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Posts Tagged ‘Southern California Bankruptcy Law’

Bankruptcy Law: We Practice What We Teach!

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

Doan Law Firm’s experience and expertise in Bankruptcy law was called upon by LawReviewCle to lead a Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 CLE (Continuing Legal Education) workshops in Riverside and Santa Ana. The nonprofit organization seeks and selects attorneys who represent the best in their area of practice. Once selected, they are asked to train other attorneys in their field to provide information on advanced legal practice and update their credentials.

In April, Doan Law Firm managing attorney, Anthony Vigil, conducted a workshop for 30 legal professionals on both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 at the historic Mission Inn in Riverside, California. His presentation included a step-by-step workshop oriented class on filling out Bankruptcy Petition forms and local Chapter 13 Plan forms in addition to nuances that arise from practicing in the Central Division of California. Later this month Mr. Vigil will conduct a similar workshop in Anaheim.

Vigil’s outstanding success as a bankruptcy attorney has furthered Doan Law Firm’s passion to help others and their ambition to maintain the highest level of excellence in the field of bankruptcy law.  Vigil’s donation of time to the CLE program aligns well with the Doan Difference™. At Doan Law Firm we continually try to raise the bar for Bankruptcy client care.

Celebrity Bankruptcies: How Fallen Stars Rise Again

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

Celebrity Bankruptcies

It’s quite amazing to look back in history and see the wide variety of famous individuals that have declared bankruptcy. Although they may be rockstars, actors, or athletes, they have had financial hard times just like the rest of us. After a few too many nights of partying, overspending, bad investments, or one bad business decision, they were prompted to pull the BK card.

To start, MC Hammer’s famous song “You Can’t Touch This” was exactly what he was singing towards his creditors. In 1996 he filed for bankruptcy after reportedly spending $500,000 a month on his entourage and was in debt $13 million. One of his debts was to an interior decorator for $110,000! Along with the interior decorator, he owed an attorney over $500,000. It sounds like MC Hammer’s spending habits might have been even bigger than his hit songs.

While we’re talking about major music types, Cyndi Lauper has to be mentioned. Cyndi wasn’t always just having fun in the 80’s. “Time after time” in her early years she couldn’t pay her bills. Before her hit album she was in another band, Blue Angel, which broke up due to managerial issues. In 1980 Cyndi filed for bankruptcy and picked up a job in retail to just get by. Now you know Cyndi’s “true colors,” she may have landed at the top of the music charts, but not always the financial ones!

Along with the individuals who pushed us to blast our stereos, we have quite a few actors earning their stars in bankruptcy. While we were watching them for entertainment, creditors were watching them for their debts. Burt Reynolds had many “boogie nights” with his lavish lifestyle. He had a helicopter, two mansions, and a ranch. His life was extraordinary. Too bad he had to receive his “burn notice.” He received a pricey divorce settlement from his wife. This, along with a series of bad movie choices, led Burt to declare bankruptcy in 1996. He filed a Chapter 11, reorganizing his $10 million debt, and was allowed to keep his mansion in Florida. Hopefully Mr. Reynolds continues to make smart movie choices and stays away from those wild but beautiful women.

Speaking of beautiful women, Kim Basinger has always melted us with her dazzling beauty. Too bad her career choices aren’t as impressive as her looks. The blonde bombshell decided to back out of the movie “Boxing Helena,” leaving her with a law suit. Along with the poor movie decision, she decided to buy a small town in Georgia with the plans of turning it into a mini Hollywood. When the bills flooded in, Kim was drowning in money problems. The beauty didn’t plan for the financial difficulties that the town renovation brought.  She filed for bankruptcy in the early 1990’s. Kim may fail at entrepreneurial decisions, but she never fails at looking good!

We couldn’t mention the topic of entrepreneurial decisions and not mention Donald Trump. Trump, a man known universally for his business ventures, tv show, and interesting hair style, is one of the most successful entrepreneurs of all time. He has made some brilliant real estate moves, allowing him to build his empire. Unfortunately, not all of his moves are equally beneficial. In an attempt to expand, he entered into the area of casinos. This has not produced the outcome he was hoping for. Donald filed for bankruptcy in 1992, again in 2004, and then again in 2009. That’s three times in less than twenty years that he has declared bankruptcy, yet he is still an entrepreneur idol.  Trump has used this financial tool to help him maintain his empire and venture into new areas without great liability. Too bad filing bankruptcy couldn’t fix both his financial situation and his hair.

Well, we’ve discussed some singers, actors, and entrepreneurs, but what about athletes? Do those tough guys go through financial hard times too? Sure do! Those powerful muscles don’t protect them from hits of debt. Mike Tyson, to name one, had a lucrative career of $30 million. He reportedly made millions per fight. Sadly, his spending habits were as big as his ear biting incident. Tyson’s $400,000 in monthly expenses, including a pair of exotic tigers, earned him an outstanding $27 million in debt. Both he and his company, Mike Tyson Enterprises, filed for bankruptcy in 2003. Looks like Tyson’s bankruptcy helped him bite off a lot of debt.

As we hoped you have learned from this article, bankruptcy is shared by a wide variety of people. It is nothing to be ashamed or afraid of. In fact, as you can see, it is even a beneficial tool for those who want a fresh start. The figures we named above were confronted with the same challenge that we are all faced with, finances. Luckily, they chose the right path and solved their problems. This brilliant choice to get a fresh start is why they can remain stars in our eyes.

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.

Debtpidemic!

Saturday, August 28th, 2010

Debtpidemic [det-pi-dem-ik] – noun a rapid spread or increase in the occurrence of toxic debt, affecting individuals, corporations, as well as local, state and national governments:  Doan Law Firm has officially declared a debtpidemic.

