Archive for the ‘Debt Negotiation’ Category

IRS problems? Know When to Get Help

Friday, October 12th, 2012

Some important items to remember when you receive a letter or telephone call from the IRS:

  1. Respond timely and early.
  2. Give the appearance of cooperation.
  3. Do NOT allow anyone from the IRS to complete forms for you either over the telephone or in person.
  4. DO get advice on how to deal best with the IRS.

You do have options when dealing with the IRS.  The sooner you act, the more options you will have.  If you put off coming in for advice, you may be limiting your options to the lesser of two evils.  It is best to react quickly and develop an offensive plan rather than react under pressure and on the defensive.  It is usually difficult for a taxpayer to deal with the IRS.  This is not your job, but it is the job of the people working for the IRS.  They do it everyday.  They are strong and do not bend easily.  They have been known to intimidate and threaten.  Under their power, you may loose your ability to negotiate effectively.  This is where we can help.  We have a working knowledge of the IRS.  We know what they can and can’t do.  We know what you can and can’t do.

If you are having problems with the IRS, give us a call.  We speak the language of the IRS and can help your frustration go away.

Todd Courser   810-245-0813

In the Bankruptcy Process, when do the Creditors stop calling?

Monday, September 17th, 2012

As soon as your creditors become aware that you filed for bankruptcy, they must stop all collection efforts immediately.  When a bankruptcy is filed through the court, the court then mails notices to all of your creditors listed on your bankruptcy schedules.  This may take a couple weeks.  Creditors must stop calling if you inform them that you have filed a bankruptcy and supply them with your case number.  If the creditors continue to call after they have been told of your bankruptcy, they may be liable for court sanctions and attorney fees for this conduct.  Will a bankruptcy help you get rid of the creditors?  Do you need some guidance?  We can help!

Call today!   Todd Courser   810-245-0813

TaxMasters filing for bankruptcy – Don’t expect a T. V. pitchman to solve your tax problems

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

During my 17 years of being in business, I have seen many of these “Tax Resolution” shops go out of business.  I have had to fix problems from frustrated clients when they came to me, after they have left these firms. We have helped former JK Harris and Taxmasters clients, where the clients have stated that these folks were good at taking their money but really poor at dealing with their problems.  In many cases, there are problems encountered when trying to handle an IRS issue and usually by the time the client becomes a client he has far more issues than resources to deal with those issues. I tell clients “all these problems didn’t happen overnight and it will take time, money and effort to get your life back on track but we will get it back on track.” Many times the client is fighting both the IRS and other creditors.  In those cases, we are second to none in helping the client see all his options within the IRS, at the state level and finally through the bankruptcy courts, when that makes sense. Bankrutpcy is never a first option, but sometimes when a client has a multitude of issues, it makes the most economic sense. Using the tools we have, we work with clients to try and eliminate the vast majority of their debts.

If you owe the IRS or state money and want a good assessment of what can be done, then give us a call to set up a consultation and get your life back on track. I have clients who have flown here to see me and have worked out settlements for clients across the country.  Let me help you!

Todd Courser 810-245-0813

IRS Trouble for Business Owners – Unpaid Payroll Taxes

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

Many times in tough economic conditions business owners will get into trouble with the IRS by failing to make the necessary filings or to pay the required payroll taxes. Remember the IRS is a super creditor.  One of the most destructive forces to a business owner are unpaid payroll taxes. Many times owners will forgo paying payroll taxes to keep all the other vendors, mortgage companies, etc. current when it might benefit them more to keep the IRS current.  IRS payroll taxes cannot be discharged in bankruptcy. The interest and penalty can in many cases get reduced but the taxes will be a slow moving tsunami in the life of the business owner.  I have worked with many who have failed to pay payroll taxes.  The clients who can right the ship are the ones who immediately take drastic actions to make sure that they are correcting the situation.

If you are in this situation the best thing to do is to get good counsel, who will keep meeting with you until a clear path to being current on your payroll taxes is achieved.  Remember almost every other debt a business owner will run into is less signficant and the final outcome of collections is less vicious than the reach of the IRS when it comes to payroll taxes.  Call me for help!

Todd Courser  810-245-0813

I am now in a lawsuit – what can I expect in the course of litigation?

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

One of the most stress filled moments of a person’s life is when they are involved in a lawsuit. There will generally be many steps before and after the lawsuit but the main steps are listed here for an overall understanding.  First, if you are suing someone you will begin the lawsuit by filing a summons and complaint against that person and “serving” them with a copy of the documents. Second, the person being sued will have to answer the complaint. If the person fails to answer the complaint, then the most likely scenario is that a default judgement will be entered against the person being sued. In the vast majority of my cases either the parties settle their dispute by this point or the default ends the suit with the judgment.

In cases where there is a summons and complaint and the person being sued answers the complaint, then there is a hearing set up and in many cases settlement happens at this hearing or shortly after. If the parties are unable to come to an agreement, then the hearing is usually used to set dates for trial progression or another hearing is set for more time to continue negotiating towards settlement.

