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2 months 2 weeks ago


Money is a complicated topic. It is often very obvious what a person must do to improve their financial situation, but getting someone to change their financial habits and attitudes is hard. Good financial advice seems to go in one ear and out the other as clients continue to repeat the same destructive patterns over and over again.
At a core level, we generally know when we are behaving badly. An alcoholic is aware that they drink too much.  An obese person knows they need to eat a healthier diet. A gambler knows they cannot win back their losses at a slot machine.
Money disorders share this problem, but what makes them even more challenging is that a person may not even be aware that they have a disorder.  Instead, those who suffer from money disorders may actually think they are making wise money choices and they are at a loss to explain why things do not go well or they blame others for their failures.
Professor Brad Klontz has written a great deal about the psychological aspect of money behavior, including a book I recently read entitled Mind Over Money, Overcoming the Money Disorders That Threaten Our Financial Health.
According to Klontz, adult money behaviors are generally learned in childhood and they are often related to a traumatic event or “financial flashpoint.”  Conclusions formed by a child experiencing an emotional event involving money tends to flow over into their adult life. These early emotional money experiences create a “money script” that are played out repetitively in our adult life, both good and bad.

In our experience, financial pathology typically manifests itself in one of three ways.  We might repeat destructive financial patterns learned from our early socialization . . . We might also flee to the polar opposites of those patterns in an attempt to avoid repeating the experiences . . . Or we might alternate between those two extremes”

Everyone acquires a Money Script during their childhood that they put into play as an adult.  Such internalized money scripts become part of our personality and shape the way we view the world. Parents have a lot to do with shaping a child’s view towards money and the money scripts that play in their heads as they grow into adults.
There are may types of money scripts.  Some view the spending of money as a way to express love, so to not spend money on others as they request is to deny them love.  Some equate the acquisition of money as a sign of evil and greed so they give away all their money to stay pure and holy. Others view the spending of money as dangerous and they save every penny they earn while they wait for financial disasters to jump out of nowhere. Many spend money publicly to show their success to others and derive a sense of self-worth in the process.
But if you are not aware of what money scripts you are running, how can you determine if they are correct? Is spending money on your child the same thing as showing love? Is not spending money on your child a way to show dislike or disapproval? Obviously one can refuse to spend money on a child if more important items–like paying rent or utilities–need to be paid first, but that doesn’t mean you don’t love your child. But in the mind of many, such refusals mean just that, and so they take care of the child’s wants first and then scramble to pay the rent.
The beginning point in financial therapy is to review the financial history of your family and then to write down some of the spoken and unspoken money rules leaned in childhood. Does saving money really mean your greedy? Does spending money really show love? Are the money scripts in your head really the right kinds of rules to have? Who is in control of your money, the little child whose parents were less than terrific with money or the adult you have grown to be? For most of us, the child still rules. Maybe it is time for the adult to update the rules.
 
 


