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Living Paycheck to Paycheck

James Doan - Wednesday, September 19, 2012
A survey by the America Payroll Association released today ( shows that more than two thirds of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck.  A whopping 68% of Americans cannot save any money because their expenses meet or exceed their pay.  What then happens when an emergency arises, be it medical, car, home, repairs, etc?  Many of you reading know the answer, the unwelcome expenses have to be charged with the hope of paying it off later.  The problem of course is, that later never comes.  Often one credit card, let's say "Peter" is used to pay another called "Paul."   Here the web of debt is laid, which quickly ensnares a family.

It is not uncommon to have more than one emergency expense, and because a household living paycheck to paycheck cannot save, this can be the straw that breaks the camel's back.  Credit cards may be maxed out.  It is then that one accrues late fees, falls behind on mortgage and car payments, and the snowball quickly becomes overwhelming.  Before you know it, you can be trying to stop foreclosure, car repossession, and harassing phone calls.  Adding insult to injury, a judgement, lien or tax delinquency may lead to the need to stop wage garnishment, simply to purchase food for the family.  Is it any wonder so many Americans suffer from anxiety and depression?

If you are one of the 68% of Americans living paycheck to paycheck, find a way to cut expenses.  If you are spending a good chunk of your paycheck attempting to pay down credit card debt, you might want to address the situation before an emergency expense arises.  Whether you are struggling to manage debt, (even if you still have a good credit rating) or you are struggling to save your home, Doan Law Group can help.

Contact Doan Law Group at 888-363-6529 and learn how to get out of debt.  Sometimes, getting out of debt can be as simple as filing chapter 7 bankruptcy, thereby eliminating 100% of your dischargeable debt.  

Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows wage earners to repay a portion of the their debt over three to five years. Some Chapter 13 debtors are able to strip their second lien, or eliminate it entirely, if the value of the home is less than the amount owed on the first trust deed.

If you woke up and smelled the coffee, and realized that your upside down house has turned into an anchor around your ankle as you struggle to keep your head above the choppy stormy waters of the sea of this economic uncertainty, then maybe you ought to consider unloading your house with a short sale.  Attorney Steve Doan is also a real estate broker who runs Doan Real Estate, and with integrity and ingenuity, Steve Doan has been able to work magic where other less experienced real estate people have failed.

The five Doan brothers, and their dad, have been helping those in financial need for nearly 20 years.

Contact Doan Law Group today to see if you are qualified for bankruptcy.  888-DOAN-LAW | 888-362-6529.  And remember, don't vote for Obama, or your financial situation will likely be much worse than it is today. 

Cost of Living and Bankruptcy

James Doan - Monday, September 17, 2012

The cost of living just seems to be going up and up, doesn't it?  Well, in fact, it is!  The US Consumer Price Index increased in August by the greatest percentage since June 2009.  This of course means that we are paying more for everything.  

The CPI jump is fueled at the gas pump.  Rising fuel prices increase the cost of production and the expense of delivery.  Add to this the worst drought in the Midwest in 70 years, soaring energy bills during the 3rd hottest summer since 1880, and the price of goods rises even more.  While companies are trying to pass on the increase in commodities expense to consumers, if you haven't noticed, your paycheck is not keeping up with the rise in costs.  

All of this is a continued burden on the economy and leads more families into greater debt when they have to charge filling up the gas tank and paying for groceries at the store.

For those struggling with toxic debt, filing bankruptcy is actually a responsible move in an economy that continues to be tied down by rising prices.  Instead of spending an astronomical percentage of your paycheck on old debt and unreasonable interest rates, you can eliminate those expenses and put your money to work for you.  

You can stop foreclosure on your home, and make it affordable again by stripping a second mortgage.  The money you save can then be used to meet the rising cost of living.  You eliminate credit card debt and start paying cash at the gas pump. You can stop wage garnishment and use that money to meet your family's needs, not a creditor's.   

Of course there are many options available to manage debt.  If you are noticing that your paycheck isn't keeping up with your expenses, talk to an experienced attorney in a free consultation and make a plan.

Doan Law Group is California's Largest Family of Bankruptcy Attorneys.  We know bankruptcy, and we can tell you how it can work for you.  Call us at 88-362-6529, or visit us on the web, at  

And don't let bills ruin your life.

Facing Foreclosure? You are not alone.

James Doan - Monday, September 10, 2012

In fact, another wave of home foreclosures may well be on it's way.  

Wait a minute!  The subprime fiasco has long since passed, right?  Why then are so many Americans struggling to maintain the dream of owning a home?  

Of course, the answers are very convoluted and cannot be fully addressed in a simple blog.  But the new foreclosure wave is directly linked to the wavering job market.  The new face of the housing crisis is the average, middle class American with a conventional home loan they could readily afford at the time of purchase.  There was no underhand dealing, or creative financing involved in the purchase of the home.  What is propelling this new wave of foreclosures is the reality of job loss and layoffs. 

