Friday, September 30, 2016

What Types Of Questions Will The Court Have For Me When I File Bankruptcy?

Most people don’t go to Court every day, so the thought of having to answer questions in front of a judge is frightening. When the questions are related to your finances, and why you are not able to make your payments, the stress level that goes along with having to go to Court is escalated. These thoughts alone might cause some people to shy away from taking advantage of all of the benefits bankruptcy has to offer, and that is a shame. Because, if you are in over your head financially, bankruptcy is a very useful tool and can help you to get back on your feet with a fresh start to your budget. So, if you are considering bankruptcy but are worried about being questioned in the Courtroom or are hesitant to make a trip to the Courthouse, here are some useful things to know about how it all works.

When you file bankruptcy, you will have to go to Court shortly after your case is filed. The first time you go to Court is called the 341 meeting, and at this meeting you will need to be prepared for the following:

         To show your ID, so the trustee who has been assigned to oversee your case knows that the person who filed the case is the person who is showing up in Court.

         To provide proof of your income, which is done by providing copies of your pay stubs and recent tax returns. If you have not yet filed your tax return, do not worry, you can still do so and provide a copy to the trustee once it has been filed. But a word of caution, your case will not be finalized by the Court until past due tax returns are filed. If you are afraid you are going to owe taxes, now is the time to find out, because in bankruptcy you are restricting your monthly obligations and can be better positioned to make a payment plan with the taxing authorities.

         Tell your creditors if you plan to keep the collateral that their loan covers, or return it to the lender. If you decide to hang on to certain things, the lender will ask you if you plan to reaffirm the debt. This will be a decision you have made prior to coming to the 341 meeting, and your attorney will help you decide what is best for you.

That’s it! In a nutshell that is about all that takes place at a 341 meeting and the setting is pretty informal. There is no Judge and there are no judgments made about how your budget or why you are needing to file bankruptcy. Your attorney will prepare you for the meeting, and all told it will probably only last about half an hour once your name is called. .

For more information about bankruptcy, call us today or reach us online at We have multiple locations to serve you and can schedule a time to meet at the office most convenient for you.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Are There Some Debts Bankruptcy Won’t Eliminate?

The whole point of filing bankruptcy is to eliminate debt, so you have fewer things to pay each month and can get some breathing room. The debt you seek to eliminate is usually weighing you down and making it hard to pay all of your obligations on time. But, if you were just able to wipe out some of your monthly payments, you might be in a better place and more capable of paying for the things you really need to survive. So it is important to know what debts you can discharge (eliminate) in bankruptcy, and what debts will still be due even if you file a case.

Like all good rules, those that apply to bankruptcy have exceptions. When thinking about what debts are excepted from the general rule that bankruptcy wipes the slate clean, the following are the most common examples of non-dischargeable debt:

         Child support obligations.

         Student loan debt.


         Debts incurred under false pretenses, or with the intent to never pay them.

         Debts that have been reaffirmed.

You have a lot of choices to make when you decide to file bankruptcy, and one of those decisions will impact whether certain debts are discharged. For instance, if you want to keep you house or your car, you may have to sign a reaffirmation agreement and keep making the payments. Then, when your case is over that particular debt will not be discharged and if you default on the payments the lender can pursue legal and other collection remedies against you. You also have to take a look at just what type of debt makes up most of your loans, if the majority of what you owe is tied to child support or a student loan, bankruptcy may not be the answer for you. In order to learn more, and to find out if bankruptcy can help you, call us today.  A successful bankruptcy case starts with good planning, and this requires a thoughtful examination of your needs and where you hope to stand after filing. We will examine your specific debt situation and let you know your options, and help you make a decision that meets your needs.

For more information about what debts are still due after bankruptcy, call us today or reach us online at We offer appointments at multiple locations for your convenience and can schedule a time to visit with you soon.


Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Can I Pay Off A Loan Before I File Bankruptcy?