Our collective debt load has reached such a level that we need a new word to describe it.  We propose “debtpidemic”.  The pivotal concept behind this newly coined word is that an epidemic changes the lives of everyone in a society whether they are infected or not.  At this point in our history, national and personal debt is taking a heavy toll on our families, friends and loved ones.

Imagine if the bubonic plague swept our great land.  It would command our instant attention.  Each of us would take the utmost precautions.  We’d be hand-washing, antidote-seeking, near-hysteria fools.  We would implicitly understand the severity of the situation, the stakes are high, it’s life or death.

We’re in the same predicament now, it’s just a different plague.  Our government has emptied its arsenal; stimulus, bailouts and special programs.  At home we have pounded the pavement for work, tightened our belts and then tightened them some more, yet the debtpidemic rages on.

What is the antidote?  The first step is to stop the debtpidemic at home.  Take a good, hard, objective look at your personal financial situation.  Do you wonder how to keep the hamster wheel spinning?  Do you engage in creative accounting to get everyone, or almost everyone, paid?  Most importantly, does your financial situation keep you up at night?

Come talk to us at Doan Law Firm.  We get it and we can help.  We even published a full page of quality content in the Orange County Register to explain this concept. Our team of bankruptcy attorneys have cured over 25,000 people of their own debtpidemic, one family at a time.  We can provide you with the antidote.

PS While we’re at it, here’s another word to add to your vocabulary: Debtpandemic det-pan-dem-ik – noun: a rapid spread or increase in the occurrence of toxic debt across nations, affecting individuals, corporations, as well as local, state, national, and international governments. The debtpidemic is now reported to be a full blown debtpandemic.

Your Underwater Mortgage Doesn’t Have to be a Ball & Chain

Monday, August 2nd, 2010

California is a non-recourse state for the first mortgage on a home, meaning that the debt is tied up in the collateral, not the individual.   This means that when the bank forecloses on your home, once you turn over the collateral (your house), the bank cannot come after you for any outstanding debt.

Using an example, say you bought a house in 2003 for $800,000 by taking out a $600,000 mortgage.  You live in the house for a couple of years enjoying relative prosperity and pay off about $50,000 of the mortgage.  Then, tragedy: the real estate market crashes and the value of the home is now $250,000.  $300,000 of your mortgage is now unsecured, which means your house is now an under-secured debt.  Say you then lose your job and cannot make the mortgage payments.  After struggling to make ends meet and defaulting on your mortgage several months in a row, the bank starts foreclosure proceedings and sells your home for $250,000.  Because California is a non-recourse state, once you turned over the collateral (your house), your mortgage lender cannot collect from you.  Even if you had $200,000 in your bank account, the lender cannot touch it.  The lender assumed this risk when they approved your mortgage application, so after you hand over the house you can walk away and live happily ever after.

However, even in a non-recourse state, if you have a second mortgage that you took out after your first mortgage, you are still on the hook for that debt.  For example, say in 2003 you bought the house for $800,000 with a mortgage of $500,000.  You then enjoyed a year of prosperity followed by a few years of hardship.  After struggling to make ends meet, you decide to take out a second mortgage on your house worth $100,000.  Real estate market crashes and the house is now worth $200,000, leaving you upside-down on the house by $400,000.  If you turn over the house, you can walk away from the first $500,000 mortgage, but you’re still liable for the second $100,000 mortgage.  Since you no longer have the collateral, the second mortgage is now an unsecured debt, which you are still liable for.

Most people cannot afford to continue making payments on a mortgage for a house they no longer own.  If you default on your payments, the bad news is that the lender could get pretty aggressive about collecting on the outstanding balance.  The lender can go to court and get a judgment allowing them to collect from you through wage garnishments or a bank levy.  For someone who is struggling to make ends meet, these garnishments or levies can be brutal.

The good news is that unsecured debts can be discharged in bankruptcy.  If you simply cannot afford to continue making the mortgage payments for a house you no longer own—or if you are facing potential wage garnishments or bank levies—call the Doan Law Firm for a free, no obligation consultation to learn about how bankruptcy can alleviate this financial stress.

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    Laguna Hills Bankruptcy
    25401 Cabot Rd.
    Suite 113
    Laguna Hills, CA 92653
    Call 888-362-6529

    Santa Ana Bankruptcy
    930 West Seventeenth St.
    Suite C
    Santa Ana, CA 92706
    Call 714-795-3536

    Corona Bankruptcy
    1411 Rimpau Ave.
    Suite 108
    Corona, CA 92879
    Call 909-708-4597

    Moreno Valley Bankruptcy
    24490 Sunnymead Blvd.
    Suite 101
    Moreno Valley, CA 92553
    Call 951-579-4756

    Watsonville Bankruptcy
    444 Airport Blvd.
    Suite 109
    Watsonville, CA 95076
    Call 888-362-6529

    Oceanside Bankruptcy
    1930 S Coast Hwy
    Suite 206
    Oceanside, CA 92054
    Call 760-450-3333

    Chula Vista Bankruptcy
    333 H Street
    Suite 5000
    Chula Vista, CA 91910
    Call 619-500-6535

    Escondido Bankruptcy
    320 East 2nd Ave.
    Suite 108
    Escondido, CA 92025
    Call 760-746-4476

    La Mesa Bankruptcy
    4817 Palm Ave.
    Suite I
    La Mesa, CA 91942
    Call 619-462-362

    San Diego Bankruptcy
    185 West F St
    Suite 100
    San Diego, CA 92101
    Call 619-234-3626