• Episode 2: Next Lawyer Up with Ron Sykstus and Amy Tanner

      This episode of the Next Lawyer Up podcast features attorney Amy K. Tanner. Amy has been my law partner, friend and colleague since 1999. She is originally from Montgomery, Alabama where she was born and raised. Since the work of being a lawyer is a lot about the grind, meaning putting in a great deal of time and effort on every case for every client, maybe that is why I focu ...

      Ron Sykstus/ Bond and Botes- 31 readers -
    • What are the benefits and consequences of being an authorized user on a credit card?

      What is an authorized user? An authorized user is someone who has been “authorized” to use a credit card that is in someone else’s name. For example, parents will sometimes add their children as an authorized user to help build their child’s credit or use while they are away at college. Benefits: Establish or improve your credit score: For an authorized user without credit, ...

      Mary Pool/ Bond and Botes- 28 readers -
    • Can a Student Loan Lender Garnish Social Security Benefits?

      Social Security benefits are exempt from just about all creditor collection efforts but, unfortunately not the U.S. Department of Education. In fact, current law provides that student loan borrowers who are 50 years old or older and have defaulted on their student loan debt are required to repay the student loan debt with a portion of their social security benefits.

      Amy Tanner/ Bond and Botes- 27 readers -
  • Criminal Convictions In Payday Lending Scheme

    A federal jury in Manhattan found Kansas City businessman Scott Tucker guilty on all counts in a racketeering case. Tucker owned a $2 billion payday-lending business, which prosecutors had argued was built on illegal partnerships and predatory loans. Guilty Verdict’s for Tucker and Muir According to an article on Bloomberg the jury also convicted Timothy Muir, a former lawyer for Mr.

    Cynthia Lawson/ Bond and Botes- 8 readers -
  • Fending Off Those Annoying Robo-Calls

    Like nearly everybody else, you’ve had a mobile phone for some time now and, for the most part, you love it. You can call, text, tweet, email and otherwise communicate with all the important people in your world. You can get a table at your favorite restaurant, book your next flight to paradise, watch a movie, listen to your favorite tunes, or navigate your way around an unfami ...

    Ed Woods/ Bond and Botes- 7 readers -
  • Nigerian Scams Strike Again

    Over the years, I have talked with several people who were apparent victims of a criminal scheme to get money through deceptive means. I have heard stories of online romance that turned out to be completely false and a ploy to bilk a lonely person with access to money and/or assets. Some individuals cashed out all of their savings and/or retirement accounts and maxed out credit ...

    Bond and Botes- 11 readers -
  • Bankruptcy “Reform” a Dozen Years Later

    Today marks the 12th anniversary of the implementation of the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 (BAPCPA). The BAPCPA, bought and paid for by the banks and credit card companies, represented the biggest overhaul of the bankruptcy system in our country in almost 30 years.

    Bradford Botes/ Bond and Botes- 16 readers -
  • The Secret That Credit Card Companies Don’t Want You to Know!

    The secret that credit card companies don’t want you to know is that you don’t have to pay them in full! Oh really!? Have you heard this advertisement? I was driving to the office the other day and listening to the radio. For the umpteenth time, I heard this exact commercial. It says that there is a little known secret that the credit card companies don’t want you to know and i ...

    Amy Tanner/ Bond and Botes- 22 readers -
  • Beware of the Newest Ransomware Scam Containing Emblems of Both the FBI and IRS

    A new ransomware scam is surfacing in emails throughout the country containing emblems of both the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). According to a recent article from AARP, the email claims that the FBI is requiring the recipient to complete a questionnaire and return it within 10 days.

    Bond and Botes- 14 readers -
  • Heartbreak over the Loss of Tom Petty

    Like many of you, I was absolutely devastated to hear the news of Tom Petty’s passing this last week. For forty years Tom and the Heartbreakers have sung wise at just about every step and turn of my life. I’m sure a lot of folks feel this way. There are many reasons to respect Tom. The sheer longevity of keeping a band together forty years, his fierceness about good rock and ro ...

    Bond and Botes- 14 readers -
  • Bankrupt Retailers

    Things are starting to look up for U.S. Retailers going through bankruptcy. Recently, more creditors are extending a helping hand and allowing a greater number of retailers to retain their stores and employees. Since 2014, many brick and mortar retail chains such as the Limited and Sports Authority have shut down their operations.

    Kathryn Davis/ Bond and Botes- 13 readers -
  • Episode 23 – Next Lawyer Up with Ron Sykstus featuring Bill Baxley

    This episode of the Next Lawyer Up podcast features attorney Bill Baxley Everyone knows the tumultuous and troubled nature of Alabama’s civil rights struggles over the years. They were never more heated than in the 1960’s and 1970’s. With that backdrop, a young Alabama Attorney General decided to re-open the 16th Street Baptist church bombing in 1971and pursue the evil-doers.

    Ron Sykstus/ Bond and Botes- 9 readers -
  • New Data Signals Uptick in Student Loan Delinquencies

    According to a recent article from Bloomberg, the U.S. Department of Education recently released data showing that the number of Americans at least 31 days late on their student loan payments increased slightly (18.8 percent from 18.6 percent) compared to last year. That uptick breaks 12 straight quarters of declines in the delinquency rate.

    Bond and Botes- 16 readers -
  • Americans Struggling to Make Ends Meet

    A new report by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau show that about one in five Americans struggle to pay for life’s basic needs to include food, shelter and medical care. It further states that while roughly one-third of consumers have a hard time making ends meet. The research asked respondents 10 questions that were answered on a scale of 0 to 100.

    Gail Donaldson/ Bond and Botes- 13 readers -
  • Brad Botes Named A Best Lawyer In America

    Our friend and partner, Brad Botes, has been named a Best Lawyer in America. Read about it here . We all know Brad as a man of prodigious talent and his repertoire is extensive; however, tooting his own horn apparently exceeds that talent and repertoire. Therefore, let me offer my humble assistance.

    Ed Woods/ Bond and Botes- 14 readers -
  • Conn Still On the Run!

    Kentucky Social Security Administration (SSA) disability attorney Eric Conn is still on the run. He’s apparently changed his appearance somewhat according to the latest Wanted By The FBI poster, having shaven his head and he also appears to have lost weight. Just prior to sentencing, Conn cut off his ankle bracelet and fled the area. He was last spotted in New Mexico this past July.

    Bond and Botes- 14 readers -
  • Episode 22 – Next Lawyer Up with Ron Sykstus featuring Harvey Morris

    This episode of the Next Lawyer Up podcast features attorney Harvey Morris I won’t say that Harvey Morris is a legal legend here in North Alabama but, just by me making that disclaimer, you know that it is pretty much the case. As he and I discuss, Harvey has been practicing law throughout the state of Alabama and the country for just about 50 years.

    Ron Sykstus/ Bond and Botes- 13 readers -
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