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  • Cosigning a Debt

    A prospective client came into our Birmingham, AL office to get more information about Bankruptcy. As we were reviewing her list of creditors, she noted that one of the creditors had a cosigner. A little more than a year prior, she cosigned a loan on a vehicle for her younger sister. The lender required a cosigner because the sister was a recent hire on her job and had not esta ...

    Robert Reese/ Bond and Botes- 32 readers -
  • How to Stop Pre-Screened Credit Card Offers Sent in the Mail

    If you recently received your bankruptcy discharge, you probably are very surprised by the number of credit card offers that you are now receiving in the mail. The reason is that credit card companies have identified you as a prime candidate for its particular credit offer. Credit card companies have purchased your name from one of the credit reporting agencies after you met its criteria.

    Mary Pool/ Bond and Botes- 33 readers -
  • Special Relief for National Guard, Reservists Who File for Bankruptcy

    In 2008, Congress passed the National Guard and Reservists Debt Relief Act and it was signed by the President into law on October 20, 2008. This new law became effective on December 19, 2008. The point of the law is to exempt National Guard and Reservists from all forms of means testing during the time of active duty or homeland defense activity and for a 540 day period thereaf ...

    Amy Tanner/ Bond and Botes- 27 readers -
  • Tracking Your Tax Return, Tax Refund or Amended Return

    We are right in the middle of tax season and you have several options for filing your return. You can hire a professional to do it for you, buy software and follow the directions, or just print out some forms and fill them out manually the old fashioned way. Any way you ultimately decide to do it, if required, we are all filing our tax returns this time of year.

    Grant Mcnutt/ Bond and Botes- 38 readers -
  • The Downside of Rent-To-Own Contracts

    Every day, I meet with people to discuss their finances. One common subject is classifying the type of debts that they have. Rent-to-own contracts have become all too common in today’s financial market. Many people are unable to acquire standard financing so they turn to alternate methods to acquire property.

    Joshua Lawhorn/ Bond and Botes- 40 readers -
  • Defenses to a Preferential Transfer Suit

    In my last blog, I described what constitutes a preferential transfer under the Bankruptcy Code. Now I’ll go into a few of the defenses a creditor might have to a preference lawsuit by the bankruptcy Trustee. These defenses, as well as several others, are set forth in Section 547 of the Bankruptcy Code.

    Kathryn Davis/ Bond and Botes- 38 readers -
  • Helping Homeless Veterans

    Promised Land: VA Deal to House Homeless Los Angeles Veterans In a saga that spans several years, new VA Secretary Robert McDonald recently reached an agreement that will help house many homeless veterans in the Los Angeles, California area. This saga goes back to the late 1800s and involves very expensive California property. The story can be found here.

    Ron Sykstus/ Bond and Botes- 36 readers -
  • Tips on Improving Your Relationship with Your Attorney

    In bankruptcy court yesterday, I witnessed a judge give a debtor in a Chapter 13 case the opportunity in open court to state why she was upset with her attorney. It was a cringe worthy moment and a reminder to me of how easily an attorney/client relationship can go south if not carefully attended to by both sides.

    Carla M. Handy/ Bond and Botes- 30 readers -
  • Can Student Loan Creditors Take my Tax Refund or Garnish my Wages?

    If you are in default on your student loan, the student loan creditor, or the collection agency for the student loan creditor can seek to garnish your wages or take your tax refund to offset the loan amount. A tax offset is where the Department of Education notifies the Department of Treasury to take the IRS tax refund to apply toward the loan amount that is due.

    Cynthia Lawson/ Bond and Botes- 29 readers -
  • The Debt Relief “Big Picture”

    When it comes to eliminating debt, there are really only three broad strategies from which to choose. If you are struggling with debt problems, you should consider the “big picture” as you try to intelligently assess your options. Looking at the “big picture” will help you either solve your problems or prepare you to consult with a competent debt relief attorney.

    Ed Woods/ Bond and Botes- 24 readers -
  • Common Issues in Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

    A Chapter 13 Bankruptcy case, also known as a debt-consolidation bankruptcy, is a lengthy process. The repayment plan a person enters when they start a Chapter 13 can last anywhere from 36 to 60 months. Naturally, a lot can change in a person’s life over the course of that time. In this post, I’d like to address some of the most common issues and questions that arise in an ongo ...

    Nick Gajewski/ Bond and Botes- 29 readers -
  • Doing the Right Thing

    Countless people throughout the years have come into my office Weak and Wearied, Choking back tears, Saying thru gritted teeth…..”I have worked SO HARD to pay back these creditors….” (voice trailing off) “Only to find I have nothing to show for it! The creditors got ZERO!” Or even worse: “I’ve been SUED! I thought I was doing the right thing!” The pain and agony of worki ...

    J Suzanne Shinn/ Bond and Botes- 25 readers -
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