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Posted: 5/17/2002 7:49:39 AM EDT
Many people over extend themselves financially and end up in Bankruptcy. How many here have ever filed for Bankruptcy or intend filing? Buying too many Firearm Goodies and charging them to Credit Cards is a good way to get into Financial Trouble. ___________________ Bankruptcy Filings At Record Levels By Associated Press, 5/17/2002 WASHINGTON - Consumers spent so freely during the recession that record numbers found themselves in heavy debt and filed for bankruptcy. Personal bankruptcy filings rose 15.2 percent to a total of nearly 1.5 million in the 12 months ended March 31, the Administrative Office of the US Courts reported yesterday. Filings by businesses rose 10.7 percent to 39,845, including Enron's on Dec. 2. Individuals account for about 97 percent of all bankruptcy filings. Consumers lured by sales, car deals, and low interest rates spent heartily, said Samuel Gerdano, executive director of the American Bankruptcy Institute, a group of bankruptcy judges, lawyers, and specialists. The strong spending helped make the recession shallow but added to household debt, he said. Gerdano noted that consumers were attracted by free financing deals on vehicles and that lower interest rates brought a surge in mortgage refinancing that put more spending money in people's pockets. Most consumer bankruptcy filings are filed under Chapter 7 of the US Bankruptcy Code, which allows people to dissolve their credit card and other debts. Filings during the 12-month period jumped 17.2 percent, to close to 1.1 million. In return for having their debts erased, people in Chapter 7 cases often turn their property over to a bankruptcy trustee, except for basic necessities such as a car, clothing, and work tools. Property with value is sold to pay creditors. Debtors generally are allowed to keep some personal items and possibly some of the equity in their home.
Link Posted: 5/17/2002 8:31:11 AM EDT
I have been a bankruptcy lawyer for about 23 years and I have yet to see all of the 'abuse' in individuals filing bankruptcy that everyone seems to be complaining about. My typical clients are a husband and wife with children, who, after one of the parents loses their job, struggle trying to pay their bills for at least a couple of years, before they ever even consider bankruptcy. Often they go to Consumer Credit Counseling and [u]only[/u] if they cannot formulate a restructured payment plan do they consider bankruptcy. Usually it's the CCC that tells them they need to file a Chapter 7. If you really want to talk about abuse of the bankruptcy laws, you need to talk about how big companies get away with all sorts of stuff by simply filing bankruptcy. The board of directors and the company's officers gather in a small room with their CPAs and lawyers, and the sole critical issue is - [b]what's in the best interests of the people in this room![/b] They don't invite employees to participate, they don't ask for shareholder input, they don't ask their retirees what might be the best way to approach the company's financial woes. All they care about is how the timing of a bankruptcy might impact the people sitting in that tiny conference room. Are our 'golden parachutes' in place? Can any of our 'bonuses' be attacked in a bankruptcy case scenario? Can any of our stock sales be set aside by the bankruptcy court? Are our retirement plans safe? Are any of us [u]personally[/u] at risk for creditors' claims? Once those pressing questions are resolved, then and only then can the decision to file or not, be made! Just think, all the threatened 'Bankruptcy Law Reforms' that are pending in Congress address only the personal bankruptcies of individuals, and touch corporate bankruptcies not a lick! Eric The(PayMeNow,OrPayMeLater)Hun[>]:)]
Link Posted: 5/17/2002 7:59:15 PM EDT
Two of my neighbors went bankrupt right after Christmas. Just couldn't keep up with the bills.
Link Posted: 5/17/2002 8:17:13 PM EDT
I am so close to filing. The only thing stopping me is that by filing it will go on my record for employment. I have Series 7 securites lics. and they do a background check everytime I move jobs. BK will require an explanation. Most big firms will not hire cause of it. However, if I can not find another better paying job by year end, I will have no choice at that point.
