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11 hours 30 min ago

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Pros and Cons in Tacoma
Making the decision to file chapter 7 bankruptcy is difficult. You may be worried about how it will affect your credit or your reputation, but in most cases, it will dramatically improve your quality of life. Below is a list of pros and cons that may help you make your decision.

CONS
PROS

Bankruptcy will affect your credit. A chapter 7 bankruptcy will be reported on your credit report for 10 years.
Even though a bankruptcy will be reported for 10 years, most people start recovering from bankruptcy as soon as it is discharged. You may be able to get credit within just a couple of months. Using our credit repair system, many people achieve a 720 credit score in less than 2 years.

Certain non-exempt property and luxury items may be lost during a bankruptcy.
While there is always the potential to lose property during a bankruptcy, the majority of people keep everything thanks to state exemptions.

You will lose all your credit cards.
This is true, but you also lose the credit card debt which isn’t a bad trade-off. The pro is that with a few months you should be able to get another credit card.

You won’t be able to get a mortgage after filing bankruptcy.
A bankruptcy can make it more difficult to get a mortgage for a couple of years, but most people can find a lender who specializes in difficult to finance people.

If I file bankruptcy now, I won’t be able to file again for at least 6 years. What if something worse happens to me financially?
Because a chapter 7 bankruptcy gives you a fresh start, most people will not need to file another bankruptcy. However, if things go drastically wrong after your chapter 7 has been discharged, you can still file a chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Bankruptcy won’t get rid of my child support, tax debt or student loan debt.
In most cases, this is true, but it will wipe out most of your other unsecured debt making it far easier to manage your finances. Bankruptcy will also stop most aggressive collection actions.

A Tacoma Bankruptcy Attorney Can Guide You Through the Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Process
You may be concerned about many other things. Chapter 7 bankruptcy involves many complicated considerations that you should discuss with a Tacoma chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney from Northwest Debt Relief Law Firm. We can help put your concerns to rest and formulate a chapter 7 bankruptcy plan for your specific situation. Call us today.

The post Pros and Cons to Filing Chapter 7 in Tacoma appeared first on Portland Bankruptcy Attorney | Northwest Debt Relief.


11 hours 30 min ago

Filing for Bankruptcy without Your Spouse in Tacoma
I get one question all the time from married couples who have accumulated debt during their marriage. Do both of them need to file bankruptcy in Tacoma or can just one spouse file the bankruptcy. Many couples want to save one of their credit scores. Often all the debt was taken out in one spouse during the marriage.
It is certainly possible for just one spouse to file for bankruptcy in Tacoma. In a community property state like Washington, the benefits of one spouse filing are potentially more advantageous that it would be in a separate property state like Oregon.
Before we get into the weeds, it is important to understand what it means to live in a community property state like Washington. Basically, being married in Tacoma, Washington means that whatever debts you incur and whatever assets you purchase while you are married are joint. There are a few exceptions to this rule, but usually, both of you jointly own all of your assets and are jointly responsible for the debts.
If you file for bankruptcy in Tacoma, the automatic stay stops all collections against you plus it stops all collections against the marital community. This means that if you file for bankruptcy the creditors must stop collection activity against you and anything that could impact your marital community which is to say your spouse.
While your spouse is technically still liable for the debts that existed before the bankruptcy case was filed, the bankruptcy discharge protects all marital assets obtained before and after the bankruptcy filing of the non-filing spouse.
This means that while the non-filing spouse is technically still liable for the debt, the creditors cannot satisfy the debt through any marital property. This includes wages and bank accounts of either spouse. So the debt still exists for the non-filing spouse, the creditor just can’t try to collect it anymore.
So what can a creditor do to try and collect on a debt against the non-filing spouse? They can only collect from the non-filing spouse’s “separate property”. Generally, this is the property that the non-filing spouse owned prior to getting married. Because most married people do not have much separate property, the creditor is rarely going to have a chance of collecting anything from the non-filing spouse,
In essence, the non-filing spouse gets protection from the bankruptcy discharge entered in the filing spouse’s bankruptcy case for all the debts discharged in that case. The only debts that would remain collectible would be the ones that the non-filing spouse racked up prior to the marriage.
Remember that it is the existence of the “community” that makes the debts non-collectible.
Once the community terminates through either through divorce or death, the creditors are then free to pursue collections against the non-filing spouse. So the debts are permanently non-collectible as long as you stay and as long as the non-filing spouse predeceases the non-filing spouse.
Please reach out to us if you have any questions about filing bankruptcy without your spouse. I would be happy to connect with you by phone. We would also be happy to arrange an appointment at one of our Washington offices in Tacoma, Seattle or Vancouver.

