Sam Turco

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The basic concept of the Life Sucks Budget is that for many of us there is just not enough money to pay the claims of bill collectors AND to pay the really important things of life, like retirement savings, emergency cash accounts, mortgage payments and modest family vacations. Something has to give, and too many of us put ourselves last and pay nothing towards our future needs and dreams so that we can just get…
  Rule #1 of credit counseling is when you are trying to get out of debt you must forgo some expenses while paying off debt. The advice is universal. Decrease expenses. Increase income with a part-time job. Sell some stuff to raise cash. Get the debt snowball rolling. Suck it up and double down on the smallest debt and then the next smallest until all the debt is gone. Live like a crazy person until…
In performing financial autopsies for my bankruptcy clients over the past 25 years I have noticed one common mistake people make. They fail to prioritize their money. Priorities matter. Successful people have a common trait–they prioritize their day and do he most important tasks first. They write lists. They have WRITTEN goals for their day. They plan their day in advance, and then they go out an kick butt. But when it comes to money,…
There is one simple habit that all financially successful people do–they pay themselves first. That phrase has always annoyed me.  Pay myself first?  What exactly does that mean? I heard financial gurus say that phrase over and over, and it just came off as cocky and glib. “Want to become rich boy?  Well, it’s simple. Just pay yourself first!”  What?  You can’t just pay yourself into wealth. You have to create the wealth.  Build the…
The Eight Circuit Bankruptcy  Appellate Panel denied an application seeking to discharge student loans because the debtor voluntarily quit a full-time job eight months prior to filing bankruptcy. The debtor, Erin Kemp, is a 36-year-old single mom raising a 13-year-old daughter in Arkansas.  She obtained a psychology degree in 2010 and for the past 17 years she worked for a bank earning up to $45,000 per year.  However, eight months prior to filing bankruptcy she…
Since February 5, 2018  debtors filing bankruptcy in Nebraska have been allowed to sign their petitions and other court documents using digital signatures pursuant to  General Order 18-01.  So what have we learned about the use of  digital signatures in bankruptcy since then? I recently had the pleasure of speaking to an official at the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts who was seeking some feedback on how digital signatures were affecting the bankruptcy…
The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals has turned away an appeal of a $28.1 million dollar judgment awarded to 6 plaintiffs (commonly referred to as the Beatrice Six) for damages imposed by a federal jury for a reckless investigation and manufacturing false evidence orchestrated  by the Gage County Sheriff’s department. The plaintiffs spent two decades in prison for the rape and murder of Helen Wilson, but DNA testing revealed that the murder was actually committed by…
Money is a complicated topic. It is often very obvious what a person must do to improve their financial situation, but getting someone to change their financial habits and attitudes is hard. Good financial advice seems to go in one ear and out the other as clients continue to repeat the same destructive patterns over and over again. At a core level, we generally know when we are behaving badly. An alcoholic is aware that…
Nebraska becomes the first bankruptcy court in the nation to allow debtors to sign bankruptcy petitions digitally. An amendment to Nebraska Rule of Bankruptcy Procedulre 9011-1 became effective February 5 allowing attorney to use services like DocuSign and SignEasy to obtain client signatures on official court pleadings. The immediate reaction? One central Nebraska attorney emailed me this: This is fantastic! My client signed, we were notified, I signed, all before I could even drop her…
Before a person can file bankruptcy they must take an approved credit counseling class and their attorney must file a Certificate proving the class was taken with the court.  The idea is to make sure that consumers are being educated about alternatives to bankruptcy, and when this new requirement was introduced in 2005 there was hope that such a class would significantly decrease the number  of bankruptcy cases being filed each year in the United…