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GNC the Latest Bankruptcy Casualty of Coronavirus

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GNC the Latest Bankruptcy Casualty of Coronavirus

4 Arizona Locations to Close After Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Filing

Business bankruptcy blogAs the coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak havoc on the global economy, more and more companies are filing for bankruptcy. This year has already seen retail giants like Neiman Marcus, JC Penney, J Crew, and True Religion file for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy. Huge fitness companies like Gold’s Gym and 24 Hour Fitness have also filed for bankruptcy protection amid the Coronavirus Pandemic. The latest big chain to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection is GNC. The retail chain, which specializes in vitamins and dietary supplements, filed its bankruptcy petition June 23, 2020. 

What is Chapter 11 Bankruptcy? Why did GNC Choose Chapter 11?

Chapter 11 Bankruptcy allows businesses and individuals with sizable assets and numerous liabilities to restructure their debt while being overseen and approved by the court and a panel of creditors. The panel, which is composed of the creditors the company owes the most money to, will have authority in major business decisions like entering contracts, taking out loans, and selling shares. However, in Chapter 11, the company can continue to operate in the hopes of turning the business around. Day-to-day operations remain in control of the company’s usual management. A company may still close down using Chapter 11 if settling the outstanding debts would be too complicated with other chapters.

The other chapter that businesses typically file is Chapter 7. Chapter 7 discharges unsecured debts and releases the owner/s of the company from personal liability, but the business must shut down and surrender all of its assets and inventory. 

How the Pandemic Forced GNC to File Bankruptcy

GNC has posted statements to its website explaining its reasoning to file Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The company admitted that financial strains over the past few years had made the company unprepared to handle the pandemic and all of its negative economic effects. Like other brick-and-mortar chains, the competition posed by online retailers has caused GNC to struggle. GNC had already begun closing locations in shopping malls, widely considered to soon be a thing of the past, in 2018. The company had already amassed a staggering $1 billion in debts prior to its 2020 bankruptcy filing. 

The company had plans to refinance and pay off its massive debts. Then the coronavirus pandemic hit. Starting in March, GNC was forced to close approximately 30% of its stores due to stay-at-home and quarantine orders. GNC reported first quarter losses of $200 million, where the chain had reported losses of $15 million for the same time period in 2019. While the company had its peak stock value of $60 per share in 2013, GNC’s stock value was less than a dollar- $0.81- shortly before the bankruptcy filing. 

GNC’s Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Plan

GNC files bankruptcy blogGNC intends to remain open during and after the Chapter 11 bankruptcy, but to reemerge as a smaller company. The company currently has 5,800 locations and intends to almost 20%, or close to 1,200 of those United States locations. The company has already secured financing to fund its restructuring plan. IVC, GNC’s top vitamin supplier, has provided the company with $130 million in funding for the restructuring plan. The vast majority of GNC’s creditors approve of this plan, with a small minority left to sign on to the funding plan. 

If the funding plan from IVC falls through, the company also has the option to sell. Harbin is a Chinese pharmaceutical company that has 41% of GNC’s voting rights. Harbin, along with the rest of the Chapter 11 panel, have promised at least $760 million if the company is sold through court auction. 

Arizona GNC Locations Impacted by Bankruptcy

Arizona is already struggling with a vast amount of new unemployment claims. More than 280,000 people in Arizona have lost their jobs due to the pandemic. GNC’s bankruptcy, and resulting store closures, will only add to Arizona’s climbing number of unemployment claims.

The following stores are closing as a part of GNC’s Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Plan:

  • Madera Village, 9121 E. Tanque Verde Rd, Suite 115, Tucson, Arizona
  • Grayhawk Plaza, 20701 N. Scottsdale Rd, Suite 105, Scottsdale, Arizona
  • Flagstaff Mall, 4650 E 2 N Hwy 89, Flagstaff, Arizona
  • Arrowhead Town Center, 7700 West Arrowhead Towne, Glendale, Arizona

There are more than 20 other GNC locations in Arizona that will remain open through the bankruptcy

I Have a Gambling Problem. Can Bankruptcy Help?

gambling and bankruptcy debt blog

Almost everyone has a friend or relative in their life who has struggled with a bad habit that grew into an addiction. For many, it is smoking, drinking, and other unhealthy lifestyle choices. For others, gambling may become a problem that gets out of control. When it does, the addict usually racks up more gambling debts than they can manage. If you are struggling with this problem, you may be wondering if bankruptcy can help you.

The different chapters of bankruptcy in Phoenix, Arizona

Gambling and bankruptcy blogMost individual bankruptcies are filed under either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. Chapter 7 bankruptcy has strict income limits and the filer will have to surrender any assets with more equity than that state’s exemptions. Most unsecured non-priority debts will be discharged in Chapter 7. Credit cards, medical bills, repossession deficiencies, and more will be liquidated without any repayment. However, there is a caveat: debts that were fraudulently incurred can’t be discharged in Chapter 7. 

