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chapter 13 bankruptcy Archives

Why bankruptcy is more common as people age

In Oregon and throughout the country, older Americans are filing for bankruptcy at a higher rate than their younger counterparts. Part of the reason is that government benefit programs such as Social Security are replacing a lower portion of a worker's income after retirement. At the same time, health care costs are going up, which can further strain the finances of someone 65 or older.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy and the repayment plan

Oregon consumers who are considering filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy might wonder what is involved in the repayment process. To file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, it is necessary to go through the means test, which is income-based, and may have assets they want to keep. This might include the house. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy involves paying off debts over three or five years. Working with an attorney, the debtor creates a repayment plan that is then submitted to the bankruptcy trustee for approval. Many unsecured debts that remain at the end of the repayment period are discharged except for those that are not eligible. Among these are child support payments.

How the wage gap feeds into the debt gap

Oregon residents and others may be aware of the wage gap. However, they may not know that there is also a debt gap between men and women. On average, women have higher student loan, auto loan and credit card balances compared to men. Those who are trying to get out of debt should start by paying back the balances with the highest interest rates.

Some experts say bankruptcy filings should not be delayed

Some Oregon consumers might be struggling with debt but may hesitate to file for bankruptcy. Many people may feel it is more honorable to pay debts and that filing for bankruptcy will stigmatize them. However, bankruptcy is a tool that is intended to offer people a fresh start. Many experts say waiting to file leaves people financially depleted and less able to take advantage of the benefits.

How to time a bankruptcy filing

Oregon residents may not file for bankruptcy because of the stigma surrounding it. However, it may be harder to truly get a fresh start after filing for those who wait too long to file. As a general rule, anyone who has a debt-to-income ratio of more than 40 percent should file for either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 protection in the near future. The same is true for anyone who is not able to buy food or other necessities.

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The Law Office of Kim Covington is a debt relief agency, and I have helped families, individuals and small businesses, file for bankruptcy relief under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, for over 19 years.

The Law Office of Kim Covington

The Law Office of Kim Covington
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Eugene, OR 97401

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