Your Garage Summer Reading Amazon Fashion Learn more nav_sap_plcc_ascpsc Songs of Summer Fire TV Stick Subscribe & Save Patriotic Picks Shop-by-Room Amazon Cash Back Offer roadies roadies roadies  Amazon Echo  Echo Dot  Amazon Tap  Echo Dot  Amazon Tap  Amazon Echo Starting at $49.99 All-New Kindle Oasis AutoRip in CDs & Vinyl Segway miniPro STEM
Profile for Joseph C. McDaniel > Reviews

Browse

Joseph C. McDaniel's Profile

Customer Reviews: 69
Top Reviewer Ranking: 908,264
Helpful Votes: 917


Community Features
Review Discussion Boards
Top Reviewers

Guidelines: Learn more about the ins and outs of Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Joseph C. McDaniel RSS Feed (Phoenix, Arizona)
(REAL NAME)   

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7
pixel
Invicta Men's 8928OB Pro Diver 23k Gold-Plated and Stainless Steel Two-Tone Automatic Watch
Invicta Men's 8928OB Pro Diver 23k Gold-Plated and Stainless Steel Two-Tone Automatic Watch
Offered by Discount Watch Store
Price: $94.92
54 used & new from $74.64

492 of 517 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If this watch were any better, it would be illegal!, June 1, 2009
I'm an Arizona bankruptcy lawyer, and when my clients gasp in horror about losing their Rolexes, which are far too expensive to be exempt under Arizona exemption laws, I tell 'em not to worry. I tell 'em to buy an Invicta!

Nine out of ten people won't notice the difference if you normally wear a Rolex and switch to an Invicta (as long as it has the coin bezel, which this watch, per the photo, does).

From the perspective of the moral high ground, this watch doesn't say it's a Rolex. It doesn't have the word Rolex anywhere on it, and it does have the word Invicta featured on the face where the word Rolex would be, and the word Invicta deeply engraved on the edge of the watch on the other side from the stem.

This watch weighs about the same as a Rolex, is water-resistant to the same depth as a Rolex, and is an automatic (self-winding) watch, just like the Rolex Submariner.

The colors are similar as well.

There are two principal differences between this watch and a Rolex. One is that the gold colored links on the Invicta are gold-plated, and they will eventually scratch.

The other is the price; this thing is dramatically less expensive than the BAND on a Rolex, and the quality is similar.

In fact, it costs less to buy this watch than to CLEAN a Rolex!

For traveling, you absolutely want this watch instead of a Rolex, because when you're robbed, you get to think, "hey, now I get to buy a new one!" rather than thinking, "Seven thou out the window!"

Actually, there's another thing. If you file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Arizona, you get to keep this watch. You don't get to keep the Rolex, unless you buy it back from the Arizona Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustee.

And, yes, I wear one every day of my life. In and out of the shower or the pool.

And they always run, and never need new batteries. I've never even cleaned one in the many years I've have these, and they, to steal a phrase, just keep ticking.

So does it sound like I like these things? That would be wrong.

I love these watches. Too cool for school.
Comment Comments (32) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 7, 2016 8:30 AM PDT


Shotokan Karate Kanazawa 3 DVD Box set Kihon Kumite & Kata
Shotokan Karate Kanazawa 3 DVD Box set Kihon Kumite & Kata
DVD ~ Hirokazu Kanazawa
2 used & new from $49.95

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better Together!, May 2, 2009
I've reviewed these separately, but the price is better if you buy all three at once.

If you're a Shotokan karate practitioner, you must have these dvds. The provide the closest you'll get to the entire Shotokan syllabus in three dvds.

The dvd with all the Shotokan kata is itself worth the price being charged here for all three.

Remember that you might or might not have compatibility issues with one or two or all three of these; but Amazon's return policy means you have no risk, so go for it!

I'm able to play one of these that I bought separately on my dvd player. The other two play on my computer.

So go ahead and buy these; they are remarkably good in every way that counts; production quality, quality of instruction, amount of information, and so on.

The only areas entirely lacking here are bunkai and freestyle sparring.

Everything else is here.

Read my reviews of the individual dvds, and then buy these.

You can thank me later.