In Chapter 13, debts are reorganized into a payment plan that the filer will pay over the course of 3-5 years. Certain debts, like the balance of an auto loan or past-due child support and spousal maintenance payments, must be paid in full in the plan. Other debts that are prioritized lower may only be partially paid in the plan, but the obligation for them will be discharged once the payment plan has been completed. 

If you have the option between both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you also need to understand the cost difference between the two chapters. While the filing fee for a Chapter 13 is lower ($310 versus $335), attorney representation is absolutely necessary in a Chapter 13 and costs much more than for a Chapter 7. 

The length of the two chapters varies greatly and each will affect your credit differently. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy is typically completed within 4-6 months from the date the petition was filed. Except in special circumstances, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy either lasts 3 years or 5 years. The payment plan will be 3 years for filers who make less than the state median income level (which would qualify them for Chapter 7), and 5 years for those who make more than that amount. After the bankruptcy is discharged, a Chapter 7 will remain on your credit for 10 years from the filing date. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy will remain on your credit for 7 years from the filing date. 

The source of the gambling debt

gambling and bankruptcy debt blogGambling debts are typically accrued in a few different ways. If you took out personal loans or credit cards to pay for your gambling, these debts may be discharged in bankruptcy. They will be wiped clean in Chapter 7 bankruptcy, and are lower priority debts that may only be partially paid before discharge through Chapter 13 bankruptcy. 

You may encounter difficulties discharging your gambling debt in bankruptcy if you secured your debt to any of your property. If you borrowed against the value of your home, car, or other property, your creditor will have a lien on that asset. You will either need to reaffirm (formally agree to repay with the bankruptcy court’s approval) that debt. Otherwise, you will have to surrender whatever property is being used as collateral to discharge the debt. 

Another common type of gambling debt is a “marker.” Many casinos will require you to sign a marker to get chips before you can gamble. The agreement you sign for the marker may have language indicating that you have the amount you are borrowing from the casino available to repay. If you didn’t actually have those funds available at the time when you borrowed them, the court may view that as deceptive borrowing and those debts won’t be discharged in the bankruptcy.

seeking Treatment as part of the bankruptcy process

Filing bankruptcy only solves a symptom of the problem if you struggle with gambling addiction. You may want to consider seeking counseling and other treatment for your addiction before or during your bankruptcy. Some courts may see this treatment as proof that you did intend to repay a marker debt and therefore discharge it in your bankruptcy. 

 

If you are struggling with gambling debts, you need to learn if bankruptcy is a good option for you. Our expert Phoenix bankruptcy attorneys can analyze your personal situation to determine which chapters you qualify for, and which chapter will serve you best. Don’t let another day go by with the stress of wondering what to do about your debt- call and schedule your free consultation today.  Contact our Phoenix Bankruptcy Lawyers today for a FREE Consultation.
 

Phoenix Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Requirements

Phoenix Chapter 7 bankruptcy blog

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Requirements

Contact our Phoenix Bankruptcy Attorneys – 602-509-0955

602-509-0955

Phoenix Chapter 7 bankruptcy blogChapter seven bankruptcy is probably the most frequent kind of bankruptcy filed in the United States. Nevertheless, not everybody is permitted to obtain their debts discharged under Chapter seven of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, so the following are a few simple demands for a situation. To understand whether you qualify for this particular case type, talk with a Chapter seven bankruptcy lawyer in Phoenix about your specific circumstance.  Once your Phoenix Bankruptcy is filed, an Automatic stay starts which protects you from all collection efforts.  Contact our Phoenix Legal Team today and learn more about Phoenix Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Requirement.

Bankruptcy Means Test

The means test was added as a necessity in 2005, plus it calls for you to demonstrate that the household income of yours is below the median for the household dimensions of yours in the state of yours. The Department of Justice (DOJ) reports the median earnings amounts for every state on an annual schedule. If the income of yours isn’t below the median, the attorney of yours might have the ability to subtract specific expenses to reduce your income. When you don’t pass the means test, you won’t have the ability to file for Chapter seven.

Time Since Previous Bankruptcy Filings

In order to avoid bankruptcy abuse, there’s a limit on if you are able to file for Chapter seven in case you’ve a previous discharge. 8 years should pass since your previous Chapter seven filing, or maybe 6 years from the day you filed a Chapter thirteen case.

Filing your bankruptcy is something that should be done by an experienced Arizona Lawyer.  There’s a certain range of documents required to file.  Our debt relief attorney will file your bankruptcy with the court to begin a Chapter seven bankruptcy case for you and your family. You have to file a petition with all the required info and supporting documentation. The attorney of yours is able to help to make sure you’ve all you need before you begin the case of yours to prevent delays.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Phoenix, Arizona

Phoenix bankruptcy attorney blogTalk with a Chapter seven Bankruptcy Lawyer in Phoenix If you’re thinking about debt relief choices, you need to talk to a Phoenix Bankruptcy Attorney at My Arizona Lawyers, PLLC. Contact our Phoenix BK lawyers now or even ask for an appointment online for immediate now.  Our bankruptcy attorneys offer debt relief options including:  Chapter 7 bankruptcy, Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, Emergency Bankruptcy Filings, Medical Bankruptcies, Arizona Zero Down Bankruptcy, Bankruptcy by Phone, Phoenix Chapter Bankruptcy, $0 Down Bankruptcy, and Lien Stripping in a Chapter 13.  Contact us about more Phoenix Chapter 7 Bankruptcy requirements.

