Many times when people are faced with impending debt, they start looking for shortcuts to save money–using coupons and sales to buy groceries and other necessities, making sure to turn off all lights and appliances when they are not being used, or letting a few bills slide in hopes of catching up on the payments later. The first two are great ways of saving money! The last one can often land you in deeper trouble than you were in before!
When you have fallen noticeably behind on your utility bills, utility companies will shut off your utility. Fortunately, there are some requirements that utility services must follow before shutting off your utilities. The power cannot be shut off on days when the utility office is closed, which includes holidays! If there are members of the household whose health is dependent on a power supply, a utility representative must visit the house before the utilities are disconnected. Utilities services must also notify recipients before the utilities can be shut off.
I also have good news, courtesy of SignOn San Diego!
In reaction to stories from around the state that people were being cut off because the bad economy had made it difficult for them to pay their bills, the California Public Utilities Commission told utilities they had to take steps to prevent needless cutoffs.
In particular, the commission said power companies, including San Diego Gas & Electric, must give people at least three months, and up to a year, to get their bills up to date.
But what about people who have already had their utilities shut off and are seeking debt relief? More good news! “The bankruptcy laws require the utility company to restore the service of any utility that was terminated prior to the filing. A bankruptcy filing prevents the utility company from terminating an individual’s service.”
That’s right, Chapter 7 bankruptcy and Chapter 13 bankruptcy provide debt relief and can restore your utilities! You simply need to pay a security deposit within 20 days of filing to ensure your utilities stay on. Contact me or visit our Lancaster office for a free consultation! Bankruptcy attorney David Lozano is dedicated to keeping you debt free and powered up!
Wondering what to do about the home when going through divorce and bankruptcy? (Los Angeles attorney David Lozano offers his help to divorced couples!)
Not too long ago I wrote about how divorce is one of the three leading causes of bankruptcy–along with medical bills and the loss of a job–in Wondering what you should do when dealing with divorce as well as bankruptcy? (Los Angeles attorney David Lozano offers his advice!) And earlier in the year I wrote a blog entitled, Does filing bankruptcy lead to divorce? Today I’d like to discuss situations that may arise when going through divorce and bankruptcy.
Married couples who are considering or have already gotten a divorce sometimes find themselves in a fix when it comes to what to do about the home. Oftentimes neither spouse can afford to keep the house or apartment on their own. In cases like this, couples may end up living together out of necessity, staying at opposite corners of the house or on separate floors as much as possible. Couples will even try to avoid filing bankruptcy by putting their home up for sale, hoping to make enough money to pay off the mortgage, so that they can buy new homes. Many times the couple is forced to dramatically lower the price of the home to avoid foreclosure, even settling for a price far below the retail value.
In a situation like this, I urge couples to contact me or visit one of our Lancaster, Ontario, or West Covina office locations for a free consultation! With the help of a bankruptcy attorney, the couple may have better luck getting the house sold at a fair price or keeping the house, if they so desire!
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!
Do you have something in common with Will Smith? (Bankruptcy attorney David Lozano says, “more than you might think!”)
Do you have a flair for the dramatic, a thirst for action and adventure, a good sense of rhythm with a dash of witty humor and charm to tie everything together? See, we’ve already established some strong similarities between you and the Fresh Prince! One likeness that might come as a surprise to you, however, is Will Smith’s close encounter with bankruptcy.
Will Smith was once an up-and-coming rapper with dreams of one day becoming a movie star! He earned the nickname “Fresh Prince” for being able to smooth talk his way out of trouble. In 1988, as part of a hip-hop trio, Will Smith won a Grammy for the song “Parents Just Don’t Understand” and became a millionaire. Smith then went on a spending spree and underpaid his taxes, which nearly forced him into bankruptcy. To be fair, Smith was only 18 and a million dollars is enough to go to anyone’s head!
Regrettably, the Fresh Prince couldn’t smooth talk his way out of the debt he accumulated after squandering his fortune. He owed 2.8 million dollars in tax debt to the IRS, a number of his possessions were repossessed, and his income was heavily garnished. Will Smith narrowly escaped bankruptcy thanks to NBC signing him on the sitcom, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. It was a close call, but fortunately the sitcom was a hit and put Smith on the road to stardom.
Now, you certainly aren’t in debt as the result of reckless spending, I’m sure! The average Californian’s debt problems are due to unforeseen circumstances, such as the loss of a job or unexpected medical bills. Whatever the case may be, David Lozano is here to help! Contact me for a free consultation. Bankruptcy is not an end-all, it is merely a stepping stone to getting your life back on track!
To cope with the current state of our economy people will often take on extra shifts at work or cut back on frivolous spending. But what about individuals who are retired and their frivolous spending consists solely of buying the grandkids holiday and birthday gifts? That’s right, I’m talking about generous Grandmas and Grandpas here!
The elderly are struggling with debt just as much as the rest of society. A common assumption has been that social security and a good 401(k) plan will be enough to support the elderly after retirement. What I’ve seen happening more and more frequently, however, is elderly folks dipping into their savings for the sake of their children and grandchildren.
Supporting ones children is a hard habit to break. So when Mom and Dad see their son or daughter low on cash, struggling with unemployment, beset with unexpected hospital bills, or in need, the automatic response is to help out.
