People in Mississippi may be aided in finding relief from overzealous creditors by a U.S. Supreme Court ruling. The high court ruled on June 3 that creditors can be held in contempt of court if they continue to pursue debts that were clearly discharged in a bankruptcy. Previously, the Ninth Circuit court had found that creditors should be cleared of sanctions in these cases, even if they should have reasonably known that the bankruptcy discharge applied to their debt.
Debtors in Mississippi who have significant debt and who have a lower income or no income may benefit from a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. However, they should carefully consider their financial situation and the impact that bankruptcy will have on their credit before filing.
Mississippi residents who have had health emergencies likely can appreciate that medical bills are a factor in approximately two-thirds of all bankruptcy filings across the country. A study that contained this information was published in the American Journal of Public Health on Feb. 6.
In most circumstances, it is not possible to discharge student loans through bankruptcy. However, some Mississippi debtors may be able to discharge them if a few factors are in place. These rules apply to both private and federal loans.
Various problems, like job loss, a medical crisis or a death in the family, could motivate Mississippi consumers to pursue bankruptcy when their income cannot keep up with debt payments. About two-thirds of the non-business bankruptcies filed by individuals fall under Chapter 7 bankruptcy rules. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy requires the sale of assets to recover money for creditors before a judge typically discharges remaining debts. Certain assets are usually exempt from liquidation, like the family home, but the mortgage on the family home might still remain a burden if not included in a bankruptcy.
Anyone in Mississippi or any other state must wait for eight years before filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy again. This means it's not possible to file for this same type of bankruptcy, which is popular because it wipes out most debt within months of the initial filing and approval, until the eight year period is up. Technically, there aren't limits on how many bankruptcy cases someone can file, but there are limitations on when this type of protection can be sought after a previous bankruptcy was successfully filed and completed.
At the end of March 2018, there was a total of $1.4 trillion in student loan debt, according to the New York Fed. Across America, there are 44 million people - many of whom live in Mississippi - who have student loan debt, and it is highly unlikely that it can be discharged according to current bankruptcy laws. However, there is support for new rules that may make it easier to get rid of this type of an obligation in a bankruptcy proceeding.
Filing for bankruptcy is not a decision that those in Mississippi or anywhere else in the country can take lightly. While many debts could be eliminated in a Chapter 7 filing, it could also result in a person's credit score dropping by about 200 points. This may make it harder to borrow money, and lenders who are willing to work with a person after bankruptcy will likely charge high interest rates.