Avoiding Bankruptcy

Avoiding Bankruptcy

I don’t think that anyone sets out to file bankruptcy. In fact, most people would rather explore their alternatives and try avoiding bankruptcy. After all, if you can get out of debt without having to file for bankruptcy, you are better off, right? Well, it really depends upon the nature of the debt and the financial circumstances of the debtor. It also has a great deal to do with whether the creditors are receptive to a settlement. Not every creditor is anxious to assist someone who owes money. Many creditors will hold out for big money or threaten to garnish wages or clean out bank accounts.bankruptcy attorney

One major alternative to bankruptcy is to work out an installment payment plan with your creditors. This is possible if you have the ability to make in installment payments and if the creditor is willing to accept such payments. The creditor will likely want to know more about your financial situation than you are willing to give. For example, the creditor will probably want to know where you work, whether you rent or own and what your budget is per month. If you are simply unable to pay monthly, you may be best just to claim bankruptcy.

Our bankruptcy lawyer can advise you on all of your legal rights. Maybe the creditor is trying to take too much per month in an installment payment plan. The lawyer will be able to tell you if that amount is more than the creditor would receive should there be an actual wage garnishment. Never assume that the creditor is being straight-forward with you. Their job is to collect as much as possible as soon as possible. They are fully aware that you have the option to seek bankruptcy protection at any time during the process. If they can get a payment or two prior to you filing for bankruptcy, then they have at least salvaged some repayment of the debt.

Thus, in addition to your non-bankruptcy options, you had best understand your bankruptcy options. You have two basic chapters of the bankruptcy code at your disposal. The first is chapter 7 which is also known as fresh start bankruptcy. That is where someone with little or no assets can gain a fresh start. The other chapter is chapter 13. That is where a person repays either all or a portion of his debts over a three to five year period. Chapter 13 much more complex than Chapter 7 and you would be best served with the help of a talented attorney.

Bankruptcy Basics

There are several requirements involved in claiming bankruptcy. I often refer to the requirements as the bankruptcy basics. For example, you will have to make at least one court appearance. This court appearance is called the creditors’ meeting or 341 meeting of creditors. It’s Section 341 of the Bankruptcy Code, and it is a meeting between the trustee, the attorney, the debtor, and any creditors that decide to show up. I would say 95 percent of the time, creditors do not show up in a simple Chapter 7 case, especially when there are no assets to be distributed. If there are no assets to be distributed, creditors will not show up. The court appearance usually comes roughly 30 days after you file your bankruptcy petition. That is generally the only court appearance a debtor has to make.

However, in certain circumstances, a debtor might have to appear in court for possibly a reaffirmation agreement. They always have the option to go to court, especially in a Chapter 13 where the attorney has to make multiple court appearances. If the debtor wishes to go to court, they can; however, most of the time, more often than not, the debtor does not have to appear in court unless the judge specifically asks for the debtor to come to court. The attorney takes care of all of that. Your attorney will explain in great detail all of your bankruptcy options. So your court appearance as the debtor is very limited and the court appearance for the 341 creditors’ meeting is not a court appearance in the sense of going to an actual room with a judge and a court reporter. It’s not that type of situation. chapter 11 attorney

The 341 meeting is generally very informal. It’s with the trustee, once again, not necessarily in a courtroom. It could be in an office or it could be in the courthouse. People are afraid of going to that hearing, but it’s not really difficult at all. The Trustee will ask a series of questions to determine whether or not there are assets to administer. In the overwhelming majority of Illinois bankruptcy cases, there are no assets to administer and the debtor is granted a discharge. If there are issues that arise at the meeting, your Chicago bankruptcy lawyer will explain to you your options and the likely outcomes. Have confidence in your attorney. Your attorney is trained to handle obstacles and clean up all the details of your case. Most importantly, you should feel comfortable that your attorney is up to the task.

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Water Efficiency for Toilets

More efficient Toilets

A few years ago, toilets came out stating that they were low flow. Using a fraction of the water that the older toilets did. Environmentalists and cost conscious home-owners took notice and started to upgrade their existing fixtures. What happened next is talked about to this day, when something was marketed and could not perform as expected. Home-owners were upset that these conservation methods seemed wasted because multiple flushes had to be used to achieve the same efficiency as the older toilets. This led to cost increases and people seeking to have their old toilets repaired and reinstalled.
Toilet Repairs
Many plumbers tell us that there have been great advances in conservation oriented fixtures. Earlier failures have caused misgivings and distrust of toilets that claim to conserve water and work as well as previous versions. This has made it difficult for plumbers to talk customers into updating their fixtures when remodeling the bathroom. It has been difficult to earn people’s trust back, because of the earlier models that under performed. Sooner or later, it is going to be harder to keep old fixtures in bathrooms, due to remodeling or just age, they are having to be replaced. Boston plumbers say that current trends are for a dual flush toilet. This is an improvement to earlier models of low flow toilets. This style of toilet adapts advances in water conservation models, as well as focuses on the different needs that consumers have. This toilet takes a step back and offers home-owners a two-flush system. One uses far less water and is designed to dispose of liquid waste.

The other flush system uses more techniques to increase water pressure, and use less water than traditional toilets, for solid waste. This dual flush approach is proving to be the medium that plumbers and home-owners have been waiting for. San Antonio plumbers tell us that there are still those that will keep hold of their older toilets, regardless of what proof is provided that the new systems work. They will run out of time and will have to start finding replacements from overstock groups and ‘out of production’ warehouses. This will make it more difficult to get installed by professional plumbers. The old style toilets will not offer any warranty, and if they are not installed by a professional plumber, you may jeopardize your warranty on other appliances.