Bounce Back from Bankruptcy: A Step-By-Step Guide to Getting Back on Your Financial Feet, 4th Edition
Bounce Back from Bankruptcy: A Step-By-Step Guide to Getting Back on Your Financial Feet, 4th Edition
by Paula Langguth Ryan
Edition: Paperback
31 used & new from $5.09

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bounce Back from Bankruptcy is Boffo !!!, March 21, 2009
I love this little book. It's easy to read, well laid out, and absolutely without pretension.

It's written by a nice lady who went through bankruptcy and got scammed after she filed by a company which offered her a credit card if she jumped through the right (expensive) hoops with their company. The result, after a year of effort and expense, wasn't pretty.

But like everybody who becomes successful, she took the money she was scammed out of as just another tuition payment, and worked harder to find ways to rehabilitate her credit.

And she did. It took her longer than it should have, which she freely admits (she wasn't able to purchase a new home for six years, which is much longer than if you do it right).

The good news is that if you read her book, you'll avoid a lot of the common credit repair scams (she carefully describes a couple of the more cynical scams) and, for that matter, you'll also avoid a series of other traps for the unwary who have filed and received their discharge.

She addresses bread and butter issues, and doesn't assume that her readers, most of whom have filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, know anything at all about cleaning up their credit (which she describes in great detail, starting with how to get credit reports), her personal philosophy of reaffirmations (which is similar to my own), debts that didn't get discharged, secured credit cards, renting a place to live after filing a bankruptcy, traveling without a credit card, and more.

Is it a perfect book? No, but it's very good. In particular, it takes topics that could easily frighten and overwhelm a recent Chapter 7 bankruptcy debtor, and slices and dices them until they're not overwhelming, or even difficult. And she devotes a few pages to pop psychology designed to make people feel better about their situation and themselves, which can't do any harm, and might well do some good.

After you read this book, reading more detailed discussions of the subtopics would probably be a good idea. But just reading this provides a nice overview for a consumer debtor, and even though this book won't turn a debtor into an av rated, avvo 10 board certified bankruptcy lawyer, it will probably make them much more comfortable that they can negotiate the shoals of the credit ocean much more easily than if they didn't read it.

One tiny, picky item that drove me crazy was that she frequently used the phrase, "after your bankruptcy is discharged", and similar phrases. She's a really smart woman, but the phrase is "after you receive your discharge".

A discharge is an order of the court, a permanent injunction that tells most creditors to freeze in place and take no further action, ever, to collect their debts.

That, however, is a tiny quibble. It's a very nice book, and debtors would be well advised to read it as a starting point to getting their credit back on track. I practice Bankruptcy Law in Phoenix, Arizona, and I'm going to suggest to my clients that they read it to lower their blood pressure.

Nothing in the above should be considered legal advice; it's just a book review! But you would also be well-advised to read it if you're considering or contemplating bankruptcy, whether a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, because you'll get a head start on your credit cleanup and protection project.

p.s. I'm an Arizona bankruptcy lawyer, and all of the clients I've told to read this book have been delighted with it!


No Title Available

5.0 out of 5 stars Bankruptcy Humor, February 18, 2009
This is just plain funny. Maybe you have to be a bankruptcy lawyer to get it.

But I'm going to get one to go in my office, next to my "Deciphering the Code" poster from Callaghan and Company (with a couple of lawyers examining the sacred text of the Bankruptcy Code in front of the Sphinx) and my original of "Approaching the Bench", showing fins in the carpet moving toward the Judge's bench.

Listen, bankruptcy law is not so funny in the real world, especially after the 2005 Amendments; anything that reduces the number of tears in the office is a good thing.


The American Bar Association Guide to Credit and Bankruptcy: Everything You Need to Know About the Law, Your Rights, and Credit, Debt, and Bankruptcy ... Bar Association Guide to Credit & Bankruptcy)
The American Bar Association Guide to Credit and Bankruptcy: Everything You Need to Know About the Law, Your Rights, and Credit, Debt, and Bankruptcy ... Bar Association Guide to Credit & Bankruptcy)
by American Bar Association
Edition: Paperback
38 used & new from $0.01

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Great Reference for Consumer Bankruptcy Debtors and Debtors Generally, February 17, 2009
I gave this book a lot of points for its very existence. There are a LOT of lawyers who were involved in its creation, and getting a lot of lawyers to cooperate in anything is like herding cats.

