Month: March 2021

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Why do I need a Veterans Disability Lawyer?


Veterans served our country in ways that many civilians can never understand or truly appreciate.  While in the service of our country, many veterans suffer unimaginable trauma, both physical and mental. Our country has always tried to support our veterans as they return from overseas and try to assimilate back into civilian life, but for many, that transition is hard and often fraught with mental and physical health challenges.

Veteran’s Disability Law is an extremely complex area of law. Prior to 2006, veterans were not allowed to hire VA disability lawyers to represent them in the Regional Office and the BVA. This law was changed in 2006 when Congress finally recognized that veterans should have the right to hire VA claim lawyers in this very important area of law. In veteran’s disability claims, a VA disability lawyer can help clarify the issues and ensure that the claim is properly supported by evidence so that the claim can be appealed, if necessary.

Because of the complex nature of the law and the VA’s propensity to deny claims to deserving veterans and their dependents, it’s necessary to have people on your side, focused solely on your case and what you need in order to be made as whole as possible.

That’s where we step in.  We strive to make sure that our veterans get the care they need and deserve.  We love veterans and we our proud of the veterans in our own families who have served in every major war the United States has fought in the last 100 years. We decided to pursue VA Disability law because we saw the struggles many of our family members and friends faced as they returned home from the service. While many of them never received the care they needed, we don’t want you to suffer the same fate.

Call the attorneys at Harmon and Gorove today to learn how we can help you get the help you deserve.

Making the Stimulus work for You


To many, using your stimulus to file bankruptcy may seem like a strange use of the money.  In fact, that might just be the opposite.  

The American Rescue Plan Act was signed into law late last week that will provide most people in the U.S. yet another round of economic stimulus.  Those stimulus payments should be arriving any time now.  While there are some things that may ultimately prove to be more immediate needs, you need to consider whether investing your money in a bankruptcy is a good use of the funds.  

Most People Wait Too Long

Let me assure you, lawyers who practice bankruptcy law do it because they enjoy helping people.  I’ve worked in the world of high finance.  I used to represent big banks.  The work was daunting.  I never felt like I was helping anyone…because really, I wasn’t.  That’s why I left it.  I work every single day to help people get out of problems that most of them had no part in creating.  

The problem is, most of the people simply put up with the emotional challenges of debt for way too long.  They stay up at night, they throw good money after bad, they spend money they could be putting away for a rainy day trying to pay a bill that they’ll never get caught up on.  

So, why would paying for a bankruptcy help me? First and foremost, when you owe someone $10,000 or more and you haven’t made a dent in it in years, $1,400 isn’t going to do much to solve your problem.  You’ll throw away $1,400 dollars you could have spent getting yourself out of debt. 

You Need Long-Term Relief

No one started out to go down this path.  Everyone assumed when they took out the loan or swiped the credit card that they’d be able to pay everyone back, in full…but life happens. Things come up, people get sick, people lose jobs and when you’re already living paycheck to paycheck, that creates even more problems.  

At some point, the debt is just too overwhelming.  It’s hard to come to terms with that, but the sooner you do, the sooner you can start seeking the help you need and making decisions that will have a positive impact on your life going forward. 

What is “that point”

It’s hard to know when you’ve hit, “that point.  That’s why we’ve got some guidance here:

  1. Never wait until you feel that all hope is gone.  If you’re just barely hanging on, you’re not only risking your financial future, you’re putting your own mental and physical health at risk.  
  2. You need to consider more than just your creditors.  Yes, you feel obligated to pay BIG BANK CORP, but I can assure you, the CEO’s kids won’t go hungry…but yours might.  You have responsibilities to your children, your significant other, parents or in-laws and other family members.  How much are you taking away from them as you kill yourself to pay off your creditors. 
  3. There’s more than financial responsibilities there too.  Is all the stress from debt causing you to be emotionally absent from your children or your spouse? Is debt potentially causing you to jeopardize your relationships with your family and friends? 
  4. The one person everyone seems to be forgetting in all this is you? Stress kills.  You’re risking everything by being so stressed.  We already discussed your relationships and how stress from debt can ruin those, but you need to remember to take care of your physical and emotional health as well.  If you don’t, no one else will. 
  5. Finally, you need to realize  you need help when you start making bad decisions. Desperation can frequently result in us making poor choices that can make our situations even worse than they already were.    


You need to remember, you have options.  Good, solid, legal options that can help you moving forward. The good news is, you’ve got enough money to get the ball rolling thanks to the stimulus.  In the end, when you look at it purely in the terms of return on investment, you really can’t beat spending a few hundred dollars to rid yourself of tens of thousands of dollars in debt. If you’re ready to explore your options, call us.  Your initial consultation and financial analysis is 100% free. 


“Real Fast”

Real Fast

People call our office all the time wanting to talk to me “real fast.” Don’t get me wrong, I love speaking with my clients and everyone in our office is equipped to help…but the answer isn’t always so simple.  