The post Can Only One of Us File Bankruptcy in Tacoma? appeared first on Portland Bankruptcy Attorney | Northwest Debt Relief.


4 days 5 hours ago

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy TrusteeThe court appoints a Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustee to preside over every Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The trustee is not entirely a neutral party. Although appointed by the court, the trustee works on behalf of the creditors. This means going through your paperwork to see that everything is in order, reversing recent transactions that may be invalid in the context of a bankruptcy, and liquidating property that can be liquidated for the purpose of repaying your creditors.
To learn more about Chapter 7 bankruptcy and how an experienced bankruptcy attorney can protect your interests, contact Allmand Law Firm PLLC today.
How Is the Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Trustee Paid?
The court allots the trustee a small fee for examining your finances and other paperwork. The trustee also makes a percentage of any assets he can find to liquidate. This includes property that was sold or transferred prior to the bankruptcy. In this manner, the trustee has considerable incentive to represent the creditor’s interests. The trustee’s interests are aligned with the creditor’s and not the debtor’s.
Reviewing the Bankruptcy Petition
When you file for bankruptcy, the Chapter 7 trustee goes over your paperwork with a fine tooth comb. They will request that you back up any claims you make with pay stubs, bank statements, tax returns, and a list of all your assets expenses. They will also need to know which debts you are hoping to have discharged.
The trustee’s job is to verify your claims. If there is something suspicious, like a recent transaction of a prized personal asset to a loved one for little or no money, you can expect them to inquire about that transaction.
Investigating the Debtor
After your case is filed, you are required to attend the 341 meeting of creditors. The Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustee presides over the meeting. When your paperwork is in order, this meeting generally does not last very long. Creditors can ask you questions during these meetings if they believe you are hiding assets. Generally speaking, they do not show up. The trustee asks you pertinent questions about your paperwork, and the meeting is generally over in 30 minutes.
Finding Assets to Liquidate
In addition to reviewing your paperwork and investigating you, the Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustee goes through your assets and liquidates anything assets that he can find. This money is then given to your creditors and the trustee takes a percentage of that money.
Chapter 7, however, allows you to exempt or protect certain property. The trustee must work around those exemptions in order to find property to liquidate. Common exemptions include home and car equity. In addition, many states, including Texas, allow a wildcard exemption.
In Texas, filers have a choice between Texas exemptions and federal protections, but they cannot choose both nor mix and match.
The majority of cases are “no asset” cases meaning the trustee finds nothing to liquidate. In certain cases, a trustee can dispute the “exemptability” of a particular asset. If they do, then the bankruptcy judge has the final say over whether the debtor can exempt the asset.
What Are the Advantages of Having a Lawyer Manage Your Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
Bankruptcy attorneys are in the business of helping debtors discharge their debts. We help folks with the filing, preparing the paperwork, and exempting their most important assets. While it’s entirely possible for a savvy individual to file for bankruptcy on their own, when the debtor files for bankruptcy, they are not directly dealing with anyone whose interests overlap with their own. In fact, unless there is a dispute, a debtor will not even be dealing directly with a neutral party.
Bankruptcy attorneys streamline the process, ensure that all your paperwork is in order, and can advise you on how to protect your assets from liquidation.
Bankruptcy Law Is Complicated
Again, while there’s nothing stopping a savvy individual from filing their own bankruptcy, the law regarding bankruptcies is complex. What you save in money, you lose in time. A bankruptcy attorney can help streamline the process for those filing under Chapter 7.
Contact a Bankruptcy Attorney Today
The Dallas bankruptcy attorneys at Allmand Law PLLC can help you throughout the bankruptcy process. Contact us today. We can represent your interests against the Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustee and your creditors.
The post What Is the Role of the Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Trustee? appeared first on Allmand Law.



4 days 20 hours ago

Brian PascusUber plans to use creative measures to remain competitive in New York City following the passage of bills that put a cap on and freeze the number of vehicles that may operate within the city for the next year.

On Wednesday, in a 39-6 vote, the New York City Council passed multiple bills that will pause the granting of new licenses for Uber, Lyft, and other ride-share companies for one year while a study is conducted by the Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) to determine the effects these companies are having on the city's transportation industry. The legislation passed by the city also grants a new minimum pay-rate for drivers.

