We represent clients for Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 consumer bankruptcy filings in North Carolina. You’ll work hand in hand with your bankruptcy attorney to gather information and file your bankruptcy petition. We’re with you every step of the way.

If you’d like a FREE bankruptcy consultation, simply fill out this Consultation Form, and we will contact you today. Or, if you’re ready to speak with an attorney, call 704.749.7747. The bankruptcy consultation only takes 20-30 minutes.

Bankruptcy Is Your Shield

Bankruptcy is not a sign of failure. Bankruptcy is not an admission of giving up. In fact, when you decide you’re going to file a bankruptcy, you’re taking control of your situation. So, if bankruptcy isn’t these things, then what is it?

Bankruptcy Is Powerful Relief

Bankruptcy is relief. Bankruptcy is an agreement between you and your creditors. And for once you have some control over the terms. The reason you have control is that you have rights in bankruptcy, and those rights are granted under the federal bankruptcy code. They entitle you to relief in exchange for openness and honesty about your financial situation. If you have nothing to hide, you have everything to gain: peace of mind, financial stability, and a bright future for you and your family.

When Bankruptcy Makes Sense

Our goal is to help you get back on track financially. Quite often bankruptcy makes sense as the most effective tool to accomplish this goal. It’s much more powerful than debt settlement and in our opinion it’s a FAIR arrangement. After all, most clients have been paying their creditors faithfully for years, only to barely make a dent in what is owed. You deserve better.

Bankruptcy “Guilt”

It’s amazing how many clients feel obligated to their creditors. That’s because they are good people who want to live up to their promises. In this case, the promise to repay a loan or a debt. The fact is, when your creditor initially loans money, they are aware a certain percentage of those loans will not be paid back. They build that into their profit model. We can assure you, your creditors will be fine. Bankruptcy is a choice to shift the focus from your creditors to yourself and your family. What could be more important than that?

Chapter 7 or Chapter 13

A Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a liquidation of assets which are then distributed to creditors. The good news is it’s very rare in my experience to actually have any assets liquidated. The bankruptcy code provides protections or “exemptions” for vehicles, homes, household goods, business “tools of the trade,” and other items. Typically, clients can protect all of their belongings when filing a Chapter 7.

A Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a good option for clients who have too many assets to entirely protect, or too much income to file a Chapter 7. It represents a partial repayment to creditors and strikes a balance between having the ability to pay SOMETHING, but not having the ability to pay what creditors are demanding.

Finding A Bankruptcy Attorney

The key to a successful relationship with a bankruptcy attorney is finding someone who is available, knowledgeable, and eager to fight for you. Bankruptcy attorneys often break the stereotype we typically hold of attorneys. We practice bankruptcy law because we feel like we are helping. It’s rewarding to see bankruptcy clients experience immediate relief—all in exchange for following the rules of the bankruptcy code. Call 704.749.7747 today to speak to a Charlotte Bankruptcy attorney today. Or click HERE to request  call.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below, you’ll find answers to Frequently Asked Questions. You can click on this link to read ALL Bankruptcy Articles archived on this site.

Do I File Chapter 7 or Chapter 13?

Short Answer: If your income and assets don’t push you into a Chapter 13, and if you’re not behind on a house or car that you want to keep, you can file a Chapter 7. Otherwise, you and your bankruptcy attorney will discuss filing a Chapter 13.

Longer Answer: Both a Chapter 7 and a Chapter 13 are available to most bankruptcy clients. The primary difference between the two chapters is a Chapter 7 is shorter and does not require paying creditors anything, while a Chapter 13 runs the course of a few years and does include a small payment to your creditors. While you may be ‘forced’ to file a Chapter 13 if your income or assets exceed the allowable amounts in bankruptcy under the Means Test, you may also choose to file a Chapter 13 to force your creditors to let you get caught up on mortgage payments, car payments, and taxes.

Additional Reading: Which Chapter To File

Can I Keep My Home/Car In Bankruptcy?

Short Answer: Yes.

Longer Answer: The bankruptcy code is written to allow generous exemptions for the debtor. What this means is that the court is not looking to take everything you own. Some exemptions can be applied to specific items, for instance a home or car, while other exemptions can be used anywhere you need them. Generally speaking, you get to keep up to $35,000 of equity in your home, and a minimum of $3,500 of equity in a vehicle. A good working definition of equity is the blue book value minus the existing balance on the debt.

Read More: Bankruptcy Exemptions

What Does It Cost To File Bankruptcy?

Our firm is extremely competitive in our pricing for bankruptcy filings. We also make the cost a bit more manageable by accepting an initial deposit to start working on your bankruptcy filing. We will continue to work with you until we are ready to file– at that time, as soon as we receive final payment we can file the bankruptcy.

A Chapter 7 filing requires the entire fee to be paid any time prior to filing the case. A Chapter 13, while more expensive than a Chapter 7, allows for a smaller up front fee, with the remainder of the fee to be paid over the course of the Chapter 13 payments.

If you would like a fee quote for a bankruptcy it’s as simple as calling and asking. You can reach us at 704.749.7747. Or you can email chris@thelaytonlawfirm.com and put “Fee Quote” in the subject of your email. We will respond with a quote for a Chapter 7 and a Chapter 13.

Read More: Chapter 7, Chapter 13

When Will My Creditors Stop Calling Me?

Short Answer: Immediately!

Longer Answer: As soon as you file your bankruptcy, the federal court sends notice to all of your creditors you listed in your bankruptcy petition. It takes a few days for them to receive the notice, but if they attempt to contact you to collect on a bill after they receive it, they are in violation of the Automatic Stay in bankruptcy. As long as your bankruptcy case stays active, they are not allowed to contact you. Once you receive your discharge, the debt no longer exists so they will not make attempts to collect on it.

Read More: Automatic Stay

How Long Does Bankruptcy Take?

In a Chapter 7, you file your bankruptcy with your attorney, and about 40 days later you will have a short meeting at the courthouse. Your attorney will attend with you, and the meeting only lasts a few minutes. About 60 days after the meeting, you should receive your discharge and the case will be closed. There are exceptions, but that is generally how long a Chapter 7 takes.

