Know When To Say No To New Debt

Getting into debt is easy, but getting out of debt is a significantly more difficult task. It is not hard to overspend, live paycheck to paycheck, or rely on credit to make ends meet. When this cycle becomes a daily pattern it is critical to find a solution, before you wind up in financial ruin. Part of this plan is to learn how to say no to taking on debt, and that can be a grueling thing to put in to practice.

Here are some tips you can use in your everyday life that will help you say no to taking on new debts:


  • Sleep on it! When considering making a major purchase like a house or a car, take a few days to think it over before you act. Many times if you walk away from the pressure of a salesperson you can think more clearly and make a decision that is more in line with your financial condition.
  • Never shop alone. If you take a trusted friend or family member with you when you shop you are more likely to avoid making an impulse purchase, as long as your shopping companion is aware of their role in your shopping excursion.
  • Avoid looking at things that are outside of your price range. If you do happen to be in the market for a new car or house, set a budget and then stick to it while shopping. You are in control of these purchases and it is perfectly acceptable to let the salesperson or realtor know your budget.
  • Establish a savings account, so when you do need to make a purchase or have a repair to make you do not have to obtain credit or take out a loan to cover the expense.


Andof course the first rule of money management and the key to avoid taking on new debt is to set a monthly budget. Write down all of your expenses and then see how they match up to the amount of money you bring in each month. If your income is not enough to cover what you are spending, start looking for areas where you can cut back. There is bound to be a meal out or night at the movies you can forego, and still have a social life. If not, you should consider exercising other options, like filing for bankruptcy to wipe out the debt that is too hard to pay.

For more information about how to handle overwhelming debt, contact us today at We will help you come up with solutions that work for your family, and have multiple locations where we schedule appointments so you can make a choice that is convenient for you.

Are Celebrities Really That Rich?

Being a superstar comes with a lot of perks like private jets, lavish vacations, luxury cars and homes, and enough money to afford all of these things. But not all celebrities are rolling in the dough, and a handful of some of the most well-known stars have net worths that are shockingly low. And while not all of the celebrities who fall into the category of being considered “poor”, at least by Hollywood standards, are actually struggling to make ends meet they do have lower net value that many of their counterparts.

A few celebrities who are not necessarily considered “rich” include the following:


  • Lindsay Lohan: once a rising child star, the actress has seen her share of misfortune; some of it of her own doing. Reports put her net worth at right around half a million dollars.
  • Mike Tyson: the former heavyweight champion began his downward spiral when he bit the ear of Evander Holyfield, and Tyson’s troubles did not stop there. His one-time nearly $300 million fortune has now dwindled to about $3 million.
  • Chris Tucker: the actor who appeared alongside Jackie Chan in the Rush Hour films actually has a negative net worth. The cause of Tucker’s money woes is a combination of foreclosures and tax liabilities.
  • Gary Busey: Busey has faced bankruptcy, claiming to have assets valued at only $50,000.00 yet debts of over $1 million.

The list is surely longer than this, and it just goes to show you that not even the “rich” and famous are really all that rich. In most of these cases the financial downfall is the result of overspending, fast living, and divorce. These are things any one of us can fall prey to, so it is important to remember that no one is immune from money problems. If you are experiencing a financial shortfall, take action now to minimize the potential negative effects. Whether you need to file for bankruptcy, negotiate a short sale of your home, put a stop to a foreclosure or wage garnishment, or modify your mortgage, we can help. Our practice focuses on helping people drowning in debt find ways out of bad financial situations.

If you have more questions about debt, contact us today at We will help you come up with solutions that work for your family, and have multiple locations where we schedule appointments so you can make a choice that is convenient for you.

How To Save Money Like A Rock Star

What do Ozzy Osbourne, Eric Clapton, Don Henley, Dave Grohl, Elton John, Bono, and Jon Bon Jovi have in common? To be certain they are all at the top of their music game, but they are all also good with their money. Rock stars, movie stars, television stars, and other celebrities have higher salaries than most of us but that does not always mean they are able to  hang on to their money. In fact, there are plenty of stars that make it all and then lose it all but there is also a good amount of celebrities that have been smart with their money and found ways to save. Even if you do not make a superstar’s salary, you can take some cues from their behavior and sock away some money for a rainy day.

