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.


The Tennessee Housing Development Agency (TDHA) introduced a new $60 Million program designed to help the 55 hardest areas throughout the state that have struggled to recover from the 2008 housing crash.  According to a report in the Knoxville News Sentinel, seven of those areas lie in or around Knox County, Tennessee, with one area extending into Jefferson and Sevier Counties. Hardest Hit Fund – Down Payment Assistance The program, known as The Hardest Hit Fund Down Payment Assistance (HHF-DPA), would allow first-time home buyers in the affected areas to get $15,000 to use as a down payment.  THDA Director…Read   More

Do you have a secret bank account or credit card?  Have you hidden purchases from your significant other?  An article on CNBC this week says a recent survey by the website creditcard.com found just over one quarter of the approximately 1,000 people they surveyed had a secret bank account and/or credit card.  The survey found that older Americans were more likely to have the secret bank accounts or credit cards and nearly 40% of baby boomers made secret purchases of $500.00 or more.   A splurge purchase of $500.00 or more can devastate a budget in many households.  Does your family have…Read   More

On Friday, January 27th, Gail Donaldson and I had the pleasure of attending the Highland Avenue Elementary School Pep Rally.  The teacher of the classroom to whom we provided school supplies back in August invited us to attend the pep rally.  Recently, this teacher shared with us that one of her students won first place in the Roxie Lancaster Children’s Holiday Writing Competition out of over 600 entries received and she believes that our investment in her classroom was one of the reasons this child had the confidence to submit her essay. I must admit that Gail and I didn’t…Read   More

Are You Prepared for a “Rainy Day?”

Posted on February 3rd, 2017 by Amy Tanner

CNN Money recently reported that 6 out of 10 Americans don’t have $500 in savings, according to a new report from Bankrate. So what does one do if hit with an unexpected expense like a car repair, medical emergency or even the more costly car and home maintenance expenses? Well, 41% of adults reported having enough in their savings to pay for an expense of $500 or more. About 20% reported that they would use a credit card to cover the expense and another 11% would seek financial assistance from friends or family members. Only about 20% would cut back…Read   More

Filing Taxes While in Bankruptcy

Posted on February 2nd, 2017 by Nick Gajewski

As we finish the first month of the new year, tax season is starting to pick up.  By now many people have gotten their W-2’s or other tax forms from 2016 and they’re ready to file for their 2016 income tax returns.  If you’re in bankruptcy, or considering filing for bankruptcy, how will that affect your refund? First, it is important to know that the bankruptcy court has the authority to require you to pay your income tax refund into your bankruptcy case.  However, not every jurisdiction will enforce this rule.  Where I normally practice, in the Northern District of…Read   More

The cost of health care is a major concern for nearly all Americans and there is no shortage of health care related news coverage recently. Understandably, there are lots of questions and forecasts about what might be about to happen. Will the Affordable Care Act a/k/a “Obamacare” be repealed? Will anything replace it? If so, what will replace it? How much will it cost taxpayers and consumers? And while there are many questions and much uncertainty at present, one thing seems inevitable to me at least. The cost of health care will almost certainly continue to rise. These costs will…Read   More

Money, Money, Money

Posted on January 19th, 2017 by Heather Banks

Recent news reports indicate there are eight men in the world who hold the same amount of money as half of the world.  The organization Oxfam reports that in the U.S. 1% of the population controls 42% of the wealth.  Some notable names included in this group are: Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft Warren Buffet, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway; Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder, chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook chairman, CEO and co-founder Larry Ellison Oracle co-founder and CEO So you may be saying, who cares?  With the beginning of a new year and resolutions that are all but already…Read   More

Okay. So here we are. Another new year and many of us hear all the noise in our minds about what it’s going to take to make this year the most successful year ever! BUT…….sometimes we can’t get past the louder noise in our minds…..all of the failures and regret from last year and years before. We all have a tendency to rehearse over and over again where we missed it or came up short. Our minds bark out “if only I had done…” or “I can’t believe I didn’t…..” Or, even worse, I call them the “threatening three: woulda,…Read   More

Is Pride in your Way?

Posted on January 5th, 2017 by Gail Donaldson

This time of year, many people make New Year resolutions to exercise more, eat healthier or reduce their social media time.  For many, getting their finances in order is one of their “New Year-New Me” priorities too.  I cannot tell you how many times I have heard through the years after I have explained bankruptcy options to clients, their first reaction is “I wish I had come here years earlier!” Too Much Pride In discussing their finances and why they in fact they didn’t come in years earlier, I have learned that “PRIDE” is the reason.  Some people are so…Read   More

A Tribute to My Friend, Tony McClain

Posted on January 4th, 2017 by Carla Handy

We seem to have lost our fair share of our sisters and brothers of the bar this year.  Perhaps it is just being older that makes me feel the loss as keenly as I do.  But on the first day of this new year, we lost Tony McClain, General Counsel for the Alabama State Bar and my friend.  This loss has left me feeling hollow despite the fact I know my friend is with his Lord. I grieve for Tony’s surviving spouse, Leah McClain, who in my opinion is an angel walking the face of this planet and one of…Read   More