October 17, 2017

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...]

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...]

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...]

Receivership: North Carolina Bankruptcy Equivalent

While most people have some familiarity with the concept of bankruptcy under federal law, many people are unaware of the concept of receivership under North Carolina law. What is receivership? A federal bankruptcy judge oversees the bankruptcy case, with the help of the Bankruptcy Administrator. In a receivership, the North Carolina court appoints a receiver who is an officer of the court and … [Read more...]

Will Bankruptcy Prevent Me from Getting a Student Loan?

Clients often ask me whether filing a bankruptcy case will affect their eligibility for student loans. Generally, these are parents who plan to seek PLUS loans for their kids’ college educations, but sometimes it is the client who plans to go back to school and needs financial assistance in order to do so. The bankruptcy code is specific The Bankruptcy Code contains a specific provision … [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...]

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...]

Dealing with Creditor Calls at Work

Some of the best advice a bankruptcy attorney can give is about timing: when to file.  In many circumstances, I advise clients to wait until a date certain to file, and to maintain the status quo until then, which often means dealing with a deluge of creditor and bill collector calls until their cases are filed. Don't allow yourself to be railroaded by creditor calls Many clients want and need … [Read more...]