Van Horn Law Group Blog

Student Loan Debt Crisis is in Worse Shape Than Thought

Posted by Chad Van Horn on Feb 27, 2017 8:21:09 AM

There’s an old saying that figures don’t lie, but liars figure. In this case, the Department of Education was the liar and the figure was a 99.8 percent mistake in the repayment rates for all colleges and post secondary trade schools in the country. In other words, they were completely wrong – but were just two points short of it. This means that the student loan debt crisis is far worse than previously thought, more extensive that estimated, and that at a quarter of the total schools serviced by the federal student loan program half of the students had defaulted on their debt. This means that half of the students at 1000 colleges and trade schools have either defaulted or failed to pay down their debt by one dollar within seven years.

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Topics: Student Loans

Partridge Peril: David Cassidy's Bankruptcy

Posted by Chad Van Horn on Feb 23, 2017 8:11:50 AM

You can blame fame and fortune at an early age, you can blame not knowing how to handle money, and you can blame the celebrity bubble, but in the end a celebrity bankruptcy comes down to the money not lasting forever. Health can also play a factor, and when Cassidy made the recent announcement of his retirement from touring, his health was a factor in the decision. He also notes that the royalties which once supported a lifestyle that boasted $27,000 a month in expenses dropped to income of around $12,000. The drop in income, a run of bad investments, and a lavish mansion’s expenses, taxes, and upkeep made bankruptcy the only option.

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Topics: Bankruptcy

50 Cent Settles Bankruptcy for More than 50 Cents

Posted by Chad Van Horn on Feb 21, 2017 8:45:32 AM

Image credit to Alex Const

This may be my last Fitty blog post. You see, rapper Curtis Jackson – known as 50 Cent - has exited bankruptcy with his death discharged. Thus ends a long strange trip that began with Curtis Jackson on the losing end of a lawsuit that he lost to Lastonia Leviston after being found liable for damages of $7 million in a sex tape case. Ms. Leviston has agreed to drop her $7 million dollar award for a lump sum payment of $6 million – with the caveat that the sum must be in 30 days or the original sum will be reinstated. All told, the settlement will pay out $23 million dollars on nearly $30 million owed to creditors from around $8 million on hand and a nearly $14 million settlement in a legal malpractice case.


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Topics: Get Out of Debt, Bankruptcy, Business

How to Handle Harassment from Creditors and Make It Stop

Posted by Chad Van Horn on Feb 9, 2017 8:13:44 AM

You know the drill – the constant phone calls, letters. Bothering family members, even calling your job. Debt collectors act as if they are a law unto themselves, but I am here to tell you that it’s not true. There are laws that govern what collection agencies can and can’t do to collect a debt, and if they violate the laws, they can get some hefty fines, or even get arrested. They can even be banned from the debt collection business. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act is to protect debtors from a variety of sleazy practices and even outright fraud that some collectors were using to harass and intimidate people who – in some cases didn’t owe any money, had paid the debt, or were trying to collect on a time barred debt.

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Topics: Get Out of Debt, Credit Restoration, Debt Collection

When to Wind It Down: Closing Retail Business

Posted by Chad Van Horn on Feb 7, 2017 8:12:38 AM

Retail is taking a beating. Over the past three years bankruptcies have accelerated, from mall staples to anchor stores. While others simply continue to close more stores and hope for the best in their online sales. Even Walmart has closed over 150 stores in the last year and now focuses on its supercenter and e-commerce sales. It’s easier for a large business with resources on hand to decide when to close up shop. For a small business, the decision is both more emotional and difficult. It is possible to retrench and become a predominantly e-commerce operation, but that takes a lot of time, effort, and a serious amount of expenditures on web presence, advertising, and website.

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Topics: Bankruptcy, Business

How to Tell if Federal Tax Refund Will Be Offset (taken)?

Posted by Chad Van Horn on Feb 3, 2017 7:57:26 AM

It’s a brand-new year and a brand-new tax season. There are some factors affecting tax returns this year, including a delay in processing refunds of those claiming the earned income tax credit (EITC) and additional child tax credit (ACTC). These refunds are being held until February 15, regardless of the filing date, as a safeguard against identity theft and tax fraud. This delay will certainly affect those with lower incomes and children, but there are also other factors that can affect your tax refund. The term “offset” is one that is unfamiliar to many people. However, it is one of the biggest factors affecting tax returns.

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Topics: IRS Debt

7 Things to Know for Bankruptcy 341 Meeting

Posted by Chad Van Horn on Feb 1, 2017 8:24:45 AM

Preparing for Bankrupty 341 Meeting with the Trustee

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Topics: Bankruptcy

Making Student Loan Payments After Losing Job

Posted by Chad Van Horn on Jan 30, 2017 8:58:50 AM

What are my options to make student loan payments after losing my job?

Q: Dear Mr. Van Horn, I hope that you can help me with some good advice. I graduated from college two years ago with about $22,000 in student loans. I took a job with the company thinking that it was on sound financial footing, but after a string of incidents it has become apparent that it is not. We were told this weekend that the company would be laying off a significant percentage of the workforce. I’ve been very thrifty so that I could pay as much as possible on my loans - living with roommates, being really budget conscious - but this throws everything right back to square one. My parents told me I could move back in with them, but that doesn’t do anything about my loans. I’m losing sleep over this. Help?


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Topics: Student Loans, Job Loss

Bankruptcy Filings Decline, Is It The Calm Before The Storm?

Posted by Chad Van Horn on Jan 26, 2017 8:16:50 AM

Bankruptcy filings are on the decline, after reaching a high 2011. Over the past five years bankruptcies have fallen by 50 percent for Chapter 7, and by 25 percent for chapter 13. Business reorganizations have fallen as well from a high of almost 12,000 in 2011 to little more than 7000 at the end of 2016. However, for those of us who have very clear memories of the previous recession there are certain markers that make one nervous. For instance, housing prices are now back at the level they were before the bubble popped. There is a huge amount of consumer debt out there in auto loans, student loans, and credit card debt. It’s hard to say with the factors in play that we’re not so much exiting a recession and recovery, but getting our heads above water before the next wave.

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Topics: Get Out of Debt, Bankruptcy

Debt, Bankruptcy, and... Your Driver's License?

Posted by Chad Van Horn on Jan 24, 2017 7:35:54 AM

There’s a law in Florida that’s part of the statutes that regulate motor vehicles, and it’s about financial responsibility. This law allows a driver’s license to be suspended, not by the county or state government,not for unpaid court costs, fines, fees, or infractions, but by a creditor who has received a judgment against you in a court of law. It’s something many people don’t know about until it’s too late, and even state lawmakers know that it disproportionately affects the people least able to afford the loss of their licenses. Bankruptcy can help you get your license back legally and quickly.

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Topics: Bankruptcy, Chapter 7


About Chad Van Horn


Chad T. Van Horn, Esq. is a South Florida business leader and founding partner attorney of Van Horn Law Group, P.A. Through a combination of dedicated philanthropy, spirited entrepreneurship and legal expertise, he applies his resources and network to helping people. Learn more about Chad Van Horn.


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