May 24, 2017

Beware Debt Consolidation and Repayment Proposals

In my bankruptcy practice I have dealings with many people who, in response to financial difficulties, have sought help from companies that purport to help settle, consolidate or otherwise manage the debt. By and large, most of these people have learned of these companies from advertising. While there are few legitimate firms that provide these services, most simply draft the debtor’s funds … [Read more...]

Creditors and Divorce Agreements

Most married couples incur joint debts during their marriage, meaning that both spouses are liable for the debt.  Here are some general thoughts to consider if you find yourself contemplating, or going through, a bankruptcy and divorce in North Carolina. Creditors don't care about divorce agreements Your creditors are not bound by your separation or divorce agreement with your spouse. Your … [Read more...]

Can I Go Bankrupt Without My Spouse?

Can one spouse file a bankruptcy case without the other spouse?  The answer is "yes." Who is an "authorized user" on the account? It is common these days for one spouse to generally be unable to pay their debts as they become due, while the other spouse is not liable for those debts. In this regard it is important to understand the  concept of “authorized user." Just because the spouse’s name … [Read more...]

Debt Resolution Programs: Beware, Beware

Look, I know why people have joined or are considering joining so-called "debt resolution" programs; we humans have an innate desire to “do the right thing” and honor our debts. But with so many people turning to me to pick up the pieces of a debt resolution program gone bad, it's time to take a stand against them. The ugly downside of debt arbitration programs As I work with new clients in … [Read more...]

2012 Sunset for the Mortgage Forgiveness Laws?

An important IRS provision for homeowners who need to restructure their mortgages or who are facing foreclosure might expire at the end of this month. If you are considering restructuring your mortgage or are facing foreclosure In the words of the IRS, “The Mortgage Debt Relief Act of 2007 generally allows taxpayers to exclude income from the discharge of debt on their principal … [Read more...]

Don’t Try to Hide Your Assets in Bankruptcy

I recently ran across an  article in the  St. Petersburg Times involving a person in a Florida bankruptcy case who scheduled very few assets in his bankruptcy filing but conveniently forgot to tell his attorney about $35,850 in an account that he owned. A sharp-eyed Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustee discovered the account. This resulted in the guy losing his account and being convicted of a federal … [Read more...]