Some people like to keep all of their debts current right up until the day they file bankruptcy, while others are not able to continue to make all of their payments. There is even some thought that if you pay off a loan before you file your case, you will be in better shape once your bankruptcy is prepared. Perhaps it is an effort to keep in good standing with a certain lender, or the idea of falling behind that makes people want to pay as much debt as they can before the file bankruptcy. But doing so could have adverse consequences, so it is best to speak with an experienced bankruptcy attorney before you make any decisions about your debt.

One of the provisions of the bankruptcy code prohibits giving preferential treatment to one creditor over the others. This includes paying off a creditor within a certain time frame before filing your case, while not doing the same for the rest of your lenders. If the bankruptcy trustee assigned to your case thinks you have made a payment like this, he or she can attempt to “undo” the payment by claiming it is what is referred to as a preference. Here is how it works:

         Payments to one creditor and not the others, or not in the ordinary course of payment, within 90 days before you file your case are considered preference payments.

         The trustee can seek to have the payment returned, and will then disburse the money evenly to all creditors.

         If the creditor in question is a family member, the time period is longer than 90 days and this could leave a well-meaning mom or dad left without being repaid for a loan made to you.

To make a claim for repayment of a sum of money the trustee considers a preferential payment, the first step is for the trustee to send the creditor in question a demand for return of the funds. As the debtor, your involvement will be virtually non-existent, so there is really no benefit to trying to pay off certain creditors before you file your case. This is true even if you think doing so will put you in a better position to borrow from this lender in the future. The truth is that any loans you need down the road will be evaluated by looking at your income and debts, and credit history. Paying off a lender before a bankruptcy case will have little impact on the decision to grant credit at a later date. If you have questions about how to handle your debt load while you are gathering the information and documents needed to file a bankruptcy case, call our office for answers.

For more information about bankruptcy, call us today or reach us online at We offer appointments at multiple locations for your convenience and can schedule a time to visit with you today.

Friday, September 23, 2016

How Soon Will My Creditors Stop Calling After I File Bankruptcy?

One of the hardest things to deal with when you are not able to pay all of your bills is the constant calls by creditors, or collectors. When you are facing a seemingly never ending stream of phone calls it can be hard to take a moment to come up with a plan to get out of debt. It is during these times that it sure would be nice to get a break from your lenders, so you can take a breath and think about what will work for you.

Fortunately, filing bankruptcy will give you instant relief from creditor calls and other actions. The instant you file a bankruptcy case you get the benefit of the automatic stay. The automatic stay is a legal mechanism that makes it illegal for creditors or debt collectors to call you and try to collect a debt. It is also against the law for those same creditors and debt collectors to maintain a lawsuit against you regarding their debt, as long as you are in an active bankruptcy. Here are just a few of the things that are prohibited by the automatic stay:

         Calls and letters to you from lenders and collectors.

         Foreclosure actions, lawsuits to collect money, and any action to repossess your personal property (like your car).

         Pending garnishments on your wages, which means your employer will no longer be required to hold any money out of your paycheck.

The relief offered by the automatic stay is supposed to be just as it sounds; automatic. But it does take some time to get the information that you have filed bankruptcy out to your lenders, so if you get a stray call in the first few days after you file you can provide the caller with the case number and terminate the call. If, however, you continue to get calls or are sued for a debt in the weeks or months after you file, you do have recourse. In those instances you can file a lawsuit against the offending lender, within your actual bankruptcy case. You are entitled to financial compensation for any damages you have suffered as a result of the continued calls or collection efforts, and should be prepared to offer evidence of the damages you seek. An experienced bankruptcy attorney can explain your rights to you in this regard, and you should immediately notify your bankruptcy attorney if your lenders do not stop contacting you after you file your case.

For more information about the benefits of bankruptcy and how the automatic stay works, call us today or reach us online at We will help by looking at the facts of your case and giving you options to reach your financial goals.


Thursday, September 22, 2016

I’ve Decided To File Bankruptcy, What Comes Next?

