up quickly. You can also try apps like Digit to find areas of your budget where you can save a few dollars each week.

While saving a few bucks here and there certainly helps, it is important to also be thrifty when you are spending more. If you can save a few thousand dollars when buying a car or making other large purchases by haggling or setting up an interest-free payment plan, it will make a big difference in your yearly bottom line.

When you do decide to go out to eat or shop online, embrace free options when you can. You can save on gas and enjoy the outdoors by walking, and free shipping options online mean that you don't have to drive to the mall or store nearly as often if you can afford to wait a few days.

Eat Like a King without Spending Like One

There are many ways to be thrifty with food without cutting back to ramen packets and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Eating at home, brewing your own coffee and doing anything you can to minimize eating out are all great first steps.

Check out grocery stores like Trader Joe's and Aldi for the lowest prices, and when you're there, spend more time in the produce and fresh food aisles than the frozen or pre-packaged sections.

Build a meal plan based on things you like to cook and eat that are in-season, and keep an eye out for coupons and sales online and in local newspapers. You can also use cash back grocery apps like Checkout 51, Ibotta or Savings Catcher each time you shop.

Stretch meats further by mixing them with grains, beans and other vegetables. You can also try one or two days a week meatless to save money without totally giving up your favorite tacos or steak. If something you want is on sale, buy it in bulk and save it for later.

Once you've tried all of these ideas, go all the way and make bread, salad dressings, granola bars, pasta sauce, spice mixes and other items from scratch exactly the way you like them.

Spring Cleaning and Elbow Grease Go A Long Way

Like food, there are many ways to cut costs around the house. For starters you can cut back on your monthly electric and water bills by using less heat and air conditioning, air-drying clothes and saving grey water from your shower and sink for water plants

Once your monthly bills are in check, give your house or apartment a thorough cleaning. If you find any clothing, appliances or other items that you no longer use, sell them to a vintage or second hand store for a few extra bucks.

If you need to repaint the kitchen or other home project, embrace DIY solutions whenever possible. There is a world of resources at your local home improvement store and online that can cut costs of hiring outside help.

Even the thriftiest shoppers can find new ways to save a few bucks locally while still making room for fun. Simply being aware of your spending and thinking twice before an impulse purchase can help you better prepare for lean times.

Try out some of these techniques and find out which work best for you so you are ready for all of the budget bumps in the road ahead.

Blog Author: Clay Pitsenbarger on behalf of Gillespie & Murphy, PA

What are my options if I am struggling to pay the mortgage?

Living in the New Bern area has enabled you to establish a comfortable lifestyle for your family. You have a good job, decent income and own a nice home. Though you work hard for everything you have, you might not have enough money set aside to help when a financial emergency strikes. 

When you experience an event that causes a drastic drop in income and makes it harder for you to pay your bills, you might start to wonder what you should do about your mortgage. The home is one of the most important expenses you have and often the biggest source of stress for many individuals. If you ever find yourself falling behind on your mortgage and in danger of losing your home, consider the following options. 

Can you file for bankruptcy again in North Carolina?

Are you considering bankruptcy but worry that if you choose this route you will not be able to again in the future, causing you hesitation to do so now? Have you already filed for bankruptcy before, are facing financial trouble again and do not know if bankruptcy is available to you?

Whatever your situation, you can go through bankruptcy more than once. In fact, there is no limit on how many times you can file, though doing so repeatedly will undoubtedly bring many challenges. What does matter, though, is the timing. The law regulates how soon you can file for bankruptcy again depending on the type you previously used and the type you are choosing now.

Should you max out your credit cards when short on cash?

Living in the New Bern area has given you the opportunity to secure a good paying job and afford a comfortable lifestyle. Unfortunately, you find yourself with some unexpected financial obligations that are beyond your means to pay. Though you do not have the cash you need to pay them, you might find yourself wondering if it is a good idea for you to use your credit cards to pay them. 

The answer really depends on your complete financial picture. Many people find themselves in this type of situation periodically. It does not indicate a problem handling money. It just means you do not have the extra for that emergency situation or are probably overextended financially. Here are some reasons to consider before you use your credit cards to pay your debts

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