7 Ways to Get Student Loans Discharged

Many people believe that if they file for bankruptcy, all of their debts will vanish. That sounds like a pretty exciting prospect when you are still loaded down with tens of thousands of dollars in student loans! Unfortunately, it’s just not the truth. In most cases, student loans are actually excluded from a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing – the type that involves a total discharge of unsecured debts.

Student loans can be included in a Chapter 13 filing, which restructures debt with a payment plan the filer can afford. Under Chapter 13 bankruptcy, all debts are combined, and a monthly payment is divided amongst the creditors. The payment plan lasts for a set time, after which the debts are discharged. Many people can pay less toward their student loans with a Chapter 13 debt restructuring.

7 ways to get student loans discharged

There are ways to get your student loans discharged, but it is very difficult. You will need to work with an experienced Phoenix bankruptcy lawyer to explore your options. Here are seven instances in which you might be able to get your loans discharged:

1. Undue Hardship

The only way to have student loans discharged through bankruptcy is to show that paying them poses an “undue hardship.” Proving this is extremely difficult, and these attempts are rarely successful. It is essential to work with a bankruptcy lawyer if you want to make this claim.

You will have to show that you have made good faith efforts to pay back the loan and that you would not be able to sustain a minimum standard of living if you kept paying on the loan. In addition, you must show that you will continue to suffer financial hardship for the foreseeable future. it can be very difficult to prove undue hardship, which is why working with a lawyer is essential. An experienced bankruptcy lawyer will know how to make the strongest case with the most likelihood of success – though that doesn’t guarantee results.

2. The School Closed

If a school for which you have been given a student loan closes you may be able to discharge your student loan

A lot more people are attending school online these days because it gives them the flexibility to work and pay for some of their living expenses or take care of their family. But a lot of online schools come and go because they are not proven through the test of time. You could enroll in a school, and it could close mid-semester or even shortly after you complete your program.

If a school for which you have been given a student loan closes – whether it’s an online school or not – you may be able to discharge your student loan. You must have been enrolled in the school within 120 days of its closing. That’s a very short window, so it’s unlikely that very many people will be able to discharge their loans under this rule.

3. School Fraud

A borrower defense discharge is available to students

A “borrower defense discharge” is available to students who can show that their schools defrauded them by using illegal or deceptive strategies to convince them to attend the school and to take out student loans. For example, the school may have made unrealistic promises about job or income prospects after graduation, or it may have lied about costs.

Getting a discharge under this rule will require working closely with an attorney and getting plenty of evidence to prove the deception or illegal activity. You will need correspondence with school officials, promotional materials, course catalogues, transcripts, and other items.

4. False Certification or Fraud

Schools should do their due diligence to certify you as eligible for student aid, but they don’t always get it right. If you did not meet the requirements for the student loan but the school certified you anyway (either intentionally or not), those student loans can be discharged. Another example of false certification would be if you were given loans to train in a program that you can’t get employment in – such as if you have a criminal record so can never become a preschool teacher or you have a physical handicap that would prevent you from becoming a massage therapist. Your school should not certify you for loans under such circumstances.

You may also qualify for a student loan discharge if the school signed your name on a promissory note or if someone else took out a loan on your behalf (identity theft).

5. Unpaid Refund

Unpaid refund debt

Sometimes, the school has to pay a refund on a student loan to the government or to the borrower. An example would be if the loan was for more than the tuition amount. The school can’t just pocket that money. It is supposed to pay back the balance.

If your school did decide to keep that extra, you may be able to have the amount reduced from what you owe. You won’t get a total discharge, but you will get a bit knocked off the top, which can still help.

6. Disability

If you have a disability you may be able to get a discharged on your student loan

You may get into a serious accident that leads to a permanent or total disability, making it difficult or even impossible for you to work. Whether you suffer this disability while you are in school or years later, you may be able to have your student loans discharged as a result. You must submit documents from the Department of Veterans Affairs, show that you are receiving Social Security Disability, or have a note from your doctor saying that you have been disabled for at least 60 months and will be for another 60.

Again, it is important that you work with an attorney to make this claim successfully.

7. Death

Hopefully, you won’t have to die to get debt relief. However, it may help with your estate planning to know that if you die, your family won’t be burdened with your student debt as it will be discharged. Similarly, if your spouse or someone else for whom you would be responsible for their debts dies, you can rest easy knowing that student loans won’t be added to the list.

Getting your student loans discharged isn’t easy, but there are some exceptions where it’s possible. At Phoenix Bankruptcy Lawyer we will explore all your options. Our experienced and skilled attorneys will explore all the legal options to help you get the debt relief you need so you can start taking back your finances. We can also help you file for bankruptcy in Phoenix to discharge or reduce some of your debts to free up more money to pay back what you owe. Call us in Arizona to learn more.