Link Posted: 5/17/2002 8:34:39 PM EDT
Every time I look in the "equipment exchange". [:D]
Link Posted: 5/17/2002 8:38:02 PM EDT
Link Posted: 5/17/2002 8:58:31 PM EDT
I will admit it now... I am "in the process as we speak". Divorce, parents both dead, child support... I was dealing with all of that as best as I could -but I lost a good paying job last fall, and only recently found another "okay" job. I had to sell almost all of my firearms (amd it was no small collection, believe me).
Link Posted: 5/17/2002 9:05:45 PM EDT
The wife and I considered bankruptcy about 7 years ago, but instead took out a consolidation loan to pay them (credit cards) off. Did so, then before we knew it, charged the cards right back up again. DOH! Got a second consolidation loan and have been paying ever since. However, all credit cards are cut up (except for the debit/cc we have through our checking account) and have no intentions on getting another until we are finished with the loan. And in that case, it will only be reserved for emergencies (and the wife doesnt consider firearms emergencies [:D] ) At the rate we are currently at, we'll be completely debt free (aside from our mortgage) in about 4 years. Keeping that thought constantly in my mind certainly helps. Just think, nearly 4K each month to sock away - oh the toys I can get then [;)] We now live by the rule: If we cant pay cash, we cant afford it. Yeah, its a life of 'bargin brand' mac and cheese for now but it'll pay off. Looking back I now realize that if we had filed bankruptcy I wouldnt have my own home and a 98 Pathfinder sitting in the driveway. Only advice that I can provide is - file only as a last resort. Look up Consumer Credit Counseling Services in the yellow pages - most if not all will not charge a fee for their services. They help consolidate and negotiate on your behalf - and for most debts even as high as $20K, you can be debt free in about 5-7 years. Lessons learned, hell I charged up the stuff, I should pay for it.
Link Posted: 5/17/2002 9:35:23 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/17/2002 9:36:24 PM EDT by sniped]
Originally Posted By HKgnnr: Look up Consumer Credit Counseling Services in the yellow pages - most if not all will not charge a fee for their services. They help consolidate and negotiate on your behalf - and for most debts even as high as $20K, you can be debt free in about 5-7 years.
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Hey Eric doesn't the above option make it worse for your credit? Remember you still OWE the money all they do is reduce the amount, the remaining difference will go 30,60,90,120 overdue. Plus it a MAJOR red flag for creditors. I haven't ever had credit problems and have use it to help start and continue our business, but I can see if very easy to get out of hand.
Link Posted: 5/17/2002 9:53:12 PM EDT
Link Posted: 5/17/2002 10:08:11 PM EDT
Originally Posted By sniped:
Originally Posted By HKgnnr: Look up Consumer Credit Counseling Services in the yellow pages - most if not all will not charge a fee for their services. They help consolidate and negotiate on your behalf - and for most debts even as high as $20K, you can be debt free in about 5-7 years.
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Hey Eric doesn't the above option make it worse for your credit? Remember you still OWE the money all they do is reduce the amount, the remaining difference will go 30,60,90,120 overdue. Plus it a MAJOR red flag for creditors.
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Sniped - In our case, we werent behind in any bills, we just needed some 'direction' to avoid getting behind. All our balances remained as they were, however all the accounts are considered closed by the CC companies and in the meantime the interest rates were reduced to speed up repayment. The only encounter I had 'questioning' why we consulting a counseling service was when we purchased the new truck. We contacted the counseling service requesting a letter of 'good standing' meaning we were current on making the lump payments to the service and they were dispersing it to the creditors. The bank was satisfied and released the check. Now if we had been months behind in payments I'm sure the Holy Grail wouldnt have swayed the bank however.
Link Posted: 5/18/2002 3:19:08 PM EDT
Link Posted: 5/18/2002 3:48:26 PM EDT
I love bankruptcy. Enron has been keeping 75 lawyers at my firm going full tilt. It's definitely saved my bonus.
