Detroit Files Largest Municipal Bankruptcy Ever!

After the state of Michigan appointed an emergency financial manager, Kevyn Orr, to resolve the financial crisis of the city of Detroit without filing bankruptcy, Governor Rick Snyder approved the filing of the Chapter 9 bankruptcy petition for the city of Detroit on July 18. As of now, Detroit has $20 billion in long-term debt and its only option was to file for municipal bankruptcy. This is the largest Chapter 9 municipal bankruptcy petition in US history. Experts predict that it will not be the last. Orr tried laying out alternatives for dealing with the City’s long-term debts, including further change in pay rates and staffing, reducing interest rates, stretching out payment schedules and outright forgiveness of principal or refinancing but it was not enough to keep Detroit from seeking a bail-out from the government.

To learn more about Municipal bankruptcies, call the Law Offices of Michael H. Raichelson in Woodland Hills, California near Los Angeles.

Dolce and Gabbana Sentenced to Jail for Tax Evasion

Famous fashion designer Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana were handed a suspended prison sentence of one year and eight months for hiding over one billion Euros, according the media. This order was given by the Milan, Italy court.  Dolce and Gabbana were initially investigated in 2008 for selling their brand to Luxembourg-based holding company Gado in 2004 to avoid declaring taxes on royalties of about 1 billion Euros ($1.3 billion). Rumors say the two will be appealing the court’s decision, but as of now they are looking at some prison time.

If you are in some tax trouble and you may need to get your tax affairs in order before it gets as bad as it is for Dolce and Gabbana, you can call the Law Offices of Michael H. Raichelson to find relief in all your tax resolution needs.

California Homeowners Bill of Rights

Prior to 2013, many homeowners faced uncharted waters when it came to foreclosure.  While most of those problems still persist, to ensure fair lending and borrowing practices for homeowners, California passed the California Homeowners Bill of Rights, which guarantees fairness and transprency for homeowners in the foreclosure process.  Below are a portion of the new rules:

Homeowners must be contacted prior to foreclosure.  A mortgage servicer cannot record a Notice of Default until 30 days after the mortgage servicer contacts the homeowner to look at the homeowner’s financial situation.  Mortgage servicers cannot continue the foreclosure process if the homeowner is working on getting a loan modification.  Foreclosure proceedings are stopped until a decision is reached on the loan modification. 

If a mortgage servicer files multiple unverified and inaccurate documents, they may face a $7500 fine.  And, mortgage servicers are required to provide a single point of contact to homeowners who are at risk for default. 

Homeowners may have the right to seek civil relief for any material violations of teh new foreclosure process protections.  This includes injunctive relief.

If you or a loved one is under threat of foreclosure, call of the Law Offices of Michael H. Raichelson at 818-444-7770.

Bankruptcy Meeting of Creditors

Once you file a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy you are given a 341(a) meeting of creditors hearing date. This date is very important! It is not an actual court hearing where you go into a courtroom and a judge sees you. The meeting of creditors is also not a room filled with all of your creditors. However, in certain situations you may have a creditor appear to disclose an asset you did not include in the bankruptcy petition or if you have a home or car lender that wants to simply to find out what your intention is on the property.

Truth be told, it is not that scary, it is actually a meeting set to review your bankruptcy case with your appointed U.S. Bankruptcy Trustee, which will conduct the meeting, you and your attorney, if you are being represented.  You will be required to appear with your original social security card and driver’s license or another valid form of ID. Other documents may be required as well based on your case. The meeting of creditors hearing can usually be quick and painless, if you have disclosed everything and you are fully prepared.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to call us here at the Law Office of Michael H. Raichelson and let us help you through your bankruptcy process.

Detroit is Running out of Money – Could be Largest City Bankruptcy Ever!

After Mammoth Lakes, Stockton, and Riverside, it appears that another municipal bankruptcy is around the corner.  This time, it could be big.

The state of Michigan has appointed emergency financial manager, Kevyn Orr, to resolve the financial crisis of the city of Detroit.  According to Orr, Detroit is weeks away from running out of all cash and must cut long-term debt and retiree obligations. Detroit is already 14 billion in the hole in long-term debt and is possibly looking at filing municipal bankruptcy. However, Orr has a plan to save the largest city from filing bankruptcy. Orr lays out alternatives for dealing with long-term debts, including further change in pay rates and staffing, reducing interest rates, stretching out payment schedules, and outright forgiveness of principal or refinancing.

Stopping a Foreclosure – The Automatic Stay

Clients facing foreclosure or repossession need immediate relief to stop the foreclosure or repossession.  When you file a Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy, the automatic stay is triggered.  This is the immediate relief that is needed in that the automatic stay stop most creditors from continuing with collection activities, such as filing or continuing lawsuits, making written requests for payment, or notifying credit reporting bureaus of unpaid debt.  Importantly, it stops foreclosures and repossessions in their track.  This can provide a period of relief to debtors as well as the opportunity to a fresh start during bankruptcy.  The courts understand how it can be hard to organize your financial affairs with constant creditor harassment.  However, there are some exceptions to the automatic stay, so it’s important to learn about these before you file.

