Saturday, December 24, 2016

Wishing you all the Joy, Hope and Wonder of Christmas!

Wishing you all the Joy, Hope and Wonder of Christmas from The Law Office of Mark Williams!

Check out more valuable information about Guam's Laws and working with Mark Williams, Guam's Best Lawyer, on Dededo Law Office's website,

Friday, December 09, 2016

Rebuilding Credit After Bankruptcy – Understanding How Credit Scores are Calculated

The FICO Credit Score can range from 300 to 850.  Many borrowers may not even understand how their credit score is calculated.  Let's take a look:

Your FICO score is determined by the following percentages:

30% = Capacity
35% = Credit History
15% = Length of Credit History
10% = Mixture of Credit
10% = New Credit

Capacity: This is the amount of debt you owe.  This is an indicator of how you borrow money and your credit risk.  For example, if you have credit cards all pushing towards the maximum limit, your credit score is going to significantly drop.  If you have credit cards that are below 50% of your credit limit; your credit score is going to increase.

Credit History: This is your borrowing pattern.  If you have habitual late payments; it is going to show on your credit report.  Each time you are late for example it is going to show up on your credit report for 2 years. 

Length of Credit:  This is the age of your credit lines.  What is the oldest credit line you have?  Do you have numerous credit lines opened at one time; this could affect your score negatively if the debt you have acquired is new and numerous.  However, the longer you have had credit established, the better your credit score.  This is true even after bankruptcy because the year you originally began establishing credit (before bankruptcy) will still be notated on your credit report.

Mixture of Credit:  What type of credit trade lines do you have?  Do you have both secured and unsecured debt?  Your score improves, for example if you have had at least 2 secured trade lines (auto, house) and 2 unsecured trade lines (personal loans, credit card)

New Credit: This can actually affect your FICO score negatively.  Every time you have a institution pull your credit, your score will drop minimally 2 points.  This also stays on your credit report for 2 years.

This may look like a daunting task after you have been discharged from bankruptcy; but it is your fresh start and you can slowly rebuild your credit again like you once did before you began originally establishing your credit.  We are excited for you; it is a new beginning!

Check out more valuable information about Guam's Laws and working with Mark Williams, Guam's Best Lawyer, on Dededo Law Office's website,

Friday, November 11, 2016

Rebuilding Credit After Bankruptcy – Understanding Credit Scores

"As a Bankruptcy Lawyer, I have the firsthand understanding of the great benefits coming your way as a result of your decision to file for bankruptcy."  Regardless of the reason that lead you towards bankruptcy; the good news is that you now have a NEW beginning; a fresh start. 

In most situations, your credit score after bankruptcy actually improves.  One of the keys to rebuilding your credit can first start with understanding credit scores.  A credit score is a numeric statement which is presumed to describe your ability to manage your finances.

Credit scores can range from 300 to 850.  Financial Institutions measure that the higher the score, the lower the risk of their investment in you.  A credit score is generated by your past performance; and that past performance generates a score that is supposed to predict your ability to manage credit and your debt.

Bankruptcy is about cleaning up that past performance.  This is why after your bankruptcy is discharged; with a credit report that highlights your historical borrowing patterns; bankruptcy gives you a sweepingly fresh start – thus increasing your credit score when you begin your new patterns of borrowing.

Check out more valuable information about Guam's Laws and working with Mark Williams, Guam's Best Lawyer, on Dededo Law Office's website,

Friday, October 28, 2016



1.         Stop Creditor’s Harassing Calls. Creditors call at almost all times of the day and night and the weekend as well; they intentionally look for inconvenient times to add additional pressure on the debtor. The automatic stay in bankruptcy law makes it illegal for creditors to continue those calls or any other form of harassment the moment you file for bankruptcy.

2.         Keep your house and car. A myth of Chapter 7 bankruptcy is that you will lose your belongings.   As long as you don’t have too much equity in your home, you keep the house (otherwise you'd file Chapter 13 in order to protect an abundance of equity).  Bankruptcy is about protection and Attorney Mark Williams can help you with which Bankruptcy Chapter is best suited for you.

