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7 Facts You Should Know About Filing Bankruptcy in MD

7 Facts You Should Know About Filing Ch. 7 Bankruptcy in MD

Filing Ch. 7 Bankruptcy in MD

COVID-19 is causing all types of financial problems for thousands of Maryland residents . These include unemployment, evictions, mortgage loan defaults and automobile repossessions. As a result, many people are filing Ch. 7 bankruptcy in MD to get relief from debt.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy can eliminate consumer debts, temporarily stop home foreclosures and stop creditor calls. Whether you hire a lawyer or file bankruptcy on your own, it’s a good idea to learn about the Chapter 7 bankruptcy process. Here are 7 things you should know about filing Ch. 7 bankruptcy in MD.

Completing bankruptcy courses is part of the filing Ch. 7 bankruptcy in MD requirements.

Bankruptcy filers (with a few exceptions) must take a pre-filing credit counseling course and a post-filing debtor education course. Plan to take the pre-filing counseling course before you file your forms with the Maryland bankruptcy court. The post-filing debtor education course must be taken after you file your forms. You should be aware that you won’t receive a bankruptcy discharge until you take the post-filing debtor education course.

Attending Your 341 Meeting of the Creditors is mandatory.

After you file your forms, the Maryland Bankruptcy Court will send a notice to you. This notice includes a bankruptcy case number and the date of your 341 Meeting of the Creditors. If you don’t attend this meeting, the court may dismiss your Chapter 7 bankruptcy case.

The Maryland Bankruptcy Court offers three options for paying your court filing fee.

As of September 2020, the cost to file bankruptcy in Maryland (and throughout the United States) is $335. The court fee does not include lawyer fees or bankruptcy petition preparation costs. You can pay the court filing fee in full, request a bankruptcy court fee waiver or apply to pay the bankruptcy fee in installments.

Bankruptcy fraud is a crime.

When you file Ch. 7 bankruptcy in Maryland, you must provide accurate information to the courts. If you knowingly provide false information, the courts can charge you with bankruptcy fraud. The penalty for bankruptcy fraud is imprisonment and/or monetary fines. When it comes to bankruptcy, honesty is always the best policy.

Maryland Bankruptcy Courts accept pro se bankruptcy filings.

Pro se means that you are filing bankruptcy without legal representation. When you file bankruptcy without a lawyer, you are responsible for representing yourself in all proceedings. The Maryland Bankruptcy Court accepts pro se bankruptcy filings. This means that it is legal for you to file bankruptcy in Maryland without a lawyer.

There are two bankruptcy court locations for filing Ch. 7 bankruptcy in MD.

You can file your bankruptcy at the District of Maryland – Greenbelt Division or the District of Maryland – Baltimore Division. Typically, Maryland bankruptcy filers submit their forms to the court that is closest to their residences.

The District of Maryland – Greenbelt Division serves the following counties and cities: Anne Arundel, Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Caroline, Carroll, Cecil, Dorcester, Harford, Howard, Kent, Queen Annes, Somerset, Talbot, Wicomoco and Worcester.

The District Court of Maryland – Greenbelt Division serves the following counties: Alleghany, Calvert, Charles, Frederick, Garrett, Montgomery, Prince Georges, St. Marys and Washington.

The Maryland Bankruptcy Court is open during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Maryland Bankruptcy Court is following the CDC safety guidelines for COVID-19. Although the bankruptcy clerk’s office is operational, it isn’t open to the public. However, you can submit your bankruptcy forms in the drop box or via CM/EMF for electronic filings.

Want to learn more about filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Maryland? Visit the District Court of Maryland bankruptcy site for more information.

This blog post is sponsored by Prepare My Chapter 7. We prepare Chapter 7 bankruptcy forms for people who file bankruptcy in Maryland, D.C. or Virginia (and a few other states) without a lawyer.

Explore the Prepare My Chapter 7 website to learn more about our non-attorney bankruptcy services. 

