Personal Bankruptcy If its Unavoidable, File Now

Written by Charles Essmeier

The Bankruptcy Abuse and Consumer Protection Act, signed into law by President Bush last April, promises changes to Federal bankruptcy law that have been long sought byrepparttar lending industry. The bill promises sweeping changes to Federal law, and will make it much harder forrepparttar 150632 average consumer in financial trouble to have their debts wiped out by filing for bankruptcy. Recent trends suggest that those considering a bankruptcy filing should do so now, asrepparttar 150633 line to do so is already getting rather long.

The bill will make it harder forrepparttar 150634 average consumer to file under Chapter 7 ofrepparttar 150635 Federal code, which allowsrepparttar 150636 courts to wipe away consumer debt and giverepparttar 150637 debtor a fresh start. Filings afterrepparttar 150638 October 15 deadline will be subject to a means test and those that pass a rather generous income gauge will have to file underrepparttar 150639 more strenuous Chapter 13, which requires a repayment plan andrepparttar 150640 assistance of an attorney. Indications are that withrepparttar 150641 deadline looming, bankruptcy filings are not only higher than they were last year, but they are also higher than anticipated. Nationwide, filings are 20-25% higher than last year, and some bankruptcy attorneys say that their business has nearly doubled.

Complicating matters is another law, passed in 2003,

Identity Theft Monitor Your Credit Report

Written by Charles Essmeier

The recent security breach at credit card processor CardSystems Solutions has many consumers worried. Thanks to a well-placed computer virus, nearly forty million credit card numbers were stolen, and cardholders nationwide are justifiably concerned about identity theft. Should a thief steal your identity, he or she could run up thousands of dollars worth of debt in your name and it could take years to sort outrepparttar ensuing financial mess.

Fortunately, a relatively new tool is available to consumers to help alert them to potential fraudulent activity on their credit record. Each ofrepparttar 150625 three main credit bureaus offer a subscription-based credit monitoring program, as do numerous banks and financial institutions. Fees vary, but $50 or so per year is typical. The bureaus will notify consumers of activity conducted under their names, includingrepparttar 150626 opening of new accounts, changes of address, credit inquiries from lenders, late payments and lawsuits and liens. Notification can come inrepparttar 150627 form of e-mail or even a message to your cell phone, if you like.

Should you be notified

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