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STRAIGHT TALK ABOUT BANKRUPTCY
     There are only three viable options for dealing with unmanageable consumer debt in America:

Option 1 (which doesn’t work for strapped debtors): Make installment payments on time and in full before the grace-period starts and never miss a payment.  Obviously, this won’t work for people without enough income to maintain their monthly debt service (the total paid monthly to keep debt payments current).

Option 2 (which almost never works): Get creditor to agree to a smaller payments each month. Even if this works, it won’t stop negative reports to credit bureaus. Convincing all your creditors to lower payments is like herding wasps--they can still sting you with lawsuits, garnishments, repossessions and foreclosures.

Option 3 (which almost always works): File for bankruptcy relief.. This works best IF:
            (1) If you qualify for Chapter 7, Chapter 13, or an individual Chapter 11;
            (2) If you don’t delay getting a consultation from an experienced bankruptcy lawyer so you know for sure if you are eligible, for what chapter, and whether bankruptcy will make your life better or  worse; and
            (3) If  (please forgive my brutal frankness here) if you can set aside your concerns about your credit scores, your personal sense of success or failure, and your unnecessary assets and focus on pulling your future out of the debt pit.
    
     One more thing: THERE'S LIFE AFTER BANKRUPTCY.

INTEREST AND USURY

by Paul Toscano, attorney at law

“Usury” is an old-fashioned term for charging unreasonably high interest rates.  The modern 

term for a usurious lender in America is a “loan shark.” Modern society can do without these 

guys. But it can’t do without loans for business start-ups, for construction, for vehicle and 

residential purchases, etc.

There was a time when interest rates on loans were controlled by each State’s legislature, which 

could protect its citizens by passing and enforcing usury laws that capped interest rates.  That is 

no longer true.

The United States Supreme Court decided two cases that affected interest and fees charged by 

lenders: 

Marquette National Bank of Minneapolis, 439 U.S. 299 (1978) and 

Smiley v Citibank, 517 U.S. 735 (1996). 

These decisions allow credit companies to charge interest and other fees at the rates allowed in 

the State where they are domiciled. Most such companies are incorporated in Delaware or South 

Dakota, which have no usury laws. Those companies can charge interest at any rate anywhere 

because there are no usury laws in their home States. For these companies, the sky is the limit all 

over the nation. This is why default rates of interest can be 30% or more. 

In Utah, which has no usury laws, pay-day loan companies charge interest at rates of 400%-

500%. If you borrow $100.00 on January 1, 2015, and don’t pay off the loan, you will owe the 

principal of $100.00, plus an additional $400.00-$500.00 in interest on December 31, 2015—and 

that’s if the interest compounds annually rather than daily. These creditors will also exact late 

fees and other charges.

Nightmare? Absolutely.  

The best way to avoid this nightmare is to live without consumer debt except possibly to 

purchase an affordable home or car and then to live within your means. This can hurt because 

though living expenses have risen over the years, wages have not kept up for most Americans. 

If you are having trouble keeping up with  your debt payments and are being harassed by debt 

collectors, call for a free consultation to sort out your options: (801) 359-1313.

STRAIGHT TALK ABOUT BANKRUPTCY
by Paul Toscano, attorney at law
There are only three viable options for dealing with unmanageable consumer debt in America.
Option 1 is irrelevant for strapped debtors.
Option 2 doesn’t work.
Option 3 is a bit scary but very effective.  
Option One is to make installment payments on time and in full before the grace-period starts and never miss a payment.  Obviously, this won’t work for people without enough income to maintain their monthly debt service (the total paid monthly to keep debt payments current).
Option Two—a workout with creditors—rarely works for several reasons: (1) Getting any creditor to agree to a smaller payments each month is hard and usually won’t stop negative reports to credit bureaus. Dealing with all your creditors is like herding wasps who can still sting you with lawsuits, garnishments, repossessions and foreclosures.
Option Three—file for bankruptcy relief. This is a bit scary because people would rather die than file. As a bankruptcy lawyer, I can say for certain that this option is not easy, but it works best IF.  The If’s are these :
    (1) If you qualify for Chapter 7, Chapter 13, or an individual Chapter 11;
    (2) If you don’t delay getting a consultation from an experienced bankruptcy lawyer so you know for sure if you are eligible, for what chapter, and whether bankruptcy will make your life better or  worse; and
    (3) If  (please forgive my brutal frankness here) if you can set aside your concerns about your credit scores, your personal sense of success or failure, and your unnecessary assets and focus on pulling your future out of the debt pit.
    A lot could be said about bankruptcy here.  But I will spare you the details.  The point is that any other ideas about dealing with runaway debt do not work.
    One more thing: There is life after bankruptcy.
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