The author is listed as the American Bar Association, but there was one primary author, David L. Hudson, Jr.

David did a great job of packing information densely into this small paperback book. The book is broken into two major categories, consumer credit and bankruptcy.

The section on consumer credit discusses credit discrimination, applying for various sorts of credit, correcting billing mistakes, and other sorts of of borrowing, including car and home financing.

The section on bankruptcy discusses both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, with a discussion of the ways that bankruptcy is now different under the 2005 amendments.

There are a lot of features to make this easier to use, including a number of icons (little picture thingies) that direct the reader to practical tips, additional information, warnings about pitfalls, and plain English definitions of legal terms (which are particularly important in the area of bankruptcy law, where words look and sound like English, but aren't!).

One feature I particularly like shows up at the end of chapters, and it's the section called "The World at Your Fingertips". That section directs readers to additional materials to flesh out the discussion in the book.

And that's good, because this book is a sort of a resource for credit and bankruptcy swiss army knife. It has a LOT of items, and they're all good, just like the tiny tools on a good swiss army knife. But after you read the relevant Chapter in this book, you'll probably want to read more, in a more specialized volume.

For instance, if you read this and decide that a Chapter 13 is in your future, you may decide to read The Complete Chapter 13 Personal Bankruptcy Guide by Edward Haman (a NOLO book), or if you read this book and decide that you are contemplating a bankruptcy under Chapter 7, you may want to read Surviving Personal Bankruptcy by Nora Raum, both of which are available here on Amazon.

And to track down a bankruptcy lawyer, there's a new online resource called AVVO which compares lawyers like Amazon compares books, and there's Findlaw (an online directory), and it would also be nice if your lawyer was Martindale AV rated.

p.s. as I write this postscript, there is a raging debate in Congress over a provision in the Bankruptcy Code that may, after amendment, permit the stripdown of some OR all mortgages on residential real property. Will that statute pass? Listen, I've practiced bankruptcy law in Phoenix, Arizona for about thirty years, and I've watched a long series of amendments to the "New Code" of 1979; and I've watched as Congress debated in the past. The 2005 amendments took about a decade to work their way through Congress. So MAYBE the Bankruptcy Code is about to change a lot. And MAYBE it's not. But if you're contemplating bankruptcy in Phoenix, Arizona, or anywhere else, you should be aware that the law is currently MAYBE about to change in a way that could be helpful to debtors, IF they qualify and are willing to put up with a Chapter 13 bankruptcy (which makes a root canal look like fun).


Surviving Personal Bankruptcy: Your Guide to the Personal, Legal, and Financial Issues
Surviving Personal Bankruptcy: Your Guide to the Personal, Legal, and Financial Issues
by Nora Raum
Edition: Paperback
32 used & new from $1.59

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT Consumer Bankruptcy Resource, February 12, 2009
This is a wonderful consumer bankruptcy book! Easy to read, comprehensive without being overwhelming, and with the kind of practical advice and knowledge that only come from experience.

It is obvious that the author, Nora Raum, really knows her stuff.

She'd been practicing bankruptcy law for 19 years at the time this book came out, and it shows. She has the wisdom that only comes from time in the bankruptcy trenches.

If a consumer with no bankruptcy knowledge wants a good place to start the analysis of decisions about bankruptcy, this is it.

There is a useful discussion of the difference between Chapter 7 Bankruptcy and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, a good explanation of the bankruptcy process in both common types of consumer bankruptcy, and an explanation of the First Meeting of Creditors (section 341 hearing), which is usually the only hearing in a consumer Chapter 7 case.

Nora Raum is a lucid writer; she isn't interested in impressing you with how much she knows, although she impressed me. She's interested in talking with you about the bankruptcy process. She's clear and straightforward, and doesn't use five-dollar words when a simple explanation will get the job done.

The book is well laid out, is a quick read and flows well from one section to another. My guess is that the book was easy for her write, because it sounds just like what you would hear if you spent two hours with an av-rated board certified bankruptcy lawyer with a few decades of experience. If the lawyer liked you and wanted you to be well informed.

