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7 years 5 days ago

This isn’t my usual bankruptcy fare, but it’s worth sharing and a lot more interesting.  A friend of mine from college has shared some amazing drawings that his grandfather did during World War Two.
You can see the illustrations on Buzzfeed and a few are linked below.

 
Army Chow.
 
Mmmm . . . .beer.
The post OT: Original WWII Illustrations appeared first on Bankruptcy Attorney Seattle and Kent.


7 years 5 days ago

poor talk commiserationAs the weather warms and people meet for the first time in months around barbecue grills nationwide, the talk is sure to include a time-honored tradition: ‘poor talk’.
“Poor talk,” for those of you who don’t recognize the term, is when two people meet and end up talking about their money problems. It’s similar to, ‘fat talk,’ only this is money and not weight.
In the old days, people didn’t talk about money with one another. It simply wasn’t polite.
Nowadays, however, it seems as if our culture of oversharing has made it acceptable to talk money with the neighbors.
The questions are the reasons why, and whether it’s a good use of your time.
Why ‘Poor Talk’ Is So Compelling
Humans beings have a psychological need to belong to a group. We want to be wanted, and we want to be identified as part of a particular crowd.
That’s why we join clubs, social networks, and even work for particular companies.
That need to belong is a driving force behind our desire to share information that we might otherwise keep close to the vest. We hear the neighbor complaining about how his insurance costs have spiked, and we’re more likely to agree and throw in our own two cents.
But Is ‘Poor Talk’ Helping Us?
I used to think there was value in commiseration, that misery did love company. I still do, but not in the same way.
If I’m having a hard time with something, I might need a friend’s ear. That friend will nod, sympathize, and maybe give me some ideas about how to make things better. More likely, my friend will tell me the time he was in a tight spot and managed to get out of it.
That sort of, “you can do it,” talk can help motivate someone into making a positive change.
When both people are in the same boat, however, there’s nothing productive going on.
You both walk away from the conversation feeling as if you belong to the same club, so you’re not alone. That’s not terrible.
But you both also look at one another and figure that if the other guy’s not going out of his mind then perhaps you shouldn’t, either. You’re less likely to take positive action to get out of your bad situation.
In this respect, community can be a bad thing.
How To Break the Cycle
I’m not going to tell you to stop with the ‘poor talk’ – after all, it does fill a need from time to time.
I am, however, recommending that you look at the other folks engaging in this line of conversation and ask yourself about the things they’re not saying rather than merely what is coming out of their mouths.
Are they buckling down financially to end their problems?
Are they overstating the problem in the first place?
Do they have a deep well of savings from which to draw?
Questions such as these will help you realize that you don’t share the same problems as others, not in the same way at least. Nobody’s going to help you when your bills come due, and all the griping in the world won’t make your life better.
Let the neighbors worry about themselves. Your job is to get to work on your own financial well-being.
Image credit:  stevendepolo
‘Poor Talk’ And The Society Of Mutually Destructive Commiseration was originally published on Consumer Help Central. If you're seeing this message on another site, it has been stolen and is being used without permission. That's illegal, a violation of copyright, and just plain awful.


7 years 5 days ago

how to file bankruptcySome debts are treated differently than others when it comes to the means test.  Good thing, too.
When you’re looking to file bankruptcy, you go in with a set goal – to get out of debt, catch up on mortgage arrears, pay off taxes, or something similar.
Often, you’ll find that the means test doesn’t help accomplish those goals. Instead, it stands in your way like a bully in the school cafeteria.
But then you forget those debts you’re working on. Can they actually help with the means test?
Debt Payments As Means Test Deduction
The means test allows you to deduct your secured and priority debt payments from your income.
You take the total amount of secured debt payments that will come due within the next 60 months, divide by 60 to get the average monthly debt payment, and enter it on the means test as a deduction.
Then look at your priority debts – such as tax debts and child support payments that won’t be wiped out in a bankruptcy case – and do the same.
If The Remaining Term Is Less Than 60 Months
Maybe you’ve got a car loan that will be paid in full in 40 months. For means test purposes, total those 40 monthly payments and then divide by 60.
It won’t give you a deduction for the full monthly payment, but it will give you some wiggle room.
Some benefit is better than none at all.
You’ve Still Got To Pay
Listing the payments due on the secured and priority debts doesn’t mean you’re home free.
You’re still going to need to make those payments in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy (unless, in the case of secured debts, you are surrendering the property).
In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, those priority debt payments will be added to your Chapter 13 Plan along with any arrears on the secured debts.
Still, those payment amounts may go a long way towards helping you to qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy when that may not have otherwise been the case.
How To File Bankruptcy: Debt Payments And The Means Test was originally published on Consumer Help Central. If you're seeing this message on another site, it has been stolen and is being used without permission. That's illegal, a violation of copyright, and just plain awful.