Actions not stopped by the stay:

  • Divorce and Child Support
  • Tax Proceedings
  • Pension Loans

Some debtors file bankruptcy just to trigger the automatic stay.  The debtor might not go through with the bankruptcy if they get their affairs in order.  For example, this may happen when a debtor is dealing with a foreclosure sale notice on their home and they may need extra time to gather money or to sell their home in a short sale before it is sold in a trustee sale.  Just filing the bankruptcy usually gives the debtor an extra month, at a minimum, to find a solution for their home.

If you are dealing with non-stop creditor harassment or you are facing your home being foreclosed on and you need a solution, we can help! At the Law Offices of Michael H. Raichelson we can help you get creditors off your back and stop home foreclosures. Call us now for your free consultation.

Sinbad Files for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Protection

Sinbad (real name David Adkins) filed for chapter 7 bankruptcy on April 4, 2013. The 90’s comedian has actually filed for chapter 7 bankruptcy two times since 2009 and the current filing is Sinbad’s third time. The first attempt to discharge his debts was dismissed due to lack of document production. The second bankruptcy filed was dismissed because of the Financial Management Course Certificate, a required credit counseling course that must be taken and completed for a chapter 7 bankruptcy, was not filed. Let’s hope this third time is a charm. The ball has been dropped twice by two different attorneys that each represented him in the last two bankruptcies filed. This third bankruptcy filing is yet by another attorney which must be under a lot of pressure to follow through with finally getting Sinbad a discharge, since the last two attorneys failed to.

According to the bankruptcy petition documents, Sinbad’s main debts and the reason for filing bankruptcy are income tax creditors, for his 1993-2005 Franchise Tax Board and 1998-2006 Internal Revenue Service unpaid taxes. There is also an unknown amount of taxes owed for unfiled taxes for 2009-2012 tax years. If done right, his taxes owed for 1993-2006 will be discharged in the bankruptcy.

At the Law Offices of Michael H. Raichelson, we are diligent in doing things right the first time and we do not fail; we do our part in not letting cases get dismissed. You too can get your taxes discharged, if you qualify, through a chapter 7 bankruptcy. If you are in tax debt, like Sinbad, and you are wondering if filing bankruptcy is the right option for you or want to know what your options are and want it done right, the first time, call us now for a FREE consultation.

Bankruptcy Fraud

Some debtors may think they can get away with hiding, selling or transferring assets before filing a bankruptcy, but the truth is it is nearly impossible to not get caught. In fact, it is a federal crime to conceal assets in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and if done it can result into some serious federal prison time and other federal punishments.

For instance, the Federal Investigation Bureau just convicted a woman named Diana J. Stout in Bethesda, Maryland for making a false statement and concealment of assets in her Chapter 7 filing. Stout thought she could transfer property to her daughter, withhold vehicles and jewelry from her bankruptcy petition to sell for money and not have to face any consequences. Inevitably, Stout is now facing 27 months in federal prison following with three years of supervised release along with a restitution obligation to be paid of $155,747.83.

It is always best to be completely honest when it comes to seeking federal help out of debt. At the Law Offices of Michael H. Raichelson we practice our integrity and protect our clients by making sure all assets are disclosed to prevent any legal problems in the long run. We follow through with the best possible solution for each client’s needs. Call us today for your free consultation.

Oreck Vacuum Company Files Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

One of America’s best-known vacuum and cleaning supply company Oreck filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Chapter 11 is a chapter of the United States bankruptcy code that allows reorganization, which is most prominently used by corporate entities. Oreck is still going to continue to operate its business while it seeks a buyer; however, documents filed suggest the company is unable to generate enough funds to cover necessary expense.

If you are a business owner, drowning in debt similar to “Oreck”, and need some reorganization, the Law Offices of Michael H. Raichelson can help. If you click on “Recent Bankruptcy Successes” (above) you will read how Michael H. Raichelson has been able to overcome seemingly impossible debt resolutions and he will do the same for you.

Beyonce’s Father, Mathew Knowles owes $1.2 million in taxes to the IRS

Superstar singer Beyonce Knowles’s father and former manager Mathew Knowles was recently hit with an IRS tax lien of $1.2 million.  Knowles still hasn’t paid his tax bills for tax years 2010 and 2011. For 2010 he owes $485,575.95 and in 2011 $728,004.89, totaling $1,213,580.84 of debt, according to TMZ.  Even though Knowles no longer manages Beyonce’s career, he was during 2010 and 2011 and as we know, Beyonce is one of the highest paid acts in the industry. Therefore, father Knowles earned millions of dollars managing his daughter and should not have a problem paying his taxes. 

Knowles isn’t the first to face tax issues and definitely won’t be the last. If you are in a similar situation, the Law Offices of Michael H. Raichelson can help come up with a resolution that may best suit you. Call today for your free consultation.