July 24, 2017

Chapter 11 or 13 for Troubled Businesses ?

This month news of an oil and gas producer filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection made news. The reason cited for the financial difficulty is the drop in oil prices, which have have slid some 50 percent since June. My Chapter 11 clients own small to mid-sized businesses, but they have the same problems as bigger companies who need to reorganize under the orderly process of a bankruptcy … [Read more...]

Choosing a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Specialist

Filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case isn’t as straightforward as a Chapter 7 case. I usually find that my Charlotte area clients who need Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection have complex issues to resolve including: Businesses and partnerships that need to be unwound or otherwise dealt with Unpaid tax liabilities with the state and IRS A number of mortgaged properties and other assets they … [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...]

Is Bankruptcy Right For Me? Questions to Ask Yourself

There are some things regarding family finances that serve as a warning that the family should take a good hard look at their financial situation and determine how to remedy the situation.  I have listed some of these below.  If your family has had one or more of these happen, do not put off addressing what may be in your financial future. 1.  There are months in which there is not enough money … [Read more...]

Can I Go Bankrupt Without My Spouse?

Can one spouse file a bankruptcy case without the other spouse?  The answer is "yes." Who is an "authorized user" on the account? It is common these days for one spouse to generally be unable to pay their debts as they become due, while the other spouse is not liable for those debts. In this regard it is important to understand the  concept of “authorized user." Just because the spouse’s name … [Read more...]

Reorganizing a Business with Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

My typical Chapter 11 client is a small to mid-sized, closely held and viable business with cash flow problems. The business offers either goods or services that are in demand,but needs to be reorganized in an orderly manner instead of haphazardly responding to creditor demands. The source of the financial problems varies; common problems include the decline of the housing market, growth and … [Read more...]

Bankruptcy Without an Attorney

Unfortunately for those in financial hardship, filing for bankruptcy protection isn't free.  Too often, I counsel people who need bankruptcy protection who haven't saved the money for the court costs or attorney fees. And sometimes, I meet with new clients who may have been able to save a troubled business if they’d just gotten some legal advice earlier rather than later. This is usually because … [Read more...]

Marital Property and Bankruptcy: Allocating Exempt Property

Each state has different laws on what is recognized as exempt property, that is, property that is out of the reach of creditors (including bankruptcy trustees). Further, there are federal exemptions. I wrote about this extensively and you may find it helpful reading. Here's the kind of question that occasionally comes up when we counsel a married couple about bankruptcy. Q: The exempt … [Read more...]

Help Homeowners Facing Foreclosure: Part Three of Three

In my first post of this series we covered how foreclosure works, step by step, and defined some basic real estate terms related to distressed sales. In the second post, we answered questions on preventing foreclosure, negotiating with a mortgage company, and what to do about an adjustable rate mortgage that will soon reset. This post addresses questions on short sales and sifting through … [Read more...]

I’ll Just Ignore the Certified Letters

Some people think they can tie their creditors' hands by ignoring requests for payment or by contesting their debts with a credit bureau. They also call my office for help cleaning up their credit reports, which is not a service I offer. If you wish to dispute an entry to your credit report, I suggest you use this letter guide, provided courtesy of the Consumer Credit Counseling Service of … [Read more...]