With the changing of the seasons, it seemed like the perfect time to start updating my blog here more regularly. The press of business at my office has prevented me from posting entries as much as I would like. I’m especially swamped with bankruptcy cases. Sorry for being away so long!
TODAY is the last day to take advantage of a class action settlement that nearly all adults qualify for and provides useful benefits. If you had/have a credit card, loan, or credit account, point your browser now to www.listclassaction.com and register to get six or nine months of free credit monitoring services. You’ll have unlimited access to your credit report (including credit score) and receive timely alerts whenever there are any changes to your data. This can be very useful when trying to rebuild your credit or keeping an eye out for identify theft.
The retail value of the “enhanced” credit monitoring service for nine months is $115! I used to subscribe to the exact service they are giving away and liked it a lot! There’s no catch, so just do it. Everyone should be informed about what’s going on their credit report. It’s used for so many purposes these days besides credit applications including insurance rates and potential employers. There’s also the possibility of receiving a cash payment, but this is not a sure thing. If you select that option instead of the credit monitoring service, you may receive nothing or just a few dollars.
This class action stems from a lawsuit involving privacy issues against TransUnion, one of the big three credit reporting agencies.
On October 1st, updated median income levels go into effect for Chapter 7 bankruptcy filers. The median income level is a key part of the “Means Test” which is now one of the hurdles debtors must clear before qualifying for a fresh start under Chapter 7. The “Means Test” is complex, but in a nutshell, a few years ago Congress placed income limits on would be filers for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. These limits are based on the median income for your size family in your geographical area. If you earn too much, you may be forced into Chapter 13, which is not as attractive for most debtors. In Chapter 13, debtors must repay some or all of their debts unlike a Chapter 7 where they are simply wiped out.
Generally when these numbers are adjusted, the median income level goes up, which is good news for debtors since they can now earn more before and still qualify for Chapter 7. However, in some areas the median income goes down and bankruptcy filers are impacted negatively in this situation. For instance, filers in Vermont and Rhode Island got hit especially hard this go round. The limit for a single person in these states was reduced $2979 and $2332 respectively. I can only imagine that is because hard times have fallen on these states and the population is earning substantially less. California debtors have a more rosy picture. Here’s how it will affect filers in the Golden State:
1 earner (living alone) can now earn $541 more. ($47,363)
2 person families can earn $948 more. ($62,690)
3 person families can earn $1459 more. ($68,070)
4 person families can earn $83 more. ($77,014)
Bankruptcy can still be a wonderful solution if you find yourself knee deep in debt and don’t see a way out. If you are in the greater Sacramento area and want to explore this option, please don’t hesitate to contact me for a free consultation (mwcrosson at gmail dot com).