Blogs

3 weeks 3 days ago

Why student loan debt is ballooning for those 50 and upFrom: USAToday.comBy: Susan Tompor  Detroit Free Presshttps://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2019/12/29/retirees-student-loans-debt/2769065001/


4 weeks 10 hours ago

Student Loans & Bankruptcy – Interview with Diane Drain and Bobby Zavala
LAWGITIMATEAttorneyDianeDrainandBobbyZavalawithUniversityofDubuque-3student loanDownload the audio
LAWGITIMATE Attorney Diane Drain and Bobby Zavala with University of Dubuque
DIANE-DRAIN-on-Phoenix-Business-RadioXDiane Drain established her law firm in 1991 in order to provide education for those facing financial troubles. She believes that basic legal advice should be free and her commitment is to help her clients get their lives back on track. Her greatest reward is helping a family to establish credit so they can purchase a vehicle or home.
Diane loves her work. As a well known Phoenix bankruptcy attorney, she truly believes that “when you find your passion, going to work every day is a joy, not a job.” Her clients and fellow lawyers can attest to her passion and commitment to excellence. She practices only the areas of bankruptcy and foreclosure laws.For many years our clients and fellow lawyers rate my work as the highest possible.
Diane is a retired professor of law and taught bankruptcy since 1990 to both law students and the general public. Diane’s clients and peers have given her the highest possible rating in both legal ability and ethical standards. student loan
Diane’s code: to quote Abraham Lincoln: “Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever you can. Point out to them how the nominal winner is often a real loser – in fees, expenses, and waste of time.  As a peacemaker the lawyer has a superior opportunity of being a good man. There will still be business enough.” “The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln edited by Roy P. Basler, Volume II, Notes for a Law Lecture, July 1, 1985, p. 81” ]
Connect with Diane on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.
Bobby Zavala with University of Dubuque The University of Dubuque is a private university offering undergraduate, graduate, and theological seminary degrees, and other educational opportunities with the intention of educating and forming the whole person. The university is comprised of individuals from the region, our nation, and the world.
The LIFE advantage: The University of Dubuque designed the Learning Institute for Fulfillment and Engagement specifically for adult learners. LIFES’s accelerated degree program and services–available during the hours you need them–help you balance your family life, your career, and your studies.
The University of Dubuque (UD) LIFE Adult Learning Program offers a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resources, Marketing, Health Care Administration, Accounting, and Criminal Justice. UD also offers a Master’s Degree in Business Administration (MBA). Convenient scheduling: Classes are Monday -Thursday; Classes are face to face; Classes are from 6PM-9PM; Students take one class per session; Students can attend nine sessions per year; Sessions are five weeks in length; Childcare will be provided for children of students enrolled in the LIFE accelerated degree program.
Bobby-Zavala-on-Phoenix-Business-RadioXAn Arizona native, Senior Director Bobby Zavala has over 20 years of Active Military Service and 10 years Law Enforcement experience. He is a Deputy Sheriff with the Cochise County Sheriff’s Office. During his tenure with the Cochise County Sheriff’s Office he was a General Instructor, Physical Fitness Instructor, RADAR Instructor, Team Leader for the Accident Investigation Team, and a Field Training officer. He culminated his previous ten years as a Tactical Flight Officer and the Training Officer for the Aviation Support Unit “Geronimo”. He is still a Certified Arizona Peace Officer and remains on Reserve status with Cochise County.
He is active in the Phoenix area with many Civil Rights and Veteran groups. He is currently the Deputy Director of District 1 (LULAC), League of United Latin American Citizens, LULAC State Deputy Director of Elderly Affairs, Chair of the Tempe Military Affairs Committee (MAC), member of the Tempe Diplomats, a Life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and a member of the American Legion. Senior Director Bobby Zavala holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from Wayland Baptist University and is in pursuit of a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice.
Bobby is married, lives in Maricopa and enjoys reading, long distance running, spending time with his family.
Follow the University of Dubuque on LinkedIn and Facebook.
Special Guest Host
Mike-Poulton-on-Phoenix-Business-RadioXMike Poulton, with Poulton & Noroian, was born in North Carolina, and has lived in Nebraska, Kansas, Vermont and Arizona throughout his life. Mike earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Construction Management with minors in Physics and Business from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln. As an undergraduate, he worked as a physics research assistant in the Polarized Electron Group at UNL, designing and building scientific apparatus in support of a national nuclear physics research project. Prior to his career in law he was a project engineer and field superintendent for an international commercial contractor, helping manage large office and retail construction projects in Phoenix.
Mike attended the Sandra Day O’Connor School of Law at Arizona State University, where he was awarded the Charles E. Jones Merit Scholarship and was named a Scholar at the Center for the Study of Law, Science and Technology. He won the Moot Court Oral Argument Competition and was an editor of Jurimetrics, the academic journal of the American Bar Association’s division of Law Science and Technology. His published article “Particles of What? A Call for Specificity in Airborne Particulate Regulation” won Best Student Note, and was a nominated for the American Society of Legal Writers Law-Review Award Competition.
Mike’s legal practice draws on his knowledge and experience in other fields to serve his clients. As an experienced science researcher, Mike understands technical issues that many other attorneys cannot, and applies that knowledge for his clients’ benefit. His construction management experience also provides him with a broad knowledge base not only in construction law, but also in regulatory compliance, worker safety, and negotiation.
In addition to law, Mike has a passion for hands-on work with technological hardware and has a number of projects he is actively pursuing at any time – presently including an attempt at the world speed record for a hovercraft. He is a professional pyrotechnician who frequently produces public fireworks displays on the Fourth of July and other holidays. He has worked on the crew of many electronically fired shows in Kansas, Nebraska, Ohio, Vermont, and Arizona and has set up explosive special effects at airshows around the country. Mike has been active in canine search and rescue to find lost and missing people in the wilderness of Arizona, is a ham radio operator, a gun collector, amateur watchmaker, and enjoys camping in the mountains of Prescott, Arizona.
Michael is licensed to practice law in Arizona and is admitted to practice before the U.S. Federal District Courts in Arizona.
Connect with Mike on LinkedIn.
About This Show LawgitimateLogo
Lawgitimate and its awesome guests highlight everyday financial topics including credit scores, debt management, small business, and real estate.
Lawgitimate’s goal is to raise awareness and provide the full perspective, including the legal lens attorneys use to address these complicated and fun topics.
About Your Host
RochellePoultonHeadshotRoundRochelle Poulton is an attorney and owner of AZCLG. Rochelle has been helping people with Credit and Debt issues since 2012, owns several small businesses, and has nearly 20 years of real estate experience.
Rochelle created Lawgitimate to bring in a network of awesome people to raise awareness and educate people about the litany of legal issues she faces everyday at AZCLG.

