CNN reports that the average student loan debt in the United States at the end of last year was nearly $30,000. In New York the numbers are almost as bad; the average is just over $25,000.  Between 2008 and 2012, student loan debt rose a shocking six percent per year. Seventy percent of college seniors nationwide graduate with student loan debt, and 20 percent of that debt is owed to high-cost private lenders.  So it makes sense that young people are drowning and looking for a life-line to escape from their sea of debt. Licensed attorneys can sometimes help.  Unfortunately though, at least some non-attorneys who are claiming to throw out a life preserver are actually sharks.
The New York Times reports that the student loan debt settlement industry is filled with such sharks.  These companies offer to help borrowers lower their monthly payments for a large up-front fee.  Traditionally this tactic was used to go after desperate borrowers with credit card and mortgage debt, but young people with crushing student debt provide a new set of victims for these companies.  This is particularly true since over half of recent graduates are unemployed or have low-paying jobs that do not even require the expensive college degree the young person is trying to pay off.

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soldier shield mediawikiIncorporate to protect yourself from the debts of your  business, shriek the ads.
That’s the theory of incorporation:  create a separate legal entity in the form of the corporation.
Let that entity incur debt and expose itself to other risks.  If it fails, the personal holdings of the owners of the corporation are safe.
But, in the real world, most big ticket debts that a corporation might incur require the guarantee of the owner.
So if both corporation and owner are liable for the business debts, what has incorporation gained you?
You’ll be surprised.
Incorporate to protect the business
But, consider the same move, incorporation,  for the opposite reason.

Incorporate to protect the business from the owner’s debts.

A sole proprietor and his business are one and the same in the law.
When the proprietor has a tax problem or there’s a judgment outstanding against him, all of the business cash and assets are exposed to that debt.
The business bank account can be levied for the owner’s back child support or a judgment against the owner for unpaid magazine subscriptions.

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Here’s the latest news and events from DailyDAC, LLC. Don’t forget to check out the newest listings on the Opportunistic Deal Database and the Mature Deal Database!
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It seems that just about every month or so a lender or a towing company is withholding the debtor’s vehicle despite the fact that a chapter 13 bankruptcy case had been filed. Most lenders are now up to speed on the Thompson case which governs cases in the state of Illinois with regard to repossessed+ Read More
The post Towing Company Cannot Withhold Debtor’s Auto In Chapter 13 Bankruptcy appeared first on David M. Siegel.

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A reaffirmation agreement is an agreement by a debtor and a creditor about how to treat a particular debt that would otherwise be discharged in the debtor’s bankruptcy. Usually, the debt is secured by collateral that the creditor could repossess or foreclose on. In the reaffirmation agreement, the debtor agrees to pay some or all of debt, usually, according to schedule. In exchange, the creditor agrees not to repossess or foreclose on collateral that secures the debt, as long as the debtor makes the agreed-upon payments. A valid reaffirmation agreement puts the debtor under a legal obligation to pay back the entire amount agreed upon, even if this is more than the value of the collateral that the debtor is keeping. So if the debtor defaults in the payments required under the reaffirmation agreement, the creditor can repossess or foreclose, and then seek a personal judgment against the debtor if the sale of the collateral does not satisfy the debt.

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Undo Button.jpg
I recently met a client who first learned that she had been sued when she received a post card in the mail from the court indicating that a default judgment had been entered against her.  Frequently I meet clients who first learn of a judgment when their paychecks or bank accounts become garnished.  “How can they garnish me when I never had a chance to go to court!” is the common complaint.
Over 90% of all collection lawsuits result in a default judgment.  Most folks just figure they owe the debt and chose not to contest the lawsuit, even if the amounts are wrong.  However, a big reason for default judgments is that the defendant moved and the lawsuit summons was served at an old address.  So, when the Sheriff cannot serve the lawsuit because the has defendant moved the Sheriff will typically file a report with the court that says “attempted to deliver, defendant not found at this address, unable to deliver summons.”  The Sheriff typically does not report that the defendant has moved to another address, he just reports that the defendant could not be served.
The Problem of Alternate Service: 

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Texas entrepreneur Samuel Wyly has filed for bankruptcy on Sunday, stating he does not own the assets to pay roughly $400 million in penalties for an overseas fraud scheme.
According to the Chapter 11 petition, Wyly stated he had assets and debt between $100 million and $500 million. He attributed his debt to the “massive costs of investigations and then litigation” by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
“While the debtor has substantial assets, he does not have the ability to pay the full amount of all asserted claims at the present time,” according to the filing.
A New York judge ruled last month that Wyly, 80, and the estate of his late brother, Charles, must forfeit up $187.7 million plus interest. In May, a civil jury found they were involved in a 13-year fraud scheme in which they used offshore trusts and subsidiaries to conceal stock sales.
It is believed the Wylys accrued upwards of $550 million in untaxed earnings through their system, which lasted over a decade.
The SEC is listed as Wyly’s second greatest creditor, with a claim of $198.1 million, according to court documents. Wyly listed the Internal Revenue Service as his biggest creditor, with disputed debts “unknown.”
Depending on how interest is calculated, the total payment owed by Wyly and his late brother’s estate will fall between $300 million and $400 million.

Total Bankruptcy
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Bankruptcy and divorce are closely intertwined, and filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 can have a significant impact on matters like child custody and domestic support.  If you file for bankruptcy, can the courts take away your custody rights?  Will you still have to pay off your child support debts?  Our Pennsylvania bankruptcy lawyers explore some of the potential legal outcomes.

Parent Holds The Hand Of A Small Child
If I File for Bankruptcy, Do I Still Have to Pay Child Support?
In bankruptcy, debts are divided into two basic categories: dischargeable debt, which can be eliminated, and nondischargeable debt, which the debtor is stuck with.  Whether you file for Chapter 13 or Chapter 7, most obligations fall into the dischargeable category, including major sources of debt like credit card bills and medical bills.  However, there are still a few debts which retain nondischargeable status — and child support is one of them.

Young, Klein & Associates
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The Community Reinvestment Act is often used as a tool to address a broad range of social problems. But the lawÂ's expanded purpose may distract banks from their primary mission of direct lending to low- and moderate-income communities.

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Although the bankruptcy world has long been acquainted with Ponzi schemes, the courts have not clearly answered the question of how to distribute investors’ funds after a scheme fails – especially in the scenario where certain investors profit. The United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Utah recently weighed in on the issue in Gillman v. Russell (In re Twin Peaks Financial Services, Inc.), in which it considered whether returns to investors in a Ponzi scheme are recoverable as fraudulent transfers.
The Defendant’s Investment
The debtor in Twin Peaks operated a real estate investment firm.  Apparently, however, the investment returns were not what they seemed, and the fund turned out to be a Ponzi scheme. After the scheme failed and the debtor filed for bankruptcy, the chapter 7 trustee commenced an adversary proceeding against the defendant, an investor in the scheme who had received over $440,000 from the debtor in excess of his original investment. The trustee argued, among other things, that the defendant’s proceeds were fraudulent transfers under section 548 of the Bankruptcy Code and moved for summary judgment.

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