In my opinion, using retirement or other protected funds to pay your debts is almost always a bad idea. Yet it is one of the most frequent "solutions" people utilize in their quest to deal with debt problems and their misguided attempts to avoid filing bankruptcy (which they often end up having to file anyway, after exhausting their retirement). AARP has the top google search article for this topic, written by Lynnette Khalfani-Cox. To its credit, the article takes the [...]
Yes, I went there. I said the "B" word. Most people would rather get strung upside-down naked and lowered into a pile of fire ants than consider bankruptcy. And I don't understand why. Many times--dare I say MOST times--bankruptcy is by far the easiest, cheapest, most effective and most efficient solution to their financial problems, both short term and long term. But today I read a post online from someone asking if Chapter 7 bankruptcy still exists, because he was [...]
Bankruptcy Audits By The Office Of The U.S. Trustee Bankruptcy case audits are back! According to the website of the United States Trustee (a branch of the United States Department of Justice), and as reported recently in an article by Jacqueline Palank of the Wall Street Journal, audits of consumer debtors in bankruptcy cases (Chapter 7 cases) will resume March 10, 2014 after having been suspended due to budget constraints. Are you prepared for your bankruptcy audit? Most are familiar [...]
Gross Income Is Used For Certain Parts of Bankruptcy Means Test Determining which chapter of bankruptcy one is eligible to file has always been tricky. But with the addition of the Means Test and other determining factors in 2005, bankruptcy eligibility became even more difficult to determine. Not quite as complicated as college physics, but pretty hard. A question recently posed to me was: "Do you use gross income or net income to determine if you can file bankruptcy?" The [...]
What the bankruptcy means test means
The New Bankruptcy Laws Are All About Numbers People are Not Numbers When numbers are used to identify people, it's usually when they are in prison. The Bankruptcy laws used to be about helping out people (and businesses) in need. They were about equitable solutions to serious financial problems. Laws in general are designed to help society as a whole, but one must never forget it is always about people. When a potential bankruptcy client comes into my office with [...]
You can be below the median income and still not qualify for bankruptcy, and above the median and be able to qualify. Sound confusing? Read more.
Gifts and bankruptcy. Gifts you make and gifts you receive can both have significant consequences in a bankruptcy case. Learn why.
Explanation of whether gifts or loans must be included in the income analysis for the dreaded "means test" in bankruptcy
Median Income levels for bankruptcy means test being lowered for cases filed after October 31, 2010