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Month: February 2015

Can I Refinance a Mortgage That Was Discharged in Bankruptcy?

Can I Refinance a Mortgage That Was Discharged in Bankruptcy?

ASK LEON  Bankruptcy expert Leon Bayer answers real-life questions. Dear Leon,  I filed bankruptcy in 2009. One of the debts discharged in the bankruptcy was a mortgage with Wells Fargo. Upon the advice of my lawyer, I did not reaffirm the mortgage in the bankruptcy. I kept my house, and I have stayed current on my mortgage. I just asked Wells Fargo to refinance my mortgage at a lower rate. It told me that it cannot refinance the mortgage because…

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How Explicit Must a Request for Religious Accommodation Be?

How Explicit Must a Request for Religious Accommodation Be?

Abercrombie & Fitch is the subject of a religious discrimination lawsuit, after refusing to hire a young Muslim woman who wore a hijab – a religious headscarf – to her interview. In 2008, 17-year-old Samantha Elauf applied for a sales job with the famous retailer at one of its locations in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The store manager thought that Elauf was a good candidate for the position, but wasn’t sure if she could work for the store wearing the hijab. The…

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Walk Right In, Sit Right Down!

Walk Right In, Sit Right Down!

IRS announced, recently, a limited test to determine if an appointment-based service approach might help reduce taxpayer wait times during a time of severe budget cuts. “My hope is that this test increases the level of customer service that we can provide while minimizing needless burden on taxpayers,” says Commissioner Koskinen. The test locations available by appointment are: Atlanta, GA Austin, TX Birmingham, AL Chicago, IL Denver, CO Fresno, CA Hartford CN Plantation, FL San Antonio, TX Seattle, WA Check…

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Parking Spot Disputes Too Common a Source of Violence

Parking Spot Disputes Too Common a Source of Violence

No final word yet on whether the recent Chapel Hill, North Carolina killings of three young Muslims of Arab descent was a religiously motivated hate crime, but it’s definitely a sad reminder of the fevered disputes that can arise over neighborhood parking spots. According to a report in the Washington Post, “A preliminary investigation revealed that Hicks had previously clashed with his victims — husband and wife Deah Barakat and Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha and Abu-Salha’s sister Razan — over parking spots in…

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IRS Simplifies Compliance with New Repair Regs

IRS Simplifies Compliance with New Repair Regs

Some good Friday the 13th news came forth from IRS last week:  simplification for smaller taxpayers’ compliance with the final “tangible property” regulations.  The new procedure allows small businesses to change a method of accounting under the final “tangible property” regs on a prospective basis for the first taxable year beginning on or after January 1, 2014, including waiving the requirement to complete and file a Form 3115 for small taxpayers who choose to use this simplified procedure for 2014….

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