Category Archives: General Legal Issues
After getting a root canal and waiting in line at the DMV, bankruptcy suffers from one of the worst reputations around. Many people think that when you file for bankruptcy, your financial life is over. It’s a common, stubborn misconception that after a bankruptcy, you’ll never be able to rebuild your credit, take out a loan, buy another car or another home, or be a financial success in general. In fact, this couldn’t be further from the truth. While it’s true that you do need to be proactive about monitoring your financial habits following a consumer bankruptcy discharge, if you put in the effort to make your bill and credit card payments in full and on time, you can rebuild good credit, good relationships with lenders, and a good financial life. But don’t take our word for it: you can see the proof in these stories of seven celebrities who beat bankruptcy.
LLCs, or Limited Liability Companies, are one of the most common business structures in New Jersey. But while LLCs may be popular, they’re about to be facing some drastic changes when it comes to how voting power is distributed across company owners.
Hated by sleepy children the world over, school buses and their drivers are the unsung heroes of public education. Dutifully toiling through snow and rain, slush and mud, school buses haul loads of young students off to elementary, middle, and high schools across the country every week-morning. For children who are too young to drive (and parents who are too busy to drive), bus companies are a vital lifeline between home and school. But what happens when the school bus link in the chain breaks down?
As another year gutters out and the month of December winds ever closer to another New Year’s Eve, another ball drop, and another explosion of confetti, that time is approaching again. You know the time: it comes like clockwork every year. It’s the time to turn around, step back, and gaze out over the vast stretch of 2013, in remembrance of all that’s passed across yet another 365 days of human life on planet Earth.
2013 gave up more than its fair share of newsworthy events. Violence and political unrest escalated in Syria. Edward Snowden’s spy scandal erupted across every news outlet known to man for months on end. Massive floods wreaked havoc in India, killing thousands and displacing thousands more. The U.S. government itself even stepped off stage for a few tumultuous weeks. But apart from the array of freak storms, information leaks, bloody wars, celebrity deaths, scientific breakthroughs, pop star scandals, and all the other stories that dominated the news, 2013 was a big year for bankruptcy, too. Now, with only weeks left in 2013, it’s time to bid adieu to the fading year-that-was with a recap of the most shocking bankruptcy stories of 2013.
The Lafayette Yard Hotel opened in Trenton, New Jersey in 2002. Developers had hoped a soaring new hotel for the city would bring a new wave of tourists, business travelers, and leisure travelers — and with them, a new wave of growth and commerce. For Trenton, which is home to some 84,000 residents, a booming new hotel could have spurred financial growth, as well as burgeoning new opportunities for arts and entertainment. After a challenging decade, the Lafayette Yard Hotel has finally collapsed — but while the previous owners may have succumbed to a multi-million dollar bankruptcy, the new management has high hopes for the next chapter of Lafayette Yard’s commercial life.
Bankruptcy has a nasty reputation. When people hear the word “bankruptcy,” they tend to (incorrectly) imagine irreversible ruin, permanently scorched credit, and the beginning of the financial end. This is a damaging myth about bankruptcy which runs directly counter to the truth, which is that bankruptcy is often the first step on the path to financial recovery. Sometimes, bankruptcy is so powerful that it can save entire companies — and that is precisely what happened in the recent case of American Airlines, which, like a phoenix, has utilized the power of bankruptcy to rise out of the red and become a part of the world’s biggest airline company.
For decades, the fate and the fall of Detroit has been a deliberated across America. A tragic emblem of decline and decay, arson and abandonment, the city once known as a glistening beacon of automotive power has been relegated to primarily serving as the subject of countless bleak photo essays, documentaries, and news reports. Where sprawling factories once teemed with financial life, the overgrown husks of defunct industries now serve as drafty squatting locations for scrappers, addicts, and the homeless. How long and how far could the languishing city fall? For years, no one was certain. But now, in an unprecedented case that’s causing an uproar of opinion, the dying city has at last been granted bankruptcy — and perhaps, in turn, a chance at a new life.