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668 N. 44th St., Ste 300
Phoenix, AZ 85008
Hours: Mon – Fri: 9am – 5pm
Phone: 480-263-1699
Email: info@phoenixbankruptcyattorney.co
Website: https://phoenixbankruptcylawyer.co

3 Reasons Why You Should Not Have Credit Cards in 2017

It is 2017 right now, and now is always the best time to begin making your way out of debt. Phoenix Bankruptcy lawyers know that credit card debt is the most common reason Phoenix residents file for bankruptcy. What is the most common reason for credit card debt? Overspending. You may not think of yourself as someone who spends a lot of money, but maybe you need to rethink that. The only absolute necessities of life are food and shelter, almost everything else is negotiable. Here are some reasons to get rid of those credit cards in 2017.

3 reasons why you should not have credit cards in 2017

#1 The Goal of Credit Card Companies Is to Keep You in Debt!

Break Free From Credit Card Debt Are you aware that if you owe $5000 on a credit card it could take over 20 years to pay it off making the minimum payment? Meanwhile the credit card company is getting rich off the interest you pay them. Although they would never admit it, credit card companies really don’t like customers who pay their bill in full each month, thus denying them all that interest. And heaven forbid you are late on your payments, that will incur large late fees and can legally allow the credit card company to raise your interest rate much higher. It’s all in the fine print. Once you get behind and those fees begin to rack up it’s a fast, downward spiral of ever increasing debt.

#2 Stress Is Bad for You and Credit Card Debt Is Stressful!

credit card debt causes stressIf you find yourself feeling anxious about your debt all the time, and lose sleep at night because you are worrying about your debt, it may be time to find your way out. The first step toward debt free living is the hardest. You have to sincerely decide that you are willing to do whatever it takes to get out of debt. It won’t be fast and it won’t be easy, but it will be worth it to once again enjoy worry free days and peaceful nights. Since the credit card companies want to keep you in debt, the only way out is to stop using them. Just cut them up. That may sound harsh, but if you are in credit card debt, you have been spending more money than you have been bringing in.

#3 Devise a Plan

pay credit debt offPerhaps you have been living beyond your means, or perhaps it’s due to circumstances beyond your control, such as medical bills. It boils down to the same problem, more money is going out than is coming in. So, the next step is to either to spend less or earn more. If you can find a way to do both, you can become debt free even more quickly.

Remember, no one said it would be fast or easy. Begin by making a budget. There are numerous programs and apps available to help you. Look for any unnecessary expenses that can be cut in order to allow you to allocate those funds toward debt repayment. Remember, just making the minimum payment each month can keep you in debt the rest of your life.

Methods to Pay Your Credit Cards

Maybe you will have to continue wearing last year’s wardrobe. Maybe you’ll have to brew your morning java at home brown, maybe you will need to brown bag it for lunch. Perhaps your kids can also switch to brown bag lunches. Keep in mind, cell phones, cable TV and Internet are also expendable luxuries, not necessities.

What if your budget is already cut back to the bare bones? Then you will need to find a way to earn more money. If getting a second job isn’t an option, be creative. There are probably people in your neighborhood who would pay you to watch their children when they go out for date night. There are also people who will pay you to do their shopping or walk their dog. In addition, there are online jobs that allow flexible hours. Just remember, every extra dollar needs to go toward paying down credit card debt.

Free Consultations With Our Phoenix Bankruptcy Lawyers | My AZ Lawyers

There are two ways on paying down credit card debt. One is to choose the card with the smallest balance to apply every extra penny to until it is paid off. When that happens, allow yourself a small celebration and then move on to using the money that used to pay that credit card to pay off the one with the next smallest balance. This is known as the snowball method.

Some people prefer to begin with the credit card that has the highest interest rate. If it is significantly higher than your others that may be the way to go. The problem many people run into is that if it’s a large sum of money you are trying to pay off, it’s easy to lose momentum when it takes so long to get there. That’s why many experts advise using the snowball method.
Unfortunately, for many Phoenix, Arizona residents these steps just aren’t feasible. Perhaps you have lost your job, or even your ability to work. You may have incurred catastrophic medical expenses. If you feel there is no way out for you, contact the law offices of My AZ Lawyers for a free consultation.

Be Debt Free

The experienced bankruptcy lawyers at My AZ Lawyers can advise you on the best course of action for your specific circumstances. Our Phoenix Bankruptcy Lawyers can guide you through the process and advise you on whether it would be best to file for bankruptcy under Chapter 7 or to simply reorganize your debts in a chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Contact our Phoenix Bankruptcy Lawyers, we can help you obtain debt relief and quickly put a stop to those threatening phone calls. It’s a good feeling to start over with a fresh slate and begin rebuilding your credit score.

Published By:
My AZ Lawyers

Mesa Location:
1731 West Baseline Rd., Suite #100
Mesa, AZ 85202
Office: (480) 448-9800

Glendale Location:
20325 N 51st Avenue Suite #134, Building 5
Glendale, AZ 85308
Office: (602) 509-0955

Tucson Location:
2 East Congress St., Suite #900-6A
Tucson, AZ 85701
Office: (520) 441-1450

Avondale Location:
12725 W. Indian School Rd., Ste E, #101
Avondale, AZ 85392
Office: (623) 499-4222

THINKING ABOUT FILING FOR BANKRUPTCY? HERE ARE 5 THINGS NOT TO DO!