Top 10 Mistakes People Make When Filing Bankruptcy Without a Lawyer

Filing bankruptcy without a lawyer can provide relief from wage garnishments, medical bills and credit card debt. Not only can you save hundreds of dollars, you can manage your bankruptcy process.

Each year thousands of people file their Chapter 7 bankruptcy forms in Maryland, D.C. and Virginia without a lawyer. The bankruptcy courts refer to this as a pro se bankruptcy case. 

Although the bankruptcy from preparation process can be quick, Chapter 7 bankruptcy laws are complicated. This is especially true if you don’t understand how bankruptcy works. 

Thinking about filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy without a lawyer? Learn the rules so you won’t make these 10 mistakes.

Mistake #1: Ignoring Notices From the Bankruptcy Court

Final NoticeWhen you file bankruptcy, the court will send notices to your mailing address. Typically, the bankruptcy court notifies filers of upcoming meetings. You will also receive a notice if the court needs more information or is planning to dismiss your Chapter 7 bankruptcy case.

The court provides ample time to respond to the letters. In many instances, you’ll have 14 days to take action. That’s why it’s important to check and open your mail every day.

Please know that the court won’t send reminders to respond to the letters. If you don’t answer the notices, they will dismiss your case. Filing bankruptcy without a lawyer requires you to respond to the courts by the deadlines.

Mistake # 2: Missing Deadlines to Pay Installments for Filing Fees

When you file bankruptcy, you have three options to pay the filing fee. Pay it in full. Apply for a court waiver. Or pay the bankruptcy court filing fee in installments.

The best part about paying your fee in installments is you get to choose the payment dates. Once the bankruptcy judge approves your request, you make the payments on each date that you select.

Unlike your bill from the cable company, you won’t get reminders from the court. It’s up to you to make the payments on the due dates.

If you miss a payment, your trustee will file a motion to dismiss your case. Be sure to make every effort to pay your installment on time.

Mistake #3: Thinking Bankruptcy Is an Easy Process

Filing bankruptcy is serious business. The process involves different laws, procedures and deadlines. If you don’t pay attention to each step, you could make a mistake.

Some cases aren’t as complicated as others. This is especially true if you don’t own real estate or have lots of money in the bank. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy.

Mistake #4: Failing to Learn About the Process Before Filing Bankruptcy Without a Lawyer

Research Filing Bankruptcy Without a Lawyer

An experienced bankruptcy lawyer is a good person to have on your team.  You’ll have a knowledgeable professional on your team.

Can’t afford to spend thousands of dollars on a lawyer? You have the option of submitting your forms as a pro se bankruptcy filer.

Learn as much as you can if you decide to file bankruptcy without a lawyer. From NOLO to AllLaw, there are plenty of resources to guide you through the process.

Mistake #5: Getting Bankruptcy Advice From Friends and Family Members

Unless your friends and family members are bankruptcy lawyers, you shouldn’t rely on them for advice. It’s likely that they don’t have a professional knowledge of the law.

Base your decisions on advice from legal professionals and experts. Contact local legal aid societies or pro bono lawyers if you have questions. With a quick internet search, you can get access to free or low-cost legal help in Maryland, D.C. or Virginia.

 

 

Mistake #6: Not Consulting With a Lawyer Before Making a Decision to File

Discuss your situation with a bankruptcy attorney before you file. A lawyer can help you understand how bankruptcy will affect you. 

Many lawyers offer free consultations by phone or in person. Schedule an appointment to learn more about the process.

There’s no substitute for the advice of bankruptcy lawyers. They have the experience and training to give you solid advice.

 

Mistake #7: Signing and Filing Forms That They Didn't Read

Sign Forms

Even if you hire a bankruptcy form preparer to complete your forms, you are still responsible for what’s on them. That’s why you should read every form before you sign it.

Review the forms to determine that the information is correct. Forms with incorrect information can cause the bankruptcy trustee to suspect bankruptcy fraud. 

