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Mortgage Payment Relief During COVID-19

The outbreak of the COVID-19 virus has had a huge effect on the world. In the US, many Americans are struggling with reduced income, offsetting debts, unemployment, and worse, keeping a roof over their heads. To help with this, the government has enacted the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, with the main objective of providing financial relief options to Americans affected by this pandemic. In this article, we will discuss the mortgage aspects of the CARES Act in detail.

Coronavirus and the Economy

  • Posted On February 11, 2020
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Following the outbreak of the Coronavirus in Wuhan, China and the fact that about 40,000 cases have been reported so far both in and outside China, there is speculation as to the effect of this deadly virus on the economy of China and Asia as a whole. This isn’t far fetched considering that the SARS outbreak in 2002 caused a drop in GDP of up to 1%. There is no telling just how much such a disease could affect the economy in the following year. After the outbreak, a lot of airlines were shut down and some restricted flights inside China. A number of countries have chartered airlines to bring back their citizens and quarantine them until they show no signs of the virus. The US has also stated that if the situation worsens, they might place a ban.

Handling pets during divorce

  • Posted On February 4, 2020
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Just like any type of relationship, marriages can end – sometimes amicably, other times, not so much. According to research, over 40% of marriages in America end in divorce. When the relationship ends in a bad way, it can take a toll both financially and emotionally on all parties involved. During the split, houses get sold, property gets divided, custody gets decided if there are kids involved.  What will happen if the family has a pet? There is a high likelihood of a pet being involved because over 60% of American households have at least one pet. The states in America except for Alaska and Illinois, however, view pets as property that can be sold. So the question remains, what happens to these pets when the couple splits up?  Most times, the decision is not an easy one because both parties have formed an emotional attachment to the animal, and no one wants to relinquish ownership.  Pet custody disputes are coming into courtrooms more often these days – goes to show just how difficult it is to handle pets during divorce. In this article, we will take a look at how pets are handled during divorce.

The Tax Advantages of Purchasing a Home

There are so many things to consider when thinking about purchasing a home.  You have to think about what you can afford, you have to get approved for a loan (not pre-approved), you have to find the home, and then you have to pay.  Many individuals, especially first-time homebuyers, do not consider the tax implications of purchasing a home and believe it; there are tax implications.

What You May Want to Do with Your Tax Refund

  • Posted On December 23, 2019
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Getting big tax refunds from Uncle Sam can turn the frowns of just about anyone to a smile. The average tax refund this year was about $3000 which is a lot of money. However, it is important that you use your tax refunds wisely. Rather than splurge and destroy your credit totally, you can use your tax refund money in ways that can help you build wealth. This means that rather than visiting the mall on a shopping spree, you can pay off your debts or invest. In this article, we will discuss the different ways to use your tax refund.

How to Prepare For Tax Season

  • Posted On December 23, 2019
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The year is coming to an end so it’s a good time to start preparing for tax season. It is essential to remember that it is never too early get all your documents in order. The good thing about being prepared is that once it’s time to file your taxes, you’ll be completely ready to either input your data into a software program or sit down with a tax professional. A large number of individuals make use of paid tax preparers while others use free alternatives. After searching for a professional or a free alternative, there are some steps that you need to take to prepare you for tax season. In this article, we will take a look at a couple of important ones.

The New York City Taxi Driver Bankruptcy Crisis

When someone thinks about New York City, taxi cabs are often part of the mental image. What most people do not realize is that drivers and/or taxi operators must purchase the right to drive in NYC.  A “taxi medallion” is often purchased by investors or the drivers themselves.  These medallions are treated similarly to a stock.  The value goes up and down, but the market is much less regulated.  Over the last 20 years, drivers have been duped into terrible loans required to purchase their medallion and bankruptcies are on the rise.

3 Celebrities Who Have Lost All of Their Money at Least Once

Some of the most successful people make the worst financial decisions.  Being good at singing, acting, or making music and movies does not always mean a person knows how to handle the things that come with success.  To be fair, sometimes well thought out investments just do not pan out.  Keep reading to find out just how bad things can get when celebrities blow all of their money.

Michael Jackson

Some estimate that the King of Pop died with over $500 million in debt.  During his amazing career, he sold more than 100 million albums.  He signed a recording contract with Sony worth around $64 million in the early 90’s.  Unfortunately, his spending habits were extraordinary.  He spent over $14 million to build the Neverland ranch which included such money pits as a zoo and carnival rides.  He settled a law suit with the parents of a young boy who accused Jackson of inappropriate behavior with a minor.  The settlement cost Jackson $22 million.  One of Jackson’s accountants once reported that the singer was spending $20 – $30 million per year more than he earned.

Mark Twain

Being one of the most successful authors of the 19th century was not enough for Mark Twain.  A self-described “risk taker”, Twain made plenty of bad investments such as:

  • A publishing house – Twain’s publishing house operated so terribly that when he closed it, he owed book making companies, authors, and investors $2 million (in today’s money). One of the publishing house’s more egregious flops was The Art of Sketching by Pope Leo XIII.
  • Protein powder – Mr. Twain invested $30,000 ($910,980.72 in today’s money) in a protein powder company which made a product called Plasmon. The product never took off and he lost his investment.

