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About Mark Rubin

Mark is dedicated to helping families in North Texas through difficult financial problems. He insists on a personal touch that most bankruptcy attorneys in Dallas are too busy to provide. Call today for a free consultation and speak directly with Mark.

Laid off because of COVID in Dallas? Bankruptcy can help

Even with many states starting to open up after the lockdown quarantine caused by the coronavirus, many companies are filing for bankruptcy – several months without income and mounting debt is an awful combination.

Many huge companies have filed for bankruptcy, and the list continues to grow. Well known brands have declared bankruptcy, including J.C. Penney, Neiman Marcus, J. Crew, Gold’s Gym, Tuesday Morning, Bar Louie, Dean & DeLuca, Advantage Rent a Car, and Hertz.

Coresight Research is a company that tracks retail openings and closings, and at the beginning of the year, they projected that 8,000 stores would close this year. They’ve recently updated their projection to 25,000.

These companies won’t necessarily go out of business – filing for bankruptcy allows protection during a restructure, so debt can be shed, operations can be redesigned, and low-profit locations can be closed. (more…)

Filing bankruptcy because of the coronavirus

Over the last month, over 22 million Americans filed for unemployment because of the shelter in place orders that have been put in place to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. Many small businesses have been absolutely crushed by the forced closure, and those that were able to pivot and provide modified services are still hurting due to the drastically reduced demand. If people aren’t leaving their homes, they’re simply not buying.

The number of jobless Americans is expected to continue to grow at an exponential rate. A research paper released in late March by the St. Louis Federal Reserve estimated that we could hit an unemployment rate as high as 32% – that’s about 47 million Americans.

That’s an almost mind-boggling number of people who won’t be able to pay their mortgage, rent, or other bills – let alone buy groceries and other essentials. It’s been estimated that over half of Americans have already lost some income due to the lockdown.

Federal, state, and local governments are working hard to provide financial safety nets – the Payroll Protection Program was rolled out and quickly depleted. Mortgage lenders and automotive finance companies are deferring payments, and if you meet the requirements, you’ll receive a federal stimulus check. Unfortunately, for the millions out of work, the government stimulus check simply won’t be enough to keep them afloat.

What should you do if you’ve been laid off?

Your first step should be looking at your budget. Figure out what you can do to save money immediately. Talk to your creditors, most will try to assist you if you’ve been laid off during the pandemic. Most mortgage, car, and credit card payments can be deferred. Student loans can be deferred as well. Many cities across the country have prohibited utility shut-offs – but skipping utility bills could lead to massive debt later down the road.

Once you’ve spoken to your creditors, you’ll have a better picture of your financial obligations. If you’ve got enough in savings, that might be enough to get you through the lockdown – but you’ll need to pay attention to how much you need to spend on essentials. You might be able to last longer by deferring non-essential bills and paying your minimum amount on others.

If you’re already at the point where the money has run out, or will run out in the near future, give us a call at 214-760-7777 – we’re happy to talk through your financial picture and let you know what your options are. It’s a free, no-pressure consultation – we’re not going to force you to file for bankruptcy, and in fact, might advise against it if there are better options on the table.

What will COVID bankruptcy look like?

If bankruptcy is inevitable, you’ll end up filing for either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows you to wipe out your debts permanently, with no obligation to ever pay them back. Chapter 7 is best for individuals who aren’t able to pay back a significant portion (or all) of their debt. Typically, this is best when there’s a massive amount of credit card debt or a huge medical debt.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy is more of a reorganization of your debts. If you’ve got a regular income stream and have simply fallen behind, Chapter 13 is a better option. A plan is created to repay all (or most) of your debt with installment payments.

For both types of bankruptcy, you’d typically have to meet with an attorney and then go to court to get a judge to approve your case. During the COVID lockdown, everything can be done online. We can do everything over the phone or through virtual meetings, and the courts are allowing cases to be filed virutally so social distancing can still be observed.

If you’ve lost your job or been furloughed due to the coronavirus and you’re falling behind on bills, call us at 214-760-7777 – we’re here to help! Even if bankruptcy isn’t right for your situation, we’ll help point you in the right direction to help with your finances and plan for your future.

5 Tips to Avoid Credit Card Debt

5 Tips to avoid credit card debt - Dallas Bankruptcy attorney adviceMany of our bankruptcy clients come to us with completely out of control credit card debt – but that doesn’t mean they’ve been completely irresponsible. Thanks to higher interest rates and compounding interest, just a few missed payments can put you past a point where it’s nearly impossible to catch up.

Learning to manage credit card debt is a huge step in avoiding bankruptcy. If you follow these 5 simple tips, you’ll keep your credit cards under control and avoid spiraling credit card debt.

1. Set a budget and stick to it.

Credit cards make it far too easy to spend money you don’t have. If you know what you can spend each month, it will be easier to avoid those spur of the moment purchases that you can’t really afford.

2. Don’t carry a balance for more than 6 months

Compounding simple interest adds up quickly, and after about 6 months, you’ll end up with a much higher balance that’s hard to pay off. Think of your credit card interest as a small pebble that causes a huge avalanche… it starts off small, but quickly becomes a huge force.

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The Truth About 5 Bankruptcy Myths

Most Americans don’t know much about bankruptcy – they’re limited to the knowledge they get from news stories and online gossip columns. Bankruptcy is much more common that most people realize, with over a million people filing for bankruptcy every year.

Generally, people assume that bankruptcy is meant for someone who can’t control their credit card spending. In reality, bankruptcy provides financial protection for much more than just credit card debt.

