Archive for the 'Bankrutpcy General' Category


Casey Anthony Story For Sale In Bankruptcy

Noted non-murderer (just like OJ) Casey Anthony filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in January of 2013.  She listed nearly $800,000 in debt and is currently making no money.

Even though she lists no source of income, the Trustee thinks she has something of value and wants to auction it for the benefit of creditors…………her life story.  Exclusive rights to Anthony’s life story including her “version of the facts, her thoughts and impressions of whatever nature, in so far as these pertain to her childhood, the disappearance and death of her daughter…her subsequent arrest…” etc.

So far the reported offers have been $10,000 and $12,000.  Why so little?  This seemed to be a big case at the time.  It’s possible that in this 24 hour news cycle world there is no large demand for stories we know so much about.  Maybe the perception is that Anth0ny is guilty and no one wants to tell the life story of a child murderer even if she was acquitted. A 2011 poll voted Anthony the most hated person in America beating out such then-celebs as the Octomom and Paris Hilton and yes, even O.J. Simpson.

There does seem to be a good deal of Anthony’s story to tell: there were allegations of sexual abuse by Anthony’s father, George, which came up during the trial; what exactly happened and what was Anthony thinking during the  31 days between when her daughter, Caylee, went missing and when her disappearance was reported to the authorities; her time in jail and what her life has been like since being acquitted.

Then there is the question of whether the Trustee in the case even has the authority to sell her life story since, by all accounts, it has never been done before.  We’ll see if the court in the case allows the sale and if a sale occurs.  Anthony’s trustee and her attorneys brought the issue before federal bankruptcy Judge K. Rodney May in Tampa, Fla.,  on April 9, 2013, who decided he would make a decision 30 days from now on whether the worldwide exclusive rights to her life story can be auctioned off for cash.  One bidder reportedly wants to buy the rights so her story never gets told, the second wishes to use the rights for their entertainment value.

Contact the Zarcone Law Firm today at 619-800-3082 for a FREE no obligation consultation.


Doctors are just like you and me – broke

More and more doctors are finding it harder to keep their practices financially sound with some crumbling under cash problems and being pressed into bankruptcy. It’s a trend that’s multiplied recently.


Chapter 11 bankruptcy filings by physicians have increased recently, which was virtually unheard of for medical practices in the past.  And the bankruptcy trend is not coming from medical malpractice lawsuits as one may think. The weak economic times have killed some doctors’ revenue, as consumers cut back on trips to their physician and profitable optional procedures.

Doctors also blame reductions in insurance coverage expenses, changing rules, and the rising costs of negligence insurance coverage, medication and other company requirements for making it more complicated to keep their methods profitable.

As insurance payouts and other revenue streams have slowed, doctors’ fixed overhead remains the same or continues to increase, such as with insurance premiums.  So despite the fact that we think all doctors (and lawyers too!) and swimming in money, the continued poor economic times continue to affect all walks of life in unprecedented ways.

If you are in a financial bind, please contact us here or at 619-800-3082 to discuss your options.

The Zarcone Law Firm


Intro to Bankruptcy

Download our Intro to Bankruptcy Powerpoint presentation – click on the link below.


Intro to BK Video Zarcone Law Firm



Short Sales and Tax Relief

If your lender agrees to a short sale or to accept a deed in lieu, you may potentially incur income tax on any resulting deficiency. In the case of a short sale, the deficiency would be in cash and in the case of a deed in lieu, in equity.

The IRS’s position is as follows: When you first got the loan, you didn’t owe taxes on it because you were obligated to pay the loan back. However, when you didn’t pay the loan back and the debt was forgiven, the amount that was forgiven became “income” on which you owe tax.

The lender sends a 1099 to the IRS with the amount of the deficiency.

No tax liability for some loans secured by your primary home. In the past, homeowners using short sales or deeds in lieu were obligated to pay tax on the amount of the forgiven debt. However, the new Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007 changes this for certain loans during the 2007 through 2012 tax years only.

The new law provides tax relief if your deficiency arises from the sale of your primary residence. Here are the rules:

  • Loans for your primary residence. If the loan was secured by your primary residence and was used to buy or improve that house, you may generally exclude up to $2 million in forgiven debt. This means you don’t have to pay tax on the deficiency.
  • Loans on other real estate. If you default on a mortgage that’s secured by property that isn’t your primary residence (for example, a loan on your vacation home), you’ll owe tax on any deficiency.
  • Loans secured by but not used to improve primary residence. If you take out a loan, secured by your primary residence, but use it to take a vacation or send your child to college, you will owe tax on any deficiency.

The insolvency exception to tax liability. If you don’t qualify for an exception under the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act, you might still obtain tax relief. If you can establish you were legally insolvent at the time of the short sale, you won’t be liable for paying tax on the deficiency.

Legal insolvency occurs when your total debts are greater than the value of your total assets (your assets are the equity in your real estate and personal property). To use the insolvency exclusion, you’ll have to prove to the satisfaction of the IRS that your debts exceeded the value of your assets.

Bankruptcy to avoid tax liability. You can also get rid of this kind of tax liability by filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, if you file before escrow closes. Of course, if you are going to file for bankruptcy anyway, there isn’t much point in doing the short sale or deed in lieu of, because any benefit to your credit rating created by the short sale will be wiped out by the bankruptcy.

Contact the Zarcone Law Firm today for a free, no obligation consultation – 619-800-3082 or by email.  Mention this blog post and save $50.00 off any bankruptcy filing.


creditor harassment – how to end it

Under the law, threatening violence, using obscene language and calling persistently with the intent to irritate/annoy amounts to harassment. Also, calling home at odd hours or at work place if there has been a notification to not do so or even calling up relatives or friends without your permission can all amount to harassment.

