You may live in Portland and are experiencing high rental price increases due to inflation and wonder if there is emergency debt relief in Maine. For example, with a minimum wage of $12.75 per hour, Maine can be a challenging place to live for many individuals.
When pursuing the internet, next you could run into a social media ad such as the one below, promising emergency debt relief in Maine.
Next, you may visit a website that promises “Emergency” debt relief for US residents or Maine residents that helps you fundamentally reduce what you own on your unsecured. One company, TurboDebt, has an ad that says you aren’t going to have to pay the money back and that it won’t take a huge hit on your credit.
That sounds promising, but is it legitimate?
Most emergency debt relief programs have now gone away from the COVID pandemic other than a student loan payment extension through December, 2022.
So, what is emergency debt relief?
The purpose of this article is to explore the legitimacy of emergency debt relief in Maine, explain how debt relief works, the cost, and the alternatives to help you make the most informed decision. Also, just for reference, companies pitching emergency debt relief are generally different than Maine Debt Relief org.
Unfortunately, while the marketing may be effective, many of these companies are marketing firms that are pointing you to a debt relief company. These firms also seem to be playing off the actual government emergency relief provided by the government from the COVID-19 pandemic. What’s important to note is that it’s not “debt” relief, but just emergency relief.
What is the emergency debt relief that some companies are pitching?
As we know these companies are pitching a debt relief company, what is it and how does it work?
Debt relief is also known as debt settlement and debt consolidation programs. It is where a company will negotiate and settle your debts on your behalf and charge a fee for its services.
Why would creditors settle your debt? Your debt often has to be behind and past due for the creditors to settle the debt, so you would often stop paying your creditors, add funds each month (known as a monthly draft) to an escrow bank account. Once you have enough funds, the company would settle each account one by one.
There are many companies that provide this service, but you may want to be aware of the fees that the company charges. We are very selective of who we work with as some companies charge exorbitant fees and have bad customer reviews.
Debt relief can save you money and can get you on a payment plan. It can also help you get out of debt much faster than paying minimums on credit cards.
That said, here’s a couple of things to be aware of:
If you are struggling with debt, one of the most important things to understand is how much each debt relief option would cost. For example, will a debt relief program cost less than what your current monthly obligations cost? As such, we built the below Maine debt relief options and cost calculator. It’s a free resource, and no email address is required as we want you to be as informed as possible.
Here’s an example of the results for someone in Maine who was considering different debt relief options.
"The maximum part of the aggregate disposable earnings of an individual for any workweek that is subjected to garnishment to enforce payment of a judgment arising from a consumer credit transaction may not exceed the lesser of: A. Twenty-five percent of the individual's disposable earnings for that week; and [PL 2007, c. 7, §1 (RPR).] B. The amount by which the individual's disposable earnings for that week exceed 40 times the federal minimum hourly wage prescribed by Section 6(a)(I) of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, 29 United States Code, Section 206(a)(I), or the state minimum wage prescribed by Title 26, section 664, whichever is higher, in effect at the time the earnings are payable. "
In this situation, you may not want to do emergency debt relief in Maine, and may want something that can stop garnishment immediately. What are your other debt relief and non-debt relief options?
Filing bankruptcy in Maine is a common alternative to emergency debt relief, but there are pros and cons to consider.
For example, Chapter 7 bankruptcy is often the least expensive debt relief option, but you have to qualify for it.
Please note that the Chapter 7 qualification is based on the bankruptcy means test in Maine. Please note that the means test table below shows the income levels below can help you estimate whether you qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy for cases filed on or after May 15, 2022.
|# of People||Annual Income|
The Maine attorney fees can be different based on such things as where you live and the chapter you file. For example, Portland may have an average Chapter 7 attorney fee of $1,250 while Lewiston may have an attorney fee of $1,000.
Here’s the estimated Maine attorney fee range:
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy: $1170 - $1500
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy: $3,000
For those in extreme need of some financial assistance, you can also look into Maine legal aid options to avoid emergency debt relief altogether. You can Google options, but here are some options:
This may not stop a garnishment in Maine, but it may help with getting out of debt and not affecting your credit score. You can get yourself out of debt without resorting to the other two mentioned options, or bankruptcy. But this method is only feasible if you are not far behind and you can afford to make some minimum payments on your debts.
This is the initial step to getting out of debt. This can be for anyone in Maine, and you can get a free government issued copy of your credit report. By ignoring your debts, they won’t just disappear, so you have to tally up your entire debts. After this, you calculate your debt-to-income ratio.
The debt-to-income ratio can be termed as the total debts-minus mortgages-as a percentage of your gross annual earnings. This will tell you how much in debt you are, and what it is going to take to get you out.
If you have a side hustle, you can increase income to pay off the debt faster. This means that you may not have to pursue emergency debt relief. You just need to move from a situation where you are spending more money than you make, into one where you earn more than what you spend. This means that the quicker you want to get away from debt, the more you have to make lots of money above your spending. Remember, you have to earn enough to live on and pay off your debts, so it can be a tall order, but with the right mindset, it is possible.
One way to avoid emergency debt relief in Maine may be figuring out a better way to track income and decrease spending. If you want to win the debt battle, you have to keep track of your money. By crafting a budget and sticking to it, you ensure that you can track where each dollar is going.
Some use good old fashioned paper and pen, but you can also use a spending tracker app. We built a tracking and debt payoff planner with the goal of saving $2000 for users in interest payments.
Whether you live in Lewiston or Bangor, many individuals in Maine are needing some sort of emergency debt relief to help them deal with increasing expenses.
While you may not look for an “emergency debt relief” company that promises the world, you can still find other options and compare those options to make the most informed decision for your debt relief situation.
Use the calculator below to help you estimate your options and costs or give us a call/text at 833-272-3631.