Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Ghosts of Bankruptcies Past

Most people think there is a stigma attached to Bankruptcy - they think it's a dirty word. However, the public has a misconstrued perception of bankruptcy. Most feel once you file bankruptcy it will "haunt" you for 10 years or leave you open for discrimination. These are all misconceptions; the reality is that bankruptcy may be the end of your financial hardships, and the answer you're looking for.

There is a mistaken belief that bankruptcy will financially blacklist you for at least ten years or even for life. Bankruptcy does reflect on your credit for ten years, however, after you file a successful bankruptcy case you start from scratch. Your credit history is gone and you literally start at a zero credit rating. You have a "rebirth" and begin a new credit history. This provides you with the opportunity to reestablish excellent credit within as little as 24 months. For many, this is an indescribable relief to their financial woes.

If you feel bankruptcy may be the answer you were looking for, please call our office to schedule a free half hour consultation.


Rachel M. Alvarez, Esq.
The Alvarez Law Firm A Professional Association

Monday, December 20, 2010

Did you know if you have been foreclosed on this year you may receive a 1099?

What most people fail to understand is that if you have been foreclosed on in 2010, you may receive a 1099 for your taxes in 2011. Financial institutions that file a foreclosure action against you during 2010 have the option to file a 1099C and report to the IRS.

So What does a 1099 do?A 1099 is a report of taxable income. So on top of your wages that were earned in 2010 you will receive a 1099 as additional "income".

Where does this "income" come from? This comes from the deficiency judgment filed against you on your foreclosed property. For example, let's say a financial institution auctions your home for a price of 200k, but you borrowed 300k to purchase it. The 100k difference is reported as taxable income to the IRS. The IRS then taxes you on this "income". You can also receive this from a short sale property unless otherwise agreed by you and the financial institution.

What are the dangers? You may have to make a payment arrangement with the IRS to pay them from this taxable income. Once this is reported to the IRS it is difficult to get this amount waived.

What are my options?You may qualify for a tax exemption which is allowed by law. If you do not qualify for this exemption you may want to contemplate bankruptcy. By using Bankruptcy you may be able to waive all of the deficiency. You should file bankruptcy PRIOR to the end of 2010 to avoid tax liability.

At the Alvarez Law Firm we want you to understand the law and your rights. We ALWAYS offer free half hour bankruptcy consultations.

Rachel M. Alvarez, Esq.
The Alvarez Law Firm A Professional Association

Do Loan Modifications Really Work?

When our clients ask if loan modifications really work, it really is just a matter of opinion.

A loan modification is when the borrower and the lender mutually decide to change the terms of the original mortgage. Loan modifications can be temporary or permanent.

In my opinion, loan modifications simply act as a band aid to a long term problem.  Lenders are simply trying to buy time while they get an opportunity to collect money from you while they prepare to foreclose on your home.

"According to a fresh report from the government's Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, loan modification plans are getting nowhere fast." -by Tom Kerr,

How does this affect the average consumer? Most of the clients I see tell me they want to file bankruptcy once they are able to reach a loan modification with the bank. Unfortunately,  about 95% of them come back and tell me that they lost their home because the lender was unwilling to work with them, or because the lender continued to give them false hope right up to the day of auction.
As a home owner there are several legal remedies and options that you may have. At the Alvarez law firm it is important for our clients to know their legal rights.  The Lenders have a team of attorneys to protect their interests, who do you have to protect yours?
Call now to set up a free consultation. Learn YOUR rights.


Rachel Alvarez
The Alvarez Law Firm

Friday, December 17, 2010


As the New Year approaches, our thoughts naturally turn to the future and the past. We take time to reflect on everything that happened in 2010, and all the possibilities for 2011. We hope this past year has been successful for you, that you achieved your goals and lived life to the fullest. Our office has had its ups and downs, and we would just like to take a moment and share with you our reflection of happenings in 2010 and our hopes and goals for 2011.
As 2010 began, our firm hit the ground running. We were kept very busy by all of our loyal and faithful clients and we even acquired many new ones.  As spring approached our business went through some changes. We lost a few employees and gained a few. The summer was the most eventful and significant time for our business, yet it was bitter sweet.  In mid-summer, Jackie decided to pursue her dream of becoming a doctor and was happily accepted to Howard University School of Medicine.  This was sad but we were happy to see her fulfill her dream to go to medical school. She has since received Honors in her classes and is succeeding and exceeding everyone’s hopes for her.  
Taylor - Legal Assistant
and Akasha, her Husky

We also lost Kelsey this fall. She decided it was time for her to pursue other personal interests. Kelsey had been with us for over 3 years. The new addition was Taylor who, excitedly, took her place and brought with her many new ideas to help The Alvarez Law Firm grow and expand. Taylor recently graduated from the University of Central Florida in May of 2010.

This year has been full of surprises, which is to be expected in any business. We anticipate that 2011 will be a wonderful year with new goals and objectives. We enjoy assisting each and every one of our clients. We continue to help our clients with the following areas of practice:
Bankruptcy 7/13
Corporate law
Foreclosure defense
Loan modification
Real estate – short sales, leases, buying and selling homes
Estate Planning - wills
Power of attorney

We wish you and your family a very wonderful holiday season and a wonderful new year filled with joy and prosperity.
Rachel M. Alvarez, Esq