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Lake residents sue DNR

White Bear Lake sits on the eastern side of the Twin Cities, which is the largest metro area in Minnesota. The lake has been a destination for boating, fishing, swimming and other water sports as well as providing a view for many lakeside homes and restaurants. However, water levels of the 2,400 acre, 80-foot-deep lake reduced over time to low point in 2013, at which time it surpassed the Dust Bowl drought levels. This was despite average or above average rainfall during the nine-year period from 2007 to 2016.

Too many wells blamed

Your lender doesn't want your home but may try to take it anyway

Once your financial situation began to go downhill, you may have felt powerless to stop the downward spiral that led to trouble making your mortgage loan payments. Whether you have been unable to make full payments or to make any payments at all, your lender may be knocking at your door for its money.

At some point, your lender may begin threatening you with foreclosure. Many times, not understanding something increases the fear of it. It may help to have at least a rudimentary understanding of the foreclosure process here in Texas, along with where you can seek support as you work to keep your home.

Your personal debt can pass to spouse when you die

The loss of a spouse often leads to a time of great difficulty. This challenge is greatly increased if your spouse had an accrued a large amount of debt. In community property states like Texas, this means there is a distinct possibility that you will assume that debt, or that your property will be vulnerable to his or her creditors. Typically speaking, the couple assumes the debt if they are married regardless of name on the account. 

What is community property?

Buying a home with parents (or other family members)

It’s recently been reported that multigenerational home buying is on the rise. According to the New York Times, 64 million Americans are living in homes where there are adults of at least two generations. This is double the number of people doing it in 1950. 

There is a variety of reasons for this. One big reason is tied to the price of housing in cities these days. It can also be immigrants wishing to keep the family unit intact. It is also a way for families to save money on childcare (or even language classes) as well as avoid the high cost of long-term senior care. It can even be a simple as enabling grandparents and grandchildren to share time together, creating memories and lessons that will last a lifetime for the youngest generation.

When credit card interest gets large

Credit cards subject individuals to interest and fees. These costs can sometimes add up to quite a bit. According to recent data, in the one-year period ending March 31 of this year, around $104 billion in interest and fees were paid by U.S. credit card users.

This was an increase over recent years. For one, it was 11 percent higher than the previous year.

Gov candidate Lupe Valdez not paying taxes could lead to trouble

On the surface it seems like a good idea. Gubernatorial candidate Lupe Valdez bought and renovated several properties that she subsequently rented to people who were aspire to open businesses or somehow contribute to the community. She had been renting units at below-market levels for decades, and often bought the most rundown property on the block and fix it up for that purpose.

However, the former Dallas County Sheriff and federal agent, like so many others here in central Texas, has run afoul of skyrocketing property taxes. In 2017 during the Democratic runoff, it was revealed that she was behind in property taxes for her rental property and other acreage she owns. She has had to pay those taxes and the accompanying fines for late payment.

Those with tax debt could be denied passport

The Wall Street Journal recently reported that those who owe more than $51,000 to the IRS will be prevented from getting a new or renewing their passport. This new law, which went into effect in March 2018, could affect an estimated 363,000 people who fall into this category. At this point, the government is not revoking the passports of those who owe money. It will also send a notice to citizens if their passport application privileges have been revoked.

According to the story, the new law has already had an impact with 220 people paying more than $11.5 million to repay their full debt. It adds that another 1,400 have set up payment plans to take care of their tax obligations. According to a spokesperson at the IRS, one individual paid over $1 million to avoid not getting a passport.

What you should know before filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy

When a Texas individual is facing overwhelming debt, it can lead to frustration in various areas of life. In addition to growing balances and compounding interest, you may face other debt-related consequences, such as frequent and harassing contact with creditors. Fortunately, there are legal options by which you can deal with your debt. 

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a common choice for individuals facing crippling debt and overwhelming financial obligations. This may be the most popular choice for consumer bankruptcy, but it is not always the best option for everyone. If you are considering Chapter 7 as a way out of your debt, you would be wise to ensure you completely understand both the benefits and potential drawbacks of this decision.

What to do if you get a letter from the IRS

There are few pieces of mail that are more likely cause your heart to skip a beat than an envelope from the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS mails millions of letters for a variety of reasons. Likely the happiest reason is a refund check, the most difficult will be an audit. The organization understands that some have a hard time dealing with all the paperwork and may not even be comfortable interacting with a large government organization. They have now issued a list of do’s and don’ts if you receive correspondence from the taxman. These include:

Dont panic: The IRS sends letters of audit or collection to individuals and businesses, but it more likely to be something else where action is needed. The instruction on what that action is and how to do it will be in the letter.

Why it’s a good idea to have your property surveyed

Using a professional surveyor can help resolve a wide variety of property issues before they become major headaches. From establishing where the true boundary line is located to figuring out if there is an old cemetery on your property, a survey can provide a wide range of eful information. This can be particularly useful if you are planning on buying or selling a property or even want to understand your obligations as the landowner.

A list of potential reasons a survey is useful

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William T. Peckham
1104 Nueces Street, Suite 104
Austin, TX 78701
Phone: 512-487-7604
Fax: 512-478-1790
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