Black Friday is Good for Retailers, Bad For Modesto Consumers Who Get Trapped in Debt

November 24, 2011

By now you must have heard that stores are not only opening at midnight Friday, but some are even opening Thursday night to try to get a jump start on the competition.

Critics argue that by opening on Thanksgiving Day, the retailers are infringing on a holiday meant to be spent with family. Supporters say that many people incorporate shopping into their Thanksgiving holiday plans, so the earlier the better. Regardless, retailers are expecting huge numbers of shoppers Friday as the holiday shopping season is in full swing.
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While many will be enticed to line up overnight or get a pre-dawn start Friday, a free-spending attitude can lead to major debt problems. The only winners in the holiday shopping season are the retailers and the credit card companies. If you've watched TV lately, you've noticed the increase in credit card advertisements. They are making a push to get people to use their cards. That's because they know people will overspend and their hidden fees and high interest rates will make them money, too.

Consumers must be careful because these predatory lending practices can cause people to have to consider bankruptcy in Modesto. For those who end up with thousands of dollars in unsecured debt such as credit card debt, bankruptcy may be the only way out.

Creditors are rarely willing to work with consumers to pay down debt. They would rather have it all. But filing for bankruptcy scares them because they know they could end up with very little. Hiring an experienced Modesto bankruptcy lawyer should be your first step if you've run into problems meeting debt obligations.

Bankruptcy is a complex process, but it can be extremely beneficial to those who use these laws to their advantage. For one, a person can clear up most or all of their debt by filing for bankruptcy. Under Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Modesto, a person can have unsecured debts cleared while possibly keeping all of their assets or having to give up a few in order to pay back some of the debt. Chapter 7 is designed for people who have little or no income.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy, however, allows people to keep their assets if they can make monthly payments over 3 to 5 years to pay back a portion of the debt. This is the least popular form of bankruptcy, but can help people who want to stay in their houses and keep their cars and other assets.

Either option may be appropriate, especially when shopping debt reaches high levels. The National Retail Federation estimates that 152 million people are expected to shop during the Black Friday weekend, a 10 percent jump from last year.

However, the organization is typically low on its estimates. Last year, it estimated 138 million shoppers and 212 million showed up to look for sales. Target, Best Buy, Kohl's and Macy's have all said they're opening at midnight Friday. Wal-Mart and Toys R Us have said they'll be open at 10 p.m. and 9 p.m., respectively, on Thursday.

If you or someone you know needs to speak to an experienced and knowledgeable bankruptcy lawyer in Modesto or Stockton, contact the Law Offices of Robert J. Anaya for a free and confidential appointment. Call today 1-209-522-7500.

More Blog Entries:

Modesto Bankruptcy Filings Remain Steady in Second Quarter: August 24, 2011

Additional Resources:

Black Friday sales expected to draw bigger crowds, by Jessica Dickler, CNNMoney