3.         Protect most of your household possessions. The state and federal exemptions that block what a bankruptcy trustee can seize typically cover all household goods and tools of a trade. Even if you have valuable jewelry or electronics, they often are not seized because of their age and condition. In fact, in 90 percent of all Chapter 7 cases, no property at all is seized.

4.         Wipe away unsecured debt. The amount you owe on credit cards or any debt (that is unsecured) can be completely liquidated if you qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

5.         Help with secured debt. With no more unsecured debt, paying the monthly mortgage and car note becomes much easier again. For many debtors, spiraling  unsecured debt eventually makes it impossible to pay all creditors every month; our debt relief agency with Attorney Mark Williams can help you with that!

6.         You Can Qualify. There is an income limit with Chapter 7 which is determined through a Means Test. That’s a process to determine if you have any leftover income at the end of the month to pay unsecured creditors. Notwithstanding our salary, if there is little or no money left over at the end of the month, you may qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

7.         You may never see the bankruptcy judge. Under the Chapter 7 process, there is one mandatory appearance before the bankruptcy trustee during the creditor’s meeting. While it’s possible questions from the trustee or creditors could lead to a hearing before in bankruptcy court, the overwhelming majority of cases do not involve court appearances. 

8.         Take a deep breath. While you wait to find out if you qualify for Chapter 7, you have the opportunity to relax a little from the financial pressures. The automatic stay stops any harassing calls and you do not have to pay your unsecured creditors while in bankruptcy.

9.         Fast and easy. If there are no complications, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case can be over in as little as 4 to 6 months.

10.       Start over more quickly. The fact that Chapter 7 is a straight bankruptcy; you can begin changing your financial habits and re-establishing your credit quicker than you’d predict.

Check out more valuable information about Guam's Laws and working with Mark Williams, Guam's Best Lawyer, on Dededo Law Office's website,

Friday, October 21, 2016

Are in Guam one of the most common accidents next to motor vehicle accidents. However, in most automobile accidents it is easy to determine who the at fault driver and this is not the case with most slip-and-fall accidents which occur in establishments for the public, such as grocery stores, restaurants, etc.. where it is not uncommon to find spilled liquid products or foreign objects on the floor.

As in any premises liability claim, one should do their best to document the circumstances of the injury and the defective condition that caused the injury. 

All property owners have a duty to maintain their property in a reasonably safe condition. Unfortunately, many businesses do not keep their premises safe. 

If you have fallen and have been injured on someone else´s property, you may claim reasonable compensation.  Attorney Mark has over 20+ experience in advocating our client’s rights in receiving the maximum settlement compensation.   

Call Now: 637-9620!

Check out more valuable information about Guam's Laws and working with Mark Williams, Guam's Best Injury Lawyer, on Dededo Law Office's website,

Sunday, October 16, 2016


If you are thinking of filing bankruptcy due to a Wage Garnishment Order, In most cases filing bankruptcy will stop your future wages from being garnished and in fact it might be possible to get some of your garnished wages back!

But, the surroundings circumstances must be in your favor in order to get you wages back; specifically,

1.    The wages garnished must have been $600.00 or more within the 90 days prior to filing bankruptcy as you can only recover garnished wages from the 90 days preceding filing bankruptcy; and

2.    You can exempt the wages once they are returned to you.

Garnished wages needs to be listed on your schedules and then elected to be exempted. It is also very important to note that the garnished wages will not be returned right away. It will most likely take several months for you to receive your wages.

If the garnished wages have simply only been taken out of your paycheck and never sent to your creditor, then they should still be being held by your employer. If that is the case, then your employer should simply return the funds to you once they receive notice that you have filed bankruptcy. However, you will only be able to keep the funds if you are able to exempt them.

If your wages are currently being garnished and you are thinking of filing bankruptcy in order to stop the wage garnishment, contact the best Bankruptcy Attorney in Guam, today at the Law Office of Mark Williams by calling (671) 637-9620/1. Not only will Attorney Mark Williams help you file bankruptcy, he can also help you determine whether bankruptcy is right for you, and show you how he can help stop your wage garnishments.