Prior to the vote, City Council Speaker Corey Johnsons said, "We are pausing the issuance of new licenses in an industry that has been allowed to proliferate without any appropriate check or regulation," before adding that he does not expect the existing service for ride-sharing customers to diminish.

Mayor Bill de Blasio is expected to sign the legislation on Tuesday, which will take effect immediately.

With new regulations in place, ride-sharing companies like Uber will now need to work within the limits of the law to continue to remain competitive.

In a statement to Business Insider, Uber spokesperson Danielle Filson said, "We take the Speaker at his word that the pause is not intended to reduce service for New Yorkers and we trust that he will hold the TLC accountable, ensuring that no New Yorker is left stranded. In the meantime, Uber will do whatever it takes to keep up with growing demand and we will not stop working with city and state leaders, including Speaker Johnson, to pass real solutions like comprehensive congestion pricing."

But Uber's options under the license freeze are limited in part because of the company will now be restricted to an existing pool of vehicles.

A company spokesperson told Business Insider that Uber is ready to use creative measures to get around the language of the bills. First, the spokesperson notes that this cap is not a limit on the number of drivers, but rather a pause on the number of new vehicles. This distinction is important, as the company is thinking of reaching out to Uber vehicle owners who may be off the app for two or three days a week and see if they will allow new Uber drivers to use their vehicle when it is idle. This way, the company can ensure it keeps a high number of cars on the road despite a limit on new licenses.

Another way Uber plans to work-around the new measures will be to recruit from within the existing field of livery drivers, which includes yellow taxis and black-cars.

While voicing his support for the legislation, Mayor Bill de Blasio told the New York Times, "More than 100,000 workers and their families will see an immediate benefit from this legislation."

Uber estimates the number of industry drivers in the area to be closer to 120,000, and an Uber spokesperson told Business Insider that the company believes there are at least 35,000 existing licensed vehicles not being utilized by their app system. In short, Uber plans to recruit black-car drivers into their network.

And while the newly passed bills plan on creating a new minimum pay-rate for drivers, Uber does not plan to oppose those changes to their business model.

An Uber spokesperson told Business Insider the company is "supportive" of a minimum wage or wage floor for their drivers.

The mayor's office told Business Insider that he plans to sign the legislation on Tuesday, August 14, 2018.

Copyright © 2018 Insider Inc. All rights reserved.


5 days 14 hours ago

The New York Times reported that on August 8th, the New York City Council voted to issue a cap on licenses available for for–hire vehicles for one year, which went into effect on August 14th.  The City Council vote was 39 to 6 in favor of the cap. According to the article, New York City became the first major American city on Wednesday to halt new vehicle licenses for ride-hail services, dealing a significant setback to Uber in its largest market in the United States.

However, according to the article, the law allows the Taxi & Limousine Commission to add more licenses if there is a clear need for more vehicles in some neighborhoods.

The City Council also passed a separate law setting a minimum payments for for–hire vehicle drivers.

The article states that “the City continued to support its decision, saying it will not only help the dwindling taxicab industry, it will also aid in reducing traffic congestion and could potentially hike driver paychecks on both sides from a possible hike in fees for riders.”

Reuters reports that the number of for–hire vehicle drivers skyrocketed from 12,600 in 2015 to about 80,000 this year.

Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson said the laws will curtail the worsening traffic on the streets and improve low driver wages.  Speaker Johnson added that the rules would not diminish existing service for New Yorkers who rely on ride-hail apps.

Uber has warned its riders that the cap could produce higher prices and longer wait times for passengers. A yellow taxi driver was quoted as saying that she supports the cap and hopes it will improve business for taxis.

CNN Tech reported that Uber is already planning moves to sidestep New York’s cap, which applies to vehicle licenses, not drivers. With that in mind, Uber said it will ask current drivers to share their vehicles with new drivers. And it hopes to poach drivers from competing services, expanding its presence in the city.

For medallion owners, the interesting question is what impact will the for–hire vehicle license cap have on the value of taxi medallions.