In a Chapter 13, you file bankruptcy with your attorney, and have your meeting about 40 days later. A Chapter 13 is different however, in that you have an ongoing monthly payment in Chapter 13. As a result, your bankruptcy is typically open for 36 to 60 months, depending upon the length of the plan you and your attorney file. After the final payment, you’ll receive your discharge.

Will People Know I Filed Bankruptcy?

Technically, a bankruptcy filing is public. Practically speaking, unless someone goes down to the courthouse to search your name, they will not know you filed bankruptcy. It is not published in the newspaper or any other publication. Your creditors will be notified that you filed bankruptcy. It will be up to you whether to tell friends and family about your bankruptcy. If you do, you may be surprised to find one or more of them have filed bankruptcy in the past as well. It’s not as uncommon as you might think.

What Is A Bankruptcy Consultation?

A bankruptcy consultation is a conversation between you and the attorney. You can have your consultation over the phone or in person. During the consultation, you and the attorney will discuss your situation and the attorney will help you better understand the options you have. The goal is to answer your questions and help you decide on your next step. There is no pressure to move forward. The consultation is about helping you, it’s not about the law firm.

Next Step: Request A Consultation

Bankruptcy Related Articles

Can I Keep Credit Cards In Bankruptcy

The answer is NO, you can’t keep credit cards in bankruptcy. But there’s good news, too. Keep reading. When you file your bankruptcy, you’re only required to notify your creditors with whom you carry a balance. However, even credit card companies you have a zero balance with will be notified of the bankruptcy filing. They…

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Bonus In Bankruptcy – Can I Keep It?

Can I Keep My Bonus In Bankruptcy? If you are paid a commission or bonus through your employer, a key question when filing bankruptcy is whether you can keep your bonus when you file a bankruptcy. If certain factors are met, the answer is yes, you can keep your bonus in bankruptcy. Our firm litigated…

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Personal Injury Passenger Claim

If you’re a passenger in a car accident, and if you suffer injuries, you most likely have a right to a personal injury passenger claim. Your personal injury lawyer will work to establish liability with an insurance carrier for either your driver or another driver. Once liability is established, your personal injury lawyer will negotiate…

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Your Credit Score After Bankruptcy

Your Credit Score After Bankruptcy

If you call for a bankruptcy consultation, part of that phone call will be a discussion regarding your credit score after bankruptcy. There is plenty of good news regarding your credit score after bankruptcy. This article will help you distinguish between fact and myth. Your Credit Score After Bankruptcy Will Not Be Ruined Generally, your…

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Reaffirmation Agreement

Reaffirmation Agreements In Chapter 7

When you file your Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, you will have to declare on your Statement of Intention form, whether you plan to reaffirm certain debts. When you sign a Reaffirmation Agreement, you are simply recommitting to the debt associated with property. This property can be your vehicle or your home. Whether you should sign a…

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Frozen Bank Accounts

Will The Bank Freeze My Bank Accounts In Bankruptcy?

One major concern when filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the potential for your bank to freeze your bank accounts. This article addresses the reasons why a bank might freeze your bank accounts, and how to avoid it. Why Will The Bank Freeze My Bank Accounts? Generally, when you take out a debt with a bank,…

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Charlotte Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Charlotte Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

The purpose of this article is to discuss filing a Charlotte Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Our firm is located in SouthPark in Charlotte, NC and we serve the Charlotte Division of the Western District of North Carolina. The Need You’ve probably tried debt settlement, negotiating with creditors, and finally, you’ve threatened bankruptcy. Unfortunately, not much works…

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Writ Of Execution

The purpose of this article is to explain the effect of a writ of execution, and help you understand your options which include filing bankruptcy. Your Pain If you’ve received a writ of execution, it’s because a creditor has a judgment against you and is trying to collect on that judgment. The writ of execution…

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student loans in bankruptcy

Does Bankruptcy Cover Student Loans?

No, bankruptcy does not cover student loans. Well, at least bankruptcy does not “get rid of” student loans. This is the starting point in the discussion regarding student loans and bankruptcy. While that answer is not attractive, most clients find that filing a bankruptcy provides them with the relief they need from other debt such…

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Paying For Bankruptcy

Paying For Your Bankruptcy

I’ve always found that paying for your bankruptcy makes an otherwise difficult financial time even more… difficult. Fortunately, if you’re able to put together the funds for bankruptcy, you will experience immediate financial relief upon filing, as your creditors are no longer allowed to attempt to collect on debts. We understand the difficulty associated with…

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pedestrian injuries

Pedestrian Injuries and Personal Injury Claims

School is back in session, which means more kids in the streets. Pedestrian injuries occur daily here in Charlotte, NC, and our firm regularly represents injured pedestrians in cases and claims against the drivers who hit them. According to a recent study like the one published by the Governors Highway Safety Association, pedestrian fatalities in…

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Paying For Your Charlotte Bankruptcy

I speak with clients every day who want to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Charlotte, NC but don’t have the money in hand to pay an attorney. That’s one of the challenges of paying for your Charlotte bankruptcy—if you need to file bankruptcy, you’re short on cash to begin with. We try to be…

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Debt Settlement

Debt settlement and bankruptcy go hand in hand. As a result, I routinely speak with clients about pursuing both options, depending upon the specific circumstances.  Depending upon the client’s needs, we may choose to pursue debt settlement over bankruptcy. My goal in each of those conversations with a client is to understand what’s at stake…

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Chapter 7 — Qualifying For Bankruptcy

One of the myths around qualifying for bankruptcy is that if you make more than a certain amount of income you cannot file. The truth is whether you qualify for bankruptcy is typically determined by examining both your income and your debts and expenses, as a whole. If you make less than the median income…

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Filing an Elderly Bankruptcy

While there is not a bankruptcy filing specific to elderly individuals, filing an “elderly bankruptcy” is something to consider if you’re entering into your golden years with considerable debt. Most elderly individuals are living on a fixed income without a significant ability to repay creditors. While younger individuals can look forward to increasing their income…

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Credit Cards After Filing Bankruptcy

It makes sense to me that clients ask questions about obtaining credit cards after filing bankruptcy. After all, a credit card is a great resource for emergency situations, and the reality of life is we don’t always have money on hand that we need for purchases today. And yes, obtaining credit cards after filing bankruptcy…

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Bankruptcy Requirements In North Carolina

One of the things I enjoy most about practicing bankruptcy law is that most clients have no problem meeting the requirements for filing bankruptcy. When clients realize this, the relief I see on their faces, or hear on the other end of the phone means they are one step closer to leaving financial stresses behind.…

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Debt Settlement or Bankruptcy

Many of my conversations with bankruptcy clients begin as discussions about potential debt settlement. Clients have a desire not only to avoid bankruptcy if possible, but also to repay whatever amount of their debt they are able, through debt settlement. Unfortunately, this option is rarely successful. Settling A Debt Essentially, the debt that exists between…

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How Does Bankruptcy Affect My Spouse?

