How FinTech is Disrupting the Bankruptcy Industry

Deepak Juneja

FinTech, short for financial technology, is sweeping over the country. The need for FinTech companies is quite large and the competition is quite high. FinTech companies have apps that could potentially change money forever, including debt relief options. However, a niche that FinTech is just now approaching is bankruptcy. It has been clear that over the past couple of years that there is one FinTech company, in particular, that has disrupted the bankruptcy industry which is, Ascend Finance.

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Photo by Scott Graham on Unsplash

The Story of Ascend

Ascend Finance is a small start-up based out of San Jose, California with a mission to use technology to help individuals get out of debt cheaper, easier, and faster. Ascend has been around since 2018, where it started disrupting the bankruptcy industry by building bankruptcy and debt relief calculators. Ascend uses the data to present multiple options that are personalized to each individual. All of the calculators they have built are all free and provide debtor-free information to help them understand their options in an unbiased manner.

What is a Bankruptcy Calculator?

A common question I am asked is, “What is bankruptcy, and how does it work?” Bankruptcy is a legal debt relief option to help eliminate debt obligations and provide debt freedom. While someone may be looking to file bankruptcy, there are alternatives to bankruptcy worth considering as they may be able to save you time and money. Due to the fact that there are many factors to consider, a bankruptcy calculator offers insight on potential qualifications for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, costs, pros, and cons to Chapter 7 bankruptcy, Chapter 13 bankruptcy, and debt relief options.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Calculator

Many individuals have to be below the income limit for filing Chapter 7 in order to qualify. Qualifying for Chapter 7 bankruptcy is based upon the fact of passing the Chapter 7 means test. You can take a Chapter 7 means test calculator to see if you may qualify. Qualification is based on annual gross household income, household income, and state of residence. Ascend's Chapter 7 means test calculator uses the U.S. bankruptcy forms to estimate whether you may qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Calculator

Likewise to Chapter 7 bankruptcy, there are a lot of factors to consider when making the decision to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a 3 to 5-year plan, restructuring your existing secured and unsecured debt into a repayment plan. Ascend provides a free Chapter 13 calculator to help folks estimate what their Chapter 13 monthly plan payment may be.

Chapter 13 Plan Payment Example

When it comes to filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, there are a handful of possible expenses included in the payment plan:

● Attorney Fee

● Administration Fee

● Trustee Fee

● Mortgage

● Auto Loan

● Secured Loan

● Disposable Income

One of the most common questions is whether Chapter 13 is worth it. The Chapter 13 calculator results actually display attributes that help individuals answer those questions for themselves.

Benefits of Taking a Bankruptcy Calculator

Ascend strives to help individuals understand their different options in the most unbiased manner. One way they accomplish this is by providing free bankruptcy and debt relief calculators. Some of the main benefits from Ascend’s bankruptcy calculator are:

● Understand Your Options

● Estimate Costs

● Consider Pros and Cons

● Speak with a Debt Relief Analyst

Understand Your Debt Relief Options

Debt collectors often sue for as little as $5000, meaning that many people are looking to understand debt relief options even when debt amounts are small. Whether you are taking Chapter 7, Chapter 13, or Debt Relief Calculator, you are able to directly compare some of your options at the end of the calculator based on your data.

If you take a look at the image above you are able to see how Ascend’s calculators allow you to directly compare the costs between the different options of your choice. Sometimes it can be confusing why you may need to pay over $600/month for your Chapter 13 Plan Payment, so Ascend provides a price breakdown of each option.

Right below the cost breakdown of each option, Ascend provides a list of pros and cons to each option. This allows the user to easily analyze which option may be their best option. If you have any questions after reviewing your results, you can request to speak with a debt relief analyst or a local attorney to help understand your options.

Alternatives to Bankruptcy

Understanding bankruptcy alternatives for individuals is essential when providing information about bankruptcy. If you are considering bankruptcy but are unsure if you want to go that route, Ascend allows you to understand some of the alternatives to bankruptcy as well:

  1. Debt Settlement
  2. Debt Management
  3. Debt Payoff Planning
  4. Debt Consolidation

Debt Settlement

Debt settlement is the route of negotiation with the creditors of the total amount of debt you owe to resolve the account. This can save individuals quite a bit of money, as well as get them out of debt due to financial hardship.

Debt Payoff Planning via Baby Steps

Debt payoff planning is also an alternative to bankruptcy that is highlighted in the bankruptcy calculator. Dave Ramsey has definitely been a big proponent of using extra funds each month to pay down debt via the snowball method in his 7 baby steps. You can also consider such methods as the avalanche or savvy method to eliminate debt although Dave Ramsey prefers snowball.

Debt Management vs. Debt Consolidation

The debt relief calculator makes it very clear and easy to compare your options, including debt management and debt consolidation. They show you how debt management is a process of negotiating the interest rates down while debt consolidation is a loan that consolidates the debt into a payment plan.

Conclusion

FinTech has disrupted the bankruptcy industry by allowing individuals an easy way to compare their options at a glance when they are considering bankruptcy due to medical bills or credit card debt. Ascend Finance, a FinTech company, has made it one of their missions to help individuals get out of debt cheaper, easier, and faster. Ascend specializes in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, Debt Settlement, Debt Management, Debt Consolidation, and Debt Payoff Planning.

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