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Articles Tagged with Chapter 7

I have been a member of NACBA (National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys) for quite some time and was able to attend the 20th annual convention this year which was held in beautiful San Antonio, TX. I would strongly suggest that you bookmark the NACBA site as a resource for consumer bankruptcy matters.  Congress, their staff, the media, and the Judicial Branch all recognize NACBA as the lead voice in America regarding consumer bankruptcy law. The Association & it’s member attorneys put their expertise to work by frequently testifying before judicial and legislative bodies against any anti-debtor legislation introduced by an aggressive consumer credit industry. NACBA continues to play a significant role in forming the outcome of policy-related discussion and debates regarding consumer bankruptcy practices.  It truly lives up to it’s goal

To ensure that the voices of consumer debtors and their attorneys are heard in the halls of Congress, the Judiciary and other arenas affecting consumer debtors; and to help consumer bankruptcy attorneys represent their clients more effectively.

Bottom line, attending NACBA conventions provide a wealth of education and keep attorneys up to date on the latest in bankruptcy law – which is a must if you are going to provide the best protection for your clients. Multiple vendors also attend the conference, educating us on the latest available debt counseling programs and a host of other items designed to help consumers before, during, and after bankruptcy.  I’ll be blogging about some of the gems pulled from this conference a little later, so stay tuned! In the meantime, here are some pictures from the convention this past weekend…and yes – I’m the one in the toe shoes speaking with a good friend of mine, Mississippi NACBA State Chair, attorney Pat Sheehan.

Frank Coxwell explains bankruptcy chapters & how to recover from bankruptcy.

To listen to the program, click here

Money_TalksI joined the Mississippi Public Broadcasting (MPB) show – Money Talks – on June 18, 2013 to discuss the topic of bankruptcy, what the different chapters have to offer consumers, and how to recover from filing bankruptcy.  We covered a lot of really good information and were able to take a lot of calls from listeners with great questions.  If you are contemplating bankruptcy or even just interested in what it has to offer, I highly recommend you click above and listen to our discussion.

QuestionNo. Although a bankruptcy case is a public record, it is not that easy to find. Bankruptcy information is not published in any Mississippi newspaper that I am aware of. Yes, one of your nosey neighbors could go to the bankruptcy court and ask but that is a lot of effort and most people will not go that far. The bankruptcy court does not contact your employer and neither will your lawyer.

Now there are several situations where you may need your job, friends, or family to be contacted.

  • If you owe money to your employer, your friends, or family members, then they may be one of your creditors and they will be notified of the bankruptcy.
  • If you have a garnishment, then your employer will need to be notified so we can stop the garnishment.
  • If you file chapter 13 the monthly payments to the court will be deducted from your pay check so your employer will be notified to withhold the payment and send in to the Trustee accordingly.

There are very strict laws that prohibit discriminating against someone for filing bankruptcy. An employer cannot fire or demote you because of the bankruptcy filing. The bankruptcy court deals harshly with those who discriminate against someone just because they filed bankruptcy.

Yes and No. In most cases as long as you are up to date on your house payments you can keep your home. If you are not current, the bankruptcy filing protects the home from foreclosure and this could give you the time you need to get caught up, if you were only a couple of months behind.

If you arehouse significantly behind on your house payments, then a chapter 13 is the only way to go if you want to save your home. The most important thing is to file the bankruptcy as soon as possible so they don’t foreclose on your home. Both a chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy filing stops foreclosure.  The mortgage company would have to then get permission from the bankruptcy court to start the foreclosure process up again.  It’s important to meet with an experienced bankruptcy lawyer to lay out a proper strategy for dealing with your debts in a way that protects the property you wish to keep.

 

VehiclesYes and No.  In most cases as long as you are up to date on your vehicle payments you can “reaffirm” the debt and keep your vehicle. The finance company has to agree to allow you to keep the vehicle and they will always agree if you are current.

If you are not current, the bankruptcy filing protects the vehicle from being repossessed and this could give you the time you need to get caught up. Most finance companies do not want the vehicle back, so if you are a behind they will give you a chance to catch up or they can redo your payments. The most important thing is to file the bankruptcy as soon as possible so they don’t repossess the vehicle. They hardly ever negotiate before you file the bankruptcy because they don’t believe you will actually file. After you file and they are faced with getting no money and maybe having to take the vehicle back, they can be more lenient and easier to deal with.

 

No. If you have been convicted of a crime you can still file bankruptcy. The bankruptcy papers don’t ask you questions like that. A criminal record would only be an issue if you were trying to file bankruptcy to get rid of fines or restitution. You can’t wipe out court fines and criminal restitution in bankruptcy. However, a chapter 13 bankruptcy would allow you to make your restitution payments over a 60 month period if you were having trouble making the payments ordered by the court that convicted you.

rental propertyThinking about walking away from your rental property? You are not alone. Over 11 million people are upside down on the house they live in. The same conditions affect your investment property. To make things worse, when tenants can’t pay their rent, you must still come up with the monthly note. Being a landlord is hard work when times are good. Tenants who can’t pay or empty rental homes will jeopardize your own home and financial security.  Filing bankruptcy allows you to give the property back to the mortgage company without having to pay for the property.

Of course you can. Just like you can set your own broken leg, deliver your own baby and rebuild the engine in your own car. You can do these things, but do you really want to? Do you have time? Do you have the proper tools, information and knowledge to get it done right?

Bankruptcy laws are complicated and full of traps. Mistakes and errors can cost you your property and your discharge.  Misrepresentation and dishonesty can land you in jail. Let me tell you about preparing and filing a bankruptcy case.

Attorney’s all use software to prepare and print the 50 plus pages that make up a bankruptcy filing just like your tax guy uses a tax program and just like your doctor uses a program to keep up with your visits and medical records. Bankruptcy lawyers put your information into a program that prints the forms and files the papers with the court. This seems simple enough. But once the papers are filed the U.S. Trustee, the case trustee and the court clerks all start going over your papers to see how they can kick you out, deny your discharge or disqualify you from the benefits of bankruptcy.  Do you know how to defend your position? Provide responses to any filed objections?

Here are some things to consider before you file bankruptcy so you don’t make a mistake that could get you in trouble or cost you a discharge.

1. Talk to a bankruptcy attorney sooner rather than later.  Find out right now how bankruptcy can benefit you.  Most people who file should have been in to see a bankruptcy lawyer six months to a year before they made the appointment. Instead they struggled and fought to survive, draining all their savings and retirement, doing everything they could to keep from getting information that could have led to their financial recovery and a new life.

2. Don’t use your credit cards. Some credit card charges may have to be paid if they are made right before you file.

Over and over I meet people who owe money to their bank but want to leave them out of a bankruptcy. They say “I have been with that bank for years.” Then they tell me what good friends they are with the bank and how the bank is like one of their family. Banks spend millions in advertising to make you believe this. The reality is your bank sees you as a piece of business. They don’t care if you made every payment on time and paid off numerous loans in the past. This is a business relationship and they will drop you like a hot potato if you appear to be a credit risk. You don’t believe me? Ask the bank for credit when times are bad for you. Your bank acts like your best friend when times are good for you but they won’t be there when you really need them. It’s just business to them and nothing more. No one wants to file bankruptcy. But when it is necessary it should be a business decision for you and nothing more. Bankruptcy is just a financial tool. Phony personal relationships should not get in the way of your financial recovery.

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