Kansas State to help farmers weather ag economy downturn

How can you weather economic downturns in your life?

No one is immune to economic downturns, whether you’re a warehouse worker or a multi-millionaire. When the economy takes a turn for the worst, it’s important to make adjustments to your life in order to stay ahead of the game.

The same is true for those in the agricultural sector, who are faced with some dismal projections for 2017. Agricultural experts from Kansas State University are providing a series of workshops for farmers who may not be able to make payments on prior farm loans come January 1st. According to the head of Kansas State Department of Agriculture Economics, Allen Featherstone, the goal of the conference is to help farmers avoid bankruptcy by making proactive changes to their operations.

What Options Are Available To Make It Through Personal Economic Downturns?

While either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcies are workable options for most people, many choose to seek out other ways to weather a financial storm.  There are plenty of options out there to help people increase their income or make more income available for living expenses, decrease their debt and deal with creditor harassment.

  1. Negotiate with your creditors. It may sound a bit scary at first, but making financial plan and talking to your creditors directly about what you can do to pay down your debt can be an empowering experience. Having a clear picture of what a realistic repayment plan looks like to you will help you be more confident in your negotiations.
  2. Debt or Credit Counseling. If the thought of speaking to your creditors still has you in a panic, turning to a credit counselor or attorney specializing in debt negotiation might be a good solution for you. Reputable credit counselors will evaluate your financial situation and negotiate with your creditors on your behalf. Since they usually already have a good relationship with your creditors, they can usually get you back into a more comfortable financial position.
  3. Take a budgeting class. Creating a budget and balancing a checkbook are not generally subjects taught to us in school. There are plenty of organizations out there that provide free classes in budgeting and money management. Try searching for “free budget classes” and see what comes up.
  4. Take charge of harassing creditors. Anyone who has experienced financial difficulties understands how creditor harassment can make life unbearable. There are laws that govern exactly how creditors can contact you. Understanding those laws and using them to your advantage can put you in the drivers’ seat and give you some breathing room. Check out the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to better understand your rights.

Are You Facing a Personal Economic Downturn?

If you are struggling to meet your financial obligations, there are ways to make things easier on yourself. The experienced bankruptcy attorneys at Hanson & Payne can review your situation and provide you with options for weathering a personal economic downturn. Contact us today or call (414) 271-4550 for a consultation.

5 Possible Student Loan, Higher Ed Impacts of a Trump Presidency

What impact might a Trump Presidency have on student loan debt?

During his campaign, President-elect Donald Trump has said little about higher education or the nation’s $1.3 trillion of student debt, which has led to a lot of speculation as to what student borrowers can expect moving forward.

What We Know

Trump has made a few statements about students that warrant discussion, including:

  • Modification of Income-Based Repayment – reducing payments to 12.5% of discretionary income, down from 15%, and remaining balance forgiveness after 15 years.
  • Overhauling the Federal Student Loan System – including removing government from lending and reinstating private student lending as the primary means for obtaining student loans.
  • College-Student Risk Sharing Arrangements – making colleges accountable to students who are unable to repay their student debts and perhaps requiring colleges to repay a portion of any defaulted amount.
  • Deregulation of both nonprofit and for-profit educational institutions – this rollback of President Obama’s gainful employment regulations might affect minimum thresholds for graduates’ debt to income ratios.

There has also been some talk generally amongst the Republican Party about abolishing the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which has been working to improve federal and private student loan servicing.

What This Means for Student Loan Borrowers

For those student loan borrowers with existing loans, effects may be minimal. The most direct impact could be from Trump’s proposed IBR modification. If passed, student loan borrowers may have lower monthly payment requirements and loan forgiveness after 15 years, as opposed to the 25 year forgiveness option currently in effect. There has been no talk of changing the treatment of student loan debt in personal bankruptcy.

For those students who have yet to borrow for their higher education expenses, Trump’s impact could be substantial. Aside from seeking to reverse certain consumer protections with the abolishment of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, new student loan borrowers may be faced with additional hurdles to obtaining student loans. Trump’s proposal to privatize most student loans will impact the ability of student borrowers with little to no credit to obtain loans for higher education. Additionally, private student loan borrowers will likely be faced with higher interest rates than their government loan counterparts and more restrictive repayment terms.

Again, Trump has made no mention of changing the law regarding student loans and bankruptcy. However, if he is successful in privatizing student loans, and because some private student loans can be discharged in bankruptcy, this might be a positive step for students who become unable to handle their private student loan debt.

Unable to Manage Your Student Loan Debt?

If you are struggling to meet your basic personal needs for your family due to excessive student loan debt, there are ways to make things easier on yourself. The experienced bankruptcy attorneys at Hanson & Payne can review your situation and provide you with options for alleviating your financial situation. Contact us today or call (414) 271-4550 for a consultation.