Life After Bankruptcy

07 Mar Mistakes to Avoid: How to Recognize When and Where You are Exposed Financially

Last month, I wrote a blog post entitled Are You Exposed on this blog where I suggest that most bankruptcies occur when a debtor allows himself to be excessively exposed to external forces. By recognizing and controlling these points of exposure, you reduce the risk that you will need to file for bankruptcy, and, if you do file, you will be better positioned to avoid falling into the same traps in the future. Recovering from bankruptcy means more than re-establishing credit. True recovery means that you need to change the way you think about credit and money. If you make the same financial choices post bankruptcy discharge with your new credit cards, you will inevitable find yourself back in your bankruptcy lawyer’s office at some point in the future.
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06 Feb Are You Exposed?

subconscious patterns of behaviorDoes it do any good to think about why you have debt problems? As a bankruptcy lawyer I have represented clients with every type debt problem imaginable and I think is very worthwhile to reflect about how and why you ended up in a bankruptcy lawyer’s office or even why the word “bankruptcy” may have crossed your mind. Without getting overly philosophical, I’d like to offer a way to think about debt issues that may help you break whatever patterns exist in your life that put you into debt crisis. I firmly believe that your conscious and subconscious thoughts led you into your debt issues and if you don’t address the underlying thought patterns, nothing is going to change in the long term.
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06 Feb Should You Try to Keep Your Home When You File Bankruptcy?

bankruptcy and my homeThis week an interesting article about Atlanta real estate appeared in a local business blog, and I think that the warning issued by the writer could apply to bankruptcy filers anywhere in the country. Entitled “Easy Money as Landlord of Cheap Homes Proving an Elusive Dream” explains how large investment funds purchased thousands of Atlanta area homes following the 2008 - 2010 real estate crash with the idea of renting them out, securitizing shares in the investment venture, then selling the properties six or seven years hence when prices rebounded. I had a first hand view of this business model because a close friend of mine in the real estate brokerage business worked with one of these investment firms and at times was writing hundreds of offers per week. Politicians and newspapers report that the housing market is improving and prices are headed back up, but no one is looking beyond the raw numbers.
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10 Sep Getting Rid Of Tax Liens After Bankruptcy

The tax may be discharged but thetax liens live on after bankruptcy. One of the basic principles of bankruptcy law is that the bankruptcy discharge eliminates personal liability, but absent a court order avoiding the lien, it survives the bankruptcy. That means that the assets to which a lien attaches continue to be burdened with that lien after a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. While the creditor who holds the lien cannot sue you or claim a lien in assets you acquire after the bankruptcy, the lien on things you owned at filing remains. So what's a newly discharged debtor to do about a tax lien? You have choices.

Do nothing

A properly perfected tax lien attaches to everything you own, down to the dirty socks and your outdated cell phones. The first question is whether you care that there's a tax lien. The lien doesn't attach to the new socks you buy after bankruptcy, and the "stuff" you had at filing may all have little value and no appeal to the IRS. Who cares if there's a tax lien? The passage of time may make the lien irrelevant. The collateral wears out and is discarded. The lien expires 10 years from the date the tax was assessed. The IRS isn't really interested in dirty socks. Time will heal this wound. You don't have to do anything.
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