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Bankruptcy Gives You a Chance for a Clean Slate

August 9, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

If you feel as though you are drowning in debt, you’re not alone. Many Americans are facing the exact same challenges of trying to stay afloat in these troubled economic times. With a loss of gainful employment sometimes the only way a family can survive is on credit. However, at some point those bills are going to come due. One solution to help ease the strain of a financial collapse is to file for bankruptcy. In order to do that you need to understand exactly what you’re getting into. More importantly you want to be able to consult an experienced Woodland Hills bankruptcy attorney or a Van Nuys bankruptcy attorney. These are the exact kind of professionals who can help you navigate through these troubled waters.

There was a time, not too long ago, when filing for bankruptcy was almost as common as filing for divorce. The financial institutions have clamped down and made the qualifications for bankruptcy much more restrictive. The first thing you need to understand is that a bankruptcy has to be granted by a court. In essence, you will be going on trial before a judge which makes hiring a bankruptcy attorney even more important. Standing before a judge is not something you want to do alone especially with such important matters as your financial security.

There are two types of bankruptcy filings you can consider: Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. With a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing you are offering up all of your assets to pay back your debts. Even if the amount of money you raise isn’t enough, you are basically surrendering these assets to your creditors as if to say, “This is all I’ve got. Take it!” As you might be advised by a bankruptcy attorney, this is a practical option for someone who might own property and can sell that for a decent price. With this type of bankruptcy all of your debts will be wiped out and you will be starting completely over in terms of rebuilding any credit.

A Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a way for you to hold onto your assets and repay what you owe in a more manageable plan for your circumstances. Sometimes this is accomplished through a court ordered wage garnishment. With a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the creditors will be told this is the deal and that’s all they are going to get. They can no longer hound you for money. If they continue the harassment then your attorney can step in with a cease and desist order to end it all.

In both of those scenarios a large portion of your debt can be erased, but you’ll also have that blemish on your credit report for up to seven years. This means it can become extremely difficult to borrow money for a new car or get approval for a home loan. However, it certainly isn’t the end of the world. As a seasoned attorney will tell you, filing for bankruptcy means you’ll be able to make smarter choices about your financial future.

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You Must Report Your World Wide Income

May 31, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Back in 2009 it was required that individuals living or residing in the United States and earning or holding a sum that exceeded $10,000 outside the country needed to report their financial standing to the IRS amnesty program. Then, the deadline was October 15, 2009.  Complying would allow the holder to avoid any addition fees, outside of taxing, for having US currency overseas.  Upon release of this program many holders were ill-informed causing them not to report their earnings.  The IRS pursued such individuals but they fought back for having received little to no information on the new laws regarding the federal tax amnesty program.

The IRS reconsidered their first advance and reestablished their program. This time, special efforts were made to get the program’s information to individuals with high-yielding incomes overseas.  It was then announced on February 8, 2011, that the IRS would be enacting the newly formed 2011 Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Initiative.  This leaves high-income owners less than 100 days in total to report their earnings offshore for amnesty. After the deadline they will be tried criminally for money laundering and tax evasion. 

It is important for clients with high-yielding incomes overseas to report all of their earnings to the IRS before the amnesty program is up; while the program represents a second chance for some, it is unlikely that the IRS will provide a third.  The IRS is cracking down hard on those committing tax evasion, so be prepared and talk to your financial advisor today.

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