What My Bankruptcy Lawyer Taught Me

4 Things You Should Know About Filing For Bankruptcy

Posted by on Jul 23, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 4 Things You Should Know About Filing For Bankruptcy

Are you left with a small amount of money out of each paycheck due to paying back owed debts? If you are struggling to take care of all or your daily needs, the solution to the problem might be to file for bankruptcy. This article covers a few of the things you might want to know before bankruptcy is filed. 1. What Types of Personal Bankruptcy You Can File Filing for bankruptcy is ideal because it will allow you to be forgiven of your debts to stop wage garnishment, or to make long-term payment arrangements with creditors. For instance, if you opt for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you might not have to pay your creditors any money. However, it is also possible for some of your assets to be seized and sold to use the funds for paying creditors. Chapter 13 bankruptcy is an option that allows you to keep your assets and come up with a payment plan for paying off your debts within three to five years. 2. How Your Credit Score Will Be Affected Your credit score will be lowered after filing for bankruptcy. However, you will be able to work on raising the score back up to a satisfactory number by not falling behind on bills again. You must also keep in mind that bankruptcy will remain on your credit record for 10 years with Chapter 7, and seven years with Chapter 13. 3. How Calls From Creditors Are Affected After you have filed for bankruptcy, creditors will no longer be allowed to request that you pay them any money, including with Chapter 13 when you are making payments. If you continue receiving phone calls from debt collectors, you can take legal actions to make them stop and file a lawsuit for harassment. An automatic stay will go into effect as soon as you complete the process of filing bankruptcy. 4. Why You Should Consult With an Attorney It is in your best interest to hire an attorney for assistance with filing for bankruptcy. He or she will help you decide whether or not Chapter 7 or 13 is best for your specific debt situation. For instance, sometimes Chapter 13 is recommended when you don’t have many debts and can pay them off in small amounts per payment. An attorney will also calculate your debts and income to figure out if there is a good chance that a judge will approve your bankruptcy petition. For more information, contact a bankruptcy attorney like those at Shoemaker & Dart P.S....

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Filing For Bankruptcy? Don’t Make These 3 Mistakes

Posted by on Feb 11, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Filing For Bankruptcy? Don’t Make These 3 Mistakes

Financial distress is something that more and more people are experiencing. It may be due to a recently-diagnosed medical condition that is costing tens of thousands of dollars in treatment to manage, or it could be due to being laid off from your job of 25 years. Whatever the case may be, if you have a significant amount of debt in your hands, bankruptcy may be something that you’re considering. If it is, here are three mistakes that you’ll want to make certain that you do not make: 1. Not Revealing All of Your Assets When filing for bankruptcy, you must list your assets. This list should be an extensive one and include every single one of your assets. If you attempt to not disclose a certain asset, such as a boat or a four-wheeler, the courts will label you as dishonest. As a result, you may not be able to have your debts discharged. 2. Maxing Out Your Credit Cards Debt from credit cards is one debt that is available for discharge when you file for bankruptcy. However, this doesn’t mean that you should go out and have a huge shopping spree in the weeks leading up to your filing. In fact, you will likely be seen as a fraud for doing so. As a result, your credit card debt – and potentially the rest of your debt – will not be discharged by the court. According to Nolo, if you take out a cash advance of over $925 within 70 days of your bankruptcy filing or purchase over $650 worth of luxury products and/or services within 90 days of your filing, fraudulent activity on your part is presumed. In many cases, you will need to prove that you did not act fraudulently intentionally. 3. Transferring Property Out of Your Name Like using your credit cards, this can be extremely risky. You may have a piece of property that you would like to keep, so you transfer it to a family member. Even if it is a distant family member, if the court finds out, you could reduce your chances of having a successful bankruptcy, as this can be seem as fraudulent. It could also cause you to have to wait at least four years to re-file. Every person’s situation is different, so it is recommended that you speak to a qualified bankruptcy attorney about your circumstances. In some cases, when Chapter 7 bankruptcy isn’t the most ideal option, Chapter 13 bankruptcy could be an appropriate alternative. An experienced attorney can help you understand the benefits and risks of each and help you make a well-informed decision that best suits your current situation. It may seem as if all hope is lost, but an attorney can and will help you determine what options exist. To learn more, contact a bankruptcy lawyer like Michael D Hart...

