Thursday, December 20, 2007

Tax refunds and bankruptcy

I have received several emails from clients filing for Chapter 7 that are concerned about their tax refunds, and whether the chapter 7 bankruptcy trustee will want to take it or not.

While the tax refund is an asset, you should schedule the estimated amount in the case.
Your lawyer will then exempt what they can to protect as much as possible.
In Illinois, you have a $4000 wildcard per debtor to use towards cash, bank accounts, personal household goods and tax refunds. Your Illinois bankruptcy attorney can also exempt the portion attributed to Earned Income Credit.

You will need to file your taxes as soon as possible to work with your lawyer so they can best advise you when is the best time to file your case as well.

Blockbuster fees

I received an interesting email from Blockbuster yesterday.
They are increasing fees from $17.99 to $19.99.
This comes on the heals of the plan modification they put thru just several months ago....eliminating the free in-store game rental coupon each month as well as capping the in-store exchanges at 5.
I understand that companies need to make a profit, but this is ridiculous.
I emailed them back both times, but got a canned letter about profits, and providing quality service and the 'value' that I am receiving.
I have read online that some fees jumped to $34.99 per month ($10 increase)
This all comes after Blockbuster touted it's services and benefits over Netflix in their 2007 marketing campaign (voice over by Alec Baldwin).

How does this relate to Bankruptcy? Well, this shows that you should watch your monthly budget, and seek out cheaper/less expensive alternatives when possible to help your pocketbook. While $2 doesn't seem like much each month, if each and everything you pay for was $2 more, then you would definitely be feeling this crunch.

So, get out there, comparison shop..not only for prices, but for services offered and the lovely "Customer Service" that is out there.

See you all in the Netflix camp...because that is where I am headed. Thanks!