Friday, June 13, 2008

More Mistakes to Avoid Prior to Filing Chapter 7

It recent guest blog article, attorney Jed Berliner gave us a list of 7 mistakes too avoid prior to filing for bankruptcy. My colleagues at the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys have compiled the following list of mistakes prior filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy:

  1. Don't leave out Bank, Checking, Savings, Brokerage, Credit Union accounts.
  2. Don't file if your income is substantially greater than your expenses.
  3. Don’t use your credit cards.
  4. Don’t take Credit Card Cash Advances.
  5. Don’t use convenience checks.
  6. Don’t do balance transfers.
  7. Don’t pay money to Family.
  8. Don’t pay money to Friends.
  9. Don’t tell a creditor that you intend to pay.
  10. Don’t leave assets off of your paperwork.
  11. Don’t file if you are about to receive a tax return or inheritance. Discuss the timing with your attorney.
  12. Don’t fail to tell your attorney about your small business, sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, LLP, LC, corporation, or hobby.
  13. Don’t purchase a home shortly before filing bankruptcy without consulting your attorney.
  14. Don’t give or gift property to anyone.
  15. Don’t pay more than $600 on any past due bill.
  16. Don’t transfer property to anyone.
  17. Don’t cash out retirement plans or 401k’s.
  18. Don’t take out a second mortgage.
  19. Don’t gamble.
  20. Don’t hide assets or debts.
  21. Don’t take out “payday loans”.
  22. Don’t put your money in your kids’ bank accounts.
  23. Don’t omit or ‘save’ a credit card for after your bankruptcy.
  24. Don’t fail to list debt to family or other “insiders.”
  25. Don't write bad checks.
  26. Don't borrow money.
  27. Don’t forget to tell your attorney about liens you may have on your home or unpaid judgments so they can be avoided.
  28. Don’t make major financial decisions without talking to your attorney.
  29. Don't get married before filing if your spouse has a high income.
  30. Don’t misrepresent facts to your attorney.
  31. Don’t run up your credit cards in advance of filing bankruptcy.
  32. Don’t fail to appear at State court hearings, trial or proceedings; coordinate with your attorney.
  33. Don’t hide from your attorney. Keep them up-to date with your address, phone number and email address.
Bankruptcy is a complex and confusing area of the law. You need legal advice you can count on to guide you through the process. We are experienced in helping you through your financial difficulties. If you have any questions, please call us at (619) 448-2129.

We are a bankruptcy and debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Business Tip: Avoid Advertising With Yellowbook

As many business owners know, Yellowbook is a very aggressive marketer of Internet and Yellow Pages advertising. My recent experience with Yellowbook has shown that it is an unethical company with sloppy business practices and dishonest employees.

After a very unsuccessful stint with Yellowbook, I notified them of my desire to cancel the advertising contract for future publications. Verbal notification was not enough for them, so I faxed in a notice of cancellation and also hand delivered a written notice to my sales representative on a form prepared by a Yellowbook employee. When I called to dispute the balance on my account, I have been given various excuses that included (1) wrong method of cancellation (false); (2) no record of cancellation (false); (3) the employee who took the cancellation no longer works there (false); and (4) I didn't cancel in time (unverified).

I have repeatedly asked for a copy of my contract and proof that my advertisement was included in the 2008 edition of Yellowbook. Despite numerous promises to do this, I have not been provided with either item.

Avoid advertising with Yellowbook at all costs or you will be severely disappointed. In my case, the revenue generated did not even cover the cost of the advertisement.

About the Author: Carl H. Starrett II has been a licensed attorney since 1993 and is a member in good standing with the California State Bar and the San Diego County Bar Association. Mr. Starrett practices in the areas of bankruptcy, business litigation, construction, corporate planning and debt collection.