MachiLaw.com Articles

Medical Bankruptcies are Here to Stay

Don’t expect the Affordable Care Act to solve the medical bankruptcy problem in this country. Unpaid medical bills are the number one cause of bankruptcy filings.

The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) may give many more people access to health care, but research shows that many people are filing for bankruptcy with high medical costs even when they have health insurance.  Copays and deductables can add up.

A serious medical condition can rack up nearly $10,000 in copays and deductables in a year.  ...

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Fort Worth Magazine Names Ted Machi a Top Attorney

Top Bankruptcy AttorneyOnce again Fort Worth, The City’s Magazine has named Ted Machi a “Top Attorney” for 2013.  Top Attorneys are nominated by their peers.  With his 35+ years representing North Texans, Ted Machi is an attorney you can trust.

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Same-Sex Married Couples May File Bankruptcy Jointly

Same-sex married couples should be eligible to file for bankruptcy jointly.  Bankruptcy courts should provide the same federal protections as opposite-sex married couples even if they live in states that do not recognize same-sex marriage.  This according to an article from Streetwise Media.

In a speech to the Human Rights Campaign, an LGBT civil rights group Attorney General Eric Holder said the Justice Department will grant “lawful same-sex marriages full and equal recognition, to the greatest extent possible under the ...

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When to Apply for Disability

Disability is something the most folks do not usually think about.  Studies show that there is a 3-in-10 chance of a 20 year old worker becoming disabled before reaching retirement age.  So, studies show that the chances are much greater than you realize.

Who Receives Social Security Benefits?

Benefits are paid to those who cannot work due to a medical condition that will last a year or longer.  The condition might also result in death.  Social Security does not give money to ...

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How to Deal with Debt Collectors

There are federal laws that lay out how and when a debt collector may contact you.  These times are not before 8 a.m., after 9 p.m., or while you’re at work if they know that your employer doesn’t approve of the calls. Collectors may not harass you or lie to you.  They cannot use unfair practices when they try to collect a debt. They must honor requests in writing from you to stop further calls.

Federal Trade Commission

The Federal Trade Commission ...

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Tamko Roofing Shingles Warranty Claims

Some homeowners are alleging that their roofs are failing within ten years from the date of installation of some Tamko Roofing shingles.  Some consumers allege that their warranty claims to TAMKO have been denied.

If you have been denied warranty claims for your Tamko roofing product, please contact Machi & Associates right away.  We handle cases involving breach of warranty claims for building and construction materials.

Persons seeking to preserve any potential legal claims should contact an attorney promptly, since all ...

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Credit Card Debt: High But Falling

Daily Finance reports that American consumers currently owe $856.5 billion on their credit cards, but consumer credit card debt in the U.S. has been edging down in recent years after peaking in July 2008 at $1 trillion. As of July 2013, the average indebted household in the U.S. carries credit card debt of $15,325, although that figure is somewhat skewed by a small number of extraordinarily debt-stricken families and couples.  Credit card debt has been falling since the height ...

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Kodak to Emerge from Bankruptcy

The New York Times reports the Eastman Kodak Company received court approval on Tuesday for its plan to emerge from bankruptcy as a much smaller digital imaging company.

Kodak plans to emerge from bankruptcy as early as Sept. 3, its lawyer, Andrew Dietderich, said at a hearing in bankruptcy court.

Kodak’s bankruptcy capped a protracted plunge for the company, which was founded in 1880 by George Eastman, the inventor of the hand-held camera and ...

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What Can a Creditor Repossess?

Certain items can be repossessed by the creditor if you default on a loan.  If repossession is allowed, then a creditor does not have to get a court judgment in order to repossess the property.

Your home – the loan on the home is secured by the property it was purchased with.  If payments are missed then foreclosure may result.  You will be evicted and the property sold to recover the value of the outstanding loan.

Your car – Almost all loans, ...

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Personal Property in You Vehicle When Repossessed

A creditor cannot keep or sell any of the personal property found in your vehicle regardless of the method used to repossess the automobile.  In most states the creditor needs to tell you what items were found in the vehicle and how to get them back.  The creditor may also be required to prevent the items from being removed or stolen from the vehicle.  If items are missing from your vehicle, then you may want to speak to an attorney ...

