What does a Charge off mean on a credit Report?
Clients have come in with their credit report in hand wondering why they are receiving collection letters from a collection agency or a law firm requesting payment for a debt that has been charged-off on their credit report. “How can they charge me for a debt that has been charged-off?” “I thought a charge-off meant I was no longer responsible to pay this bill!” It is even worse when a client comes in with a summons and complaint for a debt they believed they were no longer obligated to pay because it was showing as “Charged-off” on their credit report.
What does a charge off mean on a credit report? It is an internal accounting method used by the creditor to indicate a change in the status of the obligation on their ledger. It does not waive the obligation to pay. Often the debts, if assignable, are sold for less than what is owed. The third party assignee will then continue to collect or file an action to collect the debt.
Misinformation can lead to problems down the road. Get the facts. If you do not know what something means do not rely on what you may have heard somewhere, ask a professional or conduct your own research. I am a lawyer in Port St. Lucie, Stuart, and Jupiter FL. I have had cases throughout south Florida dealing with a wide array of financial issues for businesses and individuals. If you find yourself in a precarious financial position and need help, please give me a call.
Can I discharge Child Support in Bankruptcy?
The Bankruptcy Code exempts domestic support obligations from discharge. What that means is child support cannot be discharged in Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. I have had clients come into my office and talk about how they were unfairly treated by the mediator, the Judge, their attorney, or their circumstances have changed and they should not be obligated to pay for back child support. Bankruptcy Court is not the forum to handle this type of dispute. Issues with domestic support obligations are handled in state court.
If you are confronted with an issue about the amount of support you owe or your ability to pay, address this issue immediately. Contact my office and I will see what can be done to address the issue. Often clients wait, ignore, or even hide from these obligations. This does not make the problem go away, it only makes it worse.
Rationalizing the situation does not address it either. There are many rationalizations out there and none of them are valid:
1. He/she is living with someone else and they have plenty of money to take care of the family. Why should I have to pay?
2. I have not been allowed to visit my child and, therefore, I should not be obligated to pay. Child support and visitation are not a quid pro quo.
3. I purchase something else for Christmas in lieu of paying child support.
4. My ex has brainwashed my child against me and, therefore, I am no longer responsible.
5. Although the mediated settlement agreement says I have to pay until X or when Y occurs, my child just turned 18 and those obligation shouldn’t apply.
6. The kids spend more time with me than with my ex, therefore, I do not need to pay.
The list is endless. The problem is if it is not backed up in writing and ordered by the Court, it will not remove or retroactively reduce your child support obligation, unless you first consult with a Lawyer.
The above rationalizations matter not to the Bankruptcy Code. Address these situations when they arise before they become too great.
When you come into my office, let me know what is going on. It is so important to get a full financial picture to be able to properly assess your situation. If you are looking for bankruptcy lawyer in Stuart, Port St. Lucie or Jupiter FL, please give my office a call. I can help you get through these difficulties. You may not believe it, but life can get back on track.
What does indemnification mean?
Law Firm serving Stuart, Port St. Lucie and Jupiter FL
Indemnification is not a term to be taken lightly in a contract. When one party indemnifies another, they are agreeing to compensate or guaranteeing against the loss of another party. In layman’s terms, the person indemnifying is agreeing to pay for or cover the losses of the party they are indemnifying. Indemnification is a method of shifting the risk associated with a contractual relationship. It is very important to understand the context of how the term is used in a contract to fully evaluate the potential exposure when entering the agreement.
Know what you are agreeing to before you agree to it. Indemnification is not just a big legal word. It carries huge potential implications. If you are negotiating a contract or are co-signing an agreement as a guarantor, or entering a lease, or any other agreement, it would behoove you to contact a lawyer to review it before you sign. After you have signed it, it is too late. You have already agreed to the terms.
If you need lawyer to review or help negotiate a contract in Stuart, Port St. Lucie or Jupiter FL, please give my office a call.
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What is a 1099-C?
As tax time rolls around, clients begin to call asking about receiving a 1099-C for debts settled in the previous tax year. The 1099-C is for Cancellation of Debt Income for the previous tax year. This can be issued for several reasons. What usually happens for my clients is we have negotiated a settlement for less than what was owed on a debt for the previous tax year. The 1099-C is generated by the creditor indicating the difference between the debt owed and the settlement amount.
A quick example would be as follows: Client has a credit card debt of $10,000.00. We negotiate a settlement in the amount of $3,000.00. Client receives a 1099-C from the creditor in the amount of $7,000.00. Whether or not this is subject to taxation is an issue you should discuss with your accountant.
It is important to understand as the debtor that debts settle for over $600.00 or more may generate 1099-C, which could increase your tax liability. The liability will be less than the original debt owed. However, often, it is forgotten until the 1099-C is received the following January.
If you have any questions regarding Bankruptcy, Debt Settlement, or need a Lawyer for a civil litigation matter and live in Stuart, Port St. Lucie or Jupiter, please give me a call. Thank you so much for visiting my website. The video below briefly discusses what a 1099-C is and how to address it. If you feel you have received a 1099-C improperly, do not ignore it, contact your accountant.
CONTRACT LAWYER STUART FL
JOINT AND SEVERAL LIABILITY
What is joint and several liability mean and what happens if I have signed a contract subject to joint and several liability? Joint and several liability mean any and all of the parties subject to the clause are liable for the for the amount due under the contractual agreement. It does not mean that each party subject to the agreement is responsible for their share of the obligation. The entire liability can be collected from one or more of the parties.
This is a very important clause to fully understand when signing any agreement. To misunderstand the extent of liability. could be a very expensive mistake.
As a contract lawyer in Stuart, Port St. Lucie and Jupiter FL, I have had many clients misinterpret this term or other terms in a contract. Knowing the liability associated with the agreement is critical to a successful endeavor. If you need a contract lawyer in Stuart, Port St. Lucie or Jupiter FL, please give me a call.
I have loaded a video below which touches on the issue of joint and several liability for contracts. Thank you for reviewing my website, if you have any legal questions, please don’t hesitate to call.