Final Expiration Date?

The history of American business is littered with companies that crash and burn. Sometimes they fly so high they attract attention from antitrust regulators. That's what happened with John D. Rockefeller's Standard Oil, which grew so big that a federal judge ordered it broken into pieces. Sometimes poor management or fraud are the culprit, like when energy giant Enron imploded. And sometimes technology overtakes a company, like when Henry Ford put the buggy whip manufacturers out of business.

Last week, another corporate stalwart threw in the towel. You've heard the sad news. Hostess Brands — maker of Wonder Bread, Ding Dongs, Ho Ho's, Sno Balls, and the pop-culture icon Twinkies — filed for bankruptcy in January. But last week, citing a strike by members of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union, the company announced they would wind down their operations and liquidate their assets. The move leaves over 18,000 Americans jobless just as holiday baking season moves into high gear.

Ten Facts about Mortgage Debt Forgiveness

Yes, the economy is periodically showing some signs of improvement but it is clear the country has a long slow up hill climb ahead before most of us feel the worst is behind us. This is particularly true for families still struggling with what to do with their real estate mortgages when the value of their property is no where close to what they owe on it.

In these situations more and more property owners are finding it makes more sense to take the hit to their credit reports and walk away from the offending property and let the mortgage holder deal with the loss. Setting aside the ethical discussion surrounding this, if you do have mortgage debt forgiven you walk into a whole new complex tax arena. If you're not careful and plan appropriately