April 2011

30 Apr Do I Need to Disclose Paypal, Barter Dollars or Consigned Items When I File Bankruptcy?

If you have lost your job, or when you are facing financial hardship, you may have looked for creative ways to generate money. Many of my clients use eBay or other auction services to sell off valuables and here in the Atlanta area a number of "jewelry liquidators" (which are essentially high end pawn shops) have opened to service the needs of middle to upper income level clients who need a discreet method to sell or consign jewelry, electronics, paintings, etc.
Read More

29 Apr How A Long Bankruptcy Questionnaire Can Save You Thousands Of Dollars In Time

I meet with potential clients every day. In each case, I ask that the client fill out two questionnaires, a short, two-page form to be brought to our initial meeting, and a second, much longer one, to help me in drafting the Schedules for filing with the Court. These questionnaires, even the short one, take a lot of time to fill out. Many of my clients do not like to do this. Sometimes, they bring in copies of bills, lists of monthly payments, spreadsheets, etc. instead. If they do this in addition to filling out the questionnaire, it may help me (although, as discussed below, it usually does not). But if they bring in this information instead of completing the questionnaire, I may not meet with them, or the preparation and filing of their case may be significantly delayed. Why would I act this way?
Read More

29 Apr Post-Bankruptcy Planning

If I have said it once, I have said it a thousand times, bankruptcy is purely financial planning for the future. If you use bankruptcy strategically, you will maximize the benefits of resolving many if not all of your financial issues. However, bankruptcy is not a cure-all which solves all of your financial issues. What is post-bankruptcy planning? Good Question. Before we get there, let's put this topic into perspective. Before filing for bankruptcy protection, an individual may do some bankruptcy planning. They may get their financial house in order and gather up the latest statements for their attorney, etc. This is where I see the case. I also see that many individuals have no financial goals for themselves, and even worse, husbands and wives do not have a joint plan. This is where post-bankruptcy planning comes into play. Once the bankruptcy case is over, I am usually out of the picture. What I want to see is that my former clients now have a plan for the future. I want them to pay off their homes, cars and student loan debts as quickly as possible. Then, I want them to start saving for retirement.
Read More