Ed Shaw Law - Brainerd Attorney
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Coronavirus Impact and Assurance: Yes! We are still open for business!

As you are all aware, we are currently facing unique challenges due to the Coronavirus. While this is a serious crisis, it is important to keep it in perspective, and not allow it to prevent us from going about our business. We want to assure all of our clients that this office is prepared to serve your needs, regardless of what happens and how the virus affects Minnesota. In an effort to keep the office safe, we have stepped up prevention and sanitation measures in hopes to prevent disease transmission.

Because we are a paperless office, our entire staff is prepared to work from home if necessary. No matter what happens, we will continue to provide our clients with the highest quality legal services.  So far, not one client or staff member has become infected based on contact at this office and we will continue with safety protocols in an attempt to keep it that way. My office will continue to put the safety of our staff and you as our top priority. We do greatly appreciate your cooperation in conducting business in a safe fashion by utilizing current technology. Regardless of what happens, we will continue to take care of all of your legal needs.

Please rest assured, we will continue to take care of your legal needs in this challenging time, and your safety is our highest priority.

Please see our blog for more info on pandemic response.

Credit card debt increases as default rates fall

| Nov 13, 2018 | Bankruptcy

It appears that consumers in Minnesota and around the country are taking on more debt as the economy continues to grow. Total consumer debt in the United States has grown for 16 consecutive quarters and is now approaching $14 trillion according to the New York Federal Reserve’s second quarter Household Debt and Credit Report. However, consumers seem to be coping with this increased debt load as default rates are essentially flat and credit card delinquencies are actually falling.

The figures reveal that credit card debt grew by about $14 billion in the second quarter of 2018 while the revolving debt default index, which is based on figures from Standard & Poor’s and Experian, fell from 3.86 to 3.56. This figure stood at 9.15 in April 2015. This suggests that American consumers are able to manage their credit card balances despite paying interest rates that average nearly 17 percent.

Experts say that lower default rates are a result of stricter lending standards put into place in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. Credit card companies generally consider a debt defaulted on after six months of missed payments, which means that the figures do not reflect the financial struggles of consumers who have fallen behind on their payments but have not yet reached that benchmark.

The financial situations of consumers often go from difficult to completely unmanageable after they turn to credit cards to make ends meet following a layoff, illness or other emergency. Punitive interest rates and soaring fees make escaping the revolving debt trap extremely challenging, but the nation’s bankruptcy laws provide relief from crushing financial burdens and offer the possibility of a fresh start. Attorneys with debt relief experience could explain the differences between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 and make recommendations based on an individual’s unique situation.