2 months 2 weeks ago

Do not ignore your debts–even if you think they are gone or “charged off”.
This article shows a prime reason why you should explore all options to resolve your debts.   Whether through bankruptcy or otherwise, it is important to do so even if you think the debts are gone. Judgment Creditors Can Seize Your Bank Account Without Further Notice Most know when a debt is being pursued by Debt Collectors in Oregon. The constant phone calls, bills, threatening letters, and eventually getting served with a lawsuit, make it hard to ignore. But what about debts you thought were gone and have not tried to collect for years?
A True Story
John (not his real name) had a bunch of old credit card and medical debts. The debts were many years old and he had not heard from any of them, nor made any payments, in years. In fact, most of the debts were past the statute of limitations for collections.  So what did John do?  Nothing.
He did not negotiate a settlement, did not file bankruptcy, or most importantly, he did not have a consultation with a bankruptcy attorney or other financial professional regarding his options. And that is a common response. At the time John defaulted on his payments, he had no assets.  No house, just a beat up car and about $40 in his bank account. The problem is that one of John’s credit card companies sued him and obtained a judgment against him many years ago. For years they remained dormant, not doing taking any collection actions. Then one day, after over 6 years, Surprise!   They lawfully seized over $20,000 sitting in John’s bank account. It was all the money he had in the world, and he had saved it up over time to use to start a business. And now it was gone. John could easily have qualified to file a bankruptcy case years ago and eliminated all this debt and he could have started rebuilding his credit then, even faster than had he not filed. Now the creditor has been mostly paid, and John has simply forked over money he did not need to pay.
How Creditors Can Get a Judgment Without You Knowing
Typically when someone sues you, you get “served” with the lawsuit papers personally. When that happens, you are aware there is a lawsuit. However, many times you can be served without ever knowing it. When a process server is unable to locate you and personally hand the papers to you, they can do “substitute service” by simply publishing notice of the lawsuit in a local newspaper which nobody will read. If you are someone who has moved a lot, or has tried to evade service, it is likely that the lawsuit proceeded without you knowing it. And if the lawsuit is filed and you do not respond, the party who filed the suit can get a “default” judgment against you, which is legally the same as a judgment entered after a trial.
How Long Are Judgments Valid?
In Oregon, a judgment is enforceable for ten years after entry of the Judgment. And they are renewable. Yes, that’s right.  All the creditor has to do is file a simple document renewing the Judgment, and they can continue trying to collect for another ten years. So these debts which John thought were long gone were always there. And now he is $20,000 poorer because he ignored the debts.
How Do I Find Out If I’ve Been Sued?
There is no one database that can be used to find out since it depends on where the lawsuit was filed, and in which court. The lawsuits are supposed to be filed where you were living (or where your address with the creditor says you are living). You can search the court’s website in the appropriate county or city for your name and see what it shows.  The searches may be free, or there may be a small charge.  But if you have ever had debts which you never paid, it is worthwhile to take a look.
Schedule a Free Consultation with Your Portland Bankruptcy Attorney
When it comes time to file for bankruptcy, you need a compassionate and skilled attorney who will be able to guide you through the process as cleanly as possible. Northwest Debt Relief Law Firm, we can help you with filing for Chapter 7, Chapter 11, and Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Salem, Oregon.  We will be there every step of the way to help navigate you through the often-complex and difficult bankruptcy process.
Give us a call at (503) 912-8809 to schedule a free consultation with one of our bankruptcy attorneys. If you have any other questions about bankruptcy, one of our attorneys will be more than happy to offer advice on your particular situation.

The post What Happens When You Ignore Debt Collectors in Oregon appeared first on Portland Bankruptcy Attorney | Northwest Debt Relief.


2 months 3 weeks ago

After Bankruptcy, check your credit score Most people have a credit score of about 620 a couple months after bankruptcy.  That’s from a study by the Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank. a few years ago.  (I saved the complete study here.)  And here’s the full size  Chart that shows how scores recover.   What’s your after bankruptcy […]
The post After Bankruptcy, check your credit score by Robert Weed appeared first on Robert Weed.


2 months 3 weeks ago

Everyone is required to bring their social security card to their bankruptcy hearing. And a lot of people have lost theirs over the years.   Virginia was recently added to the states where you can use your drivers license and apply on the internet to get a replacement card sent to you.   You don’t […]
The post For your bankruptcy hearing, you’ll need your Social Security Card by Robert Weed appeared first on Robert Weed.


2 months 2 weeks ago

One of the benefits of the federal bankruptcy laws is a well-known exemption to the liquidation of assets. This exemption is known as the homestead exemptions, and under Washington law can help someone struggling through a bankruptcy emerge from the process with a small win.
Under the Washington exemption system, homeowners may exempt up to $125,000 of their home or other property covered by the homestead exemption.
If you owe money to any state for failing to pay income tax for pension or retirement benefits you receive while living in Washington, the homestead exemption is unlimited as to that debt.
Some states allow married couples filing a joint bankruptcy to double the homestead exemption amount, but in Washington, you cannot double. Even so, there are reasons a married couple would choose to file a joint bankruptcy.
These exemptions are an important part of the bankruptcy system, and allow those filing for bankruptcy to leave with some hope for starting over better than before.
Exemptions and the Law
These exemptions are found in the statutory language of the Bankruptcy Code and are very powerful under the law. This point was underscored by the Supreme Court in 2014 when they issued an opinion, overruling the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals who had denied a petitioner their right to a $75,000 exemption in the bankruptcy case.
In that case, Law v. Siegel, a man had filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, and claimed a $75,000 exemption for his home. At the same time, he claimed that a fictitious company (he invented), held over $100,000 in notes on his house, in addition to the mortgage owed to a bank. As his home was his only real asset, it left nothing for the trustee to liquidate for his estate.
Upon investigation, however, the trustee found out that this fictitious company did not exist, and therefore much of the home could be liquidated. It took several years of litigation and over $500,000 in litigation costs to find this out. When the bankruptcy finished the trustee asked the court to surcharge the man’s $75,000 home exemption, and apply that to the cost the case, and the bankruptcy court complied.
Supreme Court Overturns
This case went to the Supreme Court and they overturned the bankruptcy court and 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. They ruled that while the man’s conduct was fraudulent, and he should have been punished in a number of different ways, they could not just surcharge his home exemption when it is written into the statute, particularly where no other part of the code allows a judge to do this.
This case exemplifies how powerful the home exemption is in Washington bankruptcy cases, and why it is important to take advantage of this provision in the law. To do so you need the right legal team handling your case, and ensuring you get the best result possible for you bankruptcy case. These and other provisions can either help, or hurt you, depending on many factors.
Schedule a Free Consultation with Your Tacoma Bankruptcy Attorney
When it comes time to file for bankruptcy, you need a compassionate and skilled attorney who will be able to guide you through the process as cleanly as possible. Northwest Debt Relief Law Firm, we can help you with filing for Chapter 7, Chapter 11, and Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Washington State.  We will be there every step of the way to help navigate you through the often-complex and difficult bankruptcy process.
Give us a call at (253) 780-8008 to schedule a free consultation with one of our bankruptcy attorneys. If you have any other questions about bankruptcy, one of our attorneys will be more than happy to offer advice on your particular situation.

