Frequently Asked Questions

Forgiven debt can be a problem.  The IRS views forgiven debt as income to the person who originally owed the debt because when the debt is forgiven the taxpayer "has received a benefit." The benefit was that the taxpayer borrowed an amount of money which no longer has to be paid back. 


HOWEVER, all is not lost.  The tax law was changed to add a provision that if your house is foreclosed, or you do a short sale because it would otherwise be foreclosed, then any balance due to the first lender is not taxable, even if the lender sends you a 1099 form reporting the "income."  Your tax preparer can help you show the IRS that you were insolvent at the time of the forgiveness and therefore do not have to pay tax on the amount.


The same rule applies where you have cancelled credit card debt, a second mortgage, line of credit or certain other debts if at the time that the debt was forgiven you had filed bankruptcy, or were otherwise insolvent.  Insolvent means that your income was less than the amount due on a regular basis, and you had no assets available to pay the debt.


These provisions have been in effect since 2007 and expire if Congress does not extend them, in December 2012.


More and more of our customers come in with their paperwork and a similar complaint.  The problem is that anybody who is advertising and preparing documents for the entire nation is simply not capable of staying on top of local rules, customs and procedures.  All courts, not just bankruptcy, have local rules, local forms and local customs that are often impossible to find if you do not practice in that jurisdiction.  Moreover, document services are not lawyers.  They cannot legally provide you with advice and this makes it hard for you to know if you're going to go wrong, because they can't offer genertal advice and can't sell you a paper unless you know to ask them for it!  Unfortuately, it is a dirty little secret that many, many people who pay for documents or advice online end up paying again when they have to go to a local attorney because the court has thrown out their paperwork. Neighborhood Law Office™ is a law firm.  With real lawyers -- not operators.  We provide you with BOTH complete and effective legal documents as well as the advice from our attorneys about what the others are not telling you!  And we do it for a price that is about the same or cheaper is than the folks online charge.  Its all part of living up to our promise to you, we provide Legal Services At A Price You Can Afford!™

Many, many, many, many (a whole bunch) of people have been suckered, er taken in by Direct Buy. The outfit has been in Denver since the 1980s at least and its simply an organizatoin that sells membership and very little else. I had a client many years ago that ordered a product from their catalog, when it arrived is was a different item and they wanted 3 times the price listed. A lawsuit in county court later and the client got their money for the item back. There is probably no good way to get your membership fee back. Unhappiness with the product after purchase is not a legal ground for recission, moreover 3 yrs of membership kinda messes up any claim for misrepresentation since you would presumably have known about that much earlier. You can complain to BBB and to the Colorado Attorney General's consumer complaint office. Unlikely that either will do anything. Chalk this one up to "live and learn" and "try to make every mistake only once". In the future remember, a sales pitch is a sales pitch! The salesman gets paid when you hand over your card or check and that's all he cares about. When you buy outside your home there is no recission period. The recission period applies only to sales in your home. (This answer was formulated for Colorado Law.  Please check with an attorney in your state to make sure the answer remains correct in your state).


Hi. Wow, what a mess.

The first question is whether the neighbor fenced in any part of the common or limited common elements. If so they are wrong and the fence may not be maintained. CCOA 38-33.3-217. (Assuming your association is subject to the Act).

The second question is whether you had access to a common element, limited common element or public access prior to the fencing, if so, then the fence probably violates the law. (Same section). CCOA 38-33.3-307, 312

Your title insurance may cover your claim and pay for an attorney to sue to recover your access. The title insurance should have had a description of the property and access and perhaps even a site location certificate. An attorney can probably read the policy better than a layman, but you should review it first.

If the fence does not enclose, block or include any common or limited common elements, then you need to look to the description of the property when you bought it to see if it included outside access, then you have that right. Every Assciation must have a map and the map must show the common, limited common and private elements. CCOA 38-33.3-209

Also, an attorney may well find that the Declarations, Covenants and/or Rules may in fact provide an outside access. These are three different documents and all have different contents and purposes. Finally, have you sent a written complaint to the HOA Board? The attorneys for many of these boards give advice designed to cause problems between the Board and the resident: Why? Because they make money from fights than from solving problems. Anyway, the Board may well simply not deal with verbal complaints. Emails are considered not "official". If you haven't done so yet, you should write a letter outling your complaint and demanding action.

Finally, some projects are designed so that one indeed has no access from the rear yard to the street or sidewalk. I would also call the local fire department and ask an inspector to meet you at the property. Every building has to have 2 exits in case of fire. If you cannot get away from your house should it be on fire, the fire department way well solve your problem by citing the person with the fence.

Most HOA problems are really a matter of the organic documents which created the association. That is usually your first recourse.

This Answer pertains to Colorado Law, if you have a similar problem you should consult with an attorney to make sure that the answer is applicable under your State's laws.


Neighborhood Law Office™ is the result of many years work by our founding attorneys on the future of the law practice and the problem of the unrepresented population in America.  An astounding 60-70% of people standing in courtrooms all around the nation have not consulted with a lawyer before they went to court, and in some types of cases like divorce, the number is more like 90%!  This is a need that Neighborhood Law Office™ was designed to fill.  Neighborhood Law Office™ provides Legal Services At A Price You Can Afford!™ -- that is more than just a motto, its a promise.  Even if you can't or don't want to pay for an attorney in a court, in an arbitration hearing or at a meeting, there is no reason why you have to go in without the proper documents, a list of what you need to prove and how to do it, and an understanding of the process.  These are all things that Neighborhood Law Office™ can provide you at a reasonable price.  Of course, we also stand ready to assist with hearings, court proceedings, and other matters if you need us.  Your legal affairs are important.  Make sure you get documents and advice tailored to you, your problem and your local laws -- not something off the internet that's "one size fits all" for the entire country.

Yes.  And that price INCLUDES the U.S. Bankruptcy Court filing fee of $299.  So you are really paying only $700 for your bankrupcty.  What's Included?  Well, you get all petitions, schedules, forms and paperwork necessary to file your bankruptcy.  You get a one hour meeting with our attorney to discuss ANY questions you may have about your bankruptcy or any other matter, and to go over all your paperwork to make sure that it is correct.  BEWARE of those internet places that advertise prices too good to be true for bankruptcy filings -- you can bet that there are other costs that are not disclosed until after you sign up!

In most states like Colorado and California, for example, an attorney can provide "unbundled" legal services.  Which means that a lawyer can provide you with just what you want, but not charge you for handling the entire matter.  If you purchase your divorce paperwork from Neighborhood Law Office™ you will receive your petition, service papers, financial affidavits, parenting time paperwork.....  In short, everything you need to file and finish your divorce.  We provide the paperwork and you file your papers with the Court.  Later, if you need an attorney for a hearing or to discuss a problem, we are there for you.