|Volume 2: No. 02|
Nearly 1M personal bankruptcies are forecast for 1992. It's not something you want to try. The court may let you keep your house and your car, but only if you keep making the payments. If you have a steady job, you might be able to regain one credit card, but only if you reassume the debt. Only half of all bankrupts get any kind of credit within five years, and only 16% get a loan within one year. When credit is available, amounts are small -- too small to qualify for a new mortgage. The law says that employers can't refuse to hire you because of a bankruptcy, but such discrimination is common. The bankruptcy will be on your credit report for seven to ten years, and lenders can ask about it even after that. [Jane Bryant Quinn, SJM, 12/8.] (Depending on state law, complete bankruptcy may still leave you with your home, wedding ring, and one firearm. I've heard that Texas law allows someone to liquidate assets and buy a fancy home just prior to declaring bankruptcy.)
Having trouble selling your home? A Maine couple is running an essay contest for their home and store. (State law didn't allow a lottery.) It costs $250 to enter, and they will return all fees if they don't get at least 800 entries. Just write 300 words or less on why you'd like to own a Maine home and convenience store, to be judged by the local English teacher.
Misc.jobs.misc (12/11) has been having a discussion about moving expenses. There are three kinds of expenses: those your company pays, those that are reimbursed by your company, and those that you pay. The first two are taxable compensation and will appear on your Form W-2 or a special Form 4782; the latter two are deductible if you qualify and choose to itemize expenses. (You'll want to itemize if you are paying interest on a home mortgage.) Reimbursed or out-of-pocket expenses can be deducted if it's a new job [rather than a transfer], you move more than 35 miles, you work in the area 39 weeks over the next 12 months, and 78 weeks over the next 24 months. If your company pays the movers directly, they may also pay you a bonus to cover the tax on this "income" to you. [Chengi Jimmy Kuo (email@example.com) reports that IBM did this for him.] The bonus is income, so you pay tax on it as well. Other bonuses, inducements, or extra pre-move flights are also non-deductible. Watch out: Esther Lumsdon (firstname.lastname@example.org) reports that extra taxes caused by moving income are due in the quarter you receive the income.