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311, 2015

The Inside Scoop on Your Credit Report

You've been told time and time again the your credit report is an important part of your financial life. You're bombarded with messages telling you to check your credit report regularly so you can be sure it's correct and updated properly. Sounds good, right? Having a correct and updated document that's important to your finances is a worthy goal. The problem is that your credit report feels like an underground document, hidden from view and passed in the way spies exchange classified information in some Cold War movie. No wonder

2810, 2015

Corinthian Found Guilty of Deceiving Students, Paving the Way for Loan Forgiveness

Judge Gary Feinerman of U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois on Wednesday ordered Corinthian Colleges to pay $531 million to former students of Everest, WyoTech and Heald for deceiving students about potential career prospects. The lawsuit, filed by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, accused the company of “fudging the numbers” and hiring its own graduates to boost job-placement rates and mislead students. The company did not fight the case and will not pay the judgment because it was dissolved in a bankruptcy earlier this year. The ruling, however, will likely be used by former

2110, 2015

How to Get the Federal Government to Pay Your Student Loans

You've heard about certain jobs that allow you to qualify for student loan forgiveness after a period of repayment. But how about just having the federal government pay your federal student loans for you? No joke. Under a little known program called the Federal Student Loan Repayment Program, some agencies will actually pay your loans for you as a way to get you to take a job or remain in a particular position. In fact, in 2014 there were 33 Federal agencies that provided 8,469 employees with a total of more than

1910, 2015

6 Steps to Preventing a Default Judgment

When you're served with a lawsuit for a credit card or other consumer debt, you're like a deer frozen in the headlights. Maybe you don't realize you're being sued. Perhaps you don't think there's anything you can do to stop the wheels of justice from turning. Think again. In courts all across the country, every day thousands of credit card issuers and debt buyers file lawsuits against people for unpaid debt. Stand at the clerk's window and you'll see people walk in with stacks of complaints that are inches high, and each

1610, 2015

Lessons From the Chase Bank Credit Card Robosigning Scandal

Chase Bank agreed in July 2015 to pay more than $200 million to settle claims made by 48 states as well as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that it sold faulty credit card debts to third-party collectors. Understanding what happened provides valuable lessons to anyone who's being sued for a past due credit card debt. Chase Halts All Collection Lawsuits The story began with a report in American Banker from January 2012 that JPMorgan Chase had suddenly halted all of debt collection lawsuits nationwide amid allegations that it falsely overstated the balances of thousands of delinquent accounts

1610, 2015

What Are the True Costs of Filing for Bankruptcy?

No one expects to be over their head in debt and thinking about bankruptcy. But sometimes there's no other way out of your debt problems, and the only way to get your financial house in order is to wipe the slate clean. Bankruptcy is designed to be a final option for resetting your finances, bringing your debt under control in an orderly fashion. But debt freedom doesn't come for free, so it's important to understand the full scope of the costs you can expect when you file for bankruptcy. We'll

1510, 2015

Keeping Your Car Through Bankruptcy – Good Idea, or Budget Buster?

My clients who are looking at bankruptcy as a way to get out of debt worry about their car. Is it a good idea to get rid of it in favor of a less expensive vehicle? Will either the court or their car lender force them to surrender the vehicle? Cities such as New York, Boston and San Francisco have amazing public transit systems but that's the exception rather than the rule. For many people, the possibility of being left without a car makes bankruptcy a non-starter. Luckily, with enough

1310, 2015

Thinking About a Second Job? Consider These 7 Risks First

Being in debt is like being overweight; you've got too much of a thing you want to get rid of. As with losing weight, the way to get out of debt is a simple equation - spend less money than you make. There are only two ways for that equation to work, and those involve spending less or making more. Spending less smacks of deprivation because it means limiting the things you love. Making more, on the other hand, sounds more palatable. Personal finance experts such as Dave Ramsey extoll

1210, 2015

4 Simple Steps to Correcting Errors on Your Credit Report

It's been estimated that about 80% of people in the United States have credit report errors.  Those statistics are from 2009, so it's likely that those numbers are higher in light of the rampant mortgage-related issues over the past few years. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, nobody is allowed to furnish inaccurate or incomplete information about you to a consumer reporting agency. Furnishers of information (typically creditors and debt collectors) have a legal duty to investigate disputes regarding credit report errors, as well as to prevent identity theft and

910, 2015

Can Credit Repair Really Raise Your Score After Bankruptcy?

When you use bankruptcy to get out of debt, the first thing you're going to want is to work on your credit score. Getting your credit into tip-top shape, after all, helps put you in the best light with new lenders. That's where credit repair companies come in. They play on your fears that bad credit will stand in the way of your dreams, and that bankruptcy is the end of the world. Once you're hooked, they promise to remove bad marks from your credit report. Their promises sound too good to

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