She strikes the right balance between telling her consumer readers, who are after all likely to be a lot anxious, exactly how to go about finding a lawyer (ten easy steps, including consulting your gut, a remarkably important step, because the bankruptcy process is stressful, so you need a lawyer who doesn't make you feel stupid, angry or depressed).

I was frankly pleased with Nora's take on whether to file a bankruptcy without a lawyer to represent you, which is perfectly legit for an individual. Her take is simple; it's a dumb idea, but if you're going to do it, take up the process of filing as though it's a real live job, and read everything you can possibly read about it.

It's also clear that her anxiety about pro per debtors (people representing themselves) has nothing to do with a bias in favor of lawyers. It has to do with her recognition that many people who file a bankruptcy without adequate representation will suffer for that decision, and she doesn't like consumer debtors to suffer.

Frankly, she's compassionate without being unrealistic, and that's the balance that's needed in dealing with a consumer who is facing overwhelming debt.

The book does a nice job of discussing fairly complex bankruptcy ideas like fraudulent transfers, preferences, and complaints to determine discharge of debts in non-technical, easy to understand language.

All in all, I am very impressed with this book, and think it would be very helpful to a consumer debtor contemplating bankruptcy, and should serve to make the process much less scary and intimidating.

None of the above should be relied on as legal advice, which you should obtain from an experienced and qualified lawyer in your jurisdiction prior to making any important decisions.

p.s. as I write this postscript, there is a raging debate in Congress over a provision in the Bankruptcy Code that may, after amendment, permit the stripdown of some OR all mortgages on residential real property. Will that statute pass? Listen, I've practiced bankruptcy law in Phoenix, Arizona for about thirty years, and I've watched a long series of amendments to the "New Code" of 1979; and I've watched as Congress debated in the past. The 2005 amendments took about a decade to work their way through Congress. So MAYBE the Bankruptcy Code is about to change a lot. And MAYBE it's not. But if you're contemplating bankruptcy in Phoenix, Arizona, or anywhere else, you should be aware that the law is currently MAYBE about to change in a way that could be helpful to debtors, IF they qualify and are willing to put up with a Chapter 13 bankruptcy (which makes a root canal look like fun).


Bankruptcy, Foreclosure, Short Sales & Rebuilding your Credit - FINANCIAL RECOVERY
Bankruptcy, Foreclosure, Short Sales & Rebuilding your Credit - FINANCIAL RECOVERY
DVD ~ Educouch Experts
Price: $4.98
8 used & new from $0.01

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Consumer Bankruptcy DVD: Uneven Quality, Depending on Speaker, February 11, 2009
This is an interesting dvd.

It has the look and feel of an infomercial, but it's not one. It just looks like one.

The speakers range from solid and good to I couldn't watch 'em.

Here is my take on the six segments of the dvd:

-David W. Langley on bankruptcy law: I gave him an A minus. He's a AV rated bankruptcy lawyer with 25 years of experience, and he looks and sounds like it. The reason he didn't get an A is that the discussion of bankruptcy law was simply oversimplified. And fairly light on information. It's an okay very, very simple overview, but I wish that David had been given more time on this dvd, and had presented a more in-depth discussion of bankruptcy law and process. On the other hand, if I had a brother in Florida with a debt problem, I'd have no compunctions about referring him to David (this is not a guarantee of his work; I can't guarantee the work of any other professional, nor would I; use your own common sense in finding a lawyer and try to find a Martindale av rated board certified bankruptcy lawyer in your State, or a bankruptcy attorney who has an AVVO.com score of 10.0).

-Sherri B. Simpson, another lawyer on this dvd, discusses foreclosures. Her lecture has some value and she says some smart things, like take documents to a lawyer before you sign them, and she does a good job of discussing mortgage rescue scams. That's valuable. This discussion gets a B because it's pretty state specific, even though she tries to make it available to a wider audience. But it's obvious that she cares about her clients, and that she has a lot of experience in the area.

-Carlos Gieots is billed as a credit expert, and his information is generally both simple and accurate on credit issues. WARNING: he seems to suggest failing to list a creditor on your bankruptcy petition under some circumstances. That kind of advice can lose you a bankruptcy discharge, and send you to jail. So listen to him discuss credit and the credit reporting agencies and how to get errors removed from your credit report. DO NOT listen to his suggestion that not all creditors must be listed on a bankruptcy petition. He gets an F, based on a suggestion that sounded illegal, impolite and fattening to me. And if he didn't mean it, he sure shouldn't have said it.