  1. The cap is only for one year, so the impact on taxi medallion values will probably not be significant.
  2. The cap maintains and does not reduce the number of for–hire vehicles, which is another reason why the value of taxi medallions will not increase significantly. However, if the number of for–hire vehicles decreased significantly, then we could expect to see an increase in the value of taxi medallion licenses.
  3. As noted in the CNN Tech article, the cap applies to vehicle licenses not to drivers, so Uber and the other ridesharing services, being the aggressive entities that they are, will likely create strategies to maximize the use of their existing vehicle licenses.
  4. The riding public has voted with their dollars and apps, and they prefer the Uber, Via and Lyft model for transportation over that of yellow taxis; notwithstanding the new locals laws, those companies and their markets will continue to prosper.
  5. Three years ago, the value of a taxi medallion was $715,000, and based on last month's Taxi Limousine Commission data, the value of a medallion is approximately $165,000.

In Jim Shenwick’s opinion, the for–hire vehicle cap will have little to no impact on the value of taxi medallions. It is possible that the new laws may slow the decline in taxi medallion values, but its ability to increase values significantly seems to be unlikely.  It would be foolish for any medallion owner to believe that taxi medallions will return to the stratospheric valuations of 2015. The opinions expressed herein are solely the opinion of Jim Shenwick.


5 days 14 hours ago

By Mariana Alfaro
 In the pouring rain, hundreds of people lined up outside a building in Queens on Monday, clutching umbrellas and paperwork. The frenzy was not driven by a buzzy new restaurant or a new Apple store. Instead the line led to an Uber office and was prompted by the City Council’s recent decision to limit ride-hail apps by imposing a cap on new vehicle licenses.
For hours, drivers waited outside the building in Long Island City for Uber workers to let them in and to register their cars as for-hire vehicles before the legislation goes into effect. Mayor Bill de Blasio has said he is planning to sign the bill into law on Tuesday.
Mohammed Kabir, 47, a driver from Queens, said he spent four hours before emerging from Uber’s office with his paperwork in order. He said he had arrived at 7 a.m., hoping to beat the crowd, and despite the long wait he said he was content that he now had what he needed to beat the deadline.
Since the Council’s vote on the new regulations, which includes establishing a minimum pay rate, Uber had been encouraging existing drivers and others who wanted to become drivers for the tech giant to make sure they applied for the special license plates needed to register private cars as ride-hail vehicles. Once the legislation becomes law, no new licenses, with the exception of wheelchair accessible vehicles, will be granted for a year while the city studies the impact of the ride-hail industry.
Some drivers waited for almost two hours before being shepherded inside. Red Ferhani, 32, said he had been driving for Uber for almost three years by renting cars from other Uber drivers. Tired of losing part of his profit to rental fees, Mr. Ferhani said he wanted to register his own vehicle while he still could.
“I guess everybody’s doing this last minute,” said Mr. Ferhani as he approached the front of the line. Despite the hassle, Mr. Ferhani said he supported the cap.
“I think there’s enough Uber cars out there, it’s already enough,” he said.
Some drivers at Uber’s offices said they had not had enough time to get their documents and licensing fees in order. To register a car as a for-hire vehicle, owners must complete an online application with the city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission, have commercial insurance for their car and pay a $550 to $625 fee, depending on their car’s mileage.
Deniz Osor, 37, was in line only because his friend had warned him days before that the window to apply was closing. Mr. Osor scrambled to get his paperwork in order.
“They should’ve actually extended the time for at least another two weeks,” Mr. Osor said.
Alix Anfang, a spokeswoman for Uber, said the City Council and Mr. de Blasio had rushed the cap through “without stopping to think about the consequences for hard-working drivers who have been saving up to get out of a rental and into a car they own.”
Jose Reyes, an Uber driver from Brooklyn, said he knew people who bought cars in order to register them before the cap was passed.
Uber had prepared for the surge of drivers to its New York offices by shifting employees from New Jersey and Connecticut and opening their doors an hour early. Despite the extra hands, applicants said they were expecting the process to take two to three hours. The usual wait time in the Queens office, according to an Uber worker, is usually 20 minutes.
Frustrated with how slow the line was on Sunday, Syed Hassan, an Uber driver, left after an hour.
The line, he said, went around the building. “There were more than 1,000” drivers waiting, he estimated. Still, he returned on Monday with a friend to keep him company.
The crowd on Monday was smaller, but that did not make it any less hectic. Uber workers admonished drivers to stay in an orderly line. Once inside, drivers were directed to the second floor where they were given instructions, depending on the stage of their applications.
Some drivers, after seeing the long list of requirements, decided to wait until the cap is lifted before registering their car. Diakanke Bah, 28, was on her way out after being told that she would probably not meet the deadline since she still had to get a for-hire driver’s license.
“If I do get my license, I will have to probably rent out someone who has already registered with the T.L.C., but it won’t be with my car,” she said.
Copyright 2018 The New York Times Company.  All rights reserved.