Link Posted: 5/18/2002 5:47:38 PM EDT
Link Posted: 5/18/2002 6:14:03 PM EDT
yep, best decision i ever made
Link Posted: 5/19/2002 5:27:25 AM EDT
Is there a limit to how many times in a lifetime a person can file for bankruptcy?
Link Posted: 5/19/2002 6:24:38 AM EDT
Link Posted: 5/19/2002 6:28:31 AM EDT
Actually, you can file a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy every year if you'd like. What you can't do is to receive a Chapter 7 Discharge within six years of having previously received a Chapter 7 Discharge. Why would someone desire to file a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy if they knew they were not going to obtain a discharge? Easy. To 'call off the dogs', to marshall one's assets for proper distribution to creditors, to attack a state-court judgment, and a whole variety of other reasons. Check it out! Eric The(MorallyBankrupt)Hun[>]:)]
Link Posted: 5/19/2002 6:32:35 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/19/2002 6:45:15 AM EDT by G-lock]
Been there done that. Things were going great nice home, new baby, two new vehicles, boat, too many cards, condo in Vegas, 7000K a month income. Ex starts to lose mind after baby was born and bad encounter with estranged father. Ex quit job 18 months from vesting in state retirement, loss of 3.5K income. Now were making it but I can see handwriting on the wall, wife's mind gone, divorce and child support coming, so it off to BK court. Best thing I ever did! Divorce came right after discharge, I got joint custody, kept a car during, paid it off, bought a new truck paid it off in 16 months and I just closed on a house with a 7.5 interest rate. I couldn't be happier. No debt(except house), no psycho Ex, great kid, low child support. BK was the best damn thing that ever happened to me. Jeff P.S. I went 7 and gave up no personal property other than new vehicles and the boat. I miss the condo in Vegas tho!
Link Posted: 5/19/2002 6:35:10 AM EDT
Link Posted: 5/19/2002 6:41:44 AM EDT
Bankruptcy Judge McGuire in Dallas once chided me for the same reason, until I pointed the section out for him and explained to him that inability to obtain a discharge has never been held as grounds not to let the case go forward. Eric The(HeAgreedFinally)Hun[>]:)]
Link Posted: 5/19/2002 7:07:14 AM EDT
I should have a long time ago but I didn't. Now things are much better. Starting a business can have its ups and DOWNS. I racked up $75,000 in personal signature debt when I started my company. Entrepreneurism will build your testicular fortitude like nothing else.
Link Posted: 5/19/2002 7:18:16 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/19/2002 7:20:15 AM EDT by Nekkid80]
Originally Posted By EricTheHun: I have been a bankruptcy lawyer for about 23 years and I have yet to see all of the 'abuse' in individuals filing bankruptcy that everyone seems to be complaining about. Eric The(PayMeNow,OrPayMeLater)Hun[>]:)]
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I'm glad you're NOT a Bastard Trial Lawyer.[:)] Some people I know have filed for personal gain, it is good to know it isn't as abused as one would be led to believe. I have tried to avoid being caught by bankruptcy by driving an old 1989 vehicle. Those new friggin automobiles depreciate so fast it's unbelievable. I stick my car payment cash into real estate, retirement, or a rainy day fund. Credit cards I have get paid off monthly. The credit companies keep upping my credit limit. I was 22 years old and was receiving pre-approved credit cards for $50,000!!! They wanted me to have a regular balance at 15-20%. More Bastards...... C.C. companies.....
Link Posted: 5/19/2002 8:05:26 AM EDT
Own your toys, don't let them own you. Give some thought to a financial SHTF-what if your employer goes under, your health fails etc etc-these are disasters that are far more likely to strike than rioting in the streets/biochemical attack etc etc. Amen! Outside of health or family disaster problems, I think most financial problems can be overcome with a little discipline, because I think most are caused by an "I wanna" not a "necessary" expense. In most cases, I think a little gumption, a little work, a lot of planning, and you cannot only dig yourself out of the hole, it will teach you how to prepare for the rest of your life. I see folks that are having financial problems that seem to have to go to that event,movie,lounge,play,vacation or whatever. They seem to have a nice car ,pickup, or SUV. They are simply maintaining a lifestyle that they have not earned. What is wrong with earning first and then spending? What's wrong with a second or third job? Digging your own way out will give you a load of confidence and self esteem. Grow up, show up, shut up, stand up, speak up,and make up.
