May 28, 2017

Supreme Court Ruling on Lien Stripping

Despite the uptick in the housing market, millions of Americans owe more on their first and second mortgages than their homes are worth. When mortgage balances exceed the value of the home, the home is said to be "underwater." Sometimes the value of the home is sufficient to cover the balance of the first mortgage but not the second. The recent Supreme Court ruling on underwater second … [Read more...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

Creditors and Divorce Agreements

Most married couples incur joint debts during their marriage, meaning that both spouses are liable for the debt.  Here are some general thoughts to consider if you find yourself contemplating, or going through, a bankruptcy and divorce in North Carolina. Creditors don't care about divorce agreements Your creditors are not bound by your separation or divorce agreement with your spouse. Your … [Read more...]