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Are Insurance Companies Looking Out for Consumers?

Many consumers who have settled insurance claims are perplexed when they hear of other claimants receiving more in settlements for property damage or pain and suffering for their injuries that they did for very similar claims. While not every accident or claim is the same and you can always point out differences in the nature and extent of injuries or property damage, there are additional factors to consider in determining if you are getting the most for the premiums you are paying.

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Former Worcester Airline Direct Air Executives File Bankruptcy and Charged with Fraud

Direct Air was a private charter airline that flew out of numerous small airports including Worcester Regional Airport through 2012.  Formally known as Southern Air & Tours, doing business as Myrtle Beach Direct Air & Tours, and headquartered in South Carolina, Direct Air was a large business from 2007 until it closed in 2012.  The company filed for reorganization in Chapter 11 bankruptcy in March of that year, listing federal rules violations amounting to almost $10m as part of their debts. Read more

Massachusetts Bankruptcy Summer News

There will be a new Bankruptcy Judge in the Worcester Bankruptcy Court.  Attorney Christopher J. Panos, formerly of Partridge Snow & Hahn in Boston, will be installed as the judge in Worcester.  Judge Panos will replace Judge Hoffman, who will be moving to Boston; Judge Hoffman will be replacing Judge Hillman in Boston, who is retiring.  Judge Panos has a long history of representing clients before the Bankruptcy Court and undertaking litigation in the state and federal courts.

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Bankruptcy Discharge Function of Honesty:  No Rolexes

Another case of attempted fraud on the Bankruptcy Court yielded no discharge to a Florida couple.  In this case, a Boca Raton husband and wife filed bankruptcy after the husband’s business began to fail.  An anesthesiologist, his vast medical practice was hit with changes in the health care system in the early 2000’s.  He went from employing hundreds of doctors to a nominal practice.  Read more

Massachusetts 401k Clients Advised On Bond Mutual Funds and Bankruptcy

Many of our Massachusetts bankruptcy clients have retirement accounts, including IRA’s, ROTH IRA’s and 401k’s.  These monies can be protected in a personal bankruptcy.  However, in order to make them effective for retirement and financial planning, our clients need to know how to manage their portfolio.  Many have bond mutual funds in their retirement accounts.  What percentage of the retirement monies should be in bonds?  For the answer to this, see our article entitled Long Term Investment Strategies for Retirement   What bond fund to buy and how do you manage those bond funds?  Read more

Bankruptcy Court Clarifies Records Retention Rule

What happens when a creditor files a lawsuit demanding that your bankruptcy discharge not be issued?  Can your creditor prevent you from getting a “fresh start” after bankruptcy?  Of course it depends on the facts in each case.  In a case regarding the retention of business records, the Bankruptcy Court made a clear distinction between records that the debtor has or should have, and refuses to turn over, and records that the debtor does not have. Read more

Bankruptcy Filings Down; Credit Card Deficiencies Down

There is some good news for consumers after the first quarter bankruptcy numbers are in:  the number of personal bankruptcy filings was down.  Again.  This was a continuation of the 2011 and 2012 trend; and a huge turnaround from the prior years when the number of personal bankruptcies, in Massachusetts and throughout the country, skyrocketed.  The first quarter of 2013 filings were down 13% from last year’s first quarter.  Furthermore, credit card delinquencies and chargoffs are below last years, indicating that consumers are in a much better position to pay their bills.  For example, delinquencies are down 26%, which seems significant.
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