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Recent Blog Posts

Claim back your life with a Chapter 7 bankruptcy

 Posted on July 13, 2020 in Uncategorized

When you realized that you weren't going to be able to catch up on your bills, it upset you a lot. You felt like you were a failure and that you would always be struggling with debt.

You should know that most people go through a situation like yours at one time or another. Whether it's because of a medical emergency, a lost job or another problem, financial issues can be a result. There is no shame in needing help, and bankruptcy is one option that you can pursue.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a type of bankruptcy that allows you to eliminate the majority of unsecured debts, like credit card debts or medical bills. In exchange, you may need to give up (or liquidate) some of your assets. You won't always have to give up items in your possession, however, depending on the exemptions you can use and what you own.

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Asking ‘what if' when writing a trust

 Posted on July 02, 2020 in Uncategorized

One of the most important things you can do while setting up a trust as part of your estate plan is to ask “what if” questions about the future. These questions can help you plan accurately for your children.

For instance, you may be considering an incentive trust on the grounds that you want your children to keep working. You know that you can leave them enough money that they could quit their jobs. An incentive trust can incentivize them to work by stating that they have to be employed to get a yearly payout from the trust, rather than just leaving them the money.

This all sounds good, but what if the country goes into an economic depression? This is not your children's fault, but they could get fired. Since they're unemployed, they won't qualify for the payout. This leaves them with nothing. Wouldn't you rather set the trust up to help them out at a time like this, when they need it most?

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Don't neglect estate planning as a new parent

 Posted on June 22, 2020 in Uncategorized

Your children count on you to support them throughout the time they live at home. They usually don't worry about what's going to happen to them if you and their other parent both pass away, but this is something that you need to consider. As their parent, you have the responsibility to set a plan in place for them now just in case the unthinkable happens.

When you're setting up the estate plan, one critical component is the guardianship designation. You must ensure that you're thinking carefully about who is going to raise the children if you aren't able to. This person must be able to keep up with the kids and raise them in a manner in which you'd approve.

If you have more than one child, you can name one guardian who will raise them all. You can also name a different person for each child. You have to do what you feel will be in each child's best interest because the court will consider this if the guardianship has to be put into place.

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Do your kids inherit your debts when you die?

 Posted on June 10, 2020 in Uncategorized

If you have a lot of debts, you're far from alone. The average American household now has a debt load of $137,063 — and that's probably not going to change any time soon. For people who are in their senior years, that often leads to a lot of worry about what happens to those debts when they die.

Here are some things to know:

  • Your mortgage may have a pay-off clause. Check the loan documents you signed when you took out the mortgage on your home. Many banks and credit unions offer insurance that will pay off a property if the homeowner dies before the loan is repaid. Lacking that, your mortgage will have to be paid off through your estate before the rest of your assets are distributed.
  • Credit card debt and other bills may also pursue your estate for payment. However, the credit card companies, doctors and hospitals that probably hold most of your debts can only pursue what's actually in your estate — not anything that bypasses it.

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Drop in job postings shows that bankruptcy could be coming

 Posted on May 29, 2020 in Uncategorized

It's been a tough couple of months for the economy, and many people are out of work. It's hard to find new jobs or bring home any sort of income at all. That may mean that a lot of bankruptcy filings are on the way if the economy does not recover quickly.

You can track the risk in a lot of different ways, but let's just look at job postings. On ZipRecruiter, a popular job posting site, the total number of listings has plummeted by a staggering 48% since January. There are few more clear indicators that the job market just isn't there.

When asked about it by Fortune magazine, many legal professionals said that they definitely thought a wave of filings was in the works. They were preparing by hiring more staff, though they admitted that they did not know how soon it would begin happening or exactly how many new cases they would see.

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Should you seek bankruptcy for credit card debt?

 Posted on May 18, 2020 in Uncategorized

At this time a few months ago, you were very happy with your finances. You were carrying a few thousand dollars in debt, but you had also gotten a wonderful job that made making payments (and payments of more than you owed) possible.

