• I Am Being Sued by a Creditor

    Ryan R. McNeil, JD, McNeil Law Firm, Akron, OH

    What Should I Do Next?

  • Gig Working and Taxes

    Keith Rucinski, Ch 13 Trustee, Akron, OH

    Understand the importance of keeping accurate records

  • Stay Safe on
    Money Transfer Apps

    BFine.org Administrator

    Money apps like Cash, PayPal, Venmo and Zelle,
    are convenient ways to pay

  • Your Employer’s 401K

    by Keith L. Rucinski, CPA, JD Chapter 13 Trustee

    Not Participating in Your Employer’s 401K
    Program Can Cost You in the Long Term

  • Social Media Scams

    by Michael B. Joseph, Chapter 13 Standing Trustee (Retired)

    Con Artists Target the Vulnerable

  • Pitfalls of Debt
    Settlement and Consolidation

    Dianne C. Kerns, Chapter 13 Trustee, Southern Arizona

    The truth is that there is no debt settlement program.

  • How to Report Rent
    Payments to Credit Bureaus

    ...and boost your credit score.

  • What Happened to All My Money

    Keith Rucinski, Ch 13 Trustee, Akron, OH
    You need to make a budget and allocate your expenses based on your income.  

Bankruptcy and Finance Information Network Exchange

The Bankruptcy and Finance Information Network Exchange (BFINE) website compiles educational articles and information to help Americans learn more about personal finance options and make informed decisions for their financial future.

Too often decisions are made based on myths or fear instead of facts. No matter the financial situation, there are steps everyone can take toward financial security.

You are not alone. There are professionals willing to help everyone recover from unfortunate circumstances and financial mistakes.

When you make educated financial decisions, everything will BE FINE.

  • Urban Legend: Always Max Out Your Mortgage Loan

    by Keith L. Rucinski, CPA, JD, Chapter 13 Trustee, Akron, OH

    You are looking to buy your first home. You are eager to begin the preapproval process for a mortgage so you are able to make a bid on the home which is right for you.

  • Welcome to Being a Taxpayer

    by Keith L. Rucinski, CPA, JD, Chapter 13 Trustee, Akron, OH

    Have you had the “talk”?

    No, not that “talk”.

    The talk about taxes.

    By the time almost everyone graduates from high school, they have had a first job.  And with the first job becomes the necessity to understand income tax. While they may not make much from delivering pizza or being a barista on the weekend, they will soon, and they will be responsible for paying taxes.

  • Resolve to Not Let Last Year’s Financial Setbacks Dictate Your Future Success

    by Keith L. Rucinski, CPA, JD, Chapter 13 Trustee, Akron, OH

    Last year was not so great.  You may have lost your job due to corporate downsizing and had to accept a lower paying position.  There were unexpected medical expenses.  Your family needed financial help.  You bought a new home at the wrong time and at the wrong price.   You maxed out your credit cards.

  • Unexpected Ways Holidays Break Your Budget

    by BFine.org Administrator

    Let’s face it, the holiday season is expensive. Even if you save all year and shop the sales; there are unexpected ways that the holiday season leads to exceeding your budget. With a little advance planning and realistic expectations, you can get through the next few months without spending more than you had planned.

  • NACTT Statement on Dischargeability of Student Loan in Bankruptcy


    With the Supreme Court opinion on the Biden Student Loan Debt Relief Program, the National Association of Chapter 13 Trustees (NACTT) remains committed to helping Americans who face financial hardship obtain a fresh start through bankruptcy.

  • bfine-press-release

    Pitfalls of Debt Settlement and Consolidation

    Dianne C. Kerns | Chapter 13 Trustee |  Southern Arizona

    We’ve all heard the radio advertisements: “If you have more than $10,000 in credit card or tax debt, you may qualify for a new program that credit card companies don’t want you to know about.  Settle your debts for pennies on the dollar without filing bankruptcy.”

