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Prepaid Debit Cards and Personal Bankruptcy

Many bankruptcy clients have prepaid debit cards to list among their assets.  This is not usually a problem as the balance can be exempt from the Trustee.  How does this work?  In a Chapter 7 personal bankruptcy, you are entitled to certain exemptions:  your home, your car, and your personal items, are all exempt up to a certain amount.  Your prepaid debit cards are simply one more asset that needs to be evaluated before filing for a fresh start in bankruptcy. Read more

Lawyers in Bankruptcy

Clients often present to us ashamed that they are in financial dire straits.  They are embarrassed. Usually their situation is not unusual, and not their fault.  We haven’t had any clients, in the past 28 years anyway, that have just finished an around the world trip and now need to file bankruptcy.  Generally, folks were working and they lost their job, or a family member became ill, resulting in the need to file for bankruptcy protections.  Of course, for several years beginning around 2008, the housing crisis caused many of the bankruptcies we filed. Read more

Notes for Consumers Regarding Retirement

With 2013 tax filing just around the bend, we are writing to remind clients to keep retirement planning at the forefront of their tax planning agenda.  First, be sure to max out any and all retirement accounts you can for 2013.  Clients should be aware that many companies match 401k contributions; that they may also be eligible for Roth IRA contributions; and that there are various penalties for withdrawing funds from these accounts.  Furthermore, if you are over 50, you may be entitled to increased savings thresholds. Read more