7 years 6 days ago

better_place_battery_switch-660x438Bringing you the most up-to-date news, tips and blogs throughout the web. Here’s your Bankruptcy Update for May 28, 2013 Better Place Runs Out of Juice, Reportedly Plans Bankruptcy What Better Place’s bankruptcy tells us about the future of electric cars Highway Technologies closes doors; files for bankruptcy protection


7 years 6 days ago

courtroom-justicescales (1)A Dallas, Texas woman who filed multiple bankruptcy filings was recently charged with fraud.  Estela Martinez, 53, reportedly filed for bankruptcy at least six times in four years.  After multiple attempts at filing her activity was noticed by federal officials who brought bankruptcy fraud charges against her. Martinez filed for bankruptcy six times between 2009 [...]


7 years 6 days ago

As many consumers in Oregon and Washington are now painfully aware, debt buyers often purchase severely flawed claims. The FTC has determined that the information that debt buyers receive when they purchase debts, which is the only information they have to rely on in collecting, is often woefully inadequate. This often results in debt buyers suing the wrong Oregon or Washington consumer, or for the wrong amount, or on a debt that has long since been barred by the applicable statute of limitations. I often hear from consumers who are absolutely amazed that they are hearing from debt buyer collectors on debts that have long since been settled or even discharged in bankruptcy.
The whole game for most debt buyers is to get a default judgement so that the particulars of their severely flawed cases are not examined. In fact a recent study showed that in thousands of cases reviewed, debt buyers prevailed nearly ninety-four percent of the time and largely because only ten percent of the people sued even answered the complaint and only one percent hired an attorney. This is tragic because the same study found that thirty five percent of the cases filed were completely without merit and that in nearly seventy one percent of the cases, service was defective.
If you have been served with a summons, it’s time to contact an attorney. We represent consumers across both Oregon and Washington and we would be happy to help.
The original post is titled Debt Buyers and Oregon and Washington Consumers , and it came from Oregon Bankruptcy Lawyer | Portland, Salem, and Vancouver, Wa .


