September 24, 2017

Domestic Support Obligations: Is Bankruptcy a way to get Relief ?

This post addresses the situation in which an individual is obligated to pay one or more types of domestic support obligations and cannot do so. What are "domestic support obligations?" They arise in the context of domestic disputes. For the most part, they consist of three things: Alimony which is support that one spouse is required to pay for the support of his or her spouse Child … [Read more...]

Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Primer, Part 2 of 2

While Chapter 11 bankruptcy is not as frequently employed as Chapters 7 and 13 it is appropriate in some circumstances. This post, along with the first part in the series, will answer many frequently-asked questions about Chapter 11. I also recommend downloading my guide to Chapter 11 here. Q: What questions do I ask a prospective Chapter 11 client to determine whether they should “collapse … [Read more...]

What can I do about Student Loans I can’t Repay?

Many of my clients owe tens of thousands of dollars in student loans, either for their own education or their children’s, and this debt can be a real and crushing financial burden. The total outstanding student loan balance is $1.08 trillion. According to Forbes, 11.5% of it is 90+ days delinquent or in default, a number on the rise consistently since 2003. The delinquency rate on student loans … [Read more...]

Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Primer, Part 1 of 2

Chapter 11 bankruptcy cases by large corporations make the news more frequently than smaller companies using Chapter 11, leaving some business owners and nonprofit organizations like churches wondering whether Chapter 11 is an option for them. Chapter 11 is not as straightforward to explain as Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, so I wrote this white paper on Chapter 11 and designed this FAQ: Q: How … [Read more...]

How Much Money Does it Cost to File for Bankruptcy Protection?

Yes, it costs money to file for bankruptcy protection. This post covers court costs and legal fees related to Chapter 7, Chapter 13 and Chapter 11 bankruptcy cases. Too often, I counsel folks who qualify for bankruptcy protection who’ve been spending their money trying to avoid filing. They spend it on so-called debt relief programs; they spend it trying to keep their home out of foreclosure, … [Read more...]

NC Debt Collection: Judicial Procedures

One of the most-searched-for content on my website is "How debts are collected in North Carolina."  In view of this interest in debt collection, I am going to expand on the earlier posts in a series of posts. Two general ways to collect debts There are two general ways to collect debts: Extra-judicial procedures Judicial procedures Extra-judicial procedures involve such things as … [Read more...]

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy for Second Mortgages

Homeowners who are in financial difficulty are well advised to consider a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case as an option when they are current on their first mortgage but are not paying, in full and on time each month, their second mortgage (including a home equity loan or other debt secured by the property). I see situations where people whose incomes have been cut will forego paying the second … [Read more...]

Should I Keep Some of My Debts Out of Bankruptcy?

When people consider filing for bankruptcy protection, they often want to know if they can keep some of their debts out of their bankruptcy estate. In legal terms, this is called "reaffirming a debt." Reaffirmation means that the reaffirmed debt is not discharged in bankruptcy.  In other words, the Debtor voluntarily agrees that the debt will not go away.  Beware reaffirming debts What … [Read more...]

The Perils of a Short Sale, Cash for Keys and Deeds in Lieu

Considering a short sale, deed in lieu or cash-for-keys offer for your underwater home? This week The Charlotte Observer reported that 46.6% of Charlotte homes have "negative equity." Some call this an "underwater mortgage" but no matter your term of choice, it means that homeowners owe more to their mortgage companies than the homes are worth. That same article went on to describe the … [Read more...]

Life After Bankruptcy: How to Rebuild Your Financial Life

Many people can't consider filing for bankruptcy protection until they know what happens after their debts are discharged. They frequently ask everyone (except a bankruptcy attorney) questions like these: "Will I ever qualify for credit again? "How long will it take to get a decent rate on a car loan?" "What's the fastest way to rebuild my credit? What's in the Guide to Life After … [Read more...]