6 days 17 hours ago

By Gregory Bresiger
Despite a booming economy, many Americans are having trouble paying credit card bills, industry observers warn.

An increasing number of auto borrowers are also asking for more time to pay.

These trends disturb card industry experts.

“It is a problem we should watch,” says Bill Hardekopf, founder of LowCards.com.

“I would say that credit card defaults is definitely a cause for concern,” says Joe Resendiz, an analyst with ValuePenguin, which tracks the credit industry.

Resendiz noted the recent second-quarter net credit card default numbers rose for Bank of America and JPMorgan. In an otherwise rosy report, the amount of in-default charge card bills rose by 10 percent and 9 percent, respectively, compared with the same period in 2017.

But JPMorgan charge-off rates remain “low” on a historical basis, said spokeswoman Betty Riess.

The latest numbers also come at the same time that those with the poorest credit card records — subprime borrowers — saw their credit card debt increase by 26 percent, ValuePenguin said.

Another observer, LendingTree.com, noted a $16.25 billion increase in revolving debt in May. “This was the biggest May jump since 1995,” it said. Revolving debt is the card debt that is carried from month to month, usually at high interest rates because a card, unlike a house, is an unsecured debt.

Revolving and non-revolving debt is currently at $3.86 trillion, LendingTree said. It predicts it will pass $4 trillion this year.

Some borrowers, credit industry analysts say, are forgetting the disasters of 2008. That’s when a sudden recession left many Americans without jobs and big banks with huge unpaid debts.

Resendiz said most big banks are seeing default rates rise. The credit card default rate rose in the latest Federal Reserve numbers to 3.65 percent.

This was the seventh straight quarterly increase, yet still far from the 2008 numbers, when default rates were above 10 percent.

