THE clients are husband and wife and they are still young. When I say young, this means anyone who is 65 and younger up to 17.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has recently classified people between 17 to 65 as young and 66 to 79 as middle-aged. Check it out on the internet — I am not pulling your leg. Clients bought a house for $800,000 with 50 percent down in 2007; then got a HELOC loan for $400,000. They invested the entire $400,000 in the stock market, probably bought all the wrong stocks like Dendreon, and lost the entire $400,000 when the market collapsed in 2007.
Those of you who have 401K and other retirement accounts invested in stocks saw your nest egg reduced in half that year. Eventually, clients lost their house and lost their business. The bank that gave them the $400,000 HELOC filed a lawsuit to collect the loan and obtained a court judgment for $450,000 in 2009. At 10 percent annual legal interest on the judgment, the amount owed became $699,000 now.
They ask me if I can negotiate a settlement of the $450,000 judgment, which is now $700,000. I suggest a straight Chapter 7 to get rid of it but they would rather have it settled without bk. So, fine, no problem. With a $700,000 judgment, I thought, man this is a formidable task.
To make a long story short, it took me three whole months to settle the $700,000 for $25,000. That is a 3.5 percent settlement amount and is a record for me. Normal settlements range between a third or half. But 3.5 percent, that is heaven sent and a Christmas gift from our loving God!
Happy birthday to Jesus!
We are now in the season of Advent when the whole Christian world waits in joyous anticipation to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ on December 25, this coming Monday. The secular world celebrates the nativity of Christ with gift giving and merrymaking using the icon of Santa Claus. Sure, it’s nice to give and receive gifts to family and friends on Christmas, but don’t forget that Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus and by so doing, God became man to fulfill the prophecy of the incarnation of God, to redeem mankind from the consequences of sin.
This concept is not easily understood actually. When the first man, Adam, ate of the forbidden apple, he disobeyed God when he abandoned himself into the temptation by the serpent Lucifer who told Adam that if he ate the forbidden fruit in Paradise, he would become like God! On the other hand, God had told Adam and Eve that they could eat anything and everything that were in abundance in Paradise, except the apple in the tree with the knowledge of good and evil. Well, you know how temptation works. You can do anything except this, so the exception is what you do. That’s just how stupid man is.
Once Adam and Eve ate the apple, they broke man’s relationship with God. That is the biggest deal that ever was. Before Adam and Eve ate the apple, they had bodies that would never die, never age and never get sick. Just imagine if man’s relationship with God was not broken by Adam and Eve, you and I would never die, never age and never get sick! Sin, decay and evil would not have entered the world. But that’s not what happened. So now we only get to live to maybe 80 to 120 then we all die.
But God so loved us that He sent His only Son, Jesus, the restore what was broken. Only God can restore a broken relationship with God. No man or created being can repair the broken relationship because after all a mere created being like man, no matter how saintly, how rich, how smart, is not equal to the status of the Almighty, Omniscient, and all-powerful God. Only God Himself has the status to heal the broken relationship with Him.
So He sends his only Son who is also God, consubstantial with the Father, equally God, to earth to become man, and only His Son’s death on the cross can repair the broken relationship between God and man. That’s the way it works. And God the Son, Jesus Christ, willingly accepts this task. Jesus agrees to become man and die on the cross to restore man’s broken relationship with God. I mean, can you believe such humility and love for man from our creator? Our God is all-powerful, He could have destroyed and killed all 6 billion people on earth today, including you and I, to restore that broken relationship. But that’s not what He and Jesus did. Jesus humbled Himself; remember Jesus is also God, to become man and to die on the cross? It’s just mind-boggling. It is so incredible that it must be true.
“Hark! The herald angels sing, ‘Glory to the newborn King! Peace on earth and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled.” The Bible says that an angel appeared to some shepherds who were tending their sheep: Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ, the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace and good will toward men! (Luke 2:10-14).
So the implication is that the heavens opened up at least partially, to make a lot of angels visible, singing like a choir, singing “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace and goodwill towards men!” Obviously, the angels were ecstatic that Jesus had been born and that the broken relationship between God and man would be healed by Jesus. But why was Jesus only born in a manger and not in Trump Towers or Mar-a-Lago? Because our God is humble of heart and full of love for man. He could have chosen to be born in a place with infinite majesty and wealth with trees and mountains signing about his greatness and glory because our God is all powerful, yet he chose to be wrapped in swaddling clothes and be born among poor shepherds and sheep. Yes, He can make trees and mountains sing! As I said, our God is just incredible and wonderful!! We cannot fathom how He thinks. He holds every atom and molecule in this universe together. If he chose to, the whole universe would disintegrate and disappear into nothingness and we would all die in a millisecond.
Christmas greetings to everyone!
Let’s all celebrate the birth of Jesus next week and prepare with joy this week for his birthday on Monday! Hark the herald angels sing: GLORY TO THE NEWBORN KING!
If you need debt relief, set an appointment to see me. I will analyze your case personally.
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Lawrence Bautista Yang specializes in bankruptcy, business, real estate and civil litigation and has successfully represented more than five thousand clients in California. Please call Angie, Barbara or Jess at (626) 284-1142 for an appointment at 1000 S. Fremont Ave, Mailstop 58, Building A-1 Suite 1125, Alhambra, CA 91803.