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A Fresh Take on Bankruptcy: Filing for Bankruptcy Can Benefit Individuals, Companies and Society

Posted on Friday, March 27th, 2015 at 4:08 pm    

fresh start bankruptcyThe Webster Dictionary defines bankruptcy as the quality or state of being bankrupt or the utter failure or impoverishment. Although the definition of bankruptcy gives off a negative connotation, it doesn’t have to. Filing for bankruptcy can benefit individuals, companies and society as a whole.

A Fresh Start

People often don’t understand the process of filing for bankruptcy, however, bankruptcy is a legal procedure by which an individual or a business can discharge its debts when the petitioner (the person or company filing bankruptcy), does not have the means to pay off the debt within a reasonable period time. Bankruptcy can help both individuals and companies have a fresh start.

An Over Abundance of Debt Options

In today’s environment of the over abundance of credit cards, pay day loans, car loans, and first, second and third mortgages, it is very easy to fall behind in paying bills, which often leads to people drowning in debt. Falling deep into debt is not a positive thing for either the individual or for society. In fact, according to the Federal Reserve, the average household in the United States has approximately $15,799 in credit card debt, $54,000 in household debt and credit card debt for the United States totals $793.1 billion. [1] With statistics like this, it is no wonder why so many of us are struggling and forced to file for bankruptcy.

Earnings Are Meant to Motivate

Although our clients often worry about embarrassment that may come from filing for bankruptcy, many of our clients who are forced to file for bankruptcy are hard working individuals who can no longer afford to hand over every penny they make to creditors and there is nothing embarrassing about that. After all, the purpose of earnings is to motivate people to work hard, but how motivated can you be if you know that most of the money you make will go to creditors? Without the option of filing for bankruptcy, many people would work long hours just to hand over hard earned money to creditors.

Bankruptcy Stop the Calls and Collections Immediately 

Bankruptcy helps to give debtors a fresh start, alleviating what could be a tremendous burden. Further, when an individual or company files for bankruptcy, the automatic stay goes into effect meaning the harassing phone calls, letters and potential lawsuits from all creditors stop.

If you are overwhelmed by mounting debt and tired or receiving harassing phone calls from creditors, contact Lawrence & Associates today. We can help you obtain that fresh start that you deserve!

Contact Us (859.371.5997) for a Free Consultation

Footnote: [1] http://www.statisticbrain.com/credit-card-debt-statistics/


Bankruptcy Explained: Personal Bankruptcy Can Stop the Repossession Action and In Some Cases Get Vehicles Returned.

Posted on Friday, March 20th, 2015 at 1:18 pm    

If you have fallen behind on your car payment and face the threat of repossession, or if your car has already been repossessed for non-payment, a personal bankruptcy filing can stop the repossession action and, in the right circumstances, allow you to recover your vehicle. You want an experienced attorney to handle these matters for you, one who has protected the rights of others in similar circumstances. Bankruptcy Lawyers offer extensive experience to people with concerns about the repossession of personal property.

Experienced  Attorneys Can Stop Repossessions

Whether you have just received notice that your property is subject to repossession or your vehicle has already been repossessed, a Northern Kentucky Bankruptcy Lawyer can help. If you still have possession of your property, theycan work directly with the lender to restructure or renegotiate the terms of your loan. However, in many circumstances, the most effective way to stop a repossession or regain your property is through a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing.

Bankruptcy options include…

  • Chapter 7 – Depending upon your income, you may be eligible for total and permanent financial resolution absolving you from certain types of debt, and immediately stopping all contact from debt collectors, garnishment, vehicle repossession, medical debt relief, tax relief, and credit card relief.
  • Chapter 11 – For business owners only. Allows you to completely reorganize your business debts while keeping your business intact.
  • Chapter 13 – Allows you to reorganize your debts into monthly payments you can afford and still pay off the debt over a period of time established by the court. This can have long-term benefits demonstrating to your lenders your willingness to pay them.

Immediate Relief

If you a Bankruptcy Attorney before your property is taken, they can immediately file a bankruptcy petition, which will put an automatic stay in place, suspending all legal proceedings, including repossession actions. Even if your car or other property has been repossessed, they may still be able to get it back for you by filing for bankruptcy protection before the property is sold. The sheriff may have served you with an Order of Replevin or the tow truck may be there right now, but we can still help prevent repossession.

Regardless of where you are in the repossession process, time is always of the essence. Your best chance to stop a creditor from repossessing your property is to contact Lawrence & Associates right away. We are always prepared to take swift legal action in order to stop a repossession and protect our clients.


Bankruptcy Explained: Stopping Foreclosure Through Bankruptcy or Loan Modifications

Posted on Friday, March 13th, 2015 at 12:15 pm    

avoidingIf you are struggling financially and have not been able to keep up with your mortgage payments, a personal bankruptcy filing under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 can suspend foreclosure actions and help you get a fresh financial start. There are also ways that you can avoid foreclosure without filing for bankruptcy. You want an experienced attorney to help you understand your options, so that you can make decisions that are in your best interests. Simply allowing your home to be foreclosed upon without understanding your options can lead to serious consequences that follow you for years.

Questions to consider if you have received a foreclosure notice…

  • Have the foreclosure papers been properly filed by the mortgage company?
  • Is the current mortgage company the original mortgage company? If not, do they have the legal right to pursue foreclosure?
  • Has the current mortgage company padded the fees they are charging you?