Making the decision to file bankruptcy is not one that most people arrive at without serious thought. But if you are considering bankruptcy as a way to get out from overly burdensome debt, you are also likely to be experiencing unwanted stress due to your finances. The mix of emotions that goes along with being unable to meet all of your monthly obligations and deciding to pursue legal remedies that are probably outside of your comfort level can leave you wondering just what it means to seek the relief bankruptcy has to offer. While you may have heard that you can file bankruptcy and walk away from your debts, there is a lot more to it than what first meets the eye. So, if you are set on filing bankruptcy, the best next step to take includes learning all you can about what to expect; from a qualified bankruptcy attorney.

The thought of filing bankruptcy is understandably intimidating, and here is a quick synopsis of the next steps:

         Gathering your monthly debts and income, and talking over your options with an attorney.

         Learning about the different types of cases from a knowledgeable attorney, and finding out what type of case will work best for you.

         Understanding your options, and reviewing the paperwork your attorney prepares for filing. Once you are satisfied with the documents, and can assure your attorney that the information is complete and accurate, you are ready to file. Your attorney will file the case for you, and provide you with the case number in case your lenders ask the details of your case.

         Shortly after filing you will appear in court for an initial meeting, this meeting is referred to as the 341 meeting and it is the time your creditors can come and ask you your intentions regarding their debt. You will need to be prepared to advise your lenders if you will be keeping the collateral that is security for their loan, and if so what your repayment plan for that debt includes.

         Depending on the chapter of case you qualify to file, you can expect to receive a discharge in about 90 days or up to five years. The discharge is the official entry by the Court that your debts are no longer due, and is the goal of filing.

The time it takes to get a discharge varies, depending on the chapter of case you file. With a chapter 7, the typical timeframe is about 90 days. With a Chapter 13 however, you have up to five years to complete a plan of repayment and the discharge is not entered until the plan is fully performed.

For more information about how bankruptcy can help you, call us today or reach us online at We will help by coming up with solutions that work for you and have multiple locations for more convenient one on one office visits.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

How Long Will It Take To Repair My Credit After I File Bankruptcy?

One of the biggest concerns most debtors have is that if they file bankruptcy their credit will be ruined forever. Most people think that once they file a case they will no longer be able to get a credit card, buy a car, or purchase a home. The truth, though, is that you will begin receiving credit offers very shortly after your case is over. While many of the offers will come with a higher interest rate than what you might be eligible for outside of bankruptcy, you will still have the ability to take out a loan. And while we do not encourage filing bankruptcy and immediately taking on fresh debt, we do understand the need to do so at times, and also the concern about how credit scores are impacted by filing bankruptcy.

Bankruptcy is an excellent legal tool to get you back on track financially, but it wouldn’t be fair to talk about bankruptcy without also mentioning your credit score. The notation you have filed bankruptcy does remain on hour credit report and does have an impact on your credit score, but it does not mean you are left without options. As stated, you are likely to receive new offers of credit quickly after your case is completed, and if you manage these debts well it can boost your credit score. Having a good credit score can do the following for you:

          Cause lenders to offer you loans at attractive rates.

          Allow you greater flexibility with in your financial planning by keeping certain expenses, like car insurance, lower.

          Help you with your housing needs, whether you are trying to rent an apartment or are trying to buy a house.

Your credit score plays a role in each of the above things, and many others that are too numerous to list. So, if you are fighting your debt every month, considering bankruptcy as a solution offers immediate relief while giving you the chance to rebuild your credit almost right away. For more information about the benefits of bankruptcy, call our office.

For more information about bankruptcy and your credit score, contact us at We will help by coming up with solutions that work for you and have multiple locations to meet your needs for office visits.


Tuesday, September 20, 2016

TITLE: What Is A Chapter 20 Bankruptcy?

It doesn’t take knowing all the ins and outs of the bankruptcy laws to have a little familiarity with some of the terms. For instance, most people who have heard of bankruptcy know that there is a type of case called a Chapter 7, and a type of case called a Chapter 13. You might have even heard that the minute you file a case your creditors are not allowed to call you and try to collect their debt. But even if you know some of these things, there are many intricacies to the bankruptcy laws that you will need help with if you are considering filing a case. The first step is to talk with a knowledgeable bankruptcy and debt management attorney to learn how bankruptcy can help you, and what your options are for filing a case.

