• What are the benefits and consequences of being an authorized user on a credit card?

      What is an authorized user? An authorized user is someone who has been “authorized” to use a credit card that is in someone else’s name. For example, parents will sometimes add their children as an authorized user to help build their child’s credit or use while they are away at college. Benefits: Establish or improve your credit score: For an authorized user without credit, ...

      Mary Pool/ Bond and Botes- 30 readers -
    • Episode 2: Next Lawyer Up with Ron Sykstus and Amy Tanner

      This episode of the Next Lawyer Up podcast features attorney Amy K. Tanner. Amy has been my law partner, friend and colleague since 1999. She is originally from Montgomery, Alabama where she was born and raised. Since the work of being a lawyer is a lot about the grind, meaning putting in a great deal of time and effort on every case for every client, maybe that is why I focu ...

      Ron Sykstus/ Bond and Botes- 32 readers -
    • Can a Student Loan Lender Garnish Social Security Benefits?

      Social Security benefits are exempt from just about all creditor collection efforts but, unfortunately not the U.S. Department of Education. In fact, current law provides that student loan borrowers who are 50 years old or older and have defaulted on their student loan debt are required to repay the student loan debt with a portion of their social security benefits.

      Amy Tanner/ Bond and Botes- 27 readers -
  • Warning Signs Continue for Subprime Auto Loan Crisis

    Back in April of this year, I wrote about the rising number of delinquency and default rates in the subprime auto loan market. Since then, the warning signs are still flashing. According to data recently released by the New York Federal Reserve, 6.3 million Americans are late on their auto loan payments by 90 days or more.

    Bond and Botes- 10 readers -
  • “Hot Yoga” Chain Twisted Up in Bankruptcy

    I have to confess that, upon beginning this blog, I had no idea what “hot yoga” was. At first I thought it might be reference to Paris Hilton attending a yoga class. “That’s hot,” y’all. Apparently it is a yoga class where the heat is cranked up to over 100 degrees while the yoga enthusiasts practice their calling.

    Bond and Botes- 10 readers -
  • Freedom Debt Relief Accused of Deceiving Customers

    When you’re constantly bombarded with calls about your debts, signing up with a debt settlement company can seem like the easiest way to handle them. However, Reuters reported that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) filed a lawsuit against Freedom Debt Relief and its co-Chief Executive Andrew Housser this month.

    Cynthia Lawson/ Bond and Botes- 10 readers -
  • Don’t Be A Victim Of Unlawful Debt Collectors

    Many times, clients come to my office because they are getting piles of letters and constant phone calls from debt collectors. The stress caused by the constant barrage of letters and phone calls can be severe. It is not unusual for some of these people to break down in tears in my office. In many instances, a smart choice to deal with this situation involves the filing of a ba ...

    Ed Woods/ Bond and Botes- 10 readers -
  • Changes to Reverse Mortgages (HECM’s)

    In a prior blog post, I discussed what a Reverse Mortgage is. I also went into detail about some of the basic rules to qualify for one, where you get them, and cautioned about the negative aspects of them. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development recently changed some of the guidelines to implement policies issued under the Reverse Mortgage Stabilization Act (RMSA), ...

    Bond and Botes- 9 readers -
  • Incurring a Debt During a Chapter 13

    If you have filed chapter 13, you should know that you cannot incur a debt without the bankruptcy court’s permission during the life of your bankruptcy. We understand that situations may arise where you may need to incur a debt. The most common situations that arise where a debt may need to be incurred are: refinancing your current home mortgage purchasing a home or car ...

    Mary Pool/ Bond and Botes- 11 readers -
  • What Is an Unsecured Debt?

    An unsecured debt is an obligation or debt that does not have personal or real property serving as collateral for payment of the debt. If you fail to make payment on an unsecured debt, the creditor cannot take any of your property without first suing you and getting a court judgment. There are a few exceptions to this rule, such as back child support, back taxes or delinquent g ...

    Grant Mcnutt/ Bond and Botes- 9 readers -
  • The Truth About Credit Cards

    With the holiday shopping season upon us, I think we need to talk about credit cards and the evil that may lurk in the fine print. It is difficult to checkout at any store lately without the clerk trying to push me to open a credit card. I know their employer instructs them to make these offers and they most likely make a commission on how many accounts they open, but it has be ...

    Amy Tanner/ Bond and Botes- 13 readers -
  • Mark Your Calendars Payday Lenders: New Rules Expected to Take Effect in 2019 (Maybe)

    Several weeks ago, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced new rules governing payday lenders set to go into effect in 2019—that is if Congress doesn’t have its say first. As an aside, my colleagues have previously written on the need for payday loan reform on the state level. A more recent piece speaks to why payday loan reform is good for Alabama, and a pie ...

    Bond and Botes- 11 readers -
  • Congress Approves Tax Relief for Chapter 12 Family Farmers

    A piece of bipartisan legislation concerning Chapter 12 of the Bankruptcy Code landed on the President’s desk for signature last week. The Family Farmer Bankruptcy Clarification Act of 2017 was sponsored by Senator Al Franken (D-Minn.) and Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), and was included as a part of the supplemental appropriations package that the Senate approved 82-7.

    Kathryn Davis/ Bond and Botes- 13 readers -
  • Gulf War Veterans Face High Denial Rates by the VA

    Given the high denial rates by the VA for Gulf War veterans, here is an interesting article about veterans who are doing something about it and helping other veterans. This information is directly from the article in Stars and Stripes: “In 1994, Congress passed legislation allowing a “presumption” for Gulf War veterans with undiagnosed illnesses — meaning they don’t have to p ...

    Ron Sykstus/ Bond and Botes- 8 readers -
  • Cost-Of-Living Adjustment Coming for Social Security Recipients

    The Social Security Administration (SSA) recently announced that it would be passing along a roughly two percent Cost-Of-Living Adjustment (COLA) to about 60 plus million Social Security recipients next year. While two percent may seem a bit modest, it is fortunately the largest such increase in benefits over the last five years.

    Bond and Botes- 9 readers -
  • Criminal Convictions In Payday Lending Scheme

    A federal jury in Manhattan found Kansas City businessman Scott Tucker guilty on all counts in a racketeering case. Tucker owned a $2 billion payday-lending business, which prosecutors had argued was built on illegal partnerships and predatory loans. Guilty Verdict’s for Tucker and Muir According to an article on Bloomberg the jury also convicted Timothy Muir, a former lawyer for Mr.

    Cynthia Lawson/ Bond and Botes- 11 readers -
  • Fending Off Those Annoying Robo-Calls

    Like nearly everybody else, you’ve had a mobile phone for some time now and, for the most part, you love it. You can call, text, tweet, email and otherwise communicate with all the important people in your world. You can get a table at your favorite restaurant, book your next flight to paradise, watch a movie, listen to your favorite tunes, or navigate your way around an unfami ...

    Ed Woods/ Bond and Botes- 8 readers -
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