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TBBBA-logoDon’t forget next Tues March 2 at noon on zoom (wow, I just realized that rhymes), the TBBBA has Judge Colton presenting:
Charting the “fair ground of doubt” regarding violations of the Discharge Injunction after Taggert v. Lorenzen: Firm Footing or Rocky Terrain?
This presentation will explore the law regarding violations of the discharge injunction with emphasis on the Supreme Court’s recent “no fair ground of doubt” standard first articulated in Taggert v. Lorenzen, ___ U.S. ___, 139 St. Ct. 1795 (2019), and remedies and recoveries available to Debtors who suffer sanctionable violations. As a case study, Judge Colton will discuss her recent decision in In re Musto, Case No. 8:19-bk-03452-RCT, 2021 WL 99343 (Bankr. M.D. Fla. Jan. 6, 2021).
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handsOne of our attorneys, Ha Dao, presented a webinar for CPA Academy recently on the Financial Impacts of Long-Term Care and Cognitive Decline.

It was very enlightening what financial advisors saw regularly in their practice:

Being taken advantage of by a family member was the most reported problem seen by these financial advisors.  More so than scams re: extended warranties or long lost relatives from Nigeria!

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bidenToday, President Joe Biden is extending a moratorium on home foreclosures for federally backed mortgages until June 30, after previously setting the expiration date at the end of March. Biden also announced the expansion of a mortgage relief program, pushing the window to request mortgage forbearance until the end of June.

You can check our resources page under “Foreclosure Related” to see if your mortgage is federally backed here.  Just type in your property address under Freddie, Fannie or MERS to discover who owns your mortgage.

For those who have private loans, there is no mandated federal moratorium.  You may be covered under a local or state moratorium though.

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simpson-cartoonInflation and interest rates are the two primary culprits.

Bankruptcy can actually be a fix to this problem and is something that everyone should evaluate NOW.  Does it make sense to clear the deck and start fresh?  Especially when that deck is stacked against most Americans who are not otherwise wealthy.  Especially, for anyone who has private student loans, the decision is pretty much a no brainer — bankruptcy can result in a full discharge of many private student loans or a very low payment plan, with very low interest.  Basically, a way out.

High credit card balances, underwater vehicle loans, unpaid rent — bankruptcy can easily fix this.

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https://www.tampabankruptcylawyerblog.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/10/2015/07/christie_d._arkovich_p.a_1_small.jpgElon bought $1.5 billion of Bitcoin.  I own Bitcoin.  This makes me happy.

What else makes me happy is a private student loan settlement offer we received on one of our adversary cases this morning.  Our client will only have to pay back $22,000 rather than the whopping $300,000 she currently owes.  That’s 7% by the way.  Whooo hoo!  Very reasonable and very affordable payments as well.  We understand the student debt crisis out there and are doing our part in helping our clients with student loans to deal — and to get out of debt!!

While I acknowledge everyone should repay their debt, the problem with much of the student loan debt out there is the lack of benefit received, and in many cases the predatory nature of the schools and many of these loans.  This settlement was for a private debt — not government.  If she had had federal student loans, there would have been income driven debt forgiveness programs to at least address the lack of income her education has provided.  Return on investment – that’s the true test of what a college student should borrow.  If no return, then bet on Bitcoin.  You’d be better off.

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reboot_your_life_after_bk-ebook-picThere are so many things that set us apart and in my opinion make us one of the best law firms in the Tampa Bay area that you can choose to file your bankruptcy.  Whoever you are looking to hire to file a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you should ask these questions:

  • What kind of lawyer and staff turnover do you have?  (our bankruptcy paralegal and attorney have been with us for five plus years – nearly ten in fact – it helps to speak with the same person as your case progresses, who knows you and your situation)
  • Can you help me with my student loans (this is where we really stand out — we own student loans – every day, we are reducing or outright eliminating student loan debt in one form or another)
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debt-settlementWells Fargo has always been difficult to work with when we try to negotiate private student loan settlements.  However, we’ve started to see better deals in the past two weeks from other private student loan servicers  – so I believe Wells Fargo loans are now fair game.

Well Fargo is exiting the student loan business.  In a recent Bizjournal article “Wells Fargo sells off private student loan business,” nearly $10 billion of student loans were transferred to Apollo Global Management, Inc. and Blackstone Group, Inc.  While it’ll be a few weeks, we expect this changing of the guard will open the doors for reasonable settlement opportunities.  Something we haven’t been seeing for most all of Wells Fargo loans.

What we’re telling our clients now is this:  don’t wait until the moratoriums are over.  Now is the time to get good deals.  In a few months time, after the moratoriums are lifted, creditor attorneys will back at it.  Filing lawsuits.  Garnishing wages.  Repossessions.  When they have the power to do those things, they will raise their settlement demands.  Their clients are bleeding money right now.  Now is the time to settle your debt  — whether it be credit card, deficiency judgments, private student loans, car loans, you name it.  In 6-12 months, the economic landscape will be better, and these deals we see now, won’t be there any longer.

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stimulusLet’s be frank.  If you have more than $10,000 unsecured debt, it may be better to use any stimulus monies to discharge all of your unsecured debt by filing a chapter 7 bankruptcy, rather than simply put it toward the interest that continues to accrue.

If this is your best option, there is good news.  The new stimulus bill provides that this money will not be considered property of the bankruptcy, nor will it count against your income.

The most recent stimulus payments under the new stimulus bill (Consolidated Appropriation Act) are not property of the estate under temporary Code § 541(b)(11) enacted under the CCA.  They are also excluded from CMI under the original CARES Act, at least until March 27, 2021.  After March 27, until Dec. 27, 2021 when the CCA provisions sunset, you might argue that they are not disposable income under a separate amendment to the Internal Revenue Code enacted under the CCA (adds new 26 U.S.C. § 6428A) by providing that “no applicable payment shall be subject to, execution, levy, attachment, garnishment, or other legal process, or the operation of any bankruptcy or insolvency law.”

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https://www.tampabankruptcylawyerblog.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/10/2015/07/christie_d._arkovich_p.a_1_small.jpgDon’t let this happen to you or one of your loved ones!  Take action now!  Tell your loved ones and friends to take action now.  Don’t wait for Congress.  With the $2,000 stimulus that is now likely, it appears that President Elect Biden may have to push any meaningful student loan relief further down the road.  Also what will that relief mean:  10k reduction is my best guess – after Congress approval.  Why not reach out to us and go for the the whole tamale.  10k is usually nothing for most of our clients.

This is a review we received today from a very happy client in Tampa Florida after we got rid of ALL of his federal student loans:

Thank you so much, you have no idea how appreciated you are for your all of your time work, and effort {to eliminate 100% of my student loan debt tax free}.

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YAY — Bloomberg posted this tonight at 9:02 p.m.  I couldn’t be happier about Secretary DeVos resigning from the Department of Education.  It is well known that she has been a thorn in student loan advocates’ sides for quite some time!

It’s too early to tell what exactly all the changes will be, but I imagine they will be numerous.  Stay tuned and please follow us on Facebook or Twitter (see above buttons) or subscribe to our blog for a play by play…

Christie Arkovich

 

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