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Lisle Legal Issues Blog

New debt collection rules on the way

Debt, most people have it. Some are able to manage it, and others may find themselves in so deep that they are dealing with debt collectors seeking payment. Currently, there are debt collection rules in place that protect Illinois residents from collector harassment. Those rules are about to change and not for the better.

According to a recently published article, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is set to release new collection guidelines in a matter of weeks. The coming changes will be the first revisions to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act to occur in over four decades. Debt collectors are all for the changes, while others fear the updated rules will allow collectors to engage in consumer harassment.

Chapter 7 and the state of the average person's finances

There are a lot of Illinois residents who are struggling to make it financially. Their debt obligations continue to grow, and few know the best way to address the problem -- such as seeking relief through a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, among other things. Recently, a debt relief company asked 2,000 adults what the current state of their finances are and what they would give up if it meant helping them get out of debt. Here is what they had to say.

According to the survey, more than half of the participants claimed to have credit card balances that they carry month to month. The large majority of participants, 72 percent, in fact, have less than $1,000 in savings to cover an emergency. Nearly half of those surveyed claim that it is the daily expenses that are killing them financially; though, plenty of people do carry student loans, auto loans and medical debt, which does not help their situations.

Illinois estate planning: Protect children with a trust

Being a parent is one of the toughest jobs in the world. The vast majority of parents in Illinois and elsewhere just want to do their best to make sure their children are loved and protected. Unfortunately, many parents fail to put plans in place that will protect their children in the event that they are no longer around to care for them. A trust can, if written and funded properly during the estate planning process, safeguard one's children and their future.

What is it about a trust that can do this? When assets are placed in a certain type of trust, they are highly protected from legal claims or creditors. What type of trust is needed to accomplish this? An irrevocable trust.

Being in debt affects one's mental health

There are a lot of things in life that can affect one's mental health. Numerous people may not really think about it, but debt is one of those things. When money is tight, when creditors are calling, when it seems like there is no relief in sight, it can all take a toll on one's mental well-being. The results of a new study regarding this topic were just recently released, and the findings may be of interest to some Illinois residents.

The Social Service Research Centre, which is located at the National University of Singapore, decided to look at how reducing debt would improve a person's mental burden. Many people contribute debt to personal failings, but the simple truth is, so many things can cause a person to fall into debt and stay there. The problem with debt is that most people with it struggle to motivate themselves to get out of it. Why? Being in debt, according to the study, lowers a person's ability to make good decisions; it also has been shown to impair psychological functioning.

Tips for rebuilding credit after bankruptcy

When you file for bankruptcy, you likely do so in an effort to eliminate overwhelming debt and get your financial affairs back on track. While filing for bankruptcy can help many people accomplish this, it can also impact the credit of those who file, and if you are among them, it would serve you well to start rebuilding your credit after your bankruptcy filing so that you can, one day, secure loans, credit cards and so on.

So, just how might you go about rebuilding your credit after bankruptcy, and what types of steps can you take to speed up the process?

National Credit Card Reduction Day; yes, it really exists

National holidays are plentiful, and it seems that more pop up every year. In March alone, there is National Pi Day, National Mom and Pop Business Day and National American Diabetes Association Alert Day -- among many others. Most people do not even know that all of these national holidays exist. There is one in particular that is relevant to this column that many Illinois residents have probably never heard of, and that is National Credit Card Reduction Day. 

According to a recently published article, this debt awareness holiday falls on March 21. It may have come and gone quickly and without notice, but it does exist. Why is this a thing? It is likely because most individuals and families in the United States are carrying a significant amount of credit card debt, and they need to learn how to tackle it.

Chapter 13 can help one deal with debts that are supposedly good

Ever hear debt referred to as good? There are certain types of debts out there that are labeled good while others are labeled bad. At the end of the day, even those good debts can cause problems for Illinois residents who find themselves in a bad financial way. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy, if approved, can help make it easier to pay down debt, regardless if it is thought of as good or bad.

What is considered good debt? Good debt is any type of financial account that will build up one's credit. A financial planner quoted in a recently published article called this type debt: that which creates future opportunity. A few examples of good debts include mortgages, student loans and auto loans. Bad debt, debt that creates future problems include excessive credit card debt, payday loans, tax debt and costs incurred for elective medical procedures.

Estate planning necessary if you want to leave assets to your pet

Have a pet that is more than a pet but a member of the family? Many Illinois residents in this position want to make sure that these special family members are taken care of long after their owners pass away. Guess, what? Through the estate planning process, it is possible to ensure one's pet ends up in a good place and has what it  needs.

The idea of leaving assets to a pet is not new. It has become a topic of conversation, though, over the last few weeks when it was revealed that a famed designer supposedly left millions to his cat. Karl Lagerfeld was well-known to the fashion world. He died in February, leaving behind an estate valued at roughly $200 million. His cat is named a partial beneficiary of the estate.

Residential real estate transactions: Ready to sell your house?

If you are ready to sell your house, you may consider doing it yourself or you may decide to hire a realtor. No matter how you go about it, know that residential real estate transactions in Illinois and elsewhere are not just about how much money sellers will get out of it in the end. These are legal transactions and if they are not handled the right way, sellers could be left exposed to some serious legal trouble. Legal counsel can help you protect yourself and your interests as you move forward with the sale of your home.

Selling a home can be a difficult thing. If you try to do it on a for-sale-by-owner basis, you may be unfamiliar with local real estate laws and you may end up with contract terms that are not truly to your benefit. Legal counsel can help you draw up a contract of sale that protects you and ensures the terms of the sale are compatible with local real estate laws.

3 credit card debt myths to ignore

Credit card debt affects people from all walks of life. A recent report from Fox News revealed that the average American consumer has over $5,000 in credit card debt. 

Many people end up doing more harm than good when attempting to get their finances back on track due to the litany of myths that persist around debt. To have a more secure financial future, you need to ignore the following common pieces of advice and correct anyone who tells them to you. 

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Lynch Law Offices, P.C.
1011 Warrenville Road
Suite 150
Lisle, IL 60532

Phone: 630-761-5274
Fax: 888-691-8337
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