Blog Archive

Your divorce has been finalized, marital assets have been divided and any remaining marital debt allocated to the respective spouse.  In a perfect world, you could shut the door on that chapter of your life and move on.  BUT life isn’t perfect and the assignment of debt repayment to your ex-spouse does not mean that you are free from owing the debt.

Debt Repayment

Your divorce settlement terms are between you and your spouse.  The settlement may have assigned the repayment of the debt to one spouse but that did not change the creditor’s right to collect a joint debt.  The creditor may address their collection efforts to both debtors until the debt is repaid, refinanced or resolved.

Credit Score

Marital debt will remain on credit reports for both spouses until the debt is resolved.  Late payments by the spouse that is assigned debt responsibility will be reflected on the credit reports of both individuals.

Are you struggling to pay creditors…tired of creditors calling…worried about your credit score?  Contact Mills Law to discuss your situation with one of our attorneys: (919)934-7235

Hidden Cost of “Rent to Own” and “0% Financing” Purchases

The allure of a shiny car or a beautifully furnished home can make the low monthly payment options of “Rent to Own” and “0% Financing” appear to be an affordable, quick and easy purchase decision.   Here is what you need to know about purchase plans:

  • Rent to Own purchase plans allow consumers to “purchase” items and pay for them over long periods of time. The rental payment periods often extend past the useful life of the item.  Buyers can find themselves burdened with rental payments on an item that has little value or may no longer perform the function for which it was purchased.   “Rent to Own” payment plans are often offered on overpriced products.  This repayment plan results in an expensive purchase for the buyer and a large profit for the financing company.
  • 0% Financing purchase plans allow consumers to buy now and pay later without incurring interest charges.  For the consumer, the purchase now and pay later option can be very tempting.  Unfortunately, many individuals are not able to adhere to the rigorous repayment schedule set forth in the purchase contract.  The business is playing the “odds” that the buyer will not always make the monthly payment on time or payoff the account before the 0% financing period expires.    Suddenly the buyer’s great “deal” on the purchase became an expensive purchase.

These financing options combined with high pressure sales tactics may influence buyers to purchase items that they would not otherwise be able to afford.  Unexpected life events can quickly change a buyers’ financial situation turning that low monthly payment into a crippling financial burden that can create painful budgeting and financial distress for years to come.

For more information read these articles….

Rent to Ownhttp://www.ncdoj.gov/Consumer/Purchases-and-Contracts/Rent-to-Own.aspx

0% Financing:   https://www.nbcnews.com/business/consumer/when-buy-now-pay-later-ends-costing-you-more-much-n690256

Car Lease Informationhttps://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0056-financing-or-leasing-car

In our Bankruptcy Law practice, we help families and individuals suffering emotional and financial distress due to purchase repayment programs.  If you are financially struggling to make ends meet, the Attorneys at Mills Law can offer options for financial relief.    

Call Mills Law today to schedule your FREE consumer debt consultation (919)934-7235.

Bankruptcy gives many people the opportunity for a financial fresh start.   When you work with us, we review your financial situation, look at the options that are available and determine the course of action that best addresses your financial situation.  For many people that is filing Chapter 7, for others it may be Chapter 13 and finally some people are not well served by the bankruptcy process.

After your free initial consultation you will be required to take the means test.  The Means Test is a tool that the Bankruptcy court uses to determine if you qualify to file Chapter 7 Bankruptcy.   This test uses a complex formula to compare your income, expenses and family size to the median income of similar North Carolina households.

For income levels below state median you will qualify for Chapter 7.  Even if your income is above the state median income you may still qualify for Chapter 7 after a detailed analysis of your financial situation.  For people with income above the state median income Chapter 13 may be an option to provide considerable debt relief.

Call our office to schedule your free Consumer Bankruptcy consultation.

When preparing for you free consultation with Mr. Mills, please bring the following documents to help us better understand your picture. If you can’t find all of these items, don’t let that discourage you from coming in. Often we can provide guidance on where this information can be obtained:

  • The most recent bill or statement from each creditor
  • All letters from collection agencies or lawyers
  • Any papers relating to a lawsuit
  • The past 6 months of paystubs
  • The past 2 years of tax returns
  • State ID (such as a driver’s license) and your Social Security card
  • A list of real estate and automobiles you own

Although this is not a complete list of what’s needed should you choose to pursue bankruptcy, it serves as a starting place to help us make an initial analysis of how we can provide the help you need.