Link Posted: 5/19/2002 8:29:51 AM EDT
Post from Nekkid80 -
Some people I know have filed for personal gain, it is good to know it isn't as abused as one would be led to believe.
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[u]All[/u] the people I have filed bankruptcy for in the past 23 years have also filed for 'personal gain', if you consider 'personal gain' as putting an end to harassing late night phone calls, time-consuming, expensive court proceedings, and obtaining a fresh start in putting their financial house in order. No, [b]Nekked80[/b], the [u]real[/u] abuse in bankruptcy cases are in the corporate filings that no one seems to care about. We're more interested in making certain that the Joneses, with whom we've been trying to keep up with all these years, don't suddenly file bankruptcy and get out of their lawful debts leaving us to continue to suffer under our debt burdens. The real deadbeats are the companies who sell off all their assets to other companies, screw their employees out of their retirements, file bankruptcy at the most beneficial time for the board of directors, and then open up across town as a totally different company, with totally the same folks running it! Those miscreants are untouched by the latest so-called bankruptcy reform legislation![:D] And I will continue to represent them, too![BD] If you want to avoid bankruptcy, do as this bankruptcy lawyer does - cut up your credit cards and live on your current earnings. If you don't have enough money for that weapon, save up until you do have enough money for that weapon. I've never filed a bankruptcy case for an individual who didn't owe some credit card company something. [u]That[/u] should tell you something! Eric The(HonestToGod)Hun[>]:)]
Link Posted: 5/19/2002 8:49:23 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/19/2002 8:55:02 AM EDT by Joe_Blacke]
Eric, I've been involved with a bunch of fraud investigations, and I can tell you that there is quite a bit of bankruptcy fraud. You may not encounter it, but it is there. Credit Card companies help keep the economy going strong for a long time in the last decade. Credit Card companies relaxed their requirements for credit, extended credit limits, and many people benefited. The purchasing made by these individuals brought revenue to retailers, and manufactures who in turn employeed workers to make their products. A good portion of the recession we are seeing now, is because the image of prosperity was based on credit, not actuall buying power. People aren't spending as much now, because they are being more frugal and living closer to their income. An economy cannot sustain itself on credit alone, but instead should only be based on real monitary wealth coupled with limited, wise and strategic borrowing. Unfortunately, many people were greedy. They are also lazy. It's easy to blame the credit card companies, but let's be realistic. The credit card companies do not force anyone to apply for a card, nor do they mandate that you charge up the entire balance of your account. You cannot claim that your clients were victimized by the credit card companies with reasoning like "If the credit card companies hadn't loaned my client the money, then my client would never have been in debt." It's ridiculous. Now granted, the Credit Card companies were not wise in many decisions to give approval to many people who should not have. I don't think they should get a break for making bad business decisions when they give money away to people that are unlikely to repay it. On the same hand, no one should be able to obtain card after card, maxing out each balance, while knowing that they are not going to pay it back and believing that they can just file bankruptcy. I do believe that many people have been filling bankrupcy when they should be required to pay back what they borrowed (Gov Symington of AZ comes to mind). I also believe that the Credit Card companies should own up to their own responsibilites because they are partially culpable by giving away money recklessly. In the end, it's the honest person who gets shafted with the high intrest rates. People need to be responsible for their actions. Don't borrow money that you can't afford to pay back. Don't lend money to people who you feel are a unacceptable risk. On both sides, don't expect government to come in and take care of you by either tightening the BK laws, or allowing someone to hide behind them because they were stupid and greedy.