student loanDownload the audio

The post Student Loans & Bankruptcy – Interview with Diane Drain and Bobby Zavala appeared first on Diane L. Drain - Phoenix Arizona Bankruptcy & Foreclosure Attorney.


1 month 4 hours ago

Broken Promises: Bankruptcy is advertised as the solution to financial problems.
Bad, lazy or greedy attorneys fail to warn clients about the problems they could face in bankruptcy.
bankruptcy
People in financial distress look to attorneys for help and guidance.  They assume their attorneys care more about them than about the attorney’s bank account. An attorney is ethically required to have the skill and knowledge in order to offer good advice to their clients.  Attorneys are not supposed to take more clients than they can efficiently and professionally assist.  Law firms that mass-produce bankruptcies are treating their clients like cattle – herding them into a holding pen for slaughter, with little regard about the legal consequences to those clients (losing their home, tax refunds or inheritance, to name a few problems).
The United States Trustee, the trustees, and their attorneys
The United States Trustee is aware that lawyers and law firms are mistreating their clients, but with few exceptions, they fail to take action to curb the abuses (at least where I practice).  Some Bankruptcy Trustees and their attorneys view the debtors as walking cash registers.  They keep cases open that should be closed, they collect funds for themselves that should be used pay taxes, the sins go on and on.
“A Bankruptcy Christmas”
For a very insightful expose’ on how bad this process has become – watch Stephen Berken‘s YouTube presentation “A Bankruptcy Christmas“.  He is not afraid to call a turd a turd.

MUSINGS FROM DIANE:
bankruptcyThe bankruptcy system was designed to help individuals and businesses get a fresh start.  That fresh start comes in many flavors – depending on the debtors and their goals.  Unfortunately, the process has become so corrupt that some trustee’s attorneys regularly earn approximately ONE MILLION DOLLARS a year (much of that money is from debtors who did not have attorneys or whose attorney abandoned them).  The only conclusion is that the process is broken.

A good debtor’s attorney should look out for their client, that includes helping their client avoid obvious problems. The system should not rely on the debtor’s attorney to bring an action against a bad attorney who is abusing their own clients. But, in 2019 that was dropped in my lap.  The chapter 13 trustee and US Trustee said they just “thought this young attorney was sloppy”.  I had to take months of my time to bring the spot light on the bad attorney.  Others started to pay attention once I exposed the terrors this attorney suffered on his clients, but why did I have to do their job (they get paid for this type of work, I don’t).
Sorry for the whining :-(

How Can I Help You?
The post Debtors Abused by the Bankruptcy System appeared first on Diane L. Drain - Phoenix Arizona Bankruptcy & Foreclosure Attorney.