Bankruptcy is the legal process that happens when a person, or organization, doesn’t have the money to clear all their debts. People that file for bankruptcy do it when they are in a demanding financial condition that can be caused by high debts like medical bills, a divorce or even loss of a job or incarceration. Imagine your bills stacking up and not having enough cash to clear all of them, besides being in an awful situation, you would have to seek a bankruptcy lawyer in Phoenix to get more information about whether bankruptcy is a good option for helping to regain your financial footing.

thinking about filing for bankruptcy here are 5 things not to do

A bankruptcy lawyer will help you through the process and provide advice to save the assets you want to keep and to release the debts you don’t in a Phoenix Chapter 7 filing or even organize them in a way to end up with the most benefits with a Phoenix Chapter 13 filing. In Arizona, My AZ Lawyers has the training and experience required to advise you in everything you need for your specific situation. Each member of our team has the necessary knowledge to help you achieve debt relief. There are a few things you have to avoid doing in order to have a smooth bankruptcy filing.

STOP USING YOUR CREDIT CARDS IMMEDIATELY

The first thing you have to do after you file for bankruptcy is to never use your credit card for any reason. If you want to buy clothes, do some shopping, get electronics, things you want for yourself, basically anything, your only option is to use a debit card with money you already have. Otherwise, just the cash you have at hand. Having a credit card is like having the option to take a direct loan to the bank so using it will lead to direct damage at your bankruptcy case.

If you want to receive money, it should only come from sources of income like your job or freelance work. You should never deposit any check or amount of money that belongs to anybody, even accept them from friends and family that wants to help you. This will harm your case and your bankruptcy lawyer won’t be able to further assist you.

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DON’T TRANSFER ANY MONEY OR PROPERTY THAT HAS YOUR NAME

General public frequently thinks that by transferring houses, vehicles, or money to other people, will save those assets from bankruptcy procedures, which is wrong. Even more, if you manage to do an asset transference to another person, it will be considered as fraudulent in court, so you have to be really careful with anything you do.

NEVER PAY ANY DEBT WHILE FILING FOR BANKRUPTCY

If you ever think that clearing at least one of your debts is going to help you in your bankruptcy case, it won’t do any good and your bankruptcy lawyer will also advise you not to do it because it will lead to a preferential transfer. For more information, you can give us a call to bring you a complete information about what this means.

what not to do when filing for bankruptcyYOU SHOULD STOP FILING LAWSUITS

As soon as you file for bankruptcy, every possession in your name, including payments awarded by lawsuits, will be transferred to the court that works on your bankruptcy case. In other words, you will not receive any settlement that has not been worked out. However, there are few exemptions that may let you have a percentage of the settlement’s amount. In some states, they can award you the total amount, but other states just give you a fraction of it, and finally some states will not have any kind of exemptions.

DON’T ACCEPT ANY FUTURE PAYMENT OF ANY KIND

Current funds in your possession, and all of the payments that you are waiting to receive in the future, will be part of your bankruptcy estate. Future payments includes tax refunds and also inheritances. Since you won’t have control of receiving this payments, be conscious that it will go straight to the court until your creditors are contented.

For more information about filing for bankruptcy, My AZ Lawyers in Arizona will help you whenever you need help. Don’t hesitate to give us a call if you have any doubt, our bankruptcy lawyers are more than happy to answer all the questions you have. We guarantee the best service at the most affordable prices.

Published By:
My AZ Lawyers

Mesa Location:
1731 West Baseline Rd., Suite #100
Mesa, AZ 85202
Office: (480) 448-9800

Glendale Location:
20325 N 51st Avenue Suite #134, Building 5
Glendale, AZ 85308
Office: (602) 509-0955

Tucson Location:
2 East Congress St., Suite #900-6A
Tucson, AZ 85701
Office: (520) 441-1450

Avondale Location:
12725 W. Indian School Rd., Ste E, #101
Avondale, AZ 85392
Office: (623) 499-4222

Is Another Bankruptcy Filing Increase Coming?

is another bankruptcy filing increase coming

The 2005 change in the bankruptcy laws was supposed to slow down the rate at which people file for bankruptcy. It may have temporarily worked. BK filings climbed to all time highs in 2010 before starting to again decline. The 2005 change in the bankruptcy laws was supposed to slow down the rate at which people file for bankruptcy. It may have temporarily worked. BK filings climbed to all time highs in 2010 before starting to again decline.

Did we really think that simply changing the laws in 2005 would make all the bankruptcies go away? It didn’t, it made things a little better for a short period of time, however, the housing crisis in 2008-2010 drove numbers to all time highs.

There was an increase in filings just prior to the law changes in 2005 and things stayed pretty consistent until 2008 when the housing market crashed and the number of bankruptcy filings escalated. They continued on an upward path until 2010 and then started to slightly decrease every year.

