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Paying down your debts is not always easy. With credit cards, they can quickly add up, which means they become harder to pay down. High interest combined with paying the minimum payments each month can quickly wear you down and put you in greater debt than previously.

For people who are in significant credit-card debt, the good news is that there are ways to pay it off. How can you pay it off the fastest? The only way to know that is to look at your options. Here are a few things you can try.

1. Consolidate your debts

One of the first things you can try is consolidating your debts. The reason this works is because you're putting all the debt onto one payment. The payment may be smaller than the previous combination of payments were separately.

2. Negotiate with your creditors

Another option is to negotiate with your creditors. If you tell your creditor you can't make payments but have a lump sum that you could use to pay a large portion of your debt, that might be enough to resolve it for less. Similarly, if the credit card company has the option, they may offer to reduce your interest or forgive a late payment to give you more leeway.

3. Close your credit cards

Finally, consider closing your credit cards. If you close your cards, it will mean you can't add any more money to them, which helps you know you can pay them down without additional debt.

These are a few tips to help you resolve your debts. With the right help, you can live a financially free life.

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Most people don't think of high school students when they hear about drunk driving cases. Unfortunately, this is one of the many issues that these minors in Arkansas are facing.

Every two years, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) surveys high school students. In the most recent Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance study 1,700 students from this state were included. The results of the survey were rather troubling.

There were four areas in which Arkansas ranked first above other states. These were drunk driving, forced sexual actions, bullying on school property and suicidal thoughts. One doctor cautions people reading about the study to avoid putting too much emphasis on it since the results might be skewed since they are self-reported by the teens.

One doctor noted that a troubling aspect of the report is that the behaviors are being modeled after the parents. Children, including teens, need to have a clear understanding of what is appropriate and what consequences they will face if they don't abide by the law.

If a teen is exposed to alcohol, they should be taught that there isn't ever a time when it is acceptable to drink and drive. This is especially true for underage drivers, but shouldn't be acceptable at any time.

When young drivers are arrested for drunk driving, they are facing the stark reality of the criminal justice system. They will need to make some very pointed decisions about the direction of their defense. This can be difficult for some teens, but ignoring these charges isn't a possibility for them.

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Credit cards can provide a person purchasing power when they can't use cash or other methods. While many people are able to safely use these cards and pay them off at a reasonable rate, even small financial changes can sometimes lead to an inability to pay the bill. This leads to a need for finding a solution to the issue.

We know that you want to take care of your bills, but that circumstances aren't making this possible. You do have options that might be able to help you deal with this. One of these is that you might file for bankruptcy. We can help you learn about what this entails and what responsibilities you will have to meet.

When you file bankruptcy, you are sending a clear message to your creditors that you are trying to be responsible. This isn't an easy way to get out of paying your bills. In fact, you might soon realize that you do have to meet certain criteria along the journey, including needing to go through credit counseling and similar educational requirements.

One thing that you have to determine is which chapter of protection to file. For most consumers, this is either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. One of these is for liquidating assets and the other is for making payments to pay off a portion of your debts.

Many individuals find that the automatic stay is a huge benefit in these cases. Once you file for bankruptcy, you won't have to worry about those creditors contacting you to try to get payments. The automatic stay prevents this from occurring. If you are ready to file, we can help you get started right away.

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Personal bankruptcy is a scary prospect for many people. It is easy to think that you are letting people down when you file, but this isn't the case. Instead, your bankruptcy case is a way for you to regain control of your finances. When you file, your creditors can plan for the outcome of the case and not having the full payment that is due on your account.

One thing to remember when you are considering bankruptcy is that you will have to determine what type of case you need to file. There are two primary types of personal bankruptcies -- Chapter 7 and Chapter 13.

Chapter 7 is only for people who can pass the means test. If you don't have assets or income higher than a set limit, you can file. In this type of bankruptcy, the assets that you do have that aren't excluded from the case are liquidated to pay creditors. Once the money from that liquidation is gone, the creditors won't get more money. The case is then discharged as long as you've met your obligations in the case.

Chapter 13 is often called the wage earners plan. In this type of bankruptcy, you will make payments to the court on a set schedule. You must make these as ordered. Once you do this and comply with other requirements, your case is discharged.

In all bankruptcy cases, you must ensure that you are being fully honest with the court. Trying to hide assets or give them away so you can get them back later can lead to serious trouble. You don't need that kind of issue in your case, so keep everything on the up and up.

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When you choose a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you need to understand what liquidation bankruptcy means. You'll need to file your case with the court and pay a fee to do so. The court will ask for several things.

First, the court will want to see a schedule of liabilities and assets. It will also want a statement of your financial affairs and information on your executor contracts. List any unexpired leases and provide a schedule of your current income along with your current expenditures.

You will need to give your case's trustee a copy of your previous year's tax return and any tax returns you file during the case. You will also need to complete an official form and state all your creditors, the amount and frequency of your income, a list of your monthly living expenses and a list of your property.

If you're concerned about being harassed by your creditors, the good news is that Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases automatically start a "stay." Stays make it illegal for most types of collectors to contact you or to seek out collections from you. When a stay is in effect, you can rest assured that creditors can't continue lawsuits, garnish your wages or call you to ask for payments. If someone does contact you directly, you can refer the collector to your attorney. Your attorney can then refer the individual to the court for more information.

These are just a few things to know about bankruptcy. Starting your Chapter 7 bankruptcy is easy when these files are in order for the court.

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Marijuana decriminalization is one of the news issues that is being spoken of frequently these days. In recent days, Canada has announced a nationwide program for the legalization of this drug. Even President Trump has noted that he might be willing to look into loosening up the federal laws against marijuana.

