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Massachusetts Consumers’ Financial Knowledge

A Massachusetts bankruptcy lawyer is asked to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy for his client, but also to provide financial education. In a study undertaken by the financial industry’s education arm, the Investor Education Foundation ,a survey in all 50 states revels some interesting facts about Massachusetts consumers verses the rest of the nation. For example, of the five financial literacy questions, Massachusetts’s residents answered 3.1 of them correctly; the national average was 3 questions answered correctly.
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Massachusetts Consumers Rebuild FICO Credit Score

Bankruptcy lawyers in Massachusetts often get asked how to rebuild credit after bankruptcy. We have pointed to numerous ways in the past, and on our website there is a section on Life After Massachusetts Bankruptcy. One way to jump start enhancing your score is to find a helpful bank or credit union; one that will give you a credit card. CreditCardConnection.org seems to have attracted a lot of attention. Essentially, they find a local credit union for you. These are not commercial banks, but nonprofit membership organizations.
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Credit Cards Being Paid Off

Bankruptcy consumers are hopeful in the new credit statistics. According to the Federal Reserve, US consumers total credit card debt is shrinking. Revolving credit, also known as credit card debt, was reduced each of the first three quarters, and through October, in 2010. However, this is likely because banks are tightening approval of credit card debt for individuals and small businesses, according to a Federal Reserve study.
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Massachusetts Consumers Win Lower Debit Card Fees

Until the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau kicks in, the Federal Reserve remains in charge of credit and debit card regulations. In new regulations proposed by the Fed, the swipe fees on debit card transactions have been reduced by 84%. Massachusetts bankruptcy lawyers and consumer lawyers see this as a victory for consumers because merchants will be able to lower fees to customers who use debit cards.
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Creating a Budget After Bankruptcy in Massachusetts

Many of our Massachusetts bankruptcy clients ask us, how do we do it right this time? How can we budget so that we don’t end up this way again? We have searched numerous books and blogs and there is ample information out there for creating budgets following bankruptcy. Perhaps the most important thing is to be totally devoted to making it work. Change your money management habits in order to avoid bankruptcy.
The experts all seem to agree on several points:

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Massachusetts Holiday Season Expected to be Better in 2010 Due to Credit

Boston bankruptcy lawyer Neil Burns reveals that credit issuers reported a decline in the number of credit card holders who are delinquent, indicating strength in the upcoming black Friday and the holiday season. The Wall Street Journal compiled official filings from banks which show a decline in loan delinquency rates, especially credit card rates, to the lowest in 2010.
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FTC Debt Relief Rules Start Today for Massachusetts Consumers

The Federal Trade Commission’s new rules aimed at protecting consumers with credit card debt starts today. This is following a federal investigation that found fraud and deception of vulnerable consumers. Massachusetts consumers seeking relief from credit card bills will benefit from the new regulations aimed at debt relief companies but may still want to consider consulting with a Massachusetts Bankruptcy lawyer before signing up. The so called “debt relief agencies” are now required to disclose all fees and their refund policies based on actual expected results. Debtors must be given a “good faith estimate” of the time it will take to complete their debt relief program. In addition, the companies are required to inform debtors of the negative impact on their credit score. Most importantly perhaps is that the companies advertisements must be accurate with respect to how much savings their clients received.
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Massachusetts Consumers Buying Homes After Bankruptcy or Foreclosure

Our chapter 7 bankruptcy clients often ask how, if ever, they can buy a home after they have filed for federal bankruptcy protection. First of all, we counsel our clients to rebuild credit scores. Second, we address the Fannie Mae rules and regulations. Those rules clearly state that credit histories that includes a bankruptcy “represent a higher credit risk” however, “this does not mean that the borrower’s credit will not be acceptable.” They are looking for current outstanding debt, following the bankruptcy, four years time (absent “extenuating circumstances”), and reestablished credit. The regulations are not hard to comply with for many of our clients.
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