SIAff PHOTO BY SUSAN USMH
No Jail For This One
Thus little fellow didn't have to go to jail at the Shallotte Christmas parade; the Keystone hop "trusty"
Has just saying hello.
STAFF PHOTO BY DO HI C GUKGANUS
Take A Bite Out Of Crime
Don dales, crime prevention officers with the Brunswick County Sheriffs Department, and his side
kick McGruff remind Shallotte Christmas parade goers to "Take A Rite Out Of Crime."
What You Need To Know
The number of Americans filine
lor bankruptcy has risen dramatical
ly in the past few years. According
to U.S. court estimates, close to
725.1* H) bankruptcy petitions were
filed last year.
Hut while the lure of a fresh start
can be tempting, the North Carolina
.Association of CPAs cauuons you
against filing for bankruptcy before
you understand the ramifications of
Your Credit Record
According to the association, the
draw backs of bankruptcy can be se
rums, l-'irsi and foremost. when you
declare bankruptcy, this information
remains on your credit record for ten
years. During this lime, it is difficult
to take out a mortgage, obtain a
loan, open a charge account, or oth
erwise arrange for credit. And
lenders aa-n't the only ones likely to
scrutinize your credit records. Em
ployers often use credit records as a
wa\ to pre-screen applicants looking
for a job and many landlords now
check the payment history of pros
Before rushing into bankruptcy
from 'Danny Duncan and Staff
Hearty good wishes from all of us to all of
you. We wish you the very merriest of
We appreciate your business!
Columbus Cold Storage
(90% of the time in most cases ? Glass or Plastic)
We can make arrangements to have your eyes examined today!
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Otfer doea not apply with any other
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? lens restrictions apply
enses FRFfc Coupon must t* presort
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locationa in Kinaton, Greenville,
Wilaon, Goldaboro and Jacfcaon viiie
3901 Oleonder Drive
Mon >'? ? ^ Sat </ r 1 OQ Sun 1-5 PM
court, it is important to lake ihc lime
lo examine your other alternatives
and lo he sure you understand what
bankruptcy is all ahout. You might
want to try to negotiate with your
creditors. In many cases, you may
he able lo work out a reduced pay
ment plan by convincing your credi
tors to allow you to make smaller
payments over a longer periiKl of
lime. As a general rule, your credi
tors don't want to see you tile for
bankruptcy because it means they
w ill not get paid in full.
If you don't think you can handle
direct negotiations with your credi
tors, you might consider turning to
credit counseling. The Consumer
Credit Counseling Service, a nol
for-prolil organization with offices
around the country, is staffed with
experienced counselors who will ne
gotiate with creditors on your be
half, either for free or for a small
fee. For a CCCS center in your area
call 1 -S(X)-388-CCCS.
Chapter 7 or Chapter 13
If all else fails and bankruptcy ap
pears to be your only alternative, the
Federal Bankruptcy Code gives you
a choice between filing under Chap
ter 7 or under Chapter 13. Chapter 7,
which accounts for about 75 percent
of all bankruptcies, allows you to
clear yourself of debt and start all
over again. Chapter 13 is more like a
reorganization procedure that allows
you to pay all or a portion of what
you owe over an extended period of
time. Both chapters will immediate
ly stop creditors from taking further
action against you.
However, be aware that certain
debts, including alimony and child
support, and some student loans arc
not discharged under either chapter
ol bankruptcy. Similarly, most feder
al, state and local taxes cannot be
discharged, although the lax authori
ties cannot collect from you while
you are in bankruptcy.
In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, most
of your debLs arc cancelled. In re
turn, you must surrender certain as
sets, which are sold by a bankruptcy
trustee, to repay as much of your
debt as possible. Once your debts
are discharged, you are barred from
filing for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy
again for six years.
Since the intent of bankruptcy is
to give you a chance to start over fi
nancially, bankruptcy law allows
you to keep a certain amount of your
property. Some property, such as
jewelry valued up to S5(X) and pro
fessional books or ux>ls valued up to
S750, may be considered "exempt"
-which means you do not have to
surrender it to the bankruptcy
trustee. You or your attorney should
check your stale bankruptcy laws
since they may also specify the type
and amount of property that is con
Chapter 13 is a legal procedure
thai can help people whose debt has
become unmanageable and who
want to meet their financial obliga
tions under the protection of the
U.S. Bankruptcy Court. Chapter 13
enables you to restructure your debts
so you can manage payments again.
It may also permit you to repay
creditors in full or in part over a
three- U) five-year period during
On Sale At
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MARSH HARBOUR YACHT CLUB
MIKE'S KWIK MARKET
SIMMONS' BEVERAGE MART
which crcdilors arc baned from tak
ing any action. This procedure,
which is somclimcs referred to as
the wage -earner's plan, is designed
for those who have regular income
but arc currently unable to make full
payment on their debts.
Under the wage-earner's plan,
you can keep your property in return
for agreeing to follow a plan for re
paying your bills. You are asked to
submit a budget showing the bank
ruptcy court how much you can af
ford to pay each month alter meet
ing basic living expenses. If the plan
is approved, the bankruptcy trustee
collects a certain amount of money
from you each month and distributes
it to your creditors. Chapter 13 is
available only to individuals who do
not owe more than SKX).(KK) in un
secured debts and not more than
S35(),(XX) in secured debts.
The entire bankruptcy proccss
usually takes less than six months.
At the end of the process, you will
receive a notice showing the debts
that were discharged by the court.
Life after bankruptcy means liv
ing without credit, at least for a
while. You may want to consult with
a financial planner to help you re
structure your finances.
Your success in obtaining new
credit hinges on your ability to con
vince creditors that you are now a
good credit risk. At least initially,
you will most likely have more luck
in persuading local lenders to extend
you a line of credit.
Once you've had an opportunity
to save some money, borrowing
against a savings account is another
way to reestablish credit. After you
have established your credit-worthi
BCC Sets Pilot
A pilot ground schools begins
Tuesday, Jan. 7, sponsored by
Brunswick Community College at
its Soulhport campus.
The class will meet Tuesdays and
Thursdays from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30
p.m. through March 26.
The classes arc designed for indi
viduals who want to learn how to fly
Licensed pilots who want a re
view of program for their biannual
Might review may also register.
All students may register at the
first class meeting. The fee is S30.
ncss to the hank, it may be willing to
make other loans to you. And you
can now use this bank as a credit
Although bankruptcy should nev
er be treated lightly, CPAs say it
may be a viable alternative for those
who cannot sec any other way out of
mounting financial difficulties.
This column on personal finance
was prepared and distributed by the
North Carolina Association of
Certified Public Accountants.
Tri-Beach VFD Sets
Tri-Beach Volunteer Fire Depart
ment will hold iLs annual meeting on
Tuesday, Jan. 28 at 7:30 p.m. De
partment officers urge all members
On the agenda will be election of
the board of directors and fire chief
along with other general business
items. For business to be placcd on
the agenda contact Secretary Timmy
Phelps at X42-6XlX).
The Department building where
the meeting will be held is located
on Sabbath Home Church Road near
Is the clutter piling up
in your home? ? gj,
A garage sale is the best way to sell all the items you no
longer use, and classified is the best place to announce
your sale. Just call the classified department at 754-6890
and before you know it, your home will be like new.