N is for No Asset Case

N is for No-Asset Case in the Bankruptcy Alphabet. Basically, this refers to a Chapter 7 case in which the debtor will retain all of his or her property. I’m not talking about any property that is secured (let’s say a mortgage or a car loan), because you can decide, if you wish, to surrender an unwanted house or vehicle … Read More

M is for Mortgage Arrears in Bankruptcy Court

M is for Mortgage Arrears in the Bankruptcy Alphabet. Today, I’m talking mostly about Chapter 13 cases where folks want to save their home from foreclosure. Let’s say that you’re 6 months behind on your mortgage, and you’re facing a potential sheriff’s sale. You’ve got two choices. You can apply for a mortgage modification through your mortgage company. But good … Read More

L is for Lien Avoidance in Bankruptcy

L is for lien avoidance actions in Bankruptcy Court. In order to truly get a fresh start after bankruptcy, it’s best to get rid of all judgment liens. Last week, I discussed “judgments” in the bankruptcy alphabet. There, I talked about the need to file a “suggestion of bankruptcy” in any pending civil cases in which you are a defendant. … Read More

K is for 4 Reasons to Keep your 401k

K is for keeping your 401k if you have debt problems. In other words, don’t take out money from your 401k to pay your creditors. And there are four big reasons for my advice: You can fully protect your 401k or IRA if you file bankruptcy. Neither the Bankruptcy Trustee nor your creditors can get access to your retirement funds. … Read More

J is for Judgments in Bankruptcy Court

J is for judgments in the Bankruptcy Alphabet. What is a “judgment”? It’s simply when a court rules against you. More specifically, what I’m referring to is a money judgment. I’m specifically focused on removing or preventing judgments from being entered against my clients. So, if a prospective client has retained me to file a bankruptcy case, then my goal … Read More

H is for Harassment by Creditors

H is for Harassment by creditors in the Bankruptcy Alphabet. First of all, once your bankruptcy case is actually filed in Court, then your creditors cannot contact you at all. Why? It’s the automatic stay of the Bankruptcy Court which protects you until the Court issues the discharge order (which in a Chapter 7 case is about 4 to 5 … Read More

G is for Gambling Debts in Bankruptcy

G is for Gambling Debts in the Bankruptcy Alphabet. Those of us practicing bankruptcy law are surely seeing an increase in new clients who have incurred debts from local casinos. The general rule in bankruptcy law in Pennsylvania is that you can discharge (wipe out) gambling debts in bankruptcy (if you do it properly). First, if you’ve incurred any gambling … Read More

F is for IRS Form 1099-C and Bankruptcy

In the bankruptcy alphabet, F is for IRS Form 1099-C. What is that, you ask? Form 1099-C is for the cancellation of debt. When creditors such as banks, credit unions and mortgage companies write off or “settle” or cancel debts with individuals, they frequently report those write-offs to the IRS, provided that the amounts forgiven are more than $600. Therefore, … Read More

Thoughts on Taxmasters filing for bankruptcy

By now you may have heard that Taxmasters has filed for bankruptcy relief. You probably saw their commercials on television. They promised to help you reduce your IRS tax debt to pennies on the dollar. More technically, they would assist folks in making “offers in compromise” to the IRS. This is a perfectly legal strategy that requires a taxpayer to … Read More

E is for Expenses in Bankruptcy

E is for Expenses in the Bankruptcy Alphabet. Whenever you file a bankruptcy case, you must submit a list of all of your property, income and expenses. Schedule J of the bankruptcy schedules is where you must list your monthly expenses. One of the most important tasks for any bankruptcy attorney is to properly inquire into the living expenses of … Read More