What Can be Done to End to Harassment?

Attempt to engage the creditor before anything else, unless you have a strong feeling that the person may not be pleasant. Explain the reasons for your default, and try to reason with them and ask for payment extensions or payment options, or present any payment plans you believe will be feasible.

As much as one would hope reason and logic can win the battle, the fact is that more often that not, it will not work this way. Debt collectors will almost certainly live up to the stereotype of being unreasonable, difficult people. The next option you, as a debtor, have is to file for bankruptcy. Bankruptcy will ensure that all debt collection actions (including phone calls), ethical or otherwise, come to an immediate end. As soon as you file for bankruptcy all creditors and bill collectors must immediately end their collection efforts. Once you’ve filed for bankruptcy, both the Bankruptcy Court and the attorney will notify all creditors of your bankruptcy through the mail. In the meanwhile, since this could take a week or so to reach them, you can also notify them in case you get a call, or a creditor comes ringing your doorbell.

Legal Remedies in lieu of Bankruptcy?

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act provides the consumer with legal remedies against creditors who violate its provisions. The federal Fair Debt Collections Practices

Act (FDCPA ) prohibits a collection agency from engaging in many kinds of activities.

(15 U.S.C. §§ 1692 and following.) If a collection agency violates the law, you have the right to sue the agency. If the creditor that hired the agency was involved in the unlawful conduct, you may also be able to sue the creditor. If the behavior is truly outrageous, the creditor may waive the debt and remove the negative marks from your credit report in exchange for your agreement not to sue.

Under the FDCPA , a collection agency cannot legally engage in any of the following activities.

1. Communications with third parties.

2. A collection agent cannot contact you:

• at an unusual or inconvenient time or place—the debt collector must assume that calls before 8 a.m. and after 9 p.m. are inconvenient unless the collector knows otherwise, or

• at work, if the collector knows that your employer prohibits you from receiving collections calls at work.  If you are contacted at work, tell the collector that your boss prohibits such calls.

3. Harassment or abuse.  A collection agent cannot engage in conduct meant to harass, oppress, or abuse you. The agent cannot:

• use or threaten to use violence or harm you, another person, or your or another person’s reputation or property

• use obscene, profane, or abusive language

• publish your name as a person who doesn’t pay bills, such as in a “deadbeats” list

• list your debt for sale to the public

• call you repeatedly, or

• place telephone calls to you or any other person without identifying him or herself.

4. False or misleading representations.  A collection agent cannot:

• claim to be a law enforcement officer, suggest that he or she is connected with the government, or send you a document that looks like it’s from a court or government agency

• falsely represent the amount you owe, the character or legal status of the debt, or the amount of compensation the agent will receive

• falsely claim to be an attorney or send you a document that looks like it’s from a lawyer

• communicate false credit information, including failing to tell someone you dispute a debt

• use a false business name

• claim to be employed by a credit bureau, unless the collection agency and the credit bureau are the same company, or

• threaten to take action that he or she does not intend to take or cannot take.

5. Unfair practices. A collection agent cannot engage in any unfair or outrageous method to collect a debt. Specifically, the agent cannot:

• add interest, fees, or charges not authorized in the original agreement or by state law

• solicit a postdated check for the purpose of threatening you with criminal prosecution

• accept a check postdated by more than five days unless the agent notifies you between three and ten days in advance of when it will be deposited

• deposit a postdated check prior to the date on the check, or

• call you collect or otherwise cause you to incur communications charges.

If you are being harassed by bill collectors, call us for a FREE consultation:



FAQ regarding deed in lieu of foreclsoure

Q. What is the definition of a deed in lieu of foreclosure?

A. The homeowner exchanges his or her ownership interest in the house, represented by a deed, back to the mortgage holder in order to avoid mortgage foreclosure and in some cases forgiveness of a mortgage deficiency.

In basic terms, you give the keys to your home back to the bank and you walk away;  the bank agrees not to foreclose or ever ask you for any more money.

Q. Under what circumstances would a homeowner do a deed in lieu of foreclosure?

In general, two sets of homeowners pursue a deed in lieu of foreclosure as a way out for mortgage trouble.

  • Homeowners who do not want to keep their home under any circumstances
  • Homeowners who, despite a wish to keep their home, reached the assumption that no foreclosure prevention alternatives will allow them to keep their house.

Q. Why would someone want to forfeit their home as a first choice?

  •       Homeowner does not like the house itself.
  •       The location is no longer right.
  •       The house is no longer the right size or right type.
  •       Neighborhood or zoning degradation.
  •       Repair, renovation or structural issues.
  •       Homeowner no longer needs a house at all anymore.

Q. How does a homeowner end up at the conclusion that they must give up the house?

  • Mathematically beyond hope
  • No applicable methods to stop foreclosure
  • Exhausted all options

If you are facing foreclosure, contact us for a FREE initial consultation:



Former MLB outfielder, Lenny Dykstra, charged with bankruptcy fraud

Lenny Dykstra, best known for playing centerfield for the New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies, was charged with bankruptcy fraud for purportedly selling possessions from his $18 million home. Dykstra, known by his nickname “Nails”, filed for bankruptcy in July 2009.  Dykstra removed, destroyed and sold property that was part of the bankruptcy estate without the permission of the trustee, allegedly.

Contact the Zarcone Law Firm today for your FREE initial consultation at 619-800-3082 regarding bankruptcy, IRS offers in compromise or other debt related problems:

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The content found on the financialfreshstart Blog is not legal advice and is purely for informational purposes. The Zarcone Law Firm does not guarantee the accuracy, integrity or quality of submissions. The information provided by the bloggers on this site may not represent the opinions of the Zarcone Law Firm or its affiliates. The information contained herein is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.

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