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The Dire Consequences of Financial Stress

Posted by Jun20, 2014 Comments Comments Off on The Dire Consequences of Financial Stress

I had a very unsettling situation happen this week. I met with a potential client who was having some serious financial problems. He had recently lost a $100,000 a year job, and he’d never been in a situation where he could not pay his bills. We met for about an hour to discuss his options. He came into the office feeling distressed but left feeling a little better knowing that he had some options and time to figure out what to do. I received a call the next day from one of his relatives and was advised that this prospective client had had a massive heart attack and passed away the night of our meeting.

Needless to say, this event has been a major eye-opener for me.

Finances are a leading cause of stress. It’s not unusual for potential clients coming into the office to describe that they can’t sleep, they’re anxious and afraid to answer their phones, they’re depressed, they have chest pain, and on and on.  However, I’ve never had it be an “in your face” moment with something major happening to someone I had just met.

Numerous studies have shown the correlation between stress and health-related problems, including heart disease, high blood pressure, depression, and anxiety, among other things. If you have stress in your life, or are worried about someone else who is under a lot of stress, please don’t take it lightly. Tell them this story. Don’t ignore the physical symptoms. Whether you see a physician, therapist or attorney, or take up meditation or yoga, be pro-active in dealing with the situation. If you don’t, stress can literally kill you.

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Bankruptcy myth that you’ll never get credit again

Posted by Jun12, 2014 Comments Comments Off on Bankruptcy myth that you’ll never get credit again

I got a call last week from clients who filed bankruptcy in 2009. At that time, they were upside down on their house and a car, and had about $25,000 in credit card debt. Between the 2 of them, they were making about $4,000/mo. They didn’t want to file bankruptcy but they couldn’t keep up with their bills any longer. They also thought that they would never own a home again because they had to let it go through the bankruptcy. They called last week to tell me that they had just closed on a new home. They wanted to thank me for helping them decide that bankruptcy was the right option for them.  They also wanted me to tell other clients that it really does happen, i.e. getting credit after filing a bankruptcy. Bankruptcy is not the end of the world – it really is a new beginning. If you know someone who thinks that if they file bankruptcy, they’ll never get credit again, please pass on this information to them. Have them contact my office to review their options for free. They can call (520) 743-2257 or email kathy@kathyjohnsonlaw.com.

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Do you know someone struggling with debt?

Posted by Jun03, 2014 Comments Comments Off on Do you know someone struggling with debt?

Most people don’t want to talk about their debt situation to friends or family. Some people have paid their bills on time their whole life, and now are struggling to keep up. Some people have had significant events happen in their lives that have affected their ability to pay their bills – divorce, death of a spouse, disability or lost job. Some people have just put their heads in the sand knowing they owe debt but they think that the creditors will go away.

What each of these individuals has in common is that they feel like they have somehow failed; they’re embarrassed to ask for help, and they are scared of the word “bankruptcy”.

The reality of the situation is that bankruptcy is right for some but not all. Other options may exist that can help you deal with your situation. However, you won’t know if it’s right for you unless you take that first step and seek professional advice about your situation. I know it’s hard, but I guarantee that once you get some advice, you will have some peace of mind knowing what options exist for you.

For a free, confidential consultation with an attorney who is compassionate and nonjudgmental, call (520) 743-2257 or email kathy@kathyjohnsonlaw.com. You will be glad you did.

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Dealing with the emotions of bankruptcy.

Posted by May27, 2014 Comments Comments Off on Dealing with the emotions of bankruptcy.

Filing for and following through with a bankruptcy can have an effect on one’s financial condition, but it can also very well affect one’s emotional balance. The emotional rollercoaster can span from happy as a result of being free of burdensome debt to shear terror at the idea of not being able to get a loan or even a credit card. But it goes even deeper where sadness and depression may linger and try to get the best of an individual.

Multitude Of Emotions

The good news is that it is perfectly fine to file for bankruptcy if it is indeed right for your particular case. It is also fine to have a multitude of emotions that are associated with filing for what can really be a financial lifesaver. Remember, the bankruptcy laws are in place for one reason and that is to help those in dire financial straits. By definition, bankruptcy is simply a tool that one may or may not choose to use as a way to better manage financial matters that have gone amiss.