Generally speaking, your bankruptcy will not affect your spouse. In some instances, on joint debt, your spouse may benefit from the automatic stay in bankruptcy, but otherwise, your spouse will not be affected. Credit Score Filing bankruptcy will affect your credit score. If your spouse doesn’t file bankruptcy, his or her credit score will not…

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The Costs of Bankruptcy

Any good bankruptcy attorney should make sure to have a conversation with you about bankruptcy costs. As a bankruptcy attorney in Charlotte, I spend a good bit of time each day speaking with individuals trying to decide whether to file bankruptcy. We discuss both the financial costs of bankruptcy, as well as any intangible costs…

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Preferences In Bankruptcy

Prior to filing a bankruptcy, you have to disclose any payments you’ve made to creditors over the last 90 days, totaling over $600.00. The reason for this requirement is that the bankruptcy court wants to be sure one creditor hasn’t received more than its fair share over another creditor, as bankruptcy was approaching. Clients often…

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Bankruptcy and Property Transfers

First, it’s important to know that intentionally defrauding your creditors by transferring property can result in the bankruptcy court denying your discharge. That being said, there are many valid reasons and conditions for transferring property—if you can show the bankruptcy trustee that you received fair market value for your property transfer, or that the transfer…

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Missing Payments In Chapter 13

It is not uncommon for clients to miss a Chapter 13 payment for one reason or another. Just because you’re in a bankruptcy doesn’t mean life stops throwing you curve balls. Clients often have vehicle repairs that need to be done, or emergency visits to the doctor—any numerous financial surprises can get in the way…

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IRA or Retirement Withdrawals in Bankruptcy

One critical part of qualifying for bankruptcy in Charlotte, North Carolina is disclosing to the court your average income over the past six months, as well as your Current Monthly Income. Many individuals filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 are using regular retirement withdrawals, to meet monthly debt obligations. Generally speaking, those withdrawals need…

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Can I File Bankruptcy in Charlotte, North Carolina?

As a Charlotte bankruptcy attorney, that’s a question I get asked quite often. Charlotte, North Carolina has a divisional federal bankruptcy as part of the Western District of North Carolina. In order to file bankruptcy in the Charlotte, North Carolina division, you must meet the domicile requirements set forth by the federal bankruptcy rules. Determining…

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Elderly Bankruptcy Options

A recent New York Times article regarding elderly bankruptcy makes some important points for those entering their ‘twilight years’ while facing financial difficulty. While there are no special considerations given to the elderly or senior citizens considering bankruptcy, the primary focus on the article is retirement funds. When individuals reach the age of retirement, outside…

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Can I Keep My Home In Bankruptcy

Yes. In fact, while you can most often keep a home in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy has as one of its best qualities, the ability to get ‘caught up’ on your mortgage over time. My Home In Chapter 7 In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you can keep your home provided you…

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Tax Returns and Bankruptcy

It’s that time of year again. My office receives numerous emails and phone calls each week specifically asking about tax returns and bankruptcy. Mainly, clients want to know whether they can file bankruptcy prior to getting a tax refund, and whether they will lose their tax refund if they file bankruptcy. Filing Bankruptcy Before You…

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Tax Refunds In Bankruptcy

There are two concerns regarding tax refunds in bankruptcy. Depending upon whether you are in a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13, those concerns are slightly different. Chapter 7 Tax Refund Already Received—A tax refund you have already received prior to filing, but have not yet spent, is part of the bankruptcy estate and treated…

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Exemptions In Bankruptcy

Exemptions in bankruptcy are used to protect property that the client owns or recently sold or transferred. Planning to use exemptions in bankruptcy may dictate waiting a little bit to file, depending upon the value of the asset or the type of transfer that was made. Exemption planning is perfectly legal and is akin to…

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Keeping Your Car In Bankruptcy

Keeping your car in bankruptcy is important, especially if it’s a reliable car and you’re looking forward to the day you pay it off. Fortunately, the rules of bankruptcy typically allow for you to keep your vehicle and successfully file a bankruptcy. Valuing The Car Your bankruptcy attorney may ask you to take your car…

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Withdrawals From IRA or Pension Plans

While a withdrawal from a pension plan or IRA may be taxable income, they typically do not cause a problem in filing a bankruptcy. Regarding whether continued withdrawals should be included in income in a Chapter 13, clients can argue that the remaining retirement funds are needed for retirement. Disclosure Is Key The balance of…

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Debt Collectors Arrested

In a story published by CNN here, it is being reported that the federal government is wielding a heavy hand when it comes to debt collectors. As a Charlotte bankruptcy attorney, I often hear the horror stories clients have regarding debt collectors. Too many times, clients are bullied into making payments on a debt based…

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Co-Debtors And The Automatic Stay

Clients frequently ask about what happens to their co-debtors in a bankruptcy. Fortunately, debtors and co-debtors benefit from the automatic stay in bankruptcy. There are a few considerations regarding co-debtors discussed below. Co-Debtors And Obligations On The Debt When you file bankruptcy, you are addressing your individual indebtedness. If you have a co-debtor on a…

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Keeping A Business In A Chapter 7

Many clients of mine are small business owners. While they are facing difficult financial times now, their hope is that their small business will turn the corner and turn a profit down the road. While every case is unique, typically, you can keep a small business in a Chapter 7. Small Business Treatment In Bankruptcy…

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The Benefits of Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

If you are considering filing bankruptcy, your attorney should discuss both Chapter 7 bankruptcy and Chapter 13 bankruptcy with you. While both result in a discharge, the paths taken to get there are quite different. A Chapter 7 is a fast, clear-cut discharge of debt, while a Chapter 13 bankruptcy involves the confirmation of a…

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How Long Does Bankruptcy Take?