The post Bad Faith and Power of Homestead Exemptions Under Bankruptcy Laws appeared first on Portland Bankruptcy Attorney | Northwest Debt Relief.


2 months 3 weeks ago

Tax time has come again and many Seattle and Tacoma area bankruptcy filers are wondering whether they are going to be able to eliminate their debt and still keep their tax refund.  Thankfully, the answer is generally yes and here is Keeping Your Refund in a Washington Bankruptcy is always a plus.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy filers are normally able to retain their refunds due largely to the kindness of the Chapter 13 Trustee in Seattle and Tacoma. Chapter 7 bankruptcy filers are generally able to keep their refunds as well. This is so largely because in the absence of substantial home equity, Chapter 7 bankruptcy filers in Washington may claim the extremely generous federal bankruptcy exemptions.
Currently the federal exemption scheme provides for $1,250 plus $11,850 of the homestead exemption to be used to exempt any property for single filers. This amount is doubled for joint filers. Usually that leaves ample room to protect a refund. 
As long as the bankruptcy filer has lived in Washington for the last two years, the federal exemptions are available. If not, the debtor can still claim the the federal exemptions, or failing that exemptions with nearly identical protections, provided that the debtor lived in some mixture of Washington and either Oregon or California for the last two and a half years. 
If you have lived in other states beyond Washington, Oregon and California, you will want to consult with an experienced  bankruptcy attorney who is familiar with the exemption schemes in other states. Even where the refund is at risk, there are strategies  available for protecting all or some of a refund, even where the exemptions fall short. 
Book an appointment at any one of our Washington Bankruptcy Law Offices in Seattle, Tacoma or Vancouver or at one of  our Oregon Bankruptcy Law Offices in either Portland or Salem, if you have any questions at all about keeping your refund or refunds through the bankruptcy filing process. We would be happy to help.
The post Keeping Your Refund in a Washington Bankruptcy appeared first on Portland Bankruptcy Attorney | Northwest Debt Relief.


2 months 3 weeks ago

Not all debt collection agencies are the same. The endbillcollections group deals only with commercial recesses and has:

  • A success rate of 85%
  • Incomparable experience in collecting large sums of money
  • Vote A + with Better Business Bureau
  • Competitive prices (there are no charges if we do not collect)
  • Lawyer inside the company
  • Recognition of the company’s experience
  • 21 years of excellent service.

There are literally thousands of debt collection agencies in the United States. Many are simply companies with only one employee founded by former salesmen in the field of unemployed credit. These small collection agencies are generally not commercial recessed practices. They do not have the necessary business experience to understand the real reasons of the company’s debt or to know how to manipulate the situation to convince the Azenda to pay. They simply write letters and make phone calls soliciting payment and hope that this works.
Other debt collection agencies are huge. They collect all types of debt: by credit card, mortgage, rent of flats, medical expenses, insurance accounts, uncovered accounts of drugstores, telephone bills, etc. and also commercial collections. These credit recovery agencies will have palaces filled with magazines occupied by 12 dollar tele-collectors per hour reading written texts flowing on a computer screen. Computerized telephone composers contact the debtors who have switched to tele-collectors who have no knowledge of the situation except the amount due and the date of payment. The collectors do not take the time to understand the company they are calling, the nature of the debt, the reason for the non-payment, or the personality of the owner of the enterprise. They simply ask for money, which is much less effective than a professional approach.
There are many debt collection agencies of the same size as the endbillcollections group. But we do not know any commercial collection agency that has debt collectors with the business and professional experience that have ours. Just ask if these debt collectors:

  • Have previous experience in owning and managing businesses;
  • They have experience in negotiating mergers and acquisitions, intellectual property licenses, and cross-border ventures;
  • They were required to provide training programmes for credit managers on collection of receivables and bad payers;
  • They have been hired as consultants to travel abroad to negotiate transactions or resolve disputes;
  • They have MBA of five best schools;
  • They use all of this experience to deliver the best results in commercial credit recovery;
  • Do they use a custom approach for each collection to maximize credit recovery?

