A survey focused on health care costs in New Jersey and across the country found that only 45% of respondents had the money in savings or other sources to cover medical expenses during the prior year. The survey was conducted by Freedom Debt Relief and also found that 42% of respondents had to charge medical bills to a credit card in order to cover them. Nineteen percent had to borrow money from friends or family to cover medical expenses.
People in New Jersey dealing with overwhelming debt may find that the experience is even more stressful due to constant calls from debt collectors. Whether people have medical bills, overdue credit card debt or an unpaid car loan, collection agencies may call frequently demanding payment. People struggling with debt do have rights under the law, and debt collectors are required under the law to follow certain rules. They may not call debtors before 8 a.m. or later than 9 p.m. In addition, if a person makes a written request to stop the phone calls, the collection agency is required to do so.
When a person files for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in New Jersey, part of the process is a requirement that the filer, also called the petitioner, submit a repayment plan to the bankruptcy court. Unless the court grants the petitioner an extension, he or she must submit the repayment plan within 14 days after the petition is filed. The repayment plan may be submitted at the same time as the petition. The submitted plan must provide for payments to be made to the bankruptcy court in fixed amounts on a regular basis.