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Resolving to stay on top of financial challenges in 2015

Like many Americans, Wayne County residents are starting off 2015 with a new set of resolutions. They want to make changes in the new year, and often those changes are financial in nature. Even for those dealing with serious financial challenges, New Year's resolutions can provide an important opportunity to think about where they are, where they want to be and how to get there.

One bit of advice to keep in mind is to keep financial goals specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-sensitive -- or SMART. In other words, don't resolve just to "get out of debt" or "pay down credit card debt," for example. Those are vague goals not easily measured and without a timeline. Depending on one's debt load, they may not even be realistic.

Instead, Wayne County residents might resolve to pay off a lingering car loan, or get up to speed on mortgage payments. Car and home loans, after all, represent secured debt which cannot be discharged in bankruptcy. This means that the only way to get completely off the hook for those debts is for the bank to take back the assets securing them, i.e., repossessing the car or foreclosing on the home.

Credit card balances, on the other hand, as well as medical debt and other debts not tied to assets or property, are dischargeable in bankruptcy. They may be wiped off of one's credit history, in some cases entirely. Depending on the type of legal protection one seeks, manageable payments may be required for a certain period of time before the discharge.

Understanding how bankruptcy affects different types of debts may help Wayne County residents prioritize their finances in 2015 and set SMART goals. Another goal may be to seek counsel from a legal professional, who can provide specific information as to what to expect from the bankruptcy process.

Source: Forbes, "7 Steps to Achieve Your Financial New Year's Resolutions," Erik Carter, Jan. 2, 2015

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    Posted by MaryDecember 11, 2015

    "I am overwhelmed by your response to my call, even 10 years after my bankruptcy was discharged. You have more knowledge and expertise than I could have imagined. Because of you, my fears have been put to rest. For that, I'm so very grateful. Thank you many times over. "

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    Posted by ClientOctober 26, 2010

    "... I was extremely impressed with Charles' understanding of the bankruptcy laws to the extent that I felt certain that my best interests were always at the forefront. "

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    Posted by MarleneJanuary 8, 2014

    He helped me thru my 1st bankruptcy and now the second. I had no idea what to expect , but they kept me informed and answered all my questions. Mr. Schneider is the most experienced and knowledgeable lawyer I have ever met. If you have to file call this attorney first!

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