Southern California bankruptcy attorney relates the story of the character played by Ben Affleck in the film, The Company Men, to average men and women facing the loss of a job
Ben Affleck, a native of our own California, recently starred in The Company Men, alongside Tommy Lee Jones, Chris Cooper, and Kevin Costner. The film tells the stories of three men named Bobby Walker (Ben Affleck), Gene McClary (Tommy Lee Jones), and Phil Woodward (Chris Cooper) who are businessmen at the GTX Corporation but lose their jobs due to corporate downsizing. The drama is meant to reflect the economical state the US was going through in the late 2000s.
In the film, Bobby Walker discovers the hardships of losing his six-figure job. Walker’s golf club membership is canceled, and he is forced to sell his house–located in the beautiful suburbs–and his new Porsche. Unable to find work anywhere else, Walker reluctantly turns to the house building job his brother-in-law, Jack (Kevin Costner), offers him. The film accurately portrays the struggle that many Americans go through when they find themselves unexpectedly unemployed.
Walker, fortunately, was able to get back on his feet in the end thanks to help from his family. For people who cannot catch a break as Walker did, bankruptcy attorney David Lozano offers his services! The Law Offices of David Lozano can help you cope with the loss of a job and prevent foreclosure! Had Walker gone to a bankruptcy lawyer, he may have been able to keep his home and Porsche! Contact me or visit one of our Lancaster, West Covina, or Ontario locations for a free consultation!
The lesser known downside of foreclosure (Ontario attorney David Lozano is looking out for you and your neighbors!)
As a bankruptcy attorney I advocate preventing foreclosure to individuals who would like to keep their home despite the financial trouble they are going through, as I expressed in a few of my previous blogs–Do you have questions about foreclosure and how to prevent it?, Do you want to avoid foreclosure in Southern California?, and Want to keep your home, car, and personal possessions despite your debt? Apart from losing your home and having to find a new place to live, foreclosure has another downside.
Boarded-up windows and a yard that has fallen into disrepair doesn’t make for a pretty sight on a tour of the neighborhood. Oftentimes the property value of the houses surrounding the foreclosed house suffer due to the state of the neglected house. That’s not all though! Foreclosed houses might not draw people in the market for a house, but they do draw some attention–from criminals! According to Foreclosure Link To Abandoned Houses And Crime, California ranks second in the national foreclosure rate at a ratio of 1:88.
No one wants to see crime in their neighborhood! In order to avoid an increase in crime and prevent foreclosure, contact me or visit our Ontario office for a free consultation! Together we can find a way for you to keep your house and get a fresh start!
Will everyone know when you file bankruptcy? (Ontario attorney David Lozano wishes to put your mind at ease!)
A big concern I hear from my clients when they come in for a free consultation is who will know that they have filed bankruptcy. Truthfully, there are only a limited number of people who may be notified when you file bankruptcy.
Creditors will be made aware of the fact that you have filed bankruptcy. This is a standard procedure that gives creditors the opportunity to dispute the claim. Employers may also be notified depending on the circumstances of your bankruptcy case. Members of your household, for instance a spouse, will be notified even if their finances are separate from yours. Public records are kept by the Federal Court that require specific information about the bankruptcy case in order to gain access to the records.
Less people than you think will be notified when you file bankruptcy. This means that unless you share the information with your friends or other family members, they will be none the wiser! Drop by our Ontario location for a free consultation!
Are your children’s education saving funds exempt when you file bankruptcy? (Lancaster attorney David Lozano is here to put your mind at ease!)
Couples and single parents frequently take advantage of my offer for a free consultation to discuss their options for dealing with debt. For many their concerns involve not only them, but their children as well! Parents worry whether the savings they’ve set aside for their children’s future education will be affected when they file bankruptcy.
I am pleased to say that you can protect your children’s education funds by using special savings plans, such as a 529 or Coverdell Education Savings Account (ESA). Wikipedia compares and contrasts the two plans well:
Important differences with 529 plans
- Coverdell ESAs have lower maximum contribution limits; currently $2,000 can be contributed per year per child, while 529 plans generally have no restrictions on contributions, up to the maximum lifetime contribution.
