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Too much holiday debt? Consider your bankruptcy options

After the holidays, Arkansas consumers may find their finances stretched, and some suggest immediate action may be necessary. Although the bankruptcy option is available, many people may want first to try stricter debt management before taking that step. However, ongoing credit card debt can result in additional interest and late payment fees.

Thoughtful holiday shopping may avoid creditor harassment

It is not uncommon for consumers nationwide, and also here in Arkansas, to start their holiday shopping in November and spread it over the weeks leading up to the holidays. If purchases are not monitored during this time, the credit card bills in January can come as a shock. Those who find themselves unable to make the required payments may expose themselves to creditor harassment and threats of foreclosure, repossession and wage garnishments.

For some, Christmas debt can trigger bankruptcy

As the holidays approach, many in Arkansas are preparing for annual gift-giving. For those who are already in serious financial straits, however, holiday shopping can be more stressful than jolly. In some cases, individuals and families put off reviewing their full financial standing until the end of the year, as they try to determine how much to spend on gifts and celebrations. The outcome of those reviews may lead some to consider if bankruptcy may be the best way to ring in the New Year. The following tips are offered to those who would like to have a great holiday without incurring high levels of debt.

Bankruptcy can follow a long period of familial generosity

For many in Arkansas, having the financial ability to help loved ones in times of need is a privileged position. Individuals who have worked hard and managed to get ahead are often happy to lend a hand to a family member when he or she needs a monetary boost. In a perfect world, that generosity is reciprocated if and when the need arises. For some, however, the end result of a lifetime of helping others is personal bankruptcy, an outcome that few anticipate.

Loan consolidation or bankruptcy? There is no need to choose.

Financial strain can strike virtually any family, even those who are college-educated. In fact, heavy student loan debt can contribute to money troubles and make it difficult to meet debt service obligations. For some in Arkansas, loan consolidation offers a path to more manageable student loan debt. While many people believe that bankruptcy and consolidation are completely unrelated financial tools, the two often work in conjunction.

Operating a business during and after bankruptcy

Many Arkansas business owners are familiar with the ups and downs that come with operating a successful venture. It seems as though the good times are never as long-lasting or as influential than the bad times, but dedicated business owners continue to stay the course, through good times and bad. For many, seeking a business bankruptcy is the most effective and efficient way to emerge from debt. Often, a personal bankruptcy will follow. Both of these options allow for a chance of renewal and recovery.

Popular HGTV stars seek bankruptcy protection

Arkansas readers may be familiar with the HGTV hit "Kitchen Cousins." The show features renovation projects completed by two contractor cousins, who are also a part of several other HGTV productions. The men are currently in the news after they have both sought bankruptcy protection in the wake a of a civil judgment against them.

Can credit counseling help with creditor harassment?

When debt levels have risen to an unmanageable level, one of the most stressful aspects of financial strain involves seemingly constant harassment by credit collectors. The agencies that employ credit collectors operate under a business model that seems to be centered on a program of harassment and intimidation. While aggressively pursuing debtors who are in financial strife seems a questionable approach, it is one that many in the industry embrace. For those in Arkansas who want to put an end to creditor harassment, credit counseling and bankruptcy offer two means of attaining that goal.

Changes in credit reporting may benefit consumers

Arkansas residents who are hoping to improve their credit scores may benefit from some recent changes in credit reporting. The three leading credit-reporting agencies, Equifax, TransUnion and Experian, have reached an agreement with the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to institute some changes that could potentially raise the credit scores of many consumers.

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