And that’s because, quite simply:  There is no such thing as a quick answer to most bankruptcy questions.  Or rather, there are no good “real fast” answers about bankruptcy.

See, bankruptcy is one of the most nuanced parts of our legal system.  It is a blend of mostly federal law, with a bit of local rules and state law sprinkled in for good measure.  It’s why so many people who dabble in bankruptcy so frequently screw it up.  You’ve got to know your stuff to do bankruptcy the right way.  

Everything depends on the facts

Your facts. 

In order to help you out and provide you with good advice, a bankruptcy lawyer needs to know a lot of facts about your situation. 

Have you filed before, did you get a discharge, how long have you lived here and where were you located before?

What all do you own, are you the sole owner or is it joint tenancy? 

What’s your income and how do you make it?

Do you have dependents or do you owe taxes or domestic support?

The list goes on.

In Bankruptcy, Quick is almost always dirty

The best doctors take their time with a patient, good builders measure twice and cut once…

Good lawyers take the time to examine what’s happening in your situation and then apply the law to your case.  

If I don’t know what’s happening in your case, the information you’ll get from me is most likely useless, potentially even dangerous.  

I have an obligation to provide you with the best information possible, it’s part of the oath I took when I became a lawyer.  That’s why we ask you to disclose EVERYTHING and to answer our questions truthfully.  

“Online Advice”

Knowing all the facts is why relying on some internet “resource” for legal advice is dangerous.  It’s why we put disclaimers on our page about the advice in our blog.  Yes, it’s good advice…otherwise I wouldn’t put it out there, but it may not be the BEST advice for you because we don’t know your situation. 

When you post a question in some online forum or “click here for a FREE bankruptcy evaluation” you only disclose what you think is important or are willing to disclose to the public.  

The facts you throw out there may not be the ones necessary to answer the question.  Even if you provide good information about some aspect of your situation, other issues could cause problems.  

You can certainly use the internet to learn about bankruptcy as a whole and to figure out what information an attorney will need in order to help you.

But remember this…Don’t do anything until you’ve talked to a competent bankruptcy attorney about what’s going on in YOUR individual situation, real fast equals real danger. 

If you need sound advice about what to do in your particular situation, please contact us.  Don’t go it alone in one of the most complex fields of law there is.  

1099-C and Debt Forgiveness


Bankruptcy is a powerful tool.  The law is written in such a way to relieve that maximum amount of burden from the debtor while also being fair to creditors.  One of the most powerful tools in the bankruptcy code is 26 U.S. Code § 108. This part of the code says that all debt discharged in bankruptcy is tax free, even if you get a 1099-C from the creditor.  The bottom line is this…

Debt discharged in bankruptcy is not taxable.


The way our tax code is written prioritizes forgiven debt as income.  If a creditor forgives your debt, they are supposed to send you a 1099-C reporting the forgiven debt as income, which is taxable.  

Some examples of debts that get cancelled:

  • a short sale;
  • compromising a debt
  • lender compliance the federal government;
  • Debts included in a bankruptcy; or
  • Mortgages in a foreclosure.

Lenders are more or less bound to send a 1099-C when they do something that could be considered cancelling a debt.  One thing to remember is, they aren’t tax professionals and they don’t know for sure if the event was even taxable.  They just report the transaction to the IRS.  

The 1099-C you get is not the final word. Just a report that the IRS has been notified. 

The Exceptions

Under the law, debt that is cancelled is treated as though you received that much money in cash and that “franken-cash” you “got” is then taxable as income according to the IRS. 

The exception to that rule is found in the aforementioned federal statute.  Under that statute, the IRS may not recognize that as income under two situations, 

  1. The person who owed the debt was insolvent at the time the debt was forgiven, or
  2. The discharge of the debt occurred as a result of a bankruptcy case. 


Rebutting the 1099-C

To avoid the 1099-C you will have to file a form with the IRS.  That form will exclude the forgiven debts from the 1099-C from your income.  The form is simple and I provide a link to it here

In the form, the first exceptions is as follows: 

Discharge of indebtedness in a title 11 case

That sounds complicated but Title 11 is where the bankruptcy code is found.  This is your way out of the 1099-C if you completed your bankruptcy. 


Chances are, if you’re insolvent you should be filing bankruptcy, but that’s the topic of a different blog post.  If you’re insolvent at the time a debt is forgiven you are also able to exclude the 1099-C debt from your income.  This just takes a little more work. 

The form includes a worksheet to see if you actually are insolvent according to the definition laid out by the law.  You fill out the worksheet and then you have your answer. 

Additionally, if you don’t have personal liability for the debt then the forgiveness of that debt does not constitute a taxable event.  It’s like the debt never even happened.   

If you’re in trouble and need help figuring out what to make of your individual situation, call us.  We’ve helped thousands of people work through their debts and come out with a fresh start.