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Archive for September, 2012

“Letting the fire department torch your house doesn’t qualify for a write off,”

September 18th, 2012

the Tax Court says to a couple who allowed their local fire department to burn down the home on property they had just bought. After the training exercise, the couple built a custom home on the parcel.   A majority of the Tax Court’s judges agreed that the couple had given the fire department a license only to use the property, which precludes claiming any tax deduction for the donation. While several judges would have treated the donation as eligible for a deduction, the couple would still have had to prove the value of the gift exceeded the value of the demolition services in order to deduct anything. That’s a tough hurdle to meet.

Marketing Overload; No Wonder Bankruptcy Attorneys are Overwhelmed

September 14th, 2012

There are 1000’s of marketing options, and everyone that approaches you has an agenda. Here is why we feel overwhelmed; here is a “short” list of potential marketing options and tools. Bankruptcy Beagle is here to help you cut through the clutter; use what works and discard the rest. Here is a list of 97 of the most common marketing options, no wonder there is such disdain for marketing.


Before and After Examples

Better Business Bureau

Bing PPC Ads




Business Cards

Case Studies

Chambers of Commerce

Client Lists

Cold Calling




Cross Promotions

Customer appreciation events


Direct Mail


Educational Seminars

Email Blasts

Email Signatures



Facebook ads

Fax Blasts


Free Consultations

Free Email Courses

Free Samples (consults)

Free Seminars

Free Trials


Google PPC Ads



Joint Venture Partners

Leads Groups

Local Community Groups

Local Directory Listings

Local Events

Local Magazines

Local Newspaper

Local Radio


Loyalty Programs



On Hold Message

Online Directories

Open House

Pay per Post

Pod Casts

Portfolio of Work



Power Partner Relationships

Press Releases

Pro Bono/Donation

Promotional items (pens, mugs, etc)

Referral Groups

Referral Partners

Rotary Club

Sales Letters

Sales Promotions

Sales Sheets

Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Marketing

Social Bookmarking

Social Media

Speaking engagements

Special Bonus

Special Reports

Sponsored Coupon Books


Squeeze Pages





Text Link Ads

Thank you cards/gifts

Tip Sheets

Trade Associations

Trade Shows





Word of Mouth


Writing Articles

Writing Books

Yellow Pages


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Number of individual bankruptcy filings drop

September 13th, 2012

It’s called the “10 year mistake” by credit counseling services. Financial advisors say to avoid it at all costs. But, according to the American Bankruptcy Institute, filing for bankruptcy was unavoidable for 1.46 million individuals and 36,000 businesses in 2011. Although these levels are historically high, the good news is that individual bankruptcy filings have declined 8 to ten percent over the past year.

Bankruptcy is a federal court process that is designed to help individuals eliminate overwhelming debts or repay them under the protection and supervision of the bankruptcy court. There are two general categories, “liquidation” and “reorganization”.

About 75 percent of the individuals who file for bankruptcy do so under Chapter 7, which is a form of liquidation bankruptcy. Basically the process involves completion of forms and submission of a petition to the court. Upon review and approval, an “automatic stay” is imposed on all creditors, prohibiting them from collecting debts owed to them until contacted by the court. Creditors are then informed of the repayment terms, if any.

Certain property is exempt in bankruptcy which individuals are allowed to keep, while other assets must be turned over to the court’s trustee to be sold and the proceeds used towards paying some of the creditors’ claims. One notable exempt asset is an individual’s account in an employer’s retirement plan. Under government regulations, these assets are exempt from liquidation to pay creditors. For this reason, leaving assets in a 401(k) or other retirement plan or an IRA may be advised versus taking distributions or loans from these accounts.

Chapter 13 is another form of bankruptcy, which is also referred to as “reorganization” or “wage-earner” bankruptcy. This version includes a repayment plan which describes how the debts will be repaid over the next three to five years and a trustee is assigned to oversee the repayment process. Creditors are permitted to comment on the repayment plan. After approval by the court, whatever debt is left after the terms of repayment is discharged.

Some of the most common reasons for filing for bankruptcy include divorce, unexpected and uninsured health problems and loss of a job. The personal stories range from younger individuals overextending themselves on credit cards when buying their first house to older folks getting caught in high interest rate loans for home repairs such as siding or replacement windows. In most all cases, financial problems begin with access to more credit than can be handled and under terms where interest rates are higher than average.

2011 Report Details Consumer Bankruptcy Filings

September 6th, 2012

A 2011 statistical report on debtors with primarily consumer debt filing for bankruptcy shows an 11 percent drop in case filings, a 23 percent drop in filer assets, a 25 percent drop in filer liabilities and a 28 percent incidence of repeat filers.

The report, required by the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 (BAPCPA), includes statistics on debtors who are individuals seeking debt relief under chapters 7, 11, and 13. It is compiled by the Administrative Office of the United States Courts.