Clearly the largest collection agencies may not have debt collectors with this level of experience and ability. The endbillcollections group is a commercial recovery agency ‘ boutique ‘ specializing in large commercial debts.
We have several customers whose turnover exceeds the billion dollars per year. They entrust us with all their recoveries of all sizes. We also accept new customers who have only one credit to recover. The average amount of the receivable must be at least 2,000 dollars.


2 months 3 weeks ago

bankruptcy and divorceTwo of the most devastating and overwhelming situations in life are bankruptcy and divorce. Unfortunately, many people who endure the one are also faced with the other. Filing bankruptcy can indicate financial difficulty, which is a leading cause of divorce. If you are fighting with your spouse about money, you are more likely to seek a divorce. Further, divorce can lead to financial difficulty as spouses attempt to separate assets, debts, and responsibilities. Divorce often directly causes a person to file bankruptcy.
If you are considering filing bankruptcy and divorce, you should consult with an experienced Dallas bankruptcy attorney. Allmand Law has worked with clients dealing with an array of personal situations. We can walk you through these difficult times and help you obtain financial security and move forward with life. Call us today at 214-884-4020 to find out what we can do for you.
Here are some things you should consider before you file for bankruptcy and divorce:
Don’t File for Bankruptcy and Divorce Simultaneously
Although you may be facing a difficult financial situation and be unhappy in your marriage, you should not file bankruptcy and divorce at the same time. Both courts will need financial income about you. So it can be difficult to know what information you need to provide to each court.
When you file bankruptcy, your assets and all legal actions against you are put into an automatic stay that halts creditor activity against you. You cannot dispose of those assets while you are in the bankruptcy process, so dividing property between spouses can be difficult.
Your debts, assets, income, and other financial information must be reported to the bankruptcy court. If you are going through a divorce, it can be difficult to determine what is yours and what belongs to your spouse.
If you file bankruptcy and divorce at the same time, your divorce may be delayed to wait on the outcome of the bankruptcy. This could result in a longer than necessary divorce process. This may, in turn, be emotionally taxing for you and your friends and family.
Chapter 7 Is Quicker Than Chapter 13
When facing bankruptcy and divorce, time is of the essence. You likely want to finish the bankruptcy process quickly so that you can move on to a divorce. It’s important to understand timelines so that you don’t extend the bankruptcy and divorce process unnecessarily.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy usually takes between four and six months from the date that you file your petition. However, Chapter 13 can take three to five years to complete a repayment plan. Thus, Chapter 7 may be an ideal option if you are also considering divorce.
Debts Associated With Your Divorce May Not Be Dischargeable
Bankruptcy may allow you to discharge many consumer debts; however, there are some types of debt that may not be completely eliminated through the bankruptcy process. Even if you go through bankruptcy and divorce, you cannot eliminate debt such as alimony, child support, and attorney fees for child custody or support cases. These divorce-related debts will remain and you will be responsible for paying them even after your bankruptcy.
You May Need a Different Attorney for Your Bankruptcy and Divorce
If you and your spouse filed bankruptcy together, you may need to find a new attorney to represent you through a divorce. Even if your lawyer handles bankruptcy and divorce, it may be a conflict of interest to represent you after they represented you and your spouse in a bankruptcy.
Contact Allmand Law to Learn More About Bankruptcy and Divorce
If you are facing a situation where you will have to file for bankruptcy and divorce, you should consult with a skilled lawyer right away. We will listen to your situation and help you determine if you should file bankruptcy or divorce first. Call Allmand Law today at 214-884-4020.
The post What You Need to Know About Bankruptcy and Divorce appeared first on Allmand Law.



