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Showing posts from May, 2015

College Tuition Payments and Personal Bankruptcy

Are you currently paying your child’s college tuition? If you’re thinking aboutfiling for personal bankruptcy, you should be aware thatbankruptcy trustees have begun recovering tuition payments from colleges and universities on behalf of the creditors of insolvent parents. Indeed, according to arecent article in the Wall Street Journal, “the trustees argue the funds should be recovered to pay off the parents’ debt instead” of the kids’ tuition, and “in many cases, they’re succeeding.” Universities Return Tuition Payments Back in February, a bankruptcy trustee sued the University of Bridgeport in an attempt to recover money for creditors. Previously, the parents of Orlando M. Morales, a student at the University of Bridgeport, had paid tuition money for their child. They later filed forChapter 7 bankruptcy. After returning $4,000 to the trustee, the university made clear that it “reserved the right to go after Mr. Morales himself.” Other colleges and universities have had similar experien…

Questioning Bank of America’s Consumer Relief Measures

Is Bank of America upholding its promise to provideconsumer relief when it comes to mortgages and other kinds of loans? According to arecent article in the New York Times, “questions are arising about whether the promised assistance is actually getting to the right people and whether the bank will be allowed to claim credit for consumer relief that far exceeds its actual value.” In other words, questionable dealings concerningforeclosure andconsumer bankruptcy might still be lurking. Consumer Relief and the Terms of the Settlement Last summer, Bank of America agreed to a $16.7 billion settlement “over dubious mortgage practices.” Of the money from that settlement, $7 billion was supposed to go toward consumer relief measures, including loan modifications in the years following the agreement. In addition, the settlement required the bank to “make a wide array of loans more affordable for borrowers” and to “forgive or reduce the amounts owed on first and second mortgages.” As compensation…

Learning More About Financial Well-Being

How can you avoidpersonal bankruptcy? While filing for Chapter 7 orChapter 13 bankruptcy can provide enormous relief to Chicago debtors, it’s important to think carefully about your financial well-being before you reach the point of requiringbankruptcy protection. Or, if you’ve recently declared bankruptcy, learning more about financial well-being can help you to have a rewarding future. Personal Financial Well-Being, According to Consumers The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) recently released areport concerning financial well-being throughout the country. It created a research team that spoke with consumers of many different income levels. By and large, it turns out that, regardless of income, consumers tend to associate similar things with financial health: Having current financial security, which often means feeling in control over day-to-day and month-to month finances; Having future financial security, or the ability to “absorb a financial shock,” such as unexpected medic…

Contentious Provision in Consumer Protection Bill

In cases where consumers are unfairly targeted orharassed by collection agencies, where can they turn for help with issues related to theFair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)? What happens when your personal and financial information is held by a company that gets hacked? The U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) was created, in part, to ensure that consumers are treated fairly by creditors and other debt collectors. However, funding to the CFPB looks to be at risk, according to arecent article in Reuters. Provision Seeks to Cap CFPB’s Funding Between 2020 and 2025 Newly proposed legislation related to the CFPB was designed to “establish special advisory groups,” or “outside committees to advise it on actions related to community banks and credit unions.” Under the new legislation, these kinds of groups would be “mandatory” and would require a “panel made up of small business leaders” to assist in consumer protection measures. However, President Obama has indicated that …

Supreme Court Declines to Hear Case on Bankruptcy and Consumer Protection

The U.S. Supreme Court won’t be weighing in on whether consumers can be liable for debts, for which the statute of limitations has run out, when theyfile for bankruptcy. Instead, the U.S. Supreme Court will allow the recent consumer-friendly decision from the 11th Circuit to stand. Although the facts of the case don’t directly implicate consumers ordebt collectors in the Chicago area, the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to deny the petition for writ of certiorari likely will have a positive impact on Oak Park consumers. Facts of the Case: Crawford v. LVNV Funding In order to understand how the Supreme Court’s decision not to hear a case may have an impact on debtors in Illinois and other states across the country, we need to take a close look at the facts ofCrawford v. LVNV Funding. The Crawford case began in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Alabama. Prior to filing for bankruptcy, the debtor owed money to a furniture company. The debtor incurred that debt back in 2001…