Half Empty Or Half Full

Even more alarming is the fact that filing for bankruptcy can add stress to a relationship. Conversely, filing can in some cases lighten the stresses in a relationship brought on by financial hardship. It is a classic example of the glass being half empty or half full. One must simply consider whether or not the stress of an out-of-control financial situation is more or less troublesome than the alternative – Bankruptcy. In many instances stress and negative emotions come from not fully understanding the mechanics of bankruptcy. That is where and experienced bankruptcy attorney comes in very handy.

Should Be Viewed As A New Beginning

Because those that finally do file for bankruptcy have likely been grappling with overwhelming debt for a long time, they have become accustom to money related stress. In some instances this deeply embedded stress will transfer to a new situation – bankruptcy. However, again it should be mentioned that stress should be managed and bankruptcy should be viewed as a new beginning. Filing can easily be viewed as a new and exciting chapter in life affording the opportunity to start a new business or downsize or spark new relationships. In short, like everything else in life bankruptcy is what you choose to make of it. Contact the Law Office of Kathryn L. Johnson for a trusted name in Tucson bankruptcy assistance.

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Do you know someone who is afraid to answer their phone because they don’t.want to be caught by a bill collector?

Posted by May23, 2014 Comments Comments Off on Do you know someone who is afraid to answer their phone because they don’t.want to be caught by a bill collector?

There are a lot of people that know they owe large debts, but they don’t want to think about it. If they do, they think that if they ignore the bills and calls, the debt collectors will go away. Debt collectors do not go away. They can sue you and get a judgment, and renew it every 5 years for life. They can garnish 25% of your paycheck and collect other ways until their debt is paid.

If you know someone like this, have them contact me for a FREE consultation. I can give them peace of mind knowing their options – all in a compassionate and nonjudgmental setting.

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Bankruptcy essentials

Posted by May20, 2014 Comments Comments Off on Bankruptcy essentials

With increasingly challenging national and global economic conditions continuing to affect more and more people, bankruptcy is becoming a more attractive option for many. There are a number of benefits to filing for bankruptcy that should be discussed with a professional bankruptcy attorney. However, with that said there are a few basics with regard to pre-bankruptcy and post bankruptcy requirements that should be mentioned. It is important to note that each bankruptcy case is different and that every state has different bankruptcy laws. Consult with your attorney to be sure.

Personal Budget Plan

One bankruptcy-essential that must take place before any bankruptcy can be considered complete is something known as pre-bankruptcy counseling. This involves having a counseling session with an organization that is considered an approved credit counselor. A typical counseling session involves a detailed evaluation of a filer’s financial situation as well as a discussion covering alternatives to bankruptcy. Another important aspect of pre-bankruptcy counseling includes formulating a personal budget plan. In most instances a routine counseling session will last between one hour and 90-minutes. These sessions can be conducted over the phone, online or in person.

Credit Counseling

Generally speaking, this type of counseling costs around $40-$50. However, there are provisions for free counseling when a fee waiver is completed. Credit counseling organizations are mandated to provide free counseling to those that are unable to pay for this type of counseling. Once counseling has been completed, a filer then receives a certificate of completion. After all pre-bankruptcy counseling requirements have been satisfied an individual may then proceed with the bankruptcy filing process. Similar to the counseling that occurs prior to filing for bankruptcy, debtor education courses offer information on how to better manage money and how to use credit in a more responsible way.

Debtor Education Course

The post-filing debtor education counseling courses can also be completed by phone, online or in person. In most cases post bankruptcy courses will last about two hours or slightly longer in duration than pre-bankruptcy type counseling. In addition, the fee for an approved debtor education course is usually slightly more in cost as compared to pre-counseling. Filers can expect to pay up to $100 for this type of course. There is also a waiver option for this type of educational counseling. Once completed a certificate of proof is provided to the filer. Contact the Kathryn L. Johnson Law Firm for more information on Tucson bankruptcy procedures.

