Personal Finance

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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28 Apr What Are The Real Benefits Of The Bankruptcy Discharge?

income for bankruptcy--profit loss statementA bankruptcy discharge is one of the primary reasons that a person files for bankruptcy protection. We all should know this, but do we really know what the bankruptcy discharge allows us to do? This is the question that really needs to be answered. First, we need to discuss what the bankruptcy discharge is and then we can speak about the benefits. The discharge can be defined in lawyer terms or in a way that non-lawyers can understand. A legal definition of the bankruptcy discharge is that the discharge creates a statutory permanent injunction against the collection of all dischargeable debts of the debtor. In non-legal terminology, the discharge prevents creditors, whose debts were properly included in the bankruptcy and legallydischarged, from taking any or all steps to collect on their debt.
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13 Mar After Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Discharge: Can You Take A 401k Loan?

[caption id="attachment_38838" align="alignright" width="300"]Las Vegas Gambling Town Las Vegas Gambling Town[/caption]

It pleases me to no end when I get a call from someone I represented in bankruptcy a few years back and I find out they are doing great and are back on their feet. I like hearing fromformer bankruptcy clientsand getting good news.

Often the call from former clients is prompted in because they need something from me to get a loan.

Not all loans are bad, but I start out worried when I hear that they are about to get into debt. Bang! If youhit your headon a low branch once or twice, you'd learn to duck or walk down another path. It is always my hope that filing for bankruptcy helps people get onto a new path with a balanced budget, the ability to save to cover purchases they used to have to finance, and to hear that they also have gotten to the point where they even have enough money to do something a little extra for themselves or are buying a new [modest] home.

The question I got this week was from a former Chapter 7bankruptcy client who had received adischarge last year. His case was completed and closed, and he had been able to get a fresh start free from overwhelming debts.

He wanted to know if he could take a loan from his 401k retirement which he hadexemptedin his bankruptcy case.

The answer to his question is:

"Yes. You can take a 401k loan...

  but then I can't help myself from answering the unasked question.

You can take out a loan, but it might not be a good idea to do so.


"Can I get a loan now?"

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09 Mar Justice Delayed is Justice Denied: The Case Against Big Banks

  I've seen lots of funny men; Some will rob you with a six-gunAnd some with a fountain pen.~ Woody Guthrie (Pretty Boy Floyd)Last month, Elizabeth Warren asked a pointed question of senior treasury department officials regarding why no enforcement action had ever been taken against...

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