Articles Posted in Money Tips

There are many things that can contribute to someone’s decision to declare bankruptcy. However, few debts are more daunting than past-due federal income taxes. Because of the federal government’s inherent authority over its citizens, unpaid past-due taxes can lead to all kinds of legal and financial problems down the road. Perhaps that is why a common question we receive is whether filing for bankruptcy can help get someone out from under past-due income taxes.

tax-169849-mWhile it is impossible to give an answer that can apply to everyone’s circumstances, the general answer to this question is yes. Filing for bankruptcy may result in unpaid past-due taxes being forgiven. However, several criteria must be met before establishing eligibility for such forgiveness.

Before You File For Bankruptcy

Before filing for bankruptcy to avoid a past-due tax debt, you may consider contacting the IRS and asking if you can be put on a payment plan, or if they have any other possible solution to help you get current on your tax debt. In some cases, the IRS will look at a person’s assets, expenses, ability to pay, and asset equity and determine that they are a good candidate for alternative means of repayment.

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It’s the beginning of 2012 and while it’s a new year, for most people, the financial baggage of 2011 didn’t stay behind in December. Times are tough, finances are tight and after the holiday season, bills may be looming.

Our Louisville bankruptcy lawyers recognize the frustration and pain that many people are going through right now financially. Government programs haven’t done much to help working-class people, jobs are still tough to find, bad mortgages are still hurting families and prices keep climbing for groceries and other everyday needs.
Our lawyers also recognize that filing for Louisville bankruptcy has benefits for those who take advantage of these laws. They are consumer-focused and allow people a fresh start when expenses have gotten out of control and money is tight.

Some believe that bankruptcy is a bad option because it can hurt a person’s credit, but the opposite is true. If a person has missed payments and is behind on various bills, his or her credit score has likely taken a tumble.

Filing for bankruptcy will actually begin to repair what has been broken by the past. The purpose of bankruptcy is to provide assistance to consumers who have fallen into bad times, often because of circumstances beyond their control.

The most obvious in recent years has been the housing collapse, which has affected nearly every American. As foreclosures have increased, housing prices have dwindled. Bad loans that people were trapped into signing years before the housing bubble burst are now coming back to haunt them. As the housing market collapsed, so did the rest of the economy, costing millions of people their jobs. And without a job, money has gotten even tighter.

It’s a cycle that no one has figured out how to fix and many Louisville residents are stuck in the middle. They are trying to get by, but are having difficulty and aren’t sure how long the difficulty will last.

Creating a plan to get out of debt and to try to get out of tough times takes a lot of work. Sometimes, it can be done without the help of bankruptcy, but through other financial and legal avenues, such as a short sale, credit counseling or stopping wage garnishment, there are ways to improve your money situation.

These are a few smaller steps that people can take to try to make some progress in the area of personal finances:

Quit smoking or lose weight — Common New Year’s resolutions, but these could cut down on insurance premiums and save a little money. Obese policyholders and smokers pay between 15 and 22 percent more for insurance than others.

Shop smart — Clipping coupons, not being tempted by buy-one-get-one-free sales and using generic brands can keep some money in the wallet.

Simplify your finances — Set up online accounts so you don’t have to worry about checks, stamps and the mail. Max out your savings and do it automatically so you don’t have to worry about forgetting.

Get smart about money — Don’t be in the dark about money issues, but study up on terms and that will allow you to be more active in financial planning.

Plan for the unexpected — Start an emergency fund — most experts suggest having six month’s worth of funds set aside.

Pay down your debt — Paying off your high-interest debt can save you money in the long run. And try to pay more than the minimum.

Create a basic budget — Don’t make it unrealistic, but attempt to keep it simple. Be transparent and allow it to be fluid.

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By Tracy Hirsch

With the rising cost of education, it should come as no surprise that student loan debt is quickly becoming the most prevalent type of consumer debt in Kentucky and Indiana, surpassing even credit card debt. One of the most devastating facts about student loan debt is the ease with which lenders make these funds available to students, especially given the increasingly difficult job market for new graduates. As a prospective college student, one should avoid the temptation to borrow a significant amount of money just because it is there for the taking. This is not free money and has to be paid back at some point. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when looking to finance a college education:

By: Tracy L. Hirsch, Attorney

For most of us, life is more expensive now than it has ever been, and we do not always have enough money to go around. Here are a few easy, friendly ways to help make your monthly budget pass muster:

1- Learn how to save on your utility bill- lower the setting on your hot water heater, install a timer on your thermostat, and make sure to turn the lights out when you leave a room.

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