When a person files for chapter 7 bankruptcy protection they are able again to file 8 years after their case is discharged. With so many filings in 2008 and 2009, there will be a lot of people eligible to file again in 2016 and 2017. This crop of freshly eligible
bankruptcy filers may mean that bankruptcy filing rates again could spike.

chapter 7 bankruptcy increaseFrom 2005- 2010 all states showed an increase in bankruptcy filings. Some experts believe some of the increase is due to a natural recovery as consumers and Phoenix Bankruptcy attorneys become accustomed to a recent overhaul of bankruptcy laws, the numbers indicate clear correlations to recession-weary regions. Arizona saw the fastest increase, a jump of 77% from the year before, followed by Wyoming (60%), Nevada (59%) and California (58%). While every state saw a rise in bankruptcies , Alaska (up only 12%), Nebraska (12%) and North Dakota (14%) performed best.

These hard hit states may be the first ones to see a second wave of filings. A second wave may be coming on the heels of all of the 2008 and 2009 filers becoming eligible to file for chapter 7 bankruptcy protection again. Only time will tell.

Published By:
My AZ Lawyers

Mesa Location:
1731 West Baseline Rd., Suite #100
Mesa, AZ 85202
Office: (480) 448-9800

Glendale Location:
20325 N 51st Avenue Suite #134, Building 5
Glendale, AZ 85308
Office: (602) 509-0955

Tucson Location:
2 East Congress St., Suite #900-6A
Tucson, AZ 85701
Office: (520) 441-1450

Avondale Location:
12725 W. Indian School Rd., Ste E, #101
Avondale, AZ 85392
Office: (623) 499-4222

Ways to Negotiate Down your Credit Card Debt

negotiate down credit card debt

Filing for bankruptcy in Phoenix is not something to take lightly. If you need to file for bankruptcy because of your credit card debt, finding a bankruptcy lawyer is the best way to go. Credit cards can be really helpful at times. But if you’re not careful, they could get you into serious trouble. You may think that you will be able to afford the payments you have racked up, but those unnecessary purchases can really come back to haunt you. Here are a few tips to negotiating down your credit card debt so that you don’t have to file for bankruptcy.

The first step to take is to determine how much you can pay on your credit card bill if you negotiate your payments. You should be realistic. Don’t go too low, or the card holders could laugh you out of the building. If you give them a realistic amount and compromise with the monthly payment, then you may just be able to reduce your debt depending on the circumstance. Being realistic is about the only way you will make it out with a lower payment or lower amount of debt. The goal is to ultimately lower the total amount that you have to pay.

When you call your credit holder, you need to ask to speak with the collections department. They are the ones who deal with matters like this, and they will be able to help you the most. Ask to go here first because this will save you a lot of time and energy from being transferred from person to person and getting none of your questions answered. This will keep you calm and courteous when you do reach the person you need to talk to. The last thing the both of you need is a rude and horrible interaction that fails to help either of you. The person you talk to has the power to help you, and if you’re rude and difficult to deal with, they will turn you down.

Another thing you need to do before you call is to research the options you have when you finally get someone on the line. If you’re drowning in debt, it will be a good thing to ask for a lower interest rate. In addition to this, you may want to ask for them to drop the late fees as well. Being in debt is difficult, especially if you don’t have the funds to make the payments. If they don’t want to drop the interest rate altogether, you could still ask for a lower one to make the amount you have to pay less. Interest can really add up in the long run, so arguing for a lower one could help you a lot. You could also offer a lump sum payment in exchange for the company to reduce the amount of principal that is due.

debit card debtAlso, you always want to keep in mind that the credit card holder wants to make money. That’s what they are in the business for. With interest, hidden fees, and other penalties, they make tons of money off other people, and they will try to do the same with you. If they don’t make money, the next thing they will try to do is not take a loss. They will do this at your expense, no matter how badly you are drowning in debt. Defaulting customers cost the creditors money, so they may compromise with you and get a portion of what’s owed to them instead of paying the collections agencies, implementing legal action, of having the debt discharged altogether when you file for bankruptcy. In addition to hurting you, it will also hurt the credit card holders. If you negotiate with the person you have called well enough, then you could reduce your debt a considerable amount and save yourself from horrible headaches in the future.

If you are in need of an Arizona Bankruptcy Lawyer, come to Phoenix Bankruptcy Lawyers, where we can help you determine what the best course of action is for you and your finances. We can help guide you in the right direction and help you make the best decisions possible for your finances. For more information about Arizona Bankruptcy attorneys, contact us today and we can help you get back on the right track!

Published By:
My AZ Lawyers

Mesa Location:
1731 West Baseline Rd., Suite #100
Mesa, AZ 85202
Office: (480) 448-9800

Glendale Location:
20325 N 51st Avenue Suite #134, Building 5
Glendale, AZ 85308
Office: (602) 509-0955

Tucson Location:
2 East Congress St., Suite #900-6A
Tucson, AZ 85701
Office: (520) 441-1450

Avondale Location:
12725 W. Indian School Rd., Ste E, #101
Avondale, AZ 85392
Office: (623) 499-4222

Guide To Student Loan Repayment Plans

The average student debt in our country is growing. Graduates in the class of 2014 had an average loan amount of just over $28,000, and they paid an average interest rate of 6 percent. The majority of college students borrow at least some amount of money to get through their education, and their debt rises if they attend a private or elite university.

