Thursday, November 23, 2017

Reward Points ... financial benefit or burden? some personal thoughts and opinions from a bankruptcy attorney

A small law practice is like any other small business. It has good months and bad. If you string several bad months together it can cause the demise of the office just like any other small business. So, when I opened my office in 2013, and before I joined my partners, I needed credit cards to get through the tight months and try to find an office supply company that will sell you office supplies and bill you later. Needless to say, my credit card balances started to grow.

Image courtesy of phanlop88
Once I started stringing good months together, I thought I should start using more cash and rely less on credit cards ... makes sense right? But I had these great cards that offered me "points." So I decided to use those cards and pay what ever I placed on them as well as pay towards the balance. This way I could offset the use of the cards with the benefit of the points. I have a Costco Executive Business Credit Card, which actually pays cash back at the end of the year. I also use it for discounts on a couple business services I use.

Another card I use is my AMEX. It can earn points quickly and I even used points in the past to buy business supplies on Amazon. My wife has her cards with points and we even used some of those points for airline tickets once. The lure of reward points is why I decided to continue to use the cards.

While I expected to pay the charges each month, I found it was easier said than done. At the end of the month life would happens and the cash meant for the cards would be used  for something else. I found my cards continued to climb. The whole reward points thing wasn't really helping me. In fact, these programs encouraged me to use my cards more than I expected and should.

I suggest this is the purpose of "rewards" programs. The programs encourage use. When a family is financially strong, these are nice perks. When a family is financially stressed, I also suggest, these programs may cause a distraction and a false sense of benefit. Just take a moment to think about why you are using the credit cards you do. Maybe it will help you to avoid meeting with someone like me.

But if you need to meet me or just want to know more about me, Mark Medvesky, or our firm of Wells, Hoffman, Holloway & Medvesky LLP, check out our website at

#bankruptcy #Chapter7 #Chapter13 #MontgomeryCounty #lawfirm #BucksCounty #Pennsylvania

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Should I assume my car lease in my bankruptcy?

Keeping a car lease during in a bankruptcy case is an important consideration. Debtors can reject without any penalty or further obligation or assume contracts. A lease is a contract and debtors need to decide how they want to deal with leases. 
Image courtesy of nitinut at

Debtors can reject a lease and give up the property or assume the lease to keep the leased property. Debtors have the responsibility and are required by the bankruptcy law to "assume" a lease if they want to keep the leased property. 

But a debtor must remember when he or she keeps the property, he or she keeps all the obligations. The most obvious obligation is the over-mileage fees. If the debtor has already driven the car over the contracted mileage rate, it might be a good time to give up the car in the bankruptcy and prevent any additional fees.

Another consideration might be the performance of the car. Has it been a maintenance burden... not quite a lemon but far from being cherry? Maybe it is a good opportunity to dump it and to find something else.

Whatever the result, a Debtor should make sure it was a thoughtful decision. If the lease is a burden, rejecting the lease and giving up the car may be the best decision.

If you want assistance, legal representation, or just want to know more about me, Mark M. Medvesky, or Wells, Hoffman, Holloway & Medvesky LLP, check out our website at

 #bankruptcy #Chapter7 #Chapter13 #MontgomeryCounty #lawfirm #BucksCounty #Pennsylvania

Monday, November 6, 2017

Bankruptcy Chapter 13 - How much will my monthly payment be? (Part 1)

"How much will my monthly payment be?" is usually one of the first questions asked when someone is consider filing a chapter 13 bankruptcy case. Reaching the answer is complex and takes a little bit of analysis. It often requires accurate information from creditors, which is not readily available. Unfortunately, the monthly payment is sometimes one of the last questions that can be answered.

The first step is to determine what a debtor must pay. In order to qualify for Chapter 13 protection, creditors must receive at least as much in a Chapter 13 payment plan as they would get if debtor filed a Chapter 7 case. That means the creditors must receive the full value of property that is not exempt under the bankruptcy law.

Let's say John and Jane Smith want to file for bankruptcy using Chapter 13. To make it easy, I will use round numbers. They own a home that is worth $200,000.00. They have a mortgage on the house with a principle balance of $135,000.00. That means they have $65,000.00 of equity in their home.

That means if a Chapter 7 Trustee sold John's and Jane's  home, the trustee would receive $65,000.00. Under the bankruptcy law, John and Jane could keep (exempt) about $47,000.00 from the sale of their home. That means $18,000.00 is not exempt and for the purposes of this article this is the only non-exempt assets. The creditors would get a share of $18,000.00 in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. That means Jane and John will probably pay at least $18,000.00 through their plan.

This not the final figure. It can go up or down depending on other factors. I will discuss other factors in upcoming parts of this series.

If you want assistance, legal representation, or just want to know more about me, Mark M. Medvesky, or Wells, Hoffman, Holloway & Medvesky LLP, check out our website at

 #bankruptcy Chapter7 #Chapter13 #MontgomeryCounty #lawfirm #BucksCounty #Pennsylvania

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

USCIS Forms Update Notice

Direct from the USCIS:

"... the following USCIS form(s):

10/31/2017 12:00 AM EDT
New edition dated 10/19/17. Starting 12/30/2017, we will only accept the 10/19/17 edition of Form I-821. Until then, you can use the 12/23/16 and 02/20/14 editions.

For more information, please visit our [USCIS] Forms Updates page."

All USCIS forms are free on the USCIS website at

For more information on USCIS and its programs, you can visit or you can follow USCIS on Twitter (@uscis), YouTube (/uscis), Facebook(/uscis), and Instagram (@uscis)."

If you want to know more about Mark Medvesky or Wells, Hoffman, Holloway & Medvesky LLP, check out our website at

#BucksCounty #Immigration #lawyer #lawyers, #MontgomeryCounty #Souderton #Law_Firm