-Scott Daniels, a realtor who specializes in short sales, discussed the process in general. It was an overview, again somewhat state-specific, but listening to him makes it clear that short sales are not very easy and not always possible. He gets a C because after listening to him a consumer would at least know a lot of questions to ask an in-state realtor about a short sale.

-There are people on this dvd who are billed as a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and another as a "Celebrity Life Coach, Relationship Expert, and Hypnotherapist". No, I didn't watch those segments, because I just couldn't bring myself to watch a celebrity life coach talk about how bankruptcy is hard and there's still life after bankruptcy. Because that's obvious. Because I didn't watch those segments, and I think they are not particularly valuable to a potential debtor, I didn't give any points or demerits to those presentations.

Overall, this doesn't seem terribly useful. The lawyers on this dvd are smart and sincere and experienced. Watching them will give you some useful information, but the bankruptcy lawyer spoke too briefly, and the foreclosure defense lawyer was primarily reporting on the way things go in that state. Well presented, but probably not enough to make this a must-have.

Now, let's put this in perspective. If I were considering a bankruptcy proceeding or short sale, and I had no idea at all what either were, watching this could be useful. And being put on guard about folks who come to the door to rescue the homeowner from a foreclosure is a good thing.

But on balance, I don't think this provides as much bang for the buck as the NOLO book, The New Bankruptcy, Will It Work for You.

Nothing in the foregoing should be used as or may be construed as legal advice; this is just a review, folks!

p.s. as I write this postscript, there is a raging debate in Congress over a provision in the Bankruptcy Code that may, after amendment, permit the stripdown of some OR all mortages on residential real property. Will that statute pass? Listen, I've practiced bankruptcy law in Phoenix, Arizona for about thirty years, and I've watched a long series of amendments to the "New Code" of 1979; and I've watched as Congress debated in the past. The 2005 amendments took about a decade to work their way through Congress. So MAYBE the Bankruptcy Code is about to change a lot. And MAYBE it's not. But if you're contemplating bankruptcy in Phoenix, Arizona, or anywhere else, you should be aware that the law is currently MAYBE about to change in a way that could be helpful to debtors, IF they qualify and are willing to put up with a Chapter 13 bankruptcy (which makes a root canal look like fun).


Ka-Bar Knife, Hobo-Stainless Fork/Spoon - 1301
Ka-Bar Knife, Hobo-Stainless Fork/Spoon - 1301
Offered by Primary Arms
Price: $19.13
40 used & new from $16.00

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nifty in a kit if you're hiking or camping, but be aware that the spoon fits on the outside of the case, February 11, 2009
This is what's been called a "Hobo Knife"; it has a knife blade (which locks) and a fork and spoon which do not.

The fit and finish are good. The knife blade is held in place when you're using it with a lock that's at the back of the knife.

All in all, good value for the money. It's stainless, which makes sense for an eating utensil.

One thing to note: the spoon doesn't fit into the knife the way the knife blade and the fork do. They're flat, so they fold in as though this were simply a multi blade pocketknife.

But because the spoon is concave (or convex, depending on which side you're on), it fits on the outside of the knife case.

That just means that this is a little thick to carry in a pants pocket. On the other hand, it's got a perfectly okay little nylon case that fits on your belt, so no problem!

This is sort of an early version multi-tool; not only does it have a knife blade (which is adequate, not spectacular), but also a fork, spoon, and the fork doubles as a bottle opener!

And I know that this review doesn't fit in the series of reviews of consumer bankruptcy dvds and books that I'm currently doing. Oh, well. It's a neat little hiking and camping dingus anyway, and I liked it.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 28, 2009 6:32 AM PDT


How To Settle Your Debts
How To Settle Your Debts
by Norman H. Perlmutter
Edition: Paperback
Price: $18.95
32 used & new from $0.01

33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not Very Useful For the Average Consumer Debtor, February 10, 2009
This is not, in my opinion, a very useful book for the ordinary consumer debtor.