One of the most important decisions to make after you decide bankruptcy is the answer to your financial problems is what type of case you will file. For consumers, there are two main types of cases. You can file a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13. A Chapter 7 is generally the more desirable type of case because it eliminates all of your unsecured debt, and it does not last as long as a Chapter 13. A Chapter 7 is more like a liquidation of your debt, and in contrast a Chapter 13 is more like a debt consolidation. A Chapter 13 requires you to propose a plan of repayment of your debt, including repayment of a portion of your unsecured debt. While these are the most filed types of bankruptcy cases, there is also a chance you might need relief under both chapters, and this is referred to as a “chapter 20”. The characteristics of a Chapter 20 case include:

         Firs you file a Chapter 7, but a little ways down the road find that you need additional relief from your financial pressure.

         You are not permitted to refile a Chapter 7 under certain circumstances, and within a certain time frame, but you might be able to file another case under Chapter 13.

         The filing of a Chapter 7 and then a Chapter 13 is sometimes called a Chapter 20, and can be helpful if you begin experiencing financial difficulty shortly after your Chapter 7 case is completed.

A lot of people wonder if they are allowed to file bankruptcy more than twice, and the “chapter 20” scheme is one of the ways this happens. If you have filed a Chapter 7 and received a discharge, but need more help with your debt load, a new case under Chapter 13 could help. Call our office to find out if you are able to do this, and if so, how it will help you better manage your money.

For more information about how bankruptcy can help you, contact us at We will help by coming up with solutions that work for you and have multiple locations to meet your needs for office visits.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Three Major Bankruptcy Milestones

In today’s fast paced society, where information is available to us simply by performing a google search on a smartphone, it is only natural to want fast results. And, if you are having money problems, this is all the more true because the faster you can get out of a bad financial situation, the sooner your stress level will decrease. It only makes sense to wonder how long things will take when you decide to do something about your debt situation, so you can start fresh with a new budget and the ability to stick to what you’ve put down on paper.

If you have decided to file bankruptcy to alleviate financial pressure, it is helpful to know what to expect. Three of the major milestones in any bankruptcy case are:

         The meeting of creditors, which is the first hearing that takes place in a bankruptcy case. At this hearing there will not be a Judge present, but the Trustee who is assigned to your case will handle the proceeding. The Trustee will ask you to bring things like proof of income with you, as well as copies of your mortgage and titles to your cars. Creditors can also be present at this hearing, but their involvement is limited to asking you what your intent is regarding their debt. Most times the answer is that you intend to surrender the collateral back to the lender, or that you plan on keeping it and making the payments either voluntarily or by signing a reaffirmation agreement.

         The entry of discharge, which is a notation on your case docket that the case has discharged. Entry of discharge is the goal of every case, because it is the legal finding that the debts you have are no longer due. A discharged debt is a debt that cannot be collected on, and it is a debt that is no longer considered to be due. Debts that have been reaffirmed are not discharged, so those obligations will still have to be paid after your bankruptcy case is over.

         The closing of your case, which is just an administrative function that finalizes the matter. Once a case has been discharged and closed, it is considered final and the Trustee’s duties come to an end.

Most debtors need only appear at the meeting of creditors (the 341 meeting), but there are instances where your appearance may be required again. If you have questions about bankruptcy and what to expect if you file, call our office for answers.

For more information about bankruptcy, contact us today at We will help you come up with solutions that work for your family, and have multiple locations where we schedule appointments so you can make a choice that is convenient for you.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Three Ways Bankruptcy Is Better Than Credit Counseling

If you are having financial troubles you may be considering several options to get some relief. One popular choice is to consolidate debt, and to do this by going through a credit counseling agency. These agencies advertise the ability to negotiate lower repayment terms with your lenders, thus saving you big on interest and penalties. But beware, not all of these services can actually deliver on what they promise, and this can leave you in a worse position than when you began counseling services.

Three reasons bankruptcy is a better option for you than is credit counseling include:

         Creditors are not required to participate in credit counseling and consolidation services, so even though you may have signed on with an agency for help, you may not receive the help that is promised when your lenders refuse the offers made by the agency.

