Bankruptcy Trigger

Carefully examine your financial targets before you pull the bankruptcy trigger.  While bankruptcy often takes care of immediate debts (and usually stops foreclosure), it has long-term consequences.  It may fix present problems, but create problems for your future in terms of your credit score.  Bankruptcy tends to limit more severely your ability to get a loan for a house, a car, or an education. Bankruptcy carries long-term consequences you need to know and understand before you file.  While it is a drastic measure, bankruptcy could be the deep beginning to financial recovery. To learn more about the basics of bankruptcy, the US Courts has a collection of short films online for free to give you general information at http://www.uscourts.gov/multimedia/videos.aspx.  Talk to your attorney about the specifics of your situation to help you decide if bankruptcy is right for you. Read More

Fine Art of Financing

Fine art investment is not usually the fast track to financial recovery.  Neither is bankruptcy. Bankruptcy seems like the easy answer:  stop the foreclosure and make the creditors go away.  It is the term on the tip of your finances.  It is a word everybody is familiar with, found a lot more in standard parlance than ‘mortgage modification,’ ‘refinance,’ or ‘short sale.’  (No one says the Big Bad Wolf was morally mortgage modified, or that Goldilocks caught the short sale on common sense, or that Snow White had a refinanced feel for stranger danger.)  However, bankruptcy tends to be a broad stroke, affecting quite a bit of canvas both now and in your future.  You may be better off with a finer brush. Sometimes it is difficult to see the big picture…especially when you do not know all the pixels.  Chapter 7 is the most read chapter in the book of bankruptcy (it is a liquidation where your stuff goes to a trustee who represents the creditors); however, there are other ways of dealing with debt that are non-fattening and sugar-free and may be more beneficial to you, depending on your circumstances. Bankruptcy is like fine art investing:  you really […] Read More

Legal Lecture October 4 – ‘Spouse in a Nursing Home – Do You Have to Go Broke?’

If you missed this free lecture in Ponte Vedra, come to it October 4th at River House in St. Augustine. As part of their fall speaker series, St. Johns County Legal Aid has their next free lecture October 4 at River House in St. Augustine at 10:45 a.m.  The topic is “Spouse in a Nursing Home – Do You Have to Go Broke?”   The remainder of the speaker series schedule is as follows: River House – Times 10:45 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. November 8 – “How to Avoid the Need for Guardianship” December 6 – “How to Handle Your Kids on Legal Issues”   Players Community Senior Center – Call for Times (904) 280-3233 October 24 – “Should You Ever Put Someone Else’s Name on Your Deed?”   This speaker series is part of the outreach of St. Johns Legal Aid, a non-profit agency whose directive is to provide “A wealth of justice for those who have neither.”  Megan Wall is the managing attorney, and she is available to meet individually with elders at her office (222 San Marco Avenue in St. Augustine) or at River House.  You may schedule an individual appointment through her office at (904) 827-9921 […] Read More

Reverse Mortgage & Longevity

The due date on a Reverse Mortgage is when you turn 150.  If you live too long, they send somebody by with a pillow, except they forgot with supercentenarian Jeanne Calment. Jeanne Calment was born in 1875 and died in 1997 at 122 years old.  She smoked for over a hundred years, and outlived her attorney who signed a deal to buy her apartment by paying her a monthly sum until her death.  Calment was 90 at the time and her attorney 47.  When he passed away thirty years later, his wife had to carry on making the payments, which amounted to more than double the apartment’s value. A Reverse Mortgage is not for everybody.  There are disadvantages that you and your family need to be aware of; however, there can be benefits too.  A Reverse Mortgage may help you to be better able to afford medicine, food, and basic expenses—depending on your situation, a Reverse Mortgage may help you live longer and more comfortably.  Seek competent financial counseling when considering a Reverse Mortgage.   Read More