Is Consumer Debt driving you into Bankruptcy

For individuals whose debts are primarily “consumer debts,” as opposed to business entities or persons whose debts are primarily related to business dealings, there are essentially two types of bankruptcy filings. They are commonly referred to as Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. bankruptcy attorneyI’ll first provide a very brief overview of each and then discuss how one determines which is available or preferable. Please keep in mind that a fully comprehensive explanation of the intricacies of each type of filing will take much time and many pages, and because each person’s circumstances are unique, there simply is no way to deal with all considerations that may be necessary to reach the best result for each person. This is why you need to consult with an experienced and knowledgeable attorney if you believe that filing for relief under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code is right for your particular set of circumstances.

Chapter 7 is a “liquidation” type of case. When one files for relief under Chapter 7 (relief from your creditors and debts), a trustee is appointed to determine whether the debtor (the person filing) has any unencumbered assets that may be liquidated (a fancy word turned into cash). Most often, there are no unencumbered assets, but if there are, those assets are subject to being sold so that there is money to distribute to creditors. This aspect of the case prompts many prospective clients to ask whether their home or car will be sold. Generally speaking the answer is no. This is true because most people have mortgage loans or vehicle financing liens that encumber the property to the value of the outstanding loan balance. A debtor is also allowed to exempt a certain amount of value of almost all types of property. For example, if you and your spouse jointly own a home in Illinois valued at $150,000 with a $120,000 balance on your mortgage loan, that leaves only $30,000 in equity, which is the maximum unencumbered value. However, each of you has a $15,000 exemption under Illinois law, meaning that the total equity of $30,000 can be claimed as exempt thereby leaving nothing for a Chapter 7 trustee to liquidate. In other words, as long as you are up to date on your mortgage payments, the house will remain yours.

Chapter 13 involves a plan for repaying a portion of your pre-bankruptcy debts. Prior to 2005, a Chapter 13 plan was formulated by subtracting a debtor’s monthly expenses from his monthly income after allowed deductions (taxes, etc.). The difference or “disposable income” was paid monthly to an appointed trustee for distribution to creditors under the terms of the plan as proposed by the debtor. In 2005, Congress changed many of the Bankruptcy laws, and since then a Chapter 13 plan payment is determined by resort to a rather complicated and even convoluted calculation which relies primarily on IRS standard allowances. I’m personally not a big fan of this system, but it remains the law and therefore applicable to most, but not all, Chapter 13 cases. A chapter 13 plan generally runs between three and five years, after which the debtor receives his discharge of the balance of most pre-filing debts.

The year 2005 plays a big role in much of this discussion as prior thereto, a person was free to choose between the two types of bankruptcy filings. For example, a person may be able to save a home from foreclosure through a Chapter 13 plan, but generally cannot do so through Chapter 7. There are other valid reasons to pick and choose, but that option is for the most part no longer on the table. The many changes in 2005 included the requirement that persons “qualify” to file under Chapter 7, and if unable to do so are required to file under Chapter 13. This prompted many, including experienced attorneys, to believe that would mark the effective end of consumer-based bankruptcy cases. That has not been the case in my experience, however.

The qualification process as it now exists resorts to a rather complex set of calculations, which again relies on the seemingly arbitrary IRS figures for various allowances based upon where a person lives and how many household members there are. The official form used to make the determination can be found by clicking here. The IRS allowance information necessary to complete the form can be found by clicking here. The first consideration is annual income. In Illinois, for a family of three, the median annual income allowance is currently $68,721. If you are under this threshold, you may file under Chapter 7, period. But if over that level of income, you must go through the rest of the calculations to determine whether you qualify. The IRS allowances themselves are not very generous, but for people who have mortgage loans and other types of secured debt payments, those are actually deductible from monthly income to get to the bottom line.

Since 2005, I have had only handful of clients that could not qualify under Chapter 7, although it has happened. For those who cannot qualify, the same calculations used to determine eligibility are used to determine Chapter 13 plan length and payments amount. As you can see, it’s just not as simple as it once was, which is why you simply must have the advice of a competent attorney when contemplating bankruptcy relief.

