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Bankruptcy Lawyer Bryan W. Stone answers the question: “Will anyone find out about my bankruptcy?”

It’s a favorite of the media: coverage of financial difficulties for celebrities (and sometimes, semi-celebrities). We love watching them fly high and, so it seems, love watching when they come crashing back down to earth. One issue that is assured to get media attention is when a celeb (or quasi celeb) goes into bankruptcy or, even worse, gets accused of bankruptcy fraud. There are several recent examples, including a few of the “Real Housewives”, the rapper 50 Cent and most recently, Abby Lee Miller, star of the reality TV show “Dance Moms”.

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

Everyone has heard that medical expenses are a major cause of bankruptcy filings, and it makes sense. A sudden medical emergency, especially for those without insurance, can be devastatingly expensive, sometimes costing hundreds of thousands of dollars. Another major factor in bankruptcy is job loss. You lose your income, it isn’t a surprise that you lose your ability to keep up with your bills. But what about parking tickets? Surely parking tickets aren’t a contributor to bankruptcy filings. According to some experts in Chicago, they might be.

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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: “Can I get credit after filing personal bankruptcy?”

Most consumers never give much thought to the possibility that a store they shop at or a service they use could just up and disappear. We take for granted that established brands will always be around, when the reality is that companies come and go all the time. When a store is sold or changes names, consumers rarely suffer, as debts owed are almost always honored. The same isn’t true in the case of bankruptcy filings, which can leave consumers out money they mistakenly imagined was secure.

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

In a horrifying bit of news for residents of Michigan, critics say that a state agency may be responsible for forcing hundreds and maybe even thousands of people into unnecessary bankruptcies. Reports indicate that Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance Agency has filed a number of false claims alleging that individuals have been overpaid unemployment benefits. These claims then force otherwise financially stable individuals into bankruptcy, at which point the UIA extracts massive settlements in exchange for eliminating the debt.

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

A recent article by Money Magazine walked through some of the most common myths associated with the bankruptcy process, exposing them as the fictions they really are. Though deciding to file bankruptcy can be difficult under the best of circumstances, it’s made unnecessarily harder due to commonly held misconceptions. These myths can intimidate and frighten people away from a process that might actually prove helpful, freeing them from mountains of burdensome debt. Now, let’s demystify some of these myths.

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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: “What are North Carolina’s exemptions?”

We’ve previously discussed the difficult road that individuals have when trying to escape crushing student loan debt. Frustratingly, bankruptcy laws have been written to make it nearly impossible to get out from under educational debt. Despite the difficulty, many creative bankruptcy attorneys are exploring loopholes and other untested strategies, some of which have met with success.

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Bankruptcy Lawyer Bryan W. Stone answers the question: “Can I get credit after filing personal bankruptcy?”

When a person files for bankruptcy protection one of the first things he or she must do is submit a list of assets and liabilities. The liabilities are obviously important because these are the debts that the petitioner is trying to get out from under. The assets, at least for the creditors and the bankruptcy trustee, are just as important. It’s the assets that can be sold and used to repay creditors and it’s crucial that the list be accurate and complete. In fact, the law requires debtors to list all assets and any failure to do so, assuming it’s deliberate, can result in serious criminal penalties.

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

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal discussed a tactic used by some debtors to escape what many once thought was inescapable: student loan debt. Bankruptcy rules were written in a seemingly ironclad way that prevents the vast majority of debtors from getting out from under potentially massive mountains of student loan debt. Though many have tried over the years, very few have succeeded.