Consumers in Virginia and around the country pay more than $100 billion in credit card fees and interest each year according to figures from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. That figure looks certain to rise in the years ahead as the U.S. Federal Reserve pushes interest rates higher to keep inflation under control. The central bank has already increased borrowing costs twice in 2018, and two more rate hikes have been promised. Experts say that these increases will cost American consumers $110 billion in additional credit card fees and interest.
Mortgage, auto loan and credit card debts are among those that Virginia residents and others may be entitled to discharge in bankruptcy. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case, assets are liquidated with the money used to repay creditors. It is important to note that not all assets are liquidated as individuals are allowed to keep whatever they need to get to work or otherwise earn a living.
According to a recent study, the delinquency rate on store-branded credit cards is spiking. The study indicates that the delinquency rate consumers in Virginia and throughout the country are facing is currently at a seven-year high. This could be bad news for consumers as it might portend an increase in household debt.
Virginia residents had an average of $7,161 in credit card debt in 2017. This was according to a report from Experian that looked at how Americans used their credit cards. The national average was $6,354 person, and Alaska had the highest average balance at $8,515. While many people use credit cards to obtain perks and rewards, some believe that it isn't worth doing so. This is because some people keep a balance on their cards each month.
From its location in Virginia, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has overturned a lower court decision about stripping liens in Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases. The appeals court ruled that no proofs of claim were necessary to strip a wholly unsecured lien.
While Virginia residents may be enjoying the benefits of a strong economy, that strength could be partially because of increased credit card spending. According to the New York Federal Reserve, household debt was $13.15 trillion in the final quarter of last year. Most of that debt is made up of mortgages, but credit card debt also rose significantly from the third quarter of 2017 to the fourth quarter of 2017.
Bankruptcy might seem like the right solution for some people in Virginia who are struggling with debt. People might file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharges all allowable debts. A Chapter 13 allows a person to work out a payment plan in which some debts may be paid off. However, there are some types of debt that cannot be discharged, and tax liabilities may be among them.
People in Virginia who have credit card balances or other debts can find out how their debt compares to the state average and the averages across American by taking a look at Experian's State of Credit report for 2017. The report discloses the average debt in every state and the country as a whole. It also breaks the information down into categories, like credit card debt and mortgages and student loans, and includes several other facts and figures.
Far too many people in Virginia struggle with the devastating impact of overwhelming debt that seems impossible to repay. The accumulation of late fees, interest charges and other costs can leave individuals searching for a solution to their financial crises. While bankruptcy can offer hope for the future and an ability to escape from these unpayable debts, many people refrain from filing out of fear of what bankruptcy could mean for their future financial lives and health.
People in Virginia who are carrying a lot of credit card debt are not alone. According to a report by WalletHub, in 2017, credit card debt increased throughout the country by $92.2 billion. A Federal Reserve estimate says the total owed in credit card debt is over $1 trillion.