  • bfine-press-release

    Understanding Payroll Taxes for Your First Full Time Job

    Keith Rucinski | Chapter 13 Trustee | Akron, OH

    There is nothing like graduating from school. No more staying up all night writing a term paper or cramming for a test. No more anxiety about that final exam and hoping you passed the course. It is now time for the “real world” and your first full time job.

  • bfine-press-release

    Planning to go Bankrupt is Not a Good Plan

    Keith Rucinski | Chapter 13 Trustee | Akron, OH

    Bankruptcy is designed to help individuals who have fallen on hard times to have an opportunity for a fresh financial start.   The hard times are usually not by choice.  Health emergencies can happen to anyone, often resulting in large expenses that insurance does not cover.  Every year people start new businesses that are not always a financial success

  • family keys

    What Can You Do If You Can't Make Your Auto Payments?

    Jason Wilson Aguilar Chapter 13 Trustee

    Most of us at one time or another have financial difficulties, but what should you do if you are unable to make your auto loan payments? The key is to be proactive. You are not necessarily out of options if you are already delinquent.

  • bfine-bankruptcy-lawyer

    Can You File a Bankruptcy Case Without a Lawyer?

    Jason Wilson Aguilar | Chapter 13 Trustee 

    Yes, you can file a bankruptcy case without a lawyer. The real question is whether you should file a bankruptcy case without a lawyer who specializes in bankruptcy law. In my opinion, the answer to that question is no.

  • INFO

    Debt Baggage You Carry After Filing for Bankruptcy

    Keith Rucinski | Chapter 13 Trustee

    The American bankruptcy system is designed to help the innocent person who has fallen on hard financial times earn a bankruptcy discharge (discharge is a legal term meaning to successfully complete a bankruptcy plan). 

  • BFine Terms You Need to Know

    BFine Administrator

    Managing your financial future is easier when you understand what is being said. Below are some of the key terms that are used with finance and bankruptcy.

    For more definitions visit: Bankruptcy | Financial

    • 8 Ways To Save Money If You Live Alone


      Frugal living YouTuber Kate Kaden has a slew of ideas when it comes to saving money, and in a June 7 video, she offered tips on how to save when you live alone.

    • Answers to 5 Finance Questions You are Afraid to Ask


      When it comes to understanding your personal finances, there is genuinely no such thing as a “bad” or “dumb” question.

    • 6 Common Myths About Bankruptcy

      Go Banking Rates

      For many people, bankruptcy can feel like a financial doomsday. But if you’ve found yourself in this position, you should know you’re far from alone.

    • Seven Steps to Start Your Child Off on the Right Financial Foot


      It’s never too early to start thinking about your child’s financial future.

    • Climbing out of mounting debt: 4 ways the federal government can help with debt


      Debt can be crippling. It can snowball so large that you can barely keep up with the minimum payments and barely address the principal owed. If you fall behind, you get bombarded with creditors calling you to pay up or threatening you with legal action.

    • The IRS Is Resuming Debt Collections. Here's What to Do if You Can't Pay Your Taxes


      The Internal Revenue Service was fairly lenient with past-due tax bills during the pandemic, but collection efforts are back in full force this tax season.

    • Student loans are now easier to discharge in bankruptcy, attorneys say: It's 'life changing'

      by Microsoft Start

      The Biden administration's new student loan bankruptcy policy is making it easier for borrowers to walk away from their debt in court, attorneys say..

    • IRS Free File is now available for the 2024 filing season

      by IRS.gov

      IRS Free File is now available for the 2024 filing season. With this program, eligible taxpayers can prepare and file their federal tax returns using free tax software from trusted IRS Free File partners.

    • Biden administration cancels student loans of more than 150,000 borrowers under new plan

      by NBC News

      Those who qualify must be enrolled in the administration's Saving on a Valuable Education repayment plan, which was launched last summer.