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Personal Bankruptcies Set to Drop for Third Straight Year

The Wall Street Journal’s Market Watch site reports U.S. Personal Bankruptcies Set to Drop for Third Straight Year. Personal bankruptcy filings totaled 532,290 at the end of first-half 2013, 13.7% lower than a year earlier (616,911). For this year, Fitch Ratings is projecting a 13%-15% drop in personal bankruptcy filings for 2013 from full-year 2012 levels. Furthermore, ‘personal bankruptcies may dip below the one million threshold for just the third time in nearly 20 years.

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Credit Counseling

There many reputable credit counseling organizations.  They can advise you on how to manage your money as well as debts.  They typically offer free educational material and workshops.  They have counselors that are trained in budgeting, money management, and consumer credit.

Most trustworthy counselors work with non-profit s and offer counseling through local offices, on the phone, or even online.  Many of the most reputable organizations are with universities, military groups, credit unions, and housing authorities.

Watch for “non-profit” groups that charge ...

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Avoiding Default and Foreclosure

If you are behind on your payments you may consider the following options to avoid foreclosure.

Reinstatement:  Paying the loan provider the entire past-due amount, plus any late fees or penalties, by a date you both agree to. This option may be best for a temporary problem paying your mortgage.

Repayment plan: You are given a set amount of time to repay the amount due.  This is done by adding a portion of the past due amount to a regular payment.  This ...

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Talking With Your Creditor

It is always easier to keep repossession from occurring than to dispute it after in happens.  If you realize that you will be late paying contact your creditor.  Many times the credit company will work with you if they believe you will be able to make payment soon.  You may be able to delay payment or revise your payment date.  If you make changes to the actual contract, be sure to get it in writing.

However, your finance company may not ...

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Credit Repair

Many companies promise to clean up the credit reports of people with poor credit history.  They charge a fee for their service, but anything they can do you can do for yourself at no cost.  You have the right to make corrections in your file, but any negative information that is accurate cannot be removed.  Credit can only be improved by repaying debts on time.  Many states do not allow these credit repair companies to charge fees until the services ...

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Electronic Disabling Devices

Some finance companies my require you to install an electronic device in your vehicle.  This would prevent your car from starting if your payments are not made on time.  Depending on state law, this device may be considered the same as repossession if activated.

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Introduction to Bankuptcy

Congress has been authorized by the US Constitution to enact laws and govern bankruptcy cases.  Congress enacted the “Bankruptcy Code” that governs all bankruptcy cases.

The procedures of the bankruptcy process are governed by both the Federal and Local rules of each court.    There are 90 bankruptcy districts and the decision-making power has been given to the US Bankruptcy Judge, an officer of the US District Court.  The judge makes the decisions on eligibility as well as who receives a discharge.

The ...

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Wellesley Class Teaches Personal Finance Basics

You can tell a lot about the times we’re in by what college kids choose to study.

In the 1960s, humanities were big. In the 1980s, it was all about high finance. Today at Wellesley College in Massachusetts, kids are looking for something a little more basic. It’s called ECON 223 but you might call it Real Life 101.

Students dissect a real pay stub and learn about everything from gross and net earnings to COBRA, COLAs and co-pays.

“It’s dry, but this ...

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Is Your Child in the Right Car Seat

Car crashes are the number one killer of children 1 to 12 years old in the United States. The best way to protect them in the car is to put them in the right seat, at the right time, and use it the right way.

There are so many car seat types and models, how do you know which one is right for your child? The right car seat or booster fits your child and your car, and is one you ...

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10 Most Common Personal Finance Mistakes

1.  Overpaying for Home Insurance
2.  Putting off Buying Life or Health Insurance
3.  Underestimating Health-Care Costs
4.  Passing Up Tax Breaks
5.  Paying Late Fees
6.  Buying Stocks by Their Brand
7.  Investing Too Conservatively
8.  Paying Retail
9.  Leaving Valuables Uninsured
10. Not Checking Your Credit Score

For details on each mistake see Yahoo Finance.

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