6 years 11 months ago

Written by: Robert DeMarco
Primcogent Solutions, LLC, [“Primcogent”] filed a petition for relief under chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code on Monday, May 20, 2013.  The bankruptcy case was filed in the Northern District of Texas, Fort Worth Division, Case No. 13-42368-dml11.  Primcogent is a Texas based company that held an exclusive license to market the Zerona BODY Laser machine in North America and Western Europe (through its European subsidiaries).  The Zerona BODY Laser machine employs a non-invasive body-contouring laser technology that is trademarked under the name Zerona®.  Presently, the Zerona BODY Laser is the only FDA-cleared, non-invasive body contouring procedure that effectively removes excess fat from the abdomen, hip, thigh and arm target areas without sugery.  The Zerona BODY Laser accomplishes this feat by utilizing “cold laser” technology to emulsify body fat and allow such fat to move to interstitial space.  The licensor of both the trademark and body-contouring technology is Erchonia Corporation, a Texas corporation operating from McKinney, Texas [“Erchonia”].
The million dollar question, however, is whether Primcogent retains any rights to continue marketing the Zerona BODY Laser.  As will be discussed, the entire success of this chapter 11 bankruptcy filing is premised upon the success of a declaratory relief action filed in the Bankruptcy Court by Primcogent on May 22, 1013.
The license and supply agreement by and between Primcogent and Erchonia [the “License Agreement”] requires Primcogent to make periodic payments in order to maintain the License Agreement.  On February 18, 2013, Erchonia notified Primcogent that is was in default under the License Agreement for failure to make certain payments then due and owing to Erchonia.  Primcogent’s cure period under the terms of License Agreement expired on March 20, 2013.  Erchonia, on March 22, 2013 and again on April 3, 2013, notified Primcogent that its rights under the License Agreement were terminated.
As alleged in the adversary proceeding filed by the Debtor shortly after the Petition Date, Erchonia’s failure to adhere to its obligations under the License Agreement coupled with allegations of fraud in the inducement, excused any alleged non-performance issues.  In support of these allegations, Primcogent avers that its decision to enter the License Agreement was predicated upon an acquisition agreement [“Acquisition Agreement”] between with Santa Barbara Medical Innovations, LLC [“SBMI”], an entity largely controlled by Erchonia.
Under the terms of the Acquisition Agreement, Primcogent was to acquire approximately 600 Zerona BODY Laser machines, many of which were leased out to customers.  According to Primcogent, representations made by both Erchonia and SBMI vis-à-vis the number of Zerona BODY Laser machines out on lease was significant because of the recurring cash flow they produced.  Primcogent later learned that approximately 200 of the machines were actually demos and generated no income.  As further alleged by Primcogent, the return rate on the leased Zerona BODY Laser machines was significantly greater than as was represented by Erchonia and SBMI.  Primcogent claims that as of the Petition date, only 114 of the Zerona BODY Laser machines were generating any significant rental revenue.
One can only imagine when this litigation will come to an end.  What is certain, however, is that Primcogent has placed all of its eggs are in one basket:  a litigation basket.  If the Bankruptcy Court refuses to grant Primcogent the extraordinary preliminary relief it seeks, this chapter 11 bankruptcy case will soon be one under chapter 7.
DATED:  May 28, 2013


7 years 6 days ago

how to file bankruptcyEven if your income is above the applicable median family income, you may still qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
You’ve done the means test.
You’ve calculated your current monthly income.
And you’ve checked it against your applicable median family income.
Things are looking bad for you, Chapter 7-wise. But wait – all hope is not lost.
Using Deductions In Means Testing
The bankruptcy system recognizes that you bring your entire gross income home with you in your pocket, and that life itself costs money.
To give a more realistic sense of how much that life should cost, the second part of the means test provides you with certain deductions for standard expenses.
These deductions from income are (supposedly) figured out by looking at the cost of living in your area as well as the size of your household.
The larger your household size, the bigger your allowed deductions. It makes sense, after all – the bigger the family, the more you’re going to spend each month on things like food and clothing.
Examples Of Means Testing Deductions
Here is a partial list of some of the allowed deductions from income on your means test:

  • food and clothing – based on national standards;
  • utilities – based on local standards;
  • mortgage payments (or, if you’re a renter, rent expenses) – based on local standards;
  • vehicle ownership and operation costs – based on local standards;
  • federal, state and local taxes;
  • life insurance;
  • court-ordered payments;
  • involuntary deductions from employment for retirement contributions, union dues, and uniform costs;
  • child care;
  • education for employment or for a physically or mentally challenged child;
  • telecommunications;
  • Health Insurance, Disability Insurance, and Health Savings Account Expenses;
  • Continued contributions to the care of household or family members;
  • Protection against family violence;
  • Home energy costs in excess of the amounts provided for under local standards for utilities;
  • total average monthly expenses that you actually incur, not to exceed $156.25 per child, for attendance at a private or public elementary or secondary school by dependent children less than 18 years of age;
  • Continuing charitable contributions; and
  • total average monthly amount by which your food and clothing expenses exceed the combined allowances for food and clothing (apparel and services) in the IRS National Standards, not to exceed 5% of those combined allowances.