Three major benefits come from bankruptcy. The first is the automatic stay, a federal court order that takes effect as soon as your bankruptcy case is filed. It prohibits your creditors (the people you owe money to) from calling or harassing you, suing you, repossessing anything or foreclosing on your home, or any other actions to collect a debt from you. They have to leave you alone.

The second benefit is the ability to claim exemptions. Exemptions represent certain types of property you can keep even though you’ve filed bankruptcy. These exemptions, in most cases, cover all the assets you own, meaning that in most cases you won’t lose any assets.

The third benefit is the discharge itself—the forgiveness of debt that bankruptcy provides to honest debtors—those that fully, accurately, and honestly disclose everything they own and everything they owe to the Bankruptcy Court.

Although these are the Big Three benefits that come from bankruptcy, there are many others—peace of mind, the ability to sleep at night, improvement of credit scores, the freedom to answer the telephone without fear that it’s another debt collector. Other, more technical benefits may also be obtained from a bankruptcy filing, like voiding certain kinds of judgments and liens against your property, and Mills Law knows how to use them to obtain the fresh start you need.

A bankruptcy discharge gets rid of most typical debts, including:

  • Credit card bills
  • Medical bills
  • Personal loans
  • Some taxes
  • Lawsuits
  • Business debt
  • Deficiency claims (debts left over after repossession or sale of a car, home, or other property)

Occasions also exist when bankruptcy will allow you to reduce the amount you owe on your cars and other personal property.

This is not a complete list. We can help identify those debts that will be extinguished by a bankruptcy discharge.

Bankruptcy will not get rid of all types of debt.  These debts are referred to as non-dischargeable debts because you will continue to owe them after your bankruptcy case is over.

Some debts that will survive the bankruptcy include:

  • Most taxes
  • Most student loans
  • Child support and alimony
  • Debts arising from fraud or shortly before you file bankruptcy

This is not a complete list. We will help identify which debts may be forgiven, and those that will remain, based on your personal case.

David F. Mills of Mills Law Firm is now serving as head of the Stubbs Bankruptcy Clinic for Campbell Law School.  Mills’s term began December 1, 2014 and continues to this day.

The Stubbs Bankruptcy Clinic is charged with providing students a unique experience in bankruptcy law as it tackles cases referred by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court and Legal Aid of North Carolina.

Mills, a double Camel, received both his undergraduate and graduate degree from Campbell University. He has been active with the school for years. He represents clients in a wide range of bankruptcy matters, including assisting North Carolina farmers with Chapter 12 bankruptcy and related claims.

For more information, visit the Campbell Law News website.

The first step toward your fresh start is to call Mills Law and schedule your free consultation. You’ll need to bring certain information (see “What to Bring to the First Meeting”). During this appointment you’ll meet with David Mills to talk about your concerns, goals, and the details of your financial situation. Based on your assets, liabilities, income and your objectives, we’ll help you decide whether bankruptcy is right for you and, if so, what type (or chapter) of bankruptcy will most help you.

At this point you’ll receive a list of additional information to gather and an outline of the steps needed in order to prepare for bankruptcy filing. We’ll also discuss the cost of the bankruptcy case so that you can make an informed decision.

Once you’ve provided all the needed information we can prepare the required documents for Bankruptcy Court, which you will carefully review to make sure everything is accurate, truthful, and complete. Once you’ve finished this step, your case gets filed.

At that point, the automatic stay stops your creditors from calling, writing, or trying to collect from you. The court appoints a trustee to oversee your case and sets up a meeting between you and this trustee. Rest assured you won’t be alone as Mills Law will be with you each and every step along the way. Mr. Mills will attend this meeting where the trustee will ask you a series of questions to make sure the information you’ve provided is honest and accurate.

Once you complete the requirements of the Bankruptcy Court, you’ll receive the discharge, which is the forgiveness of debt, and your case will soon be closed allowing your life to move forward with a clean slate.

If you’ve been making a lot of late payments, or not paying some debts at all, then your credit score has probably already taken a hit, and there’s likely nowhere to go from here but “up.”  Bankruptcy will show up on your credit report for up to 10 years, but ask yourself how long it will take you to dig out of the financial hole you’re in if you don’t file? Getting your debts forgiven in bankruptcy can give you some breathing room and a chance to finally get your feet back on solid ground.


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