It's also a little sloppy and fast and loose with facts and law. For instance, on page ten there's a "legal note" that asserts "in a bankruptcy, an unsecured debt that has been converted to a judgment retains its unsecured character and gets no preferential treatment in a distribution." Well, not exactly. First, a judgment that's recorded at the County Recorders office in my state, Arizona, where I've practiced bankruptcy law for thirty years, becomes a judgment lien upon real property owned by the judgment debtor in that County.

And that's just one example. But what bothers me more about the book is the assumption that it's fairly easy to negotiate credit card type debts. Frankly, it once was. About thirty years ago.

But these days a consumer who tries to talk to the credit card company with whom he is trying to negotiate is just as likely as not to get a call center in a country where English is not a first language. And trying to negotiate with folks there is all but impossible, because they're paid very few rupees per hour, and can only do what they are instructed to do on their call center flow chart.

In fact, credit card debts are among the most difficult debts to negotiate away, for the simple reason that there are a bunch of them in an ordinary situation. And to make the problems go away, all of them have to be willing to play ball. And the 80/20 rule applies in negotiations with a bunch of creditors. If you have 10 creditors, and all of them have to agree to get you to your goal, there will be two that never want to see things your way.

And another thing: ordinary consumer debtors, in my experience, don't have the mind-set and psychological balance to deal with negotiating their own debts away, or down. And one reason for that is that the debtor who negotiates for himself has no professional objectivity, and that clouds his judgment.

Another idea that this book pushes is that workouts with credit card companies and collectors can be done by the consumer borrowers themselves, and that in the process they will get the credit card companies to remove the derogatory information in their credit reports. I believe it will happen at about the same time the temperature in a place that bad people may go after the end of their lives drops below the point at which water become solid.

Another odd concept in the book is that bankruptcy is financial suicide, and that most credit card and unsecured debt problems should be easily dealt with by negotiation. I simply disagree, and it's not just because I'm an Arizona bankruptcy lawyer. I've seen people with overwhelming debt rebuild their credit and their lives after bad luck or bad decisions forced them to file, and they get on with their life just fine (note: it is absolutely correct that a bankruptcy, whether a Chapter 7, 13, 11 or 12 is a very big deal, and should never be gone into lightly. That said, you shouldn't take penicillin when you have the hiccups, but if you have pneumonia, you better head to the penicillin man.) Also take a look at Bounce Back from Bankruptcy, also available on Amazon, to see exactly how difficult it is to reestablish credit.

Is there anything good about this book? Sure.

For instance, the author strongly suggests that consumer debtors make a budget and learn their "nut", and learn to live within their means. Bravo.

But after I say that, I look back at another "legal note" that's misleading: "Judgments against corporations, limited partnerships and limited liability companies are normally not enforceable against individual owners, stockholders or limited partners and should have no effect on their personal credit record."

Well, that's true as far as it goes. But in the real world of small business, the primary owners of the business almost always have to personally guarantee substantial debt incurred by the business. So ignoring a threatened lawsuit because of the "legal note" above would get the average business owner with the average lawsuit against his business into substantial hot water, because that lawsuit would normally name him as a defendant as well.

So read this book, because it's interesting and because the author is clearly passionate and sincere. But before you take ANY of his advice, talk to an "av" rated bankruptcy lawyer, or a bankruptcy attorney who has a 10.0 rating from AVVO.com, or a Martindale AV rated bankruptcy lawyer, and read a lot of other books, because if your plan is based exclusively on this book, you may be stepping on a land mine.

p.s. as I write this postscript, there is a raging debate in Congress over a provision in the Bankruptcy Code that may, after amendment, permit the stripdown of some OR all mortgages on residential real property. Will that statute pass? Listen, I've practiced bankruptcy law in Phoenix, Arizona for about thirty years, and I've watched a long series of amendments to the "New Code" of 1979; and I've watched as Congress debated in the past. The 2005 amendments took about a decade to work their way through Congress. So MAYBE the Bankruptcy Code is about to change a lot. And MAYBE it's not. But if you're contemplating bankruptcy in Phoenix, Arizona, or anywhere else, you should be aware that the law is currently MAYBE about to change in a way that could be helpful to debtors, IF they qualify and are willing to put up with a Chapter 13 bankruptcy (which makes a root canal look like fun).
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 4, 2011 12:23 PM PDT


The New Bankruptcy: Will It Work for You? (2nd edition)
The New Bankruptcy: Will It Work for You? (2nd edition)
by Stephen Elias
Edition: Paperback
40 used & new from $0.01

37 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is a fine bankruptcy reference for consumers, February 10, 2009
First, there is a lot to like about this book! It's very well organized, and it turns some remarkably complex bankruptcy concepts into fairly easy to digest nuggets.