         Credit counseling and consolidation are not overseen by the Court, and thus there is no legal “bite” to your bark when you agree to allow a non-judicial party to come up with solutions to your debt problems.

         Credit counseling does not include a legal prohibition against your creditors contacting you while negotiations are underway, but bankruptcy does have this provision included.

Bankruptcy is helpful because it puts an immediate stop to collection calls, lawsuits, and wage garnishments. This is because of a provision of the Bankruptcy Code  called the automatics stay, which is a legal mechanism that protects you from contact by creditors the minute you file a bankruptcy case. The purpose of the automatic stay is to give the debtor a chance to take a breath and get their bearings after filing. By having this reprieve, a distressed debtor is better prepared to rationally assess their financial situation and come up with solutions that work. We can help you get your finances in order; call us today to find out more.

If you have more questions about bankruptcy, contact us today at We will help you come up with solutions that work for your family, and have multiple locations where we schedule appointments so you can make a choice that is convenient for you.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Will My Neighbors Know If I File Bankruptcy?

Some people are an open book, while others prefer to keep their private information to themselves. This is especially true if the information you seek to keep under wraps is of a sensitive nature, or is something you think will cause embarrassment. Years ago there was a social stigma associated with filing bankruptcy, but that is no longer true. The bankruptcy law helps thousands of consumer debtors a year, including some celebrities and even those considered wealthy. Even so, it can be concerning to you when you decide to file and you might want to keep your personal affairs to yourself and out of neighborhood gossip mill.

If you file for bankruptcy, you will receive the following benefits, and it is likely only those people you choose to tell will ever know that you have filed a case:

         A discharge of many of your debts, including high interest rate credit card debt, depending on the type of case you file.

         An immediate stop to any collection efforts or lawsuits that are pending against you.

         An immediate stop to any calls you are receiving from your lenders about past due bills and accounts.

While all cases that are filed are filed electronically, and stored electronically, access to the records requires a user name and password to the online bankruptcy system. It is unlikely your co-workers, friends, or neighbors have signed up for the service so you can rest easy knowing that your decision will go only as far as you wish. That said, if you are apprehensive about your privacy, it can be helpful to talk things over with a trusted friend, family member, or counselor. Once you are comfortable with your decision to file, it will not make a difference who is in the know about your case. And when you are able to being a savings account, or pay your monthly bills without struggling, the sense of accomplishment you feel will far outweigh any negative connotations associated with filing bankruptcy.

If you have more questions about bankruptcy, contact us today at We will help you get prepared for what comes after we file your case, and have multiple locations where we schedule appointments.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

What To Do When You Don’t Have Enough Money Each Month

If you have ever been behind on a credit card payment, auto installment loan, or mortgage, you know it is no fun to have more bills than money each month. Not having enough money to pay for all of your expenses means you have to decide what gets paid, and what has to wait. Playing this game can be dangerous, because it can cause your creditors to initiate collection actions against you, or in the case of secured debt it might cause the lender to repossess pieces of personal property or to foreclose on your home. This is no way to live, and can quickly spiral out of control if not addressed.

If you have more bills than you have income, here are a few things you can do to get your finances back on track:

         Contact the lender to negotiate a lower interest rate, or lower payment amount.

         Consolidate your debt into one loan, with an overall lower rate on average than what you are paying now on things like credit cards and signature loans, which gives you the ability to make one payment per month instead of several.

         Refinance your home at a lower rate, or longer repayment term so the payment is more manageable.

But perhaps the best option is to file for bankruptcy. Many lenders are unwilling to negotiate on debts that are past due, and will instead charge you late fees and other penalties that can eventually add up to more than the initial balance. Loan consolidation is also tricky because you have to make certain the rate and payment scheme is really lower, looks can be deceiving and you might end up paying more with just one payment than if you stayed the course. And refinancing is always a question mark. Most home lenders will only refinance when the loan payments are current, and if you are behind on payments this will not be an option. The beauty of bankruptcy is that is allows you to get a break from collection calls and lawsuits so you can take stock of your financial picture. Without the harassment, you are better able to get a clear idea of where you want to go, and what is needed to reach your financial goals. Bankruptcy also allows a debtor to eliminate some of their debt, or pay a lower amount than what is owed. The bankruptcy structure is such that when you come out of your case, you will stand on new financial ground and can get a fresh start where your money is concerned.