These newer toilets should not be installed by the typical do-it-yourself handyman. These are far more complicated plumbing devices and special care must be taken during the installation. By using licensed plumbing professionals, you will usually have some warranty on the work, and parts that are used. It is important to have your plumbing properly inspected before having updated fixtures, like the dual flush toilet, installed. If any adjustments need to be made, prior to installation, professionals can make sure that all of your plumbing is ready for the upgrade. Do not keep putting off upgrading your bathroom fixtures. With the advancements made they are for more environmentally friendly and useable than before. Not only can installing the updated fixtures save the environment, they can help save you monthly on your utilities.

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Shoot your own Pictures to put in your Blogs

Generate your own Photo Library for your Blogs

So you started making some contacts (media contacts) by sending out emails on behalf of your tech blog, have done all the SEO correctly and now you need to show off the shiny new gadgets. The good news here is that you do not need a top of the line dSLR camera or expensive studio lighting to achieve some quality photos for your blog. In order to make your Do It Yourself Photo Lab you will need is any basic digital camera, a tripod, 3 empty coffee cans, wood, alligator clips, close line clips, parchment paper, 3 clamp lights and some 100 watt soft light bulbs (or equivalent compact florescent bulbs if you want to reduce heat and save on energy cost).Do It Yourself Photo Lab – The stage

Foam board is your best friend. It’s cheap and it’s available at nearly any craft store, Target, Walmart or Supermarket in America. I prefer to pick up the all white foam board, but if you’d like one side to have a color (possibly for future backdrops) then by all means go ahead. The key here is that the board is bright white because this board will be used as your backdrop and also used as your reflector to shine some of the light back towards the camera and add depth to your photos. You will need at least 2 pieces of foam board for this project – the first piece will be beneath the product and the second piece will be upright angled behind the product to reflect light back towards the camera.Do It Yourself Photo Lab – The lights

Head on down to your local hardware store and go to the lighting section. You will want to pickup a 3 or 4 pack of 100 watt Soft White light bulbs or the equivalent compact florescent soft light bulbs. In this section you will also find clamp lights — I recommend getting 8 and 1/2 inch clamp lights, the important step here is to make sure they are rated for up to 150 watts power just in case you want to add brighter lights down the road. In order to help keep the clamp lights firmly attached in your photo setup I recommend picking up a pack of A clamps (alligator clips). If you live near a Big Lots they sell 2 packs of Alligator clips in their automotive section for $3.00 a set. You will also need close line clips (those wooden clips used to hang clothes back in the day) and a roll of parchment paper (this will be your light diffuser) which they may or may not have at the hardware store. If all else fails you can head to the supermarket to pick up these items.Do It Yourself Photo Lab – The stands

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Stick in a can, stick in a can – your light stands will be made out of empty buckets or empty coffee cans filled with quick set cement and a 6ft 1 x 2′ piece of wood. You’ll need to mix up the cement and fill the empty buckets or cans and then place the stick into the mix and allow it to dry for a couple hours (yes it says quick dry cement will harden in 5 to 10 minutes, but keep in mind these are buckets not a surface repair). In order to ad versatilty to your stands I recommend letting the stick rest up against the side of the can that way you will be able to put two stick in a cans next to each other and clip them together for a more rigid light stand (possibly to hang other items from besides lights). Your hardware store checklist – empty cans (metal or plastic), scrap wood (1 x 2′ pieces of the height you’d like your light stands), bag of cement (50lb bag),Do It Yourself Photo Lab – Putting it all together

Once you’ve assembled your stick in a cans you’ll want to clip on your clamp lights. The clamp of the clamp light doesn’t always make the best grip so either add a secondary clip with an alligator clip or add a towel around the 1 x 2′ before clamping on. For my lighting setup I made 3 stick in a cans — 2 for lights and a 3rd to use to lean my foam board against as a backdrop. If you do not have a good table to work with for this projector I recommend using a couple saw horses so that you have the flexibility to walk around your lighting and make adjustments easily. You will need to use the close line clips to clip on some parchament paper to the front of all your clamp lights. This will help diffuse the lighting so the brightness is spread over a wider area instead of being harsh and focused.


Lay down a piece of foam board and place your product on it. Place a second piece of foam board vertically behind the product. For the lights I angle them at 45 degrees so that both lights make the product the focal point and ultimately reduce as much shadowing as possible. Once the lights are on you can play with the foam board behind the product to see what angle gives the best reflection to bring out the highlights and details of the product.

Position your tripod directly between the two lights and adjust the image settings to manual so that you can adjust the lighting for florescent. You’ll want the camera to use a low ISO (around 100 if possible) so you’ll need to do some test shots to see what ISO is being used. If it is possible to adjust the ISO manually then set it to 100 otherwise just make sure your product as plenty of light and you are using a solid tripod to eliminate any shakes (at low ISO’s the slightest shake will result in image blur).This image was shot using a Canon SD780IS and all the items described above. After completing the shot I used Adobe Photoshop CS4 to adjust the white level. The total cost of the materials to build my photo studio was $70, but I have left over materials to build 3 more stick in a cans and I have 2 spare foam boards. On the plus side I now have lighting for both video and photography for less than it would cost to get one. A Do It Yourself Photo Lab is a great investment and I think the image above speaks for itself on what can be done with a basic digital camera and a one-time investment of $70.
Taking the right pictures and tagging them for Seo is just part of the whole SEO efforts to get a site ranking. Give it a try.

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