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May 2013 Archives

Advice from the "Get out of Debt Guy"

A woman recently wrote a financial columnist for a national newspaper seeking advice on what she called "the stress and the heartbreak" associated with her family's inability to shake off a seemingly insurmountable amount of debt. The bills she cited -- most centrally a combination of student debt and credit card obligations -- were far outpacing the family's income, despite her husband's "good job" and her graduate degree. Following is a synopsis of the advice she received.

Student debt "overwhelming" for many recent college graduates

Well more than half of the 1,400-plus respondents in a recent Wells Fargo survey describe personal debt - credit card obligations and especially student loan debt -- as "overwhelming." Fully one-third of them say that, if they could wind the clock back, they would avoid college altogether and instead proceed directly to the workplace.

Study shows nexus between cancer victims, bankruptcy filings

Ample evidence exists showing that medical debt is a factor closely tied to bankruptcy. A new study involving scrutiny of persons diagnosed with cancer shows an especially close correlation between a cancer diagnosis and a subsequent Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing.

First criminal referral of debt-relief companies from CFPB

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is tasked with investigating financial scams targeting American consumers and taking follow-up action as necessary. Increasingly, the bureau's resources are being allocated to close scrutiny of debt settlement companies.

Are IRAs exempt from creditors in bankruptcy?

Here's a hypothetical to consider. Imagine that, for various reasons, you are forced to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. You have worked hard your entire life and always tried to put aside something for retirement. Through persistent diligence and effort, you have managed to accrue some savings in an individual retirement account (IRA). Now the creditors are knocking and actively seeking to drain those savings.