© 2018 NYP Holdings, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


6 days 17 hours ago

By Winnie Hu and Mariana Alfaro
Jenine James no longer worries about getting stranded when the subways and buses are unreliable — a constant frustration these days — or cannot take her to where she needs to go. Her Plan B: Uber.
So Ms. James, 20, a barista in Brooklyn, sees New York’s move to restrict ride-hail services as not just a threat to her own convenience and comfort but also to the alternative transportation system that has sprung up to fill in the gaps left by the city’s failing subways and buses. She does not even want to think about going back to a time when a train was her only option, as unlikely as that might be.
“It was bad, so imagining going back, it’s terrible,” she said.
The ride-hail cars that critics say are choking New York City’s streets have also brought much-needed relief to far corners of the city where just getting to work is a daily chore requiring long rides and multiple transfers, often squeezed into packed trains and buses. The black cars that crisscross transit deserts in Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and Staten Island have become staples in predominantly black and Hispanic neighborhoods where residents complain that yellow taxis often refuse to pick them up. They come to the rescue in the rain, and during taxi shift changes, when rides are notoriously hard to find even in the heart of Manhattan.
New York became the first major American city on Wednesday to put a halt on issuing new vehicle licenses for Uber, Lyft and other ride-hail services amid growing concerns around the world about the impact they are having on cities.
The legislation calls for a one-year moratorium while the city studies the booming industry and also establishes pay rules for drivers. It was passed overwhelmingly by the City Council and is expected to be signed into law by Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Democrat, who attempted to adopt a similar cap in 2015 but abandoned the effort after Uber waged a fierce campaign against him.
The cap was supported by many transportation analysts who say the ride-hail cars have contributed to worsening traffic in Midtown and Lower Manhattan, and by taxi drivers whose financial plight has become precarious in the past year, underscored by a spate of suicides. Mr. de Blasio held a celebratory rally on Thursday with Corey Johnson, the City Council speaker who wrangled widespread support for the cap among his colleagues by focusing on the plight of taxi drivers. 
Bruce Schaller, a transportation consultant who has studied the ride-hail services, said that it was only a matter of time before city officials took action. Since Uber successfully fended off a proposed limit three years ago, the number of for-hire vehicles in the city has soared from about 63,000 to more than 100,000.
“You can’t have Uber and Lyft growing forever in Manhattan without having total gridlock,” Mr. Schaller said. “At some point, the city was going to have to say enough — and they have now said enough.”
But Alix Anfang, a spokeswoman for Uber, said the city’s “12-month pause” on issuing new vehicle licenses will threaten a reliable transportation option for New Yorkers without improving the reliability of the subways outside Manhattan. “As Uber continues to grow in communities outside of Manhattan, we will do whatever it takes to ensure that no New Yorker who needs a ride is left stranded,” she said.
Nisha James, 34, a nanny from Brooklyn, said she felt the cap on the ride-hail services had been a Manhattan-centric decision without regard for what it will mean for riders in the other boroughs. “I don’t think they were thinking about anywhere else,” she said, adding that the cap will likely send her and other Uber riders back to public transit when they cannot get a car.
In the Bronx, Jeff Gutierrez, 26, said that he only takes Uber now to commute to his job in media sales for a cable news station across the borough. Uber takes 15 minutes. The bus takes 1 hour and 30 minutes and is so crowded he cannot always get a seat. There is no contest. “We should not be stuffed like sardines in a bus,” he said. “Uber is so affordable and convenient. I will never ride the bus or train again as long I work in the city.”
Uber officials said that they planned to recruit drivers who already hold for-hire vehicle licenses in the city to work for Uber, a group that represents as many as 35,000 potential new drivers. Moreover, since the moratorium is on new vehicles — not new drivers — they also hoped to maximize the use of existing vehicles by encouraging their owners to allow other drivers to use them when they are sitting idle.
Though the cap would apply citywide, the ride-hail companies have warned that it could lead to fewer cars and worse service with longer wait times and higher prices, particularly in the boroughs outside Manhattan. With a limited supply of vehicles, too many drivers could opt to remain in Manhattan picking up well-heeled tourists and business workers, leaving too few drivers in the other boroughs where ridership has been growing the fastest. Yellow taxis, which are similarly limited in number, have traditionally been concentrated in Manhattan’s business districts, though they can legally operate anywhere in the city.
Mr. Schaller acknowledged such concerns, but added that unlike taxis, the ride-hail cars are dispatched with technology that allows the drivers to see exactly where the calls are coming in. He said that if they see more calls coming from, say, Queens, they will go there. “Water doesn’t bunch up at one end of the lake, it levels off across the whole lake,” he said. “The drivers chase the money — and if the money is all over the city — they go all over the city.”
Not all fans of the ride-hail services were disappointed by the regulations. Shiri Wolf, 38, a lawyer who recently moved back to the Upper West Side, said that even though she has come to rely on the ride-hail services, something needed to be done about the “horrendous” traffic on city streets.
“In the five years I’ve been gone, I think traffic must have doubled,” she said. “It’s fair to have cabbies earn a decent living, and they may have some efficiencies to gain, to learn from Lyft and Uber, but on the whole they’re more expensive because they’re regulated and I think regulation is a way to keep things fair for everybody.”
Still, some riders are bracing for the worst. Carmel Maurice, a client coordinator from Brooklyn, was seething as she waited for an Uber outside the Atlantic Terminal, a major transit hub in Brooklyn, on Thursday morning, less than 24 hours after the legislation passed. “I feel like it’s unfair,” she said, adding that she had opted out of public transit in Brooklyn because “it’s never reliable, it’s never on time.”
Darella Jasper, a Brooklyn security worker, said that if the rides become more expensive, she might have to cut back on her use of Uber and Lyft, even though they are the easiest way for her to get around Brooklyn and Queens. “To get from point A to point B,” she said. “We’re just going to have to find other alternatives.”
Copyright 2018 The New York Times Company.  All rights reserved.


