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  • Timing Is Everything: The Means Test

    If you are contemplating bankruptcy, you may have searched the topic on the internet and seen something called the “Means Test”. For in-depth information on the Means Test, you can visit The United States Department of Justice’s website. What Is the Means Test? In 2005, Congress added the Means Test to all bankruptcy filings in an attempt to discourage people from filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

    Bond and Botes- 14 readers -
  • Consumer Advocacy Groups Sounding the Alarm Over Unexpected Ambulance Bills

    Just how much do you think an ambulance ride to the hospital costs? Take a guess and then increase it by a lot. In a recent Washington Post article, Melissa Bailey delves into what is increasingly becoming a problem for consumers everywhere—the unexpected cost of routine ambulance trips. A common problem that I see with potential clients and those that I go on to represent is medical bills.

    Bond and Botes- 20 readers -
  • Protecting Your Credit and Debit Card Information

    With the holidays creeping around the corner, many of you may be rushing to make your last minute purchases online. As you do so, it is important that you protect your credit information from unprotected sites. If you have recently searched for an item, you may see ads for that item showing up on sites that you visit.

    Mary Pool/ Bond and Botes- 12 readers -
  • What Are Charitable Contributions?

    We are a few days from Christmas, and the holiday season is in full bloom. Many people plan on making donations to charitable organizations before the end of the year. However, you want to make sure that organization is a Qualified Charity in order to claim a deduction for the donation on your federal tax return during tax season.

    Grant Mcnutt/ Bond and Botes- 12 readers -
  • Building Your Credit for the New Year

    In my last blog post (before Thanksgiving) I wrote about predatory lending practices and how to avoid them. In preparation for the upcoming new year and a fresh start, I’d like to share some helpful lending and credit practices that can help you build your credit. Three Major Steps Apply for a secured credit card A secured credit card works just like a regular credit card.

    Nick Gajewski/ Bond and Botes- 10 readers -
  • West Coast Homeless Population Booms, Causing National Increase

    According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s annual Point in Time report released this month, the U.S. homeless population increased for the first time since 2010. The report showed that during counts taken in January, nearly 554,000 homeless people are living in the U.S. That number is up nearly 1% from 2016. Of the homeless people living in the U.S.

    Kathryn Davis/ Bond and Botes- 10 readers -
  • Can a Default on Student Loans Affect Your Job?

    Can you lose your job if you fall behind on your student loans? In 19 states, government agencies can seize your state-issued professional licenses if you default on your student loans. Thankfully, Alabama is not one of these states. In South Dakota, your driver’s license can be suspending which can make it impossible to get to work.

    Gail Donaldson/ Bond and Botes- 15 readers -
  • An Update on the Family Farmer and Chapter 12 Bankruptcies

    I have written in the past about a little known section of the Bankruptcy Code – Chapter 12. Chapter 12 of the Bankruptcy Code was developed in the 1980’s specifically for family farmers and family fishermen. There is a new article out in the December 2017 American Bankruptcy Institute Journal, called “Making Chapter 12 More Viable for Family Farmers.

    Bond and Botes- 12 readers -
  • What’s New in Social Security?

    The Social Security Administration (SSA) has issued its’ annual announcement detailing upcoming changes to its program for 2018. I have previously discussed the Cost-Of-Living Adjustment (COLA) and the resulting possible effects on Social Security recipients in my last blog entry, so today I thought I’d go over some other changes the agency has in store for us.

    Bond and Botes- 11 readers -
  • The More Things Change…

    The more things change, the more they stay the same. This old adage certainly seems appropriate when it comes to people and money. Remember back in 2006, about a year before the housing bubble popped and the stock market collapsed? Times were good, or so it seemed. But money has a funny way of making things seem better than they actually are; especially when that money is borrowed.

    Cynthia Lawson/ Bond and Botes- 8 readers -
  • Is Your Debt Load Piling Up?

    According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), individuals and companies are piling on debt at levels last seen just prior to the financial crisis a few years back. The IMF reports that borrowing in the “non-financial sector” has surpassed the pre-crisis high. The “non-financial sector” is composed of governments, non-financial companies, and households.

    Ed Woods/ Bond and Botes- 11 readers -
  • Financial Problems and the Holidays

    Are you facing difficult financial decisions? Bills piling up? Trying to figure out how to pay for Christmas gifts? As fun and joyous as the holiday season is supposed to be, the money aspect of it can be very stressful. No one really wants to think about their financial problem especially during this time of year.

    Bond and Botes- 9 readers -
  • Steps to Take to Overcome Bankruptcy

    Entrepreneur magazine published an article last year about how entrepreneurs rebound from filing bankruptcy and move forward with their lives. After reading the article I believe the recommendations are solid for individuals who have filed or are considering filing. My Thoughts on the Recommendations Face your financial problems head on.

    Robert Reese/ Bond and Botes- 12 readers -
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