To help shed some light on bankruptcy and how it can help honest, hard working families, we’re sharing the truth about the five most common bankruptcy myths. As always, if you have any other questions, please call us for a free debt consultation – we’ll take as much time as you need to fully explain how bankruptcy works. (more…)

4 Tips to Avoid Bankruptcy

For many Americans, debt is a way of life. When that debt continues to pile up, many people think that filing for bankruptcy is the only way to solve their financial problems. While bankruptcy can definitely help erase debts and start you on a fresh path,  it’s not always your only option. Many times, your financial situation might not be as hopeless as you think it is.

You should start by looking at your overall debt situation and assessing the status. If you’re not too far gone yet, these four tips can help you reduce your debt load and avoid bankruptcy. They’ll take time and dedication, but with some patience and hard work, you’ll be able to climb out of your financial hole and start over again.

1. Don’t add any more debt

When your debt spirals to the point where you can no longer pay it off, bankruptcy becomes your only option. The trick is to stop the downward spiral before it’s too late. Don’t add any more debt to your current load – no new loans, no new credit cards… nothing. If you need extra money, consider selling a few minor assets instead of taking out a loan or opening a new credit card.
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8 Holiday Shopping Tips for 2019 To Avoid Racking Up Debt

The 2019 holiday shopping season is almost upon us. Notoriously, holiday shopping is one of the largest contributors to increased credit card debt – people get in the holiday spirit and spend much more than they should.

This year, you can shop smarter and still get gifts for everyone on your list, all while avoiding additional credit card debt. With a bit of planning and a smidgen of self control, you won’t have to be afraid of this year’s holiday shopping season. (more…)

7 Tips for Saving Money and Avoiding Debt

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As we’ve mentioned in the past, the easiest way to avoid bankruptcy is to avoid accruing debt in the first place. Millions of Americans live with thousands of dollars in debt, and a single bump in the road like a car accident or the loss of a job can send them spiraling towards uncontrollable debt.

The sooner you form responsible spending habits, the sooner you’ll build a solid foundation that will help avoid the possibility of bankruptcy. If you follow these 7 simple tips, you’ll be able to save money and avoid accumulating debts that you struggle to pay off.

1. Plan all of your meals

Eating out is the biggest monthly expense in most households. If you plan all of your meals each week and cook at home, you’ll save money – and you’ll probably eat healthier as well.

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Busting 5 common bankruptcy myths

bankruptcy mythsWhen potential clients call us, they’re usually pretty scared. When you’re drowning in controllable debt and you’re in danger of losing your car or your house, being afraid is understandable.

When you’re scared, it’s easy to believe just about anything you hear. There are tons of myths and misconceptions about bankruptcy floating around, so we thought it’d be helpful to dispel some of the more common myths. So without further ado, here’s the truth behind the 5 most common myths about bankruptcy:

1) Only bad people file for bankruptcy

Bad things happen to good people all the time. It doesn’t take much to start a downward spiral of debt – a sudden job loss, a salary reduction, or an accident with huge medical bills might be all it takes to cause your debts to spiral out of control. Bankruptcy laws were created to give good people a fresh start – you’re definitely not alone! (more…)

5 signs you’re living beyond your means

signs you're living beyond your meansBankruptcy is more common than most of our clients think… in today’s world, it’s far too easy to run up overwhelming debt and lose control. While an unexpected bump in the road (like an automobile accident or loss of a job) can lead to a bankruptcy situation, many times people start down the road because they’re simply living beyond their means.

If you’re spending more money than you’re making, then you’re living beyond your means. Society pushes for instant gratification and a “you only live once” mentality – but that’s not a great strategy for handling your debts.

It doesn’t take much to start living beyond your means, and many times, it’s the beginning of a downward spiral that can’t be stopped. Once the debt starts to multiply, it’s harder and harder to find your way out of the difficult situation you’ve put yourself in.

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What can filing bankruptcy do?

Are you a good, honest, hard worker who’s fallen on tough times? It doesn’t take much for most Americans – an unexpected major accident, the sudden loss of a job, a major home repair… Any unexpected major expense can start the downward spiral into uncontrollable debt.

It happens to the best of people all the time – don’t beat yourself up. Out-of-control debt doesn’t mean you’re a bad person.

Bankruptcy was created specifically for situations like yours. When you file for bankruptcy, you get the help you need – and you get it fast. Here are some of the immediate benefits of bankruptcy:

  • Stop those nasty creditor calls.
  • Keep and protect your property.
  • Stop repossessions of vehicles.
  • Stop foreclosure on your home or other property.
  • Stop legal action.
  • Get released from credit cards, medical bills, personal loans and other unsecured debts you can’t afford.
  • Break out of the minimum payments trap.
  • Lower your total monthly payments by hundreds of dollars.
  • Get help catching up on important bills, like your mortgage and car loans.
  • Make catching up affordable, by stretching out the payment of overdue payments (up to 5 years, if need be).
  • Get released from certain old marital debts.
  • Get rid of certain older income taxes.
  • Get rid of mortgage foreclosure deficiencies.
  • Get rid of repossession deficiencies.
  • Start rebuilding your credit.

Bankruptcy offers emotional support as well:

  • Start enjoying life again without the worry of bills.
  • Reduce your stress level.
  • Start putting your family first.
  • Start sleeping at night.
  • Get your life back.
  • Get in a position to quit the second or third job.
  • Start your life moving forward again.
  • Feel like you stood up and took control.
  • Get a second chance for a ‘fresh start’.

Rubin & Associates can help you with all of these and more. Call us today for a FREE consultation at 214-760-7777 – we’ll listen to your story and walk you through all of your options. Let us help you get a fresh start today!