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3 Things To Know About Filing For Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Posted by on Aug 25, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Things To Know About Filing For Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

If you’re in the midst of a financial bind, you may want to consider the many benefits of filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The completion of filing for this status with success can allow your debts to be paid for you. This is sure to help ease your mind and allow you to feel better about your financial situation. Knowing specific things prior to filing for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is essential if you want the process to go smoothly. The Costs When money is running low, the last thing you will want to have to do is to come up with money you don’t have to file for this financial status. The good news is that when you take the time to file for this bankruptcy, you will only be required to pay $335. This will cover the amount of your administrative fees and court costs that must be paid when you file for bankruptcy. The Forms It’s important to understand that you won’t be granted this legal status without being able to prove that you’re eligible for it. This means completing the necessary forms that prove you have too much debt that you simply can’t repay. Listed below are forms you will have to complete to prove you’re eligible for this status: 1.  It’s necessary to list some your monthly expenses. 2.  You will need to provide the full amount of your income and be able to verify this amount with either an old pay stub or a past W-2. 3. You should have the full summary of your credit card debt listed and any of the creditors that you may owe this money. The Automatic Stay One of the biggest benefits for you may be getting the automatic stay. This will avoid any creditors being able to contact you once you have completed the necessary forms for the bankruptcy. Additionally, many people are happy to know that no legal action can be taken due to late payments or being unable to pay the debt promptly. This will go into effect as soon as you file for this status. Taking charge of your financial situation isn’t always easy. Changes in life and the inability to meet some of your financial obligations are entirely possible for any individual. If you need professional advice when it comes to filing for this status, be sure to talk to a bankruptcy attorney who can assist...

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Three Guidelines For Dealing With Bankruptcy

Posted by on Aug 12, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Three Guidelines For Dealing With Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy is not the end of the world, but it will require some mindfulness and diligence on your part to climb out of that hole and turn it into a positive. If you want to get through the bankruptcy process in a way that allows you to straighten out your financial life, there are some critical tips you will need to keep in mind. Consider the information in this article and use it to get through this time period.  Put Together A Quality Budget When filing for bankruptcy, you need to be sure that you are able to agree to the payments that you make under Chapter 13 guidelines. For this reason, you should consider sitting down with a financial expert to make completely sure that you are entering into an agreement that you are able to handle. This way, you will be able to calculate your disposable income, in addition to your expenses and take-home income, to craft the best plan of action. This plan of action begins with a sensible budget, so do not cut corners during this portion of the process. Find The Right Bankruptcy Lawyer For The Job Without question, your lawyer will be the most important asset that you have on your side during the bankruptcy process. You will end up paying anywhere between $1,000-$3,000 or more on such a lawyer, but the price is well worth it. Make sure that you hire someone who can thoroughly explain each part of the process to you, so that you are never left in the dark and are able to participate in the decisions. For best results, you should also deal with a lawyer who can refer you to a credit counselor, so you can begin to pick up the pieces in your life after a bankruptcy filing. Learn The Tax Implications For best results, file your taxes prior to filing for bankruptcy. This will allow for a cleaner filing process, with less complications. Once you are ready to file, you will need to consider some tax implications that come with the process. Resist the temptation to use any type of refund on your debt, since this will only slow up the process of the filing. From now on, be mindful of the April 15 tax filing date every year, so that you do not incur any additional penalties that can harm your finances. Keep these three points in mind so that you are well educated and prepared when filing for bankruptcy. Contact a local attorney, like Greg Dunn bankruptcy Attorney, with further...

