Q: I think I need to file for bankruptcy, but I’m not sure how to proceed. My husband and I are divorced, and I have just recently lost my job. I am raising two teenagers and I am in over my head with debt. There was a period of over three years when my ex did not pay any child support, because he was not working. I ended up maxing out my credit cards just to keep a roof over head and food on the table. Now those debts are in the five figures and I am going broke just making minimum payments. My ex is trying to catch up on his child support, but nothing will ever catch up on the interest that I’m paying on orthodontics and other expenses.
Topics: Student Loans
It’s being called the Retail Apocalypse by analysts as 2017 sees massive spikes in retail bankruptcies. Some are saying that the retail bubble has burst, and the fallout is happening now. Retailers across the country, including big name brands such as Payless, Gymboree, and Bebe, are shuttering locations, filing for bankruptcy protection, reorganizing, or liquidating. Online giants such as Amazon and big box stores like Target are swooping in to pick up where business has drooped. However, each sector is different and have been showing varying trends. Currently, Bloomberg ranks department stores as being at the highest risk of default, with electronics and apparel at second and third, respectively.
Debt is an unpleasant though unavoidable reality for most Americans, but the key to overcoming and effectively managing debt is understanding the different kinds. One of the most frequently misunderstood aspects of debt is how it’s collected and what it’s attached to. Secured and unsecured debt is simply the difference between debt attached to assets versus debt without assets. Let me explain more about the difference between secured and unsecured debt.
When you have invested a significant amount of time and effort into business, only to have it fail, it can be a discouraging and very emotional experience. You want to wind up the business in the most responsible manner possible, but bankruptcy may be your best bet. Whether you are filing for a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 11 bankruptcy, you may think about filing on your own to save what funds are left for the wind down the company. Taking care of the bankruptcy on your own may seem logical on the face, but I am here to tell you – and not just because I’m a corporate bankruptcy lawyer – that it is not a good idea.
Q: I’m freaking out. I have an old hospital bill from 2011. I thought I had paid it off. My insurance covered 80 percent, and I owed $3,000 and change after all was said and done. I no longer have the paperwork, I have a different insurance company, I’ve moved twice, and the hospital was closed in 2014 by the corporation that owned it.
While some superstars seem to be interested only in showing off only the latest bling or excessive spending, one star shows heart and gives a hand to some struggling fans. Nicki Minaj, a prolific and outspoken Twitter user, recently reached out to some her fans who are facing financial difficulties in obtaining an education. The outcome made some her fans euphoric and proved that she is an outspoken advocate of education. The rapper paid for tuition, rent, books, student loan debt, graphics tablets, and other equipment that adds additional expense over and above tuition.
Topics: Student Loans
Debtors have rights. You might not know it from the behavior of some debt collectors, but debtors have rights that are actual laws. That’s not to say that some these companies do not blatantly break the law, making outrageous threats, and possibly even collecting on debts that people do not even owe. In one case, a collection company owner manipulated his company software to falsely inflate debtors balances and made “material misrepresentations*” to debtors not only over the phone but in mailing campaigns that mimicked mailings from courts of law and government agencies.
Dear Van Horn Law Group,
I have student debt of about $50,000 from getting my BSN from one of the top ten nursing schools in the country – and that’s with a partial scholarship and grants. I passed my NCLEX and was hired, but it’s been hard to make ends meet with a loan payment on top of everything else. It’s an income-based repayment plan, but between commuting costs, rent, a car payment, food, utilities and everything else, it can be a real stretch to meet that payment. I’ve paid late a couple of times, but am in good standing.
Topics: Student Loans
It’s rare to see someone coming in to talk to a bankruptcy attorney with just one kind of debt weighing them down. More often, it’s a mix of out of control debts, that while they might be manageable on their own, have turned into a storm of debt that has no evacuation plan. When people talk about being swamped with debt, or buried under debt, or drowning in debt, those are evocative metaphors for explaining the overwhelming nature of debt. If you have a credit card, a car loan, and are paying off student loans, you are looking at three factors in a debt storm that need only the addition of, say, medical bills to tip you out of “doing all right” or “things are a little tight” right into “HELP!”
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.