Author Archives: Cathy Moran

The Secret Bankruptcy Discharge For Community Property

  Psst! Let me tell you a secret about bankruptcy law. You can get 3/4 of the benefits of a bankruptcy discharge without ever going near a bankruptcy court if you are a married person in California, or any other community property state. If your spouse files bankruptcy and you don’t join in, you still reap…

Your Money Needs A Prenup

The traditional marriage service ends with the charge that what God has joined together,  let no man put asunder. That works with love, but not with money. Financial partnerships are at least as challenging as marriages.  And business deals don’t have love to smooth the rough spots in the relationship. Yet people pool their money in…

Is It Too Late For Bankruptcy?

You face a crisis:  you’ve been served with a lawsuit;  judgment has been entered against you; or even, a garnishment has been served on your employer. Has time run out? Have you’ve waited too long for bankruptcy to help? While I don’t recommend procrastination, still,  at almost every stage of debt collection, bankruptcy can save…

Sued For Debt? Don’t Bother To Tell It To The Judge

The New York Times’ great feature on the dark world of consumer debt collection had a marvelous flow chart of the progress of collecting an old bill. Only it was deceptively wrong. After following the debt collector’s options and outcomes from first collection call to the various resolutions, the graphic showed two wildly different outcomes…

How Voodoo Economics Curses Your Budget

  I can’t save anything because it takes every dollar I make just to get by. Sound like a description of your budget? For some folks, that is absolutely true. But for another slice of working folks, there’s some black magic budgeting going on that hides what’s really afoot. These voodoo budgets look rational, but only on…

We Don’t Arrest People For Not Paying Debts

This fake arrest warrant is wrong in so many ways. Repeat after me: we don’t jail people for debt. More on scams and scammers We’re from the IRS and we’re here to help Phone tip to avoid arrest

Dividing Debts At Divorce: What You Need To Know

The division of the debts of a failed marriage, however carefully crafted at divorce, can be utterly destroyed if one of the former spouses files a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. A Chapter 13 discharge is double barreled.  It will eliminate the debts that the filing spouse owes to creditors.  It also wipes out any obligation to the…

Four Factors Drive What You Should Pay For Bankruptcy

When you’re flat broke and thinking about bankruptcy, cheaper sure looks better. If a lawyer will do your Chapter 7 for $600, what’s the point of paying $1000? Or even $2000? Like answers to many legal questions, it depends. Bankruptcy relief depends on your facts Whether to file bankruptcy, or whether to file now, rather than later,…

How To Wipe Out Tax Penalties In Bankruptcy

Tax penalties seem like a further insult when you’re having trouble paying the tax itself. Everything seems subject to an additional penalty:  failure to file timely;  failure to pre pay sufficiently;  failure to be accurate. They mount up quickly, often equaling the unpaid tax. Bankruptcy can not only eliminate your liability for certain taxes, it…

How To Keep Your Money Away From The Bankruptcy Trustee, Legally

Getting a check from the government isn’t necessarily a great thing. Not when it’s the government returning YOUR money as a tax refund.  You’ve struggled without the money for a year while Uncle Sam used it without interest. But it’s even worse when you’ve filed bankruptcy during the tax year, and come April, the bankruptcy…