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Understanding Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

Posted by on Aug 5, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Understanding Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

If you need to file for bankruptcy, then you might be a little overwhelmed. To help make your life a little easier, here is an explanation of Chapter 11 Bankruptcy, which focuses on the reorganization of a business. Why you might need Chapter 11 If your business is in debt and unable to recover on its own, you will need to file bankruptcy. At this point, you have two options: Chapter 7 and Chapter 11. Chapter 7 is a liquidation of assets, which means that the assets of your business will be sold off to pay any debts. However, Chapter 7 has the downside of effectively terminating a company, which means that your business cannot continue to operate after filing Chapter 7. On the other hand, your business may continue to function after filing Chapter 11, which consists of a repayment plan. Under Chapter 11, your business will make (usually) monthly or semi-monthly payments towards your debtors for an agreed upon period of time. Corporate vs. Personal Debt In most cases, personal debt and corporate debt are separate. Therefore, if your company files for bankruptcy, you will likely not be affected and thus your assets will not be affected. Conversely, if you file for personal bankruptcy, then your business probably won’t be affected. The exception to this is when a business has a sole proprietor. In such a case, both personal and business assets are considered in the reorganization process. The role of the trustee Like in many other bankruptcy situations, the court will appoint a bankruptcy trustee to oversee the reorganization process. You will make your payments to this trustee, who distributes that money to your debtors. In Chapter 11 cases, the trustee has much more responsibility than they might have in a Chapter 7 or 11 bankruptcy due to the scope of the situation. The trustee will have knowledge of all the financials of your business and is actually paid from the earnings of the company on a quarterly basis until the terms of the bankruptcy are met. Potential outcomes In the best case scenario, your business will be successfully reorganized and you will maintain control. However, that isn’t always what happens. If your business is unable to pay back its debts according to the repayment plan, or if it lacks the means to repay the debts at all, then it may be labelled as insolvent. In such a case, the ownership and assets of the business will transferred to the creditors and the original owner will be left with nothing. To learn more, contact a lawyer such as Richard S. Ross – Bankruptcy...

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3 Options For Handling A Deceased Loved One’s Bankruptcy Filing

Posted by on Aug 5, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Options For Handling A Deceased Loved One’s Bankruptcy Filing

In the event that a loved one who was filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy dies, his or her estate could be charged with legally resolving the case before any assets are distributed. If the estate is not properly handled, creditors could take legal action against the estate to recover payment for the deceased’s debts. If you are in charge of handling the estate, here are your options. Change the Filing As the executor, you can request that the original Chapter 13 filing be converted to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The argument for the change would be due to the death of your loved one, the estate is no longer able to make payments to the trustee for a repayment plan.  Whether or not this is allowed is dependent on the court. If a judge does allow it, the secured debts in the case will be discharged and the estate will no longer be responsible for them. Secured debts refer to those which are secured with collateral, such as the deceased’s home and car. This is an option if your loved one was in the early stages of the process and had not had the case finalized through the courts yet.  Request a Discharge If the court had already accepted your loved one’s repayment plan and he or she was already making payments, you can ask for a discharge. The discharge request would be based on the fact that your loved one is now deceased. In order to receive approval, you have to show that making the remaining payments would cause an undue hardship for the estate. If the judge grants the discharge, the estate is no longer responsible for any debts that were being paid out through the repayment plan.  Request a Dismissal Your bankruptcy attorney might also recommend that you request a dismissal of the bankruptcy filing altogether. If the judge grants the estate’s request, you do not have to worry about making payments through the repayment plan to creditors. However, it is important to note that your loved one’s creditors are once again able to pursue legal action against the estate to seek repayment for debts.  Depending on the state in which you live, there might be other options available for handling your loved one’s bankruptcy filing. Talk to an attorney (like Flippin Thomas C) about those options and to find out which one best fits your situation so that you are able to settle your loved one’s final...

