Tuesday, February 26, 2008

It's Still Location Location Location

As we head into the Spring Real Estate market (yep it is almost March) it is important to keep some important tips in mind when listing your home for sale. This post by a Minnesota real estate agent offers tips that work well for those of us on this coast as well.

Friday, February 15, 2008

For What it's Worth

The State of Connecticut Judicial Branch is offering up a survey for those of us of the common ruck to participate in. I have taken the survey and would urge you, dear reader, to do likewise. For all of my gripes about Connecticut, I do feel that the Judicial Department does its best to do right by us citizens.

Take the survey. I think it will be read.

I'm off to Florida for a (much deserved :)) week of R&R.

Catch ya on the other side, dawgs.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Mainstream Media begins to Note SSD Backlogs

As a member of NOSSCR, I have rerpresented individuals in their quest for Social Security DisabilityBenefits since 1986. Anyone who has an even passing familiarity with this system knows that the backlog and roadblocks thrown up to thwart those seekinging SSD and SSI benefits are daunting. At last, the media is begining to sit up an take note. This video aired by CBS news nicely illustrates the realities of the situation.

The average wait in Hartford is 440 days for a hearing.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Bankruptcy and your Meeting of Creditors

Reprinted from Jill Micaux's blog: Her advice is right on and is in keeping with what I have seen asked here in Connecticut.

What Will They Ask Me at My Bankruptcy Hearing?

Fellow blogger Susanne Robicsek told you what to expect at your meeting of creditors, nicknamed your 341 hearing. What will the trustee ask me, you wonder?

Here is the list of questions your trustee is required to ask you and a list of sample questions your trustee may ask you depending on the facts of your case. The hearing is not a test nor an inquisition, it is a fact finding meeting. according to fellow blogger Cathy Moran. If you have any questions about answering any of these questions, you should discuss them with your attorney prior to your 341 hearing. QUESTIONS THE TRUSTEE IS REQUIRED TO ASK YOU AT YOUR BANKRUPTCY HEARING (341(a) MEETING OF CREDITORS)

1. State your name and current address for the record.

2. Please provide your picture ID and Social Security number card for review.

3. Did you sign the petition, schedules, statements, and related documents and is the signature your own? Did you read the petition, schedules, statements, and related documents before you signed them?

4. Are you personally familiar with the information contained in the petition, schedules, statements and related documents? To the best of your knowledge, is the information contained in the petition, schedules, statements, and related documents true and correct? Are there any errors or omissions to bring to my attention at this time?

5. Are all of your assets identified on the schedules? Have you listed all of your creditors on the schedules?

6. Have you previously filed bankruptcy? (provide trustee with case number and the discharge information to determine discharge eligibility in this case)

7. What is the address of your current employer?

8. Is the copy of the tax return you provided a true copy of the most recent tax return you filed?

9. Do you have a domestic support obligation? To whom? Please provide the claimant’s address and telephone number, but do not state it on the record. Are you current on your post-petition domestic support obligations?

10. Have you filed all required tax returns for the past four years?


1. Do you own or have any interest whatsoever in any real estate? If owned: When did you purchase the property? How much did the property cost? What are the mortgages encumbering it? What do you estimate the present value ofthe property to be? Is that the whole value or your share? How did you arrive at that value? If renting: Have you ever owned the property in which you live and/or is its owner in any way related to you?

2. Have you made any transfers of any property or given any property away within the last one year period (or such longer period as applicable under state law)? If yes: What did you transfer? To whom was it transferred? What did you receive in exchange? What did you do with the funds?

3. Does anyone hold property belonging to you? If yes: Who holds the property and what is it? What is its value?

4. Do you have a claim against anyone or any business? If there are large medical debts, are the medical bills from injury? Are you the plaintiff in any lawsuit? What is the status of each case and who is representing you?

5. Are you entitled to life insurance proceeds or an inheritance as a result of someone’s death? If yes: PIease explain the detaiI s. If you become a beneficiary of any one’s estate within six months of the date your bankruptcy petition was filed, the trustee must be advised within ten days through your counsel of the nature and extent of the property you will receive. FRBP 1007(h)

6. Does anyone owe you money? If yes: Is the money collectible? Why haven’t you collected it? Who owes the money and where are they?

7. Have you made any large payments, over $600, to anyone in the past year?

8. Were federal income tax returns filed on a timely basis? When was the last return filed? Do you have copies ofthe federal income tax returns? At the time of the filing of your petition, were you entitled to a tax refund from the federal or state government ? If yes: Inquire as to amounts.

9. Do you have a bank account, either checking or savings? If yes: In what banks and what were the balances as of the date you filed your petition?

10. When you filed your petition, did you have:

a. any cash on hand?
b. any U.S. savings bonds?
c. any other stocks or bonds?
d. any certificates of deposit?
e. a safe deposit box in your name or in anyone else’s name?

11. Do you own an automobile? If yes: What is the year, make, and value? Do you owe any money on it? Is it insured?

12. Are you the owner of any cash value life insurance policies? If yes: State the name ofthe company, face amount of the policy, cash surrender value, if any, and the beneficiaries.

13. Do you have any winning lottery tickets?

14. Do you anticipate that you might realize any property, cash or otherwise, as a result of a divorce or separation proceeding?

Friday, February 1, 2008

Foreclosure filings on the rise

Findlaw is reporting today that in 2007, foreclosure filings rose by 75% over previous years. This is a grim statistic that I have not seen since the late 80's. If you find yourself in such a situation there are a few options available to you and I would be happy to sit down with you and go over them. Be it a short sale, a refinance or a bankruptcy, your response to an imminent foreclosure can go a long ways towards improving your life down the road. Please do not be afraid to call me. I am associated with a strong network of professionals that I can turn to the hep you through your given situation. I truly believe lawyers are here to help people and will be happy to talk to you.