Lately, I have seen an increase in mature debtors seeking bankruptcy assistance. They come to us for many reasons, whether it is from a reduction in income due to retirement, struggling to help children, additional health and medical expenses or, simply, the current status of the economy. Many of these older Americans have worked hard all of their lives to have something for their golden years and, sometimes unavoidably, many past retirement age, are still working to make ends meet.  A lot of these folks who have no knowledge or experience with bankruptcy are fearful that if they file for…Read   More

Money problems create stress. Stress can lead spouses to being short with one another. The failure of a husband and wife to be able to communicate can lead to divorce. In short, money problems often lead to marital problems. Some couples marry at a young age. They have little or no experience managing household debt. In addition, they often enter a marriage with a significant amount of student loan or other debt. These factors may not have been considered during the blissful courtship period. Sometimes the marriage is a second one. One or both of the spouses came into the…Read   More

Every person who files bankruptcy must take a financial management course before he will receive a discharge.  This course must be taken in order to receive a discharge in both a Chapter 7 and a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.  The financial management course is different from the credit counseling that a person takes before he files for bankruptcy.  The financial management course is taken after the bankruptcy petition has been filed. The financial management course must be approved by the Court.  You can obtain a complete list of court approved agencies at this web address.  These agencies have been approved by…Read   More

Alabama is divided up into three districts:  Northern, Middle and Southern.  The county where you reside dictates which district you file your bankruptcy case.  Bankruptcy is under Federal law but every district has its own local rules which have to be followed in the bankruptcy process.  Hiring an attorney who practices in the district where you will file your case should make the process very smooth for you.  My office practices in the Middle and Southern District.  I have learned through the years that the old saying “when in Rome, do as the Romans” holds true in going back and…Read   More

If you are facing overwhelming debt, filing a bankruptcy case may be the best thing you can do to permanently solve the situation. Once you have decided that filing a bankruptcy case is the right option for you (and you should reach this conclusion only after personally consulting with an experienced and reputable debt relief lawyer), the next question becomes what form of debt relief is best for you. For the vast majority of individual consumers, this usually means choosing between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Let’s look at Chapter 7 first. Chapter 7 – “Straight” Bankruptcy In a Chapter…Read   More

Many people travel under the assumption that once you file bankruptcy, you will not be able to reestablish credit for at least ten (10) years. Nothing could be further from the truth! In fact, most people that have been through a bankruptcy proceeding find that creditors are willing to work with them and allow them the opportunity to reestablish credit again. When creditors are making decisions about whether or not to lend you money or extend credit to you, one of the key considerations is your “income to debt ratio”. For the most part, after you have been discharged from…Read   More

As a daughter of a retired U.S. Army Command Sergeant Major, I personally know the financial and personal sacrifices that our military families face while their service men and women are away.  The financial sacrifices are difficult with one spouse at home as the primary caretaker of the family while the other spouse is away serving our country.  I can remember the stress my mother was under to provide for our family while my father was away for an entire year.  Once the service member returns home, there are many challenges military families face, such as, reestablishing the dynamics in…Read   More

The first college football game of the 2015 season is 18 days away and for many fans, it cannot get here fast enough. According to NBC news in 2013, somewhere between $60 and $70 billion dollars is wagered on college football each year. The figure has more than likely increased with the new playoff system now in place and there are estimates that $8 billion dollars alone is bet on the Super Bowl each year. In gambling there are always winners, but many more losers which can lead to money problems. The bookie must be paid or he will send…Read   More

The Administrative Office of United States Courts reports that bankruptcy filings fell significantly in the past fiscal year that ended on June 30, 2015.  The Administrative Office reported that there were 879,736 bankruptcy filings nationally during that time period— 854,690 personal filings and 25,046 business-related.  This is a decrease from 2014. In fact, the number of filings decreased from the just over a million filings from the year before, bringing the total number of filings down 12%. The number of bankruptcy filings reported for the past year is actually the lowest it has been in seven years, according to the…Read   More

In a recent post, I wrote about two of the main benefits a bankruptcy case can provide. One of those benefits was the “automatic stay” that provides protection from your creditors. Let’s take a closer look at the “automatic stay” and how it helps you. When you file a bankruptcy case, you are protected by law from a vast array of debt collection tactics and efforts. This legal protection becomes available to you immediately upon the filing of your case. With very limited exceptions that an experienced debt relief lawyer can easily handle, you don’t have to ask for it…Read   More