• Is Your New Job Making it Harder to Pay Bills?

    On September 12, 2012, the US Census Bureau released a report that further indicated the number of American families still struggling after the Great Recession. As noted in this PBS NewsHour video, roughly 46 million Americans are now living poverty, median household income slid for the second year to $50,000-the lowest level since the mid-1990s-and earnings fell 2.5 percent.

    At the end of August, a CNNMoney story began, “Sure, the economy is adding jobs these days … but most of those positions pay pretty poorly.” CNN said that a report from the National Employment Law Project showed 58 percent of the jobs created during the recovery have been low-wage positions, such as “retail salespeople, food prep workers, laborers and freight workers, waiters and waitresses, personal and home care aides, office clerks and customers representatives.” Many of these low-wage jobs pay less than $13.83 an hour, and the adjustment is additionally difficult for the 60 percent of Americans who lost previous jobs during the economic downturn that had been classified as mid-wage.

    Have you been struggling to make your mortgage payment ever since accepting a lower-paying job? Has making less led you to accumulate so much credit card debt that it has become unmanageable? Filing Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy could help you discharge unsecured debt or create a plan to pay back secured debt with respect to your current wages and cost of living. Our Chicago bankruptcy lawyers can tell you all of your options when you fill out the form located on this page or contact our firm at (866) 930-7482.

    Benjamin Brand Services – Chicago bankruptcy lawyers

  • Record Number of Americans Living in Poverty

    While the Census Bureau reported that there are 46.6 million people, or 15.1 percent of Americans, living poverty in 2010 under the decades-old official measure that considers only food costs and before-tax income, a new formula is trying to provide a fuller picture. The Associated Press reported on November 7, 2011, that a supplemental measure from the Census Bureau shows a record 49.1 million Americans, or 16 percent, lived in poverty in 2010.

    With millions of Americans needing foreclosure help or considering bankruptcy , the new measure takes a variety of expenses into consideration, including food, shelter, clothing and utilities, as well as accounting for different sources of income like food stamps and housing subsidies. According to the AP, Americans 65 or older sustained the largest increases in poverty when broken down by groups under the revised poverty formula, nearly doubling to 15.9 percent. Medical expenses such as rising Medicare premiums, deductibles and expenses for prescription drugs are not accounted for in the official rate.

    The AP noted that economists and anti-poverty experts “continue to differ widely on how best to calculate poverty,” and the Census Bureau acknowledged that its new measure remains a “work in progress.” You do not need to be formally recognized as living in poverty in order to pass the bankruptcy means test , but our Chicago bankruptcy lawyer can show you how filing Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy could very well be the fresh start you need to get back on your feet.

    Benjamin Brand Services – Chicago bankruptcy attorney