Author: Sean Pyles
Bankruptcy lets you get your overwhelming debt forgiven or restructured
under the protection of a federal court. Chapter 7 (liquidation):
The quickest, simplest and most common type. Most unsecured debts,
such as credit cards, medical debt and personal loans, are discharged,
or forgiven. You may have to give up some assets, like an expensive
car or jewelry, but the vast majority of filers do not.
Bankruptcy isn't easy or cheap, and it likely will crimp your
access to new credit for seven to 10 years. But it may be the
best way to salvage your finances. Here's a look at what bankruptcy
is, whether it's right for you, how to file, and what to watch
out for along the way.
You and your attorney will work to prove your eligibility for a
debt discharge or reorganization to a bankruptcy trustee, who administers
Bankruptcy will leave a serious mark on your credit reports, and
you'll likely find it harder to borrow money for years to come.
Even so, you'll probably see your credit scores start to improve
once you take this step to resolve your debts.
"Bankruptcy gives you a chance for a fresh start," says Dan LaBert,
executive director of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy
Attorneys. "It's not political; it could happen to anyone. I think
when people feel that overwhelming pressure from financial stress
- and they're seeing that pressure stretch out and impact those
around them - bankruptcy is a very legitimate option for them."
Author: Paul Ilett
My Dad passed away in May last year; a clever, funny
man who had only just celebrated his 71st birthday. It was a horrible
shock for the whole family and, within a couple of days, we were
all together at his bungalow in Kent trying to come to terms with
the fact that he was gone.
Luckily, we are a close family and quickly agreed how we were
going to handle his affairs. He had died without a will so we
hired a solicitor to sort out probate, and my brother and I were
going to act as administrators. We knew we could knock about $2,000
off the legal bill if we contacted all his banks and utility companies
ourselves, so I volunteered to do this.
And, I must say, the quality of customer service you get when
you are newly bereaved is something of a revelation. I bypassed
the recorded voices and infuriating phone menus and spoke to real
people almost straight away, all of who were falling over themselves
to offer condolences and make the process of settling accounts
easy and painless. Why can't customer service always be that good?
But, as the months went by, much of this gold-standard service
lost its shine. Dad's energy company was first to drop the pretence
of caring, threatening to go to court so it could forcibly enter
his house and install payment meters. This had been automatically
triggered by the number of final demands sent to the now empty
bungalow. Apparently the firm wasn't able to turn off the demands
because they were generated by a central computer, and you know
computers, they just won't be told. Exasperated, and genuinely
concerned at the possible damage the company might do to Dad's
house, I scraped together the money – about $150 - and to our
relief the court case was dropped.
Within days we had a new demand for more money - an estimated
bill for the next three months...More
Almost every week at the Legal Assistance Divorce
& Separation Briefing, we receive the question, "If I am legally
separated and start dating, can I get in trouble in the military
for adultery?" Since the formal legal process of divorce can last
months (or sometimes years), this question raises an important
concern for anyone in uniform who is pending a divorce. The answer
to this straightforward question can be anything but simple.
The first step in answering this question requires an understanding
of the military's prohibition on adultery. Article 134 of the
Uniform Code of Military Justice makes criminal the act of adultery
when certain legal criteria, known as "elements," have all been
met. There are three distinct elements to the crime of adultery
under the UCMJ: first, a Soldier must have had sexual intercourse
with someone; second, the Soldier or their sexual partner was
married to someone else at the time; and third, that under the
circumstances, the conduct of the Soldier was to the prejudice
of good order and discipline in the armed forces or was of a nature
to bring discredit upon the armed forces.
The first two elements of adultery under the UCMJ are fairly
straightforward and shouldn't require further explanation. The
third and final element is where our simple question starts to
become complicated. The "explanation" portion...More