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Archive for the ‘Bankruptcy’ Category

Credit Reporting and Marriage
July 1st, 2013, Posted by admin |  Posted inBack Taxes, Bankruptcy |  No Comments »

What happens to your credit when you get married?  

When you marry, there is no change to your credit report and it stays the same. The only information that would show up on your credit report from your spouse would be joint accounts or those accounts where you or your spouse is authorized user.

If you have questions about debt please contact our office for a free case review.

The information on this website is not intended as legal advice, does not imply an attorney client relationship, and you should consult with a professional or attorney regarding the details of your own personal facts and financial situation. Further the information is not warranted to be complete, accurate, or current and may contain personal opinion.

 

IRS Bankruptcy Tax Guide
April 6th, 2013, Posted by admin |  Posted inBack Taxes, Bankruptcy |  No Comments »

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has a specific publication, Publication 908, called the Bankruptcy Tax Guide.  The free publication has answers to frequently asked questions.  The publication can be found on the IRS' website by clicking here

If you have additional questions about filing bankruptcy contact Folsom bankruptcy lawyer Michael Johnson for a free telephone or in person case review.  Click here for the contact form.

The information on this website is not intended as legal advice, does not imply an attorney client relationship, and you should consult with a professional or attorney regarding the details of your own personal facts and financial situation. Further the information is not warranted to be complete, accurate, or current and may contain personal opinion.

 

Dischargeable vs. Nondischargeable Debts
April 3rd, 2013, Posted by admin |  Posted inBankruptcy, Uncategorized |  No Comments »

The goal in filing bankruptcy is to wipe out or "discharge" debt.  Many debts are eligible for a discharge such as:

  • medical bills
  • credit card debt (where fraud & current usage is not involved)
  • pay day loans
  • car repossessions
  • foreclosures
  • business debt
  • personal loans
  • old personal taxes under certain conditions (requires review of tax transcript/account)

However, some debts are "nondischargeable" and can't be wiped out (certain exceptions may apply).  Bankruptcy Code 11 USC 523(a) lists several debts and situations when a debt can't be discharged in a bankruptcy case.   A non-inclusive list and examples of such types of debts and situations are:

  • recent taxes / payroll taxes
  • fraud and false pretenses
  • consumer debt within 90 days exceeding more than $650 (Section 523(a)(2)(C))
  • domestic support obligations
  • willful and malicious injury
  • student loans (unless extreme hardship is established, requires separate court motion/hearing)

Yet, the discharge exception may not happen automatically for each type of debt and different procedures may apply depending on the type of debt. 

To learn more about bankruptcy contact Sacramento bankruptcy lawyer Michael Johnson for a free case review.

The information on this website is not intended as legal advice, does not imply an attorney client relationship, and you should consult with a professional or attorney regarding the details of your own personal facts and financial situation. Further the information is not warranted to be complete, accurate, or current and may contain personal personal opinioins.

 

April is Financial Literacy Month
April 2nd, 2013, Posted by admin |  Posted inBankruptcy |  No Comments »

Let's face it debt is part of life. Most of us have it and it is almost impossible to live without if you want to buy a house, a car, or something small like plane tickets.  Also, the bulk of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. 

April is National Financial Literacy Month which is designed to help individuals learn more about finances and how to make better decisions relating to the way they spend and manage money.

One of the keys to becoming financially stable is to get out of debt.  If you have debt and feel like you just can't get ahead, then you should talk with a bankruptcy attorney to learn more about your options.

The information on this website is not intended as legal advice, does not imply an attorney client relationship, and you should consult with a professional or attorney regarding the details of your own personal facts and financial situation. Further the information is not warranted to be complete, accurate, or current and may contain personal opinion.

 

Find Missing Money – Bankruptcy
January 29th, 2013, Posted by admin |  Posted inBankruptcy |  No Comments »

There is a third party website (not endorsed or affiliated with) named MissingMoney that says, "State and provincial governments working together to safeguard and return your lost funds."  No one wants to think that they have lost money sitting out there that they are entitled to receive.  Thus, there are third party companies like MissingMoney that help people search for any loose ends.

