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    Understanding Consumer Protection Laws

    Last updated 9 months ago

    As a main source of consumer protection law in the United States, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act outlines acceptable behavior for collection agencies attempting to collect legitimate debts. The guidelines in the FDCPA apply to personal and household debts, including car loans, first and second mortgages, as well as credit card debt. Here’s a look at the following abusive and deceptive collection behaviors that violate the FDCPA.

    Communicating After Cease Request
    As a consumer, you have the right to send a written notice requesting no further communication from your creditors, except for any litigation settings. Once your creditor receives this written notice, he or she isn’t able to attempt debt collection or advise you that he or she plans to take legal action. You can also send a notice advising your collectors that it is unacceptable to contact you at your place of employment.

    Misrepresenting Debt
    Debt collectors are not allowed to misrepresent the size of your debt or the consequences of not paying your debt back. In addition, a debt collector is not allowed to impersonate a lawyer or member of a law enforcement agency in order to intimidate you and collect your debt. A debt collector is also not allowed to report false information on your credit report, or even threaten to make false statements on your credit history.

    Threatening Arrest or Legal Action
    If you’ve already sought attorney representation, your creditor isn’t allowed to contact you. At the same time, your creditor can’t disclose information about the nature of your debt to third parties, except for your spouse and bankruptcy attorney. Even though a creditor can pursue legal action against you, he or she can’t threaten to take legal action that isn’t permitted or that isn’t actually contemplated.

    Call (847) 868-2265 to schedule a consultation with a bankruptcy attorney at Cutler & Associates, Ltd. We have more than 25 years of consumer bankruptcy experience and have helped thousands of Chicago area residents resolve their debt issues. We have seven convenient locations, including an office in Aurora and Schaumburg.

    What Homeowners Need to Know About Filing Bankruptcy

    Last updated 9 months ago

    If you are a homeowner considering filing for bankruptcy, there are two petition options—Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition allows you to discharge your debts while creating a reaffirmation agreement with your lender. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition, on the other hand, allows you to keep your home by paying off your debt obligation under a supervised repayment plan.

    Automatic Stay Order
    As soon as you file for bankruptcy, the court will issue an automatic stay order, which ceases any creditor collection activity against you. This means that if you are late in making your mortgage payments, the automatic stay prevents your lender from continuing collection against you, unless your lender receives permission from the bankruptcy court.

    Bankruptcy Misconceptions
    There is a misconception that homeowners always lose their home during a bankruptcy case. In reality, the U.S. Bankruptcy Code provides some flexibility in avoiding foreclosure, whether you decide to file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. In order for you to maximize the benefits of declaring bankruptcy, it’s important to choose the correct bankruptcy process for your finances. For example, Chapter 7 is the best option if you have limited financial resources. Chapter 13 is a better option if you are in a more stable financial position, as it allows you to pay off most, if not all, of your debt.

    Expert Assistance
    In order to protect your home and assets, you need to understand bankruptcy law as well as procedure. For this reason, it’s best to consult with an experienced bankruptcy attorney instead of trying to handle this complicated legal process alone. Your attorney can help you decide whether a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13 petition is in your best financial interest.

    Since 1990, the bankruptcy attorneys at Cutler & Associates, Ltd. have provided quality representation to people in the Chicago area. By calling us today, we can stop collection calls, UCC 1 filings, and foreclosure proceedings. Call (847) 868-2265 to schedule a meeting at our Aurora or Schaumburg office.  

     

    Why Recent College Grads Are Filing Bankruptcy

    Last updated 9 months ago

    For many people, it’s not a surprise that financing a college education is expensive. However, most people believe that taking out student loans is a worthwhile investment because a college degree opens up doors to higher paying jobs. Unfortunately, in today’s economy, post-college salaries don’t always provide enough to cover cost of living expenses as well as student loan payments.

    As this video explains, the Institute for Financial Literacy reports that college graduates are the fastest growing group of people filing for bankruptcy protection. With monthly college loan payments up to $625, some recent college graduates simply can’t afford to pay for basic living expenses like food, rent, and transportation. Unfortunately, student loan debt isn’t dischargeable through a bankruptcy petition.

    If you’re faced with financial problems, it’s important to understand what debt is dischargeable through bankruptcy. Call (847) 868-2265 to schedule a consultation with Cutler & Associates, Ltd. of Aurora.

    Tips for Managing Your Finances After College

    Last updated 10 months ago

    The way you handle money early on in your life can set a spending pattern for many years to come. For example, if you begin relying on credit right after college, you may find yourself continuing to accumulate credit card debt for the rest of your life. For this reason, it’s important to actively build your financial future by creating a budget, improving your credit score, and paying back owed debt.

    Know your credit score

    The first time you borrow money from a lender that reports to a major credit bureau, you will generate a credit report. Most home loans, student loans, and credit card debt is reported to a major credit bureau, so you may already have a credit report in your name. Any time you wish to take out a future loan, your lender will look at your credit score to determine whether you qualify for the loan and what your interest rate should be. For this reason, it’s incredibly important to check your credit score for any errors.

    Use debt sparingly

    The biggest rule in borrowing is to never borrow more money than you can repay. If you’ve never owned a credit card, then you should begin by just taking out one card in your name. As you use your credit card, be sure to only charge what you know you can pay back. You may also want to consider building up your credit history by using a secured card, which you pay for in advance.

    Repay your debt

    Six months after you stop attending school, you need to start repaying your federal student loans. This includes your Stafford and Perkins loans. In order to ensure that you don’t miss any loan payments or benefit options, make sure that your lender knows your new address.

    If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, Cutler & Associates, Ltd. can help you understand your options. Our bankruptcy law firm has focused on Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 cases since 1990. You can reach our Aurora or Schaumburg office by calling (847) 849-1834. 

    Stuart Swanson of Cutler & Associates: Review

    Last updated 10 months ago

    • on AVVO
    • I worked with Stuart from Cutler and Associates to help me file for Chapter 7. On my first visit , Stuart made my feel at ease by his calm demeanor, thorough explanation of the entire process, and his honesty. Stuart kept me up to date on all aspects of my case and was quick to reply to my many, many e-mails, texts, and phone calls. . .. His... More

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