Everyone likes to learn new ways to save money. Several web sites are dedicated to groups of people sharing ideas and giving pointers on the latest sales, the best coupon, or how to make family time fun on a budget. Each of these is chalked full of good advice on general topics. However, a thread on one of them concerned me last month. A wife posted a request for more information about how to get a 1099 after a foreclosure. Several people responded and tried to help her. Each gave input about their situation and how it would be in their state.
It was great that so many people wanted to help this woman when it was obvious she was stressed about the financial impact of the impending foreclosure . Even though each of them had the best of intentions, the concern though, is that the wife was getting information regarding complicated financial issues from people who didn't even live in her state and might not have been completely qualified to help resolve her problem. When you fall on financial hard times, it's important to know where to look for good information for a particular problem.
Derrick Kinney is a financial adviser with Ameriprise Financial. He recently wrote an article for the Fort Worth Business Press describing strategies for reducing financial stress during divorce. During the divorce, you need an attorney that specializes in family law. He describes the forms and processes to make sure that financial obligations and benefits are correctly distributed. He then advises, "Before finalizing your divorce settlement, consult a tax adviser to determine your tax obligation."
You want the tax adviser, because he or she will have a specialized knowledge that the divorce attorney probably won't. Kinney doesn't mention bankruptcy in the article, but it would follow that if you decide you need to talk about debt management, you would go to an attorney that routinely handles debt management cases like bankruptcy. There is no substitution for experience in the field you need it. Simply put, you don't go to the butcher to buy a birthday cake, even though he might work in the same grocery store as a baker.
Bankruptcies are handled in every state. Each state has its own set of rules and regulations which guide local practices. They also each have their own set of rules for attorney licensing and areas of legal specialization. The effect is that a debt resolution strategy that might work well in one state may not be effective in another. In the age of internet technology, it's easy to find someone willing to give you advice. When it comes to your financial future, make sure you seek that advice from someone who can give you quality advice.