We are now in full swing Christmas mode with movies and music. Christmas is such a wonderful and joyous season of the year, and also the most expensive.
A recent study shows that 75 percent of Americans use their credit cards to pay for some of their holiday shopping. (https://today.yougov.com/topics/consumer/articles-reports/2018/11/14/americans-holiday-debt-credit) Rather than saving up the cash to buy their trinkets and gifts, they have needed to use credit to make their purchases. I believe we all feel obligated to buy so many different people gifts that they generally never even use. We feel like we need to get aunt so and so a scarf, even though she lives in Florida. It doesn’t make sense, but we feel we need to get her something anyway just to say we didn’t forget about her. The only way to keep up on all this extravagant gift buying is to do it on credit.
Sadly, when you use credit to pay for Christmas, that means Christmas doesn’t just come once a year. It comes each month when you get that credit card bill in the mail. You are reminded of that scarf you bought and wonder why you did it. Along with this sad fact is the fact that now in Christmas 2018, over 15 percent of people are still paying on Christmas 2017. The problem is that the debt has been charged 22 percent interest for 12 months and you still owe close to what you did last January.
If you have fallen into this rut, get out now while you still can. Pass on the unneeded gifts and try to stay within your cash budget for Christmas this year. If you were in the same rut last year and are still paying on those year old presents, come see me so I can help you find a way out.
If you qualify, Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy can help you find relief from the credit card debt and the interest that keeps accruing. In Chapter 7, you do not have to make payments to any of your unsecured creditors during the case and most of these debts will be discharged at the end of the case, with the exception of things like child support, alimony, some tax debt and student loans. You must qualify to file Chapter 7, however, through your income and an analysis of your assets will also need to be prepared by a qualified attorney.
In Chapter 13, you can establish a payment plan to repay some portion of your unsecured debts over a 3 to 5 year payment plan. The amount you repay to these creditors again depend upon your income and your assets. If you have low income and a low amount of assets, your repayment plan will likely be lower.
Once you file bankruptcy, your creditors are prohibited from collecting against you in any way. They are not allowed to call you, send you letters, file or proceed with any lawsuits or judgments against you, etc. Thus, you can have peace of mind without any harassing calls.
Please give me a call at 281-847-4345. I’ll be happy to sit down with you for a free, no obligation consultation to evaluate your situation and inform you of your different options on taking care of your debt through bankruptcy. You can also send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Rod S. Kemsley
KEMSLEY LAW FIRM, P.L.L.C.
Attorneys & Counselors at Law
505 N. Sam Houston Parkway E., Suite 400
Houston, Texas 77060