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Tuesday, 06 April 2010 04:53

A Primer on Bankruptcy Strategy

When creditors are knocking, it is time to reconsider your priorities. Slipping behind on your payments--occasionally--is not a cause for concern. You know you can stretch your bills a month or two and catch up paying only a few late fees. Chronic lateness however is a different matter.

If you lose ground every month, added late fees alone can destroy your financial health. You are on a slow-motion roller coaster heading down. If realize you are in this position, worrying will not help. You have options. Take charge of your future.

No one wants to file bankruptcy. Perhaps you intend to try a debt management plan or a debt settlement plan. These tactics are worthy of your consideration. The trick, if you use them, is not compromising your bankruptcy alternatives. You would not marry the first person who smiles. Take your time and keep your options open until you understand the ripple effect of your choices. Then decide what you must do.

Bankruptcy is a full strength solution that is available to almost everyone. Success claiming maximum benefits in one chapter or two chapters successively is more difficult. You must choose a far-reaching and complementary strategy to enhance your unique personal situation. Debt management and settlements are but two available tactics. Chapter 7 is an option to consider later if necessary. Chapter 13 provides the power to defeat even IRS super-priorities. You should know when to convert Chapter 7 to Chapter 13 and back. All tactics should work in harmony to serve your ultimate goal: your strategy for long-term financial security.

Before committing to any course of action, review your qualification and the availability of a wide range of choices. Consider your overall strategy and your options may complement each other. It is not difficult to keep your options open, profitably, and insure you receive the greatest benefits each step of the way. If filing bankruptcy becomes necessary, keep all assets you now own and discharge all debts quickly. You can plan your strategy yourself or with the assistance of an attorney. But, there is always a catch. You must be the first to act. In the meantime, do not waste another cent on needless payments once filing becomes imminent.


Dave Clark is a lawyer who enjoys writing about bankruptcy strategies for Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. If you have questions about how to convert Chapter 7 to Chapter 13, contact him through his website.

Published in Bankruptcy Law

The basic qualifications to file bankruptcy again remain the same. U.S. citizens, army personnel serving over seas, and any person who owns property or does business within the U.S. may file bankruptcy. Chapter 7 imposes additional restrictions based on a previous case. You cannot re-file Chapter 7 within eight years of a prior Chapter 7 discharge, or within six years of a prior Chapter 13 discharge (unless unsecured creditors received at least 70% of their total debt), or if a prior case was dismissed with prejudice within the last 180 days.

The means test poses the greatest hurdle if filing Chapter 7 again, and determines the amount of the monthly payment owed to a Chapter 13 trustee.

The means test became effective in late 2005. Since that time, all people who file bankruptcy under either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 must take the test. In theory, the test measures monthly disposable income for each debtor. The calculation starts with total income, subtracts expenses, to find disposable income (Accountants call this discretionary income). If filing jointly with a spouse, total household income, less allowed monthly expenses, determines disposable income.

Importantly, disposable income is a far different measure under the U.S. Code than the common understanding of discretionary income. In the later case, expenses include all basic necessities based the current cost of goods. This basic concept is absent in the U.S. Code definition of disposable income.

The test imposes national standard allowances and local standard allowances for the majority of allowed expenses used in the test. Debtors may not deduct any expense unless specifically authorized. Further, as a rule for necessities, the actual cost of living, actual cost of goods, and historical expenses of each debtor are irrelevant.

In a few important expense categories however, the test does permits debtors to deduct actual expenses. Additionally, debtors may also petition the court for a 5% increase in a few standard allowances for good cause shown.

The test uses monthly disposable in a three-pronged test. First, if the debtor(s) earns more than their state median income, Chapter 7 is not available unless qualifying under two exceptions. These exceptions apply in limited circumstances when the means test measure of disposable income is less than $200.

Taking the test the first time is frustrating for most people. The mandatory allowed budget is not adequate in many situations. Yet many opportunities exist to change results and even improve results substantially over time.

The test relies on income and expenses over last full six months. Each month, test results change. The oldest month disappears and latest month becomes part the test. Over six months, the test result is entirely new.

Small changes in lifestyle may qualify a debtor to file Chapter 7. Debtors who become acquainted with the test and a few advanced bankruptcy strategies may swing the test result dramatically. To swing the test in your favor, you must know how to calculate income, the expenses used in the test, and the expenses that remain irrelevant. When taking the test, time and knowledge combine into the power to exert great influence over next five years of your life.

If you pass the test, you may discharge all debt in as little as four months and receive a final order closing the case. If you fail the test, you must repay at least a portion of all debts and live on a mandatory budget under court supervision for the next five years.


Dave Clark is a lawyer who enjoys bankruptcy strategies questions. This article is for a client who asked, "Can I file Chapter 7 second time?" & "Does bankruptcy eliminate judgements?"

Published in Bankruptcy Law
Tuesday, 06 April 2010 04:42

Medaiting Loan Recovery

Published in Banking and Finance
Tuesday, 06 April 2010 04:42

Obtain Your Credit Report

Published in Banking and Finance

A motor vehicle crash can be terrifying event, and when it happens, most people are utterly unprepared for what to do next. What you do, what you say, and how you deal with the other people at the crash site can have legal implications that affect you for the rest of your life. Both at the time of the crash and later on, there are some basic actions that seasoned auto collision attorneys recommend as legal first aid to protect your rights: * At the time of the crash After a crash you may be in a state of shock, and too seriously injured to do anything on your own behalf. If you are able to move about safely, it is important to obtain names of witnesses who observed what occurred and to exchange driver's license and insurance information with all other drivers involved in the crash. This is essential to do whether or not a police or highway patrol officer is called to the scene. * As soon as possible afterwards Be sure to notify your insurance carrier of the collision and to cooperate fully with your own insurance company. * Be aware of statutes of limitation in your state These laws limit the time by when you must file a claim or a lawsuit. It is important to know which statutes apply to your particular circumstance. It is wise to contact a knowledgeable automobile collision lawyer as soon as possible after the crash in order to make sure that your rights are not forfeited, and that you can pursue your civil remedies. * Investigation and gathering evidence It is crucially important for investigation to start before memories fade and before critical evidence at the collision scene has been removed, washed away or otherwise eliminated. Experienced automotive collision lawyers work with motor vehicle collision investigators who can travel to wherever your vehicle collision occurred to help find vital evidence and secure it for your case. While you are receiving medical care and recovering from your injuries, you many not feel ready to have your case resolved. Nonetheless, evidence collection needs to be under way. An experienced auto collision lawyer can obtain factual statements, scene photographs, accurate measurements, and collision photographs, leaving you to focus on your recovery and return to the quality of life you enjoyed before your injuries.

Published in Accident Law
Sunday, 18 April 2010 05:36

Finding the Right Attorney

Choosing the right attorney can be crucial to the outcome of your case. There are certain things you should know to help you in choosing an attorney that is right for you. Not only will this save you time when meeting with your lawyer for the first time, but will also save you money and help you become more knowledgeable about your case through the questions you ask in this critical process.


Published in General
Sunday, 18 April 2010 06:16

Statutes of Limitations

A “statute of limitation” is a time frame that defines the length of time an individual has to file a claim. The time limit begins when an injury occurs, or is discovered, and concludes on the latest date the injured person can file suit. These time limits vary from state to state, and depend on the type of claim to be filed. The time frame of the statute of limitations usually begins when the injury or wrongful act occurs. However, some states may allow a claim to proceed if the wrongdoing or injury was not discovered until a later date. The time frame would then begin on the date of discovery.

Published in General
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