December 15, 2017

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...]

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...]

My Parents’ House is in Foreclosure, What Can I Do?

One of the heartbreaking realities of my practice in insolvency law is getting a phone call from an adult child who has just learned that a credit card company has sued or obtained a judgment against his or her parent, or that their parent’s real estate is in foreclosure because of missed mortgage, HOA or real estate tax payments. In my line of work, it is rare to see a senior citizen with a … [Read more...]

Can my Homeowners Association (HOA) force me into Foreclosure?

This video of a Charlotte, NC family being foreclosed upon by their homeowners association (HOA)  is a cautionary tale illustrating the power of HOAs and is one reason I wrote this . If you are facing a foreclosure by your homeowners association, or are substantially behind on HOA dues and have concerns about how to resolve this, you are not alone and a bankruptcy filing may be a viable … [Read more...]

Bankruptcy and Employment: Can I Lose my Job for Filing Bankruptcy?

In advising people regarding financial difficulties, I am often asked about bankruptcy and the effect that it has on employment, licensing and the like. In other words, a client will ask if bankruptcy will hurt his or her ability to get a job or will his or her employer fire them because I filed bankruptcy?  As to licensing, a contractor may ask about the ability to obtain a contractor’s license … [Read more...]

Tax Debts and Bankruptcy

The automatic extension granted to individual taxpayers just passed, which often brings calls from those who cannot pay their tax debts. As part of my bankruptcy practice, I strive to stay current on North Carolina Department of Revenue (NCDOR) and IRS policies that may affect my clients. A three-point test to discharge income taxes in Chapter 7 bankruptcy In order for income tax debt to be … [Read more...]

Experienced Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Attorney

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 issues with businesses and partnerships that need to be unwound or otherwise dealt with; they often have unpaid tax liabilities with the state and IRS; and they may have a number of mortgaged properties and other assets they … [Read more...]

Chapter 7 Income Tax Relief Difficult for Tardy Filers

People in financial hardship often need income tax relief. Contrary to what many people believe, income taxes can be dis-chargeable in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case.  "Dis-chargeable" means certain income taxes will cease to exist just as other debts. A three-point test to discharge taxes in Chapter 7 bankruptcy In order for tax debt to be dischargeable, the taxes must meet a three-point … [Read more...]

Don’t Try to Hide Your Assets in Bankruptcy

I recently ran across an  article in the  St. Petersburg Times involving a person in a Florida bankruptcy case who scheduled very few assets in his bankruptcy filing but conveniently forgot to tell his attorney about $35,850 in an account that he owned. A sharp-eyed Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustee discovered the account. This resulted in the guy losing his account and being convicted of a federal … [Read more...]