Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Bankruptcy - Rebuilding your credit after filing

One of the tips I give my clients about building credit after bankruptcy is to look for a secured credit card to start building credit. They need to find a card that reports to the credit reporting companies. A secured card is one where the card hold deposited money with the card issuer as collateral for the purchases made with the card. These cards are limited so the next step is to move to standard credit cards.

Here is a short article that offers suggestions on ways to get to the next step: How to Upgrade Your Secured Credit Card. This article discusses the following steps to try:

Image courtesy of Master isolated images
1. Make Sure You Pay All of Your Bills on Time

2. Pay off Your Balance (of your secured card)

3. Track Your Progress (check your credit score regularly to ensure it is going up)

4. Wait a Year (using a secured card)

5. Contact Your Secured Card Issuer (about upgrading to a traditional card)

6. Speak with Your Retail Bank (about a traditional card)

7. Apply for Cards Offered to Those with “Fair” or “Average” Credit
It won't happen over night but you can help the process move forward. For a few more details, check out the article.
If you want assistance, legal representation, or just want to know more about Mark Medvesky or Medvesky Law Office, LLC, check out my website at

#bankruptcy #Chapter_7 #Chapter_13 #Montgomery_County #law_firm #Bucks_County #Pennsylvania

USCIS Announcement - USCIS Alerts Yemeni Nationals to Available Immigration Relief Measures

Direct from USCIS Bulletin:

"USCIS is closely monitoring conditions in Yemen. Due to the current unstable security situation, USCIS seeks to highlight several available immigration relief measures that may assist eligible Yemeni nationals.

Immigration relief measures that may be available upon request include:

·        Change or extension of nonimmigrant status for an individual currently in the United States, even if the request is filed after the authorized period of admission has expired;

·        Extension of certain grants of parole made by USCIS;

·        Expedited adjudication and approval, where possible, of requests for off-campus employment authorization for F-1 students experiencing severe economic hardship;

·        Expedited adjudication of employment authorization applications, where appropriate; and

·        Consideration for waiver of fees associated with USCIS benefit applications, based on an inability to pay.

To learn more about how USCIS provides assistance to customers affected by unforeseen circumstances in their home country and how to request relief, please visit

Additional information on USCIS and its programs may be found on, by following USCIS on Facebook (/uscis), Twitter (@uscis), YouTube (/uscis) and the USCIS blog The Beacon, or by calling the National Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283"
If you want to know more about Mark Medvesky or Medvesky Law Office, LLC, check out my website at
#BucksCounty #Immigration #lawyer #lawyers, #MontgomeryCounty #Souderton #Law_Firm

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

USCIS Announcement - USCIS Will Accept Only the New Version of Form I-129 Beginning May 1

Direct from USCIS:

Beginning Friday, May 1, 2015 USCIS will accept only the new version (edition date: 10/23/14) of Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker. The edition date is printed at the bottom of every page. We will reject previous editions of this form if you submit them on or after May 1.
We issued the new version in January and have continued to accept old versions during the transition period, which ends Thursday, April 30."
This is important to know because USCIS will return your application and delay your approval if you use the wrong version.
If you want to know more about Mark Medvesky or Medvesky Law Office, LLC, check out my website at
#BucksCounty #Immigration #lawyer #lawyers, #MontgomeryCounty #Souderton #Law_Firm

Monday, April 27, 2015

Liabilities may be changing for websites and search engines ...

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles
Since the internet emerged as a public platform for communication, internet service providers (ISP's) have not been held liable for false information posted in Blogs, Discussion Boards and Websites. They were given more latitude than traditional media and other sources of information. Part of the theory behind the lack of liability is an ISP has no editorial authority... they are a merely public electronic bulletin board ... such regulation would be onerous on the ISP and might stifle the growth of the internet. That era may be coming to an end and ISP's may now need to monitor the content they allow to be posted. is reporting: "The Supreme Court said Monday it will decide whether Web sites and other firms that collect personal data can be sued for publishing inaccurate information even if the mistakes don't cause any actual harm." -

This could be  dramatic change for the internet and its users... everyone essentially. This is definitely a case to be watched.