1 month 1 day ago

This final piece of
Wynn at Law, LLC’s short Estate Planning series looks at how you can
express your wishes when you’re still alive but might not be able to
communicate. Injuries and illnesses are facts of aging. Our first
article in the series mentioned that fewer than one in three
Americans have a Living Will. Even fewer have a Power of Attorney.

First, a bit about the
difference between the two tools before we get into the types of
Powers of Attorney – or POAs. Both come into play when you are not
able to express your wishes. A Living Will identifies your wishes in
the event of very specific health care situations. While a Health
Care Power of Attorney allows someone else to make your wishes known
on their behalf and make decisions in your best interests. Generally,
a Health Care Power of Attorney grants broad authority to your agent
to act on your behalf, whereas a Living Will gives specific direction
in the event of a defined health situation. Does it hurt to have
both a Living Will and a POA? That is a great question for your
Estate Planning Lawyer (a case-by-case answer you cannot get online),
but in general, no.

Two Powers of
Attorney

The ability to have
someone act on your behalf via a POA can be limited, rather than just
giving your designee – or agent – act unilaterally for you. The
POA is usually viewed as either a Health Care POA or Financial POA.

Health Care POA:
This document gives an individual the power to make medical decisions
for you if you become incapacitated. These decisions can include
institutional admission, life support, or surgery.

Financial POA: This
document designates an agent to manage your finances if you become
incapacitated or are unable to make informed decisions for yourself.
This is also important if a person can still make decisions, but
cannot speak or physically sign his or her name. Rather than adding
an agent as a co-owner of an account, exposing that account to the
agent’s debts, a POA allows them to sign checks you direct them to
sign.

The stats favor
using a POA

Not many Wynn at Law,
LLC clients will legitimately say they enjoy the reality of Estate
Planning. You are, after all, planning for the end of life. Your
life. It’s potentially a warm, caring topic that gets overshadowed by
morbid stigma about death and dying. The disability part of the
conversation is even more difficult because, by nature, we don’t want
to think about being alive but incapable of acting for ourselves.

The statistics say we
need to pay more attention to POAs. The Administration on Aging’s
2018 Profile of Older Americans concluded that 62 percent of
adults over 65 had two or more chronic conditions. And it isn’t just
a concern to wise up to once you retire. More than one in four of
today’s 20-year-olds can expect to be disabled before they reach
retirement according to the Social Security Administration. An
expertly drafted POA can help prevent incapacitation from turning
into an emotional and financial family tragedy.
The post Your Estate Planning Toolbox: Powers of Attorney appeared first on Wynn at Law, LLC.



1 month 1 week ago

Many clients have contacted us regarding the discharge of taxes in bankruptcy,
offers in compromise and installment agreements with IRS and recently  penalties
assessed by IRS.

The IRS offers 3 types of penalty relief:

1. Reasonable Cause-this appears to be our best chance  to abate penalties
2. Administrative Waiver and First Time Penalty Abatement
3. Statutory Exception for example a taxpayer  got bad advice from IRS

Reasonable cause is relief we may grant when a taxpayer exercises ordinary business care and prudence in determining
their tax obligations but is unable to comply with those obligations due to circumstances beyond their control.

Reasonable Cause is based on all the facts and circumstances in your situation. 
The IRS will consider any reason which establishes that you used all ordinary business care and prudence to meet your
Federal tax obligations but were nevertheless unable to do so.

Typical fact patterns involving reasonable cause for failure to file a tax return, make a deposit, or pay tax when due include:

1. Fire, casualty, natural disaster or other disturbances
2. Inability to obtain records
3. Death, serious illness, incapacitation or unavoidable absence of the taxpayer or a member of the taxpayer’s immediate family

Jim Shenwick, Esq. has an LLM in Taxation from New York University Law School


1 month 1 week ago

The Last Will and Testament and other forms of the Will were covered in our most recent Wynn at Law, LLC, article. Often going alongside a Will is one or more trusts. A revocable living trust is the tool in the Estate Planning Toolbox for holding and distributing a person’s assets to avoid probate. In its simplest definition, the Trust is an entity separate from you that allows you pass assets anyone designated in the trust.

First, a word about
probate. Probate is a court process that oversees the administion
and distribution of the assets of a deceased person. As part of the
process, the court system validates a person’s Last Will and
Testament, if they have one. While the probate process is not
“scary,” it can eat up a lot of time and money. That is all the
more reason to turn to an experienced Estate Planning attorney for
help in how to avoid that unnecessary cost and delay.