- Coverdell ESAs can allow almost any investment inside including stocks, bonds, and mutual funds, while 529 plans only allow a choice among a number of state run allocation programs. The rules for investments allowed in ESAs are the same as those for IRAs.
- Balances in a Coverdell ESA must be disbursed on qualified education expenses by the time the beneficiary is 30 years old or given to another family member below the age of 30 in order to avoid taxes and penalties; there is no age limit for 529 plans.
- Coverdell ESAs allow withdrawing the money tax free for qualified elementary and secondary school expenses; 529 plans do not.
- The income level of a donor may affect contributions into a Coverdell ESA, but would not affect contributions to a Section 529 plan.
Important similarities to 529 plans
- Money in both a Coverdell ESA and a 529 plan is not considered the child’s (beneficiary’s) money when applying for federal financial aid as long as the owner of the account is someone other than the beneficiary, such as a parent. This works to increase the child’s potential financial aid because parents are expected to contribute only around 6% of their assets to finance college education, as opposed to the child’s 35%.
- The custodian of both an ESA and a 529 plan can designate a new beneficiary without incurring taxes or penalties provided that the new beneficiary is an eligible family member of the previous beneficiary.
When filing bankruptcy, money that has been in a 529 or ESA savings account for over two years is exempt from the bankruptcy process! And up to $5,000 worth of money in the account that has accumulated for at least a year but under two years is also exempt. In addition, only money that has been added to the savings account within a year prior to bankruptcy is available to creditors–everything else is protected!
The future depends on the well-being of the next generation, and a large part of that well-being involves the extent of their intellectual growth! Visit our Lancaster location for a free consultation. Protecting the education funds of our children helps to ensure their continued intellectual growth!
Commercial and Internet ads for payday loans are a dime a dozen these days. And if you’ve seen one you’ve seen them all. Payday loans all work basically the same way–you write a check (or grant the lender permission to access an electronic account) to cover the money you are borrowing plus the finance charge. This transaction is then held by the lender until your next payday. Of course if you don’t have the money to cover the cost of the loan by your next payday you’re pretty much out of luck!
It is likely this and many other reasons why payday loans are legal in only thirty-seven U.S. states–with our sunny California being one of them. Nine times out of ten the consequences outweigh the benefits of getting a payday loan. And with online payday loans, there is an added risk of fraud. You hear about online scams all the time, and they are definitely something you do not want to happen to you! You need to be careful when giving out financial information in any situation, but be particularly careful when it’s over the Internet to a payday loan service!
If you find yourself struggling to make ends meet a payday loan is probably not your best option. Contact me for a free consultation and we will discuss your financial situation to determine what is the best course of action for you!
Do you give yourself and your credit card enough credit? (Bankruptcy attorney David Lozano sheds a little limelight on the subject!)
It is probably safe to say that the majority of Californians are credit cardholders. The U.S. Census Bureau recently collected data on the number of credit cardholders there were in the United States and found that there were 159 million in 2000 and 176 million in 2008. With this data, they then estimated the count for 2011 to be 183 million. I’d like to think these astonishing figures support the idea that Americans are, in general, becoming more financially responsible!
Getting your own credit card is almost like a right of passage for many young adults. It symbolizes that they are–or at least have the potential to be–financially responsible. When managed correctly, a credit card is a useful and often beneficial method of payment. Some credit cards even come with rewards or cash back on essentials, such as groceries, gas, dining, or travel.
There are many brands of credit cards offered by different companies, but did you realize there are just three basic types of credit cards?–unsecured cards, high risk cards, and secured cards.
An unsecured card is most commonly offered to individuals with a good, solid credit history. These cards do not require cash deposit and have no collateral loans. High risk cards often go to people who have a slightly less polished credit history. These cards tend to have an activation fee, annual fees, and late payment penalties attached to them. The last type is a secured credit card, which comes with steep annual fees and late payment penalties. This type of credit card functions similarly to a debit card in that you need to have a certain amount of cash in an account as “insurance”.