As you can tell, it’s a fairly lengthy list of deductions. When you complete your means test forms, it’s important to review each of these potential deductions to see how you can maximize them.
Why Your Deductions From Income Are Important
If your currently monthly income is above the applicable median family income, you will be be unable to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
If you try to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you’ll be subject to a presumption of abuse – and fighting to keep your case alive is going to be time consuming and frustrating.  There’s a good chance you’ll fail.
Utilizing the deductions from income may save you, helping to rebut the presumption of abuse and giving you the opportunity to get relief under Chapter 7.
More to the point, these deductions help to paint a more accurate picture of your financial situation. They complete the scene, providing a greater sense of where the money goes each month.
In the end, that’s the most important piece of the puzzle.
How To File Bankruptcy: Means Testing Deductions From Income was originally published on Consumer Help Central. If you're seeing this message on another site, it has been stolen and is being used without permission. That's illegal, a violation of copyright, and just plain awful.


7 years 1 week ago

More and more I am seeing both Washington and Oregon consumers forced into bankruptcy as a result of Yo-Yo financing schemes utilized by local car dealerships. Often the consumer has no idea that the practice was intentional.
In essence, Yo-Yo financing is the practice where the consumer signs off on a car deal and drives it off the lot with the promise that the dealer will formalize the financing afterwards. Of course later, the consumer gets a call and learns for the first time that the financing has fallen through and that the only way to get the deal done is with a different car or higher interest financing. If the consumer says no deal, the dealer says the trade-in has already been sold or that the consumers will lose the downpayment.
This is just the kind of thing that in and of itself might not force bankruptcy, but couple it with one bad credit card, one unexpected medical bill or one missed paycheck and the choice is either bankruptcy or a lifetime of collections calls and bad credit.
If you believe that you have recently been victimized through a Yo-Yo financing scheme, give us a call before it’s too late. If it is too late for us to force the car back on the dealer, call us anyway: This is just the kind of debt that can easily be discharged in bankruptcy. Moreover, we can often reduce the amounts of these debts and the interest rates through bankruptcy. I will look forward to hearing from you.
The original post is titled Yo-Yo Car Financing Can be the Bankruptcy Last Straw for Washington and Oregon Debtors , and it came from Oregon Bankruptcy Lawyer | Portland, Salem, and Vancouver, Wa .


7 years 1 week ago

how to file bankruptcyIn bankruptcy, spousal income is important. But only some of it.
The part of the bankruptcy process that scares my clients most has nothing to do with them.
It’s got to do with their husband or wife, someone who may not even be filing for bankruptcy.
The fear sets in when I tell my client that I need their spouse’s income information in order to complete the bankruptcy documents.
Then I explain the bankruptcy hokey pokey.
Why Your Spouse’s Income Is Required
The means test requires your spouse’s income if you’re legally married and living together.
The goal is to get a better sense of your overall household income.
In addition, the deductions from the means test that follow the income section are higher for larger households. If you’re getting the benefit of a deduction, you need to have the burden of the extra disclosure.
Once We Add, We Subtract
The means test contains a place for what’s called a marital adjustment.
If your husband or wife is using part of their income to cover their separate expenses then we get to back out that amount from the means test.
Just like the hokey pokey, which you probably played as a kid. You put your left foot in, you put your left foot out …
Some examples of separate expenses that can be backed out under the marital adjustment are:
money your spouse pays for his or her tax liability;
funds use by your spouse to support people other than you or your dependents;
expenses for payment of your spouse’s separate debts; and
just about any money not being used for household expenses.
The Spouse Who Won’t Play the Game
From time to time I’ll have a client with a spouse who won’t give up their income information.
Maybe they’re very private. Perhaps they just don’t want to be bothered. It doesn’t matter.
This creates a bit of difficulty, but we can often get past it.
After all, letting your spouse stand in the way of your bankruptcy isn’t the goal of the process – it’s full disclosure and painting a fuller picture of your financial situation.
How To File Bankruptcy: Marital Adjustment In Means Testing was originally published on Consumer Help Central. If you're seeing this message on another site, it has been stolen and is being used without permission. That's illegal, a violation of copyright, and just plain awful.


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