Lending cash when one is on a fixed income is difficult though. Many elderly men and women turn to borrowing against the equity on their house or relying on credit cards to get by. Unfortunately, both of these methods lead to trouble! Taking out a second mortgage can easily result in foreclosure and missing a few payments on the credit card quickly develops into hefty credit card debt. The elderly may even go without prescribed medication or scrimp on food in an effort to keep up with their bills.
No one likes the thought of dear old Grandma and Grandpa risking their health and comfortable living during retirement! That’s why it is important that elderly individuals get professional financial advice before it comes to that!
Bankruptcy was designed to give people relief from their debt! Mom and Dad have been taking care of you all your life! It’s probably about time to return the favor. Contact me for a free consultation. Together we will make sure that your elderly loved ones can enjoy their retirement to the fullest!
What if creditors continue to call after your debt has been discharged? (Bankruptcy attorney David Lozano urges you to stand your ground!)
Once your debt has been discharged by the bankruptcy court, creditors and collection agencies are out of luck! Third party collection agencies have been known to contact a person and demand payment even after that person has declared bankruptcy and had his or her debt discharged. Do not fall prey to their subterfuge! By taking responsibility and filing bankruptcy you have cleared your name! That means that anyone calling about debt that has been discharged is out of line!
If creditors or third party collection agencies call after the bankruptcy court has approved your bankruptcy claim, take appropriate action! Tell them that the debt has been discharged. If they do not accept that fact or continue to hassle you, don’t give in! They are in the wrong, so stand your ground! Inform them that you will contact the Federal Trade Commission if they continue to call. Attempting to collect on debt that has been discharged is illegal and they can be held in contempt for doing so!
The whole point of filing bankruptcy is to get a fresh start without having to worry about creditors! As a bankruptcy attorney, I can help you make sure that no one takes advantage of you! I look out for my clients before, during, and after the bankruptcy process so that you can enjoy your debt free life with peace of mind!
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!
Wondering if there’s an advantage to using a payday loan service? (Bankruptcy attorney David Lozano says, “definitely not!”)
The tempting offer of a payday loan is hard to resist. They make it sound as if there are no strings attached–the service simply lends you the money you need until your next paycheck. The hard truth, however, is that you often end up owing more money than you borrowed. Whatever label it is given–payday loan, cash advance, check advance, deferred deposit–it amounts to the same thing. The payday loan service cashes in while you struggle to stay afloat!
Here’s how it works, if you want to borrow $100 to get you through the next two weeks, you write the payday loan service a check for $115–that’s a 15% fee, which equals a 391% Annual Percentage Rate. Then they hold the check for those two weeks. But what happens if you can’t afford the expense? Most of the time you can’t renew or extend your loan. So you either you have to cough up the cash or they rely on a collection agency to get the money out of you. In the cases that you can renew or extend your loan, it comes at a costly fee, which almost always outweighs any benefit of getting the advance in the first place!
Payday loans aren’t what they are cracked up to be. If you’re having financial troubles your best bet is to go to a professional financial adviser! For a free consultation to discuss your options, contact me! We can find a solution that benefits you instead of adding to the problem!
Want to avoid burdening your loan co-signer when you file bankruptcy? (Southern California bankruptcy attorney David Lozano is here to help!)
If you meet a friend for dinner and agree to go dutch, it would be rude to then stick your dinner company with the bill. It’s the same situation if you file bankruptcy without consulting the co-signer of a loan that has not been paid in full. While your debt may be eliminated with Chapter 7, the co-signer will still be held responsible for the full amount of the loan!
Creditors don’t acknowledge that one of the co-signers has been absolved of his or her share of the loan. Their only concern is collecting their dues, whether or not the co-signer has to pay double his or her share! Whoever the co-signer may be– a family member, friend, partner, or ex– they don’t deserve to be stuck with your portion of the loan as well as their own!
Does this mean you can’t file bankruptcy if you’ve co-signed on a loan? Not at all! By filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy you can qualify to receive an extension on your payments, so that you can pay off your portion of the loan. Contact me for a free consultation on settling your debt without burdening your co-signer with the bill! It is the responsible thing to do!
Want to keep your home, car, and personal possessions despite your debt? (Los Angeles bankruptcy attorney David Lozano can make it happen!)
Bankruptcy laws were designed to benefit you, the average Californian! Bankruptcy is granted by a federal court to either businesses or individuals who are in debt and need a fresh start or an extension on their payment deadlines. There are several kinds of bankruptcy options, such as Chapter 7 and Chapter 13, but deciding which type to file is simple with bankruptcy attorney David Lozano’s assistance!
David Lozano will outline what is involved in the bankruptcy process step-by-step before you file bankruptcy so that you know what to expect. A concern that has been raised thousands of times by clients is whether they will lose their home, car, or other possessions which they hold dear. I am happy to tell you that as long as you are upfront about listing all the assets you own, there is very little risk of losing your possessions and property.
The idea that bankruptcy automatically leads to the loss of your possessions is a myth! In most cases your home, car, and personal possessions are exempt from being repossessed. David Lozano wants you to know beforehand what is going to happen when you file bankruptcy in order to ease your worries! So stop by one of our offices in West Covina, Ontario, or Lancaster for a free consultation!