A Trust skips the
probate process

How does a Trust skip
the probate process? A Trust is an entity separate from you that
holds your assets while your alive and sets forth how you want your
assets handled after your passing. Since a Trust is a separate entity
from personally, when you pass away your Trust continues. Since a
Trust cannot “pass away” anything titled in the name of the Trust
would not be subject to the probate process. Properly titling assets
in the name of a Trust, often referred to as “funding,” avoids
probate on those assets. This is why an experienced attorney will
talk you through the process of retitling assets into your Trust.

Listing assets,
changing titles

After the Trust is set
up, the Trust ‘owns’ the property. A Trust is only worth the assets
that are titled into it. This is the step that trips up many who
don’t use an attorney for the trust. For many things – jewelry or
collections as examples – the trust simply lists the assets in
detail. Real estate is a bit different in that the deed or title (see
related article) has to be changed to list the trust as the actual
owner of the property. This isn’t complicated. Still, when this step
is overlooked, your assets could end up in probate.

Avoid double
counting and under counting

Your retirement plans
and insurance policies already have beneficiaries. This money doesn’t
end up in probate, but the assets also don’t flow into a trust,
unless you’ve set the trust as the beneficiary. That tactic can seem
confusing, but it points out the importance of looking at
beneficiaries of things like life insurance and IRAs at the same time
as the trust is created. You might have even forgotten who you listed
as the beneficiary over the years since opening the IRA or policy.

In the last article, we covered the Pourover Will. The pourover helps you take care of assets you may have overlooked by sweeping them into a trust. In our next article, we’re going to cover Powers of Attorney that will help you take care of yourself.
The post Your Estate Planning Toolbox: Trusts appeared first on Wynn at Law, LLC.



1 month 1 week ago

After bankruptcy credit card offers come faster than you think Have you heard the lie? The lie that filing filing bankruptcy means seven years with bad credit. You after bankruptcy credit will be better than most people expect.   The truth about after bankruptcy credit.  The truth is the opposite of that bad credit lie.  […]
The post Credit Card Offers Come Faster Than You Expect by Robert Weed appeared first on Robert Weed - AE.


