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Stephen Clark Harkess

Stephen Harkess’s Answers

8,049 total


  • Is bankruptcy an option considering we didn't keep a very good separation between personal and business?can we keep in business?

    Hello, I've got a small S-corp in Colorado that is struggling to be profitable. We run the business out of our house, and have not set up bylaws or a corporate shield. This past year we accrued almost 20k in debt to payroll taxes, workmans comp,...

    Stephen’s Answer

    Bankruptcy certainly won't solve all of your problems. You cannot file bankruptcy without getting current on filing your taxes and your payroll taxes in particular are not discharged in bankruptcy. However a personal bankruptcy might solve some of your problems and might solve enough of them to allow you to keep operating your business.

    It probably won't make any sense for your business to file for bankruptcy. A business has essentially two choices for bankruptcy - a Chapter 7 liquidation which essentially kills the business and makes little sense for small businesses since most can simply be shut down and liquidated without a bankruptcy court - or a Chapter 11 restructuring which is very complex and very expensive compared to other types of bankruptcy filings and only makes sense for a business with significant revenue that is trying to stay alive. Most small businesses (especially those run out of the owners house) are not nearly large enough to justify a Chapter 11 filing.

    You haven't posted nearly enough information to determine whether a bankruptcy filing would make sense for you. I suggest that you schedule a consultation with a bankruptcy attorney to discuss your situation.

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  • When would we stop paying rent?

    We currently rent a townhouse. Our lease is up May 31, 2016. We close on a house February 29. Our landlords told us that if the place sells prior to our lease being up, we won't have to pay our rent. However, and understandably, if it doesn't ...

    Stephen’s Answer

    When you say "the place" do you mean that the townhouse is being sold and you and your landlord have agreed that the lease will end when that happens?

    I suspect that the landlord will want to collect rent until the sale closes. For one thing, he still has to pay the mortgage and expenses on the place until closing and the buyer might have reason to terminate the contract at some point in the process. Until closing there is not actually a completed sale.

    That said, the details of your agreement with the landlord are entirely dependent on your negotiation with the landlord. The terms mean exactly what both of you agree that they mean. If there is any doubt, you need to work that out with the landlord.

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  • What can I do to get their illegal activities prosecuted in court?

    I and several other animal rescues are being bullied by the Department of Agriculture. Among many other things they did an illegal search of my entire property. (They didn't find anything.) They filed an incorrect inspection report - I can prove i...

    Stephen’s Answer

    You already know the answer. You can file a civil lawsuit to address illegal actions undertaken by a government agency, but it won't be simple or inexpensive.

    There is absolutely no way that you can get government employees fired. You have no control over such decisions. Nor can you have the employees prosecuted unless you can identify a specific criminal statute that was violated and convince the United States Attorney's office to pursue charges. This is simply not going to happen.

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  • My question is why Capital one gave her a credit card knowing she did not have a job or she is mentally retarded? Can We sue Cap

    I just found that my wife owes $34,000 from Capital One. She took a master card from Capone in 2009. She did not work since the summer of 2008. Only exception is -she worked for a daycare for couple of months in 2012 or 2013. She still does not wo...

    Stephen’s Answer

    Many people with bi-polar disorder have credit cards. Further, your wife's medical records are not available to Capital One.

    If you believe that your wife is legally incapable of handling her affairs, you should seek a court order appointing you as her conservator. Until you step up and do that, then your wife is legally able to apply for credit and legally responsible for the debts she creates.

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  • How do I get joint custody back with me have sole decision making?

    I am trying to take my Ex back to court for joint custody again. A year ago we went to court and I didn't know that final decision making was full custody or I wouldn't of agreed to it. He is trying to move my daughter away from the house she grew...

    Stephen’s Answer

    To be frank, if your daughter is important to you, you should be working with an experienced family law attorney. This is too important for you to try to figure out how to be a lawyer.

    "Custody" is not a term that Colorado uses. Colorado uses allocation of parental rights and responsibilities. It is unclear from your post exactly what your current orders say or what you want to have them changed to. The simple answer is that you need to convince the Court that the changes you want to make are in the best interests of the children. Actually doing this is easier said than done. You really should be working with an experienced family law attorney who has reviewed the current orders and discussed the situation with you.

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  • Can one gym transfer its memberships to another unaffiliated gym?

    A fitness company closed one of its gyms where I has a membership. The gym was sold to another company in a different state. The memberships, however, were transferred to a gym in the same city where an old gym was located. Is it legal to sell a b...

    Stephen’s Answer

    It depends on what your contract says.

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  • Can a person take away the possessions if they were bought specifically for me

    i am moving out of the house

    Stephen’s Answer

    It depends on who actually owns the items. If someone else owns the items they can keep them from you.

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  • Should we file our taxes against her and let the IRS audit her, or follow the current custody order?

    My husbands ex filed her taxes early and claimed their son because our current custody agreement said she is allowed to do so. (They have two kids together and would each claim one when they split time 50/50) However, both children were with us f...

    Stephen’s Answer

    Does your current motion also include a request to modify child support? Was it filed before the end of last year? If so, I would recommend asking the court to address the 2015 tax deductions when they address modification of child support. If not, I would not recommend violating a court order.

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  • How can they take our taxes for retroactive child support for a child we didn't even know existed? Is there a way to fight it?

    Long story short, we found out my husband has another daughter, she is now 5 that we didn't know about.. Her mom asked for retroactive child support. We agreed for the amount we would have paid if we had known about her. about 12,000. and set u...

    Stephen’s Answer

    The answer to your question is - that's the way it works. Retroactive child support can be ordered to the birth of the child (or even before) even though the father did not know until much later that he created the child. Tell your sons to always use protection...

    Once the retroactive support is ordered, it is due immediately and interest can be charged on the amount until it is paid. At that point, it is in arrears. I do not believe that interest should be charged on the retroactive support prior to the date that the support order is entered, but opinions on that vary.

    I'm sorry that this isn't the answer you were hoping for. Short of approaching your state legislators about changing the law, I don't think there is much you can do. If you file your taxes separately, they will only take your husband's refund, but that has other consequences.

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