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Apr 2014

Recovery Services at 855-633-3603 Scams Ana

Posted by / in Before Bankruptcy, Blog / No comments yet

Before she came to talk to me about bankruptcy, Ana was scammed out of $200 by Recovery Services.

“Recovery Services” called Ana from 855-633-3603 in January and told her she was in trouble for non-payment of a “check” in connection with a pay day loan.  The sheriff would bring her papers day after tomorrow unless she made payment arrangements.

They sent her to an internet site where she signed a payment agreement and made three payments.  (She paid them through Paypal.)

I had Ana call them from my office today to say she was not sending any more payments, and she needed to confirm their address to include them in the bankruptcy.  (I wanted to see what they would say.)


Report scammers who use the internet to the Internet Crimes Complaint Center

A very authoritative-sounding lady told her that she could not file bankruptcy on them because she has a “sworn recorded phone call” and since she was breaking the agreement she could expect service of court papers between 8:00 and 3:00 on Wednesday.

All this is B.S. of course, but very convincing.  If I wasn’t right there with her, Ana might have caved in and sent another payment.

Instead, Ana is filing a complaint with the Internet Crimes Complaint Center.

By the time you read this, these people will be using a different phone number and a different name.  But if you get something like this, don’t be scammed!





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Jan 2014

Before bankruptcy: Getting your tax account transcripts

Posted by / in Before Bankruptcy /

Most income taxes cannot be discharged in bankruptcy, but some can.

To find out whether yours can, your lawyer will need your tax account transcript.  The IRS makes these available now on line.  You can download yours here.

tax account transcript

To find out whether your Federal income taxes can be discharged in bankruptcy, your lawyer will need to see your tax account transcript.

Why do you need that?  Your lawyer can use your account transcript to see if your taxes were filed, if they were filed close to on time, and if there was a recent assessment.

Here’s why:  The general rule is this:  You can discharge your Federal and state income taxes if:

1.  They were due more than three years ago.  (Example, the 2010 Federal taxes were due  for most people April 15, 2011–if you didn’t get an extension.  So April 16 2014 is more than three years after the 2010 Federal taxes were due.)

2.  You have filed them at least two years ago and close to on time.  (What does “close to on time” mean?  I’m not answering that here.  I’m NOT an expert on that.)

3.  Your taxes have to have been assessed at least 240 days ago.  Usually the taxes are assessed around the time you filed.  But if there was a recent audit or correction to your tax forms, you have to watch out for this rule.

Do you want to know more about this rule?  Nolo has several posts on this topic.  Here’s an article in the Journal of Accountancy.  Here’s some info from Fox Business.

WHATEVER you do, do not take legal action–like filing your own bankruptcy–based on what I say here.  The purpose of this blog is ONLY to tell you where to go to get your transcript.  You can get your tax account transcript from the IRS here.

If you are getting your transcript for this purpose, be careful to get the tax account transcript and NOT the tax return transcript.  The tax return transcript does NOT give the info you need.  The tax account transcript does.



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Jan 2014

Virginia Bankruptcy Consultation: Preparation Makes a Difference

Posted by / in Before Bankruptcy / No comments yet

I was the third lawyer Lisa saw for a Virginia Bankruptcy Consultation

Lisa had a Virginia Bankruptcy consultation with two well known bankruptcy lawyers.   Then she came to see me.

Both of those lawyers told her that her income was too high.  She could not file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.  She would need to file Chapter 13.  They reached that conclusion without looking at her paystubs or making her do a budget.  Those lawyers offer what I call a “no-preparation consultation.”

Lisa had done research on her own.  She knew that high income people can still be eligible for Chapter 7.  (I explain how that works, here.)

Virginia bankruptcy consultation starts with 29 point review

AJ spent an hour going over Lisa’s situation, reviewing her forms as part of our 29 point paralegal consultation. Then another hour typing Lisa’s information into the computer for us to look at together.

We told Lisa she needed to fill in our 37 page forms.  She was glad.  Lisa spent an hour preparing the forms.  Then Lisa spent another hour going over the forms with AJ, one of my bankruptcy paralegals.

AJ, after that hour with Lisa, took another hour to type Lisa’s information into the computer.   So I had it.

Then Lisa and I talked for an hour.

At the end of that hour, here’s what we decided.

1.  In spite of what two lawyers told her, Lisa had income eligibility to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

2.  There was no way Lisa could afford a Chapter 13 plan.

3.  There was a non-bankruptcy solution that would work better for Lisa than either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13.

Lisa’s persistence is unusual.   She talked to TWO lawyers who both told her the same thing–she still wanted a third opinion.

Lisa’s persistence is unusual.   Her problem isn’t.  The problem is, a no-preparation consultation will steer people wrong, a lot.  I guess one out of three of my clients would get steered wrong by a no-preparation Virginia bankruptcy consultation.

That’s why I work they way I do.  I hate to steer people wrong.

Some people get irritated that they can’t “just ask a question.”   And people don’t like being sent home to get more information.

What people do like, is that their bankruptcies get approved.  And they like their bankruptcy hearings to be easy.  You can read what people say in my CustomerLobby reviews.

If you want the best possible bankruptcy advice, call us.   Set an appointment.  We’ll ask you to do a lot of work to get ready for our Virginia bankruptcy consultation.  And we’ll do a lot of work to get ready to meet with you.

Don’t be afraid.  Call now.



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