Graduate students can borrow even more. The average doctor graduates with nearly $167,000 in debt, and the average lawyer graduates with at least $100,000 in debt (with the number getting closer to $200,000 for students attending the top schools).

Some people find that they are not able to keep up with their student loan payments after they graduate because their new salary is not proportional to their debt. They may have paid hundreds of thousands for a law or medical degree, but they may make a low five-figure salary right after graduation.

student loan repayment

Some struggle to pay back their student loans, and they may either put off paying other bills to have the money for the student loan or just decide to stop paying the loan altogether. Here are a few things that will increase the chance that students will actually repay their loans, according to data from the National Bureau of Economic Research:

Increased Parental Income

Most parents contribute to their children’s education if they have the resources to do so. The higher their income, the more likely they are to contribute and the less students will have to borrow to fund their education themselves. The NBER data found that for every $10,000 increase in a parent’s salary, students took out about $250 in loans. That’s not a lot, but it can add up, especially when you factor in interest.

Level of Education

Students who only get a two-year education are more likely to default on their student loans than those who attend a four-year institution, according to the NBER data. Also, students who attended for-profit colleges such as online programs were more likely to default than those who attended traditional programs.

Parent education also seemed to have an impact. Students with mothers who did not go to college were found to borrow more (only about $1,500) and to still owe more after 10 years of payments. The reason for owing more was not specified, but it could have to do with taking job opportunities that pay less or not being as financially fit due to poor education on the topic.

Amount Borrowed

It may come as no surprise that the more a student borrows, the less likely that person is to repay the loan. However, it may be surprising how even small increments can have a big impact. The NBER data showed that just a $1,000 increase in the overall debt amount led to a 0.4 percent increase that the student would not pay. Every $10,000 increase in a graduate’s salary reduced that risk. Therefore, if borrowers wanted to minimize their risk of default, they could analyze a student’s expected salary based on major or stated career goals and compare it to the loan amount.

Other Findings

Though it could not name a reason for the finding, the NBER also reported that 10 years after graduating college, black borrowers still owed 51 percent of their loan, while Hispanics owed 22 percent, Asians owed 24 percent, and whites owed 16 percent. Systemic discrimination in hiring practices could be at the root of this issue since blacks may be making less in those 10 years. However, salary information was not provided, and researchers did not look further into the issue.

Understanding these and other issues surrounding student loan debt can help educational institutions and lenders create policies that are better for graduates who have to back that debt and the lenders who want to get it back. Making changes will also help the educational institutions increase enrollment if students know that they aren’t going to be overwhelmed by debt when they graduate.

student loan bankruptcyIf you have already graduated with a mountain of student loan debt, there’s not much you can do about it now. Student debt cannot typically be discharged in a bankruptcy or included under a debt resettlement plan, but declaring bankruptcy and discharging your other debts can free up the money you need to pay your student loan on time and to save yourself penalties and excess interest.

Phoenix Bankruptcy Attorney can help you explore your options in Arizona. An experienced bankruptcy lawyer from our team will look at your financial situation and talk with you about your goals to make tailored recommendations for debt relief. You may be able to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy and discharge all your unsecured debts, such as credit card debts, or you may be able to file Chapter 13 bankruptcy to get a debt repayment plan. Call our firm today to talk with a Phoenix bankruptcy lawyer and learn more about how to proceed in Arizona.

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My AZ Lawyers

Mesa Location:
1731 West Baseline Rd., Suite #100
Mesa, AZ 85202
Office: (480) 448-9800

Glendale Location:
20325 N 51st Avenue Suite #134, Building 5
Glendale, AZ 85308
Office: (602) 509-0955

Tucson Location:
2 East Congress St., Suite #900-6A
Tucson, AZ 85701
Office: (520) 441-1450

Avondale Location:
12725 W. Indian School Rd., Ste E, #101
Avondale, AZ 85392
Office: (623) 499-4222

Ted Yoder – Ex-CEO of Monarch Mortgage Arrested For Bankruptcy Fraud

ted yodar bankruptcy fraud

On June 9th, 2016 the ex-CEO and president of Monarch Mortgage was indicted on charges that claim he hid over one million dollars in assets when he filed for bankruptcy in 2011 and 2012. After his arrest, Yoder was released on a five thousand dollar bond. His arraignment is scheduled for June 22nd.

In order to understand the story of Ted Yoder, it helps to know some key legal definitions.

What exactly is bankruptcy?

Filing for bankruptcy involves meeting with a lawyer, who compiles the debt you plan to file. If the debt is considered payable with your income, a lawyer will typically advise not filing for bankruptcy. If it is determined that you cannot pay the debt, the case goes to court and is approved. Once approved, essentially all of your debt is eliminated and you owe nothing. However, filing bankruptcy isn’t just a magical way to not owe any money. A bankruptcy will stay on your credit for about ten years and affect your ability to get loans, credit card, a home, a car, and virtually anything else that you need credit for.

