The Federal Trade Commission FTC) announced in an October 2023 consumer alert, that Americans now have free weekly access to their credit reports, from all three major credit bureaus.
In the 1990’s, Congress first allowed for a free annual credit bureau check.  During the trying times of the Covid-19 pandemic, several major credit bureaus changed their policies to allow for free weekly checks and access to your full credit bureau report.
When people talk about your credit, they
Continue Reading Be Proactive in Protecting Your Credit & Personal Information

In March of this year, the three major nationwide credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) announced there would be substantial changes to medical collection debt reporting coming this summer in an effort to help consumers faced with unexpected medical bills.  The changes will remove nearly 70% of medical collection debt tradelines from consumer credit reports.
The decision was based on months of industry research which showed that around two-thirds of medical debts are the result of one-time or
Continue Reading Significant Changes to Medical Collection Debt Reporting: How Might it Affect Business?

You’ve just received your borrower’s quarterly financial statements. They are very good, but that’s not what grabs your attention. The cover letter shows the company has rebranded, with a punchy new logo and a name change to something more eco-friendly, sustainability-focused. You call up the LLC’s principal, and he is excited about the success of their new marketing campaign, which is already paying off in new business. All good, right? 

It is great your customer’s business is doing well.
Continue Reading What to Do When Your Borrower Changes Its Name

Be sure to give the 1099 Form to your bankruptcy attorney. The tax authorities will cross-reference the information on the 1099s with your tax returns.

It’s important that you address this information on your own returns. To do this, you will need to file a Form 982. Form 982 is where you will put the information regarding the debt forgiveness reported by the creditor. You do not want to be taxed on that amount, so you need to explain
Continue Reading Tax time: Tips regarding forms 1099, 982, and bankruptcy

Welcome back to the world of Secured Transactions and IP! A quick refresher from last week (link last week’s post?): lenders engage in “secured transactions” with a borrower who has put up collateral against that loan which has become enforceable. The lender can possess and sell that collateral if the borrower defaults should that lender have the highest priority on the collateral. The question we left off with last week was how to properly establish that highest priority, primarily
Continue Reading How to Protect a Trademark as Collateral on a Loan (Part 2)

As the month associated with cupids, hearts, and love wraps up, some thoughts on the importance that keeping your finances in check can have on relationships… While many people refuse to admit that money can have an effect on relationships, the truth is that money matters!

Few people think about how bankruptcy and financial relief tie into all this, but fixing financial problems can keep a couple together.

Multiple studies have shown divorce filings rise as much as 40%
Continue Reading Some thoughts on finances and relationships as the month associated with love wraps up

Here’s what you need to know about reaffirmed debts and bankruptcy:

If you reaffirm one or more debts in your bankruptcy case, those obligations remain binding and enforceable according to the terms of the reaffirmation agreement. Your failure to comply with the agreement could lead to actions being taken by the creditor.

Most reaffirmed debts are secured by either a home or a vehicle. People are willing to remain obligated on these sorts of debts because they want or
Continue Reading Dealing with Reaffirmed Debts

Taxes are among the worst debts to have.  By filing your returns timely, you can avoid having these debts.
Tax debts grow at a very fast rate.  In addition to the interest, there are penalties.
From IRS form 746: “We may charge penalties if you do not make required deposits on time, make deposits for less than the required amount or if you do not use EFTPS when required. We will not charge penalties if you did not
Continue Reading How Can Filing My Tax Returns Help Me After Bankruptcy?

It’s tax season, so that makes it a good time to answer this frequently asked question: SHOULD I FILE MY TAX RETURNS BEFORE OR AFTER I FILE BANKRUPTCY?

It is probably better to file tax returns before you file bankruptcy. This is likely true whether you have a refund coming or whether you owe taxes.

If you are entitled to a refund, you will probably want to receive it and use those refund monies before you file. This is
Continue Reading Should I File Tax Returns Before or After I File Bankruptcy?

There are a number of signs that you should be reviewing your financial situation and considering bankruptcy. They include the following:

  • Your wages or bank accounts are being garnished.
  • Your hard-earned labor is being taken away from you by force. (If this is happening, you need to take immediate action.)
  • You are receiving notices from the IRS or the State Department of Revenue about unpaid taxes. (These will almost certainly be followed with action.)
  • You are being sued. (Legal


Let’s start with what debts you cannot discharge. Those would be child support and maintenance. These debts cannot be discharged in any form of bankruptcy.
No debts arising from a divorce can be discharged in a Chapter 7. So if you are planning on discharging some of the debts awarded to you in a divorce or which you were ordered to pay, you will need to proceed under Chapter 13.
While child support and maintenance cannot be discharged in
Continue Reading What Divorce Debts Can I Discharge in Bankruptcy?

Probably not.

We want our clients to be able to earn as much as possible, and part of our job is to make sure that any income they have is protected.

The amount of income debtors have can affect their case, depending on the chapter they are filing under and their income. In Chapter 7 consumer cases, income is factored into what is know as the means test. The means test compares household income to the median household income
Continue Reading If I Find Employment Prior to Filing Bankruptcy or After I File Bankruptcy, Will It Pose a Problem?

The majority of people who file Chapter 13 cases do not complete their plans and get a discharge of debt. These plans last three to five years and a lot can happen to people over that span of time.
Loss of jobs or income, whether by death, disability, or illness, can end the ability to make plan payments. A divorce can lead to additional household costs and new attorney fees. A car accident or major household repair can force
Continue Reading How Do I Deal with Problems After My Chapter 13 Case is Filed? What if I Cannot Make My Payment?

Clients are usually very concerned about what the filing of a bankruptcy will do to them in terms of publicity. For individuals, this concern is usually about having friends, neighbors, and relatives learning of their financial difficulties. But for businesses this concern can be about much more than vanity or embarrassment.
Businesses going through a reorganization have to be concerned about how the news will affect relationships with a number of key stakeholders. These interested parties include principal lenders and creditors, suppliers
Continue Reading Communication Strategy is Key

Housing is important to all of us, whether we have gone through a bankruptcy or not. People often have concerns about being able to obtain housing after a bankruptcy.

I have been practicing for over forty years and have represented thousands of people in bankruptcy cases. I have yet to have a client call me and tell me that they were homeless because of their bankruptcy filing.

Certainly there are some landlords who will view your credit history and
Continue Reading Renting a House or Apartment after Your Bankruptcy Case

Q. Is Bankruptcy Right For Me?

A. Possibly. When choosing bankruptcy, there are many sub-options. A lawyer who is familiar with practicing all forms of bankruptcy can help you make the best choice about which option you should choose.

For more on this subject and many other frequently asked questions about bankruptcy and financial problems, check out Attorney Krekeler’s new book Bankruptcy, Asked and Answered: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about Bankruptcy and Financial Problems. Need help with your
Continue Reading Frequently Asked Questions: Is Bankruptcy Right For Me?