 Americans are encountering endemic unemployment, underemployment, expiration of unemployment benefits, and "low wage bias" by corporations who are adopting China's wage model.  The economy is unrecognizable from what it was a decade ago, and many Americans who have been in their homes for a substantial time are now experiencing first hand the economic realities surrounding them.

Is there any hope of keeping my home?

Yes!  If you are struggling with unsecured debt, NOW is the time to consult an attorney in order to determine your options!  Regaining financial control before falling behind on mortgage payments is the best way to keep your home.  You may have several different paths available to you, so find out what they are in a free bankruptcy consultation.

What if you are already behind on payments, weighed down under late fees, have received notice of default or have a home scheduled for foreclosure?  Is there anything you can do to stay in your home?  Those questions of course can only be answered on an individual basis, but the law is in place to protect you, and you can always have recourse to it.  The Doan bankruptcy attorneys have been able to keep thousands of families in their homes, and chances are they can keep you in your home too.  

Call us at 888-362-6529 or visit us at to schedule your free bankruptcy consultation.  And if bankruptcy is not a feasible alternative, we may be able to help you short sale your home, as many of the Doan attorneys are also real estate brokers.  Visit for more details.

The Debt Monster

James Doan - Monday, September 10, 2012

Debt can easily turn into a monster that spirals out of control.  Sometimes this happens so quickly that we feel a helpless victim to this monster and don't even know where to begin to slay it.  Sound familiar?  

If we have turned our back to the monster, hoping it would go away or resolve itself on its own, one of the things we may now be facing is a wage garnishment.  A wage or bank account garnishment truly feels like a cruel and painful blow when one is already down on their luck.  Having one's personal income attached and seized in order to force payment of a debt - when one is already struggling to make ends meet, seems entirely unjust.

If you are facing having your wages garnished, a bank account garnishment, facing a judgment, lien or having your income attached in any way, it is still not too late to take control of your finances.  It IS important to talk to an attorney right away in order to know your rights and options, because debt does not resolve itself, especially if it is empowered by legal action.  

At Doan Law Group, the Doan lawyers know all the ropes, because helping people get out of debt is what we do.  You may be able to stop that garnishment, and put your money back into your pocket.

Doan Law Group is California's Largest Family of Bankruptcy Attorneys.  We have filed tens of thousands of bankruptcy cases over the last fifteen years, and chances are, we can help you as well.

Call 888-362-6529 for a free consultation, or visit us a to schedule your appointment today.

Is it wrong to file bankruptcy?

James Doan - Monday, August 20, 2012

During the last fifteen years of practicing bankruptcy law in Southern California, I have had hundreds of clients ask me if filing bankruptcy is wrong.  After all, you incurred the debt and spent someone else's money, and now you're using the Federal Courts to step between you and your lender and tell them they don't get paid.  

So is filing bankruptcy wrong?  When I'm asked this question, like a good lawyer, I counter it with another question... Did you intend to wipe this debt out in bankruptcy when you incurred it?

In fifteen years of bankruptcy, I have come across very few individuals who were purposefully abusing the system for pure economic gain.  I sent those guys packing.  Bankruptcy is often the last resort of honest debtors who intended to and had the ability or reasonable expectation of being able to repay a debt when it was incurred.

So, did you intend to stick it to your creditor, or did something else beyond your control cause you to be unable to fulfill your obligations?  Unemployment, divorce, work injury, illness, and other unforeseeable events are usually the superseding intervening causes of most bankruptcy cases filed today.

Our Founding Fathers knew from the Old World that locking someone in jail was not an effective way to deal with their inability to repay debt.  So they came up with Bankruptcy - Chapter 7 debt elimination, and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy - Debt Repayment.  Wipe out your debt forever, or create a reasonable repayment plan according to what you can actually afford.

Ultimately, it is not my job, thank God, to judge the hearts of mankind.  I can usually tell when someone has been negligent or sloppy about managing their finances.  I can often tell when someone struggles with envy or greed by their comments, behavior, and the reasons behind their indebtedness.  I can observe their spending habits by looking at bank statements and check registers.  While we are all called to make judgments every day about actions and things, we must remember to never judge another's heart. Thank God that's His job!

If you are thinking about filing bankruptcy, call Doan Law Group at 888-362-6529.  We'll schedule you a free bankruptcy consultation.  We have several convenient office locations.

Don't let wage garnishments, foreclosures, lawsuits, and nasty creditors ruin your life.

Too Broke to File Bankruptcy

James Doan - Friday, August 17, 2012

The Los Angeles Times tells us this morning that the economy is improving.  Apparently, the U.S. economy rose .4% in July, "providing further evidence of an economy that is regaining some momentum" (emphasis added).  

Further evidence?  I just got off the phone with a sobbing client who couldn't afford to make a payment toward their chapter 7 bankruptcy case.  She was afraid we would close her bankruptcy file.  "I can send you $50.00 this month, or I can buy milk and eggs for my kids."  