Some good ideas and tips on how to save money like a rock star include:


  • Invest in real estate: buying rental properties is a good idea because you can rent out the property for more than the mortgage payment and still turn a profit. And, when the market is right, you can sell real estate for more than it cost you.
  • Look at investment options with proven track records: if you have a nest egg earmarked for investment, do your homework before throwing it all at something. Investments are always a risk, but if you do your research and diversify where your money goes, you can grow your initial investment to a healthy amount.
  • Curtail spending and live within your means: not all superstars spend all the money they make; the money-wise ones try to maintain a normal life and practice thrifty spending.

If you are able to put aside a certain amount from your paycheck every pay period you can accumulate a savings pretty quickly. Once you have a decent amount of funds saved back, you can decide which type of investment or money management plan to make. Even if you do not invest your savings, putting some back every pay period will help you establish an emergency fund and allow you to avoid using credit as unexpected expenses arise.

For help getting out of debt, contact us today at We will help you get prepared for what comes after we file your case, and have multiple locations where we schedule appointments.



Three Ways To Sink Your Bankruptcy Case

If you are struggling to pay all of your bills, bankruptcy is a great way to get rid of debt and keep the creditors at bay. But it only works if you do it right, and doing it right requires the help of a trained bankruptcy attorney. There are just too many pitfalls along the way that can cause your case to be dismissed, or send you into a Chapter 13 when you prefer a Chapter 7, or get the bankruptcy Trustee to claim the filing is an abuse of the process. If you have decided to file bankruptcy to help improve your financial situation, call us for help and let us explain how it works and tell you what to expect.

Other than being given an overall explanation of what is involved in filing for bankruptcy, we will also let you know some of the things you should not do if you want your case to succeed. Along those lines, here are three ways to sink your bankruptcy case:


  • Fail to give your attorney all of the information needed to file a case: when you file for bankruptcy you are required to list all of your debts and all of your assets. You are not permitted to give any one creditor preferential treatment, and “forgetting” to include a creditor so that you can keep your account with them in good standing will not achieve the desired result. Before your case is filed, take the time to look over the documents prepared on your behalf and alert your attorney to any discrepancy so it can be fixed before you file.
  • Showing up to Court without identification: you are usually only required to go to one hearing in a bankruptcy case, and it is with the trustee assigned to you. The trustee will ask for identification and you need to be able to prove you are the same person who filed. It is possible to proceed with the hearing in front of the trustee without ID, but you do have to provide it later. If you fail to do so, your case will be dismissed.
  • Having unfiled tax returns: you must have all tax returns filed when you file a case, and if not then you are required to get them filed pretty quickly after your case is filed. If you do not, the Court will not allow your case to continue and you will not get the benefit of the bankruptcy discharge.

Making the decision to file bankruptcy is one that is not arrived at without a lot of thought. If you have gone through the effort to file a case, be sure to take the steps to guarantee your case is successful. Let us help.

For more information about debt and how bankruptcy or a mortgage modification can help you, contact us at We will help by coming up with solutions that work for you and have multiple locations to meet your needs for office visits.

Four Golden Rules For Effective Debt Management

Managing debt can be hard, but with the right tools and advice you can get your finances under control and have a secure financial future. The key is to find a method to the madness that works for you, and that fits your budget. Once you do, the next step is to stay on track with whatever choices you have made, and before long you will see your savings grow and your debt become non-existent.

If this all sounds good to you, here are tips to get you started. These four golden rules for effective debt management have stood the test of time, and after implementing one or all of them you should be on your way to financial freedom:


  • Come up with a budget; this is a tool that starts off nearly every list for how to take back control of out of control finances. Until you know what you make each month and what you spend it on, you will be unable to put pen to paper and cut back where possible. But, once you do this, you will see how much of your hard earned money goes where and where you can save a little. And keep in mind, it is not enough to just come up with a budget, you also have to follow the budget. For some people this is accomplished by creating spreadsheets of expenses, but can be as simple as starting with balancing your checkbook or keeping receipts.
  • Pay off debt as quickly as possible, so the amount of money you pay towards interest each month is decreased. It might be a good idea to start by paying off the smallest bill first so you have a sense of accomplishment, then start working on the next smallest bill. Or you might prefer to pay off debt with the highest interest rate first, and then tackle the next highest rate. Whatever gets you to zero balances is the goal.
  • Avoid using credit cards unless you can pay them off in full each month.
  • Pay your bills on time, doing so will boost your credit score and help you to avoid paying late fees.