Clients are entitled to clear expectations about the time frame for preparing and filing a bankruptcy. So when clients ask “How long does bankruptcy take?” I usually summarize with the information below. While there are some exceptions, the following timeline is intended to create clarity for both the client and the bankruptcy lawyer, as to…

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Same Sex Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy for same sex couples in North Carolina has caused some concern for same sex couples, bankruptcy trustees and bankruptcy attorneys due to the conflicting nature of federal and state laws. However, the good news is that attorneys and same sex couples can move forward with a bankruptcy plan with confidence in Charlotte, NC. The…

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Keep Your Home In Bankruptcy

As a Charlotte bankruptcy attorney, one common fear I encounter related to filing bankruptcy is the fear of being able to keep your home in bankruptcy. Fortunately, for most clients, there is a bankruptcy option which allows them to keep their home and still receive the benefit of a discharge of numerous debts. In a…

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Taxes in Bankruptcy

I get questions almost daily about whether taxes owed can be included in a bankruptcy. Now that the filing date for 2013 taxes has passed, it seems a good time to review the basic considerations. Chapter 7 In a Chapter 7, you can include taxes in bankruptcy and receive a discharge for those taxes, if…

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Loans From Family Members In Bankruptcy

There is nothing wrong with having loans from family members and choosing to filing bankruptcy. Your Charlotte bankruptcy attorney can help you sort through the details, but here are a few basics. Bankruptcy Is Designed To Treat All Creditors Fairly To this end, the bankruptcy trustee is interesting in knowing if you’ve recently re-paid any…

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Personal Injury Awards In Bankruptcy

If you have an ongoing personal injury lawsuit, or a potential personal injury lawsuit, you must disclose it when filing your bankruptcy. This does not mean you will lose the personal injury awards in bankruptcy. If your injury occurs after filing your bankruptcy, generally the lawsuit and any award you may receive from it are…

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Bankruptcy And Tax Refunds

Bankruptcy and tax refunds go hand in hand. Each year, individuals find themselves in the unique position of being able to catch up on bills with a tax refund. While this is an admirable way to spend your tax refund, you might consider using the tax refund to file a bankruptcy and eliminate those debts…

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Filing Bankruptcy In Charlotte

Federal bankruptcy laws determine whether filing bankruptcy in Charlotte is appropriate. More specifically, this is the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of North Carolina, Charlotte office . 180 Days Test Generally, a bankruptcy case (except a case under chapter 15) may be filed in any federal district court containing the debtor’s “domicile, residence,…

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Married Couples Filing Bankruptcy

There are numerous reasons why married couples filing bankruptcy need to consider their options. A Charlotte bankruptcy lawyer can assist you with clarifying your objectives, and then analyzing the choices for filing. Here is a very brief overview: Avoid Bankruptcy Altogether I speak with individuals every day who are facing issues with one creditor, or…

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Professionals Are Not Immune To Bankruptcy

The stereotypes and myths around bankruptcy often serve as a barrier for deserving people who need to file. The fact is that whether you’re a school teacher, hospital employee, doctor, or lawyer, economic difficulties which can’t be offset by income lend themselves to considering filing bankruptcy. Increasingly, like all U.S. workers, we see that professionals…

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Automatic Stay Violation

An automatic stay violation in bankruptcy often gives rise to a cause of action for the debtor. When you file bankruptcy, the automatic stay affords you protection from creditor attempts to collect on debts until the automatic stay ends. This includes phone calls, mailings or any other communication requesting payment. In some limited cases, an…

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Student Loans In Bankruptcy

While student loans are generally not dischargeable in bankruptcy, the filing of a Chapter 13 bankruptcy can assist greatly in managing payments on student loans. For this reason, if you have a legitimate need for filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, consider that while student loans in bankruptcy are not dischargeable, they will be affected. Active…

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Median Income and Bankruptcy

Whether you qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a function of median income as well as the Means Test. Let’s start by looking at median income. This is a standard used to determine if you automatically qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If your median income for your household size is less than the median…

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Small Business Bankruptcy

Most small business owners have to take a risk to get started. You need equipment or money before you can make money. When the income is outweighed by the debt, you may find yourself facing a small business bankruptcy. Despite what you’ve read about filing business bankruptcy, you can quite often accomplish the same result…

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Multiple Bankruptcy Filings

Filing bankruptcy more than once is not anyone’s goal, but if you meet certain requirements you can successfully file a second bankruptcy. This article outlines some requirements for multiple bankruptcy filings. Timing Limits Know that when time limits are discussed in this article, unless otherwise specified, they are referring to the discharge date of the…

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Wage Garnishment In North Carolina

In North Carolina, wage garnishment is strictly limited. The instances in which your wages can be garnished are primarily: federal student loan debt, alimony, child support, taxes, overpayment of unemployment benefits, and ambulance services. A Charlotte bankruptcy lawyer can guide you through the rules and help you determine your rights. Limitations On Wage Garnishment Amounts…

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Bankruptcy Fees In Charlotte, NC

Bankruptcy fees should be clear and easy to understand. If you’re in or near Charlotte, NC and considering hiring a bankruptcy lawyer, there are many qualified attorneys who can assist. Regardless of which bankruptcy attorney you choose to represent you, I encourage you to find an attorney who you feel is suited to your needs,…

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File Bankruptcy?! But I’d Feel Bad Doing That!