When you file bankruptcy, it is important not to "miss" disclosing any of your property.   When a "debtor" files bankruptcy they have a duty to disclose all of their property.  Debtors cannot hide or be selective in the property that they disclose and list on their bankruptcy schedules.  Thus, if you are planning on filing bankruptcy, do it right and be sure to do a comprehensive review of your financial situation to ensure that you are listing all of your property.

To learn more about bankruptcy help and understanding bankruptcy contact Attorney Michael Johnson for a free case review. 

The information on this website is not intended as legal advice, does not imply an attorney client relationship, and you should consult with a professional or attorney regarding the details of your own personal facts and financial situation. Further the information is not warranted to be complete, accurate, or current.

 

Unclaimed Savings Bonds – Find your forgotten savings bonds
January 19th, 2013, Posted by admin |  Posted inBankruptcy |  No Comments »

The government has a simple and easy to use website to help you track down whether you have a savings bond floating out there that you have forgotten about it.  The website is called Treasury Direct.  

The thought of finding forgotten money is exciting.  However, if you plan on filing bankruptcy it is critical that you don't forget anything.   As a "debtor" filing bankruptcy you have a duty to list all of your assets.  Then, as a debtor, in many cases, you can keep your property by "exempting" it.   However, if you don't disclose and list your property then you risk losing your property to the bankruptcy court who may sell the property to get money to pay your creditors.  Thus, be sure to look under every stone so you can properly list your property on your schedules and to protect it.   To learn more about bankruptcy contact  Sacramento area bankruptcy lawyer Michael Johnson for a free case review. 

The information on this website is not intended as legal advice, does not imply an attorney client relationship, and you should consult with a professional or attorney regarding the details of your own personal facts and financial situation. Further the information is not warranted to be complete, accurate, or current.

 

Bankrutpcy Credit Counseling
January 14th, 2013, Posted by admin |  Posted inBankruptcy |  No Comments »

Does a person filing bankruptcy have to take credit counseling?  Yes.  When you file bankruptcy there are actually two credit counseling courses you must take, one before you file your petition (pre-bankruptcy) and then one after you file your bankruptcy petition with the court (post-filing).

Title 11 U.S.C. Section 1328(g)(1) states, "The court shall not grant a discharge under this section to a debtor unless after filing a petition the debtor has completed an instructional course concerning personal financial management."  Thus, if you don't take your credit counseling courses you can't get your discharge.

You can find links to different credit counseling providers – here.

The information on this website is not intended as legal advice, does not imply an attorney client relationship, and you should consult with a professional or attorney regarding the details of your own personal facts and financial situation. Further the information is not warranted to be complete, accurate, or current.

 

What are Bankruptcy Exemptions?
January 4th, 2013, Posted by admin |  Posted inBankruptcy |  No Comments »

What are bankruptcy exemptions?  In short, exemptions let people ("debtors") filing bankruptcy keep a certain amount of property, so that their property does not get sold and turned into cash to pay debts owed to creditors.

Property that is frequently protected in bankruptcy by applying the appropriate exemptions:

  • Cash
  • Bank Accounts
  • Real Estate / Land
  • Stocks, Bonds, CDs
  • Cars
  • Boats, Quads, Motorcycles, RVs
  • Household items (furniture, electronics, dishes, clothing)
  • Jewelry
  • Life Insurance
  • IRAs, 401ks
  • Tax Refunds
  • Tools of the Trade
  • Business Interests
  • Animals and Livestock

Although bankruptcy is governed under federal law (11 U.S.C.) the exemptions and amounts may differ by state.  11 U.S.C. 522(b) allows an individual debtor to exempt personal property, real property, or intangible property from the property that would become part of the bankruptcy estate for liquidation.  There are limits amount on the type and dollar amount of property that can be exempted.  In some cases, debtors surrender surplus property to the bankruptcy estate.