Even if you do these things, we know disaster can strike. If it does, don’t panic. We are here to help. Whether help is in the form of bankruptcy, debt consolidation, or a mortgage modification, we know what needs to be done to get you back on schedule.

If you have more questions about debt management, contact us at We will help by coming up with solutions that work for you and have multiple locations to meet your needs for office visits.

Can I Modify My Mortgage On More Than One Home?

Many homeowners have more than one house, either for rental or for a vacation home in addition to their personal residence. So when money gets tight, it gets really tight if there are multiple mortgages to pay. One way out of a sticky financial spot regarding house payments is to modify the mortgage. A lot of people do this for their personal residence, but become concerned as to whether doing so also allows them to modify a mortgage on a second home.

Modifying a mortgage on a rental or second property is possible, you just need to know what steps to take and if there are other options that may better suit your needs. As with a modification of the mortgage on your principle residence, a modification of the mortgage on a second home requires an application be filled out and documents submitted to the lender. The process is the same, with the lender reviewing the documents provided and sending the request to an underwriting team for review. If you have hesitation over modifying a second home mortgage, consider these options:

  • File for bankruptcy. If you are realistically not going to rent out a second home or no longer use it as a vacation spot, bankruptcy will alleviate the need to continue paying the mortgage.
  • Offer a deed in lieu of foreclosure to the lender. This requires you to sign certain documents putting title back in the name of the bank, and can be done without the need to file a bankruptcy as long as your lender agrees to accept the deed.
  • Consider a short sale of the property, which also requires lender approval. A short sale is a sale of the home for less than what is owed, but for an amount the bank will accept.

These options; bankruptcy, short sales, and deeds in lieu all require the assistance of a trained legal professional. When tying up loose ends on frayed finances it always best to place the matter in the hands of a trusted debt management attorney. It might also be possible to consolidate or refinance your debt, and talking over your personal needs will give you insight as to which path to take.

If you have more questions about debt and mortgage modifications, contact us at We will help by coming up with solutions that work for you and have multiple locations to meet your needs for office visits.



Two Ways To Protect Assets From Being Taken

You work hard for your money, and for the things you have accumulated over time. Building wealth takes a lot of effort, and provides a financial security blanket in times of unexpected need. However, there are times where lenders can get to your nest egg and essentially swipe the rug out from under your feet. In order to safeguard what you have spent a lifetime acquiring, proper measures should be taken. There are legal remedies available to you, to protect your assets and ensure your future financial security stays intact.

Building a wall around your assets takes careful planning, and starting early is the best approach to take. The sooner you begin construction on your protective wall, the more secure your assets will remain. Two ways to protect assets from being taken are:


  • Create a trust. A trust is a legal mechanism that allows you to transfer property into it, in the name of the trust rather than in your name personally. Assets held in trust are generally not reachable by creditors, and thus remain safe if you experience financial difficulty.
  • Be sure to keep business assets separate from personal assets if you are a business owner. Doing so will draw a clear line in the sand about ownership, and creditors of your business will not be able to take personal assets. The opposite is true as well, where personal lenders will be prohibited from seizing business assets. Many small business owners take out loans in their business name for this reason, just be careful to keep use of business assets separate from use of personal assets. If you commingle the two, the line becomes blurred and you open the door to creditors.

Asset planning is a huge undertaking, and should not be done without the help of a legal professional. It might seem strange to call on a bankruptcy attorney for this task, but in truth bankruptcy and assets go together quite well. Call on our experience in this area for help, and let us put plans in place that keep your assets safe while providing you a way to pay off liabilities.

For help with finances, contact us at We will help by coming up with solutions that work for you and have multiple locations to meet your needs for office visits.

Three Ways Divorce Impacts Debt

Fewer things in life are more stressful than money problems and relationship problems. And all too often these two issues go hand in hand it can be difficult to separate the two. It is rare for a couple to end a marriage and walk away without debt, which makes it crucial to examine how divorce impacts your debt so you are prepared for what the future holds.

