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.

A couple of years back, I resolved to try to get in better shape. Being in my mid-50s, I had made this resolution several times during my life. What I have learned is that making the resolution is easy. It is keeping the resolution that is the hard part. Trying to keep on track, I stopped at the local YMCA on my way home from work tonight to get in some time on the elliptical machine. What struck me while there is that it is only the second week in February and the crowds that were there the first of…Read   More

Puerto Rico and Chapter 9 Bankruptcy

Posted on February 9th, 2016 by Kathryn Davis

I have previously discussed the basics of a Chapter 9 bankruptcy as well as two Chapter 9 bankruptcies that occurred in Alabama.  In this post, I’ll examine a current event that involves a discussion of Chapter 9- Puerto Rico’s current debt crisis. Puerto Rico Financial Crisis The United States territory of Puerto Rico is in the midst of a financial crisis. The governor of Puerto Rico has repeatedly asserted that the island cannot pay back all its debts.  Puerto Rico currently has about a $72 billion debt load.  Besides its large debt, Puerto Rico faces other economic hurdles, including a…Read   More

National Signing Day—Now What?

Posted on February 4th, 2016 by Gail Donaldson

My husband Andy had a passion to play baseball growing up.  His parents gave him every opportunity to gain valuable experiences to get better by way of camps and coaches every year.   This week, high school kids are signing scholarships with colleges across the country as result of the same kind of support from their schools, coaches and parents.  Andy often talks about the opportunities baseball gave him.  One of my favorite stories is about his opportunity to travel to Australia to play on a team before he graduated high school.  While he was gone, he received a scholarship offer…Read   More

For those who are exploring the need to file for bankruptcy protection, some may not realize there are non-lawyers available who can prepare the bankruptcy petition, schedules, and statements for filing.  What is the advantage of using a bankruptcy petition preparer versus a bankruptcy attorney?  In one word, money.  Bankruptcy petition preparers charge far less than bankruptcy attorneys for their services, as mandated by the Bankruptcy Code.  While this may seem intriguing to a person considering filing for bankruptcy relief because they do not have enough income to pay their bills, it is critical to understand why the fees for…Read   More

It is rare for a discharge to be taken away or revoked by a Bankruptcy Judge after it has been granted, but it does occur. Reasons for Revocation of Discharge 11 U.S.C. § 727(d) is the statute that provides that: On request of the trustee, a creditor, or the United States trustee, and after notice and a hearing, the court may revoke a discharge … if such discharge was obtained through the fraud of the debtor, and the requesting party did not know if such fraud until after the granting of the discharge; the debtor acquired property that is property…Read   More

At every initial consultation I have, one of the first questions I ask is “Do you own any real estate?”  More often than not the answer I get is “Well, I own my home, but I don’t want to include that in a bankruptcy case.”  However, when a person files a bankruptcy case of any kind, the Court requires you to disclose everything you own (including your home) and everything you owe (including your mortgage), even if you aren’t behind on your mortgage payments and intend to keep making those payments regularly.  In the majority of personal bankruptcy cases, people…Read   More

Daily, I speak to individuals who have borrowed money from a loan company and pledged their household goods as collateral.  These loans are most often at very high interest rates and require that the borrower pledge nearly everything in their house including the kitchen sink.  Debtors often complain of harassing phone calls and often times knocks on their door when they are late with payments.  One of the great benefits of filing a bankruptcy is that the Bankruptcy Code allows for the lien on the household goods to be avoided so that the debtor can keep the items while the…Read   More

“Love people and use money. Don’t love money and use people.” Joseph Prince I would like to say that I coined that phrase. I love hearing great quotes and memorizing them. The above quote is one of my favorites. I thought that since this is another new year, 2016, that I might share some notable quotes. Perhaps some will make you chuckle, perhaps some will be worth memorizing (like the quote above), perhaps some even inspirational, but hopefully all of them will merit thinking about. “Make a decision today that you’ll be proud of tomorrow!” Anonymous “A new idea is…Read   More

If you have been sued prior to filing bankruptcy, then you may have a judicial lien filed against you in the county in which you reside.  A judicial lien is created when a party records a judgment in probate court after winning a lawsuit.  If the judgment is recorded in the county where the losing party resides then there is a judicial lien placed on non-exempt property owned by the party (i.e., real estate, personal property, etc.).  The judicial lien can attach to current or future property owned if it remains outstanding.  Please see our blog post here, to learn…Read   More

The current bankruptcy filing fee to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case is $335.00.  This fee may be a little out of reach for some individuals who are in financial distress and have to decide whether to use their money to pay their electricity bill or their phone bill.  So what can these people do if they need to file for bankruptcy to get debt relief?  There is some good news.  If you file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case you may be eligible for a fee waiver if your gross household income falls under 150% of the poverty guidelines for…Read   More