If you want assistance, legal representation, or just want to know more about Mark Medvesky or Medvesky Law Office, LLC, check out my website at

#Montgomery_County #law_firm #Bucks_County #Pennsylvania #attorney #lawyer

Saturday, April 25, 2015

"Can You File Bankruptcy If You're Unemployed? Yes, But You May Want to Wait"

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at
When I first meet people to discuss bankruptcy, one of the first questions I ask is, "are you working?" If a client is not working and has no prospect of a job any time soon, I explore the possibility of waiting to file. If they expect to find a job soon or have a pending offer, I'll explore the impact of waiting. Waiting too long can push a debtor out of eligibility for filing under chapter 7 and leave them with chapter 13 as their only option.
"Can You File Bankruptcy If You're Unemployed? Yes, But You May Want to Wait" -Submitted by Rachel R - I found this article discussing other considerations when someone is unemployed. I think the author does a great job and this article is consistent with the counsel I give my clients. If you are unemployed and considering bankruptcy, this article is definitely worth the read. I'll gladly answer further questions.

If you want assistance, legal representation, or just want to know more about Mark Medvesky or Medvesky Law Office, LLC, check out my website at

#bankruptcy #Chapter_7 #Chapter_13 #Montgomery_County #law_firm #Bucks_County #Pennsylvania

A new phase of Medvesky Law Office LLC

A new phase of Medvesky Law Office LLC is opening. It is with mixed emotions I write this. Doug Wortman has taken a position with another firm. I met Doug in 1993 when I joined the 913th Airlift Wing at Willow Grove (the intel shop). We connected again as he was graduating law school and I was planning to open Medvesky Law. He joined me as at the open of the office. Recently, he was offered a great opportunity. I appreciate the help he gave me as we opened the office and his absence will be noticed. I wish him the best of luck in his new position.

If you want assistance, legal representation, or just want to know more about Mark Medvesky or Medvesky Law Office, LLC, check out my website at

 #Montgomery_County #law_firm #Bucks_County #Pennsylvania

Friday, April 24, 2015

Can you protect yourself when you loan money to friends or family?

I believe people who feel close to each other always want to take care of each other. That includes when financial problems hit. So the question comes up often if the lender can protect themselves if things continue to go bad. I found this article that discusses the best way to protect yourself if you are going to lend money to friends or family: "The Best Ways to Loan Money to Friends and Family." It has a few good ideas:
Image courtesy of zdiviv at

"1. Set a Fair Interest Rate [state law may regulated how much interest you can charge]

 2. Get Your Agreement in Writing [it can be simple]

 3. Set up a Formal Payment Arrangement"

I would add that once you establish the agreement, enforce it. If you start to let it slide, you could imply you waived the right to collect it. Also, the longer you let it go, the harder someone may take it when you remind them they need to pay.

You also need to do some of your own homework. You need to ask yourself if this is really helping or just prolonging a problem. Because this will not protect you if someone file bankruptcy. You will be added to the list of unsecured creditors and your debt will be discharged along with the other creditors. Check out the article I wrote last month: Bankruptcy - The gift that keeps on taking ...

But if you are confident you are helping out, these are solid step to take to protect everyone involved.

If you want assistance, legal representation, or just want to know more about Mark Medvesky or Medvesky Law Office, LLC, check out our website at

#bankruptcy #Chapter_7 #Chapter_13 #Montgomery_County #law_firm #Bucks_County #Pennsylvania

Monday, April 20, 2015

Do you really know what it means to co-sign a student loan?

