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Addressing credit card debt: sometimes bankruptcy is the most effective way

Credit card debt, unlike some other forms of debt, can easily and quickly lead to a downward spiral, financially speaking. High interest rates and significant late fees are part of the reason for this. The fact that so many Americans struggle with credit card debt is a testament to this. According to a recent article by Consumer Reports, credit card debt continues to be an issue for many Americans, with national credit card debt reaching $912 billion in the second quarter of the year, and projected to exceed $1 trillion by the end of the year.

Addressing credit card debt is not necessarily an easy matter, though there are certainly ways to work toward paying it down. This includes the obvious solutions, such as decreasing spending, cutting expenses, spending savings rather than credit, and increasing income, but also less obvious solutions, such as making use of making use of good credit offers and refinancing with a low-interest personal loan. 

Dealing with housing matters in divorce, P.2

Previously, we began looking at the topic of dividing the family home in divorce. As we noted, there are several potential outcomes when it comes to division of the family home. One is selling the property. Another is to let one party keep the property. When a party seeks to keep the family home, though, it is important to look at their financial circumstances beforehand to determine how feasible that is.

In some cases, the party seeking to take the family home may have enough income to handle the mortgage on their own, and perhaps even to buy out their spouse, but in many cases this is not possible. In such cases, it may be possible to obtain a refinance of the mortgage, which is smart even for even when the party taking the home could afford not to do so, since it allows the non-taking spouse to get off the mortgage note. Refinancing can also allow the taking spouse to pay out the portion of equity due to the non-taking spouse. 

Dealing with housing matters in divorce, P.1

For many couples, addressing property issues in divorce can be a challenging task. This is especially true for shared assets, particularly mortgaged real estate for which both spouses are responsible and which both spouses want to keep after the breakup.

Depending on a couple's circumstances, there a several potential outcomes when it comes to shared mortgages in divorce. One option for couples is to sell the home and divide the profits. This is a good option when neither party is set on keeping the property and the profits will allow them to pay off their mortgage. Selling a home does cost money, though, and depending on market conditions, couples could walk away with less than they would like. For this reason, it is important for couples to consider the cost of selling the home, as well as how much equity they have in the home compared to the likely sale price. 

How do New York courts make child custody decisions, and how can an attorney help? P.2

Previously, we began looking at some of the factors judges consider when making child custody decisions in New York. As we noted, the central concern is always the best interests of the child, but judges will weigh a variety of secondary factors to ensure that any proposed parenting plan is really best for the child.

Despite the fact that judges have significant discretion in making child custody determinations, having an experienced advocate in the child custody process is certainly not unimportant. On the contrary, the fact that judges have discretion makes it that much more important to have an advocate. Although child custody decisions are not directly about the interest of the parent, there are several things an attorney can do to best position a parent for a favorable decision. 

How do New York courts make child custody decisions, and how can an attorney help? P.1

One of the most important concerns for any couple pursuing marital dissolution is how the divorce will affect their relationship with their children. Parents entering into the child custody process often have concerns that they will lose the connection they have with their children, and want to know how an experienced attorney can help.

First of all, the central consideration for a court responsible for making child custody determinations is the "best interest" of the child. The term refers to the various factors which affect the well-being of the child. Courts are not bound by a specific formula when considering these factors and enjoy significant discretion in making custody decisions, though the health and safety of the child is considered the most important factor. 

Hidden wealth: work with an experienced divorce attorney to protect your rights, P.3

We've been looking in recent posts at the topic of hiding assets in divorce. As we've pointed out, this issue is important to consider both in the negotiation of prenuptial agreements and during divorce when negotiating and arguing the disposition of marital property in court.

Failure to make full disclosure of assets is not something that can always be immediately recognized in a partner. In some cases, it will be clearer than others that a fiancĂ© or spouse is hiding something. In any case, it is important to conduct the most thorough investigation possible to ensure the prevention of fraud. Again, there are a variety of strategies that can be used to investigate potential asset hiding. 

Wells Fargo, other creditors, ordered to compensate former debtor for bankruptcy violations

Discharge is, for debtors, probably the climax of the bankruptcy process, given that it is the point at which the debtor is cleared of debts as a result of following the requirements of the bankruptcy process. Discharge is what allows debtors to be free from collection actions by creditors and to move on with their lives.

Unfortunately, discharge is not always the end of collection efforts. In some cases, debtors don't honor the bankruptcy process and continue to attempt to collect on debts that have been discharged. When this happens, there are options for relief. 

Hidden wealth: work with an experienced divorce attorney to protect your rights, P.2

Previously, we began looking at the topic of hiding assets in divorce. As we noted, hiding assets can be an issue in the negotiation of prenuptial agreements, as well as in the division of assets in divorce. When asset-hiding takes place in the context of prenuptial agreement negotiations, it can result in the agreement being thrown out in divorce. This, of course, requires the spouse who was defrauded to prove that such fraud occurred.

Working with an experienced attorney is, of course, essential when dealing with asset-hiding. The aim of representation on this issue is--to the extent possible--to prevent asset-hiding from occurring, and to work to track down assets that are hidden either before or after divorce. 

Hidden wealth: work with an experienced divorce attorney to protect your rights, P.1

Sorting through financial matters can be a challenging aspect of divorce, particularly when a couple is not willing to work together for a fair and speedy resolution to the case. Different states, of course, have different ways of handling financial disputes in divorce. The state of New York uses an approach known as equitable distribution, which involves weighing various factors to reach a fair division of assets.

Default property division rules aside, couples can make use of marital agreements to take greater control over the division of assets in the event of divorce. In negotiating these agreements, it is critical for individuals to work with an experienced attorney who can help ensure that their rights and interests are represented in the agreement. 

Looking at some of the changes a Trump presidency is likely to bring, P.2

Previously, we began looking briefly at some of the changes the election of Donald Trump is likely to bring. As we noted, Donald Trump has published an agenda for his first 100 days in office, and this gives a sense of what he plans to do upon entering office. In addition to the changes mentioned last time, there are also going to be changes coming for various industries.

For healthcare, of course, Trump has stated that he plans to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, and to bring about other changes in the health care industry. In terms of the energy industry, he has promised to do away with restrictions on the production of shale oil, natural gas, and clean coal, which will have a large impact on that industry.

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