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.

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

When I am meeting with clients to review and sign their bankruptcy petition, I always advise them that they will be required to attend a 341 meeting within a short time after the case is filed and prepare them for what to expect at the meeting. Often, my client’s reaction is one of fear. That’s understandable. They’re already stressed enough based on their financial woes and now I’m telling them they have to “meet” their creditors. Really? I tell these clients to relax. It’s not like that at all. The Bankruptcy Code requires that each person who files a bankruptcy…Read   More

Beware of Reverse Mortgages

Posted on April 21st, 2016 by Heather Banks

During the retirement years, money can get tight if you are on a fixed income.  You may have bills to pay but not enough income to pay them.  If you are 62 years of age or older, you may qualify for a reverse mortgage. What is a Reverse Mortgage? First, what is a reverse mortgage?  It is means by which you can use the equity in your home.  A lender pays you for the equity in your house rather than you making a mortgage payment and you don’t pay back the money so long as you live in the house.  …Read   More

Our own Brad Botes was recently named a Birmingham “Top Lawyer” for 2016 by B Metro magazine. This is no surprise to us – all of us at Bond and Botes already knew that!  Brad has led the Bond and Botes’ team of lawyers since its inception in 1989.  Brad is an absolute fountain of knowledge with a work ethic that is second to none.  The care with which he treats his clients is a continuing lesson for all of us and it is something he preaches on a daily basis to all attorneys and staff at all of the…Read   More

If a creditor successfully sues you in court and gets a judgment against you, they will then likely look for your assets and property to satisfy that judgment.  Once they ascertain what property you own, they will then usually take steps to try to collect their judgment from that property. Most creditors will immediately record their judgment in the Probate office of the county where you live.  This allows them to execute against any personal or real property that you have.  This includes all real estate, vehicles and other valuables you possess.  An execution is where they ask the local…Read   More

To answer this question, let’s first talk about what I mean by the word “co-signer.”  Legally speaking, there is very rarely a difference between the person who signs a loan document first and who signs second.  In everyday conversation we all usually refer to the second person as the co-signer.  However, in the eyes of the law, it does not matter who signs first or second.  Both signers are responsible for the loan.  If the creditor cannot collect the money from one signer, then it has the right to collect from the other signer. Cosigner is Responsible for Your Loans…Read   More

Many big name retailers have filed Chapter 11 bankruptcies over the last several months.  Among them are names like City Sports, Sports Authority, Quicksilver, and most recently Pacific Sunwear, also known as PacSun.   The news of these filings leaves many people scratching their heads and wondering where these retailers went wrong. Competition from Online Retailers One issue facing the sports retailers, City Sports and Sports Authority, is the increased completion from online retailers.  According to Matt Powell, a sports industry analyst with the NPD Group, the underlying sports business remains solid.  “Last year, we had the second best year in…Read   More

Music to My Ears

Posted on April 7th, 2016 by Gail Donaldson

This week, a common thread of comments from my clients has been “I can finally sleep at night”, “I should have done this a long time ago” and “You make me feel so good right now”.  Why?  They finally put aside the worry and sleepless nights and scheduled an appointment with our office to find out what relief under the Bankruptcy Code looks like for them.  So many people have false misconceptions of how bankruptcy works.  What they may have heard from their neighbor or friend’s situation may be totally different for them.  This week, I met with a couple…Read   More

The Bankruptcy Court in the Eastern District of Tennessee just ruled that if you owe a debt to the Military the creditor can off-set or take your tax refund to apply to the debt, but the creditor should obtain relief from the automatic stay first. In the case of In re Buttrill, 1:15-BK-10891-SDR, the debtors owed Army and Air Force Exchange Services (“AAFES”) $4,405.00.   The creditor was listed in the bankruptcy, however AAFES off set or took directly from the United States Treasury $4,405.00 of the debtor’s tax refund.  After they took the refund, AAFES sought permission to lift the…Read   More