When you sign the forms, you’ll be doing so under the penalty of perjury. Your trustee will contact you – not your bankruptcy preparer – with questions about your form.

Mistake #8: Asking Their Bankruptcy Form Preparer for Help Throughout the Bankruptcy Process

Here’s what most people don’t understand about bankruptcy form preparers. We are not lawyers. That means we cannot provide any type of assistance other than filling out your bankruptcy forms.

It is illegal for your bankruptcy form preparer to assist you after you file bankruptcy. At Prepare My Chapter 7, we are happy to prepare your Chapter 7 bankruptcy forms. However, we can’t assist you throughout the process.

Bankruptcy form preparers can get into trouble by providing legal advice. Practicing law without a license is a serious offense. The United States Bankruptcy Court can fine or imprison us for providing legal guidance.

 

Mistake #9: Forgetting to Include Creditors on Their Bankruptcy Forms

Forgetful Man With Hand on His Head

The primary purpose for filing bankruptcy without a lawyer is to eliminate your debts. This will give you the fresh start that you need.

Before you file bankruptcy, you must make a list of every person or company that you owe. That way, your document preparer can include your creditors on your bankruptcy forms.

After you file, the court will notify your creditors about your bankruptcy. If you forget to include a creditor, the debt may not be discharged. You may be required to pay the bill because the creditor wasn’t notified.

Mistake #10: Not Taking the Process Seriously

Serious Looking Cat

Filing bankruptcy without a lawyer impacts your credit and other areas of your life. You shouldn’t approach bankruptcy with a carefree attitude. It is a serious procedure that requires attention to detail and commitment.

Some people don’t have successful outcomes because they aren’t serious about the process. As a result, they miss important deadlines or omit important information.

Going through a bankruptcy process requires your full attention. Take time to understand your roles and responsibilities. 

Gather important documents and submit them to the court on time. Put a hundred percent effort into the entire process.

This blog post is sponsored by Prepare My Chapter 7. We prepare Chapter 7 bankruptcy forms for people who file bankruptcy in Maryland, D.C. or Virginia (and a few other states) without a lawyer.

Explore the Prepare My Chapter 7 website to learn more about our non-attorney bankruptcy preparation services.

 

Maryland COVID-19 Business Bankruptcy Report: Which Companies Filed Bankruptcy in 2020?

 

Business Bankruptcy

The Coronavirus has disrupted economies throughout the world. From retailers to restaurants, it seems as if no one is immune to money problems.

Not only are individuals facing financial hardships, companies are filing for bankruptcy protection at an alarming rate. Here is a list of local and national companies that have filed Chapter 11 business bankruptcy in 2020.

Sur La Table Chapter 11 Business Bankruptcy Filing

Sur La Table Store

Locations in District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia: Wisconsin Avenue (DC), Towson (MD), North Bethesda (MD), McLean (VA), Arlington (VA), Alexandria (VA)

Reasons for filing: Significant amount of debt; Decreased demand for luxury home goods

Sur La Table moving forward: Closed more than 50 underperforming stores; Will continue to sell goods online, in remaining stores and conduct cooking classes

GNC Chapter 11 Business Bankruptcy Filing

GNC Store

Locations in District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia: Chappie James Blvd (DC), Tingey Street (DC), Fort Washington (MD), Clinton (MD), Oxon Hill (MD), Alexandria (MD), Andrews Joint Base (MD), Alexandria (VA – Beacon Center), Fort Belvoir (VA), Alexandria (VA – Hilltop Village), Springfield (VA), Woodbridge (VA – Potomac Mills)

Reasons for filing: Unable to refinance loans; Changes in operating environment; Decline in revenue

GNC moving forward: Close up to 1200 stores in Canada, Puerto Rico and 42 stores in the United States; Take initiatives to lower operating expenses