Three ways divorce impacts debt include:


  • Debts that were held jointly will remain the responsibility of both parties in the eyes of the lender, regardless of the terms of the divorce decree. While it is true that the decree will designate which spouse pays which debts, if payment is not forthcoming the lender will look to both parties to repayment. To avoid being made to pay a debt your ex-spouse has been ordered to pay by your divorce, you will need to go back to Court and have your ex held in contempt. Even then, payments may still go unpaid. In that instance, you should consider filing for bankruptcy to get the lender off of your back.
  • Debts that were yours and yours alone will likely remain your responsibility after divorce. Be prepared to pay these debts, or make arrangements with your creditors for a financial work out of larger amounts.
  • Your home will be awarded to one spouse, if it is not sold as part of the divorce. In order to have your name removed as an owner, or to have your ex-spouse taken off title, certain deeds are required to be executed. But keep in mind changing how title vests does not remove the financial obligation. A refinance may be required to clear up the financial responsibility of a martial home.

If you have recently gone through a divorce and need to make a clean break on certain debts, some things you can do are to file for bankruptcy or to seek a mortgage modification. The choice you make depends on the outcome of your divorce, and we can explain the benefits of all of your options. Let us help you make the difficulties of divorce and money easier to bear.

For more information about how bankruptcy and divorce relate to each other, call us today or reach us online at

What If My Loan Is Sold During Mortgage Modification?

Mortgage holders are in the habit of buying and selling mortgage loans, and this makes it hard for homeowners to know who holds their mortgage and where to make payments. The issue of which lender is the correct lender, or who is servicing a loan comes up frequently in foreclosure actions, because the proper party has to be in possession of the note in order to enforce it by foreclosure. The many times a mortgage note changes hands makes it difficult enough to make payments to the right bank, but the situation can become even more frustrating if your loan is transferred during a modification request.

Here are some tips for how to handle a transfer or sale of your mortgage while you have a modification application pending:

  • Ask that your application be escalated once you learn of the new mortgage holder.
  • Provide all documentation to the new lender that has been given to your prior mortgage holder. You cannot trust that the previous note holder transferred all of the documents. This is why it is so important to keep complete records and copies of all documents related to your modification process, you never know when you will be asked to resubmit.
  • Request written confirmation from the new note holder that they have noted the account properly, ensuring your loan has been coded for modification review.

Doing the above things should help you avoid being repeatedly told your application is with the underwater for review, but are not the only steps you should take. It is also essential to turn your case over to an experienced attorney to handle. Litigators who focus on helping debtors get out of debt are familiar with the modification procedures, including how to make sure your request goes smoothly if the loan is transferred to a new lender. Many lenders engage in the buying and selling of loans as a way to keep a positive balance on their books, but doing so should not put a homeowner in jeopardy of having their modification denied. We have helped people sort through all sorts of facts relating to their request for a mortgage modification, and will be able to help you too!

If you have more questions about mortgage modification and debt, contact our office. We can be reached by phone, or online at

Will I Be Turned Down For A Mortgage Modification If I’ve Filed Bankruptcy?

Many people wonder about how filing for bankruptcy will affect their credit, and whether they will be able to get a loan or have other financial needs satisfied after a bankruptcy is over. The concern is legitimate, because money issues have a way of cropping up more than once in a lifetime. If you are considering filing for bankruptcy but have questions about your creditworthiness thereafter, or need to know what types of financial transactions will be likely after your case is over, we can give you the answers you seek.

For most people, offers of credit begin to pour in only a short while after their bankruptcy case is complete. Things like offers of credit for vehicle purchases, and even credit card offers are common. But what about getting a home loan, or better yet, modifying the one you already have? It is normal to wonder if you will be turned down for a mortgage modification if you have filed for bankruptcy, and in the majority of cases the answer is no. Many homeowners who have filed bankruptcy are still able to have their mortgage modified, here are some things to consider if this is your situation:


  • The amount of time that has passed since your bankruptcy will play a role. The longer it has been, the more likely you are to be approved for a mortgage modification.
  • You will be required to note the bankruptcy on your mortgage modification application.
  • If you reaffirmed the mortgage debt you seek to modify during your bankruptcy, your mortgage lender will look upon your application more favorably.
  • If you did not reaffirm the mortgage debt, the lender may be hesitant to entertain the application because technically the debt is no longer due. This road is a bit harder to travel, but with the assistance of a qualified attorney is not impossible.

If you have filed bankruptcy before and still need financial relief, there is help available. We understand that in life there are no certainties, and financial distress is not a one-time event. Modifying your mortgage even after a bankruptcy has been filed is a possibility, and is a good way to get the extra relief you need.

If you have questions about mortgage modifications, call us today or reach us online at We have multiple locations to serve you and can schedule a time to meet at the office most convenient for you.