There is a great deal of discussion in the press about student loans and the impact they are having on students and the economy. I think there is less talk about what it can do to parents and other family members. On several occasions, I have had clients come in and talk about being on the hook for their child's student loan. In most cases the child has not accrued assets and is "judgment proof" ... meaning they have nothing for the creditors to seize and sell to recover the debt. But the parents, on the other hand, are usually established, their home has a good deal of equity, and they have assets to protect. So, they pick up the payments when their children default on the payments. It would be no different for anyone co-signing a student loan for someone else.

Image courtesy of ddpavumba at
What makes it worse is when the parents are near or at retirement age. They were coming to a point in their lives where they want to slow down and enjoy what they built for themselves during the prime of their working life. Instead, they are finding themselves with debt more cumbersome than a mortgage. With a mortgage, they could file bankruptcy and walk away from the debt and the property. But with student loans, the ability to discharge the debt is difficult at best; even for the co-signers.

So if someone is planning to co-sign student loans (or any loan for that matter), they really need to consider how it will impact their future if the primary party fails to pay it. It can mean the difference between winters in Florida and working into your 70's. To help people make these decisions, here are a couple articles to consider:

School Loans are still hard (if not impossible) to discharge in Bankruptcy

Should I Co- Sign For a Loan?

The Dangers of Cosigning Private Student Loans

New Scamming Industry growing ... targeting student loan debtors

If you want assistance, legal representation, or just want to know more about Mark Medvesky or Medvesky Law Office, LLC, check out our website at

#bankruptcy #Chapter_7 #Chapter_13 #Montgomery_County #law_firm #Bucks_County #Pennsylvania

Friday, April 17, 2015

Immigration - Administration's Immigration action gets to the next level

Image courtesy of Ambro at
Federal appeals judges spent two hours today listening to the parties litigating President Obama's expanded deferred action immigration program. The State of Texas and the Justice Department answered questions from the three judge panel from the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. The judges did not hand down a decision today. This court could lift the stay and allow the administration to implement the new program. For more information:  "Court hears Texas’ appeal on Obama immigration action" 

An another article with a different perspective: Court chilly to Barack Obama immigration moves - It's likely the White House will have to take its case to the Supreme Court within days.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Bankruptcy - What do Trustees do, why are they so picky, and how do I make it easier?

Every consumer debtor who successfully makes it through bankruptcy has to meet and testify in front of a trustee. Trustees are court appointed attorneys who oversee the administration of bankruptcy cases. They look through the debtors petitions, schedules, and supporting documents. Their job is to determine if a debtor has assets or is hiding assets that should be used to pay creditors.

Image courtesy of saphatthachat at
In order to do their job, trustees pour through information found in numerous sources. They
review all the documents provided by law looking for signs of assets in documents like bank statements. They check public databases like the state's corporation registration and county recorder of deeds looking for ownership interests. They do it themselves or hire paralegals just for this purpose. When trustees find things outside the bankruptcy filing that should have been included, they are required to ask questions about those inconsistencies. It also causes them to become suspect and encourages them to dig deeper.

I can say, as a bankruptcy attorney, the last thing we want to happen is to learn new information about our client's finances at the creditor's meeting from the trustee because the client forgot or failed to tell us. This can cause a relatively straight forward proceeding that usually takes about 20 minutes to blossom into an hour long interrogation. I watched a case unfold like that at a creditors meeting last week.

I was in the meeting room waiting for my client's case to be called. My client was a little nervous; as most clients are. I suggested we sit closer to a meeting that was starting so he could hear some of the questions he would be asked. The case called before us was an older couple. The man was in a mobility scooter. For some reason, I thought, "oh this looks likes an easy case."

After a few standard questions, I heard the trustee ask about a parcel of real estate. I heard the man try to explain it wasn't his. After a few minutes of back-and-forth between the trustee and the man, the trustee said "well wouldn't you agree if your name is the only name on the deed, that it is your property?" It took about another 15-minute to discuss the rent being collected from that property. Then the trustee went into two businesses he found that were not listed in the schedules. The debtors' attorney did not seem to have a clue about these undeclared assets. What should have been a 15 - 20 minute interview turned into an hour ordeal.