Brooks Brothers Chapter 11 Business Bankruptcy Filing

Men's Suits

Locations in District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia: Connecticut Avenue (DC), National Harbor (MD), Hagerstown (MD), Chevy Chase (MD), Hanover (MD), Baltimore (MD), Clarksburg (MD), Queenstown (MD), Alexandria (VA), Arlington (VA), Woodbridge (VA), McLean (VA), Leesburg (VA), Richmond (VA), Charlottesville (VA)

Reasons for filing: Decreased demand for business suits; Customers work from home and prefer a relaxed style; Failure to adapt to changing trends

Brooks Brothers moving forward: Lay off more than 700 workers; Search for a buyer for the company; Close 20% of the company’s stores; Secured $75 million to continue operations

24 Hour Fitness Chapter 11 Business Bankruptcy Filing

Man Woman Working Out

Locations in District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia: Lanham (MD), Falls Church (VA), Fairfax (VA), Vienna (VA)

Reason for filing: COVID-19 disrupted gym attendance; Forced to close gyms for months; Decline in membership

24 Hour Fitness moving forward: Secured $250 million in funding; Restructure balance sheet; Reinvest in existing clubs; Introduce new products and services

Chuck E. Cheese Chapter 11 Business Bankruptcy Filing

Chuck E Cheese's Store

Reason for filing: COVID-19 disrupted the business model; Decline in revenue; Prolonged closures due to state mandates and social distancing

Chuck E. Cheese moving forward: Close 34 locations throughout the United States; Offer carryout and delivery pizza services; Negotiate terms of existing debts

Lucky Brands Jeans Chapter 11 Business Bankruptcy Filing

Lucky Brand Jeans Store

Reasons for filing: Years of sluggish sales; Changes in consumer demand; Setbacks from the Great Recession; Multiple leadership changes; Retail industry changes

Locations in District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia: North Bethesda (MD), Annapolis (MD), Columbia (MD), Leesburg (VA), Woodbridge (VA – Potomac Mills)

Lucky Brand Jeans moving forward: Close 13 stores; Sell company to SPARC Group

Sugarloaf Craft Festivals Business Bankruptcy Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Filing

Locations in District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia: Germantown (MD)

Reasons for filing: No cash flow; Cancellations of large public gatherings; COVID-19 pandemic

Sugarloaf Craft Festival moving forward: The company closed its doors and liquidated its assets after 45 years.

Gold’s Gym International Chapter 11 Business Bankruptcy Filing

Locations in District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia: (DC – 3rd Street SW), (DC – Connecticut Avenue), Capitol Heights (MD), Upper Marlboro (MD), Bowie (MD), Lorton (VA), Woodbridge (VA), Alexandria (VA), Arlington (VA), Bailey’s Crossroad (VA), Annandale (VA), Woodbridge (VA)

Reasons for filing: COVID-19 restrictions; Social distancing requirements led to extended closures; Inability to renegotiate gym leases

Gold’s gym moving forward: Sell company via an online auction; Furlough employees; Closed 30 gym facilities

This blog post is sponsored by Prepare My Chapter 7. We prepare Chapter 7 bankruptcy forms for people who file bankruptcy in Maryland, D.C. or Virginia (and other states) without a lawyer.

Explore the Prepare My Chapter 7 website to learn more about our non-attorney Chapter 7 bankruptcy services.

Everything Is Bigger in Texas (Especially Interest Rates From Payday Loans)

Quick cash and easy money. These are the promises you’ll get from online payday lenders.

While it’s true that payday loans are easy to get, their terms can be complicated. From hidden fees to high interest rates, the payments for these loans can add up fast.

As the COVID-19 pandemic rages on, many people can’t pay their bills. So, they turn to online payday lenders for relief.

Why are payday loans so popular in Texas?

Payday loans are appealing to Texas residents for a few reasons. Unlike traditional loans, you don’t need good credit to get approved. In fact, most payday lenders don’t check your credit.

