Paying a Special Debt Before Bankruptcy Could Be a Preference

Wasson and ThornhillPre-Bankruptcy Planning

You may feel like paying a special debt, and during this time of the year you may even get some extra money to do it. Maybe you shouldn’t.   Last week we explained how giving a significant gift before bankruptcy could cause problems during bankruptcy. This also applies to selling something for much less than it is worth. Such a gift or sale might … Read More

Showing How the Means Test Can Work for You

Wasson and ThornhillQualifying for Bankruptcy

Here’s an example showing how the means test can work for you, especially if you file your Chapter 7 case before the end of 2018.   The month of December is the month that people receive more income than any other month of the year. According to the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis (part of the U.S. Department of Commerce), for at … Read More

Unexpected Benefit: Reject a Vehicle Lease in Chapter 13

Wasson and ThornhillVehicles & Bankruptcy

Chapter 7 is the cleanest way to reject a vehicle lease and owe nothing. But if you have other reasons to be in Chapter 13, that works too.   Ending a Vehicle Lease in Chapter 7 Our last blog post was about how a Chapter 7 “straight bankruptcy” can get you out of a vehicle lease. You can “reject” a … Read More

Unexpected Benefit: Better Ways to Save Your Vehicle with Chapter 13

Wasson and ThornhillVehicle Loans

Chapter 7 can’t directly help much your vehicle loan. But Chapter 13 can: it can buy you much more time and likely lower your payments.   Problems to Solve Last week we addressed the kind of help Chapter 7 “straight bankruptcy” provides on your vehicle loan. Mostly it clears the deck of your other debts so that you can afford … Read More

Unexpected Benefit: Write Off a Divorce Debt

Wasson and ThornhillBankruptcy and Divorce

Chapter 7 does not write off any divorce debts. But Chapter 13 can write off a divorce debt if it is not for child or spousal support.   “Discharging” a Debt or Legal Obligation When you successfully complete a consumer bankruptcy, you get a discharge of some or all of your debts. When a debt is discharged the creditor is … Read More

Unexpected Benefit: An Income Tax Lien on a Nondischargeable Tax

Wasson and ThornhillTax Debts

Hit with an income tax lien on a tax that bankruptcy can’t discharge? Bankruptcy is all the more valuable so that you can afford to pay off that tax.   We’ve been talking about the effect of an income tax lien on an income tax that bankruptcy CAN discharge–legally write off. A tax lien can turn that tax from one you don’t … Read More

Unexpected Benefit: Dealing with a Recorded Income Tax Lien with Chapter 13

Wasson and ThornhillIncome Taxes

Chapter 13 is better with a recorded tax lien because it protects you permanently from the IRS/state. And saves you big money on that tax.   Last week’s blog post was about dealing with a recorded tax lien by filing a Chapter 7 “straight bankruptcy” case.  Usually the IRS’ or state’s recording of a tax lien against you effectively requires … Read More

Unexpected Benefit: Dealing with a Recorded Income Tax Lien with Chapter 7

Wasson and ThornhillIncome Taxes

If you don’t file bankruptcy fast enough to prevent a recorded tax lien, sometimes filing a Chapter 7 still allows you pay less of that tax.   The last two blog posts have been about the benefits of preventing an income tax lien recording by filing bankruptcy. That’s especially helpful if the tax at issue is an older one that can be … Read More

Unexpected Benefit: Stop Collection on an Allegedly Fraudulent Debt

Wasson and ThornhillDischarge of Debts

You’re not likely to be accused of creating a fraudulent debt. But if so, bankruptcy can stop its collection. And resolve the problem.   Most Debts are Discharged (Permanently Written Off) in Bankruptcy The federal Bankruptcy Code has a list of the kinds of debts that filing bankruptcy does not discharge. This list details the conditions under which discharge does … Read More

Unexpected Benefit: Use Chapter 13 to Permanently Stop Student Loan Collection

Wasson and ThornhillStudent Loans

Chapter 13 bankruptcy can help you permanently stop student loan collection. It gives you more time and flexibility to show “undue hardship.”   The Much Better Chapter 13 “Automatic Stay”   Last time we explained how bankruptcy’s “automatic stay” immediately stops student loan collections against you. But if you file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy this protection from collections lasts only the … Read More

Unexpected Benefit: Use Chapter 13 to Permanently Stop Income Tax Collection

Wasson and ThornhillIncome Taxes

Bankruptcy can help you permanently stop income tax collection. That’s true even with more recent taxes that cannot be written off.   The Automatic Staying, and the Discharge, of Income Tax Debts Sometimes people are surprised to learn that filing bankruptcy gives you power over income taxes. It does so in two big ways. First, filing bankruptcy stops the IRS … Read More