The way to avoid this happening to you is to be open and honest with your attorney. The only way your attorney can help you through bankruptcy is for him or her to know and understand your finances. Everything discovered above could be innocent and may have no impact on the bankruptcy at all. The property could be mortgage with no equity; the rent could be just enough to maintain the property; and the businesses could be losing money or not operating at all. But all of that information needs to be disclosed and set out in the schedules. If the trustee would have had this information, that meeting could have been just like any other well documented bankruptcy case.

But what happened instead, with the case I discussed above, the trustee ended the meeting and the attorney walked out with a page full of questions to be answered. What is even worse, by not informing their attorney of these assets, the debtors may have placed their assets at risk of being taken. If the assets are not eligible to be exempted, the trustee could take them, sell them and distribute the proceeds among the creditors as is his job to do. They are at risk because once the debtors filed for bankruptcy they cannot withdraw it without permission from the court.

Until the case is completed and the debtors are discharged, it is the responsibility of the trustee to administer the case. Trustees diligently investigate the debtors and work to determine what, if any, is left for the creditors. The best way to avoid problems is to make sure your attorney has a full understanding of your financial picture. This allows your attorney to determine if bankruptcy is right for you and to present the full and complete case to the trustee and the court.

If you want assistance, legal representation, or just want to know more about Mark Medvesky or Medvesky Law Office, LLC, check out our website at

#bankruptcy #Chapter_7 #Chapter_13 #Montgomery_County #law_firm #Bucks_County #Pennsylvania

Monday, April 13, 2015

Do you know how long it will take you to pay off your credit card?

Image courtesy of hywards at
Anyone who uses credit cards, and that is most of us, know that if you pay near the minimum, the debt never seems to go down. If you look at the payment schedule, you will see it will take years to pay off the debt with minimum payments while never adding anything to the card during the pay-off period.

I found an article to talk about the strategies to work on paying down your credit card debt: "How Long Does It Take to Pay Off $10,000 of Credit Card Debt?". It discusses a couple ways to work on your debt and definitely worth a try. Understand, these strategies will take time and, for many, most of their disposable income. If you read this article and think, "I don't have the disposable income to do this," you may want to consider bankruptcy.

If the ideas in the article seem out of your reach, read one of my previous blog entries: 
"Study [from the NY Federal Reserve Bank] shows Bankruptcy can give fresh start it promises". I have found in my practice, most people fully intended to pay their debts. Most of my clients have just hit hard times and they can no longer carry the debt they created. Above are two options to consider when you are having trouble with debt.

If you want assistance, legal representation, or just want to know more about Mark Medvesky or Medvesky Law Office, LLC, check out our website at

Previous Blog Entries:

Rebuilding credit after Bankruptcy...

When will I be able to buy a new home after bankruptcy?

You can overcome bankruptcy...

Debt What?

#bankruptcy #Chapter_7 #Chapter_13 #Montgomery_County #law_firm #Bucks_County #Pennsylvania #debt #settlement

Thursday, April 9, 2015

New Reviews - Have you checked my review page recently?

Over the last month or so We have had a couple more people review our work. We are lucky to have some great clients. If you haven't check our reviews lately here is a new one on AVVO:

Reviews found on AVVO (

"Bankruptcy Review - Posted by a client (5 stars)

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles

Mark was a pleasure to work with and was very helpful to me during a difficult time. I was helping a parent with some very difficult financial decisions that they weren't ready to accept. Mark was so patient with me as moved through the process with many road blocks being thrown in front of us. He always communicated with me the next step, he promptly got back to me when I would contact him and he was always just very pleasant to deal with. Thank you Mark for all your help!"

You can find more here:

Thank you all for your kind words.

If you want assistance, legal representation, or just want to know more about Medvesky Law Office, LLC, check out our website at
#Montgomery_County #law_firm #Bucks_County #Pennsylvania

Monday, April 6, 2015

New York leads again ... how far will it go?

