My wife shared with me recently a chapter from the women’s bible study she is doing on Wednesday night at our church, Westwood Baptist Church in Alabaster, AL. An interesting fact noted in the book Calm My Anxious Heart by Linda Dillow, is that scripture contains more references to money than to salvation. I have read the New Testament twice and can honestly say that I did not pick up on this. Obviously God wants our attention when it comes to money and the issues surrounding money. Sixteen of the thirty-nine parables told by Jesus deal with wealth and money. It…Read More
It is at about this time each year when advertising on television and radio increases by various companies stating they can help you if you owe back income taxes.
I am often asked if back income taxes can be discharged, that is gotten rid of, in bankruptcy and the answer is not always an easy one. BUT please remember that even if they are not dischargeable in a straight (chapter 7) bankruptcy case, you can include the tax debt in a chapter 13 reorganization and repay the what you owe over time.
Entrepreneur magazine published an article last year about how entrepreneurs rebound from filing bankruptcy and move forward with their lives. After reading the article I believe the recommendations are solid for individuals who have filed or are considering filing. My Thoughts on the Recommendations Face your financial problems head on. The worst thing you can do is bury your head in the sand and believe the issue will go away. An experienced bankruptcy lawyer can help you understand what you are facing and help you see your situation without the emotions that affect your judgment. Turn a lemon into lemonade….Read More
Many people that I have met with have asked me my opinion about debt settlement companies. The advice I offer is to be diligent and research all of the options advertised. Most importantly talk with an attorney who has experience and knowledge in handling debt issues. In my opinion, the best way to do this is in a face to face meeting. In my experience debt settlement works only for a small percentage of people. For example, I recently read an article in the New York Times about debt settlement and some of the unknown consequences. Downsides of Debt Settlement…Read More
Bloomberg news is reporting that retail stores such as clothing stores, electronic sellers, and department stores are filing for bankruptcy protection at a record place in 2017. The rise in filings is attributed to a drop in traditional walk up retail business due to online retailers. 14 retail chains have stated they will seek bankruptcy protection in the year 2017 so far which is almost the same amount of retailers who sought bankruptcy protection for the entire year of 2016. Many retailers are closing stores to eliminate the cost of retail space and concentrate their efforts on online business. The…Read More
An article this past weekend in the New York Post discussed the massive amount of debt currently owed by Americans. We are headed to debt levels which may top $12.68 trillion dollars and which have not been seen since 2008 according to the Federal Reserve. The article states that the average American faces $37,000 in debt, not even including their mortgages, which could easily add another zero to that number. 1 in 10 people are looking at $100,000 in debt excluding their mortgage. Unable to Pay Off Debt Americans struggle each month to pay down debt with 20 percent now…Read More
The second bankruptcy in two years involving RadioShack has been filed by its parent company, General Wireless Operations. Approximately 1500 stores are at risk of being closed with the latest update stating 552 stores will be closed (two in Alabama are on the closure list and those locations are in Madison and Mobile). The fate of more than 1000 stores is still up in the air. One bright note is that 400 independently owned dealers will remain open. As an aside and being an avid cyclist, I remember RadioShack sponsoring the professional cycling team which featured Lance Armstrong when he…Read More
The football season officially ended with the Super Bowl last night in the first overtime game in Super Bowl history. Now the season that no one wants to come is here. Tax return season. There is one tax preparer now advertising filing your returns and getting your taxes won. An interesting catch phrase for sure, but what is most important is getting the tax return done correctly. Every year our firm gets asked the question about receiving a 1099-C form from a creditor and what to do about it. The Internal Revenue Service is driven by the use of forms…Read More
Feld Entertainment, who has owned Ringling Brothers circus for the last 50 years, is closing the famed circus after more than 100 years of existence. The company stated that declining ticket sales and the high cost of operating a circus of it size led to the decision. The company also saw a decrease in ticket sales after removing the elephants from the circus which was one of its most prominent and enjoyed routines. The animal rights group, PETA, picketed, protested, and even sued Ringling brothers which led to the circus ending the elephant part of the show. They will have…Read More
My family and I recently returned from a mission trip to the country of Belize. My daughter’s school has a mission’s club to which she belongs and it was a wish of hers that our entire family be part this experience. This was the third time she has made the trip to Belize, twice with her school and once on a medical missions trip with our church. I have never felt the calling for missions but after attending several of the planning meetings and at her and her classmate’s urging, my wife and I felt God wanted us to…Read More