Orange County Personal Injury and Bankruptcy Blog

Debt: Must It Rule Your World?

Remember, if you will, a time when credit was issued by local vendors for the purchase of grains and meats or extended on the promise that crop and flock would suffice as adequate consideration. Most of you are saying when has that ever happened? Long before many of you were born. Long before I was […]

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Debts Incurred By Fraud And Bankruptcy (Adversary Proceedings)

It must be stated before starting that proving fraud in a court of law is a difficult proposition (notwithstanding the obvious) because the court must enter the heart and mind of the accused and determine what intent they held at the time of the act. That said, let's define fraud: FRAUD: The intentional misrepresentation of a material fact, relied upon by […]

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Does Filing For Bankruptcy Make Me A High Risk To New Lenders And Credit Card Companies?

Not necessarily. In fact, most lenders (including credit card companies) view post-bankruptcy applicants as low risks for the following reasons: 1) Once a debtor files for Chapter 7 relief and receives a discharge, they cannot successfully file again for another 8 years. Meaning: new creditors will know that a debtor cannot push the "eject" button […]

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Will Filing For Bankruptcy Ruin My Credit Score?

The better question to ask for most people with debt is: does it make a true difference what the actual credit score is? In other words, when individuals have lots of debt, having a good credit rating will not necessarily allow them access to new credit. And even if it did, what good is it […]

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Does A Judgment For Fraud Issued By A State Court Act As Res Judicata In A Bankruptcy Dischargeability Proceeding?

Simply put, no. I'll start by stating that fraud and its appendages as found under 11 U.S.C. 523 are nondischargeable debts (meaning they survive bankruptcy). Now we must define res judicata (or claim preclusion). In its most basic terms, res judicata prevents a dispute already ruled upon by a previous court to be disputed again in another court. Being […]

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Why Don't Attorneys Sign Reaffirmation Agreements On Behalf Of Their Clients?

Let's first start with what happens when a debtor files for and is granted a discharge in a Chapter 7 case. In this instance all dischargeable contracts become null and void and any remaining claims on these contracts are no longer the debtor's legal responsibility. However, a debtor may choose to keep some of his […]

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Chapter 7 Or Bust? Over-Median Debtors

When a client comes to see me, they are usually struggling with debt. Might be a little or a lot; much of it depends on the eye of the beholder. For some, $20,000 in debt is a drop in the bucket; for others (most), it's the entire ocean drowning them with each additional dollar of […]

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Debt Consolidation Company Vs. Barrios & Machado - Round 1

Client comes to my office and says, "I've been paying $600/month to a debt consolidation company." I respond with, "How long have you had this problem?" Client answers, "About 9 months." "I'm in the wrong line of work," I joke. "Ok, so you've paid $5,400 to a debt consolidation company over the last 9 months. […]

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11 Usc 523 (A)(6) - Exception To Bankruptcy Discharge

Speaks of willful and malicious injury to person or property. This a delicate subject because terms such as "willful" and "malicious" are difficult to define. Many courts, including the Supreme Court have tackled their definition. Some have held that any act that was willful shall suffice as satisfying this element. The problem with this definition, said the U.S. Supreme Court, […]

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