One of the biggest driving forces in people filing for bankruptcy is the dissolution of a marriage. Whether they need a bankruptcy to resolve financial issues in the course of a divorce, or need to clean up a financial mess created by a marriage that didn’t work out, people end up talking to a bankruptcy lawyer.
This podcast works to answer those questions that arise when the bankruptcy is necessitated by a divorce, either by one spouse or jointly by both of them. Since questions also arise from a “non-debtor spouse” about how their rights can be affected, we deal with those as well.
Episode 25: Tips on Having a Smooth Home Purchase
Home ownership is part of the American Dream! It is something we all, to some extent, hope for. But oftentimes that dream becomes a nightmare because all of the proper steps are not taken, or not done correctly. That can turn your home into a money pit!
So in this episode of the podcast, I am going to talk about the steps you need to take here in New Jersey to minimize the chances of disaster. Every case is different (and you should have an attorney represent you) but these tips should give you a good idea of the pitfalls out there and how to avoid them.
Episode 19: Best Strategies for Dealing with Federal Student Loans
Student loan debt continues to be a problem nationally, as the total owed exceeds $1 trillion. Although private loans are also a problem, the good news is that they make up only 15% of the total debt, and federal loans still dominate the landscape. The amount of debt per student (and in many cases the parents) has led to real problems with affordability of the monthly payments and defaulted loans.
These people have either given up, and let the loans default, thus facing wage garnishment and the loss of their federal tax refunds for the foreseeable future, or are hiding out in a deferment or forbearance, hoping that their financial future will somehow get better and allow them to make the payments. Still others file chapter 13 bankruptcies to prevent the entry of default by forcing the loans into a forbearance while making a small monthly payment for three to five years.
None of these are the optimal solution, especially as there are many offered by the U.S. Department of Education that allow you to get out of default (if you are) and get into a monthly payment that is affordable at your income level. So in this episode of the podcast I talk about what those solutions are and how they can help.
How Much Does Your Spouse Hate You? Avoiding Problems with Your Bankruptcy Filing
The filing of a bankruptcy by one spouse in a divorce is not always a cooperative process, part of an overall strategy. Sometimes the nonfiling spouse can become vindictive and seek to disrupt the bankruptcy filing. In this episode, Meryl and Steve talk about how important it is to keep the financial disclosures in your bankruptcy complete and accurate, so that your spouse can't point out mis-statements or omissions that can get you into trouble!
How Protected Are You From Your Spouse If You File Bankruptcy?
The automatic stay that bankruptcy provides can be extremely helpful in protecting you from creditors. It can stop a bank levy, a wage execution, or any other attempt to collect a debt. But exceptions in the bankruptcy code can allow your spouse or ex-spouse from taking many actions in family court without bankruptcy court permission. In this episode, Meryl and Steve discuss these exceptions and how to view the automatic stay realistically when it comes to your divorce.
Top 3 Divorce Mistakes That Could Lead You to Bankruptcy
In mosty cases, financial difficulties put strain on a marriage that leads to divorce. In those circumstances, bankruptcy can be helpful. But in this episode, Meryl and Steve talk about how financially secure couples can end up in bankruptcy because of how they handle their divorce! Learn how to avoid these mistakes!
How a Prenuptual Agreement Might Not Protect You from Divorce Obligations in Bankruptcy
Prenuptual Agreements are often used to negotiate many terms of a divorce in advance of the marriage itself. However, they cannot definitively allow you to preplan a bankruptcy discharge of your obligations under it. In this episode, Meryl and Steve talk about why these agreements cannot be worded in such a way as to create dischargeable obligations, and how you can still exit bankruptcy bound by their terms.