Link Posted: 5/19/2002 8:51:50 AM EDT
Eric this individual abused the system for Personal Gain as in monetary. He is an example of your corporate screwings. For many average people I would deem bankruptcy as a means to an end, a new start. Isn't it [i]illegal[/i] to harass a debtor by phoning in the middle of the night?
Link Posted: 5/19/2002 9:00:53 AM EDT
Only for 'debt collectors' as that is defined in the federal statutes. The original creditor can pretty much do as it wishes! Eric The(UnderFederalLaws)Hun[>]:)]
Link Posted: 5/19/2002 9:06:19 AM EDT
Originally Posted By EricTheHun: Post from Nekkid80 -
Some people I know have filed for personal gain, it is good to know it isn't as abused as one would be led to believe.
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[u]All[/u] the people I have filed bankruptcy for in the past 23 years have also filed for 'personal gain', if you consider 'personal gain' as putting an end to harassing late night phone calls, time-consuming, expensive court proceedings, and obtaining a fresh start in putting their financial house in order. Eric, Actually your clients would be protected from harrassment because of the FDCPA. If their rights are being violated, it could turn out to be in their financial benefit as the fines can be quite steep. As you know, state law would superceed the FDCPA in states that have stricter protection in place. Florida, and Texas are considered "debtors havens" due to their laws protecting debtors. In fact, OJ moved to Florida so he doesn't have to pay back the money awarded in the civil trial. I seriously doubt your clients are being persecuted. The law definately favors them. A simple letter to the companies stating that all future contact must be made in writing, is enough to stop the phone calls. If the lender wants to violate it, then they risk being fined. Even if they don't contact the lender in writting, by law the lender is limited to certain hours in which they can make call and attempt collection efforts. Harrassment? Hardly!
Link Posted: 5/19/2002 9:09:03 AM EDT
Originally Posted By EricTheHun: Only for 'debt collectors' as that is defined in the federal statutes. The original creditor can pretty much do as it wishes! Eric The(UnderFederalLaws)Hun[>]:)]
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FDCPA originally excepmted the original creditors and was created for third party collections. As it stands, I know of NO original lenders that wish to violate the FDCPA as they have incorporated it as part of their recovery policies. Could you provide names of any original lenders who choose not to abide by the FDCPA? I would be most interested.
Link Posted: 5/19/2002 9:55:24 AM EDT
Link Posted: 5/19/2002 9:58:45 AM EDT
No!
Link Posted: 5/19/2002 10:28:35 AM EDT
Thanks, [b]Aimless[/b], for backing me up on the fact that original creditors are using the same tactics that were historically used by the debt collectors. What's a scream to me is that once my clients have informed them that they have decided to file bankruptcy, and they give the collectors my name and phone number, those guys think they can hammer me on the debt! LOL, if they can't successfully collect from the debtors, they think they can successfully collect from me? Eric The(FreshStart)Hun[>]:)]
Link Posted: 5/19/2002 11:24:39 AM EDT
Eric, I would still like you to identify original creditors that operate outside the bounds of the FDCPA. Specifically: Do they call before 8am or after 9pm local time? If a debtor hangs up, does the collector immediately call back? If the debtor states that they are represented by an attorney, does the collector continue to call the debtor instead of the attorney? Does the collector threaten to publish the debtors name and information regarding the debt? Does the collector disclose the debt during conversations with third parties without the consent of the debtor? Does the collector state that they are going to sue the debtor when debtor is protected from a civil judgement? Does the collector threaten to have the debtor evicted from his house so that the bank can take possession? Your statement that the collectors begin to call you after being notified of your involvement, indicates that they are IN FACT following the FDCPA guidelines. You may have been retained for a bankruptcy petition, but until the petition is filed the collector can attempt to make payment arrangements with you on behalf of your client. I have seen many instances where the attorney will be offered a settlement arrangement to prevent the client from actually filling the bankruptcy. It happens quite often. Now, if your clients refuse to return phone calls, if they hide assets, if they provide false and misleading information in an attempt to avoid a legal debt, then the collectors are going to become more agressive in when and how they will contact and arrange payment, but they still will operate within the bounds of the FDCPA. I haven't seen a collector yet who wasn't professional and willing to work with a debtor who 1. made arrangements and did their best to follow them, 2. if arrangements were going to be broken, let the collector know ahead of time so that alternate arrangements could be made, 3. made and attempt to return phone calls or communicate with the collector, 4. was honest about their situation and not make exagerations on how desperate their circumstances were in an attempt to avoid payments.
