• (Don’t Be) Out of Sight, Out of Mind
    For many professionals and entrepreneurs, word-of-mouth is the best source of referral business.  I know this is certainly true for me.  But, as much as I like receiving referrals, I like giving them, too. Giving referrals allows me to reciprocate to my colleagues, but I also know that my clients ... read more
  • The 10 Commandments of Modern Communication Etiquette
    email tiquette Over the years, I have developed effective communication practices, although to be honest, much of it was learned through trial and error.  Ask any of my clients today, however, and they’ll tell you how easy ... read more
  • There are Less Drastic Ways of Payin g Off Student Debt
    According to the credit reporting agency Experian, the total amount of outstanding student loans reached an all-time high in 2019, at $1.41 trillion, representing a 33% increase since 2014.  The average per-student debt has also risen, approaching  $40,000. See below. STUDENT LOANS IN 2019: A SNAPSHOT ... read more
  • Don’t Eat Your Way into the Poor House
    In my line of work, I have many occasions to sink my teeth into people’s bank statements, which invariably reveal their (bad) spending habits.  A common issue with my bankruptcy clients is that they devour much of their income eating out, ordering in, and convenience foods. While I understand the ... read more
  • It is estimated that the average federal tax refund in for 2019 will be between $2,000 and $3,000.  Unfortunately, this marks a downward trend in the average refund due to major tax reform in 2017.  Whatever your feelings may be about the current tax laws, get ready to make the ... read more
  • Keep an Extra $4,000 in your pocket this year
    Over the past 10 years, I have met with hundreds of bankruptcy clients.  While they each have a unique story, they also share many common problems and hefty overdraft fees is one of them.  Some banks charge as much as $35 per overdraft which means that a $5 coffee can end ... read more
  • New Year, New You, No Debt
    At the stroke of midnight on January 1st, a new year begins and with that comes promises of new opportunity. I’m not sure how the concept of new year’s resolutions got started, but invariably people commit to a host of goals (some realistic, some not) in an effort to improve ... read more
  • The “Santa” Tax
    The Holiday Season and Spending “The Santa Tax” = the price you pay for unplanned and overly generous gift-giving christmas-may-be-over-but-my-credit-card-debt-will-last-a-lifetime-jco It’s the most wonderful time of the year.  Or is it? All too often, it’s also the most ... read more
  • Don’t Play Games with Your Future
    If you find yourself getting to the bottom of your bank account before you get to the end of the month, I can tell you three things about you without even knowing you: You spend about $100 or more on overdraft fees each month You’re regularly paying late fees ... read more
  • Improving Your Credit Begins With Financial Health
    The most common question I hear from clients during and after a bankruptcy filing, is “How can I improve my credit score?” While credit repair is not my are of expertise, and I cannot predict how many points your credit will be affected by any given method, I have learned ... read more
  • A Journey of 1000 Miles Begins with the First Step
    One of the most common concerns among my bankruptcy clients is how bankruptcy will affect their credit (score), and in particular, their ability to one day obtain a mortgage loan (to buy a home). It’s a very common misconception that bankruptcy “destroys” your credit for 10 years, but that would ... read more
  • Financing Higher Education: You’d Better Think Twice (Or Pay the Price)
    Over the past 35 years, the cost of tuition at 4-year colleges has increased 8-times faster than wages, and the number of higher-education institutions has nearly doubled.  Many economists explain that this is an unintended and undesirable consequence of federally-backed student loan legislation. I recommend further reading on this topic ... read more
  • Mo Debt, Mo Problems: Debt Collection or Harassment?
    If you borrow money and fail to pay it back, the creditor has the right to demand payment, and take all lawful actions to force payment.   However, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) applies to all consumer (non-business) debts to limit how creditors (and collection agencies) operate.  It’s important ... read more
  • New Trends in Student Loan Debt Resolution
    As of first quarter-2018, outstanding student loan debt reached a whopping $1.41 trillion, surpassing both credit card debt ($815 billion) and auto loan debt ($1.23 trillion) by billions of dollars. Sadly, the current default rate is hovering at 18%, and that number is expected to rise to 40% by 2023.  ... read more
  • Getting to the End of Your Money Before the End of the Month? Here’s Why… (And How to Fix It)
    I’ve prepared hundreds of bankruptcy petitions over the years, and one of the most common areas of discrepancy are household and personal expenses. Once I’ve calculated someone’s monthly income (using an average of the past 6 months’ pay stubs) I will compare it with their stated monthly expenses. Without fail, ... read more