1 month 2 weeks ago

unexpected wage garnishmentIn my Atlanta area bankruptcy practice I sometimes get calls from a very anxious man or woman who tells me that their payroll office has received a wage garnishment order but the employee has no idea why or where it came from. What should they do? Here is how I would approach this problem.First, understand that you have to move quickly. If your employer receives an order of continuing wage garnishment, they have to honor it within 45 days – here is what the summons looks like.If your employer does not honor the garnishment and withhold wages, your employer can be “punished” for not obeying the order by having the entire judgment held against the employer. debt. Needless to say, your employer does not want to get stuck paying your debts.Who is the Plaintiff?Your first step should be to find out who the plaintiff (creditor) is in your case and the basis of their claim. If the holder of the garnishment order is a student loan creditor or a taxing authority, different rules apply and you need to speak to a lawyer immediately.If the claim is from a collection agency, there is a good chance that this debt has been sold multiple times by creditors and collection agencies so you may not recognize the name of the collection agency.For example, if you owe a debt to Chase Bank for a credit card, Chase may have sold that debt to Allied Systems, who may have sold it to LVNV or some other agency. Do not assume that the claim is bogus simply because you do not recognize the name of the plaintiff.When was a Lawsuit Filed Against You?If a creditor has obtained a judgment against you that means that the creditor has previously filed a lawsuit and obtained a judgment. About 95% of judgments on consumer loans are default judgments, meaning that the creditor filed a lawsuit and no one filed a written answer or otherwise responded.You may be able to find out the details of the lawsuit by using online court records. Most magistrate, state and superior court clerks in the Atlanta area offer online case search so you may be able to discover a case number and the name of the collection agency’s lawyer.If you reach out to the collection lawyer you may or may not get very far. Most collection law firms in the Atlanta area are volume practices that file dozens of cases every day. They also hear all kind of stories and denials from upset defendants. If you can get hold of someone who will talk to you, ask for copies of the lawsuit and a copy of the “return of service” showing when and by whom you were served.Was Service of the Lawsuit Valid?Before a judgment can be entered, you have to be legally served with a copy of the lawsuit. Usually sheriff’s deputies handle service. I have seen many cases where service was invalid – a busy deputy knocked on the door of whatever address is on the lawsuit, handed whoever answered the door a stack of papers then left.If the address on the lawsuit was inaccurate, or old, the deputy may have served someone who is not you and you would never have known.Sometimes the judgment against you is a “domesticated judgment” from another state. In these cases, a plaintiff sued you at an address they had for you in another state. Here, too, if no one answered they would get a judgment in that state then they would hire a lawyer in Georgia to “domesticate” the judgment in the county where you live or work.The rules of service can vary from state to state but generally speaking, you can be considered legally served if the sheriff’s deputy confirms you live at a residence and then hands the lawsuit to a competent person.This means that service may be valid if the sheriff’s deputy knocked on your door and handed the lawsuit paperwork to your teenage son, or to your 85 year old mother. If the “return of service” paperwork shows that the sheriff’s deputy came to the address where you lived and handed the lawsuit paperwork to someone in your household it will be very difficult for you to convince a judge that you were not properly served.On the other hand, if you have a common name like Smith, Johnson or Thompson and the address on the lawsuit is one where you never lived, it will be much easier to prove that you were not properly served.If service was bad, you can make a “collateral attack” on the judgment. This means that you are not addressing the merits – do you owe the debt or not – but you are asking the judge to undo the judgment because service was bad and you were denied your legal right to respond.My experience has been that if you can prove that service was defective most collection lawyers will voluntarily vacate the judgment and the garnishment. They may then start the process over again using the correct address but you will have weeks or months to either negotiate a settlement, mount a defense or file bankruptcy.Your Credit Reports May Reveal Essential InformationAnother part of your research should be to request a copy of your credit reports. You can do this for free at AnnualCreditReport.comAnnualCreditReport.com. Your credit reports should document to whom you owe money and if a lawsuit has been filed.Your immediate goal in the case of an unexpected wage garnishment is to stop the garnishment to give you time to decide what to do. If you really do not owe the money, you can ask for your day in court or perhaps your day at a mediation table. If you do owe the money, you will want time to either negotiate a settlement or to talk to a bankruptcy lawyer.As I noted at the beginning of this article, do not delay in taking action. Getting money back from a garnishing creditor is much more difficult than preventing the wage garnishment in the first place. Further, even if the debt is not legitimate, you could end up legally owing it if you do not assert your rights.Ginsberg Law helps men and women in the Atlanta area deal with debt problems. If you are facing a lawsuit or a wage garnishment, we’d be happy to help you. Our number is 770-393-4985.The post What Should You Do About a Surprise Wage Garnishment? appeared first on theBKBlog.


1 month 2 weeks ago

Supreme Court Might Allow FDCPA Suits More than a Year After Claim Arises
Holding: Statute of limitations begins to run when the alleged FDCPA violation occurs, not when the violation is discovered.

Rotkiske v. Klemm, 18-328 (US Supreme Court, Dec. 10, 2019) The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) authorizes private civil actions against debt collectors who engage in certain prohibited practices. An FDCPA action must be brought “within one year from the date on which the violation occurs.” 15 U. S. C. §1692k(d). Respondent Klemm & Associates (Klemm) sued petitioner Rotkiske to collect an unpaid debt and attempted service at an address where Rotkiske no longer lived. An individual other than Rotkiske accepted service. Rotkiske failed to respond to the summons, and Klemm obtained a default judgment in 2009. Rotkiske claims that he first learned of this judgment in 2014 when his mortgage application was denied. He then filed suit against Klemm, alleging that Klemm violated the FDCPA by contacting him without lawful ability to collect. Klemm moved to dismiss the action as barred by the FDCPA’s one-year statute of limitations. As relevant here, Rotkiske argued for the application of a “discovery rule” to delay the beginning of the limitations period until the date that he knew or should have known of the alleged FDCPA violation. Relying on the statute’s plain language, the District Court rejected Rotkiske’s approach and dismissed the action. The Third Circuit affirmed.
Held: Absent the application of an equitable doctrine, §1692k(d)’s statute of limitations begins to run when the alleged FDCPA violation occurs, not when the violation is discovered.
statute of limitations

MUSINGS FROM DIANE:
bankruptcyFor decades collection companies (and some creditors) have ignored the law because they knew no one was watching.  If their bad acts were discovered, they merely close the door (perhaps pay a large fine, but far less than what they earned) and start a new business with the same immoral attitude about collecting debts.  Then Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (www.CFPB.gov) was established.  Unfortunately, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was gutted by Mr. Trump, but I am certain that under the next administration the organization will return to its original goal of protecting consumers.

This case shows the tide is somewhat changing and we can only hope that momentum continues.

How Can I Help You?
The post Supreme Court – Statute of Limitations under FDCPA appeared first on Diane L. Drain - Phoenix Arizona Bankruptcy & Foreclosure Attorney.


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