Electric tankless water heaters

Electric tankless water heaters are not as popular as the gas powered ones. This is simply because if you are going for one you are doing so because you want to replace your existing storage water heater and are looking for a more efficient piece. Why then would you look at a heater that would probably give you a 15 to 20% reduction on your power bills when you can get something that can give you up to a 50% reduction.

Electric tankeless water heaters work in exactly the same way as a normal water heater with just one difference. They have a water flow monitor that monitors the water flow through the heater. When this flow is very low or nil this monitor will shut off the heating element saving electricity. When the flow is resumed the heating element is switched on once again and because they do not have a large storage tank but only a small one, the water gets hot in a matter of seconds.

There is of course a slight delay because the water in the pipe will not be hot. Once this runs through though you will get hot water from the word go. They give you a saving in electricity because when not in use their heating element is shut off saving power. However because they use power when they are on, they will not give you as much saving as using gas which is not as expensive as electricity.

This does not mean that electric tankeless water heaters are totally useless. Far from it, in certain places only they can be used. A gas heater by virtue of the fact that they burn gas means that they should have an outlet for their exhaust gases. This means that they should either be installed outside or in your basement with a vent taking the gases outside. This means that if all you want is to heat the water for your shower, there is no need to get another one and install it in the basement with a separate piping.

The money that you spend on the total installation will take you years to recoup from any savings in power bills. A simple small electric heater is the best one here. The water is already heated to a comfortable temperature and all you need is to heat it that 10 or 15 °F more so that you will get water hot enough to shower. These heaters will cost only around $250 to $350 which is much less than a gas powered one.

The same way if you are looking for something to heat the water in your sink to make it warm enough to drink installing a small one right underneath is more than enough. These ones cost even less at around $150. Some of them even come out with a de-ionizing facility that kills bacteria in the water. Although these models will be more expensive, you at least have this option in electric heaters. Gas powered ones do not have this option.

The only time that an electric powered one is not good is if you want one to heat water for your entire household. In such a case you will anyway have a large storage heater in your basement, so why not go for a gas powered one that will work just as effectively but give you more savings on power. It is also not as polluting, and what with global warming and everything, all of us need to do out bit to help save the environment by reducing our carbon footprint.

Palm Tree Trimming – Tree Services

Palm Tree Trimming
We trim and also remove palm trees in Orange County, California (and other areas too) Our professional services perform palm tree services in a short time in a clean, safe, and efficient manner. Because we specialize in the Palm Tree species, our experience ensures the best outcome for your Palm Tree needs

Did you know that the Palm is a group of trees? Sometimes the term “Paml” refers to shrubs and vines that grow ini warm and wet climates, especially in the tropics. Many types of Palms grow right here in Southern California, and they grow in Southeast Asia, the Pacific islands, and in tropical America. Palms are found in many other places, including Argentina, central Chile, New Zealand, and South Africa. Palms serve as food in many places, too, and live for as long as 100 years.

Palms are an ancient group of plants. Fossils of palm leaves have been found that date from the Age of Reptiles. Palms once grew in all parts of the world, and palm fossils have been found as far north as Greenland.

The trunk is usually straight and round and from 4 to 24 inches (10 to 61 centimeters) thick. But some palms have trunks that are no thicker than a pencil, while others have trunks that are 5 feet (1.5 meters) thick. The trunk may range from a few inches or centimeters to well over 100 feet (30 meters) tall. The trunks of the larger palm trees grow from 1 to 4 feet (30 to 120 centimeters) a year. The trunk may have rough or smooth bark, and some have thorns. Only a few palms have branches growing from the trunk. A few kinds have a strawlike “skirt” of dead leaves that hangs down along the trunk. Most palms have their fanlike or featherlike leaves clustered at the top of the trunk.

The leaves vary greatly in size and appearance. The smallest leaves are less than 1 foot (30 centimeters) long. Most of the fanlike leaves are from 2 to 4 feet (60 to 120 centimeters) wide, and the featherlike types may be 20 feet (6 meters) long and from 1 to 4 feet (30 to 120 centimeters) wide. Two types produce the largest leaves. The talipot palm has fan-shaped leaves that may be 15 feet (4.6 meters) wide. The raffia palm’s leaves may be 65 feet (20 meters) long and 8 feet (2.4 meters) wide. Mature leaves remain on a palm from one to nine years.

“Palm trees should have a great green canopy, like a fluffy ball on a stick.”