2 months 2 weeks ago

Upright Law Sanctioned, a national bankruptcy firm, operating in both Oregon and Washington,  was recently sanctioned and enjoined by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for for causing “unconscionable” harm to its clients. The court found that the law firm and its attorneys engaged in the unauthorized practice of law and provided inadequate representation to consumer debtor clients.
After making its findings of fact, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court entered orders in two actions brought by the U.S. Trustee. The court sanctioned Upright Law in the amount of $250,000; and imposed an additional penalty of $50,000 against the firm’s managing partner. Moreover, the Court ordered UpRight to disgorge all fees collected from the consumer debtors in both bankruptcy cases. The went on to revoke UpRight’s bankruptcy filing privileges in the Western District of Virginia for not less than five years.
UpRight operates a website offering legal services to consumers in financial distress, including debtors in both Oregon and Washington. Prospective consumers contact UpRight through the website and are quickly routed to UpRight’s sales agents. The Court found that the non-attorney “client consultants” were trained to close prospective clients by using high-pressure sales tactics and improperly provided legal advice to encourage them to file for bankruptcy relief. 
The bankruptcy court found that UpRight had “serious oversight issues” in failing to adequately supervise its salespeople to prevent their unauthorized practice of law, and that UpRight demonstrated a “focus on cash flow over professional responsibility.”
More recently, the Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Washington in Seattle found that Upright had filed bankruptcies without original signatures from the debtors and properly disclose fees received from those debtors. Because the firm had already disgorged all its legal fees to the debtors prior to the close of the hearing, the Bankruptcy Court did not impose any further penalties.
Schedule a Free Consultation with Your Oregon and Washington Bankruptcy Attorney
When it comes time to file for bankruptcy, you need a compassionate and skilled attorney who will be able to guide you through the process as cleanly as possible. At Northwest Debt Relief Law Firm, we can help you with filing for Chapter 7, Chapter 11, and Chapter 13 bankruptcy in both Washington and Oregon.  We will be there every step of the way to help navigate you through the often-complex and difficult bankruptcy process.
Give us a call at our Tacoma location (253) 780-8008  or our Seattle location (206) 486-1280 to schedule a free consultation with one of our bankruptcy attorneys. If you have any other questions about bankruptcy, Tom McAvity will be more than happy to offer advice on your particular situation.
The post National Bankruptcy Firm, Upright Law Sanctioned, Punished for Hurting Consumers appeared first on Portland Bankruptcy Attorney | Northwest Debt Relief.


2 months 3 weeks ago

Upright Law Sanctioned, a national bankruptcy firm, operating in both Oregon and Washington,  was recently sanctioned and enjoined by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for for causing “unconscionable” harm to its clients. The court found that the law firm and its attorneys engaged in the unauthorized practice of law and provided inadequate representation to consumer debtor clients.
After making its findings of fact, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court entered orders in two actions brought by the U.S. Trustee. The court sanctioned Upright Law in the amount of $250,000; and imposed an additional penalty of $50,000 against the firm’s managing partner. Moreover, the Court ordered UpRight to disgorge all fees collected from the consumer debtors in both bankruptcy cases. The went on to revoke UpRight’s bankruptcy filing privileges in the Western District of Virginia for not less than five years.
UpRight operates a website offering legal services to consumers in financial distress, including debtors in both Oregon and Washington. Prospective consumers contact UpRight through the website and are quickly routed to UpRight’s sales agents. The Court found that the non-attorney “client consultants” were trained to close prospective clients by using high-pressure sales tactics and improperly provided legal advice to encourage them to file for bankruptcy relief. 
The bankruptcy court found that UpRight had “serious oversight issues” in failing to adequately supervise its salespeople to prevent their unauthorized practice of law, and that UpRight demonstrated a “focus on cash flow over professional responsibility.”
More recently, the Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Washington in Seattle found that Upright had filed bankruptcies without original signatures from the debtors and properly disclose fees received from those debtors. Because the firm had already disgorged all its legal fees to the debtors prior to the close of the hearing, the Bankruptcy Court did not impose any further penalties.
Schedule a Free Consultation with Your Oregon and Washington Bankruptcy Attorney
When it comes time to file for bankruptcy, you need a compassionate and skilled attorney who will be able to guide you through the process as cleanly as possible. At Northwest Debt Relief Law Firm, we can help you with filing for Chapter 7, Chapter 11, and Chapter 13 bankruptcy in both Washington and Oregon.  We will be there every step of the way to help navigate you through the often-complex and difficult bankruptcy process.
Give us a call at our Tacoma location (253) 780-8008  or our Seattle location (206) 486-1280 to schedule a free consultation with one of our bankruptcy attorneys. If you have any other questions about bankruptcy, Tom McAvity will be more than happy to offer advice on your particular situation.
The post National Bankruptcy Firm, Upright Law Sanctioned, Punished for Hurting Consumers appeared first on Portland Bankruptcy Attorney | Northwest Debt Relief.


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