January 2011

31 Jan How to Get Started Filing Bankruptcy

To get ready to file a bankruptcy in the United States, you need to get a credit counseling certificate, gather up your pay stubs and financial documents, and make an appointment to see an attorney in your local area. Everyone who files a bankruptcy must get a credit counseling certificate from a provider approved by the U.S. Trustee before the bankruptcy case can be filed. There are almost no exceptions. You do not have to pay your bills in a debt repayment plan through a credit counselor. What you have to do is attend a one-time meeting to discuss your financial problems, review your budget and get information about your options, then you are given a certificate of credit counseling. You can do this in person, over the telephone, by mail or over the Internet. Gather up your pay stubs, pile of bills, tax returns, bank statements and other documents. Help yourself and your lawyers by organizing the stack of papers. Most lawyers have a list of documents to bring to prepare your bankruptcy. Get the list and gather all the documents. Many bankruptcy attorneys will not schedule an appointment with you unless all documents are collected. When you have your credit counseling certificate and all your documents assembled,
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29 Jan Mortgage Modifications In Bankruptcy – A New Wave Is Beginning

Recently, Senator Jeff Merkley from Oregon has been speaking very loudly about the need for the current Congress to amend the Bankruptcy Code to allow cramdowns of first mortgages on primary homesteads. If you recall, the same proposal was attempted by Senator Dick Durbin from Illinois back in 2009. This time, Senator Merkley may have some additional ammunition in his arsenal. The recent jobs report is horrible. The housing market is in the toilet, and we are facing over a million additional foreclosures in 2011. Likewise, we now learn that the Federal Government is considering scraping the HAMP Program.
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25 Jan Borders Gift Cards and Bankruptcy: Time Not to Panic

Borders, the national book store with actual stores, may have to file bankruptcy soon. Is that going to mean disaster for its customers? That's very unlikely. Borders Group has hired bankruptcy lawyers. It is taking (even) longer to pay for inventory to conserve cash. This is a predictable dance by heavily leveraged retailers in a down economy, especially retailers in declining actual store businesses competing with Internet retail -- like Amazon. If they stay independent, this is a company that's very likely to file bankruptcy. But that's not a death sentence anymore than it is for the millions of families that file every year. Borders is doing what it needs to do to recognize, reorganize, and try to move on. They'll probably close a lot of stores and layoff (more) employees. What won't they get rid of? Their customer retention programs. A gift card from Borders is, technically, a debt they owe to you. So is the Rewards Plus program. If they file you're screwed, right? Probably not. And yes, some employees are complaining about being encouraged to sell Rewards Plus. I've heard these comments repeatedly on the Internet. I'm sure Borders is hearing it too. These worries are more about how little folks know about Chapter 11 than the reality.
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