When it comes to deciding whether to file bankruptcy, my job is to help you put emotions to the side and focus on what’s truly important: your health and  your family’s health. Here are three great reasons to file bankruptcy. You Have The Right To File – Much like taking a tax deduction, the federal…

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Healthcare Costs Affecting Charlotte Employees

If we know one thing about the Affordable Healthcare Act, it is that people disagree on it. This is an argument that happens at the political level. However, as a bankruptcy attorney in Charlotte, NC what is quickly becoming obvious is that employers are responding to the expected changes. With healthcare costs affecting Charlotte employees…

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Judgment Liens In Bankruptcy

Judgment liens in bankruptcy have special treatment. Clients in bankruptcy have the reasonable goal of discharging both their debt and the judgment associated with it. In many cases, this can be accomplished. What Is A Judgment Lien? A judgment in our context is a court order declaring that a debtor officially owes a creditor. Judgments…

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Documents Required For Bankruptcy

Financial pressure is overwhelming enough, without the added task of compiling endless documents required for bankruptcy. Fortunately, with the help of electronic communications and software advances, you can find out quickly and easily whether you qualify for a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. For simplicity sake, here are the next steps to determine whether…

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Putting An End To Collections Calls

Clients considering a bankruptcy filing all want to know the same thing: how do I put a stop to collections calls? The answer is that filing bankruptcy will legally put a stop to all attempts at collecting, whether by phone or mail. In the meantime, here are five things you should know about your rights…

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Charlotte Bankruptcy Fees

As a Charlotte bankruptcy attorney, I often discus fees with potential clients. I gladly give my potential clients my fee for a Charlotte bankruptcy, and encourage them to call other law firms to ask about fees. It matters a great deal to me that clients end up with an attorney they like, and one whose…

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Complimentary Estate Planning Package

Caring for clients means assisting with existing problems and preventing future problems. Most of my bankruptcy clients do not have a Will or any other estate planning documents. While I do not recommend a Will or Estate Planning package for all individuals, if you have minor children you need both. Choose Us For Bankruptcy, We’ll…

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Business Bankruptcy – Charlotte, NC

It’s not uncommon for small business owners to find themselves in a position to file a business bankruptcy. My experience helping clients who are small business owners file a business bankruptcy, is that most of these individuals are able to accomplish the necessary debt relief through a personal bankruptcy (Chapter 7 or Chapter 13). Business…

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Alternatives To Bankruptcy

Yes, there are alternatives to bankruptcy. It would be convenient for bankruptcy attorneys to forget them, but the goal is to help an individual recover financially—whether through bankruptcy or an alternative to bankruptcy. Your Charlotte bankruptcy lawyer can help you sort through the options.   Credit Counseling A credit counseling service is one way to…

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Kodak Re-Invents Itself Through Bankruptcy

An article on ABCnews.com today announces that Kodak will re-invent itself through bankruptcy. If you’re like me, you grew up knowing Kodak as a giant in all things photography. Times have obviously changed, and Kodak pursued bankruptcy. The company has been in bankruptcy for the past year. The announcement indicates that Kodak will exit bankruptcy…

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Unmarried Couples Filing Bankruptcy

While you are entitled to file bankruptcy as an individual, the Means Test takes into consideration unmarried couples filing bankruptcy. The Means Test is the guide used to determine whether you qualify for bankruptcy, and it incorporates the income of your household. This is neither good or bad, it’s just something your Charlotte bankruptcy attorney…

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Student Loans In Bankruptcy

The general rule is that student loans are not dischargeable in either a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Understandably, this is disappointing to most individuals considering filing a bankruptcy, because student loans often represent a large monthly burden contributing to the need to file. This rule applies to both federal and private student…

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Chapter 13 Payments In A Charlotte Bankruptcy

When you file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Charlotte or anywhere in the Western District of North Carolina, you make regular payments to the bankruptcy trustee for the duration of your plan. While it may sound counter-intuitive to make payments in a bankruptcy, your Chapter 13 payment each month replaces your mortgage payment, credit card…

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Charlotte, NC Mortgage Modification Failures

The Charlotte Observer posted this article today reporting that home loans serviced by Bank of America and Wells Fargo, which received more than $200 million in taxpayer funds for modification, have gone into default. It’s not just Bank of America and Wells Fargo, though. Borrowers across the country working with HAMP servicers account for $815…

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Documents Needed For A Charlotte Bankruptcy

Nobody likes paperwork. My goal as your bankruptcy lawyer is to not let paperwork get in the way of you getting your bankruptcy filed. The goal is to move you forward, not weigh you down with endless tasks. For that reason, my clients and I do as much of the work as possible electronically. Moving…

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What Is Bankruptcy Court

The bankruptcy court is a part of the federal district court in each judicial district. If you’re filing a bankruptcy in Charlotte, North Carolina, you file in the Western District of North Carolina. The bankruptcy court examines (in both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy) the bankruptcy estate of the petitioner. The bankruptcy estate is…

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Writ Of Execution – What You Need To Know

Many of my daily phone calls come on the heels of an individual receiving a Writ Of Execution. Here are some general questions I answer freely on those calls, and some guidelines to help you protect your property if you receive a writ of execution.   Does The Sheriff Just Show Up At My House?…

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Building Your Credit After Bankruptcy

How Bankruptcy Affects Your Credit Score Filing a successful bankruptcy solves more problems than it creates. That being said, most clients have immediate questions about their credit score. Depending upon your credit score prior to filing the bankruptcy, here’s what you can expect: My Credit Score After Bankruptcy Immediately Following The Bankruptcy Apply for credit.…

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Bankruptcy What Is It?

Bankruptcy is not a sign of failure. Bankruptcy is not an admission of giving up. In fact, when you decide you’re going to file a bankruptcy—in North Carolina or anywhere else—you’re taking control of your situation. So, if bankruptcy isn’t these things, then what is it? What Bankruptcy Really Is Bankruptcy is relief. Bankruptcy is…

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Bankruptcy and Judgments or Judgment Liens

There are many types of debt and many stages of relationships that exist between debtors and creditors. When a creditor in North Carolina obtains a judgment or judgment lien against a debtor, that lien will attach to certain property owned by the debtor. Filing Before Judgment Ideally, you file bankruptcy before a debt goes to…

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Keeping Property In A Charlotte Bankruptcy

When you file a bankruptcy petition for Chapter 7 in Charlotte, NC (The Western District of NC), you state your intention as to certain property. This includes homes and vehicles with existing loans, leases, and even cell phone contracts. In most cases, you have a choice as to whether to turn over the property in…

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Keeping Your Car In A Charlotte Bankruptcy

The fear of losing a car in bankruptcy is just one more myth about bankruptcy that continues to keep people in need, from finding out about their options. While not every Charlotte bankruptcy client of mine can keep their vehicle in a Chapter 7, the chance is extremely high that you can. If you can’t…

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Addressing Property Taxes In Bankruptcy

Property taxes are treated as priority debt in a bankruptcy, but very rarely cause a problem for clients filing a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, so long as action is taken before the taxing authority takes aggressive steps to  collect on the debt. Most clients easily grasp the concept of secured debt vs. unsecured…

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Who Will Notify My Creditors About My Bankruptcy Filing?

