What is "debt consolidation"

Basics
- Bankruptcy Basics - (Basics)
  • How Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Works
    How Chapter 7 bankruptcy can help you cancel your debts, protect your exempt property, and stop bill collectors.
  • What are the different kinds of bankruptcy?
    This site focuses on Chapter7 and Chapter 13. But there are also chapters 11, 12, 9, and 15
  • Glossary of Important Bankruptcy Terms
    From Adversary proceeding to Wage garnishment
  • Do I qualify for bankruptcy?
    To qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you must pass the means test, which compares your household income to the median income in your state for a household your size.
  • Secured debt vs. unsecured debt: What's the difference?
    Bankruptcy helps you get rid of unsecured debt. It does not eliminate secured debts, where you have pledged collateral for a loan, such as a car loan or a mortgage. When you file bankruptcy you must declare what you intend to do about your secured debts.
  • Do I need a lawyer to file for bankruptcy?
    The law does not require to have a lawyer, and if your case is simple and you have few assets, you can successfully file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy yourself. Chapter 13? Not so much. And if you have property to lose, or you're not great with details, getting a lawyers help can be a good idea, no matter what kind of bankruptcy you're filing. Also a lawyer may find ways to help that you haven't' thought of
  • Where do I file for bankruptcy?
    Bankruptcy is federal law and you file in the local Federal District Bankruptcy Court. Find out yours.
  • Can I get free bankruptcy forms?
    The US government makes PDF bankruptcy forms available for free. We'll tell you which ones you need and links to download them.
  • What are bankruptcy exemptions?
    Asset protection is an important benefit of bankruptcy. Exemption laws are the laws that let you protect certain assetss from creditors. Every state has different exemptions. Some states allow you to use the federal exemptions.
  • Do I have to get credit counseling before I file for bankruptcy?
    Yes. You must complete a credit counseling course before you file your bankruptcy petition. Fortunately, it's easy and can be done online. And your case cannot be completed (i.e. you can't get your "discharge order" from the judge until you take a "Debtor Education" course.
  • What is a 341 hearing (creditors meeting)?
    Everyone who files for bankruptcy must attend a 341 hearing, which is also called a "creditors meeting." The meeting is conducted by the bankruptcy trustee assigned to your case. During the Coronavirus, it. can be done by phone.
Filing Means Test Exemptions Courts
- Bankruptcy Lawyers Serving My Zip Code - (Lawyers)
- Bankruptcy & the Coronavirus Recession - (COVID-19)
- Bankruptcy News - (News)
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What is "debt consolidation"

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Debt consolidation is the practice of taking out one large loan to pay off a bunch of smaller debts that are charging higher interest.

Debt consolidation may or may not be a good idea, depending on your situation. Lower interest is a good thing, but turning unsecured debts (like credit card bills) into secured debts (like a home equity loan) can be a costly mistake if you eventually file bankruptcy anyway. Unsecured debts can often be eliminated in bankruptcy, while most secured debts cannot. If you can't pay your secured debt -- or if the payments are late -- you may lose your home.

Also, the fees for setting up such loans can be expensive.


Automatically apply your county expense standards and state income standards to your means test calculation.

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