AP News reports "Court: NYC lady can serve divorce papers via Facebook (

Image courtesy of vectorolie
NEW YORK (AP) — A judge has provided a New York City lady permission to file for divorce from her elusive husband by way of a Facebook message. The woman's lawyer says the ruling was produced by Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Matthew Cooper.
The Daily News ( ) says Victor Sena Blood-Dzraku will be served with the divorce summons by way of a private Facebook message. It will be repeated once a week for 3 consecutive weeks or till "acknowledged" by Ellanora Baidoo's tough-to-find husband."
While it is not uncommon for a party to dodge service, I do not know how many times the court has allowed Facebook to be the vehicle to complete service and place a party on notice of a legal claim. Many courts' rules allow for the notice of a court case to be served through publication in a legal newspaper or a newspaper of general circulation as a alternative to normal service. The next question becomes, I think, can social media become the place of alternative service? New York or California are usually jurisdictions that lead new trends in the law. This will be a trend to watch.
If you want assistance, legal representation, or just want to know more about Medvesky Law Office, LLC, check out our website at
#Montgomery_County #law_firm #Bucks_County #Pennsylvania

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Points to consider in your children custody case after a divorce (part 5 - final part)

NOTE: Pennsylvania law does not presume one parent is better than the other as a custodial parent and many county courts look to share physical custody, as close to 50/50%, as possible. While judges base child custody decisions on many variables, and the Pennsylvania law sets forth all the factors a court must consider in a child custody case, this series includes some of the more important factors Pennsylvania courts typically consider when making these decisions.  While there are no guarantees in child custody disputes, taking these actions may increase your chances of a favorable result.

This blog is part 5, the final part of this series, and discusses two more points of the 10 points we plan to discuss and for you to consider when trying to position yourself to maximize your physical custody of your children.

9. Facilitate the opposing party’s custody as much as possible.
If you thought it was your job to prevent the other side from exercising custody, you haven't been paying attention to common sense or the law.  If your former partner is a good parent, or more precisely, a court has found them to be a good parent, then it is your job as a parent to ensure the child benefits from the love and companionship of the other parent. In fact, Pennsylvania has codified this requirement in its divorce code. The Pennsylvania statute:

§ 5303. Award of custody, partial custody or visitation.

Image courtesy of stockimages
(a) General rule.--In making an order for custody, partial custody or visitation to either parent, the court shall consider, among other factors, which parent is more likely to encourage, permit and allow frequent and continuing contact and physical access between the noncustodial parent and the child... (emphasis added)

In Pennsylvania, the court must consider whether you are the parent who will facilitate the other parent's relationship with the child.  It is the first factor listed in the statute.  So, you should show the court that you are more than willing to facilitate custody in the other parent.  Therefore, you should not work to deny the child the other parent if you want to have and keep primary custody.

10. Recognize Your Own Limits & Needs

Many times custody issues arise when a relationship breaks up, or other stressors begin working on the children or parties.  Lawyers often find that custody clients may need to slow down, and work on their own issues before rushing into a court battle.  Litigating the custody issues at a time when the drama of the breakup is causing erratic behavior can lead to bad results in the custody case.  A parent who waits a short time to stabilize their life and who has placed sometime between the breakup and the custody battle can be a benefit.  You want the judge or mediator to meet you at a high point, not your lowest state. This may mean sitting back and taking care of yourself, and not moving as quickly forward with your custody case.

Please keep in mind we are not trying to set you up to "win" a court case. This series is a set of factors for you to consider to position yourself in the best place for you to contribute to the stability, welfare, and well-being of your children.

If you want assistance, legal representation, or just want to know more about Douglas Wortman or Medvesky Law Office, LLC, check out our website at

#Custody #Divorce #Bucks_County #lawyer #lawyers, #Montgomery_County #Souderton #Law_Firm