Second, it's pretty complete as far consumer chapter 7 cases and consumer chapter 13 cases go. There are very few areas of the law that it skips, and it hits the important parts pretty well.

There is a lucid discussion of the roles of the bankruptcy trustee in both sorts of ordinary consumer cases, and a pretty complete discussion of the way a trustee looks at assets, exempt and nonexempt, in consumer bankruptcy cases.

There's one feature I particularly liked about the book, because a lot of bankruptcy resources become dated very quickly; just inside the cover page in the print edition there is a discussion of NOLO resources to check for updates, and that's a good thing.

There are 11 chapters (in the book, not bankruptcy chapters), and they concisely discuss the nature of bankruptcy, eligibility requirements, debts that survive both chapter 7 and 13 discharges, the bankruptcy estate and exemptions, differences in the treatment of homeowners and renters in bankruptcy, treatment of secured creditors in both sorts of filings, the treatment of zero balance credit cards (this is a little-known finesse), psychological and legal consequences of filing, the forms and procedures, getting help with bankruptcy, and alternatives to bankruptcy.

The bankruptcy alternatives discussion is a little weak, but I gave the book five stars anyway, because the title isn't bankruptcy alternatives, and is instead The New Bankruptcy.

I was a little uncomfortable with the discussion of getting help with the bankruptcy, and that's only natural because there was a slight bias in favor of non-lawyer assistance in the process, and I'm a board-certified bankruptcy lawyer practicing in Phoenix, Arizona. But that slight bias is not a good reason to avoid the book; I just have a lot of anxiety about a poor frightened debtor trying to find non-lawyer practitioners who will do a good job for them. With lawyer bankruptcy specialists, you have a somewhat more predictable service provider, although admittedly the service costs more; and the book does a good job of explaining why bankruptcy lawyers charge more than they used to under the new version of the bankruptcy law.

Note: for tracking down good bankruptcy lawyers in the outside world, there's a new resource that joins Findlaw and Martindale (with the coveted AV rating), which is AVVO; it's a little controversial, but it collates info about lawyers. Using those three online sites would at least give you a running start at finding a qualified bankruptcy attorney.

If you are a non-lawyer who is contemplating bankruptcy and you want a concise, well-organized overview of the area, frequently used terms, and the way the law works generally, you would find it hard to beat this book. I would feel comfortable suggesting to any potential debtor (the new name for bankrupt) that they read this book prior to visiting with an experienced bankruptcy lawyer.

Overall, if you read this book prior to filing, you should have a better understanding of the process than if you do not, and it should help keep your blood pressure down during the pain in the neck, time consuming and somewhat lengthy process.

Nothing in the foregoing should be construed as legal advice, and for legal advice, you should always consult a duly licensed professional in your area. See if you can find a bankruptcy lawyer with a Martindale-Hubbell av rating, or a bankruptcy attorney with a rating of 10 from AVVO.

p.s. as I write this postscript, there is a raging debate in Congress over a provision in the Bankruptcy Code that may, after amendment, permit the stripdown of some OR all mortgages on residential real property. Will that statute pass? Listen, I've practiced bankruptcy law in Phoenix, Arizona for about thirty years, and I've watched a long series of amendments to the "New Code" of 1979; and I've watched as Congress debated in the past. The 2005 amendments took about a decade to work their way through Congress. So MAYBE the Bankruptcy Code is about to change a lot. And MAYBE it's not. But if you're contemplating bankruptcy in Phoenix, Arizona, or anywhere else, you should be aware that the law is currently MAYBE about to change in a way that could be helpful to debtors, IF they qualify and are willing to put up with a Chapter 13 bankruptcy (which makes a root canal look like fun).


Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7