Who notifies creditors about the bankruptcy filing? The Bankruptcy Court. The most common way that creditors find out about the bankruptcy filing is from a letter directly from the clerk of the United States Bankruptcy Court.  All creditors listed in your bankruptcy schedules will receive notice of the filing. The form of the letter is…

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Protecting Property From Creditors

Whether you are getting harassing phone calls from creditors, or you’re being sued by them, by taking the right steps now, you can maximize the property you can protect. We have all heard rumors about changing the names on the deed of the house, or transferring title to a vehicle out of your name, but…

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Bank Account Levy and Wage Garnishment

When a creditor obtains a judgment against you, there is a potential they will levy your bank account or garnish your wages. This makes an already difficult financial time exponentially more frustrating. What Is A Bank Levy? A bank levy is when a creditor with a judgment is given access to—and takes—your existing funds in…

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Is My Retirement or 401k Protected In Bankruptcy?

Yes. There are exceptions, but generally speaking your retirement funds are protected from creditors in a bankruptcy. This is why it’s so important to take action and consider bankruptcy before depleting retirement accounts to manage bills. A Charlotte bankruptcy attorney can assist in determining whether your funds are protected, but here are some general rules:…

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Is The Sheriff Coming To My House?

After a creditor obtains a judgment against you, they will naturally try to collect on that judgment. This means there’s a chance the Sheriff is going to make an appearance at your home on behalf of the creditor. But there are ways to protect your property. Typically, the history to this point is as follows:…

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Short Sale After Bankruptcy

Clients who surrender their home or condominium in bankruptcy are often approached by the mortgage lender or a realtor, about doing a short sale. For most, this is confusing. The property was given back to the mortgage lender in bankruptcy, so why is the homeowner being asked to participate in a short sale? Post-Bankruptcy Obligations…

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Can I Get A Credit Card After Bankruptcy?

Yes. In fact, it’s the best way to rebuild your credit after filing bankruptcy. Because your income to debt ratio will be healthy after filing bankruptcy, you’ll find you receive offers for credit cards a month or two after filing. While you will eventually be able to get a traditional credit card at a normal…

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My Credit Score After Bankruptcy

I understand my clients’ concerns about their credit score when considering filing bankruptcy. It’s hard to predict exactly what your credit score will be after filing bankruptcy but here are some guidelines and a few things to think about. Your Current Credit Score If your current credit score is in the low 600’s, you can…

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Can I Be Fired For Filing Bankruptcy?

When considering filing a personal bankruptcy, some clients are concerned about whether they will be able to get a job in finance, post-bankruptcy. Additionally, some jobs require bonding, which protects the employer against acts of the employee. You Can’t Be Fired For Filing Bankruptcy Here’s good news. Your employer is not permitted to fire you…

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Can I Get My Repossessed Car Back?

Yes. Even if your vehicle was repossessed prior to you filing bankruptcy. Federal law allows an individual who has filed bankruptcy to to compel the creditor (or collection agency) to return possession of the property. The reason is two-fold. First, the bankruptcy estate of the individual filing has been determined to include items the individual…

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How Do I Pay For Bankruptcy

When you don’t have enough money to pay creditors, it’s difficult to imagine being able to pay an attorney to make those same creditors go away. I encourage clients who are stressed by financial problems to focus on the long-term. And if bankruptcy is going to provide a long-term solution for helping you regain a…

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Stop Collections Calls

Creditors are relentless in their pursuit of money. I talk to clients every day who are doing everything they can to pay creditors each month, and yet the creditors refuse to be reasonable. Bankruptcy is a vehicle available to most of those clients, and one way to view bankruptcy is that it forces creditors to…

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Form 1099-C

When a creditor or lender accepts less than they are owed, the debtor often receives a Form 1099-C. This form is essentially requiring the individual to pay taxes on the amount of debt ‘forgiven’ by the lender. For example, if you have a credit card debt of $50,000 and settle with the credit card company…

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The Means Test In Bankruptcy

Misconceptions One misconception around bankruptcy involves the Means Test. Yes, such a test exists. It is designed to compare your Current Monthly Income to the Median Income that applies to your geographic area. If your CMI is lower than the Median Income, then the presumption is that you qualify for a bankruptcy filing. However, your…

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Can I File A Chapter 13 Without My Spouse?

Yes, married couples are permitted to file individually or jointly. To maximize the results of the bankruptcy, it sometimes makes sense to file individual bankruptcies simultaneously for both spouses. Your Charlotte bankruptcy attorney can assist with this calculation. But Will It Stop A Foreclosure If We’re Both On The Note? Yes, when one spouse files…

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Creditor Calls After Bankruptcy

Once you file a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, all creditor calls and attempts to collect on debt will stop. After receiving your discharge in bankruptcy, the creditors have no legal rights against you. But what if you missed a creditor and didn’t list them in your filing? Missed Creditors Quite often, a bankruptcy…

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Debts To Friends And Family

Clients about to file bankruptcy understandably are interested in retaining a credit card or excluding certain debts from the bankruptcy. Usually this stems from a sense of responsibility to the creditor, or the desire to have available credit after filing. While these are admirable reasons, generally speaking all debt needs to be included in the…

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Spousal Income In Bankruptcy

Many clients are concerned that the collective income in their household will bar them from filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. While there are income thresholds whereby you automatically qualify for a Chapter 7, there are also adjustments that can be made when your income exceeds those thresholds. Married couples have options when it comes to…

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Current Monthly Income In Bankruptcy

Clients are smart to ask about timing issues with filing a bankruptcy. I get a lot of questions about income, as some clients expect income to increase in the near future, but have struggled recently with insufficient income. When you file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the income the bankruptcy trustee is most interested in is…

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Does My Spouse Have To File Bankruptcy With Me?

While it may make sense for both spouses to file in a bankruptcy, a qualified Charlotte bankruptcy attorney will walk you through the options that suit your particular situation best. Typically, married couples hold debt in many different ways, so it makes sense to analyze the specifics of your situation before making a choice. Filing…

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Can Unemployment Be Garnished?

