credit scoreYou won’t be surprised to find bankruptcy on the list of credit killers you want to avoid. When you choose to file for bankruptcy protection from your creditors, the impact to your credit scores will be devastating and long-lasting. The temptation of walking away from overwhelming debt may sound appealing, but it is important to only use bankruptcy as the absolute last resort.

How Bankruptcy Impacts Credit Scores

Bankruptcies will have a negative impact on two different sections of your credit reports. First, it will show up in the public record section of your three credit reports.  In addition to the public record, each debt that was included in the bankruptcy will be noted as such on your credit reports. Each account will be considered a serious derogatory.

Read More

scam

Telephone-Scam Soliciting Wire Transfers Prompts NACBA and Vermont Attorney General to Issue Consumer Warning

Across the country, consumers are falling prey to a new scam targeting people who have filed for bankruptcy and others just getting started with the process. Bankruptcy attorneys are joining forces with public officials to sound the alarm bell to unsuspecting consumers.

The con artists are using software that “spoofs” the Caller ID system so that the call appears to be originating from the phone line of the consumer’s bankruptcy attorney. Victims of the scam are being instructed to immediately wire money to satisfy a debt that supposedly is outside the bankruptcy proceeding. Some consumers have been threatened with arrest if they fail to wire money to pay the debt.

In some instances, the perpetrators are using personal information from public filings to identify consumers, assume the identity of their attorneys and sound more convincing by phone. These calls are typically placed during nonbusiness hours, making it difficult for clients to verify the call by getting in touch with their attorney to ask about it.

The National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (NACBA) and its individual members want consumers to know that under no circumstance would a bankruptcy attorney or staff member telephone a client and ask for a wire transfer immediately to satisfy a debt. Nor would the bankruptcy attorney and staff ever threaten arrest if a debt isn’t paid.

Consumers should be advised that legitimate debt collectors and agencies cannot threaten arrest in order to satisfy. If you or a family member receive this kind of call, the best thing to do is to hang up and contact your bankruptcy attorney as soon as possible. Do NOT give out any personal or financial account information to the caller.

ftc logo 430If you've maxed out your credit cards and are getting deeper in debt, chances are you're feeling overwhelmed. How are you ever going to pay down the debt? Now imagine hearing about a company that promises to reduce – or even erase – your debt for pennies on the dollar. Sounds like the answer to your problems, right?

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the nation's consumer protection agency, says slow down, and consider how you can get out of the red without spending a whole lot of green.

Debt Settlement Companies

Debt settlement programs typically are offered by for-profit companies, and involve the company negotiating with your creditors to allow you to pay a “settlement” to resolve your debt. The settlement is another word for a lump sum that's less than the full amount you owe. To make that lump sum payment, the program asks that you set aside a specific amount of money every month in savings. Debt settlement companies usually ask that you transfer this amount every month into an escrow-like account to accumulate enough savings to pay off a settlement that is reached eventually. Further, these programs often encourage or instruct their clients to stop making any monthly payments to their creditors.

financial trouble

After more than four decades as a commercial litigator, Ward Benshoof was shocked at what he learned two years ago while handling a post-judgment debt-collection case. What had been accepted as evidence seemed to have no more substance than the shadow of smoke. And as he later learned, it also was not evidence at all.

His pro bono client’s life had been seized up in such fear that she pawned her wedding ring to feed the maw of a default judgment against her in Los Angeles County Superior Court, obtained by one of the nation’s biggest debt buyers.

It was too late to undo the judgment, but Benshoof sued the debt buyer, alleging that its repeated phone calls to the woman were harassing and illegal. The company turned over phone recordings in discovery that showed the calls weren’t as heated as the woman thought.

irs buildingBudget cuts are taking a taxpayer-unfriendly toll on the federal agency Americans love to hate, a new report says.

Lower IRS budget funding and collection resources have led to declines in taxpayer service, tax case closures and collections of overdue federal taxes, according to a report Wednesday by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.

The IRS' annual budget was cut by more than $1.2 billion between federal fiscal years 2010 and 2015, the report said.

During that period, budget reductions and reassignments resulted in a 21% reduction of Automated Collection Service representatives, and a 28% decline in Field Collection revenue officers, staffers who pursue non-payment cases, the report said.

Entire Article