    • Cyber Awareness During the Holidays

      by CISA.gov

      The holidays are a prime time for cyber criminals to strike.  We all need to be aware when we are online shopping, checking social media or responding to email.  The U.S. Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency has some tips for staying safe online. 

    • Student Loans: 7 Steps Experts Say To Take If You Can’t Make Your Payments


      As of the second quarter of 2023, the total student loan debt held by Americans stands at $1.77 trillion, reflecting a 1.25% increase since the same period in 2022. Out of this total, private student loan debt accounts for $128.77 billion as of March 31, 2023.

    • Can a debt collector try to collect on debt discharged in bankruptcy?

      Yahoo Finance

      After filing for bankruptcy and getting your debts discharged, you are probably heaving a sigh of relief. You are looking forward to a fresh start, having put your debt behind you.

    • How to choose the best student loan repayment plan


      Millions of borrowers are required to make their monthly student loan payment for the first time in three-plus years in October,but there are several repayment plans available that could make the transition easier.

    • The Student Loan Pause Is Actually, Really Ending — 6 Key Dates And Details


      The student loan pause is actually, definitively coming to an end after over three years. President Joe Biden is soon expected to sign the debt ceiling bill approved by the House and Senate earlier this week. The compromise measure would preserve Biden’s signature student loan forgiveness plan, but would codify the end of the student loan pause.

    • Experts: How To Know When It’s Time To File for Bankruptcy

      GO Banking Rates

      Bankruptcy. It’s a word that evokes dread in many Americans. Why? Because it may feel like the end of the road, the last resort, the end, in a way, of the game of debt. But how does one know it’s time to file for bankruptcy

    • Bankruptcy can protect you from student loans

      Fox 2 Detroit

      The Biden administraiton has made it easier to file for bankruptcy and cover student loans. But is that a smart financial step? Fox 2 Detroit reporter, Roop Raj, dive into the new reglationgs regarding bakrupty and student loans in the United States.

    • I do not need a lawyer to file Bankruptcy

      Keith L. Rucinski | Chapter 13 Trustee

      Bankruptcy Legend: I do not need a lawyer to file Bankruptcy, all I have to do is complete some forms. In the United States people can choose to represent themselves in court, including bankruptcy court. The term to represent yourself without counsel is “pro se”. 

    • woman paying bills

      20 Ways You Can Take Control of Your Finances

      The Balance

      Whether you're stuck in a cycle of debt, earning too little to maintain your desired standard of living, or simply wanting to get a jump on saving for a major financial goal, such as buying a home or investing, you may need help to get on track with your objectives.

    • man paying bills

      Why Did My Credit Score Drop Suddenly?

      Island Now

      As someone who gets credit report notifications, you should be familiar with changes in your credit score. It is quite common for your credit score to fluctuate with minor increments. If you ever rejoice when your credit score increases, you are likely know the dread when it drops.

    • What Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Is And How It Works

      The Good Men Project

      Times are challenging in America with the coronavirus. You may be experiencing the stress that comes with financial hardship and are considering a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.The purpose of this article is to inform you about the most important things about bankruptcy.

    • People Facing Debt Have Many Options

      Melinda Opperman, President, credit.org

      When people are struggling with their debts, they have a lot more options than they might realize. There are professionals, non-profit organizations, and free online resources available to help no matter how one’s personal finances look.

    • How to get a car loan after bankruptcy

      Business Insider

      Bankruptcy can offer lasting financial relief to people struggling to repay their debts, but it comes at a cost. A bankruptcy filing can stay on your credit report for up to 10 years, flagging you as a risk to lenders. This can make it harder to get approved for new, affordable loans until you rebuild your credit. Here's how bankruptcy can affect your chance of getting a car loan.

      A public education project of the National Association of Chapter Thirteen Trustees

      © 2021 BFINE

      The materials on this website are for general information purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice, legal opinion, or any other advice on any specific facts or circumstances. You should not act or refrain from acting upon this information without seeking professional advice.