Articles Tagged with Filing Bankruptcy

If you are in a chapter 13 bankruptcy and are paying for an older vehicle, sometimes the vehicle (or one of them) that you are paying for just isn’t worth keeping anymore. It may have completely stopped running or require repairs to continue running that are more expensive than the vehicle is even worth.  You have options.  You may be able to drop it from your bankruptcy case, lower your bankruptcy payment, and walk away from the vehicle that is no longer worth keeping.

1. Send me an emcar-died-300x158ail or fax telling me you want to surrender the vehicle and drop it from the chapter 13 plan, and tell me which vehicle.

2. I will file a motion with the court to modify your plan and to remove the vehicle from your plan and reduce the monthly payment. This will take thirty days (30) from the date the motion is filed.

Each one of these things can have serious consequences depending on the plan we develop for dealing with your debt, so:

1. Don’t borrow any more money. Don’t take out a second mortgage.
2. Don’t take money out of your retirement, 401k, or IRA.
3. Stop using your credit cards. Don’t use the convenience checks and don’t take cash advances. Don’t do “balance transfers” from one credit card to another.
4. Don’t keep your money in the same bank or credit union where you owe money. Stop all direct deposits into that account and redirect them to a different bank. Continue reading

Commonly asked questions of married individuals needing to file bankruptcy:

Do married couples have to file bankruptcy together? If you are married there are three options for filing bankruptcy: 1) file together, 2) file alone, or 3) both file separately. There are several factors to consider when deciding if you should file jointly or alone. The biggest factors being how are the debts split between you, how much does each of you make, and who owns the property.

What about joint and co-signed debts?  When a debt is joint or co-signed, both spouses owe 100% of the debt.  It makes no difference what name comes first or who the debt was actually for. If your name is on the bill, you owe the whole thing.  If you file joint tax returns then you both owe the tax debt.

Stop – if you are thinking of filing bankruptcy – do not do any of these transactions until you have spoken with me. Waiting a few days will not matter. “Better to be safe than sorry.”  There is a right way to do things before you file bankruptcy, but there are also a whole lot of wrong ways to do things. Some actions could get you into a lot of trouble.  Put it on hold and let me give you the information you need to understand your options.

  • Don’t pay back money you owe to family members.
  • Don’t pay your friends back money you owe them.

Is your water or electric power turned off?  Bankruptcy can help. As soon as you file bankruptcy the utility company must restore your service. If the company is threatening to shNo lightsut off your water, power or gas, then the bankruptcy will stop the cutoff process. The bankruptcy can also wipe out the bills owed to the utility company so you won’t have to make the back payments.

There is one catch.  If you want to continue to receive water, gas, or power in the future the city or company can make you put a deposit for future service. The size of the deposit is dependent on how much your average bills were, but is usually somewhere between $150 and $300.  If you had a water leak and your past due bill is $1,000.00, then posting a new deposit of a couple of hundred dollars is a lot better than paying the old bill.  You will get the deposit back when you move.

Public utilities, such as the electric, telephone, gas, and water cannot refuse you service or cut off their service just because you file for bankruptcy and owe them money.  But 21 days after filing bankruptcy the company can terminate the service if you do not put up a deposit or provide other security to insure that the future utility bills will be paid.

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?