Fertility Treatments: Another Reason To Tackle Your Debt Problems
Nowack & Olson PLLC | Bankruptcy Law Blog
by Jay Butchko
2d ago
Tabloids news sites are full of stories about celebrities welcoming babies by surrogacy, and wannabe celebrities post images and videos on social media, depicting their fertility journeys, from the litany of clomiphene side effects to the now-cliched image of a woman looking askance at a needle as she prepares to give herself the first of a seemingly endless series of injections during an IVF cycle.  By now, millennials can hear their biological clicks even over the cacophony of debt that has been following them around since early adulthood.  While most people cannot afford to follow ..read more
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Can You Borrow Money While In Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?
Nowack & Olson PLLC | Bankruptcy Law Blog
by Jay Butchko
2d ago
If chapter 7 bankruptcy feels like getting a clean slate, chapter 13 bankruptcy feels more like running the gauntlet.  You don’t get your debts discharged until after you complete your payment plan, which can range from three to five years.  It is a lot like being obligated to make payments on your debts as you were before your bankruptcy filing, except that now you have a bankruptcy trustee meddling in your business.  Your trustee’s goal is to ensure that you keep making payments.  This means that, when new expenses arise, you and the bankruptcy trustee should work togethe ..read more
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Pet Store Loans Are Predatory Lending At Its Worst
Nowack & Olson PLLC | Bankruptcy Law Blog
by Jay Butchko
2w ago
In certain parts of South Florida, you are never fully dressed without a Labradoodle strutting by your side or a miniature schnauzer in your bicycle basket.  Of all the expensive status symbols you see on display, the pedigreed dogs are the ones that it is hardest for frugal and status-unconscious curmudgeons to hold a grudge about.  Sure, it feels just as good when a mutt that you adopted from a shelter greets you at the door when you come home from work as when an expensive purebred dog greets you, but none of this excess is the fault of the bright-eyed German shepherd in the diamo ..read more
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When To Borrow A Personal Loan And When Not To Borrow One
Nowack & Olson PLLC | Bankruptcy Law Blog
by Jay Butchko
2w ago
If you are in debt, and almost everyone is, you probably open your mailbox every day to find it full of advertisements for personal loans.  Don’t be so quick to fall for those loan offers that flood your mailbox, though.  Some of them are outright scams, despite recent regulatory efforts to stop false advertising in the financial products industry.  Even if the loans give you the interest rates that the advertisements promise, you should think twice about whether you need the money.  Don’t borrow money unless you are sure you need it, especially when you will have to pay it ..read more
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How Bad Is It That Credit Card Balances Are 15 Percent Higher Than Last Year?
Nowack & Olson PLLC | Bankruptcy Law Blog
by Jay Butchko
2w ago
“Pay off your credit card balance in full every month” ranks highly among the most naïve pieces of financial advice most of us have ever heard, right up there with, “If you bring coffee from home instead of stopping at Starbucks on the way to work, soon you will have saved enough money for a down payment on a house,” and “Buy designer clothing that never goes out of style instead of buying new clothes as fashion trends change.”  Most of us do not charge purchases on a credit card if we have enough money in our bank accounts to cover the purchase amount; if we did, we would just pay with a ..read more
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Old Year’s Resolutions Can Help You Save Money On Taxes
Nowack & Olson PLLC | Bankruptcy Law Blog
by Jay Butchko
3w ago
The time to panic about being able to afford holiday celebrations comes and goes quickly; soon it will be Divorce Monday, the first business Monday of the year.  Even if you are single or if you and your spouse are committed to honoring your vow to stay together for better or worse, the transition from New Year’s to just another new year means that taxes will be due soon.  An optimist would say that, if you owe taxes to the IRS, you should count your blessings, because it means you earned a substantial amount of money.  It is hard to be that kind of optimist as 2022 draws to a c ..read more
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How To Avoid An Unaffordable Car Payment
Nowack & Olson PLLC | Bankruptcy Law Blog
by Jay Butchko
3w ago
When friends from obscenely expensive cities like New York, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. visit you in South Florida, they might admire the apparently simple life we lead here in the Sunshine State, but they are not seeing the whole picture.  In the urban centers and inner suburbs of the nation’s wealthiest metropolitan areas, you can commute to work on the train, subway, trolley, or bus, but the public transportation routes in South Florida are very limited.  It simply isn’t practical to live without a car in South Florida.  If you asked your friends and family to give yo ..read more
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Have Your Debt Problems Reached Crisis Levels?
Nowack & Olson PLLC | Bankruptcy Law Blog
by Jay Butchko
3w ago
Before you set your financial goals for the new year, it is time for some debt triage.  Paying your debt down to zero by 2024 is an appropriate New Year’s resolution for someone who is new to debt, but you have been trying to pay down your debts since 1993, and they only keep getting bigger, so it would be naïve to think that you can make them all disappear within one year.  Now that a large percentage of Americans with household incomes in excess of $100,000 live paycheck to paycheck, it is a more realistic goal to get through 2023 without your total amount of debt getting bigger.&n ..read more
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Predatory Lending Is Not Just About High Interest Rates
Nowack & Olson PLLC | Bankruptcy Law Blog
by Jay Butchko
1M ago
The first thing that comes to mind when most consumers think of predatory lending is payday loans, since those loans have astronomically high interest rates, and they typically advertise to consumers who have no other access to credit; many borrowers of payday loans do not even have bank accounts, and qualifying for a credit card is far out of their reach.  Predatory lending is not just about high interest rates or about capitalizing on consumers’ lack of options, though.  Risky loans that are easy to qualify for, from payday loans to buy now pay later (BNPL) have remained popular fo ..read more
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How To Stay Out Of Trouble With Buy Now Pay Later
Nowack & Olson PLLC | Bankruptcy Law Blog
by Jay Butchko
1M ago
Buy now pay later (BNPL) entered the popular lexicon at around the same time as social distancing and Zoom fatigue, but it is not a new concept.  If you are old enough that you ever had to watch episodes of a comedy or drama series on television instead of bingeing it on Netflix or skipping past the commercials on YouTube, then you remember those noisy TV commercials that would always come on in May, right around the time that tax refunds would show up.  Car dealerships would urge consumers to buy a new vehicle with no money down and no accumulating interest (or perhaps even no payme ..read more
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