Bankruptcy and Taxes: File Your Tax Returns!

  Tax debt can be discharged through bankruptcy, but you need to understand the rules. The key is filing your returns on time. I spend considerable time in my bankruptcy practice dealing with clients with tax debt. It’s common. And one common problem with these clients is that, all too often, they have not filed…

chapter 13 bankruptcy cars

Keeping Your Car out of Bankruptcy

I frequently hear clients say things like, “I don’t want to file bankruptcy on my car.” You “file on” all debts, but you need to understand what that means. As I tell clients, you must list all your debts when you file bankruptcy under any Chapter of the Bankruptcy Code. That does not, however, mean…

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Getting Bankruptcy Advice on the Internet

Getting legal advice on the internet can be difficult–and dangerous. The internet is a good source of information, but it can also be a place to pick up bad advice. Knowing enough to be dangerous Sometimes knowing nothing is a lot safer than knowing a little. Recently, I saw a question on the legal site…


How Much Will My Chapter 13 Payments Be?

Chapter 13 is known as a “payment plan” or “reorganization” bankruptcy for individual debtors. The purpose of a Chapter 13 is to repay as much to creditors as you can over a three to five-year period. The big picture answer First, think big picture. You have income, and you have expenses. The difference between the…

listing debts in bankruptcy

South Carolina Median Income Figures effective April 1, 2015

It’s that time of year again. It’s the twice-yearly time when median income figures are announced by the U.S. Trustee’s office. The figures are based on Census Bureau reporting. The figures are important for two main reasons: First, generally speaking, if bankruptcy filers are below median income for their household size, the Bankruptcy Code allows…

bankruptcy in newspaper

Inherited IRAs (Redux)

In “Are Inherited IRAs exempt”, I went out on a limb and predicted that the U.S. Supreme Court would rule–as did the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals–that inherited IRAs were exempt under section 522 of the Bankruptcy Code. I promised an update when the decision came out, which happened several months ago, and it’s time…

debtor education in bankruptcy

Five Things That Will Drive Your Bankruptcy Lawyer Nuts

Your relationship with your bankruptcy lawyer is just that, a relationship. Like any other relationship, there are things you can do to strain it. Lawyers in all areas of law discuss problem clients. It happens at lunch, in bars, and at gatherings of all sorts. The horror stories. The “you can’t believe this” tale of…


10 Ways Financial Problems are Like Jiu-Jitsu

It’s always good to have a strategy when facing a problem–particularly a financial problem. Over the last three months, after an odd “Yes Man” moment in March of this year, I began learning Judo and Jiu-Jitsu. Off the couch I came and into the Dojo (the gym) at the behest of my good friend Chris,…