The application process doesn’t require a lot of paperwork. Just complete a short online application. A representative will call you to help you get your cash.

You can get instant approval on the phone. If approved, the lender can deposit your cash into your bank account the next business day.

In short, payday loans provide immediate relief for money problems. But these loans have a huge drawback.

The average APR for payday loans in the United States is 400%. If you live in Texas, expect to pay as much as 600% for access to quick cash from payday loans.

Unfortunately, the cost of payday loans is more than just money. Payday loans can be debt traps that lead to months of stress for the borrower.

How do high interest rates affect payday loans?

Classes about interest rates aren’t taught in school. That’s why most people don’t have a clue about how they work. When you get a loan that you don’t understand, it can lead to financial trouble.

Texas payday loans are short-term loan options. You should plan to repay the loan within 2 to 4 weeks. If not, the interest and fees will make the loan unaffordable.

Lenders calculate interest rates for payday loans using an annual rate. This is called the Annual Percentage Rate (APR). A 600% interest rate increases the amount of money that you must repay for the loan.

Before you apply for a Texas payday loan, understand how the interest affects the loan. Here’s what you’ll need to calculate the loan.

  • The amount of the finance charge or interest rate
  • The amount of money that you are borrowing
  • The length of the loan’s terms

Let’s take a look at how interest rates work. Sam has a job at a restaurant. Before COVID-19, he had full-time employment. After the pandemic, his hours are part-time.

To make ends meet, Sam decides to apply for a payday loan in Texas. These are the terms of his loan.

  • Interest rate/finance charge – 600%
  • Loan amount – $500
  • Length of payday loan – 2 months (60 days)

The approximate total that Sam will pay to borrow this money is $993. This doesn’t include loan origination, late and processing fees.

As you can tell, it doesn’t take long for payday loans to snowball into a large amount of money. That’s why you must be careful if you have to get one.

Should you get a payday loan?

It’s hard to make good decisions when desperation is running the show. On one hand, you have to take care of your basic needs. On the other, an expensive Texas payday loan can destroy what’s left of your finances. What should you do?

Carefully consider the pros and cons of a payday loan. This can help you make the right decision for you.

Pros of payday loans:

  • Easy to get
  • Quick money
  • No credit check
  • Lenders may not verify your employment status
  • Unsecured loan

Cons of payday loans:

  • Expensive
  • Hard to repay
  • Predatory lenders
  • Designed to trap low-income borrowers into a debt cycle
  • Won’t build your credit score

It’s a good idea to consider your alternatives before you sign an agreement for a payday loan. Who knows? You may qualify for a more affordable solution.

This article is provided to you by Prepare My Chapter 7. We are a debt relief agency that prepares Chapter 7 bankruptcies for people who file Chapter 7 bankruptcy without an attorney.

If you’re reading this and you are trapped in a debt cycle, we may be able to help you. Contact us at ###-###-#### for more information.

Applying for a payday loan

Applying for a Payday Loan Today? Here Are 10 Questions to Consider

Article Highlights:

  • Applying for a payday loan offers a quick and easy way to get cash in a hurry. However, these loans make it easy to get caught into a cycle of debt.
  • The Consumer Financial Protection Board doesn’t require payday lenders to determine if you can afford a payday loan.
  • Questions to consider include: Do you earn enough money to repay a payday loan? Do you have other lending options? How much will the payday loan cost you?

It’s easier than ever to get approved for a payday loan. Recently, the Consumer Financial Protection Board (CFPB) made a key change to payday loan regulations.

When you apply for a loan, payday lenders don’t have to verify if you can afford it. This is good news for many borrowers. After all, why does it have to be so hard to borrow money when you need it?

However, there are consequences for getting payday loans that you can’t repay. These include poor credit scores, civil suits and creditor harassment.

What to Consider Before Applying for a Payday Loan

Nothing is more stressful than being short on cash. This is especially true when you need a car repair or you can’t pay your rent.