Chapter 11 bankruptcy is a way to restructure debt in a company or for an individual while under the supervision of a court. Chapter 7 bankruptcy involved the liquidation of assets. Yoder filed for both chapters in 2011 and 2012.

What exactly is bankruptcy fraud?

Bankruptcy fraud is an inherently white-collar crime. There are four different types of bankruptcy fraud. The first type of bankruptcy fraud is the intentional concealing of assets to avoid having those assets taken. This is the most common type of bankruptcy fraud and accounts for nearly seventy percent of all bankruptcy fraud cases. The second type of bankruptcy fraud is intentionally filing false forms or incomplete forms. The third type of bankruptcy fraud is when debtors file multiple times with false information or by filing in various states or provinces. The final type of bankruptcy is the act of bribing a court-appointed trustee.

Bankruptcy fraud is typically done in an attempt to keep assets safe from forfeiture, or to effectively end any debts owed while maintaining wealth. Bankruptcy fraud is often committed by businessmen and executives, or by inherently wealthy people.

The details of Yoder’s shifty business

Authorities believe that Yoder has a partnership with someone from Virginia Beach to conceal around three hundred and forty thousand dollars from creditor. Yoder also continued to hide more of his assets on his own. The sought judgement is expected to be around $1,059,000.

Yoder filed for bankruptcy in 2011 after being met with several lawsuits from Bank of Hampton Road. The bank’s representatives claimed that they wanted some substantial loans paid back from a development partnership that Yoder approved.

When filing for bankruptcy, Yoder claimed he had nearly three million dollars in assets and four million dollars in liabilities. When that filing was dismissed, Yoder attempted to fill, this time for Chapter 7 bankruptcy instead of Chapter 11, in late 2012.

After working for Monarch, Yoder is accused of selling around 132,000 shares of stock for Sirius between the two bankruptcy filings, as well as wiring the profit of the sale to a friend. Yoder is accused of concealing that transaction or other assets that came into his possession after the first bankruptcy filing, which include federal and state tax refunds.

Upon his release, Yoder was ordered to surrender his passport and remove firearms from his home. Yoder was also ordered to stay in the state of Virginia and abstain from alcohol and drugs under the supervision of a parole officer.

The person that Yoder conspired with to hide his assets was named as Susan Gorby, who plead guilty to bankruptcy fraud and is awaiting sentencing.

The CEO of Monarch Bank and Financial Holdings, Inc., Brad Schwartz, had this to say: “Although Ted Yoder was the President and CEO of Monarch Mortgage from 2007-2011, he has not worked with the company since then. We have no further comment on the charges filed against him today, which are unrelated to his service with Monarch.”

Bankruptcy fraud is a popular crime.

Yoder isn’t the only hot shot that got caught committing bankruptcy fraud recently. Kent Lindemuth, a real estate developer from Topeka, Kansas, was arrested for one hundred and three counts of bankruptcy fraud earlier this year. Lindemuth filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in late November 2012 and claimed that his debt accumulated to nearly four million dollars. Lindmuth is accused of purchasing nearly a hundred firearms worth approximately eighty thousand dollars less than a year after he filed for bankruptcy. Lindmuth concealed these assets from creditors.

The punishment for bankruptcy fraud is very severe, as bankruptcy fraud and fraud of any kind are considered very serious offenses. The maximum penalty for a count of bankruptcy fraud is $250,000 and five years in a federal penitentiary.

While bankruptcy fraud is a crime favorite of the super wealthy, bankruptcy fraud can be committed completely by accident. Fraudulent errors can be avoided by doing any and all bankruptcy paperwork correctly. The best decision someone considering bankruptcy fraud could make is to consult with a Phoenix bankruptcy lawyer for advice on how to make sure you do not make very costly mistakes or omissions.bankruptcy fraud

I need to file for bankruptcy, where should I look for a bankruptcy lawyer?

Look no further than Phoenix Bankruptcy Lawyers. This lawfirm, featuring talented and experienced bankruptcy lawyers, will walk you through the process of bankruptcy and evaluate your debt. You should always try to find the best lawyer for any legal situation, especially bankruptcy. Bankruptcy fraud is an easy thing to do by accident and a good lawyer can help you to avoid makinging a mistake. A bankruptcy lawyer from Phoenix Bankruptcy Lawyers will provide you with quality legal service gained from experience and niche expertise in the area of bankruptcy financial law. Contact us today for more information!

Published By:
My AZ Lawyers

Mesa Location:
1731 West Baseline Rd., Suite #100
Mesa, AZ 85202
Office: (480) 448-9800

Glendale Location:
20325 N 51st Avenue Suite #134, Building 5
Glendale, AZ 85308
Office: (602) 509-0955

Tucson Location:
2 East Congress St., Suite #900-6A
Tucson, AZ 85701
Office: (520) 441-1450

Avondale Location:
12725 W. Indian School Rd., Ste E, #101
Avondale, AZ 85392
Office: (623) 499-4222