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.
When you’re constantly bombarded with calls about your debts, signing up with a debt settlement company can seem like the easiest way to handle them. However, Reuters reported that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) filed a lawsuit against Freedom Debt Relief and its co-Chief Executive Andrew Housser this month. Freedom Debt Relief is one of the largest debt settlement companies in the United States and is based in San Mateo, California. They opened in 2002. According to their website, they “resolved over $6 Billion” in debts. Lawsuit Allegations The lawsuit alleges Freedom Debt Relief deceived consumers by promising to settle…Read More
In a prior blog post, I discussed what a Reverse Mortgage is. I also went into detail about some of the basic rules to qualify for one, where you get them, and cautioned about the negative aspects of them. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development recently changed some of the guidelines to implement policies issued under the Reverse Mortgage Stabilization Act (RMSA), the Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA), the National Housing Act, and Public Law 111-229. Changes to Home Equity Conversion Mortgage Some of the guideline and policy changes include: The upfront cost to do a HECM…Read More
An unsecured debt is an obligation or debt that does not have personal or real property serving as collateral for payment of the debt. If you fail to make payment on an unsecured debt, the creditor cannot take any of your property without first suing you and getting a court judgment. There are a few exceptions to this rule, such as back child support, back taxes or delinquent government backed student loans. But, generally, a nongovernmental, unsecured creditor cannot seize any of your assets without a court judgment. On the other hand, a secured debt, has a property serving as…Read More
Several weeks ago, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced new rules governing payday lenders set to go into effect in 2019—that is if Congress doesn’t have its say first. As an aside, my colleagues have previously written on the need for payday loan reform on the state level. A more recent piece speaks to why payday loan reform is good for Alabama, and a piece from 2016 speaks to what the state of payday lending in Alabama looked like. A Need for Change Proponents argue that borrowers, often unable to secure other types of loans, get caught up in a vicious cycle…Read More
Updated: 10/25/2017 by Nick Gajewski One of the most common concerns my clients have is whether or not filing a bankruptcy case will affect their job. The short answer is: no, filing a case should not have any impact. The Bankruptcy Code at 11 U.S.C. §525 explicitly prohibits employers from discriminating against any person who has filed for bankruptcy relief. Your employer would be breaking a federal law if they fire you or discriminate against you as a result of your bankruptcy. Protection Against Discriminatory Treatment (a) Except as provided in the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act, 1930, the Packers and…Read More
Today marks the 12th anniversary of the implementation of the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 (BAPCPA). The BAPCPA, bought and paid for by the banks and credit card companies, represented the biggest overhaul of the bankruptcy system in our country in almost 30 years. At the time the legislation was passed, I served on the board of directors of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (NACBA). NACBA opposed the legislation fiercely but after seven failed attempts, and immense lobbying expenditures by the credit card industry, congress finally succumbed. The legislation was passed by the Senate…Read More
Bond & Botes, P.C. is proud to announce the winner of our 2017 Financial Hardship Scholarship: Telvin J. Miller. Mr. Miller graduated from Wenonah High School earlier this year and is currently attending the University of South Alabama. The $2,000 Bond & Botes scholarship will help covers some of Telvin’s college tuition costs. About Telvin J. Miller Telvin’s High School experience was no easy feat. He sacrificed a “normal” high school life of spending time with friends for balancing school work, football, a part time job, and helping raise his younger siblings. With these challenges came many achievements. He excelled…Read More
A new report by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau show that about one in five Americans struggle to pay for life’s basic needs to include food, shelter and medical care. It further states that while roughly one-third of consumers have a hard time making ends meet. The research asked respondents 10 questions that were answered on a scale of 0 to 100. About a third had scores of 50 or below meaning they would have a high probability of not being able to make ends meet. A similar number of respondents scored above 61 meaning they were unlikely to face…Read More
Our friend and partner, Brad Botes, has been named a Best Lawyer in America. Read about it here . We all know Brad as a man of prodigious talent and his repertoire is extensive; however, tooting his own horn apparently exceeds that talent and repertoire. Therefore, let me offer my humble assistance. This prestigious honor is based upon peer review and the consensus of other lawyers about the professional abilities of a colleague within the same geographical and legal practice area. In other words, this honor is bestowed upon a lawyer who has been recognized by his or her peers…Read More
Overpayment of Unemployment Benefits are subject to discharge in both chapter 7 and chapter 13 bankruptcies. The overpayment of unemployment benefits are not given special protections, even if they are owed to the state. An unemployment overpayment is not a debt that is listed as exempt from discharge. Filing for bankruptcy can provide significant relief from the collection efforts of the state. The automatic stay will help stop collection efforts from the state to pay back the unemployment benefits. When you file your bankruptcy, your bankruptcy petition will include the State of Tennessee for the overpaid unemployment benefits. The State…Read More