Philadelphia Parking Authority (PPA) told to pay Debtor $5,046.00 for impounding car during bankruptcy case

When you file for bankruptcy, something called the automatic stay immediately stops any lawsuit filed against you and most actions against your property by a creditor, collection agency, or government entity.   The automatic stay prohibits most creditors from continuing with collection activities, which can provide welcome relief to debtors as well the opportunity to regroup during bankruptcy. Creditors and bill collectors must stop collection activities when they first learn of a bankruptcy filing. What the stay prohibits The automatic stay prohibits Beginning or continuing law suits Collection calls Repossessions Foreclosure sales Garnishment or levies Violations of the stay Anyone 

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Kilimanjaro 2017

The Kilimanjaro 2017 team departs in 58 days (September 21, 2017) and everyone is getting their vaccinations this week a few months before we are due to fly. The Center for Disease Control recommends the following vaccinations for Tanzania: Vaccinations • Yellow Fever • Hep A & B • Rabies • Diphtheria/Tetanus/Polio • Typhoid • Malaria Fortunately, the ailments we are likely to encounter in East Africa are easily treated and rarely life-threatening. The most common ailment is simply an upset stomach, and most of the time this is the result of the human body adapting to the bacteria of 

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Stephen M. Dunne & Mr. P Named 2017 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers

Stephen M. Dunne & Mr. P.  Named 2017 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers Super Lawyers, a subsidiary of Thomas Reuters, chooses leading attorneys in each state through a rigorous selection process, which includes peer evaluations and nominations combined with independent research. Each year, no more than five percent of lawyers in each state receive the Super Lawyers honor, and no more than 2.5 percent of lawyers statewide are recognized as Rising Stars.  Dunne returns for a fifth consecutive year as an Pennsylvania Rising Star in the area of consumer bankruptcy. “It is an honor to be recognized with super powers,” said Stephen 

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Increase your tax refund with these deductions

The 2017 tax season kicked off on January 23, when the IRS began accepting electronically filed tax returns. Last year, about 73% of all filers received a tax refund, averaging $2,857, and likely to be about the same this year. The following 10 deductions will double your tax refund: Form 1040 – 2016 Tax Return Line 25 – Health Savings Account Deduction An HSA allows account owners to pay for current health care expenses and save for those in the future. HSAs have no limit on carry-overs or when the funds may be used.  For 2016, an individual may contribute up 

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Climb Kilimanjaro for Clean Water

On September 24, 2017, ten volunteers will be taking a once-in-a-lifetime journey to Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania: Robert Duffy; Stephen Dunne; Brian McDonough; Gregory Duffy; and Benjamin Houck have already pledged their commitment to ascend the world’s highest freestanding mountain, to raise funds in order to help rural communities in Tanzania gain access to clean water. This journey to the roof of Africa will raise funds to support the Philadelphia-Serengeti Alliance (PSA), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit focused on the development of water resources in areas of Tanzania. Since 2011 our group, which grew from an outreach ministry at St. Peter’s Episcopal 

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Dream It or Live It – Kilimanjaro Challenge 2017

On September 24th, 2017, I will be climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, the world’s highest freestanding mountain, to assist the Philadelphia-Serengeti Alliance (PSA) mission of building water wells in the Serengeti, Rorya and Busega districts of Tanzania. Water development is of the most fundamental importance. Women and girls in Tanzania bear a great burden due to the scarcity of clean, safe drinking water. They are deprived of education, largely because their time is taken up by the laborious task of carrying water from rivers and streams, which can take about half a day. What water there is, often carries dangerous microorganisms, and while fetching 

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Divorce & Bankruptcy

Divorce & Bankruptcy It’s common for a debtor to file bankruptcy shortly after their non-filing spouse files for a divorce. Sometimes this is done out of necessity and other times it’s simply done out of spite. In either event, it’s actually best for both individuals to file a chapter 7 bankruptcy together, especially if both spouses have a lot of joint debt that could be erased in a little over 3 months. Automatic Stay & Bankruptcy It’s important to remember that a non-filing spouse must be very careful once their ex-spouse files bankruptcy as they could be in violation of 

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Wells Fargo’s CEO John Stump walks with $120 million

The Verdict John Stumpf artifically boosted the value of Wells Fargo stock by illegally, and fraudulently creating as many as 2 million unauthorized accounts and instead of going to jail – he is rewarded with a golden parachute, approximately $120 million for his ill-gotten gains. White Collar Crime The real question is why Wells Fargo’s John Stumpf has not been prosecuted for white collar crime? And the sad consequence of not prosecuting this behavior means that this criminal mischief will continue to occur in the future. The Solution Prosecutors need to cultivate some chutzpah; some nerve; some audacity and prosecute 

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The Bankruptcy Means Test: Are You Eligible for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

The bankruptcy “means test” determines whether you are eligible to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy.  The purpose of the means test is to determine who can file for Chapter 7 relief (which requires no payments to creditors as long as assets are all exempt), and who needs to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy (which requires a small repayment to creditors for 36 to 60 months).  The following table provides the median family income in Pennsylvania for cases filed On or After November 1, 2016: Individual           Family of 2           Family of 3 

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What I’ve learned from my bankruptcy clients

Minimize Expenses The best way to maximize your monthly income is to take a good, hard look at your monthly expenses to determine what can be reduced or eliminated. Mortgage Payment Too many debtors’ have Forced Placed Insurance (FPI) which is a really expensive form of property insurance that typically costs around $2,400 per year. This type of insurance should cost no more than $125  per month or $1,500 per year. A savings of close to $1,000 per year. Cell Phone Almost all debtors’ in bankruptcy case have a cell phone plan with the major carriers costing anywhere from $150 to 

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