When it comes to credit cards, there are many options out there. But no matter what type of credit card you have, as a bankruptcy attorney, I am equipped to handle any type of credit card debt you may have. Contact me for a free consultation on settling your credit card debt!
While it is in my best interest that you hire an attorney, that is not the only reason why I advise my clients that having one is essential. Filing bankruptcy is not as simple as filling out some paperwork, paying a fee, and sending it all to the court for approval. There’s a lot more to it, which is why bankruptcy attorney, such as myself, exist. We evaluate your situation from a legal perspective, thoroughly discuss all available options with you–the client–and handle all legal matters.
There are many ins and outs when it comes to filing bankruptcy, but bankruptcy attorneys are able to follow the complex system and understand the technical terms involved with ease. Attorneys have studied all the laws and technicalities that go into bankruptcy at length, and having this knowledge makes the process of handling your unique bankruptcy case a simple matter of organize all the details and deciding the right course of action for you.
So, while the law does not require you to have an attorney, I highly recommend it. Another benefit of hiring an attorney who specializes in the field is the speed and efficiency we have to offer. Hiring a bankruptcy attorney saves you the time and frustration of trying to decipher what needs to be done, the order it needs to be done in, and how to solve dilemmas should they arise. Contact me for your free consultation, so that you can concentrate your efforts on getting your life back in order while I take care of the rest!
Is it true that married couples must file bankruptcy together? (Bankruptcy attorney David Lozano says, “this is not the case!”)
A question many married couples have when they come for a free consultation is whether they both have to file bankruptcy. I am happy to say that spouses are not required to file joint bankruptcy! That misconception is just another common bankruptcy myth!
There are many reasons why a couple might choose to file separately. One example is if there is an inheritance involved. In order to protect the rights to the inheritance, it is better for that person’s partner be the only one to file bankruptcy. Another factor of filing bankruptcy separately is if one spouse owns a business that has its own separate financial plan. To preserve the business, the couple would need to file separately.
One more instance where a couple would want to file separately is if they kept their financial affairs separate throughout their marriage. If this is the case, one spouse may wish to maintain his or her credit score by not filing bankruptcy with his or her partner.
Depending on the situation, it may be beneficial that only one spouse files bankruptcy and the other does not. The thing to keep in mind is that everyone has different and unique circumstances. Deciding what course is best for you is all in a day’s work for me. So contact me for a free consultation today!
There are more options to tackle debt than you think! (Ontario Debt Relief Attorney David Lozano is here to help)
For many people, the reality that they are neck-deep in debt is a daunting realization. In cases such as these, the tendency is to avoid dealing with the debt by ignoring its existence, or at least the degree to which they are in debt. This strategy stems from not knowing how to properly manage their accumulated debt. Should they file bankruptcy? Take out a loan? Or wait for things to sort themselves out? Unfortunately such indecision oftentimes makes the situation far worse than it was originally.
Contrary to what people might hope, debt rarely (let’s be frank–almost never!) goes away on its own. One option is to file bankruptcy, but there are other alternatives to consider. You may wish to take out a loan. If you are simply having a slow year but expect things to pick up again soon, this temporary fix is a viable solution.
If you are a home owner, there is the option of refinancing your mortgage loan. Choosing to refinance a mortgage has its advantages, such as acquiring a lower interest rate, consolidating your debt, or paying down your loan faster. If you are considering refinancing your home, you can check to see if you qualify for a new loan.
Here’s the thing, however: You need to talk to a professional to make sure the option you choose is not digging the hole you’re in even deeper!
That’s why I urge you take advantage of our free consultation. Don’t forget: David Lozano is an Ontario, California, bankruptcy attorney who offers real guidance. I will discuss with you all the options available. Our goal is to make the process of getting you debt-free as easy and painless as possible!