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A Couple Of Common Questions About Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Protection

Posted by on Jul 31, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on A Couple Of Common Questions About Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Protection

If a person is either not careful or unlucky, it is possible for their debts to become financially crushing obligations. Depending on the type and amount of debt that you owe, it is possible for your creditors to take extremely aggressive actions against you to collect the money you owe. Whether it is repossessing your possessions or garnishing your wages, these actions can be extremely disruptive to your daily life. To end this cycle, you may need to consider filing for the protection of bankruptcy, but if this is not a strategy that you have seriously considered, you may benefit from having the following couple of bankruptcy questions addressed before you meet with your attorney. Can Anyone File For Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Protection? It is fairly common for clients to assume that it is simple to file for any type of bankruptcy that can help their situation. While this would be nice, it is an unfortunate fact that the real world does not operate this way. In particular, it is common for people to want to seek the protection of a Chapter 7 filing because their assets will be at a lower risk of being repossessed or liquidated.  Yet, it should be noted that this type of bankruptcy requires individuals to pass a means test in order to receive this type of protection. The exact details governing this test are highly complicated, but it will essentially be determined by your income left over minus your essential bills. If you can demonstrate that you are unable to make the minimum required payments to the court, you will likely be granted this form of protection, and while proving that you qualify can be difficult, an experienced bankruptcy attorney, like those at Morrison & Murff, will be able to help you with this task.  Will Your Creditors Continue Collection Action Until The Bankruptcy Is Finalized? One of the primary benefits of seeking bankruptcy protection is that this will end the aggressive and annoying attempts of your creditors to collect these debts. Yet, there are some individuals that assume this protection will only start once the bankruptcy has been finalized by the courts.  Luckily, this is not the case, and you are entitled to this protection the instance you file the initial paperwork to start this procedure. While you may qualify to have collection actions stopped, your attorney will need to file a motion with the court to have this protection instituted. However, this petition will usually be addressed in a matter of days, which can result in these actions against you coming to an abrupt halt.  Understanding what to expect when you seek bankruptcy protection is essential for making an informed decision about whether this is a sound choice for your needs. By knowing that you will have to pass a means test to qualify for a Chapter 7 filing and that collections actions against you will stop, you should possess more of the information you need to be able to effectively understand your options for escaping your crushing debts....

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3 Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make in Your Bankruptcy Case

Posted by on Jul 30, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make in Your Bankruptcy Case

When your finances take a turn for the worse, it can make things extremely difficult and frustrating. Before you know it, you aren’t able to pay your monthly bills. Credit card companies, the mortgage lender, utility companies, and doctors are calling your home and asking where their money is. You find yourself feeling like there is nothing you can do. Thankfully, that isn’t the case. With a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case, you can put an end to your financial woes and move forward with the fresh start you deserve. If you decide to go this route, make sure you don’t make one of the mistakes below. Forgetting to include all of your debts. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy is meant to eliminate all of your unsecured debts, with the exception of child support, back taxes, and student loans. If you forget to include a bunch of your credit cards and medical bills in your petition, you will find yourself right back in the same position as before. Debts that weren’t put into the bankruptcy paperwork aren’t going to be eligible for discharge. It is more important than ever that you make sure you have every bill and debt you can think of included with your petition. Not attending the trustee meetings. After your case is filed, you will need to go to a 341 hearing, which is essentially a meeting of the creditors. Any of your creditors can show up and say their piece at these meetings. If you don’t go to it, your case will end up being put on hold and you won’t get your discharge as quickly as you thought. Make sure you are there on time. Your lawyer will ask you a few questions and you will be on your way in no time at all. Not showing up could make the court postpone your hearing or dismiss your case completely. Putting off the debt counseling courses. When filing for bankruptcy, you have to take two debt counseling courses. You can take them online and they only take an hour or so of your time, but they are crucial to getting your debts discharged. One course has to be taken before your case is discharged and the other is taken within 30 days of filing. Your lawyer will give you the information of where you go to take the courses. By making sure you stay on track and avoid the mistakes above, you can be on your way to a debt-free life through chapter 7 bankruptcy in no...