Check out more valuable information about Guam's Laws and working with Mark Williams, Guam's Best Lawyer, on Dededo Law Office's website,

Monday, October 03, 2016

Myths of Bankruptcy
One of the most typical myth is that your credit rating will be so damaged that you will never secure a loan, or my name is damaged; this simply isn't true. 
Most people already have repayment problems, late payments, high balances, collection accounts and/or charge off accounts; this is what damages your credit rating. 

In most instances bankruptcy actually improves your credit score because these patterns of borrowing have been resolved.
You may not be able to bring your score up to the perfect 850 as long as your bankruptcy stays in your report, but with good credit management after filing, a score in the 700s is possible.
Bankruptcy can you give you a fresh start and with a few clever credit repair strategies, your score could be back in the 700s within two or three years after filing.
Here's some tips in how to raise your credit score after bankruptcy:
1. Damage Control
Make sure all the accounts you included in your bankruptcy are listed as such, and show $0 balances if you filed Chapter 7
2. Get New Credit Cards
After bankruptcy, if you can't get approved for an unsecured credit card, start out with a secured card. With a secured card, you will make a deposit with the credit-card issuer, which will in essence be your credit limit. Typically, after a year to 18 months of on-time payments, you could "graduate" to a regular, unsecured credit card.
3. Piggyback
If you have a trusted friend or relative, ask them to make you an authorized user on one of their credit cards. Your bankruptcy won't affect your friend's credit, but you'll automatically get the account history for that card in your report.
4. Bigger Loans
What about auto loans and mortgages? You can start shopping for auto loans as soon as a few months out of bankruptcy,
Check out more valuable information about Guam's Laws and working with Mark Williams, Guam's Best Lawyer, on Dededo Law Office's website,

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Driver's License Suspension or Loss and Bankruptcy

A common question that arises from clients is whether they can get their driver’s license back if it has been revoked after a car accident.  Normally you can discharge debts arising from a car accident.  Some common reasons a driver may lose their driver’s license after a car accident would be because they did not have insurance and/or were unable to pay to repair the other person’s car.  Also, many times those involved have been hurt in the accident and there are medical bills and personal injury claims.

Check out more valuable information about Guam's Laws and working with Mark Williams, Guam's Best Lawyer, on Dededo Law Office's website,

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Do not pay zombie debts! - Bankruptcy- Guam

Do not pay zombie debts!

Many people believe that they should not delay when it comes to paying off their debts and getting back on the road to being in a good financial position. However, you could be in for a big – and not so nice – surprise if you send a check to a debt collector seeking payment on an old debt.
Of course, your debts can accumulate over time, particularly as the interest on the unpaid principal balance mounts, and leave you in a very difficult spot. Even if you can only make a small dent in your overall debt balance, you may think, every little bit helps. Other times some debtors get so frustrated by the debt collectors’ tactics that they actually end up encouraging the borderline-illegal behavior by giving in to the demands and paying off the debts.

But the truth is that paying off old debts could actually hurt you when planning for bankruptcy.  This is because recent payments to creditors which are going to be subject to discharge can be considered an unlawful preference in favor of such creditors over other creditors not being paid. 

Consult with your professional bankruptcy attorney before paying debts if you are considering bankruptcy!

Check out more valuable information about Guam's Laws and working with Mark Williams, Guam's Best Lawyer, on Dededo Law Office's website,

Saturday, May 07, 2016

Timing in Bankruptcy Cases

Timing in Bankruptcy Cases

As in lots of things, timing is everything.  Timing is important in music, comedy, athletics, you name it.
Timing can be very important in a bankruptcy case, too.  There can be multiple reasons for filing bankruptcy sooner as opposed to later.  There can be good reasons for delaying a bankruptcy, too.  The main point of this article is that, whether you file bankruptcy now or later, it does not hurt to talk to an experienced bankruptcy attorney sooner to find out if there are any timing issues in your situation.

Should I file now?