Getting a payday loan seems like a good idea. It can provide immediate relief from financial stress. You won’t face the embarrassment of borrowing money from friends and family members.

Before you sign for a payday loan, take some time to think about how it will impact your future. Here are 10 questions to consider before applying for a payday loan.

1. How did you get into financial trouble?

Some money problems are caused by unexpected emergencies. Others are caused by poor decisions. Be sure to answer this question honestly. It can keep you from repeating the same actions that caused your financial troubles.

2. Can you afford to repay the loan in 2 to 4 weeks?

Payday loans aren’t intended to provide long-term financial solutions. Review your upcoming expenses and income. Determine if you earn enough money to pay your expenses and your payday loan installments.

3. Are you living paycheck to paycheck?

A recent report by CareerBuilder revealed that 80% of people live paycheck to paycheck. This means they don’t have money left from their paychecks to save after they pay expenses. If you live paycheck to paycheck, it’s likely that you can’t afford a payday loan.

4. Can you borrow money from another source?

Payday loans are expensive. It isn’t uncommon for annual interest rates to top 400%. Make a list of payday loan alternatives. Borrow money from a friend or family member. Apply for a personal loan from a bank. Sell items in your home that you don’t need. Consider other lending options before applying for a payday loan.

5. Are you willing to work extra hours (or start a side hustle) to repay the loan?

Repaying a loan on time will require you to make short-term sacrifices. This may mean taking on different jobs to earn extra money.

6. Do you have a plan to repay the money?

Many borrowers take out loans before they figure out how they are going to pay them back. This type of thinking can get you into a lot of trouble. Take some time to develop a repayment plan that fits your budget. Applying for a payday loan is the easy part. Paying for it can be challenging.

7. What are the terms of the payday loan?

Read the loan agreement carefully before you sign it. You should understand your interest rate, payment due dates and fees.

8. How will the loan affect your credit?

Most payday lenders don’t report information to Experian, TransUnion or Equifax unless you default on the loan. Be sure to ask the lender if the loan will have an impact on your credit report and FICO scores.

9. Can you cover the payments if you lose your job?

Currently, the unemployment rate in the United States is above 10%. Many people have discovered that their jobs are only as secure as the economy. It’s a good idea to reconsider the loan if you can’t repay it if you lose your job.

10. What changes will you have to make to repay the loan?

Take another look at your budget. Are there any expenses that you can eliminate until you get your finances back on track? Here are some things to consider. Get rid of cable. Cut your subscription services. Take your lunch to work. Cook your meals at home. Resist the urge to shop online.

Payday loans are available from hundreds of online lenders. But this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be careful with them. Now more than ever, it’s important to evaluate your loan options carefully before sign a loan contract for a payday loan.

Want more information about what you should think about before applying for payday loans? Check out the following resources.

Are you trapped in a cycle of payday loan debt? Prepare My Chapter 7 may be able to help if you’re thinking about filing Ch. 7 bankruptcy without a lawyer. We are a debt relief agency (not a law firm) that prepares bankruptcy forms for our customers. Contact us to see if we can help you.

7 Reasons People File Bankruptcy

7 Reasons People File Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Maryland

Reasons People File Bankruptcy Key Points:

  • Excessive medical bills account for 66% of bankruptcy filings.
  • Top 7 reasons people file bankruptcy are medical bills, divorce, unemployment, poor financial management, lack of financial planning, living paycheck to paycheck and civil judgments.
  • In 2020, more than 20,000 personal and business bankruptcy cases will be filed by Maryland residents.

Debt can be a slippery slope. One minute you’re making your monthly payments with ease. The next, creditors are harassing you about late payments.

At this moment, COVID-19 is taking a toll on the U.S. economy. Unemployment rates are higher than they have ever been in 70 years. Nearly 30 million people are facing home foreclosures or evictions in the coming months.

