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.

Twenty Years And Counting!

Posted on March 24th, 2017 by Ed Woods

Normally, I blog about current events or about how we can help consumers can get real relief from financial pressures under the law. In today’s post, I digress to recognize one of our own. Recently, we celebrated the twenty year anniversary of our friend and trusted employee, Leann Wilkinson. Where has the time gone? Her official title is Office Manager. But that doesn’t even begin to tell the story of what she does on a daily basis. We could realistically change her official title to something like Office Manager Paralegal Executive Assistant Go To Get Things Done Person. But, that…Read   More

How Fast is a Bankruptcy Case?

Posted on March 15th, 2017 by Nick Gajewski

This topic is another of the questions I answer on an almost daily basis.  Everyone wants to know how quickly a bankruptcy case takes effect and how quickly it will be done.  As far as court procedures go, bankruptcy is relatively speedy. Bankruptcy Provides Quick Relief The first thing to know is that starting a bankruptcy case is very fast.  From the moment the case is filed, you are placed under the protection of the Bankruptcy Court.  This protection, called the “automatic stay” prevents creditors from taking any debt collection actions against you.  That means no more phone calls, no…Read   More

There are many people in our communities who cannot afford legal representation.  Here in Madison County, we are so fortunate to have the Madison County Volunteer Lawyers Program to meet the needs of that population. The MCVLP has a two-pronged mission: Promote equal justice through the delivery of pro bono legal services and Promote volunteerism among attorneys. The MCVLP strives to meet the first prong of its mission by offering a variety of services to clients who meet certain criteria.  The MCVLP accepts clients who have cases pending in Madison County Court, or who are residents of Madison County.  The…Read   More

Many clients who come to discuss their financial hardships are a result of unforeseen medical debts.  Many times, a simple slip and fall accident results in unexpected medical expenses or time off from work without pay.  A recent study by Urban Institute report stated that nationally, almost 24 percent of non-elderly Americans have past-due medical debt as of 2015.  In Alabama, the percentage is 30 percent compared to the national rate of 23.8 percent. Past Due Medical Debt in Alabama In 2012, Alabama had 33.3 percent so the study shows there has been a decrease.  The study does not speculate…Read   More

The Miami Herald recently reported on an interesting story from the State of Nebraska. The story illustrates that even government entities such as counties and cities can find themselves in deep financial trouble. Indeed, Jefferson County, Alabama and Detroit, Michigan are recent examples of this phenomenon. It All Started with a Murder According to the Miami Herald article, Gage County, Nebraska is in deep financial trouble. The trouble dates back to 1985 when a 68 year old lady named Helen Wilson was brutally murdered. Ultimately, three men and three women were convicted of the horrific crime and sent to prison….Read   More

Our Knoxville office, Bond, Botes & Lawson, recently began participating in a Veterans’ Legal Clinic. The Veteran’s Legal Clinic is a joint project sponsored by the Knoxville Bar Association, Legal Aid of East Tennessee, Knox County Public Defender’s Community Law Office, the University of Tennessee College of Law and the local VA office.  Its purpose is to help and assist veterans with their legal needs, regardless of income or other circumstances, by providing free legal advice. Given that we meet with people from all backgrounds every day in our office, I decided to participate in this program. I am also…Read   More

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 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