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4 Reasons Social Security Disability Benefits Are Denied (And What You Can Do About It)

Posted by on Jul 29, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 4 Reasons Social Security Disability Benefits Are Denied (And What You Can Do About It)

The Social Security Administration (SSA) eventually denies 53 percent of all claims for disability benefits on average every year. There are numerous reasons why a claim gets denied, but the most common ones are lack of medical information proving a disability (combined with failing to abide by a medical treatment plan developed by your doctor), refusing to cooperate with the SSA requirements, monthly income was too high, and disability wasn’t permanent. Here is how these issues affect your claim and what you can do to make your case stronger to show you need disability benefits. Lack of Medical Information The SSA requires solid documentation that your injuries are real and are preventing you from being gainfully employed. They will not just accept your word that you have a physical or mental condition that keep you from earning a living. Claimants generally do two things wrong when it comes to supplying the proper medical documentation. They don’t regularly visit their doctor to receive treatment for the injuries and/or mental issues that are claiming are keeping them from working. When they do visit the doctor, these claimants do not follow up on the prescribed treatment plan like attending physical rehabilitation appointments or attending mental health counseling sessions. If you want to win a disability case based on medical evidence, you have to build a paper trail that the SSA administrators can use to document your condition and your efforts to get well. Without this information, you might as well save yourself the time and effort of going through a claims process and not submit a claim at all. Failure to Cooperate with SSA The SSA may require you to see one of their doctors in an attempt to document your condition when you have supplied insufficient documentation on your own. You have to go see that doctor if you want any hope of winning a SSA disability claim. Failure to show up is a common reason for a disability claim to be denied. Monthly Income If you are working and making over $1,000 per month, your claim is typically denied. SSA disability insurance is for those who can’t work, and if you are making money every month, this is proof you can work. If you want to win, and you do have a documentation to prove the extent of your injuries, you should hold off on getting a job until you case has been decided. Temporary Disability SSA disability benefits are for those who have a long-term disability that is expected to last for at least a year. There is really nothing you can [do] if you break your ankle and are only expected to be out of work for a few months. The only option, if it is viable, is that the doctors believe the damage done to the ankle is so severe that you may never completely recover. If you job requires you to stand or walk a lot, you might be able to win your case (again, it comes down to the amount of documentation you have proving the extent of your injury). The best thing you can do before you start a claim is to call an attorney that specializes in social security disability law. The attorney will guide you through the process and make sure you...

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5 Reasons Bankruptcy Can Be A Good Thing

Posted by on Jul 28, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 5 Reasons Bankruptcy Can Be A Good Thing

While it can be stressful having to go through serious financial trouble, there may be a way to get the fresh start that you need. Many people turn to bankruptcy when they find themselves no longer able to pay off past debts and current bills. If you’re in this situation, you may be wary due to the fact that bankruptcy stays on your record for many years. The truth is there are many benefits to this process. Take a look at the following information to better understand why bankruptcy can be a good thing. Get a New Start on Finances When you’re struggling to pay off your debts and your current bills continue to add up, it may seem like your difficult situation will never end. With bankruptcy, you may be able to clear many of your past debts so that you can have control over your finances again. This can give you a fresh start so that you’re able to continue going about your life.  Stop Creditor Calls When you’re very behind on bills, creditors will start to call your home and possibly your office. This can be embarrassing, frustrating, and an invasion of privacy. When you file for bankruptcy, an automatic stay is put into place, which puts a stop to these harassing calls. This means that you can enjoy dinner and family time without having to stress out about upsetting phone calls interrupting your good time. Some Debts Are Completely Eliminated Depending on the type of bankruptcy that you file for, some of your debts may be completely erased. This is often the case with credit card debt. This means that you won’t have to worry about paying these high debts off in the future, which can make things a lot more manageable.  Create a Payment Plan That Works Some forms of bankruptcy will require you to create a repayment plan, which shows how you intend to pay off your remaining debts. This can make everything more manageable and can show you that it’s possible to clear away your debt with hard work and time. This can also help you learn better budgeting skills. Have Less Stress Once you go through the process of bankruptcy and begin your new life, you can have a lot less stress. This makes it possible for you to focus on the good aspects of your life, such as being there for friends and family.  As you can see, there are several advantages to filing for bankruptcy. If you have any questions, or if you’d like to schedule a consultation with an attorney to discuss your individual situation, contact a bankruptcy attorney...

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