Debt for many residents of Mississippi is a way of life. However, when it continues to increase and cannot be whittled down, debt becomes burdensome. It is not only the economic strangle-hold of paying interest without seeing the principal go down; there is a stigma to carrying debt that may not be deserved. While some people acquire debt through irresponsible lifestyle choices, many others do so only when there is no other option.
People paying off debts in Mississippi often stop using credit cards and switch to making purchases with cash. Although this is an appropriate way to tackle debt, careful use of credit cards does help people maintain their credit ratings. Credit cards that offer reward points provide consumers with multiple advantages when paid in full every month.
Part of a credit card agreement is that the Mississippi cardholder will pay back charges, plus fees and interest. In some cases, though, credit card companies have incentives to lower the amount outstanding, or they realize it won't be worth it to pursue the cardholder with collections efforts. For people who are going through serious financial hardship, it may seem impossible to get out. If it is approached correctly, debt settlement can be a way to satisfy these types of obligations.
Debt is a problem for most millennials in Mississippi and in other states. In 50 large cities across the United States, millennials are carrying an average of over $23,000 in personal debt excluding mortgages. San Antonio is the area with the largest average non-mortgage debt for millennials at $27,122 followed by Pittsburgh and Austin.
In the 2017 fiscal year, individuals in the United States filed a total of 767,721 personal bankruptcies in the federal courts. Residents of Mississippi may benefit from learning about some common mistakes people make that may lead them to file for bankruptcy.
While bankruptcy cases have been decreasing in Mississippi and across the U.S. since the end of the Great Recession, many consumers still need to file for bankruptcy protections each year. However, experts say that people need to understand a few key points before deciding to file for personal bankruptcy.
Researchers have identified a startling new trend in bankruptcy filings. They have gone up significantly for elderly people in Mississippi and nationwide. Since 1991, the number of filings from people over the age of 65 went up by 480 percent by 2016. When looking at the filings from people over 75, the increase during that period approached 1,000 percent.
When people in Mississippi file for bankruptcy, the court issues an automatic stay that prohibits creditors from continuing to seek payment. Although issues like multiple bankruptcy filings could interfere with the immediate issuance of an automatic stay, the court order typically becomes effective as soon as debtors file their bankruptcy paperwork and lasts until the discharge of debts. Creditors might initially violate the stay in the first couple of weeks after a filing because they have not yet processed the notice about a bankruptcy. Unless evidence shows that creditors willfully violated a stay, they will likely avoid legal consequences unless they persist with collection efforts.
Some Mississippi consumers may be paying more than they have to in credit card interest rates because of a prevalent myth. Many people believe that carrying a balance is a way to build credit, but financial experts say this is not the case.
Generally speaking, those who have student loan debt in Mississippi and any other state are unlikely to have it discharged in bankruptcy. However, recent trends have seen bankruptcy judges reduce the amounts that debtors are asked to repay. Furthermore, lenders themselves have been increasingly open to the idea of settling student loan debt for less than the full balance owed. Judges may be more sympathetic to student loan debtors because they see the impact it has on their own children.