Blogs

8 years 2 weeks ago

Gay couples, especially those that are in a long term relationship, present a unique set of problems when it comes to seeking relief under Chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code.  Gay couples in a long term relationship usually hold the majority of their assets jointly as well as the debts they have accumulated.  This situation is similar to most "married couples".  Gay couples in Massachusetts, the only state that allows gay marriages and/or resides in a state that recognizes gay marriages, the problem described below does not apply. 
By law, it is questionable whether a civil union between same sex couples would apply in the same fashion as a conventional marriage that is authorized in Massachusetts.  Most married couples seeking relief under the bankruptcy code, file what is called a ‘joint case'.  A joint case is started by the filing of a single petition by an individual and such individual's spouse.  It is important to note that the bankruptcy code does not refer to a man and a woman but rather an individual and the individual's spouse. 
There is a solution that gives a gay couple roughly the same relief as that of a married couple.  That relief is provided for in the Rule of Bankruptcy Procedure.  Partners may seek to have their cases jointly administered, which has, for the most part, the same effect as filing a joint case.  This has been accomplished by each person filing a separate petition requesting relief under Chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code.  Upon the filing of such petitions, or shortly thereafter, a Motion is filed with the Bankruptcy Court requesting the two cases be jointly administered,   i.e. joined together under a single case number and for the most part handled as one case. 
The foregoing has been ruled upon successfully by at least one bankruptcy judge. 
There remains one unresolved issue that will likely be addressed by a bankruptcy judge soon as to the issue of ‘substantive consolidation (SP)' these cases, which would give all the benefits of filing a joint case. 
 


8 years 2 weeks ago

A consumer being harassed by ‘Debt Collectors' has significant rights under federal law: including the right to demand that a Creditor stop communicating with you.   Under the "Debt Collection Practices Act", a federal statute, there are two (2) ways to stop those harassing phone calls or for that matter any form of communication to you. 
1- To inform the Creditor that you are being represented by an attorney and providing the Creditor with the name, address and telephone number of the attorney you have hired. The applicable provision can be found in Section 1692c(a)(2) of the Statute.

  • 2- Write a letter to the Creditor informing the Creditor that you are not going to pay the debt and that you wish all forms of communication to stop. The applicable provision can be found in Section 1692c(c).


8 years 2 weeks ago

 Life is uncertain that's for sure.  You watch the news and we're told these are scary times and that our ‘banking institutions' have made mistakes and need help - billions of dollars of help.  Where is the money coming from - looks like it may come from you and me.
So, perhaps it's time to reconsider the stigma of filing for bankruptcy.  Let's face it - if you are not able to keep up with your expenses - why not take advantage of the laws that allow for ‘debt forgiveness'.   Bankruptcy does not give you permission to be irresponsible - bankruptcy gives you the ability to manage your finances (Chapter 13) or wipe out your unsecured debts (Chapter 7).   
No one likes to admit they made mistakes or even acted a bit irresponsible.  But no one likes arguing with their spouse over money and the tension that fear and unmanageable debt adds to a marriage can feel like the last straw.  Our debts don't define us.  Our ‘toys' and our ‘careers' don't define us.  When you look in the mirror and review your personal character inventory - how do you rate?  Are you someone that is caring, loving, generous of spirit, honest, forthright, etc.? I believe that's what defines us.The bottom line is - if you've made mistakes with finances - forgive yourself; if you have medical bills, lost your job, your divorce set you back, your mortgage payments are currently unaffordable - help yourself and your family by seeking ‘debt forgiveness'.  At least that's honest.  Now, can we say that about many of our financial institutions that have either failed or on the verge of failure?  Just something to thing about............


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