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Posts Tagged ‘bankruptcy news’

Performance Art

Monday, April 26th, 2010

If you’re looking for an interesting piece of performance art, check out the U.S. Debt Clock.  It’s beautiful moving visual of red, green and gray numbers quantifying every conceivable debt and asset of the U.S. as a nation and as individuals.  For example, you can compare the national debt to the federal tax revenue in real time.  You can see how the assets and debts of normal Americans rise and fall.  Total personal debt is broken down into mortgage debt, consumer debt and credit card debt.

The numbers in red move much more quickly than those in green – at lightning speed really.  It’s overwhelming if you really stop to think about the lives represented by those numbers, especially your life.  The stress, migraines, loss of sleep, depression and general snappiness with family and friends that comes along with mounting debt is life changing.  The good news, the hopeful new, is that bankruptcy is an option to help you receive a fresh start.  The Doan Law Firm’s Orange County and Los Angeles bankruptcy attorneys make it understandable and are there to walk you through each step of the way.

A retainer worth more than the one you lost in Middle School

Monday, March 29th, 2010

Attorneys use the word retainer, what exactly does it mean?  Put aside your lunchtime fears of leaving a retainer in your napkin because when you retain a bankruptcy attorney, it’s a positive thing, not something you need to remember before running off to play handball.

At the Doan Law Firm, a retainer means we represent you.  We’ve entered into a contract and we are your attorneys beginning that day and for the entire length of your bankruptcy.  We’re now on your speed dial.

One of the unique features of retaining the Doan Law Firm, the premiere Southern California Bankruptcy Lawyers, is that all disruptive, annoying, disturbing calls from creditors are directed to us.  You receive a specific script to use with all your creditors that directs them to call us with all their inquiries and general abuse.  This happens on day one, relief from creditor calls, even though you haven’t yet filed the bankruptcy case.

The extra great news is once you’ve read the script to a creditor, by law they are no longer permitted to call you.  If they do call, you notify us because we have a stable of attorneys that just love to take law violating creditors to court (think junkyard dogs).  We’ve been known to have a creditor or two pay for a client’s bankruptcy.  Now that’s a retainer worth having!

Bad News and Good News, FICO Farming Edition

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

First the bad news:  In the world of credit scores, trying to figure out the effect of your life on your credit score is about as clear as a pig in mud.  Even though credit scores are numbers, they appear to have no relationship to what Miss Patterson taught you in first grade.

But the good news:  Fair Isaac, that illusive measurer of credit risk, has let a tiny bit of the horse out of the barn (a nose perhaps).  Short sales and deeds-in-lieu of foreclosure have the same effect as foreclosures on your credit score.  It’s not possible to tell from the credit report if a foreclosure is a short sale, deed in lieu of foreclosure, settled account, regular foreclosure or some other genetically modified version.

After the nose leaves the barn, Fair Isaac goes even further (an ear?) and says they treat foreclosures as serious delinquencies and, “…they have an impact on the score similar to the impact from a charge off, tax lien or account included in bankruptcy.”  Bottom line, if you’re struggling financially, the difference between a bankruptcy (Los Angeles Chapter 7 or Los Angeles Chapter 13) and a foreclosure on your credit score is negligible, like the difference between white and brown eggs.  So Fair Isaac appears to be telling us to make an omelet and get on with breakfast.

It’s official, straight from the horse’s mouth here.


Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

Speaks of fraud as a fiduciary (among others).

Fiduciary status and bankruptcy law are more common than people might think.

Think of a realtor. Think of business partners. Think of an investment advisor/broker. These are all common examples of fiduciaries. These are also all common examples of people who are needing bankruptcy relief in today’s sagging economy.

What is a fiduciary? The general definition and one used by state courts, including California, is a person who owes a client “undivided loyalty” and in whom “trust” is placed. A fiduciary must act in the “interest of their client.” A breach of such duty can lead to legal action.

However, what does this mean with regards to 523(a)(4) and whether a debt “fraudulently” incurred by a fiduciary is dischargeable? The consensus of the federal courts, including the 9th circuit, conclude that the state law definition is not binding on the bankruptcy court. This applies no matter where you file the bankruptcy case, a Los Angeles Bankruptcy, an Orange County Bankruptcy, or a Riverside Bankruptcy.

The federal courts will look to state law definitions as a guide, but all hold that fiduciary is defined more narrowly than the state’s definition. The reason being, a debtor filing for bankruptcy protection should be afforded relief, and any argument to the contrary will weigh heavily as the creditor’s burden.

In most federal courts, including the 9th circuit, a “trust res” is required to establish fiduciary status for section 523(a)(4). Trust res is property, either money or otherwise, that is entrusted to the “agent” for the benefit of the client. Without this trust res (usually money), there can be no fiduciary status under this section, even though the general trust created by a fiduciary relationship exists. Without an established fiduciary status under 523(a)(4), the allegations of fraud do not enter the discussion.

If an alleged creditor is attempting to argue that they were defrauded by a fiduciary and that their “claim survives bankruptcy”, then they must first show that they entrusted money or other property to the debtor in an otherwise recognizable fiduciary capacity before they can attempt to prove whether the debtor engaged in fraud with regards to this trust res.

Debt Consolidation Companies vs. The Bankruptcy Attorney – Bout Scheduled For 1 Round

Monday, December 21st, 2009

Client comes to my office and says, “I’ve been paying $600/month to a debt consolidation company.”

I respond with, “How long have you been doing this?”

Client answers, “About 9 months.”

“I’m in the wrong line of work,” I joke. “Ok, so you’ve paid $5,400 to a debt consolidation company over the last 9 months. What have they done for you?”

The client slaps a lawsuit from his creditor on my desk, “This.”

“Looks like money well-spent.”

“You trying to make a jerk out of me?!” retorts the client.

“Absolutely not, my friend. I’m just trying to enter your frustration so that I can offer the actual solution to your financial problems.”

“I’m sorry—ever since I’ve thrown my money away on this program, I simply don’t trust people anymore.”


“I mean what’s the big difference between you and a debt consolidator anyway?”


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    Escondido, CA 92025
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    La Mesa, CA 91942
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    San Diego, CA 92101
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