Category: Finance / Taxes

The Fragility of Liens in Bankruptcy

In a past article we discussed how a mortgage does not “go away” in bankruptcy, and that is generally true of all liens-they pass through bankruptcy unaffected or, alternatively, the lien creditor may obtain relief from the stay and foreclose or otherwise proceed against the… Continue reading

Inherited IRA’s and Creditors

The normally staid world of Individual Retirement Account planning has been shocked by the recent United States Supreme Court case of Clark v. Rameker.  Nearly every day a new article or seminar advertisement related to this case pops up on my e-mail. Under the Federal… Continue reading

Saying Goodbye to the Capital Stock Tax – Again

One of the staple planning tools for real estate investors in Pennsylvania is the use of a limited partnership to own real estate.  To retain the limited liability benefits that investors sought, these partnerships often featured a general partner that was a corporation or a… Continue reading

IRS Offers In Compromise

The Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) has a little known program which provides for the settlement of tax debts for less than the full amount owed.  Eligible taxpayers with significant tax debt that they cannot pay can make what is known as an “Offer in Compromise”… Continue reading

Pay Attention to your Loan Terms – A Case Study

Several years ago we were approached by an individual who was having trouble with her bank.  She had paid her commercial mortgage debt each and every month for over 10 years.  However, her credit had deteriorated for personal reasons and she had allegedly violated certain… Continue reading

What is a Spendthrift Trust

The laws of most states, including Pennsylvania, provide for the creation of “spendthrift trusts”.  A spendthrift trust is, as its name suggests, a type of trust in which the trust assets are immune from creditors of the beneficiaries of the trust.  Generally, such a trust… Continue reading

Charitable Remainder Trusts

The Charitable Remainder Trust has become an increasingly popular vehicle for charitably minded individuals who are not quite ready to make outright gifts to charity.  These trusts essentially provide for a long-term stream of payments to the donor or other designated party, while at the… Continue reading

Federal Estate Taxes

For those of you who resisted jumping off the fiscal cliff the news in the estate planning area is mixed but mostly pretty good.  While the rate of tax on federally taxable estates has been raised, most of the uncertainty that we have been living… Continue reading

HAMP and the Mortgage Crisis

In the five years or so prior to 2008 there was a party of unprecedented magnitude.  Invited to the affair were mortgage brokers, banks, title companies, appraisers, real estate brokers, and, oh yes, the homeowners.  Exactly what launched the process will be for social historians… Continue reading

Family Farms Now Exempt from Inheritance Tax

In June 30, 2012, Governor Corbett signed into law legislation that would exempt family farms from Pennsylvania Inheritance Tax.  Farm estates are often large, and they are usually “illiquid” (i.e., the typical family farmer is “land rich” and “cash poor”).  As a consequence, the inevitable… Continue reading