If you have more questions about bankruptcy or need help deciding what to do about overwhelming debt, contact us at We will help by coming up with solutions that work for you and have multiple locations to meet your needs for office visits.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Do I Have To Reaffirm The Debt On My TV Or Other Appliances?

All it takes is the click of the TV remote, or a quick online session where ads fly like banners across the top of your PC screen to know that when it comes to financing, there are many options and just about any type of product can be paid for over time. We all know that most people buy their cars or homes by taking out a loan and making monthly payments, but there is a growing portion of the population that finances things like TV’s, furniture, and some major appliances. Most furniture stores today have a financing department, and there are even specialty stores where you can buy furniture, a washer and dryer set, or a patio table on credit. When agreeing to this type of financial arrangement, the lender usually retains an interest in the items purchased, until they are paid in full. This is referred to as a security interest, and more specifically a purchase money interest because the money loaned was used to make the purchase. If you file bankruptcy, you might wonder whether you have to keep making these payments or risk having your television or couch repossessed and this can get tricky because this type of lending activity is further broken down into possessory and non-possessory liens.

Most of the items mentioned above fall into the non-possessory category, because the lender does not keep actual possession of the item during the loan repayment period. In order to avoid a lien in these items, and maintain possession of the property you have to show certain things. It can be an uphill battle, and don’t be surprised if you are asked to reaffirm the debt for these things. If you reaffirm, you will be expected to:

         Keep making the payments.

         If the loan is not paid off during your case, you will be required to keep paying even after the case is over because the reaffirmation agreement is like a new contract for the debt.

The upside to all of this is that it is uncommon for a lender with this type of collateral as security to push hard for a reaffirmation agreement to be signed, and they are less likely than other lenders to try and take back the property. Simply put, the value of most of this type of property depreciates so quickly that it is more cost effective for the creditor to write off the debt as a bankrupt debt than to try and repossess your dishwasher. But, if you have concerns about how this will actually play out in your case, contact our office to learn more.
For more information about reaffirmation agreements and what type of property is best suited for a reaffirmation, call us today or reach us online at We have multiple locations to serve you and can schedule a time to meet at the office most convenient for you.

Am I Allowed To Keep My Credit Cards If I File Bankruptcy?

The vast majority of bankruptcy cases are filed due to overwhelming credit card debt. In today’s economy many consumers are forced to resort to use of credit cards just to pay for every day needs, but if you rely on credit too often you will soon run out and find yourself owing more than you can pay. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy will eliminate your high interest rate credit card debt in its entirety, and a Chapter 13 case will allow you to wipe out a portion of this type of debt. But the thought of not having a credit card is scary for those who use them regularly, and a lot of people want to have a credit card at their disposal even if they file bankruptcy and even if the card is only used for an emergency. However, when you file bankruptcy you have to list out all of your debts and most card issuers will not permit you to retain their card if you are discharging the debt that goes along with the card.

Filing bankruptcy is supposed to give you a fresh financial start, which means freeing yourself of the debts you cannot pay. What this allows you to do is to get rid of not only the debt, but also the monthly payment that services the debt. The thought is that if you are no longer required to make a payment, you will have more disposable income to put towards necessities and eliminate the need to use credit. So while a lender is unlikely to let you keep using their credit card after you file bankruptcy, you should come out ahead if you do the following:

         Put aside the monthly payment you were making to the credit card issuer, or at least a part of that payment, so you can build a savings or emergency fund.

         Obtain new credit after your case is over, but refuse to use the card for anything other than an emergency.

