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Posts Tagged ‘Bankruptcy Code’

Number of Bankruptcy Filings Jumps

Monday, October 25th, 2010

The Orange County Register recently reported bankruptcy filings are at their highest rate since October 2005.  Some of you might recognize 2005 as the year massive changes were instituted in the bankruptcy code and the world was beating a path to the bankruptcy court.  As the economic fall-out continues, filings are now at record levels. Bankruptcy filings have increased:

Orange County                                                                 37.2%

Los Angeles County                                                        57.5%

Riverside/San Bernardino County                             32.8%

While these numbers are staggering, they do represent a large number of people taking their financial future into their own hands, gaining a fresh start and a new life without toxic debt.

Are Action Movies Messing with your Mind?

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

You have a rough idea that assets are sold to satisfy creditors in bankruptcy.  What exactly that means is open to insomniac speculation and a heavy influence of Jean-Claude Van Damme movies:

The SWAT team in black jumpsuits stealthy jumps the front hedge, signaling silently to one another as they establish a perimeter around the living room and back porch.  As the leader gives the signal, the man closest to the front window throws his elbow through the glass, a smoke bomb is lobbed and begins to fill the air.  Black-clothed men run into the room guns drawn, shouting and behind them come an army of twisted Santas with large sacks running through the rooms filling their sacks with valuables.  Electronics, toys, jewelry boxes, silverware, art straight from the wall, nothing is safe from their long arms and bottomless bags, like a sick reverse Christmas.

In truth there is no SWAT team, no gang of Santas.  The Bankruptcy Code makes specific provisions for debtors to keep assets, exemptions.  Los Angeles and Orange County bankruptcy exemptions cover houses, cars, tools, retirement and many other items the government wants you to retain so you’ll continue to be a productive member of society.

The Federal Bankruptcy Code has a set of exemptions with specific items and dollar amounts.  Each state can choose to have their own or to use the federal system.  Some states, like California, have two systems to choose from; you and your Los Angeles or Orange County bankruptcy lawyer can use the one that benefits you most.   Despite how the tax code might appear, the government has no interest in leaving you destitute under a bridge or in an empty smoke-filled house wishing for the real Santa.

Party Hearty Pre-Bankruptcy?

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

It’s a tall tale, a myth if you will, that if you plan to file for bankruptcy, you should find the absolute limit of your credit cards.  The logic is there – waste not, want not, right?  Just like you eat the last bit of crème brulee on the plate, pick up the $10 bill on the sidewalk, sleep an extra hour during daylight savings time, you shouldn’t leave any available credit when you file for bankruptcy.

Nope, the Bankruptcy Code is ahead of you.  Incurring debt you don’t intend to pay off is fraud and the court can deny discharge of the debt.  This means your last few months of living the high life can follow you for years to come, with or without the help of an Orange County or Los Angeles bankruptcy law firm.  Legitimate debt is dischargeable in bankruptcy (with some exceptions like taxes, child support, student loans, etc), but the trustee always has his/her eye open for recent Hawaiian vacations.

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