Apart from the typical reasons of urgency—house is being foreclosed next week; car is about to get repossessed, there are other timing issues that can be very important.  Some examples include the following:

Court Proceedings

In most cases, if a creditor initiates court action, the result is a court judgement, and your wages can be garnished.  If your wages are garnished, it may make it harder for you to get your money together to file for bankruptcy protection.  If you know a lawsuit is coming, filing sooner rather than later may be the optimum thing to do.
Another factor about court judgements is that once a judgement is entered, it is a lien on your property and can result in the loss or foreclosure sale of that property, including your home.  It is important to understand that such judgement liens can also be avoided in bankruptcy under certain circumstances, but this is dependent upon many factors.  Filing a bankruptcy case sooner as opposed to later in such cases may make sense because you may be able to avoid the judgement lien in its entirety.

Recent Judgements or Garnishments 

Another timing factor for filing sooner as opposed to later may involve whether a creditor obtains more money than the creditor would be entitled to in a in a bankruptcy case.  If a creditor gets a judgement against you and you time a bankruptcy case correctly, you may be able to recover such garnishments, and even have the judgement avoided.  This may be advantageous for you.

Should I wait to file bankruptcy?

Just as there are good reasons for filing bankruptcy sooner, there can be very good reasons for waiting to file bankruptcy.

Potential lowering of payments on on a vehicle

If you have a car that you bought on which you are making payments but have not quite had it for 2 1/2 years, it may make sense to wait until after the 2 1/2 year mark so that you can lower your car payment, and pay significantly less for the car through a chapter 13 case than if you do not.  Consult with your bankruptcy lawyer for further instructions about this.


Just as an unsecured creditor is not allowed to garnish wages or collect payments on the eve of bankruptcy, voluntary payments you have made to such creditors can just as easily justify delaying a filing so that such payments do not have to be repaid to the Trustee.  Or, if you have made a transfer of property to someone, it may make sense to wait a while so that the applicable time period expires.


If you have filed all your tax returns, some taxes can be discharged if they are of a certain age.  The requirements for determining the dischargeability of taxes can be daunting but it can be accomplished.  If you owe state or federal taxes, it may be to your benefit to delay a bankruptcy filing so that the necessary time period passes.  This can mean the difference in discharging potentially thousands of dollars in taxes or getting stuck with continuing to pay these claims.

Need to obtain money for bankruptcy fees

Bankruptcy is a complicated legal proceeding and it takes money to file bankruptcy.  It takes money to pay for a quality bankruptcy lawyer, too.  It is not proper for a bankruptcy lawyer (or any unsecured creditor) to collect fees from you after a case is filed with few exceptions in Chapter 13 cases, for example.

As stated above, timing can be very important.  This is not an exclusive list of timing issues but are only examples.  If you feel the financial ropes tightening, it can be critical to an experienced bankruptcy attorney now to find out if you may have timing issues with your case which could be important.  Your financial future could depend on it.

Check out more valuable information about Guam's Laws and working with Mark Williams, Guam's Best Lawyer, on Dededo Law Office's website,

Saturday, April 23, 2016

What is a Medical Bankruptcy?
Financial stress caused by the costs of medical care for an individual or family member is often a contributing cause for a bankruptcy filing.

Medical service providers are aggressive about collection their debts and will take credit card payments, or create the need for loans and borrowing beyond your means, or the use of specialized lenders often working in partnership with hospitals and other health care providers to offer “convenient health care financing”. 

When expensive medical treatments are involved, and insurance coverage is absent or inadequate, financial counselors at hospitals and other medical services providers will suggest a home equity line of credit or other ways to borrow money in order to prepare for payment of the anticipated medical bill.  When the services have already been provided and payment is not forthcoming, most medical service providers are aggressive about pursuing legal avenues of collection.

Because many expensive procedures are prepaid, or when they are not prepaid they are quickly collected by the service providers, medical bills often do not show up in the list of creditors filed with bankruptcy schedules when the debtor ultimately resorts to Bankruptcy Court relief.