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Important Advantages Of Bankruptcy

Posted by May19, 2014 Comments Comments Off on Important Advantages Of Bankruptcy

While there is always some level of anxiety when approaching the unknown, filing for bankruptcy is no different. However, by understanding the advantages afforded those that do indeed file for bankruptcy it is a far less anxious time for many. In fact, knowing a few simple benefits of filing for bankruptcy can make the process a much more logical and methodical event where anxiety and uncertainty take a back seat to logic and practicality. In short, bankruptcy has real and tangible value for many today.

Experienced Legal Counsel

One example of an important advantage of bankruptcy is the fact that a filer’s property and income are typically protected. What this means is that when you have unsecured creditors, that do not hold a lien on property as a form of collateral, then in most instances your personal belongings, as well as your home and car are often protected. It is important to note, however that every state and every bankruptcy case is unique and different. That is why having experienced legal counsel when filing is such a good idea today.

Erase Your Obligations

Next to consider is the advantage of having an array of debts simply discharged. When you file you may, again depending on your unique situation, be able to erase your obligations to pay a large portion of your debts. A professional bankruptcy attorney can explain in detail what is dischargeable and what is not. Most importantly, bankruptcy puts a decisive end to annoying and harassing creditor harassment. This advantage alone is well worth weighing for an overall determination as to whether or not bankruptcy is right for you.

A Vital Advantage

Finally, an automatic stay is a key advantage of bankruptcy that must be considered. An automatic stay is a court-sanctioned order that stops creditors in their tracks in terms of collecting on a debt. This is a powerful tool that can quickly end everything from foreclosure to evictions as well as the shutting off of utilities, and even repossessions. In the rare instance where a creditor attempts to continue to collect a debt, they can be held in contempt of court. These are several important advantages to bankruptcy that are worth considering. Talk with a bankruptcy attorney to learn more with regard to the specifics of your case. Kathryn L. Johnson is a Tucson bankruptcy attorney that can assist you in making a good choice.

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Common questions if you’re thinking of filing bankruptcy by yourself.

Posted by May16, 2014 Comments Comments Off on Common questions if you’re thinking of filing bankruptcy by yourself.

There are occasions where individuals choose to file for bankruptcy without an attorney. While at first glance this may seem like a great idea, in truth it has many pitfalls that must be considered. For example because bankruptcy laws are complex and always changing it is easy for someone filing on their own to make serious errors and mistakes. The end result can be catastrophic for those looking to improve their financial condition through the bankruptcy laws.

Ensure That A Bankruptcy Filing Is Done Correctly

Going it alone with regard to filing for bankruptcy can have serious consequences for those that do not understand the complexities of bankruptcy. With changes in the bankruptcy laws a few years ago, it has become even more challenging for those looking to file for bankruptcy on their own. As such, most experts that understand the bankruptcy laws and the complexities associated with filing for bankruptcy typically recommend that individuals retain a bankruptcy attorney as a way to ensure that a bankruptcy filing is done correctly. Working with a professional bankruptcy lawyer can ultimately save filers money in the long run.

Getting Quality Advice And Clear Direction

Even more encouraging is the fact that most attorneys across the country today make fair and equitable payment plan options available to their clients. Getting quality advice and clear direction when it comes to filing for bankruptcy is a smart way to take advantage of all that the bankruptcy laws have to offer today. Another important consideration with regard to choosing to work with a bankruptcy attorney is that trustees and judges as well as the lawyers for creditors are typically more at ease working with bankruptcy attorneys. This can help to make your bankruptcy proceed in a much more streamlined fashion.

Guide A Filer Through Every Step Of The Bankruptcy Process

In fact, in some instances a trustee may even recommend that someone filing for bankruptcy retain an attorney in order to properly process bankruptcy schedules. Those considering bankruptcy should understand that an experienced professional bankruptcy attorney always has the client’s best interest in mind. These professionals can guide a filer through every step of the bankruptcy process, ensuring that an individual gets the relief that they are entitled to under current bankruptcy laws. Contact The Law offices of Kathryn L. Johnson for a wide range of Tucson bankruptcy related concerns and issues.

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Not all debts are dischargeable in bankruptcy.