"Feed your kids," I told her.  Her husband isn't making the commissions like he used to, and she got laid off from her part-time employment.  She is not alone.  At Doan Law Group, we offer our clients reasonable monthly payment plans for their bankruptcy cases.  Not many are able to spring for all the fees at once, so they can make payments.  Usually, payments are $200 per month.  We have reduced that payment to $100 per month for many of our clients due to their lack of ability to pay even the meager fees involved with a bankruptcy case.

Instead of getting $100 payments, we're getting $20 payments.  We even got a $5 payment this month with a very sad note concerning that particular client's state of economic, and spiritual, affairs.

Is this the further evidence of economic recovery that the Associated Press is referring to?

I used to think that since I am a bankruptcy attorney, and have been for over 15 years, that naturally my paradigm of the world has been influenced by the type of work I do.  I deal with people flat broke, whose last resort is bankruptcy.  I deal with people who were at the top of their game, and are now picking up pennies off the street and taking cans to the recycler.

Outside of the people I meet at work, I hear the same tune; layoffs, unemployment, staff reductions and people looking for work.  Many are leaving the state and moving east, in hopes of reducing their exorbitant Orange County cost of living.

The Associated Press can look at statistics all day long, but at the end of the day, the real measure of the economy can be found in the desperation of dads and moms who are struggling to feed their children, and single folks who are facing foreclosure, wage garnishment, or eviction, and are too broke to file bankruptcy.

Even if you are too broke to file now, Doan Law Group can help you set up a plan to file for bankruptcy relief in the future with reasonable payment plans.  We understand tough times, and we're here to help.

In addition to bankruptcy relief in Orange County and the Inland Empire, Doan Law Group also assists clients with real estate needs, including loan modifications and short sale services.  We are successful in stopping foreclosures and creating workout plans in and out of bankruptcy.

Contact Doan Law Group at 888.DOAN.LAW (888-362-6529) for a free bankruptcy consultation.

WARNING! Foreclosure is Dangerous to Your Health

James Doan - Wednesday, September 07, 2011

By James Patrick Doan, Esq

Today’s economy adds a new meaning to being “home sick.”   

There is no doubt; the housing crisis is making America sicker. What many have believed all along is now considered scientific fact. The threat of losing your home is enough to make you seriously ill. According to a recently published report by the National Bureau of Economic Research, “an increase of 100 foreclosures corresponded to a 7.2% rise in emergency room visits and hospitalizations, and an 8.1% increase for diabetes, among people aged 20 to 49.”

The report also claimed that “each rise of 100 foreclosures was associated with 12% more ER visits related to anxiety in the same age category.” Striking is the fact that “the same rise in foreclosures was associated with 39% more visits for suicide attempts among the same group.”   

The housing barometer, the S&P/Case-Shiller home-price index report came in 5.9% down for the second quarter year over year. Many economists are predicting another wave of foreclosures based on economic uncertainty and continued job losses. 

Doan Law Firm has published several articles relating to health problems being related to financial duress, not just foreclosures. As we see it, there is a direct correlation between a person’s financial health and their physical health. Our focus has always been on the cure for the symptoms brought on by financial duress.

Most of our clients find immediate relief in the form of bankruptcy; some keeping their homes, and others enlightened to find the best exit strategy in having us help them with their short sale. Following is our recommendation for anyone who is under serious financial duress.

Turn Stress into an Asset! Realize that stress is unavoidable but it doesn’t have to be damaging. Recognize that stress is a feeling, not a sign of dysfunction. Focus on what you can control. Contact someone with the experience and ability to help you understand all of your options. 

Create a Plan and Take Control. Below is a list of the services that we review with our clients to determine which alternative might best serve their particular situation.

·         Chapter 7 Bankruptcy eliminates most unsecured debt while retaining the majority of assets.

·         Chapter 13 Bankruptcy is often thought of as the best form of a loan modification because it allows home owners an opportunity to restructure their debt in a way to keep their home but eliminate some unsecured debt including second mortgages.

·         Short Sale - For those who don't qualify for bankruptcy, yet need relief from their upside down mortgage, selling short may be the best alternative…much better than foreclosure.

·         Combination Chapter 7 & Short Sale Plan – especially if it’s too late to save your home, this may be the best option. Using this plan, we eliminate all of the unsecured debt while you stay in your home as long as legally permissible (sometimes up to 12 months), leave your home without any residual debt or tax consequences, potentially settle any unpaid property taxes through negotiation, immediately eliminates all HOA fee exposure, and even negotiate for client relocation assistance (worth thousands of dollars). The most exciting element in this strategy is to get you back on your feet and to own again in as little as two years.

·         Debt Negotiations – Debt resolution through negotiations can be a viable option for someone not wanting to file for bankruptcy. As one of the largest Bankruptcy law firms in California, we have a useable degree of leverage in negotiating with creditors.    

·         Tax Resolution – we negotiate with the IRS and State Board of Equalization on your behalf to reduce the amount owed and to establish a reasonable payment plan.

 If you or someone you know needs to explore these options, come see us today. The Doctor is in!

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