Most people work hard to pay their bills.  Bankruptcy is not the first option for most debtors, it is often the last resort when all other options have failed.  Consumers will advance on their credit cards, borrow against their homes, borrow money from friends and family, and sell personal possessions before they resort to bankruptcy in order to settle their debts.

As a bankruptcy lawyer, I meet directly with clients and collect the information necessary to file their bankruptcy case.  My clients are often ashamed that they have been forced to resort to bankruptcy but often have no other option.  They are quick to tell me about the economic forces that compel them into this action.  In a large number of cases, it was an accident or illness, and the subsequent medical bills that caused the breakdown of family financial affairs.

For financial circumstances that are beyond your control and beyond your ability to pay, don't forget that the services of Dededo Law Office are available and ready to save you, your family with your home, your income and your property from financial disaster.  Ask me how!

Check out more valuable information about Guam's Laws and working with Mark Williams, Guam's Best Lawyer, on Dededo Law Office's website,

Monday, April 04, 2016

What bankruptcy will do is give you back up when you want to say NO to any family members or friends who continue to ask for money.

You know what I am talking about.  Your kids or adult children, parents, or friends who continue to hound you about money, and you just can’t say no to them. You try to say no, you know you should say no, but you just can’t bring yourself to say the word, no.  Why is that?  My clients feel incredibly guilty when saying no to just about anyone.

Guilt is a fascinating emotion that if allowed to exist unchecked, will lead to spending patterns that may lead to a bankruptcy filing.  Think about those people in your life who are stingy with their time or money; they have no trouble saying the word no even before you have finished the question.

People who say no value their time and resources and will choose very wisely on when, where and how they will spend these assets.  You too need to take a moment and learn the power of saying, NO.

It will not be easy as every action will have an equal and opposite reaction.  Meaning, as you become more comfortable with saying no to requests the more people will ask what is wrong with you or why are you mad at them. You are not being selfish for taking this stand but rather you are placing value on your time and financial resources.

How hard did YOU work to obtain your money?  Did you work 1-2 jobs?  Did you work overtime? Did you work holidays and weekends? Did you do without something you wanted or needed simply because you gave your money to someone who asked for “a loan”?  A loan that you have not seen the repayment even though it has been months or years since you initially gave them your money.  Now ask yourself, what is the person who is asking for money willing to do?

Have they tried to get a job? Any job?  If they have a job, are they trying to pick up extra hours?  Have they tried to sell something to make ends meet?  Have they offered to do a job for you as an effort to help out if you give them a loan?  We could go on and on, but more often than not, the answer is still going to be no.  Why?  Because they know you will feel guilty and eventually give them the money they requested.

Break this pattern of financial insanity and use your power of saying NO!  How does bankruptcy help you with this?  You tell whoever is asking for money:  No, I may not give you any money because my attorney and I have worked out a budget.  In this budget, there is absolutely no room for me to give you any money at this time.  You can even say you have signed the bankruptcy schedules under penalty of perjury of law, therefore, by giving them money you place yourself at risk for breaking federal law.  Finishing by informing them you rather not spend five years in jail for lying to the court.

Learning to say no is truly a power that will provide you with a lot of strength.  It won’t be easy at first but then learning to walk for the first time wasn’t easy either but today you can do it without thinking.

Analyze each request as to whether you can afford your time or finances.  Make a pro and con checklist to see if the pros outweigh the cons.  You will make two columns.  In the pro column, you will list all the reasons why the request is a good one and you might say yes.  In the con column you will list all the reasons the request is not a good one and therefore, the answer should be no.  In the analysis ask the question, what is this person willing to do to assist with the request? If the answer is nothing, your answer should immediately be no.  Otherwise, review the final work product and see which column has more answers that will be the way you should consider the request.

The practice of listing out the pros and cons will assist you in making an educated decision about answering any request.  The more you practice this technique the easier it will become.  Soon you will catch yourself running a pro and con list in your head as to whether or not the request is even worth considering.

Remember, knowledge is power.  The more knowledge you have about valuing your time, money and resources, the greater chance you will have to use your power of saying, NO!