Generally, unemployment benefits are exempt from garnishment. Like everything else, there are exceptions. Orders for garnishment may be granted for priority debts like child support or taxes, for example. Protect The Status Of Your Unemployment Benefits If you believe someone may be attempting to garnish your wages, you should speak with an attorney. If you’re…

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Converting Your Bankruptcy

I spoke with client this morning who is moving forward with filing a Chapter 13, but is wondering whether she can convert to a Chapter 7 filing at some time during the Chapter 13. The answer is yes. In fact, converting from a Chapter 13 to a Chapter 7 is commonly done by bankruptcy clients.…

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Can I File Bankruptcy In North Carolina?

While you may be eligible to file a Chapter 13 or Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the first question is determining in which state you are entitled to file. In legal terms, this is a question of “Venue.” The bankruptcy statute related to venue is 28 USC 1408. Below is a summary of the statute and an…

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Filing Bankruptcy And Personal Injury Claims

Often, a specific event in your life leads to the filing of a bankruptcy. If the event gives rise to loss of work, you’re unable to pay our bills. If the event gives rise to insurmountable bills, you may be unable to maintain your monthly debts no matter how hard you work. In the case…

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Why You Should File Your Tax Returns

It’s Tax Time It’s tax time. You know you’re going to owe, and you also know you don’t have the money to pay the IRS what you’ll owe them. It may seem like a necessary and even strategic move to not file your return. The bankruptcy court requires you file your tax returns, and excludes…

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Chapter 13 – Best Interests Test

Clients considering filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy are often confused when the discussion with their attorney turns to a comparison between a Chapter 13 and a Chapter 7. The debtor has already decided to file a Chapter 13, so why does the attorney keep talking about Chapter 7, and specifically, the Bests Interests Of The…

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Foreclosure Postponed!

I spoke with a law firm in Charlotte today the specializes in representing banks in foreclosure proceedings. I was calling about the property of a client. I was told that my client’s foreclosure had been postponed from January until April. I was also told that Wells Fargo had already postponed over 200 foreclosures today. This…

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Notice Of Hearing Prior To Foreclosure

If you’ve received a Notice of Hearing Prior to Foreclosure in the mail, your rights are about to be affected. This notice means that the bank holding a mortgage on your home is moving forward with the foreclosure process and forgiveness of debt bills that come along with it. There is still time. Your Hearing…

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Talk To An Attorney About Bankruptcy Today

The things you do today affect a future bankruptcy filing. The right time to talk to an attorney about bankruptcy is now, even if you think you may not file for a few months. Here are a few great reasons to talk to a bankruptcy lawyer today, instead of waiting until the eve of filing.…

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Providing Paperwork For Bankruptcy – We Make It Easy

We know you have a lot to manage right now. Providing paperwork for bankruptcy can seem tedious. That’s why we offer an easy electronic option for completing a bankruptcy questionnaire, and also accept and deliver documents electronically if that is your preference. The goal is to obtain the required information from you, while making the…

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Transfers of Assets and Bankruptcy

Question: Can I transfer my assets right before a bankruptcy and still file? Short Answer: No. But you can keep your property. Most of my posts come on the heels of conversations with clients. The reason for this is that when I speak with someone on the phone I am reminded of the common questions…

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Call a Charlotte Bankruptcy Attorney Today

Make a phone call. It’s that simple. Call a Charlotte bankruptcy attorney today. Bankruptcy attorneys — good ones — are eager to answer questions. They will not pressure you into filing a bankruptcy. You won’t feel like you’re listening to a sales pitch. When you call a bankruptcy attorney and ask questions, you’re getting information…

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Can I File For Bankruptcy If I Collect Unemployment?

Short Answer: Yes. Income from unemployment is counted as income to the individual when determining whether you qualify for the bankruptcy. Typically, for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, unemployment income will not be enough income to cause a problem for an individual getting ready to file. For a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the court wants to see…

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Rich Dad, Poor Dad Author Kiyosaki Files Bankruptcy

Recently, The New York Post reported that author Robert Kiyosaki’s company Rich Global LLC has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. This seems to be a great example of setting aside feelings of embarrassment, shame or fear, in favor of making a smart business decision. Perhaps you’ve read his books about building personal wealth. Maybe you’ve…

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What Is Bankruptcy?

First… Congratulations! You’re here because you are taking control over your finances. And you CAN take control of your finances. There are powerful options that the bankruptcy code creates for individuals like you and me, which can rescue us from a tough financial situation and with the help of an attorney, start us down the…

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Loan or Mortgage Modification and Bankruptcy

When we are attempting to manage our debt, it helps to consider it in pieces. Typically, the most substantial monthly payment for each of us is our home, or the mortgage on the home. With the significant changes in the real estate market and homeowners’ inability to pay current mortgages due to financial hardship, banks…

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Debt Consolidation Or Bankruptcy

Trying to manage overwhelming credit card debt is like driving in a storm—you can only see what is directly in front of you. This leads to decisions that address a situation with today’s aggressive bill collector, but often leaves us facing the same situation around the bend. There are numerous approaches to tackling overwhelming credit…

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Is Business Debt Discharged In A Bankruptcy?

Many of my bankruptcy clients are small business owners, and typically operate their business as a sole proprietorship, partnership or LLC. While these clients are currently facing financial hardship, the business represents a great potential for future income and a lot of hard work went into creating it. A common question when considering bankruptcy is…

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Cheap Bankruptcy Attorney – Charlotte

If you’ve been browsing online for a Charlotte bankruptcy attorney, you’ve probably come across the phrase “Cheap Bankruptcy Attorney” more than once. And you’d be hard-pressed to find a situation where cost matters more, than when you’re running low on money already. I encourage all of my clients to comparison shop attorney’s fees—it’s their right,…

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How Can I Pay For Bankruptcy?

