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Living on credit is a day-to-day reality for millions of Americans.  Consumer debt in the United States totals $14.1 trillion — that’s $14,100,000, 000,000 – with the average person owing over $90,000 (according to Experian’s 2019 Consumer Debt Study).  This includes credit cards, consumer loans, secured loans on personal property (electronics, furniture, jewelry, etc.), car loans, mortgages, and student loans.  Given that many people are living paycheck-to-paycheck and the job insecurity caused by the…
With the stroke of a pen, California’s homestead exemption — the amount of equity in one’s primary residence that can be protected from creditors — increased from $75,000, $100,000, or $175,000 (depending on the circumstances) to the greater of $300,000 or “the countywide median sale price of a single family home in the calendar year prior to the calendar year in which the judgment debtor claims the exemption,” up to $600,000. Put simply, the…
You may have read headlines recently such as “Court Allows Bankruptcy Discharge of $200,000 in Student Loans” and thought now is the time for file bankruptcy and get rid of your student loans.  Unfortunately, headlines can be deceiving.  In McDaniel v. Navient Solutions, LLC, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the bankruptcy court’s ruling denying Navient’s motion to dismiss the borrower’s  complaint to discharge $200,000 in private loans.  The default rule in bankruptcy…
I always say that one of the most frequent sayings I hear is, “I didn’t know…” and it happened again on Friday. I was reminded this week that people may not realize how we help individuals and business owners with debt and credit strategy (or maybe what that means). A networking partner reached out to me to ask when I would get involved with a business that has not been able to operate due to…
The CARES Act, passed on March 27, 2020, kicked off a chaotic and unorganized process of applying for a new program called the Paycheck Protection Program. On the surface, this looked like a great program for struggling businesses. A loan that can be forgiven if used to pay employees, rent, and other approved business expenses. This idea was far better than saddling small businesses with more debt than they already have. The initial problem was…
Lots of information out there about the new CARES Act and what it purports to do. It’s a huge document and has a lot of moving parts. In an attempt to pull out useful information for the average consumer and small business owner, we are working on a series of blog posts to help answer some questions.  One of the most interesting sections discusses a new loan program for small businesses that has an element…
Lots of information out there about the new CARES Act and what it purports to do. It’s a huge document and has a lot of moving parts. In an attempt to pull out useful information for the average consumer and small business owner, we are working on a series of blog posts to help answer some questions.  The CARES Act has some specific protections for debtors in Chapter 13. For background, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy…
Lots of information out there about the new CARES Act and what it purports to do. It’s a huge document and has a lot of moving parts. In an attempt to pull out useful information for the average consumer and small business owner, we are working on a series of blog posts to help answer some questions.  Student loans are discussed in § 3513 of the bill and there is some relief available, provided your…
In a successful relationship, honest and open communications with a partner are critical foundations for long-term happiness. The same principles also apply when managing personal finances. Disagreements over spending and money management can lead to breakdowns in marital relationships, an increase in mutual distrust, arguments over money, and potentially divorce. In a recent survey from last year, 11% of respondents admitted they would leave their spouse over financial issues if they believed they were bad with money.1 Another study suggested that couples who argue weekly…
It is increasingly difficult to stay on top of all of the scams out there when it comes to debt, credit, and financial issues. However, this one really struck a nerve recently when a client received this notice after filing for bankruptcy: This looks pretty official, right? If you got this in the mail after filing your bankruptcy, you would probably be concerned that there is something wrong with your case, after all it says…