January 2016 Archives

Some Name Brands May Disappear in 2016

Every year companies of varying sizes may be forced to file bankruptcy or go out of business. This can be small mom and pop businesses in places such as Moorestown New Jersey and Philadelphia Pennsylvania or large name brands. Each year 24/7 Wall St compiles a list of ten brands that it expects to disappear due to bankruptcies or mergers. This year's list includes Smart, OfficeMax, American Apparel, Pacific Sunwear of California, A&P, Volkswagon's TDI Brand, US Airways, Ashley Madison, RadioShack and Sears. It is difficult for some retail brands to compete. Larger retailers with a lot of stores, greater marketing budgets and stronger balance sheets are replacing them. E-retailers, like Amazon.com, are also responsible for disappearing retail brands. Sometimes other events can cause a downfall. Devastating events like hacking of the website for Ashley Madison or the diesel scandal for Volkswagon have impacted those brands. Even success can impact a brand by leading to its disappearance through merger. Changes in the economy, competition and management issues can impact companies large and small.

Taxi Company Filing Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Because of Uber

According to Forbes.com, San Francisco's largest taxi company is filing Chapter 11 bankruptcy and Uber and Lyft are to blame. According to the article, the growth of Uber and Lyft have impacted the success of the taxi company in several ways. First, the number of riders for the taxi drivers have dropped. In addition, a number of the good taxi drivers are switching to Uber or Lyft.

Credit Card Debt Can Be Eliminated in a Chapter 7 Personal Bankruptcy

Credit card debt can be eliminated in chapter 7 personal bankruptcy in many instances. Often credit card debt can become overwhelming because of a drop in income, because of a divorce, because of an illness or other reasons. Bankruptcy is often the best option in eliminating this credit card debt. In a bankruptcy, the court is going to consider your income compared to your expenses as well as the equity in your assets. However, even if you have some equity under bankruptcy law there are exemptions that are allowed. The exemptions in New Jersey and Pennsyvania may differ from states where various state exemptions are added to the Federal exemptions. By way of example, if a married couple owns a home in, say, Cherry Hill New Jersey or Voorhees New Jersey and the home is worth $300,000 and there is a mortgage of $260,000, because they can each exempt approximately $24,000 worth of equity in their home for bankruptcy purposes they would be able to protect the equity in their home and they would be in a position to file a Chapter 7 and eliminate their credit card debt. As indicated, income and expenses would also be taken into account to determine whether there is disposable income. An experienced bankruptcy attorney can assist in determining whether Chapter 7 is the best option.

Stop Creditors from Harassing Relatives with Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act can be used to stop or punish creditors and debt collectors from harrassing relatives and friends. Financial stuggles often make it impossible to keep up with credit cards and other bills. While bankruptcy often would help address the debt, sometimes individuals are not aware of this option or may feel they do not have enough debt to warrant bankruptcy. Typically harrassing letters and telephone calls from debt collectors will start. What happens when creditors start calling and harrassing your relatives about the debt with the hope that you will pay to stop those calls to your relatives. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) can be used to limit those contacts as well as punish the creditors for violations. Under the Act the creditor can contact and speak to the relative ONE time. They cannot leave a message. They can only ask for contact information like address or home phone number. They cannot ask for payment from the relative. If the contact goes beyond what is allowed, the creditor is in violation of the FDCPA.

Forgetting to include Creditors in Chapter 7 Personal Bankruptcy

What do you do if you filed a Chapter 7 personal bankruptcy and received your discharge and then realized you forgot to include a creditor. Prior to 1996 the debtor was required to file a motion to reopen the bankruptcy, pay a court fee, then file an amendment to add the creditor. There was also a court fee involved in filing the amendment. However, in 1996, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in Judd v. Wolff, in the appeal of a New Jersey case,  concluded that in a no asset Chapter 7  bankruptcy case it would be a waste of the court's time to reopen a case to add a creditor when there is not going to be a distribution anyway. As a result, as long as the creditor has not been intentionally omitted from the bankruptcy schedules, the debt is eliminated even if the creditor was forgotten. Often a debtor will have their attorney write a letter to the creditor, citing Judd v. Wolf and advise of the impact of the case and the fact that the debt is discharged. Of course it is always better to list all creditors when the initial bankruptcy is filed. A credit report is a helpful tool in making sure all creditors are listed. However, if a creditor is forgotten, it can still be addressed.

Rapper 50 Cent Files for Bankruptcy

Rapper 50 Cent, Curtis Jackson, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on July 11, 2015 the same day he was to appear in court for a suit claiming Jackson posted a 2010 explicit internet video of Lastonia Levitson. Jurors said Jackson should pay $5 million in punitive damages to Levitson for posting the video. Mr. Jackson's assets are estimated between $10 million and $50 million.

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