Check out more valuable information about Guam's Laws and working with Mark Williams, Guam's Best Lawyer, on Dededo Law Office's website,


Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Debt Settlement–Yet Again?
Recently, I’ve seen commercials on television for yet another debt settlement company.

The tagline for this particular debt settlement company is that “you have the right to settle your credit card debt. That’s good news for you; bad news for the credit card company.”

My reaction is that I cannot believe yet another company that will soon find itself in trouble for bilking consumers out of thousands of dollars is making yet another big advertising push. 
You do not have a “right” to settle your debt with credit card companies. I suppose, technically, you have the right to make an offer and they have a right to say, “no!”
Bankruptcy is a federal program that is designed to help the hardworking people of America not swindle them into a downward spiral of being further in debt with a program that isn't designed to help people but to rather, help themselves.
Attorney Mark has over 20+ years of helping people get financially back on their feet.  Call us today, and get real information about how we can help you too!  Call 637-9620/1
Check out more valuable information about Guam's Laws and working with Mark Williams, Guam's Best Lawyer, on Dededo Law Office's website,

Monday, March 07, 2016

Payday Loans: Myths and Facts!

More often than not these days, the clients I see who are considering bankruptcy have taken out one or more Payday Loans.

Generally speaking, a Payday Loan (also referred to as a Cash Advance Loan) is a small loan that at least in theory, is paid off by the borrower’s next payday.

The borrower goes to the Payday Lender, gives the lender some proof of actual employment, and then gives the lender a postdated check for the amount they want to borrow plus the fee  for the amount they borrow.  The lender then gives the borrow the money, less the fee and agrees to hold the check until the borrower’s next payday.

When the loan becomes due at the next payday, the lender either deposits the check (often the borrower agrees to permit the lender to automatically withdraw from the borrower’s bank).
So, what happens when payday rolls around and you need the money for something else?

Well, your friendly Payday Lender agrees to hold the check until the next payday, for an additional fee.

Borrowing money this way is expensive.  How expensive?

The Federal Trade Commissions, Bureau of Consumer Protection provides an excellent example, pointing out that if you borrow $100.00 from a Payday Lender with a charge of $15.00 and roll the loan over once for another $15.00 fee and then pay off the loan, you just paid 391% interest to borrow $100.00 for a month.

The reality is that most Payday Loans are for a range of $300.00 to as high as $500.00 with much higher fees.

What can and can’t a Payday Lender do if you don’t pay back the loan?

One Thing They Can’t Do Is Put You In Jail!
At least they probably can’t!  Why can’t they?

Because when the Payday Lender takes a post dated check it knows that the money is not in the bank.
If you go to a store and knowingly write a bad check, that is a crime, and if a District Attorney can prove that you wrote the check knowing that you didn’t have the money in your bank account you will be fined, and even perhaps go to jail.

This is because of what you intended to do when you wrote the check.

The store owner had every reason to believe the check was good, the Payday Lender does not.

The Payday Lender Knows It Is Taking  A Bad Check and you wrote the check with every intent on paying back the loan.

It is unlikely the a DA will ever accept charges for a bad check under these circumstances.
I should point out that if someone were to write a check to cover a Payday Loan and then immediately close the checking account, that the DA might look at the issue a little more closely.

What Can A Payday Lender Do?
  • They can call you to demand payment.  Repeatedly and relentlessly!
  • They can simply attempt to cash the check, or if they have authority to automatically withdraw the money, they will, with the likely result of overdrawing your checking account.
  • They can sue you, and get the amount owed, court costs interest and attorney’s fees.
  • They can garnish your wages once they have a judgment.
  • They can turn the debt over to a debt collector.
Very rarely does someone go to a Payday Lender as their first borrowing source.  Payday loans are often a sign that an individual is in a bad financial situation.
Payday loans can be discharged in bankruptcy!

Attorney Mark Williams is a highly experienced Bankruptcy Lawyer, and he can help! 

Check out more valuable information about Guam's Laws and working with Mark Williams, Guam's Best Lawyer, on Dededo Law Office's website,