September 23, 2017

Beware Debt Consolidation and Repayment Proposals

In my bankruptcy practice I have dealings with many people who, in response to financial difficulties, have sought help from companies that purport to help settle, consolidate or otherwise manage the debt. By and large, most of these people have learned of these companies from advertising. While there are few legitimate firms that provide these services, most simply draft the debtor’s funds … [Read more...]

How Long Will Creditors Try to Collect on a Judgment?

In my ongoing series of blog posts about debt collection, garnishments, judgments, and how to rebound from financial setbacks I am asked lots of questions. One reader asked what happens when you've proven to the sheriff that all your property is exempt from the judgment. She said, "Do they hawk you for years waiting for your financial situation to improve? What happens if you win the lottery … [Read more...]

Keep Your Car After Bankruptcy

One of the most frequent questions I'm asked of prospective clients who are considering filing a bankruptcy case is whether they will have to resort to public transit. They have the misperception that their cars will automatically be taken in bankruptcy. Let's set the record straight on how to keep your car after bankruptcy. To do so, you must understand the role of "exempt property" in all … [Read more...]

Wage Garnishment in North Carolina: on the way?

In many states, judgment creditors can satisfy judgments by requiring the debtor’s employer to withhold a portion of the debtor’s wages to be applied to the judgment. This has not been the case in North Carolina because North Carolina General Statute §1-362 provided that earnings within 60 days prior to a garnishment order could not be reached by the creditor. This effectively prevented wage … [Read more...]

What Can I Do about a Judgment against Me in NC?

A creditor has obtained a judgment against you. That means that the judgment constitutes a lien on your real estate (land and buildings) in the North Carolina county in which the judgment was obtained and in any North Carolina county into which it has been transcribed. It also means that the judgment creditor can have the sheriff seize personal property—anything other than land or buildings, … [Read more...]

Student Loans: What if I Refuse to Pay?

Much has been said lately about student loans, the high default rate involved with these loans, and the hardship, if not downright misery, that these loans can cause.  Now a new movement is afoot by various groups to refuse to pay student loans.  Given what I perceive to be a growing storm of discontent regarding student loans, I feel that it is now the time for me to express my opinion. To … [Read more...]

What to do When Creditors Call You at Work

Creditors and collection agencies use so-called "robo-dialing" technologies to call debtors at work, home and on their cell phones day after day.  The best advice is to not talk to them, unless you have a proposal for repaying the debt in full. If you have a smart phone, you can set it to "reject" the call, but of course this won't make your debts go away. You can send a cease and desist … [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...]

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...]