    1 week 1 day ago

    DRAMATIC INCREASE IN THE ELDERLY FILING FOR BANKRUPTCY PROTECTION

    The number of elderly filing for bankruptcy is three times what it was in 1991.
    elderlyAs a study, from the Consumer Bankruptcy Project, explains, elderly people whose finances are precarious have few places to turn. “When the costs of aging are off-loaded onto a population that simply does not have access to adequate resources, something has to give,” the study says, “and older Americans turn to what little is left of the social safety net — bankruptcy court.”
    “You can manage O.K. until there is a little stumble,” said Deborah Thorne, an associate professor of sociology at the University of Idaho and an author of the study. “It doesn’t even take a big thing.”
    Bankruptcy can offer a fresh start for people who need one, but for older Americans it “is too little too late,” the study says.
    “By the time they file, their wealth has vanished and they simply do not have enough years to get back on their feet.”
    According to an article in the New York Times – Not only are more older people seeking relief through bankruptcy, but they also represent a widening slice of all filers: 12.2 percent of filers are now 65 or older, up from 2.1 percent in 1991.
    elderlyThose who need help, but have no place to look for help.
    Even the smallest of unexpected expenses, such as a broken tooth or vehicle accident, can lead to a financial explosion.
    Rising costs for housing and health care point to increased living expenses, along with other burdens, such as caring for younger generations or co-signed student loans for children and grandchildren.  Even the smallest of unexpected expenses, such as a broken tooth or vehicle accident, can lead to a financial explosion.  Not to mention the horrific damage a serious medical issue brings to the already financially strapped elder person.

    By 2013, the average Medicare beneficiary’s out-of-pocket spending on health care consumed 41 percent of the average Social Security check, according to Kaiser Family Foundation, which also estimated that the figure would rise.

    It is a challenge for those over 65 to find sources of additional income.
    In order to cover basic living expenses many are forced into low paying jobs, such as a greeter at Walmart or clerk in convenience store.  In the long run the income from job barely cover the costs related to employment, such as increased transportation costs, additional health problems related to the physical burdens of working (such as standing too long or lifting heavy items).
    At a time in their lives when our parents and grandparents deserve some peace of mind they are left with living in a financial nightmare.
    There is no one answer to this nationwide problem, but it must be addressed now because the next generation facing retirement is carrying more debt than members of earlier generations, in an analysis by the Employee Benefit Research Institute.  This is a problem that is not going away any time soon.

    The post Dramatic Increase in Elderly Filing Bankruptcy appeared first on Diane L. Drain - Phoenix Bankruptcy & Foreclosure Attorney.


    1 week 3 days ago

    Below is the final set of Tacoma bankruptcy traps for the unwary. Please let me know if you have any questions at all about any of the issues raised in these posts, we are happy to help:
    10. Not Paying Your Employee Withholding Taxes
    If you are a Tacoma business owner, please do not make the mistake of failing to pay your employee withholding taxes to the IRS. The IRS has the power to assess certain individuals responsible for managing a company for any employee withholding taxes that are not paid by the company.
    Employee withholding taxes are not dischargeable in Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. So if you are thinking about filing bankruptcy, the one debt that you want to stay current on is the employee withholding taxes. We can deal with the credit cars, the car loans, the medical bills and whatever else. Don’t pay the credit cards which are normally easily discharged and skip the employee withholding taxes.
    11. Emptying Retirement Accounts to Pay Debts Off
    Most retirement accounts are completely protected in a bankruptcy. Unfortunately, most debts that people pay off when they empty retirement accounts would have easily been eliminated in bankruptcy. Even worse many would be Tacoma bankruptcy filers incur tax penalties while taking out money from retirement accounts to pay off debts that would have been eliminated anyway.
    Save your retirement account for retirement. You want to pay off your creditors but this is not the way to do it. Chapter 13 bankruptcy as an alternative will enable you to keep your retirement account, pay something back, but keep your retirement account intact.
    12. Refinancing Your home or Taking a Second Mortgage on Your House to Pay Debts
    Refinancing your home or getting a second to pay off debts is generally a pretty poor idea. First of all, over $125,000 in equity is completely exempt in a Tacoma bankruptcy. If you have about this amount in equity or less, you have a good chance of eliminating all the debts without harming your biggest investment or needlessly racking up thousands of dollars of interest.
    If you have more than $125,000 in equity, filing chapter 13 is likely a much better option than taking equity out of your house. In Chapter 13, you can always wait three plus years before completing a refi or sale of your property to pay off some of your creditors. During that time no interest accrues on the debt and you likely pay off a much smaller sum than you would if you refinanced or got a second mortgage now.
    Sadly, we see clients pull all of the equity out of their homes and still end up filing bankruptcy. You should never take out a second mortgage or refinance your home in order to pay off debts without first having an attorney assist you in assessing your entire financial situation.
    Please let me know if you have any questions at all regarding any of the issues raised in this post. We have bankruptcy law offices in both Tacoma and Seattle and we would be happy to help.
    The post Tacoma Bankruptcy Traps – A Four Part Series – Part 4 appeared first on Portland Bankruptcy Attorney | Northwest Debt Relief.


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