Entries by Ian Topf

Income Tax Debt and Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Relief

A common question arises in many of my recent debt relief consultations: How will my income tax debt affect my attempts to completely wipe out my debt, both overall and as to the tax debt itself? Taxes and Bypassing The Means Test The first hurdle to proceed in filing under Chapter 7 is the “means […]

International Travel and Child Custody – What You Should Know

Sometimes it seems that issues around child custody are needlessly complicated and difficult to understand. So when a parent who shares custody of a child wishes to travel internationally, he or she should be aware of the additional legal ramifications of taking that child out of the U.S. In one respect, things are fairly straightforward, […]

Think You Can’t Afford to File for Bankruptcy?

According to a new study by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, changes originally enacted in 2005 to the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act have made it substantially more difficult for “financially struggling people” to file for bankruptcy relief. While it’s true that changes like these have made it tougher for people […]

Do-It-Yourself Legal Service Websites

In a recent blog post, I discussed the pros and cons of choosing to represent yourself in court actions, rather than hiring an attorney to handle your matter. In such legal areas as civil litigation, family law, bankruptcy, small claims, traffic court, etc., there are times when you can act effectively on your own behalf […]

When should you legally represent yourself?

For many people facing a legal issue, the first thought that generally comes to mind is how much will this cost in attorney’s fees? The good news is that there are numerous types of cases in California where being represented by an attorney is not a necessity. As a general rule, you may not need […]

2015 Resolution: Take Care of Your Legal Needs

On behalf of all of us at the Law Offices of Ian S. Topf, APC, best wishes for a happy, healthy and prosperous 2015! It’s not too late to make a New Year’s resolution that will benefit you and your family throughout the new year. This is a great time to take care of some […]

The Legal Obligations after a Family Member Dies

In recent weeks, it’s been my sad misfortune to lose two close relatives in my family. After the initial shock of the loss of each beloved family member, I have been swamped with questions from other family members and friends about what to do (in terms of legal obligations) when a loss like this occurs. […]

How Does Foreclosure Work?

In today’s economy, many people find themselves underwater with regard to their monthly expenses. When their total monthly debts amount to more than the money they’ve got coming in—and, as is usually the case, the monthly mortgage payment represents their larges expense—people sometimes opt to neglect this big debt and pay off their smaller, more […]

Want to Bad-Mouth Your Ex-Spouse? Bite Your Tongue!

Divorce triggers a lot of strong feelings, so it’s natural for each side to have negative emotions and the desire to express them. But as a family law attorney with extensive experience in this area, I strongly urge my clients not to express those feelings in the home setting. Kids are “sponges” As a parent […]