If the hearing is conducted as a pretrial then dates will be set on the court calendar, allowing for discovery of issues, for motions (added legal steps) to be taken, and then for a trial date to be set.  In most trials,  the judge decides the outcome and this is called a bench trial, but in some cases, a jury trial is chosen. In small cases, the expected time to go through the entire process can be 4-9 months or longer. In larger cases, with more issues in question, cases can go on for years.

If you have been served with a summons and complaint or if you have an issue that might need to be litigated, please seek counsel that is well versed in litigating cases.  We can help!

Todd Courser   810-245-0813

Stripping a Tax Lien from Real Property

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

It’s best to pay your taxes on time, to avoid unnecessary entanglements that will result if you end up on the collections list for the IRS.  That being said, many businesses and individuals end up on the collections side of the IRS.  From this spot, the IRS, or the state, will attack by placing a lien on your real estate.  The best way to get this lien removed, is to pay the tax debt off and restore your tax account to current.  If you are unable to do so, then you will need to make an arrangement with the IRS.  I have found that when there is equity in the home for the IRS to take, they want it.  They will take those proceeds at the closing on a house sale.  However, they will not generally foreclose on a property to get the amount of the tax lien paid.  On occasion when there is a short sale or negative equity on a home,  the process may be easier, but sometimes harder, to deal with depending on how much is owed and who the IRS person is that is involved.

If you find yourself in a situation where you are dealing with ongoing collections action by the IRS, then please call my office to set up a consultation for tax resolution. We have helped many clients settle with the IRS and the state.

Todd Courser 810-245-0813

1099-C – What does it mean to you?

Monday, June 18th, 2012

A 1099 C is a form sent to you by a creditor in regards to a debt you failed to pay them in total.  If you were insolvent or bankrupt at the time, then it’s likely that you do not have to pay taxes on the amount that is shown on this form.  If you are in this situation then my advice is to get a good tax preparer or an accountant to handle filing your tax return for you.  We can do it for you!

Todd Courser 810-245-0813

200k Plus of IRS Debt Eliminated in Bankruptcy

Friday, June 15th, 2012

I have had many cases where clients have used bankruptcy filing to eliminate IRS debts that totalled hundreds of thousands of dollars.  At times working with the IRS becomes impossible and I suggest that the client consider filing bankruptcy to stop the IRS from attacking.  The IRS has payment plans and reductions in debt owed, but sometimes it makes more sense for the client who qualifies, to discharge their debts in bankruptcy.  The IRS debt must meet some specific tests, must be income tax from a return previously filed or assessed, and also meet some other tests.  Some cases are just easier and wiser to settle with a bankruptcy than through the IRS system.  If you find yourself owing the IRS, my advice is to seek out good counsel who actively practices in both areas of tax and bankruptcy to find out the best path to get your life back on track.

Call my office to set up your consultation today.   Todd Courser 810-245-0813

Attempting to Settle an Unsecured Debt with Chase Bank

Thursday, June 14th, 2012

I had a client who had two lines of credit with Chase Bank. The lines of credit had a balance in the hundreds of thousands of dollars and related to the client’s business. The client had never been late on the lines of credit and had paid on time for several years. The type of loan the client had with the bank was commercial.  There was a personal guarantee attached and Chase Bank had the ability to accelerate or call the loan.  Chase Bank chose to do so. The client asked for several extensions and modifications but the Bank kept attempting to call the loan and eventually demanded payment for the balance. The client had nearly a 800 credit score and was forced to default on the loan. The Bank went through the process of attempting to collect with ever increasing letters and calls to the client. I had thought the case would either end in bankruptcy or some sort of settlement with Chase Bank. The client had little to fear from the bankrupcty court but wanted to pay the bank what he could and so I kept attempting to settle the account. Eventually Chase Bank sent the account to a law firm that specializes in collecting and settling.  The client made numerous offers.  I was able to eventually settle the account for 25% of the loan balance and the client did not have to file for bankruptcy. The client was pleased to finally be through with the issue and said, “I just wanted them to let me keep paying on the account but they refused and said I had to pay in full.”

The actions of banks don’t always make sense.  This client ended up paying the creditor by negotiating the account but the client preferred that route to filing for bankruptcy.

Call my office to set up your consultation today.   Todd Courser 810-245-0813

Tax Court – Notice of Deficiency

Monday, June 11th, 2012

When you receive a “notice of deficiency” you are essentially being given one last chance to contest your tax liability. To preserve your rights, when you receive this letter, you need to file a petition in the United States Tax Court in Washington D.C.  If you are presented with this situation it is best to retain counsel that has experience in working with the IRS and working in Tax Court directly. I have been successful in settling cases in Tax Court when clients have  documentation to support the return they filed. When the client’s issues are more “gray,” I have found the process to be much easier for an experienced attorney to handle than for the client to deal with the IRS themselves.  These steps are not easy to go through and can be costly in order to resolve your issues with the IRS.  On a good note, many times these steps can bring the finality and closure to issues that have lingered for years.  If you have received a “notice of deficiency,” your time to respond to it is limited, so response time is critical. Please take this step seriously and retain expert counsel to help you settle these issues.

Todd Courser 810-245-0813