In Arkansas, there are many different laws that apply to marijuana. For example, this state has a medical marijuana exception so that people who meet specific requirements can legally take the drug. Without a medical marijuana exception, you can be charged with a crime if you are found to be in possession of it. You can also face charges for selling, distributing or trafficking.

For the most part, courts have a wide berth for what they can do when a person is caught with small amounts of marijuana. You can face up to one year in jail for possession convictions for small amounts of drugs. Cases involving 10 pounds or more usually have mandatory minimums. Fines and other penalties are also possible, so you should find out what might happen in your case. This enables you to plan your defense strategy accordingly.

Being convicted of selling or distributing marijuana can result in a prison sentence, especially with greater quantities of the drug. For trafficking, which is possible for charges associated with 500 pounds or more of marijuana, there is a mandatory minimum sentence that will apply.

One important distinction that you need to find out about is whether your case is a felony or a misdemeanor. First offenses associated with small amounts are usually misdemeanors; however, larger quantities and subsequent offenses are usually felonies.

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Medical debts are one of the greatest issues people face in America today. There's no question that health care is difficult to afford, and in many cases, one bad bout of an illness could lead to bankruptcy or heavy debts.

Medical bills lead to systemic debt and cause bankruptcies. Fortunately, there are ways to get out of debt when you're faced with medical bills. Here are a few tips to help.

Get a bill and read it over

The first thing you should do is look at the bill to check for mistakes. It's not unusual to see someone receive charges for the same procedure or items twice. Do what you can to identify charges for services you don't recognize, then call to make sure you understand which services the charges are for.

Call your insurance company

The next thing to do is to call your insurance company to find out if the bill is covered by insurance. Sometimes, doctor's offices and hospitals bill you for services that should have been covered by insurance. Sometimes, mistakes mean you end up with a bill you're not supposed to receive.

Negotiate

Finally, take some time to negotiate. While you may wish to have your attorney do this for you, it's a wise decision to do it in any way possible. Negotiating helps you get a better rate on your medical bills, so you don't get stuck with as much debt.

These are just three tips for dealing with medical debt. There is a way out of debt with the right help.

Source: The Balance, "Tactics to Deal With Medical Debt," Latoya Irby, June 11, 2018

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Not being able to pay your bills is a tragic situation, but you do have options. When you have credit accounts that you can't make the minimum payments on, you might need to consider finding relief from the money troubles. One of the plausible options that you have is to file for bankruptcy. We can help you learn about the process so that you can embark on it with a good understanding.

Just to be clear -- filing for bankruptcy isn't an easy way out. It isn't an instant solution to your problems. The only thing that is quick about it is that an automatic stay is issued when you file. This prevents creditors from being able to contact you with demands for payments. This can help you relax some since you won't have to worry about answering the phone or checking the mail.

Before you file, you will have to go through an education program. Part of this is credit counseling that will help you discover if you have any alternatives to bankruptcy. It also lets the court know whether you do need to file or not because of the ability of the counselor to look for other solutions.

Once you file, you will still have to do more work. On top of the normal hearings about your bankruptcy, you will also have to go through another education program. This one is a bit different from the first and is meant to help you budget your money and learn how to use credit wisely.

We understand that this a hard spot to be in. We can help you find ways to alleviate the debts that are crushing you.

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Many people who are facing drug charges worry about what life will be like in prison. Some of them assume that they will head straight there upon conviction. This isn't always the case. It is possible that some people who are facing less serious drug charges, such as possession charges, might be eligible for drug court.

The drug court program is one that was started in Florida in 1989. The purpose of this program is to allow people who have a problem with addiction to get the treatment that they need to overcome the addiction so they won't need the drugs in the future.

There are many different facets to the drug court program. From a punishment aspect, there are many requirements that the person will have to follow. These include things like keeping out of trouble, passing frequent and random drug tests and holding a job. These can all work together to help put the person on the right track when he or she is out of drug court.

When you go through drug court, you will have access to some of the tools that can help you to live sober. Inpatient treatment options and community support groups are two that might be used. If you have to go through these, you will be told how often you need to do them. This is to help you remain accountable even on the days when you don't go to see your supervision officer.

Not everyone who has a drug charge will qualify for drug court. If you are considering this option, you need to make sure that you know the qualifications and find out if you meet them.

Source: Drug War Facts, "Drug Courts & Treatment Alternatives to Incarceration," accessed June 08, 2018

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Hatfield Harris, PLLC | Rogers Bankruptc.. by On Behalf Of Chris Harris Of Hatfie.. - 1M ago

Debt has not always been a major part of the American identity, but in 2017, it certainly was. American's total credit card debt grew substantially in 2017, reaching $931 billion, estimates confirm. That's around 7 percent higher than in previous years.

Households carrying debt tend to have around $15,983 in debt on credit cards, while homes with mortgages and other debts usually have an average of $133,568. It's an unfortunate truth, but spending has outpaced increases in income in many different sectors, making it harder to live comfortably on less.

The good news is that household income growth is starting to catch up. Much of the growth in credit debt is also attributed to unnecessary spending, a habit that Americans could cut back on if they suddenly found themselves needing to pay down their balances.

On credit cards, the average owed in an household is $15,983 and $931 billion on average for the nation. Mortgages are $178,037 on average accounting for $8.88 trillion in debt nationwide. Overall, the United States consumers have around $13.15 trillion in debt, with auto loans, student loans and mortgages making up the most of them.

The median annual income has risen by around 20 percent in the last decade, which is good news when you consider the 18 percent increase in the total cost of living. Medical care, food and housing have grown faster than income, though, making it harder to obtain these items at the same wages as in the past. This is something that needs to be addressed, especially with some Americans finding themselves struggling with debt.

Source: NerdWallet, "2017 American Household Credit Card Debt Study," Erin El Issa, accessed June 01, 2018

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