Pre-Bankruptcy Planning

Get rid of traffic tickets in bankruptcy (it’s imperfect)

You file bankruptcy to get rid of debts you can’t afford to pay and to get the fresh financial start in life that you so desperately need. But remember … not all debts can be wiped out in your bankruptcy. The Bankruptcy Code lists several types of debts that can’t be discharged in bankruptcy. These […]

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Asset protection versus bankruptcy

A well-to-do friend called me for some planning.  He invited me to his beautiful, five-bedroom home in the hills above Westlake Village.  We sat at poolside as he described his predicament. While he was quite wealthy, he could see losing almost all of that wealth in a snap.  He owned an insurance brokerage; one of […]

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Why the FreeCreditReport.Com ads are a scam

When is FREE not FREE? In a world seemingly driven in all matters by credit reports, getting that report for nothing ought to be a good thing, But the commercial entities beat the federal government to the web address freecreditreport.com. And they also got a better ad agency that wrote catchy tunes promoting their product, under […]

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The best way to deal with delinquent student loans (it’s not through bankruptcy!)

Occasionally, clients come to me with a big student loan problem.  These are tough to discharge in bankruptcy: you have to show that your life is almost hopeless, that even though you got educated, there is no way for you to make a living beyond the poverty level for the rest of your natural life. […]

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Why incorporate a sole proprietorship?

Bankruptcy guru Cathy Moran writes again about corporate debt.  What’s the point of incorporating?  It’s usually more effective at protecting the business from the owner’s debts than it is in protecting the owner from the business’s debts.  Click here to read her article. The flip side of this is when a corporation incurs a huge […]

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Pigs Get Fat, and Hogs Get Slaughtered

That’s a great saying, and it applies well to pre-bankruptcy planning.  It is perfectly acceptable to move assets around before a bankruptcy, within reason.  It’s a little like the difference between tax avoidance and tax evasion: there are legal limits to avoiding taxes, and there are legal limits to avoiding your creditors.  Stay within those […]

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Can an Arsonist Discharge Fire Fighting Costs in Bankruptcy? (Yes, Seriously)

Living in semi-arid California, I’ve gotten used to seeing large columns of smoke on hot, windy days.  Most recently, I could see the Springs Fire burning between Camarillo and Malibu from a distance; happily, it did little damage to structures, and no one died from it.  This one was not caused by arson, but it […]

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Bankruptcy isn’t a “get out of jail free” card

Here’s a great little loophole being closed. Get your car impounded, file bankruptcy, get your car back, dismiss the case. Easy! Until the FBI comes knocking on your door. Lesson: Bankruptcy may seem like a free lunch.  It isn’t. There are benefits and burdens to it.  File with a reputable lawyer who knows what he […]

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Becoming financially sick while pushing physical health

It used to be that a medical degree was a ticket to a relatively secure life: in exchange for spending years achieving at school and amassing formidable learning, and just showing up at your practice for 50 or more hours a week, a doctor could be guaranteed a comfortable income, if not outright wealth.  No […]

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34 Things Not to Do before Filing Bankruptcy

1. Do not leave out any Bank, Checking, Savings, Brokerage, Credit Union accounts from your schedules. 2. Do not file if your income is greater than your expenses. 3. Do not use your credit cards. 4. Do not take Credit Card Cash Advances. 5. Do not use convenience checks offered from any credit cards. 6. […]

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