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Pier 1 Imports Eyeing Bankruptcy

We have seen many giant retailers succumb to the pressures of an ever-changing retail landscape.  The traditional retail business model is all but obsolete.  The latest hobbling giant is Pier 1 Imports.  While they have not filed for bankruptcy, they have tapped into some resources which are indicative of debt restructuring.

What Is the Difference Between Good Debt and Bad Debt?

Most of us are familiar with the terms “good debt” and “bad debt”, but what do they mean?  It may seem counterintuitive to consider any debt “good”.  However, the health of your credit score greatly relies on debt and your ability to handle it.  To better understand what types of debt you want, you have to know which kinds help you the most.

The Federal Law That Allows You to Freeze Your Credit

In a step toward protecting Americans from fraud, the federal government passed the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act.  It is absurdly easy for people such as hackers, thieves, and even relatives to open accounts in your name, but this can change if you are diligent.  The new law, enacted in July of 2018 allows you to freeze your credit so no one can open a new account without your explicit permission.

Bankruptcy Options for Married Couples

Married couples often share the same debts, but that is not always the case.  There are bankruptcy filing options for both situations.  One partner may need to wipe out their debts but want to avoid harming the other partner’s credit.  In some states, it can be beneficial to file for bankruptcy jointly.  Before deciding, you should know the pros and cons of each filing option for married couples.

One Spouse Filing for Bankruptcy

If a couple is in a situation where only one of the two partners needs to file for bankruptcy, filing individually may be the right choice.  An individual can file for chapter 7 or chapter 13 bankruptcy.

A Quick Guide to Living Trusts

A living trust can be a great option to ensure your assets are dispersed exactly as you want them to be in the event of your death.  While it does not exactly replace a will, it is a tool that can save you money in the long run.  There are several different types of living trusts.  While you do not need a lawyer to develop a trust, it may not be a bad idea to hire one.

The Benefits of a Living Trust

One of the greatest upsides to a living trust is the complete circumvention of probate court.  You do not have to worry about a court deciding what to do with your assets.  In addition, with other options such as a will, there is always the chance that a friend or family member will contest for your assets.  A living will can protect you from that.

Second, but not least, it can be cheaper.  The execution of a living trust upon death should not cost much because it does not require a court or attorneys.

What Is a Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure?

Foreclosure is the last thing you want when you are already having trouble in life.  There is a multitude of reasons you may find yourself in financial trouble bad enough to warrant bankruptcy, a short sale, or foreclosure.  The situation may seem hopeless, but there may be an option you are unaware of.  In some cases, you may be able to sign over the deed to your house to the lender and release yourself from the burden of the debt.

A Deed in Lieu

Rather than losing your house through short sale or foreclosure, you may be able to convince the bank to take your deed.  Some banks are not willing to let you short sell.  In this case, while you may not feel compelled to help the bank, you could free yourself of the debt by giving them the deed.  While this may be a good option for many, it is far from a sure thing.

Debt Collection Strategies for Your Small Business

Debt collection can be an uncomfortable topic for many small business owners.  Very few people get into business to pursue debt.  There are many ways to approach debt collection and almost all of them require some level of finesse.  If you are having issues collecting receivables, keep your cool.

Do Not Take It Personally

Too often, small business owners get upset right away when a client misses a payment.  There are tons of simple reasons why this could happen:

  • Sometimes people just forget things;
  • The client could have misunderstood the payment terms;
  • You could have forgetting to send them the invoice;
  • There could have been a technical issue for the payment.

Before you raise arms against the client, make sure you cover your bases by checking on the simple stuff.

Is Student Loan Debt Negotiable?

  • Posted On February 27, 2019
  • Categorized In Debt
  • Written By

There is a growing debate over the student loan debt problem in America.  Millions of former students struggle to keep up with their student loan payments which have a carry over effect in areas such as car loan and mortgage payments.  It is widely accepted that student loan debt repayment is as sure as death and taxes, but is that really the case?

The Student Loan Debt Problem

If you are one of the 44 million people in America that have student loan debt, you know what it feels like to be frustrated with this seemingly unforgivable burden.  Currently, the total student loan debt in this country amounts to $1.5 trillion.  The average debt for each student is $37,172.  With so many people struggling with this debt, what can be done?

Is a Short Sale the Way to Go?

A homeowner can sell their home for less than they owe if the circumstances are right.  This is called a “short” sale.  Short sales are often beneficial for the seller, the buyer, and the creditor.  A person can market the sale as a short sale to attract buyers.  This may sound like an easy out for someone who cannot make payments, but there are negative consequences to be considered when considering a short sale as a debt relief option.

So, What Is a Short Sale?

A “short” sale of a home is when the seller sells their house for less than they owe the mortgage lender.  If someone is behind on payments, they may consider this as an option to avoid foreclosure or bankruptcy.  In order to be able to utilize the short sale option, the seller (debtor) must apply for permission from the bank (creditor).  Why would a bank agree to this?  In many situations, they can recuperate more of the owed money than they might be able to if the debtor files for bankruptcy or the home is foreclosed on.

More Americans Are 90 Days Late on Their Car Payment Than Ever Before

There may be new evidence that a strong job market does not necessarily lead to financial freedom for individuals.  Over 7 million Americans are at least 90 days behind on their car payment.  A car is a necessity for most people and the idea of losing it to repossession is enough to keep them awake at night.  What can these individuals do to get back on track?

Who Is Struggling with Car Payments?

According to a recent article in the Washington Post, the majority of the people that are 3 months behind on their payments are under the age of 30.  They have low credit scores and they are finding it difficult to pay their monthly student loan bills.  A large portion of these borrowers are “subprime” meaning their credit score is under 620.  Most of the borrowers that are more than 90 days late on their payments received their loans from a “car finance” company as opposed to a traditional credit union or bank.  Less than 1% of borrowers from credit unions are 90 days late on payments.