• Episode 2: Next Lawyer Up with Ron Sykstus and Amy Tanner

      This episode of the Next Lawyer Up podcast features attorney Amy K. Tanner. Amy has been my law partner, friend and colleague since 1999. She is originally from Montgomery, Alabama where she was born and raised. Since the work of being a lawyer is a lot about the grind, meaning putting in a great deal of time and effort on every case for every client, maybe that is why I focu ...

      Ron Sykstus/ Bond and Botes- 35 readers -
    • Can a Student Loan Lender Garnish Social Security Benefits?

      Social Security benefits are exempt from just about all creditor collection efforts but, unfortunately not the U.S. Department of Education. In fact, current law provides that student loan borrowers who are 50 years old or older and have defaulted on their student loan debt are required to repay the student loan debt with a portion of their social security benefits.

      Amy Tanner/ Bond and Botes- 27 readers -
    • Rising Student Debt and Suggestions for Change

      According to “Student Debt and the Class of 2015’” the latest report from the Project on Student Debt, about seven in 10 (68%) college seniors who graduated from public and private nonprofit colleges in 2015 had student loan debt. The average graduate owed $30,100, which is up 4% from the 2014 report.

      Kathryn Davis/ Bond and Botes- 26 readers -
  • Building Your Credit for the New Year

    In my last blog post (before Thanksgiving) I wrote about predatory lending practices and how to avoid them. In preparation for the upcoming new year and a fresh start, I’d like to share some helpful lending and credit practices that can help you build your credit. Three Major Steps Apply for a secured credit card A secured credit card works just like a regular credit card.

    Nick Gajewski/ Bond and Botes- 5 readers -
  • West Coast Homeless Population Booms, Causing National Increase

    According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s annual Point in Time report released this month, the U.S. homeless population increased for the first time since 2010. The report showed that during counts taken in January, nearly 554,000 homeless people are living in the U.S. That number is up nearly 1% from 2016. Of the homeless people living in the U.S.

    Kathryn Davis/ Bond and Botes- 7 readers -
  • Can a Default on Student Loans Affect Your Job?

    Can you lose your job if you fall behind on your student loans? In 19 states, government agencies can seize your state-issued professional licenses if you default on your student loans. Thankfully, Alabama is not one of these states. In South Dakota, your driver’s license can be suspending which can make it impossible to get to work.

    Gail Donaldson/ Bond and Botes- 14 readers -
  • An Update on the Family Farmer and Chapter 12 Bankruptcies

    I have written in the past about a little known section of the Bankruptcy Code – Chapter 12. Chapter 12 of the Bankruptcy Code was developed in the 1980’s specifically for family farmers and family fishermen. There is a new article out in the December 2017 American Bankruptcy Institute Journal, called “Making Chapter 12 More Viable for Family Farmers.

    Bond and Botes- 11 readers -
  • What’s New in Social Security?

    The Social Security Administration (SSA) has issued its’ annual announcement detailing upcoming changes to its program for 2018. I have previously discussed the Cost-Of-Living Adjustment (COLA) and the resulting possible effects on Social Security recipients in my last blog entry, so today I thought I’d go over some other changes the agency has in store for us.

    Bond and Botes- 10 readers -
  • The More Things Change…

    The more things change, the more they stay the same. This old adage certainly seems appropriate when it comes to people and money. Remember back in 2006, about a year before the housing bubble popped and the stock market collapsed? Times were good, or so it seemed. But money has a funny way of making things seem better than they actually are; especially when that money is borrowed.

    Cynthia Lawson/ Bond and Botes- 7 readers -
  • Is Your Debt Load Piling Up?

    According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), individuals and companies are piling on debt at levels last seen just prior to the financial crisis a few years back. The IMF reports that borrowing in the “non-financial sector” has surpassed the pre-crisis high. The “non-financial sector” is composed of governments, non-financial companies, and households.

    Ed Woods/ Bond and Botes- 10 readers -
  • Financial Problems and the Holidays

    Are you facing difficult financial decisions? Bills piling up? Trying to figure out how to pay for Christmas gifts? As fun and joyous as the holiday season is supposed to be, the money aspect of it can be very stressful. No one really wants to think about their financial problem especially during this time of year.

    Bond and Botes- 8 readers -
  • Steps to Take to Overcome Bankruptcy

    Entrepreneur magazine published an article last year about how entrepreneurs rebound from filing bankruptcy and move forward with their lives. After reading the article I believe the recommendations are solid for individuals who have filed or are considering filing. My Thoughts on the Recommendations Face your financial problems head on.

    Robert Reese/ Bond and Botes- 12 readers -
  • What You Should Do If You Become a Victim of Identity Theft

    Recently, a family member of mine started receiving calls from various financial institutions to verify his information from his recent credit applications. He never applied for credit from any of these financial institutions. Someone had stolen his identity and was applying for various credit cards and loans in his name.

    Mary Pool/ Bond and Botes- 13 readers -
  • Many Older Americans Are Turning to Bankruptcy for Financial and Emotional Relief

    The golden years are turning out to be not very golden, unfortunately, for many Americans. This is something that I have noticed in my own law practice. Over the last several years, I have seen a trend in more older and retirement age folks having to seek bankruptcy assistance. Why Is This Happening? Medical Debt I think there are several reasons for this trend of older America ...

    Amy Tanner/ Bond and Botes- 11 readers -
  • What are Some Bankruptcy Myths?

    I love my law firm of Bond and Botes, my law partners, my law associates, my employees and the practice of Consumer Bankruptcy very much. It is a great thing to love what you do and who you do it with and I am so blessed to get to do just that every day. I also love my clients and solving the financial problems they bring to our offices at Bond and Botes each day.

    Grant Mcnutt/ Bond and Botes- 17 readers -
  • Beware of Predatory Lending While Shopping for the Holidays

    The biggest shopping weekend of the year is fast approaching! Black Friday will kick things off on November 24th before we move onto Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday. Many people across the nation will be out shopping for holiday gifts, and the urge to spend is stronger at this time of year than in any other season.

    Nick Gajewski/ Bond and Botes- 16 readers -
  • XCOR Aerospace Files for Bankruptcy

    XCOR Aerospace, an innovator in the aerospace industry, has filed for bankruptcy. XCOR is a private spaceflight and rocket engine development company based at the Mojave Air and Space Port in Mojave, California, and in Midland, Texas. There are also locations in Amsterdam and Hong Kong. XCOR is best known in the aerospace industry for a suborbital space plane that was announced in 2008.

    Kathryn Davis/ Bond and Botes- 23 readers -
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