If you are stressed about your finances, you may be thinking about filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The reality is you are not alone. This year, nearly 20,000 people and companies will file some bankruptcy in Maryland.

What Are the Common Reasons People File Bankruptcy in Maryland?

Making the decision to file bankruptcy is hard for most people. Filing bankruptcy can cause people to feel guilty, depressed and shameful.

By the time people get to the point of considering bankruptcy, their finances are in shambles. In many instances, filing bankruptcy is their only option. Here are 7 common reasons people file bankruptcy in Maryland.

  • Medical Bills
  • Divorce
  • Lost Wages
  • Financial Mismanagement
  • Lack of Financial Planning
  • Living Paycheck to Paycheck
  • Civil Judgments

Let’s dig a little deeper into these reasons. Learning as much as you can about bankruptcy can help you make the right decision for you.

Medical Bills

It’s no secret that healthcare costs in the United States are rising. Even with insurance, people can expect to pay thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket expenses for major procedures.

Unfortunately, most people don’t have $1,000 in savings let alone a lump sum of cash to pay huge medical bills. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a debt-relief solution that can wipe out your medical bills. In fact, two-thirds of filers are forced into bankruptcy by medical bills.

Divorce

According to music legend Willie Nelson, divorces are expensive because they are worth it. The average divorce in Maryland costs $14,000 in lawyer fees. This doesn’t include property settlements, alimony and child support.

When married couples are happy, they share many expenses. This includes buying cars, homes and consumer goods on credit.

Whether couples are happy or going through a divorce, creditors still expect to get paid. During a divorce proceeding, financial responsibilities are divided. This can be hard on both spouses because they must maintain separate households and pay debts from a marriage that no longer exists.

Unemployment or a Decline in Business Income

A job provides income that you can count on every week, two weeks or month. You depend on this income to pay your rent, car payment and other bills. If you lose your job, your financial safety net goes away.

Depending on your industry and skillset, it can take months to find a job. Without savings, it’s easy to fall behind on your bills and default on loans.

Poor Spending Habits

Schools and many parents don’t teach their kids how to manage money. As a result, many people manage their finances through trial and error.

While it’s nice to wear designer clothes and take fun vacations, those expenses can add up quickly. This is especially true if you charge them on your credit card.

The most common way to mismanage money is to spend money without a budget. It’s difficult to know how you’ve spent your money when you don’t have a plan.

Big-ticket purchases such as cars and homes are other ways people mismanage their money. Sometimes, people have monthly car and mortgage payments that are too high for their incomes.

Lack of Financial Planning

Amazon is the largest online retailer in the world. Can you imagine Amazon and other large companies operating without a budget?

All major companies spend money based on an annual budget. However, only 20 percent of Americans plan how they are going to spend their income.

A budget is just one way to plan for your future. Other ways include buying life/health insurance, having a savings plan and setting aside money for retirement. Unfortunately, many people are behind in these areas.

Living Paycheck to Paycheck

Wages in the United States haven’t grown in nearly 30 years. Cars, food and houses have become more expensive. Many families can’t afford these expenses. It’s common for people to live paycheck to paycheck.

Most people count on their next paycheck to catch up on their bills every month. Financial problems can occur when they receive their paychecks late or their employers go out of business.

Living paycheck to paycheck is like stacking a long line of dominoes. One missing check can cause your finances to fall apart.

Civil Judgments, Wage Garnishments and Bank Levies

Getting a judgment from a creditor can have a negative impact on your life. Not only can a civil judgment ruin your credit, it can lead to wage garnishments and bank levies.

A civil judgment gives creditors the authority to collect payment for a debt – by any means necessary. This includes taking up to 25 percent of your paycheck or garnishing your bank account.

When it comes to money, most people have good intentions. They want to pay their bills on time and make good on their promises.

For most people, filing bankruptcy in Maryland is a last option. Unfortunately, these and other circumstances are common reasons people file bankruptcy in Maryland.

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