Family Debt Problems

09 Dec Credit Cards and the Christmas Holidays – a Dangerous Combination

Season’s Greetings – and a word of caution. This is a wonderful time of year, a time for giving thanks, for counting blessings, for sharing joy and for giving to others. The natural desire to express our love through gifts burns strong in our hearts (and the fire is stoked by incessant advertising.) This year, however, is also a time of financial difficulty for many families. Some people, under great financial duress and deciding that they are on the verge of bankruptcy anyway, may be tempted to go on one last holiday splurge, figuring that their credit card debt will be discharged when they file for bankruptcy in January. My simple advice is: “Don’t!”
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02 Nov Debt Collector Scam Reaches New Low: The Unicredit Bogus “Courtroom” Scam

It isn't easy for consumers to protect themselves these days, from robo-signers, foreclosure-rescue scams, and all manner of abusive collection tactics, but the Unicredit scam may take the prize for sheer audacity. It seems that Erie, Pennsylvania debt collection agency Unicredit not only set up a fake courtroom, complete with phony judge, with which to bamboozle and intimidate, but it dressed up employees like sheriff's deputies to "serve" faked court papers on consumers. The Pennsylvania Attorney General has brought charges against Unicredit:
This is an unconscionable attempt to use fake court proceedings to deceive, mislead or frighten consumers into making payments or surrendering valuables to Unicredit without following lawful procedures for debt collection," Corbett said. "Consumers also allegedly received dubious 'hearing notices' and letters - often hand-delivered by individuals who appear to be Sheriff Deputies - which implied they would be taken into custody by the Sheriff if they failed to appear at the phony court for 'hearings' or 'depositions'. ... According to the lawsuit, fictitious court proceedings were used to intimidate consumers into providing access to bank accounts, making immediate payments or surrendering vehicle titles and other assets - sometimes dispatching Unicredit employees to consumers' homes in order to retrieve documents or have consumers sign payment agreements. Corbett said Unicredit allegedly used civil subpoenas to summon consumers to an office in Erie, which included an area referred to by Unicredit employees as "the courtroom." The fake courtroom allegedly contained furniture and decorations similar to those used in actual court offices, including a raised "bench" area where a judge would be seated; two tables and chairs in front of the "bench" for attorneys and defendants; a simulated witness stand; seating for spectators; and legal books on bookshelves. During some proceedings, an individual dressed in black was seated where observers would expect to see a judge.
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26 Oct Identity Theft: Another “Somebody Done Somebody Wrong” Song in Bankruptcy Court

Identity theft. Folks worry about it all the time. Most times, folks worry about credit card numbers being stolen, accounts "hacked", accounts opened under your name without permission. There are procedures that can be followed when a person discovers their identity has been stolen. TheFederal Trade Commission and Better Business Bureau register complaints aboutidentity thieves. But, when identity theft occurs in bankruptcy court,
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19 Sep Bankruptcy Issues Could Decide Georgia Governor Race

Two bankruptcy related issues are impacting Georgia's gubernatorial race and could be the deciding factor in a close race this November. Republican candidate Nathan Deal is facing increasing scrutiny about both his personal finances as well as two Chapter 7 cases filed by his daughter and son-in-law.
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