Atlantic City is known as a good-time town of glitz, glam, and of course, gambling. But after over 30 years in operation, the Atlantic Club Casino has filed for bankruptcy. With millions of dollars in both debts and assets, the stakes are high for the struggling casino and hotel — and as profits lag across the entire city’s famed casino industry, others may be next.
Should I Bring a Friend to my Consultation?
We understand that facing legal problems can be stressful and prospective
clients often want to bring a friend or family member for moral support.
However, should you?
Even before a fee agreement is signed and a lawyer is formally retained, the
attorney-client privilege can be invoked. Having a third party in the room
waives that privilege.
While your friend can be there to hold your hand, give you feedback, think of
questions you didn’t think to ask, or even pass the tissues, if there’s
something you wish to tell the attorney in confidence, it’s okay to ask your
friend to step out of the room.
Can You Afford to Wait to File Bankruptcy?
It’s not uncommon that we meet with a prospect and then have them return a year
or two later to file for bankruptcy relief. Sometimes we meet with people who
know they’re in over their heads, but they are still making minimum payments or
their cards aren’t maxed out yet or the creditors have stopped calling, etc.
Maybe you don’t have lawsuits or judgments piled up against you yet and feel
you have a little breathing room, that bankruptcy will still be there waiting
for you when you need it. But is this really the case?
By waiting, you will continue to accumulate debt and interest will accrue. If
you can no longer make payments on your debts, you run the risk of having
lawsuits filed and judgments piled up against you. Once your creditors obtain
judgments, they may look to garnish your wages or levy upon your bank accounts.
If your income has changed, you can run the risk of no longer qualifying for a
Chapter 7, since most filings are subject to the income based means test. The
means test data changes every six months or so based upon the current median
Looking to start off the year with a fresh start? Contact our office today
for a free consultation and learn if bankruptcy can help rid you of your debt
Cross Border Estate Planning Woes
While most Americans don’t lose sleep over estate taxes, the current exemption
is $5.25 million and transfers to spouses are unlimited, this only holds true if
both spouses are citizens domiciled in the US. Domicile refers to where you
live and intend to be your home. If one spouse is not a US citizen, even if he
or she is a green card holder, you should plan your estate with care. The US
does have reciprocal tax treaties with 17 countries, including Canada, which may
provide more favorable treatment, if not, you may need to utilize a special type
of trust to minimize your tax burdens upon death.
Think your estate plan might need a tune up? We’re happy to help ensure
everything is in order!
Bankruptcy Update – Median Income Numbers are Changing
Consumers seeking the protections of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy are subject to an
income based means test. The means test compares the debtors household income
against the median income and family size in the state where the debtor lives.
These numbers change twice a year in the Fall and Spring.
Effective November 15, 2013, the median incomes for New Jersey are as follows:
- One Person $60,317
- Two Person $70,150
- Three Person $85,575
- Four Person $103,946
- Add an additional $8,100 for each individual in excess of 4.
Are your bill problems keeping you up at night and do you have questions about
whether you would qualify for a Chapter 7? Contact us to set up a free
consultation with one of our friendly attorneys today. Have more bankruptcy
questions, check out our FAQs.
Meet Our Hamilton, NJ Attorneys!
One of the most pernicious and off-putting misconceptions about bankruptcy is that filing for bankruptcy will destroy your credit, irreversibly and forever. Sometimes, people even avoid filing for bankruptcy altogether, due to the fear that a scorched credit rating will haunt them for the rest of their lives. This is extremely unfortunate, because not only is bankruptcy hugely beneficial to millions of people — the myth that your credit will be permanently ruined simply isn’t true. Having said that, rebuilding your credit following a bankruptcy does take a little time and hard work — but it’s far from impossible. Here are some tips for rebuilding your credit after bankruptcy.