Newark Consumer Law Firm
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Resources to Help After Bankruptcy

What you do after bankruptcy is as, or possibly more, important than the bankruptcy itself. Bankruptcy may have gotten you out of debt or resolved a foreclosure but there are other things you should do after bankruptcy to get back on your feet like rebuilding your credit and perhaps resolve other issues in your life that may have gotten you into a tough financial situation. Below are some resource sites you might find helpful.

Debt

Money Matters

The Federal Trade Commission’s Money Matters site contains advice and resources for those facing credit card debt.

www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/moneymatters/dealing-with-debt.shtml

MyMoney.gov

MyMoney.gov is the U.S. government’s website dedicated to teaching all Americans the basics about financial education. MyMoney.gov provides links and resources regarding a wide range of financial issues, including managing debt and credit.

www.mymoney.gov

Federal Trade Commission

The FTC is the federal agency responsible for administering consumer protection laws. The FTC site offers consumers information about their rights with regard to debt collection and how to avoid scams related to debit and credit.

www.ftc.gov/bcp/menus/consumer/credit.shtm

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was founded to improve financial products and services for consumers. Their site provides easy-to-understand information about credit cards, home loans, student loans, and banking.

www.consumerfinance.gov

Federal Student Aid on the Web

Federal Student Aid is an office of the U.S. Department of Education. This site provides information about repayment options for federal student loan borrowers, including Income-Based Repayment, forbearance, and deferment.

studentaid.ed.gov

Internal Revenue Service

If you owe back taxes, it is a good idea to contact the IRS in order to discuss your options. The following links can help you locate your local IRS office or contact a Taxpayer Advocate. The Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) is an independent organization within the IRS. It helps taxpayers who are experiencing economic hardship; taxpayers who are seeking help in resolving problems with the IRS; and those who believe an IRS system or procedure is not working as it should.

www.irs.gov/localcontacts/index.html

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

This U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development site provides information about renter/homebuyer rights, housing assistance programs, and assistance with home improvements.

www.hud.gov

Federal Trade Commission Mortgage Publications

The Federal Trade Commission has published two resources that are available for free online with advice to homeowners:

Defaulting on Your Mortgage Has Costly Consequences and Mortgage Servicing:
Making Sure Your Payments Count:
http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/homes/rea17.pdf
Mortgage Servicing: Making Sure Your Payments Count:
http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/homes/rea10.pdf

Making Home Affordable

The Making Home Affordable program assists homeowners in financial distress.

www.makinghomeaffordable.gov

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

If you need to discuss your mortgage payment options, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau can help you connect with a HUD-certified housing counselor.

www.consumerfinance.gov/mortgagehelp

Federal Trade Commission Money Matters

The Money Matters site contains useful information about the options available to homeowners facing foreclosure.

www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/moneymatters/your-home.shtml

Health

Insure Kids Now

InsureKidsNow.gov provides information about Medicaid and CHIP services for families who need health insurance coverage.

www.insurekidsnow.gov

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services maintains HealthCare.gov, where you can learn about insurance, government health programs, prevention and wellness, and how health care reforms affect you.

www.healthcare.gov

Medicare

Learn more about Medicare, the federal health insurance program for people 65 and over, and people of any age who are permanently disabled and cannot work.

www.medicare.gov

Medicaid

Medicaid is health coverage available to certain people and families who have limited income and resources, such as pregnant women, children under the age of 19, people 65 and over, people who are blind, people who are disabled, and people who need nursing home care.

www.medicaid.gov

Utilities

Energy Star

The Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star site provides information about how to save money by making energy-efficient choices.

www.energystar.gov

U.S. Department of Energy

The Energy Saver site provides information about how to cut electricity, gas, and water costs at your home.

www.energysavers.gov

Transportation

U.S. Department of Energy

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Fuel Economy site offers advice about how to cut down on gas costs, find a fuel-efficient car, and calculate your MPG.

www.fueleconomy.gov

GasBuddy.com

This website provides up-to-date information about where to find the cheapest gas prices in your neighborhood.

www.gasbuddy.com

Shopping

Federal Trade Commission

The FTC site provides tips and hints about smart shopping and how to avoid fraud and scams.

www.ftc.gov

Consumer Action Handbook

This handbook, published by the Federal Citizen Information Center, can be ordered for free and provides advice about how to make the best purchases when shopping for a car, home accessories, etc. In addition, it provides information about where to file a consumer complaint.

www.consumeraction.gov

Consumer Reports Magazine

Consumers Union, an independent, non-profit organization that tests consumer products and reports on their characteristics to consumers, publishes Consumer Reports Magazine and maintains the consumerreports.org website. This magazine and website provide useful product information to potential buyers, including product prices, usability ratings, safety ratings, and product characteristics. Consumer Reports covers practically all products, from cars to sewing machines.

www.consumerreports.org

USA.gov

This site consolidates useful consumer information from a wide range of federal agencies. Find their tips for saving money here.

http://www.usa.gov/topics/consumer/smart-shopping.shtml

Child Care

Childcare.gov

This site provides useful information for parents about finding child care in your area, choosing the right child care, and dealing with the cost of child care.

www.childcare.gov

U.S. Department of Education

The Department of Education’s site can guide parents to educational and child care resources in their state.

www2.ed.gov/about/contacts/state/index.html

Internal Revenue Service

The following link provides useful information about the Child and Dependent Care Credit, which can help to defray the cost of child care for working parents.

www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=106189,00.html

Smoking/Gambling/Drinking

National Institutes of Health

Cutting back on activities like smoking, drinking and gambling can save a great deal of money over time. NIH offers advice and resources regarding alcohol use, nicotine use, and excessive gambling.

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/alcoholism.html

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/smoking.html

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/compulsivegambling.html

12-Step Programs

12-Step Programs like Nicotine Anonymous, Alcoholics Anonymous, and Gamblers Anonymous provide support and guidance for those who wish to control these habits.

www.aa.org

www.nicotine-anonymous.org

www.gamblersanonymous.org

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