November 24, 2017

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...]

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...]

Reaffirmation in Bankruptcy: What, How, When and Why

The goal in any bankruptcy case is to discharge debts. Discharge is the technical legal term that means the debts no longer exist. Literally, they are gone and can never come back. An exception to discharge can come in the form of the reaffirmation of a particular debt. Reaffirmation means that the debt is excepted from the discharge and is not affected by the bankruptcy discharge. Reaffirmation … [Read more...]

Joint Liability for Debts: An FAQ

I am frequently asked whether spouses have joint liability for debts. This FAQ should help readers gain a basic understanding of the issues to consider, but is not a replacement for a qualified bankruptcy attorney's opinion on your specifics. Q: MY HUSBAND HAS SUBSTANTIAL DEBT THAT HE CANNOT PAY. HE NEEDS TO FILE BANKRUPTCY. DO I HAVE TO FILE WITH HIM? A: I have heard this quite often. One … [Read more...]

Chapter 11 Bankruptcy and Religious Institutions

Chapter 11 bankruptcy may offer a long term solution to the problems churches now face in the wake of The Great Recession. While the recession has been painful for millions of individuals and hundreds of thousands businesses, it has also made continued existence a matter of concern for a number of churches and other religious institutions. Unfortunately, the leadership of many religious … [Read more...]

The Means Test Often Decides Whether You File Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

In 2005 the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act (BAPCPA) was signed into law, and continues to be the law applicable to bankruptcies filed on or after October 17, 2005.   BAPCPA was the result of the credit card industry’s lobbying efforts, and reflects the industry’s goal of forcing more debtors to repay something to creditors by disqualifying them from a Chapter 7 with a … [Read more...]