A month before declaring bankruptcy, Twain transferred all of his assets to his wife.  When he declared, he was more than $80,000 ($2,145,004 in today’s money) in debt.

Nicholas Cage

Mr. Cage’s financial exploits are well known, but it is always fun to do a quick recap:

  • IRS tax lien – at one point, Nicholas owed the IRS $6 million in unpaid taxes.
  • Property investments – Mr. Cage owned 15 residences at one time. He has owned two castles, a haunted house, and a deserted island in the Bahamas.
  • A dinosaur skull – enough said.

His net worth was once $150 million and now it is $25 million (still not bad).

If you have made some poor financial decisions, you may need help.  Bankruptcy can be a great tool if you use it properly.  If you are considering bankruptcy, contact Elias Dsouza at Dsouza legal group.  Elias has been guiding people through this complex process for over 15 years.

Do Not Skip Court: A Tori Spelling Story

A default judgement is defined as a binding judgement in favor of one party based on the inaction of the other party.  A default judgement can be handed down if you skip court.  Even if you do not think you will win your case, you should at least show up so you have a chance.  In 2017, Tori Spelling failed to respond to City National Bank’s allegations and a default judgement was levied against her.  Now she has to pay $220,000.

The Debt

In 2012, Tori and her husband Dean McDermott took out a $400,000 loan.  The couple quickly fell behind on payments and in 2017, the bank took them to court.  According to court documents, the borrowers still owed about $188,000 for the loan and an additional $17,000 which Tori over drew from her checking account.   Unfortunately, the couple had just been taken to court by American Express for failure to pay over $87,000 in credit card charges.  Needless to say, their spending was out of control.

The Court Date

Instead of responding to Citi National’s court claims against them, Tori and Dean decided to completely ignore the case.  They did not respond to the court via phone or mail.  Ultimately, they decided to skip their court date as well which led to a default judgement for Citi National.  A default judgement handed a win to the bank and the couple was immediately ordered to pay back over $200,000.

She claims that her financial issues stem from a lavish upbringing.  In her memoire, she stated “It’s no mystery why I have money problems. I grew up rich beyond anyone’s wildest dreams. I never knew anything else.”  She went on to say, “Even when I try to embrace a simpler lifestyle, I can’t seem to let go of my expensive tastes. Even when my tastes aren’t fancy, they’re still costly. I moved houses to simplify my life, but lost almost a million dollars along the way.”

There are plenty of reasons people fall behind on credit card or mortgage payments, but there is no reason to let it ruin your life.  You have options.  With the skills and experience of a debt defense attorney like Elias Dsouza, you can reclaim your life and get the fresh start you deserve.  Contact Elias for a free consultation.

5 Celebrities Who Have Had Their Wages Garnished

  • Posted On December 4, 2018
  • Categorized In News
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Wage garnishment can be ordered by a court when a defendant does not show up or is just ignoring previous court mandates such as child support and/or tax payments.  These rules do not just apply to everyday people, celebrities are subject to these mandates as well.  What happens when they ignore the court ruling?


In 2014, rapper DMX was taken to court by his ex-wife for unpaid child support payments and “other” expenses.  The rapper had, what some would call, a failed album in 2012 (Undisputed), but he was still pulling in $15,000 per month in royalties.  The judge ordered Universal Music Publishing to send those royalty checks to the ex-wife; $10,000 per month for child support and $5,000 per month for those “other” expenses.

Will Smith

Will had an extremely successful run in the late 80’s as a rapper.  He won a Grammy.  He earned a few million dollars.  Unfortunately, he was 18 years old and apparently forgot to pay taxes on his earnings for a few years.  The IRS took action against him and began repossessing assets.  He reportedly owed about $2.8 million in tax payments.  At the brink of bankruptcy, NBC signed him to star in “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”.  Sources say the IRS garnished 70% of his wages for the first 3 years of the show.

Charlie Sheen

We are all aware of actor Charlie Sheen’s personal problems, but did you know his wages were garnished in 2011?  This is one of the more interesting cases because he was not behind on payments.  Sheen’s ex-wife took him to court to increase the child support payments to $55,000 per month because she stated that his spending habits were likely to leave him unable to make payments in the future.  She won the case and a judge asked Warner Bros. to send money directly to the ex-wife.

Evander Holyfield

In 2012, the Georgia Department of Human Services went to court on behalf of Holyfield’s daughter.  The former boxing champ racked up a bill of over $350,000 in missed payments and hadn’t made a payment at any time in the child’s 18-year life.  The DHS asked the judge to order Holyfield to go to jail and garnish wages until the debt was paid.

Allen Iverson

In 2010, a jeweler sued Iverson for not paying a $375,000 bill.  The judge ordered Iverson to pay it.  Two years later, the former MVP had still not paid the bill and the jeweler took him to court again.  This time, they asked for over $850,000 for the balance, fees, and interest.  The judge ruled in their favor.  Iverson still did not pay the bill.  Fed up with Iverson’s inaction, the judge took control of one of Iverson’s accounts and began garnishing payments.

Money problems are not exclusive to celebrities.  If you are having trouble making payments on your home, car, or any other asset/debt, you may have options.  Contact Elias Dsouza to see what those options are so you can move on with your life and get back on track.