In California individuals filing bankruptcy can choose exemptions from one of two sets of laws found under California Code of Civil Procedure 703 or California Code of Civil Procedure 704

Before someone files bankruptcy it is recommended that they inventory all of their personal property and meet with an experienced bankruptcy attorney to determine what property may or may not be lawfully exempted and protected.

If you would like to learn more about a chapter 7 bankruptcy and to receive an overview of how bankruptcy exemptions apply to your personal situation and for bankruptcy help contact Sacramento Bankruptcy Attorney Michael Johnson by phone or by submitting your information on the contact page.

The information on this website is not intended as legal advice, does not imply an attorney client relationship, and you should consult with a professional or attorney regarding the details of your own personal facts and financial situation. Further the information is not warranted to be complete, accurate, or current.

 

Cancelled Debt / Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act
January 3rd, 2013, Posted by admin |  Posted inBack Taxes, Bankruptcy |  No Comments »

Many people wonder what happens to a debt or a portion of a debt that has been "written off" (cancelled) by a creditor?

Well, it depends… In many cases, if a creditor is no longer able to collect on money (ie. mortgage loan) that was loaned to a borrower then the creditor in the preparation of its taxes writes off the money as a business expense since it is now money lost and no longer collectable.   As part of the creditor's reporting process with the IRS they will issue to the borrower and file with the IRS a form 1099-C (cancellation of debt).   The borrower (taxpayer) then must report on their tax return the cancelled debt.  In other words that the borrower (taxpayer) borrowed money, used the money, and then didn't pay it back.  

So, what does the IRS think of someone who incurred such a benefit?  In many cases the IRS will treat cancelled debt as ordinary income – see IRS Topic 431.  If cancelled debt is treated as ordinary income that means the amount cancelled is taxable, which means you pay taxes!!  Of course there are certain situations when cancelled debt is not taxed such as when someone files bankruptcy and their debt is discharged. 

In short, the 2007 Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act (MFDRA) was designed to help those that lost their home (principal residence) to foreclosure where the amount of the mortgage loan was greater than the value of the house ("upside down" loan) resulting in debt to be written off and imputed to the borrower as cancelled debt.  The MFDRA generally allowed borrowers (taxpayers) to exclude income from the discharge of debt on their principal residence.  Yet, the MFDRA wasn't scheduled to last forever and was set to expire December 31, 2012.  

Good news for those heading for rough waters in 2013 as the MFDRA was recently extended to December 31, 2013 according to Section 202 of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012.  So, for now taxpayers are getting a break… at least for another year.

If you have questions about your unique situation contact Sacramento tax attorney Attorney Michael Johnson for a free case review and to learn more about an Offer in Compromise, Installment Agreement, Currently Not Collectible Status, and even bankruptcy.   Helping those in Sacramento, Roseville, Elk Grove, Natomas, Carmichael, Rancho Cordova and Folsom area.

The information on this website is not intended as legal advice, does not imply an attorney client relationship, and you should consult with a professional or attorney regarding the details of your own personal facts and financial situation. Further the information is not warranted to be complete, accurate, or current.

 

Bankruptcy – Sacramento Bankruptcy Attorney
October 30th, 2012, Posted by admin |  Posted inBankruptcy, Uncategorized |  No Comments »

Why is it important to meet with a bankruptcy attorney prior to filing bankruptcy?  Sadly, many people try to file bankruptcy on their own and make numerous mistakes in filing their paperwork and fail to include all of their necessary forms.  Such action by a debtor filing bankruptcy will cause a bankruptcy petition to be dismissed. If your case is dismissed then you will incur additional costs to refile your bankruptcy petition and will reduce the amount of protection that you will receive by the court's automatic stay. 

Thus, if you are considering filing bankruptcy you should take advantage of a free case review.   To learn more about properly filing bankruptcy feel free to contact Attorney Michael Johnson who serves clients in the Sacramento, Folsom, Carmichael, Roseville, Galt, Lodi and Elk Grove area as a bankruptcy attorney.

The information on this website is not intended as legal advice, does not imply an attorney client relationship, and you should consult with a professional or attorney regarding the details of your own personal facts and financial situation. Further the information is not warranted to be complete, accurate, or current.

 

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