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Showing posts from April, 2014

Divorce Litigation

Why most divorces should be settled through mediation:
                As a divorce attorney, it is counterintuitive for me to advise my clients to avoid litigation. Litigation is what I went to law school for, why I participated in moot court and why I can recite the Federal Rules of Evidence in my sleep. I love to argue! Litigation however is rarely in the best interest of my clients, and since the Rules of Professional Conduct dictate that I must act in my client’s best interests, I feel compelled to tell them the truth.  Litigation will leave them in worse state then they started out in.                 I am not the only one that feels this way about litigation. In fact, there is a reason why the New Jersey Courts make the trial the final step in any divorce proceeding. Judges do not want to decide cases, and encourage litigants to find their own path to a resolution. It is arguable that court’s are motivated by the fact that they are overcrowded and understaffed, but whatever …

Debt Settlement

As a law firm we see a lot of people who have debt issues.  One of the questions we are always ask is about other options besides bankruptcy.    In cases when a person has been suit for a debt that they owe, we offer the option to settle it (assuming they owe the debt and they are no defenses).  I can only speak for what I see in my jurisdiction which is New Jersey and a lot of the people who have these debt lawsuits are often suit by debt buyers. A debt buyer is a business that buys bad debts on pennies on the dollar and files a lawsuit against the debtor to collect on them. It is always an option to try to offer them a settlement and reduce the debt.  You can always offer a payment plan.

When making an offer consider your personal financial situation. I always tell my clients not to set themselves up for failure and offer something they can afford.  These companies are very happy to cooperate.  Collection is art. It is great to get a judgment but the collection process is tedious. T…

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Chapter 7 Liquidation: In a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy also known as liquidation, most of the debtor’s dischargeable debts are forgiven and the debtor is allowed a fresh start. The debtor is allowed to keep certain exempt property depending on the state they live in. The value of property that can be claimed as exempt varies from state to state. Assets that are not protected under an exemption are sold by the interim trustee to repay creditors. Many types of unsecured debt are legally discharged by the bankruptcy proceeding, however there are various types of debt that are not discharged in a Chapter 7. Some exceptions to discharge include child support, income taxes less than 3 years old and property taxes.   When a person decides to file for bankruptcy the advisable first step is to see an attorney.   Among the requirements for qualification is whether the person falls within the means test.  The attorney will require for the debtor to bring pay stubs and provide a list of their expenses.…