You can see the ads all over the internet, and late at night when you’re thinking about your debt and how to get out from under, these ads can start to look like a way out from under. The problem is that the vast majority of these ads are debt relief scams. One former California lawyer was ordered by the FTC to pay more than $18 million in fines and was barred from debt relief practice for inducing homeowners to sign on to mass joinder lawsuits alleging fraud by mortgage lenders. Instead he and others stole millions of dollars from desperate clients who only wanted to save their home. That he was disbarred in California does not prevent him from moving to another state and starting the same scam over again.
Topics: Debt Scams
Bankruptcy is a complex legal procedure and there are a number of different aspects to each different case. One of those aspects can be the so-called “stalking horse bid.” This type of strategy is an initial bid from an interested company on a bankrupt company’s assets. The bidder is chosen from a pool of candidates, and must perform their due diligence in placing their bid. There are a number of advantages and risks associated with this type of strategy. These types of bids typically occur during a Chapter 11 and can significantly reduce the amount of time that the bankrupt company will spend in court.
Did you know that medical bills are one of the primary causes of bankruptcy? It was true before the ACA, and even with the ACA in place American still struggle to pay for medical care in a system that is opaque and increasingly stacked against the patient. Medical costs depend on the deal that’s been negotiated with your insurance company or your ability to pay in cash. Even insured people find out that sometimes that policy doesn’t cover certain drugs, treatments, or procedures and the bills just keep coming. Even a trip to the ER of your in-network hospital can land you with an uncovered bill for an out-of-network ER contracting firm.
It has been some decades since a high school diploma was enough to get a job that would support yourself and a family. However, tuition costs even at the community college level have increased steadily over as budgets are balanced without little regard to the effects that it has on postsecondary education. Community colleges serve as an essential access point to higher education, where students can learn a trade/certification, an Associates degree, or build up credits for transfer to a traditional four-year college. However, the lower cost of community college does not translate into cheap.
Topics: Student Loans
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.
Topics: Student Loans
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.