Then, you went to work one day and saw a notice on the door. Your employer went out of business, and you were all fired. There was no warning.

You had a month of savings, but you weren't able to find a new job that quickly. Even when you did, it didn't pay what your old job did. Now what do you do? You're swimming in debt, and you're missing payments.

Bankruptcy can be a good choice for people in your situation. You didn't plan for things to go badly, and you had a savings in place. Though you had debt, you had been making headway on eliminating it. Needing help now isn't a sign that you weren't careful enough or that you made bad decisions. Losing a job, suffering from a medical emergency and other sudden changes affect people all the time.

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Do not wait until you're older to do estate planning

 Posted on May 08, 2020 in Uncategorized

One of the most common things that people say, when asked when they are going to do their estate planning, is that they're just going to wait until they're older. They feel like the time isn't right.

This can happen to all age groups. Maybe it's a newly married couple that wants to wait until they have children. Maybe it's middle-aged parents who decide to wait until after the kids are out of the house. Maybe it's a couple who is nearing retirement age and decides that, after they retire, they'll take stock of what they own and put together an estate plan.

No matter what the specifics look like, the truth is that you should not wait. Some have gone so far as to call it estate planning's number one rule. A lot of people procrastinate and it is perhaps the biggest mistake made when it comes to end-of-life planning.

The reality is that you can't predict when your family will need that estate plan. You may hope that you'll live to be in your 80s, but that's actually higher than the life expectancy in America. You can't count on that for certain. Even young, healthy people lose their lives in car accidents every day. Others pass away from sudden diseases.

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Why bankruptcy may be your best hope

 Posted on April 30, 2020 in Uncategorized

Oh, the shame. Imagine what people will say when they find out you are bankrupt. There is a stigma attached to bankruptcy, but there shouldn't be. Read the news, millions of people like you are losing their jobs, all across the world. Big-name companies are on their knees.

The difference between you and the big companies is that the government always seems willing to bail them out, using the taxes you and everyone else pay. Remember how the government bailed the banks out in the last recession? Did you see them doing that for people like you?

The world is not going to work if everyone files for bankruptcy continually, but you deserve a chance to start with a clean slate. Filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy may be the answer.

What does a Chapter 7 bankruptcy do, and what does it not do?

  • A Chapter 7 bankruptcy can clear your unsecured debts such as credit card debt and medical bills.

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Can bankruptcy stop foreclosure?

 Posted on April 22, 2020 in Uncategorized

You start getting foreclosure notices in the mail. It's no surprise. You lost your job and have not been able to make your mortgage payments.

When you tell one of your friends that you are worried you're going to lose your home, they tell you to file for bankruptcy. They claim that doing so will stop the foreclosure. Is this true?

It's not entirely true, but there is some truth within your friend's claims. A bankruptcy filing puts an automatic stay on all other financial legal actions pending against you, such as a foreclosure. This delays the case. It cannot move forward until you get through your bankruptcy case.

Now, a bankruptcy case may take months, and you get to stay in your home at that time. Plus, if your bankruptcy eliminates the other types of outstanding debt you have — credit card debt, etc. — then you may find that your mortgage is affordable again. You may be able to work out an agreement with your lender so that you do not lose your home after all.

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Can you keep your home if you go bankrupt?

 Posted on April 13, 2020 in Uncategorized

When financial pressures mount, the anxiety you feel can quickly escalate — especially if you're worried about losing your home. You think bankruptcy may be your only solution, but you hate the idea of giving up the home you've loved, tended and lived in for years.

Take heart. As long as you can afford the payments, there's a fair possibility that you will be able to keep your home. Here are some of the factors that will ultimately determine what happens:

  • The value of your home: If you have a lot of equity in your home, that could be considered assets that can be used to pay off your debts — although exemptions sometimes apply.
  • The type of bankruptcy you file: Chapter 13 bankruptcies are more flexible and let you reorganize your debt, while Chapter 7 bankruptcies do not. If you file Chapter 13, you may be able to keep your home even when it has a bit of equity.

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