Articles Posted in Dealing with Debt

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Bankruptcy Lawyer Bryan W. Stone answers the question: “What is Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?”

If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, chances are you’re in the midst of some serious financial difficulties. No one would consider going through such a process unless they were truly struggling to make ends meet. Those who are experiencing such financial problems likely have taken other steps to shore up their finances before ever getting to the stage of contemplating bankruptcy. That means they may already be receiving other financial assistance, in the form of housing vouchers, disability payments or food stamps. So what does filing bankruptcy do to these other sources of support?

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Bankruptcy Lawyer Bryan W. Stone answers the question: “What are the pros and cons of bankruptcy?”

Though many people may not be aware of it, the debt collection industry has exploded in recent years. In the past five to 10 years, creditors have begun selling all their old debt to debt buying firms, usually for two or three cents on the dollar. These firms then use aggressive tactics to pry money from debtors, even in cases where the debts are expired and legal claims can no longer be made to recover the money. The industry has grown to more than $13 billion in size, representing many thousands of claims against many thousands of debtors.

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Bankruptcy Lawyer Bryan W. Stone answers the question: “Can I keep my house if I file bankruptcy?”

We’ve previously discussed the impact that filing bankruptcy can have on some items of personal property, including things like houses and cars. As we mentioned, what and how much you’re able to hold on to typically depends on the type of bankruptcy filed, the value of the items in question and what the bankruptcy exemption rules say on the subject. Another item many people are curious about is jewelry. Whether it’s a family heirloom or a wedding ring, these items can have special sentimental value and the prospect of having to part with them can be very upsetting. To learn more about how jewelry is dealt with in bankruptcy, keep reading.

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Bankruptcy Lawyer Bryan W. Stone answers the question: “What are my alternatives to bankruptcy?”

Anyone with a job understands that if you get paid you must pay taxes on what you earn. The same thing goes for those who receive other material benefits, even if it isn’t a paycheck, some tax must be paid for the benefit you received. An example of a situation where tax can be owed despite no cash changing hands is when a loan is forgiven. If a credit card company decided to settle a $25,000 debt for $15,000, you would need to report the difference, $10,000, on your taxes. Not only would you need to report the $10,000, but you’d be required to pay tax on the value of the loan that was forgiven. This leads to a question about the debt discharged in a bankruptcy. Do you have to pay tax on that too?

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Bankruptcy Lawyer Bryan W. Stone answers the question: “Can I get rid of student loans by declaring bankruptcy?”

The reason most people feel forced to consider filing for bankruptcy is because their debts increase to unsustainable levels. Whether it’s a few large debts or many small ones, the total amount owed becomes too much to keep up with, requiring you to consider filing for bankruptcy. The hope is that bankruptcy wipes these debts away, allowing you to start fresh with a clean slate. Though that’s the goal, it’s unfortunately not always the reality. The reason is that some debts can’t be easily escaped and can instead follow you despite filing for bankruptcy protection. To learn more about which debts are hardest to shake, keep reading.

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Bankruptcy Lawyer Bryan W. Stone answers the question: “What are my alternatives to bankruptcy?”

Last Week Tonight host John Oliver recently made headlines when he forgave nearly $15 million in medical debt for roughly 9,000 individuals in the “largest one-time giveaway in [TV] history.”

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Bankruptcy Lawyer Bryan W. Stone answers the question: “What are the pros and cons of bankruptcy?”

An interesting article recently published by Forbes magazine sent out a necessary reminder to its readers: your tax bill probably isn’t going anywhere, even if you file for bankruptcy.

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Bankruptcy Lawyer Bryan W. Stone answers the question “Can I get rid of student loans by declaring bankruptcy?”

It’s long been understood that bankruptcy protections do not apply to the vast majority of student loan debt. The decision was made years ago to shield student lending companies from loss, meaning students are often locked into a lifetime of struggling to pay mounting school-related debts. A recent case out of a bankruptcy court in New York appears to chip away at that protection, at least in one rather limited circumstance.

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Bankruptcy Lawyer Bryan W. Stone answers the question “Are my 401k and IRA protected in bankruptcy?”

Deciding to file for bankruptcy protection is an important decision for anyone and requires careful consideration, as there are many factors at play. This is especially true for senior citizens who have some unique concerns and can be impacted in different ways than younger individuals with decades left to work and earn money. To learn more about bankruptcy and how it can impact senior citizens, keep reading.

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Charlotte Bankruptcy Lawyer Bryan W. Stone of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “Are my 401k and IRA protected in bankruptcy?”

A recent article in the Detroit News discussed the case of an attorney who had to advise a client not to file for bankruptcy despite a massive $400,000 mountain of debt. The reason? Because the man had recently inherited an IRA from his deceased mother. According to a recent U.S. Supreme Court case, the money contained in the IRA would not be protected during the bankruptcy process and would instead be forfeited to pay off creditors. Given the certain loss of the money, the man decided to avoid filing and continue struggling under an impossible debt burden.