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Frankfort Law Blog

We guide Illinois and Indiana residents to debt relief

Millions of Americans are currently facing financial hardship. Some are there due to excessive credit card debt that spirals out of control due to extremely high interest rates, while others owe hospitals and doctors tens of thousands, even hundreds of thousands of dollars for treatment of a medical condition. American society has prided itself on this image of individuals pulling themselves up by their bootstraps to overcome even the most challenging situations. However, the truth is that it is simply unrealistic for many Americans to do this when it comes to paying off debt.

It is difficult to push back against this ideal image that is perpetuated throughout society. The best way to do so is to be informed. Those individuals struggling with overwhelming debt can learn more about their debt relief options and how, if successfully pursued, they can provide the fresh financial start needed. Bankruptcy, both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13, are included in these options. Although some frown upon the mere thought of filing for bankruptcy, it is a very real way to quickly reclaim one's financial footing.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy may be a great option for debtors

Dealing with financial issues can be overwhelming and emotional. Although many people hold a negative perception of personal bankruptcy, it can actually provide a significant amount of debt relief to those who successfully pursue it. It is important for those facing overwhelming debt to consider the different bankruptcy options available to them before going this route, though. We hope that this post will provide a little more insight into Chapter 13 bankruptcy, which is often referred to as the wage-earner's plan.

Under Chapter 13 bankruptcies, debtors enter into a repayment plan that lasts anywhere from three to five years. This plan is tailored to the individual's income, which is meant to make monthly payments more manageable. If the debtor makes all of his or her payments over the course of the payment plan, then any remaining debt may be written off.

Stan Lee's estate plan may be in jeopardy

Many people think that estate planning is an easy endeavor. Although this may be true enough for those who merely want to create a simple will, fully protecting one's assets often requires more in-depth planning. Regard of an estate's complexities, though, unexpected issues can arise that threaten the stability of an estate and its testator's plan.

Stan Lee, the famed comic book creator responsible for Spider Man and the Hulk, may be in this situation now. According to reports, Lee, who is now 95, may be subjected to undue influence on account of his health, which includes failing sight, hearin and memory. Those closest to him may be taking advantage and leeching from the man's estimated $50 million estate. Although the full impact has yet to be seen, given the circumstances the losses could be significant.

Parenting time transitions shouldn't be stressful for the child

One of the most difficult things about child custody is having to hand your children over to your ex when it is his or her turn to spend time with them. While this might be a hard thing for you to do, it is also a stressful time for the children, thus making the situation a challenge for everyone involved.

Fortunately, parents do have some options for making parenting time transitions as effortless as possible. Consider these tips to help you deal with any challenges:

Many wait too long before filing for personal bankruptcy

Financial woes can strike people from all walks of life. The rich, middle-class and the working poor can all find themselves facing overwhelming debt that leaves them unable to make ends meet. Oftentimes, this financial struggle arises from the onset of unexpected costs, particularly medical expenses. Other times, individuals are suddenly left in a tough position when they suddenly lose their jobs or their income is significantly decreased in some other way.

Although filing for personal bankruptcy can provide an individual the fresh financial start, he or she needs to get back on his or her feet, the truth of the matter is that far too many individuals wait too long to file for bankruptcy protection. A recent study found that two-thirds of bankruptcy filers spend two or more years in what is known as the "financial sweatbox." This term refers to periods of time when individuals face the depletion of their assets, debt collection lawsuits and even forego necessities like food in an attempt to get caught up with debt.

How divorce can threaten retirement and financial well-being

Ending a marriage can be an emotional and messy process. If you've found yourself on this blog, then you are likely concerned about the ramifications of divorce. In reality, they can be quite extensive, especially when one's best interests are not fully represented. Although divorce can be emotional, and coming to an agreement or litigating child custody and child support matters can be draining, financial matters like property division usually have some of the most significant impact on one's life.

One reason is that the timing of property division may not time well with the market for assets that must be sold in order to be divided. For example, if the familial home is sold while the housing market is down, each party may receive less compensation than if the couple had decided to sell the home when the market was hot. Similarly, retirement accounts that are dipped into early may be subject to taxation and penalization if mishandled during marriage dissolution.

Estate planning for single parents is critical

Single parents face some uphill battles as they raise their children. There is one area where two facets of the law intersect for these parents. These are family law and estate planning. It is vital to have plans for children should parents pass away. Without proper plans in place, your children can face serious uncertainty.

One thing to remember is that you need a new estate plan if you divorce. Your previous one is likely invalid and won't reflect your current wishes. Even if you have an estate plan in process, you can still take the time to review it to make sure that it has the necessary components.

The Frankfort Law Group competently handles consumer fraud cases

Consumer fraud is more common than many people realize. The truth of the matter, though, is that there are a number of scams and schemes designed to defraud innocent and unsuspecting individuals of their hard-earned money. Sometimes these scams are intentionally carried out by individual bad actors, but other times, businesses engage in unfair trade practices that are meant to deceive consumers. Either way, those who have been financially harmed through these bad acts want their money back.

The good news is that these fraud victims may be able to get back what they lost by taking legal action. To succeed on these claims, though, certain legal elements must be proven by a preponderance of the evidence. Those accused of defrauding consumers are usually represented by aggressive defense attorneys, too, meaning that a victim's claims need to be backed by competent evidence and strong legal arguments that have a firm basis in the law.

Using trusts to address an heir's lack of prenuptial agreement

Oftentimes, there is crossover amongst areas of the law. A criminal charge, for example, may have a profound impact on family law matters like child custody. Since estate planning can encompass a wide swath of one's life, including business dealings and marital relationships, this type of crossover can be seen with some regularity when engaging in estate planning.

When it comes to the passing down of wealth, many see it as a legacy with heirs and beneficiaries to serve as stewards of that legacy. When one's child considers getting married, another party is brought into that stewardship picture. This gives many pause, as they don't want to jeopardize their estate. Sometimes this leads to a discussion about the child entering into a prenuptial agreement with his or her soon-to-be spouse. This is an effective way to ensure that the estate, once passed down, will remain within the family.

Learn some tips for handling aggressive debt collectors

Knowing that you owe a debt is a harsh fact of life for many people; however, you might not worry as long as you are able to make payments on time. The issues can begin when you can't make those payments and you could come in contact with a debt collector.

There are some options to stop them from bullying you. It is imperative that you learn about your rights and consider these tips before you answer any phone calls regarding debts.

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