Link Posted: 5/19/2002 4:43:04 PM EDT
Post from Joe_Blacke -
I would still like you to identify original creditors that operate outside the bounds of the FDCPA.
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Bank One Capital, from its office in Phoenix, Arizona, for starters. They are very aggressive, and pretty stupid to boot. They may just be a lawyer's wet dream waiting to happen. Just a couple of months ago, one of their collectors called my client and was informed by my client that he and his wife had filed bankruptcy. He then called my office to obtain the bankruptcy information. We gave him the court, the date, the docket number, the Judge's name, the Trustee's name, the chapter, and the Section 341 Meeting date. About 30 minutes later he called the client back to ask him whether his case was a Chapter 7 or not! Talk about a POS! He just couldn't get over the fact that the poor schmuck was beyond his reach, but he still wanted to 'rub it in' a little! I'm too busy to follow that kinda crap up, but there are plenty of attorneys who simply dream of catching a major creditor doing something stupid like that! You know like Sears got caught doing! You remember their bankruptcy scam, right?
Now, if your clients refuse to return phone calls, if they hide assets, if they provide false and misleading information in an attempt to avoid a legal debt, then the collectors are going to become more agressive in when and how they will contact and arrange payment, but they still will operate within the bounds of the FDCPA.
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Don't make me laugh! 'Becoming aggressive' is not protected by the FDCPA![:D] I remember the time NationsBank sent two gentlemen to the house of an 80 year old client of mine (a non-bankruptcy client) to find the automobile that the 80 year old had co-signed for his nere-do-well 55 year old son. It was about 8:00 PM, when the two 'gentlemen' showed up at my client's house. My client was not at home, but his 75 year old wife was. These two 'gentlemen' proceeded to harangue the old lady for all they were worth! They said that they were detectives working on the case and that if her husband didn't turn over the automobile to them (it was in his son's possession) that they would have the Dallas Police come to their home that very evening to arrest the 80 year old man for auto theft! Well, she couldn't get hold of her husband so she called me, and I just happened to be at my office. I asked her if the two 'gentlemen' were still there. She said no, but they were sitting out in the car in the front of her house. I told her to go out there and tell them that she had her husband on the phone and to tell them that he wanted them to talk to him. They came back into her house and picked up the phone. I asked them in an 80 year old man's voice if they were detectives and if they were going to arrest me for not turning over the car. They said yes, they were! At that point, I started laughing and identified myself. I told them if they didn't leave my client's premises that very moment that it would be me making a complaint to the Dallas District Attorney for their falsely identifying themselves as law enforcement officials. Did I report the incident? Hell, no. They would have denied the whole story and said that they simply meant that they would obtain a writ of seizure from the courts, and not a writ of arrest for my client! But they never came back, either![:D] All's well that ends well. Eric The(Non-Harassing)Hun[>]:)]
Link Posted: 5/19/2002 5:35:49 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/19/2002 5:37:08 PM EDT by cluster]
some wise man once said: "Always carry CC debt... pay the bare freaking min.. that way when the comet hits the earth and we all die... [b]YOU WIN!![/b] As for myself I had trouble paying my debts once upon a time.. not for any good reason, had the cash but the damn car audio place keep getting better toys.... Oh well.. finaly ended up paying [b]everything[/b] I owed to everyone.. I thought .. great now I can start over.. fresh from piont one.. NOPE.. its been about 3-4 years that everything has been paid off and I still cant get a loan.. whatgives..??
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