If you are involved in a Family Law matter in which the custody of a child is at stake, you will hear a lot of unfamiliar technical terms.  Also, you will be highly interested in finding out what factors Judges use in making custody decisions.  These terms and factors are all decided based upon our elected representatives statement that Missouri favors frequent, continuing, and meaningful contact with both parents.  There is a Statute which defines key terms and lists the custody factors in plain English that you should know about.  Follow this link to review that Statute which spells out these terms in plain English:  revisor.mo.gov/main/OneSection.aspx?Section=452.375

Missouri Statute impacts drivers who are injured in a crash EVEN IF THEY ARE NOT AT FAULT!  If a driver is in a crash and they did not have auto insurance coverage, they will be able to recover ONLY their damages for lost wages and the amount paid for their medical bills.  They will not be able to recover any monies for non-economic damages.  

4 Top Ways Debt Collectors Abuse Your Rights!  A must-read article from Dave Ramsey




It is a good idea to obtain your credit report annually to make sure you have ALL of your creditors listed on your schedules.  Below is some helpful information to obtain your free credit report.  


There are three (3) main companies that keep credit reports and you should be able to get each one.  You can obtain your free credit report, one time per year.  The website is www.annualcreditreport.com.  

You're told you need to "affirm" or "reaffirm" your mortgage loan (Example) to keep your house (or car) despite your bankruptcy.  Don't do it!  Here's why:

First, I'll put on my lawyer hat.  It's called "reaffirm".  It's a weird work and most people often only remember "affirm".  It basically means you want to re-agree to the loan agreement after your bankruptcy case has been filed.  (Re-Agree = Reaffirm, et it?)

Now, a mortgage or car loan actually has two parts.  The first part of a mortgage is the loan itself, no different than a credit card debt.  We call this the personal loan, personal obligation, or personal debt.  If you don't pay, you can get sued.  In turn, you can get your wages garnished or your assets seized - unless you file for bankruptcy.  This stops enforcement of a personal loan part.

The second part is the lien on your home or car.  The bankruptcy case does not affect your mortgage lien on your home or car (unless your home is totally underwater or a multi-family home where another unit is rented out, but that's another discussion).  If you don't pay the mortgage loan, that lien means you lose your home.  This is called foreclosure.

Since there are two parts to a mortgage or car loan, the loan itself and the lien, and since bankruptcy does not affect the lien, what's left is bankruptcy getting rid of the loan part.  You file a bankruptcy case - you will not get your wages garnished or your assets seized.

Remember, that lien on your home (or car) was not affected by bankruptcy so you still lose your home if you do not pay your mortgage.  But that's all you lose!  You do not lose4 any wages or other non-home assets.  If you pay your mortgage, you get to own your home just as if there was no bankruptcy.  

Reaffirmation looks at the first part of the mortgage loan, the personal loan itself.  Like all other personal debts, including credit cards, the bankruptcy stops the mortgage lender from garnishing your wages or taking your non-home assets.  Reaffirmation means that the personal loan is one again enforceable, even though you filed for bankruptcy.  

Reaffirmation is a one-way street.  There is NO benefit to you.  It gives the creditor the right to sue you if you default in the future, and therefore, it gives the creditor the right to grab your wages and non-home assets which it cannot do if you refuse to reaffirm.  

You cannot be forced to reaffirm.  You get to keep your home or car without a reaffirmation so long as you make all your payments on time.  And keep the property (home or car) insured.

The mortgage lenders may be vague on this last point, so I'll say it again.  You CANNOT be forced to reaffirm.

The lender wants you to reaffirm.  It wants that right to garnish your wages if you default at a later date.  So the creditor may refuse to send you monthly statements and stop accepting online payments.  There's a simply way to deal with this and that is to remember to write a check (or grab a money order) each month, on time, and mail it directly to the creditor.  

I think this behavior by the lender belongs in a Kindergarten sandbox!  Do NOT let the lender push you into something that does not help you!