The ABCs of Bankruptcy: A is for Annuities

28 September 2012

 

Letter Block A

As a bankruptcy debtor’s attorney, one of the least welcome surprises is a non-exempt asset. Recently, I had a client come to me to file a bankruptcy with, among other assets, a “retirement annuity”. The summary of terms was straight-forward. She can’t draw from the annuity until she has held the annuity for more than ten years and she has reached the age of sixty-five, at which point she receives a fixed payment for life. So far, so good. As she’s entitled to claim federal exemptions, 11 U.S.C. § 522(d)(10)(E) protects exactly this kind of annuity and should work, right? Well, except for that one little word “unless” and paragraph (iii).
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Virginia Southgate

What is a hung jury and what exactly does it mean?

28 September 2012

ChessI just tried a felony case here in Northern Kentucky this week that resulted in a mistrial because the jury couldn’t reach a unanimous verdict. This is referred to as a hung jury. My client leaned over to me and asked,” So exactly what does that mean?” (more…)

Robert Patton

What does full coverage really mean?

20 September 2012

money on calculatorIn a word nothing. Don’t go to your auto agent and ask for full coverage, please. Auto insurance is not a commodity. Buy the cheapest gas, the cheapest couch you can find. Sit down with your insurance agent and get as good a policy as you can reasonably afford. You must have $25,000 liability coverage by law in the State of Kentucky. Have you seen any hospital bills lately? One of my clients was sent a bill from air care for $15,000 for the ride to the hospital! They called her house and demanded to know how they were going to be paid before my client was released from the hospital.  (more…)

Robert Patton

Falling Behind on Your Mortgage?

31 August 2012

houseThere is little scarier than realizing you can’t make your mortgage payment. You can’t turn on the news or pick up a paper without hearing horror stories about the mortgage crisis. You worry about becoming another statistic, a casualty of the recession. Don’t panic yet. As a bankruptcy lawyer, I see this all the time and in most cases, you can find a way to recover before your home is in danger. (more…)

Virginia Southgate

More Questions I Am Often Asked About Auto Accident Claims

31 August 2012

car crashI have had several clients tell me that they don’t want to sue anyone, they just want fair compensation for their injuries. Insurance companies love to hear that. They will tell the injured party that they don’t need an attorney to settle their claim. They are correct, but what they aren’t telling you is that you won’t get what your claim is really worth. (more…)

Robert Patton

Rebuilding Credit After Bankruptcy

13 August 2012

Almost every client asks me “how long will bankruptcy hurt my credit?”.  Unfortunately, there is no single answer and answering before a case is filed involves guessing the future. (more…)

Virginia Southgate

FAQs About Kentucky Auto Insurance Coverage

7 August 2012
When I talk to new injury clients I ask them to bring their insurance policies, so I can talk to them about potential coverage. They often tell me “no problem, I have full coverage”.  Usually though, they don’t really know what that means.  Here are some of the common questions I get when I review the coverage in their policies.   (more…)
Robert Patton

Bankruptcy vs. Living with Debt

20 July 2012

As a bankruptcy attorney, it is an ongoing source of frustration for me that any TV or radio call in dealing with financial topics will refuse to mention the word “bankruptcy”, even if the person calling in is crippled by debt they will never be able to repay.   (more…)

Virginia Southgate

Starting My Northern Kentucky Legal Career, Part 3: The Verdict

20 July 2012

The verdict was returned in about an hour, the silence was palpable.  (more…)

Robert Patton

Bankruptcy in the News: What is a Chapter 9?

11 July 2012

San Bernardino, California is in the news and may become the third California city in recent weeks to seek bankruptcy protection under Chapter 9 of the Bankruptcy Code. (more…)

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