For people who have never filed for bankruptcy (and for lawyers that don't practice bankruptcy law), the actual mechanics of filing for bankruptcy are unknown. The goal of this post is to answer some common questions about filing from bankruptcy and to give you an idea of what a typical bankruptcy proceeding under Chapter 7 entails. We'll touch on Chapter 13 later.
There are quite a few hoops that you will have to jump through in order to get your child services through an Individualized Education Program (IEP). Most school districts are very accomodating and will help you with the process. Others are hell-bent on saving money and try to deny anything that will cost them extra at every possible turn. In my opinion, the worst districts are the ones that seem like they are going to be accomodating but never follow through with the actual IEP. Knowing how the process works is a key step in knowing whether you're getting where you need to be. What follows is a roadmap of the process.
Digital Estate Planning: A Brave New World
The world has changed significantly in the last ten years, but the majority of estate planning lawyers haven't changed along with it. Traditional estate planning deals with tangible things—your house, car, money, and other physical items that exist in the real world. Traditional estate planning typically does not take into account your digital assets—purchased music and movies, digital photos, rights to access social media accounts, and other non-physical things that still might have some value today. Read on to learn how to plan for the transfer of your digital assets after you pass away.
Special education law is a mystery to a lot of lawyers and a lot of parents. It really only comes up when a child has special needs and requirements in order to thrive in a school environment. This is the first in a series of posts designed to shed a little light on the topic. This post will be a broad overview of the law, with subsequent posts dealing in more detail with each aspect. So let's dive in.
Let's suppose you're a young parent. You're in a stable marriage with the love of your life. You've got two happy, healthy kids who love you to death. You're just starting out and you don't own much, and pretty much everything you own would go to your spouse when you die. So why get a will? You don't really need one, right?
A common issue for families in modern America is the need for estate planning in blended families. Estate planning is important in general, but a well-crafted estate plan can be a lifesaver when you have a blended family.
What is a blended family?
For the sake of this post, we will define a "blended family" as a family where one or both of the spouses have had a prior marriage with children. Basically, a blended family pops up when two people get married but one of them has been married before and already has children.
Ah, Midland Funding. Any lawyer working with people to resolve debt issues has run across Midland Funding. I wish I could say nice things, but that's just not in the cards.
Midland Funding is a debt buyer that purchases mountains of debt from credit card companies at extremely low rates and tries to collect that debt from people who have never heard of or done business with Midland Funding.
If you're reading this, you have probably received a Summons and Complaint from someone you've never heard of called the "National Collegiate Student Loan Trust 20XX- X". I would bet almost any amount of money that you have never done business with anyone named the "National Collegiate Student Loan Trust".
But I would bet that you had a private student loan. What you're looking at is the result of "securitization" of that loan.
Many people see bankruptcy as a big, scary bogeyman that will strip away all of their hard work and leave them destitute, penniless, and pathetic. This couldn't be further from the truth. While there are some downsides to bankruptcy and it isn't a pleasant experience, it is usually much better than living in constant, unending, crushing debt. Some of the pros and cons of bankruptcy are explained below.
There were once two people who had a lot of credit card debt. Let's call them Jane and Ingrid. Both Jane and Ingrid went to college for four years and had a hard time finding a job after. They used credit cards to buy groceries and other things, not because they were spending all of their money on fun things, but because they had no other choice. After a few months, Jane and Ingrid each came down with a bad case of pneumonia and had to spend some time in the hospital. The bills piled up.
Your phone ringing every day from the same number. You usually don’t pick it up because you know that it’s a debt collector. Every once in awhile, you answer the phone to confirm your suspicions. One of three things happens: the voice on the other end is recorded, there is a long pause before your are connected to someone, or the person at the other end immediately starts in with their spiel. You might receive 5 to 10 calls per day. They call while you are getting ready for work, while you are driving to work, on your lunch break, and after you get home for the night. They are persistent, you have to give them that.
A trust, in simplest terms, is a legal arrangement where the ability to control something and the ability to enjoy that something belong to different people. When money is put into a trust, it is managed by a person called a trustee. That person has a fiduciary responsibility to take care of the money in a way that protects it from harm. The person who gets to enjoy the money is the beneficiary of the trust. What the beneficiary actually receives is decided based on the terms of the document creating the trust.
There are three ways your stuff can be disbursed when you die:
- If you die with a will, your stuff will be disbursed based on your the wishes you have detailed on paper. Someone you trust and name in the will is usually appointed by the Court to handle giving your money and things to the people you want them to go to.
A lot of people go into a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy not knowing much about how the process works. Today I am going to spend some time outlining what happens in a typical Chapter 7 case from consultaiton to discharge and beyond. This may not be how your case goes, as every case is different, but most Chapter 7 cases follow a very similar pattern through the bankruptcy court.