If you are considering filing bankruptcy and wonder what this means as far as having credit cards is concerned, call us. Keep in mind you do have to list every creditor you have, and cannot give any one lender preferential treatment over another. What this means is that you cannot pay off a card in the hopes of keeping in the good graces of the creditor, or to keep charging privileges. Life without a credit card can be scary, and we understand those concerns, but life with fewer monthly  bills to pay helps to put these fears to rest.

For more information about what to do with your credit cards if you file bankruptcy, call us today or reach us online at We offer appointments at multiple locations for your convenience and can schedule a time to visit with you today.

Monday, September 12, 2016

The Top Five FAQ About How Bankruptcy Works

iling bankruptcy is financially beneficial, but can also be confusing. The intricacies of the Bankruptcy Code are best left to a professional to interpret, and doing so will result in the best possible outcome for your case. The goal of every case is to obtain a discharge of the debts that are weighing you down, so you can start over with your finances. The right bankruptcy attorney will know how to help you reach this goal, and can also give you advice on how to stay on track with your money so you do not need to file again down the road.

But even if you have decided to file bankruptcy, you may still want to know a little bit about it before it actually happens. Five of the top bankruptcy FAQ’s, and some general information about those questions include:

         Do I have to give back all of my stuff? The answer depends on what you can reasonably afford to keep, and your family’s needs. If you decide to reaffirm a debt, you are allowed to keep the property associated with that debt, but you do have to keep making payments. On the flip side, if you are agreeable to surrendering certain things back to the lender, you can do so and eliminate the debt for the surrendered item.

         Will I still have to pay for my house and/or car? Again, the answer depends on your intentions and your needs. If you intend to remain in your home and/or keep driving your car, you do have to maintain payments. The amount and manner of payment depends on the type of case you file, and in some instances you will be permitted to pay a lower amount than the balance that is owed. This is decided on a case by case basis, and for a thorough analysis of your situation, a complete review by a knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney is required.

         Will my wages still be garnished? No! When you file bankruptcy, collection activity of any type must stop at once.

         How long will my case take? It depends on what type of case you file, and how full of a docket the Court has when your case comes up for review.

         Will I have to go to Court? Most debtors are only required to appear once, at the beginning of their case, for the 341 hearing. After that, most court appearances can be handled by your attorney without your presence being required.

If bankruptcy is the answer for you, call us to find out more. We have helped others get their finances back on track and can help you too!

For help with managing overwhelming debt, contact us at We will help by coming up with solutions that work for you and have multiple locations to meet your needs for office visits.

Friday, September 9, 2016

How Do I Keep My Lenders From Contacting Me After I File Bankruptcy?

For most people who are having a hard time paying their bills, one of the most frustrating parts can be the constant harassment from creditors. But when you file for the protection of bankruptcy, all of your lenders have to stop all contact with you. Unfortunately, we do not live in a perfect world, and not all creditors take heed of the bankruptcy stay, or they receive notice after having placed calls to your home or business, or after having sent you a collection letter or filed a collection lawsuit against you. In many instances all you have to do is advise the collector that bankruptcy has been filed, and the communication will stop. In other cases, though, the lender simply ignores this information and persists in making contact with you.

If you are being contacted by a lender and have filed bankruptcy, you can take action to put an end to the calls and letters. Here are some things you can do to keep a lender from contacting you after you have filed for bankruptcy:

         Refer the caller or agency to your bankruptcy attorney for further communication.

         Provide the date and case number of your bankruptcy filing.

         Make a written request that all communication from the creditor, both written and oral, cease and desist immediately.

If the lender still refuses to cease contact with you, you have the right to sue the lender for damages within your bankruptcy case. The action is referred to as an adversary proceeding, for violating the automatic stay. In cases where a creditor calls you for payment after your bankruptcy case has discharged, you can also file a lawsuit against that lender for bankruptcy law violations. In that instance the action is referred to as a violation of the discharge order. In both instances the lender can be held financially liable for any damages caused to you by their violation, and in the most egregious of cases the lender will have to pay punitive damages. For an in depth analysis of your case, and for advice on how to best proceed against a lender who ignores the law, call us today.

For more information about bankruptcy case, call us today or reach us online at