Posted by Apr17, 2014 Comments Comments Off on Not all debts are dischargeable in bankruptcy.

In Bankruptcy Some Debts Can Be Discharged While Others Cannot

In recent days, bankruptcy has become both a tactical and strategic tool that is highly effective in helping individuals under extreme financial duress recover. Bankruptcy is a smart and efficient tool used to reorganize or eliminate debt as a way to begin anew. However, it is important to know that some debts can be discharged through bankruptcy while others simply cannot. Knowing before hand what is dischargeable and what is not can help consumers make a more informed decision.

Major Financial Decision

One of the most notable types of debt that under virtually any circumstances simply cannot be discharged is a student loan. Most bankruptcy attorneys would agree that student loans are virtually impossible to discharge regardless of the type of bankruptcy chosen. Those considering filing bankruptcy should think about this important fact when making this type of major financial decision. Of course, a professional bankruptcy attorney can help guide clients in making the most informed decision possible. Whatever the case may be, one thing is certain and that is when bankruptcy is used correctly it can be a very powerful tool.

Child Support Is Never Dischargeable Under Any Type Of Bankruptcy

Taxes are another important aspect of filing that must be addressed before making a final decision with regard to proceeding with bankruptcy. Depending on the case at hand, certain taxes that are overdue for more than 3 years may in fact be dischargeable. However, most other types of taxes owed to the IRS or state revenue collection agencies may simply not be dischargeable under either chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Equally true is the fact that child support is never dischargeable under any type of bankruptcy law. Utility bills, on the other hand may be discharged in most bankruptcy situations.

Get The Most Out Of Any Bankruptcy Proceeding

As a final note, bankruptcy is considered public information, however employers are generally not notified when an individual files bankruptcy unless the employer is owed money. Most bankruptcy attorneys will tell clients that each bankruptcy case is unique and as such are handled on their own individual merits. One of the best ways to ensure that you get the most out of any bankruptcy proceeding is to work with an experienced, skilled and knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney. Contact attorney Kathryn L. Johnson with any questions you may have regarding bankruptcy.

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Bankruptcy Alternatives

Posted by Apr14, 2014 Comments Comments Off on Bankruptcy Alternatives

Filing For Bankruptcy Is Not Necessarily Your Only Option

The bankruptcy laws have been put into place for a reason, and that is to help people that are in a financially difficult situations recover and rebuild their financial life. In fact, the good news with regard to filing for bankruptcy is that there is life after bankruptcy. Many people are able to quickly rebuild their credit shortly after filing for bankruptcy enabling them to often continue living the same quality of life that they have always enjoyed.

An Effective Way To Manage Debt

With that said, bankruptcy has considerable benefits that are designed to help people in a wide range of financially troubling situations. However, there are alternatives to bankruptcy that should not be overlooked as viable solutions as well. For example, debt settlement plans are an effective way to manage debt without filing for bankruptcy. These plans allow individuals to organize their debts and pay in a manageable way. Credit counseling is similar in many ways but also helps people to change their behavior such as “excessive credit card buying habits” as a way to prevent further debt.

Short Sale Options And A Deed In Lieu Of Foreclosure Option

With regard to foreclosure, many homeowners have discovered that loan modification options are available and are highly effective at preventing foreclosure. Other creative options that can be worked out with a bank often include loan refinancing and loan reinstatement programs. Each case is unique and each homeowner should consult with their attorney to determine which program will be most effective and most useful. Other strategies with regard to foreclosure include short sale options and the deed in lieu of foreclosure option. While these particular ways of handling foreclosure will not save a home they will lessen the impact on one’s credit rating.

An Experienced And Seasoned Bankruptcy Professional

The key to successfully regaining control of your finances often resides in working with an experienced and knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney. A professional bankruptcy attorney that has dealt with bankruptcy for years can guide a client with regard to making the most advantageous choices. From repossessions to foreclosures and chapter 13 bankruptcy as well as chapter 7 bankruptcy, having an experienced and seasoned bankruptcy professional to consult with can make a big difference. Contact the law offices of attorney Kathryn L. Johnson today to explore your options with regard to bankruptcy and a wide range of other alternatives.

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