Credit, Debt, and Bankruptcy Resources
- The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau - The new consumer protection bureau maintained by the federal government.
- Medical Credit Cards Can Come With Unpleasant Surprises
- The Medium - Credit-Card Message Boards
- Experian National Score Index - U.S. Average Credit Score Rankings
- Experian National Score Index - Archived Studies of Credit Behavior and Scores
- Robo-Signing at Companies That Buy Consumer Debts - it seems that buyers of debt were also taking short-cuts to documenting their debts.
- Borrowers Refuse to Pay Billions in Home Equity Loans
- Old Debts Never Die - They Are Sold to Collectors
- The New Poor - Peddling Relief, Firms Put Debtors in Deeper Hole
- New York Judges Question Suits by Debt Collectors - A good inside look at the assembly line lawsuits filed by debt collectors. The article points out that many of these collectors, who bought the debt from the loan originators, often don't have the documentation to back up their claims. Hence, it may be prudent for those who are subject to debt collection abuses to challenge them in court.
- Learning How to Fight the Bill Collector
- Debt Collection Statute of Limitations by State - Statute of Limitations for each state for enforcing contracts and collecting judgments.
- Collections Insider - A new blog about collection efforts by a collection agent that gives some insight into how collection works, which would be pertinent for creditors looking to collect a judgment and for debtors to see what collection agents can do and how they do it, and what they can't do.
- Better Off Deadbeat: Craig Cunningham Has a Simple Solution for Getting Bill Collectors Off His Back. He Sues Them. - Here's a nice way to make money off of bill collectors. Since bill collectors commonly violate the law, this debtor sued every violator.
New FTC restrictions on Debt Settlement Companies
New Restrictions on Debt Settlement Companies:
- Takes effect Fall 2010.
- Prohibited from charging a fee before they settle or reduce a customer's credit card debt.
- Required to keep customer's money in independent accounts for repaying debts.
- Must disclose:
- how long the settlement will take.
- potential negative outcomes.
- total cost of the settlement.
- The FTC restrictions apply mostly to debt settlement companies that solicit business by telephone. Hence, companies that use the Internet or direct consumer marketing in person are not covered.
Note: In almost every case, it is better for debtors to file for bankruptcy under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 than to use a debt settlement company. Bankruptcy offers many benefits that a debt settlement company cannot provide, including re-establishing your credit sooner, while a debt settlement company offers no advantage over bankruptcy. To learn more, see Bankruptcy — Table Of Contents.
- As a Hiring Filter, Credit Checks Draw Questions
- Background Checking: Conducting Credit Background Checks
- U.S. Trustee Program/Dept. of Justice
- Official Bankruptcy Forms
- Maryland Bankruptcy Court Fill-in Bankruptcy Forms - Includes the forms that were changed in April, 2007. These are PDF files that can be filled in and printed, but they cannot be saved. However, if you do want to save the final documents, you can, by printing to a specific file format. Some examples include using Microsoft's new XPS printer to print to a file, or you can use a program such as OneNote, one of the Microsoft Office products. Simply print the filled-in PDF file to OneNote. The Microsoft Office Document Image Writer can also print to a file. Note, however, that printing to file creates a file that is not easily modifiable. It cannot be edited like a regular document, so be sure that everything is filled in correctly before saving. It is possible to modify these documents using special software, such as a good OCR program that can retain formatting while transforming it into another document that is editable, such as Microsoft Word, or by using an image program that can place textboxes anywhere on the form.
- Credit Counseling & Debtor Education - This site, by the United States Trustee, provides information about the approved providers for credit counseling and debtor education. You can choose all providers for a particular state or territory, or all providers that provide services in a particular language.
- Bankruptcy Court Miscellaneous Fee Schedule
- Order A Transcript - You need copies of tax returns for the prior 4 years before you file for bankruptcy. You can order them from this IRS page.
- Copies & Transcripts - Here you can get a complete copy of your tax return, including attachments.
- National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (NACBA) is the website serving the needs of consumer bankruptcy attorneys. Formed in 1992, NACBA now has more than 2500 members located in all 50 states and Puerto Rico. The home page includes bankruptcy and legislative news, an attorney finder, some consumer tips, and recent court decisions pertaining to bankruptcy, with links to copies of the decisions.
- The National Association of Bankruptcy Trustees (NABT) has, on its home page, bankruptcy news as well as case summaries.
- FAQ about Chapter 13 - Provided by the National Association of Chapter 13 Trustees.
- Bankruptcy Sales is hosted by the American Bankruptcy Institute and the NABT, which posts asset sales from bankruptcy estates by trustees and debtors in possession.
- Medical Bankruptcies - A good article about bankruptcies caused by large medical debts.
- Major Consumer Bankruptcy Effects of the BAPCPA
- Bankrupt Profits: The Credit Industry’s Business Model For Postbankruptcy Lending, Katherine Porter, College of Law, University of Iowa - This study by a bankruptcy professor shows that a Chapter 7 bankrupt can obtain credit more easily and much sooner than a Chapter 13 bankrupt.
Bankruptcy Law Sources
- US CODE Title 11,TITLE 11—BANKRUPTCY - This is the actual United States Code, nicely formatted and provided by the Cornell Law School.
- Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure - This, also from Cornell, lists the federal procedural rules for bankruptcy.
- Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 - This is the actual text of the Act.
- http://www.ganb.uscourts.gov/bapcpa/BK_Code_Redline_4-20.pdf - Redline of Titles 11, 28, and 18, United States Code,from current law (as of January 1, 2005) as enacted by The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005, Pub. L. 109-31, 119 Stat. 23, enacted April 20, 2005(Does not include amendments to other laws)