Bankruptcy Articles and Information

If you are buried in debt and feel like it will be impossible for you to ever dig your way out, filing for bankruptcy may the answer. The purpose of the law is to provide people who have fallen deeply in debt to have a fresh financial start in life. The reasons for needing to file for bankruptcy are not important.

There are different types of bankruptcy. The main ones used by individuals are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Each one serves a different purpose and has its own set of filing and discharge rules. No matter which chapter you use, on the day you file your bankruptcy petition, all debt collection by all creditors must immediately stop. A bankruptcy attorney will evaluate your financial situation and the type of debt you have and help you decide which bankruptcy chapter is the one that best meets your needs.

I get asked the question, “What if I die before my case is completed?”  You might be thinking to yourself why would it matter at all what happens as it won’t affect the deceased person.  Well, these clients have often worried about these bills so long that they don’t want their heirs or loved ones having to do the same with their debt after they die.  But in reality it really is a good question as a debtor’s death does have consequences for his or her survivors.  Fortunately, absent a co-signing with the heir, when people die, their debts are…Read   More

Deciding to file bankruptcy can be stressful on yourself and your family. Your attorney will help guide you through the process, but they can only do so much. Make sure to avoid the following actions when going through the bankruptcy process. Don’t pay a family member on a loan in the year before you file a bankruptcy If you file a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy the Trustee can seek the return of this money from your family member as a preferential transfer.  If you file a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, it can cause your chapter 13 payment to increase. Don’t borrow money…Read   More

Medical Bill Nightmare

Posted on May 13th, 2016 by Heather Banks

My blog is more of a heart-felt reflection about the struggles of owing medical bills rather than a scholarly review of a bankruptcy topic.  I personally know several people juggling huge amounts of medical bills and how much they struggle and worry about paying for their or their dependent’s needed medical care.  I meet with clients daily who have these same struggles.  It puts a further toll on their health and significantly impacts their relationships with spouses, family, friends and their work life. Medical Insurance Woes The struggle is just as real for those who have medical insurance as those…Read   More

After counseling clients during the initial free consultation, I am sometimes asked by people considering bankruptcy, what I would do if I were in their shoes.  Bankruptcy is a personal choice and only those individuals can really understand what financial challenges they are facing (i.e., harassing calls, the inability to pay all monthly bills, etc.).  Some people can handle collection calls better than others.  Some people experience extreme anxiety when contemplating how to make their mortgage payment and lose sleep over the fact that they are struggling to provide for their families.  If you are contemplating bankruptcy, only you can…Read   More

A common question that many of our clients ask as we go through the process of filing a Bankruptcy is “will my job find out?” The very short and sweet answer to the question of “will filing Bankruptcy affect my employment” is a resounding NO. This answer lies directly within the Bankruptcy Code at 11 U.S.C. §525 and reads as follows: Protection Against Discriminatory Treatment (a) Except as provided in the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act, 1930, the Packers and Stockyards Act, 1921, and section 1 of the Act entitled “An Act making appropriations for the Department of Agriculture for the fiscal…Read   More

What is a Bankruptcy Audit?

Posted on May 5th, 2016 by Grant McNutt

When you file for bankruptcy, the court appoints a neutral Bankruptcy Trustee to administer your case and review the information contained in your bankruptcy petition.  A small percentage of bankruptcy cases are selected each year to be further reviewed or audited by an independent public accountant or audit firm.  This is referred to as a Bankruptcy Audit. The Bankruptcy Audit The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 (BAPCPA), October 17, 2005 to be exact, requires a certain amount of bankruptcy cases filed in each judicial district to be audited by an independent public accountant or audit firm….Read   More

Leases fall into a separate category of debts when it comes to filing bankruptcy.  The majority of debts are classified as either secured or unsecured.  Secured debts are those for which the creditor has a lien on some property or collateral of yours.  The most common example is the debt on a vehicle.  When you buy a vehicle, unless you pay cash for it, you make payments on the debt you owe.  The seller keeps a lien on the vehicle that enables them to repossess the vehicle if you default on the financing.  Unsecured debts have no collateral.  The creditor’s…Read   More

A discharge is one of the most important functions of bankruptcy.  It is what releases a debtor from personal responsibility for his debts and helps provide a debtor with a “fresh start.”  The Bankruptcy Code allows a debtor’s discharge to be denied in certain circumstances, and the Supreme Court will soon decide an issue concerning one of these circumstances. On March 1, 2016, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case of Husky International Electronics, Inc. v. Ritz, No. 15-145.  The issue in this case is whether false statements are required to trigger the Bankruptcy Code’s bar to discharge…Read   More

Last week, my law partner Mary and I had the opportunity to attend the Montgomery Chamber of Commerce’s Women’s Roundtable which featured Martha Hawkins as the guest speaker.  If you are from the Montgomery area, you are probably familiar with Martha’s Place.  Ms. Hawkins owns Martha’s Place which is a restaurant featuring homemade Southern cuisine.  The story about how Ms. Hawkins made her restaurant a success is truly remarkable.  Ms. Hawkins spoke about her secret to her success at the luncheon.  Her faith in God and a strong belief in her ability was the key to making the restaurant happen. …Read   More

On April 18, 2016, the US Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a pivotal case that would affect the status of undocumented immigrants who have applied for or who may qualify for protective status and remain in the United State. Protective status or “deferred action” simply means that an undocumented immigrant would not be in danger of being deported after satisfying certain criteria with the Department of Homeland Security.  In the case named Texas v. United States, a total of 26 states sued the United States Government to stop President Obama’s November 2014 Executive Action that would expand the Deferred…Read   More