It costs a substantial amount of money to file a bankruptcy. When you don’t have money for utilities and rent, this feels like a cruel joke. And while most clients address it with a sense of humor, the fact is one of the biggest hurdles to getting out of debt is raising the money to…

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The Automatic Stay In Bankruptcy

When I get a first phone call from a potential client, there is usually a pressing reason.  They need help NOW. They can’t make this month’s bills, they are receiving threatening phone calls, or the Sheriff has been to the house to enforce a Writ of Execution. The Automatic Stay in bankruptcy halts the threats.…

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Deficiency Judgments In Bankruptcy

In a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, deficiency judgments can be eliminated. I spoke with a client today who is considering filing bankruptcy in Charlotte. We discussed both her inability to balance her budget on a monthly basis, as well as additional creditors who have obtained judgments against her. One situation she is facing…

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Writ of Execution

If you receive a Writ of Execution, it means a creditor is attempting to seize your assets. Take a deep breath, you still have options. Filing bankruptcy is one of them. The key is acting quickly. Before The Writ of Execution If a creditor files a lawsuit against you to collect on a debt, you…

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Your Creditors And Bankruptcy

Your creditors will be notified that you have filed either a Chapter 7 bankruptcy or a Chapter 13 bankruptcy when the court sends notice to them. This is done shortly after you or your attorney files your bankruptcy petition. The notice from the court puts the creditor on alert, gives them a chance to respond…

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Why Bankruptcy

My Charlotte bankruptcy clients and I talk about all of their options. This includes options outside of bankruptcy. I feel my job as an attorney is to assist the client in making the best decision for them, and understanding why bankruptcy works is part of that. When I believe a client should consider a bankruptcy,…

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Retirement Funds — Charlotte Bankruptcy

Debt is stressful. It becomes overwhelming when it depletes our savings and retirement funds. My clients try so hard to meet their financial responsibilities, that they often deplete not only their savings but also their retirement accounts. All of this before realizing that bankruptcy is the way out. There’s a better way. Clients who deplete…

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Married, Filing Single — Bankruptcy and Non-Filing Spouses

I had a conversation with a client today about this very issue. While married bankruptcy clients have the ability to file solely or jointly, there are considerations which affect that choice. The primary consideration is usually protecting the non-filing spouse’s credit. The second consideration is usually protecting property owned by the non-filing spouse. Lastly, one…

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Reaffirming A Debt

Before a bankruptcy or during it, your creditors may encourage you to reaffirm your debt with them. When you reaffirm a debt, you are carving that debt out from the bankruptcy and re-obligating yourself with the creditor. The debt will survive the bankruptcy. Reaffirmation requires that you sign a new contract with that creditor, which…

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Charlotte Bankruptcy Attorney

When choosing a bankruptcy attorney in Charlotte, North Carolina, there are a few factors to consider. Your attorney should be available, educated, and concerned with putting your needs above all else. If you find a bankruptcy attorney who you believe meets this profile– and whose fees are reasonable– you should have a successful relationship that…

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Eliminate Credit Card Debt

My Charlotte bankruptcy clients impress me every day with their desire to be responsible and to keep promises they have made. Usually, that includes a desire to pay credit card bills up to the day of filing for a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. For this reason, once we know they have decided to…

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Secured Credit Cards

I get excited for bankruptcy clients who are eager to rebuild their credit after filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy or a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, and so we are sure to discuss secured credit cards. After bankruptcy, clients want to avoid credit traps and living beyond their means. They are placing a high value on their…

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Can I Keep ONE Credit Card?

Clients often ask “Can I keep one credit card?” We have been taught that credit cards are “good.” That it is a wise choice to have one in case of an emergency. Or, even if you don’t plan to use it for emergencies, it’s a great way to build credit. Credit cards also admittedly create…

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Bankruptcy And Your Credit Score

People often put off filing bankruptcy because of the fear of what it will do to their credit score. We have been taught that a high credit score is a requirement for a happy life. In fact, it is not. You can be perfectly happy and make healthy financial decisions with a low or recovering…

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Do I Make Too Much Money To File Bankruptcy?

Whether you qualify for bankruptcy certainly involves an examination of your income. Your income alone though, is not typically what determines whether you have the ability to file a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Instead of looking at just income, your attorney—and later the bankruptcy court—are looking for the balance that exists between…

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Your Charlotte Bankruptcy Lawyer

Strategizing Together Choosing the right lawyer to assist you in filing a bankruptcy is important. Together with your Charlotte bankruptcy lawyer, you will examine your options and choose a path of recovery that will dramatically improve your life. That may involve filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. In the alternative, it may…

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What Happens at the 341 Meeting?

Do I have to go to the courthouse? Yes. You will typically have to go to the courthouse one time, for what is called a 341 meeting. This meeting takes place about 40 days after you file your Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. If you file Bankruptcy in Charlotte, NC, your meeting will be…

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When to file bankruptcy in Charlotte, NC

Much like any substantial undertaking, it may never feel like the right time to file a bankruptcy in Charlotte, NCI know that you already value the health and welfare of your family over avoiding any negatives you’ve imagined will flow from filing a bankruptcy. In my opinion, when you are ready to act on that…

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Are Tax Debts Included In A Bankruptcy?

There are circumstances where it is permissible to include tax debts in a bankruptcy filing. This often makes a significant difference in the amount of relief to the client and the timing of the filing should be closely monitored. Generally, there are three conditions that must be met in order to discharge tax liabilities in…

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Stop Collections Calls

Creditors are relentless in their pursuit of money. Remember, they are doing whatever the law will allow them, and they will continue to do so until the debt is paid. With late fees, high interest and penalties. You can stop collections calls today. Suffering doesn’t make sense. With the banks’ unwillingness to be flexible or…

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Motion To Claim Exempt Property

When a personal finance matter turns into a legal matter, it’s time to act quickly. I got a call yesterday from an individual who received a Motion To Claim Exempt Property. He was confused by the language used in the motion, and of course wanted guidance on what to do next. In one quick phone…

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Can I Keep My Home?

The North Carolina Homestead Exemption Most people who call me about filing a bankruptcy in Charlotte want to know what will happen to their home if they file. Fortunately, the answer is usually a good one. North Carolina has something called a Homestead Exemption which protects some or all of the equity in your home.…

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Bankruptcy and Your Home

One misconception about bankruptcy is that you cannot go through a Chapter 7  bankruptcy or a Chapter 13 bankruptcy and keep your home. Generally, provided the home does not have significant equity, this is simply not true. The filing of a Bankruptcy petition will put an immediate stay on foreclosure proceedings. This stay remains in…

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