Stopping Foreclosure Through Bankruptcy

Often, the fastest and most effective way to suspend foreclosure actions and save your home is through a Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing. When you file for bankruptcy, an automatic stay goes into effect, prohibiting your creditors from calling, writing or pursuing any legal action (outside of the bankruptcy) to collect on debt. Mortgage debt can either be discharged in a bankruptcy, if the property is going to be surrendered, or the debt can survive bankruptcy if you are attempting to retain the property. Chapter 13 can provide you with a structured way to catch up the mortgage arrearage in an interest and penalty free environment. If you want to delay a foreclosure to allow you to find alternate living arrangements, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy may be your best option.

If you file Chapter 7 bankruptcy, your debt relief normally includes…

  • Credit card debt relief
  • Medical bill debt relief
  • Collection calls must stop
  • Your assets are normally left intact allowing you to repay the debt (i.e., home, vehicles), and possibly reduce your payments, and/or interest owed.

If you file Chapter 13 bankruptcy, your debt relief normally includes…

  • Reorganization of credit card debt to possibly reduce interest, and extend the time to repay
  • Collection calls must stop
  • Your assets are normally left intact allowing you reduce your monthly payments, and possibly reduce interest.
  • All debts are repaid and lenders value your desire to repay them.

Stopping Foreclosure Through Loan Modification

Another option that will allow you to keep your home is the modification of the terms of your mortgage. Loan modification is not a cure-all, however. Unfortunately, we know of too many stories of people who tried to handle a loan modification effort on their own, only to have foreclosure proceedings filed against them when they thought a modification was in the works. Regardless of your situation, if you think foreclosure proceedings are imminent, you need to contact us.

Regardless of where you are in the foreclosure process, time is always of the essence. Your best chance to stop a creditor from taking your home is to contact Lawrence & Associates right away. We are always prepared to take swift legal action in order to stop a foreclosure and protect our clients.

Our Bankruptcy Explained Series

[posts type=”category” name=”Bankruptcy Explained Series” limit=”20″ date=”m-d-Y”]

logoLawrence & Associates Provides You With Debt Relief Solutions Through Bankruptcy

At Lawrence & Associates, we help our clients understand how bankruptcy laws are made to protect them and will allow for a brighter financial future.

Contact Us (859.371.5997) for a Free Consultation


Bankruptcy Explained: Protecting Your Paycheck From Creditors

Posted on Friday, March 6th, 2015 at 2:31 pm    

garnishmentIf you have received notice that a creditor is suing for the right to garnish your wages, or if they have already begun to deduct money from your paycheck, it is time to seriously consider your options in bankruptcy. Many people find themselves facing wage garnishment when they were already having trouble paying all their monthly bills. So, when one of your creditors begins to take money straight from your paycheck, you may find yourself in worse financial distress than before.

Protecting Your Paycheck From Creditors

A Northern Kentucky Bankruptcy Attorney helps its clients obtain debt relief through Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy. As part of this process, an attorney can help you deal with threatened or realized wage garnishment issues. When you work with a good Bankruptcy Lawyer, they will quickly assess your financial circumstances and decide which type of bankruptcy will be best for you and your family. Once they file a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, the wage garnishment will stop immediately.

Experienced Bankruptcy Lawyers Can Stop Wage Garnishment

Good bankruptcy attorneys can stop creditors from garnishing your wages. They will work to build a strong and successful case for you against creditors that are or are wanting to garnish your wages.

Did You Know?

  • Once a creditor has secured a ruling to garnish your wages, they can often take up to 25 percent of your income per month, until the debt is repaid in full.
  • Even if a creditor has already begun to garnish your wages, there may be legal remedies to reclaim the money — but it is nearly impossible to achieve without a qualified lawyer on your side.

Regardless of where you are in the garnishment process, time is always of the essence. Your best chance to stop a creditor from taking your income is to contact Lawrence & Associates right away. We are always prepared to take swift legal action in order to stop a garnishment and protect our clients.


Bankruptcy Explained: Can Debt Consolidation Protect Me from Creditors?

Posted on Thursday, February 26th, 2015 at 4:12 pm    

Debt Consolidation Northern Kentucky

A consolidation or “workout” is an attempt to modify one or multiple debts without the need for bankruptcy, usually through a debt consolidation agency. The main issue with a workout is that most debt consolidation companies don’t provide local creditors with a contract that enforces the agreement.

Without a Contract Your Workout Can’t Be Enforced 

In Northern Kentucky, a debt consolidation agreement is subject to contract laws, and without a valid contract between you and your creditors the workout can’t be enforced in a Northern Kentucky County court. This means that, if a creditor such as a credit card (like Capital One), or a medical provider (like St. Elizabeth Medical Center) decides not to be bound by the terms of the workout, they can still sue you in the county in which you live. This is the central reason that debt consolidation agreements often do not work for Northern Kentucky residents. Creditors that do not participate in the debt consolidation plan are entitled to file a lawsuit, which sometimes makes the entire exercise pointless. Only filing bankruptcy provides Northern Kentucky debtors with the muscle they need to force creditors to obey the rules.

Debt Consolidation vs Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

There are many reasons why Northern Kentucky residents try to avoid bankruptcy by contacting a debt consolidation company. Many debtors believe bankruptcy is a bad thing, and try to avoid it by seeking a new repayment agreement with creditors. What those debtors don’t realize is that a Chapter 13 bankruptcy provides the same relief but also forces the creditors to abide by the new repayment plan. The downside of the debt consolidation agreement is that it will not freeze interest accumulation on unsecured debts, while a Chapter 13 bankruptcy will. Further, if the debt consolidation agreement fails, Northern Kentucky debtors will enter bankruptcy anyway, but with the added complication of having less money than they would have had if they had filed the Chapter 13 bankruptcy in the first place.

Lawrence & Associates is experienced in debtor-creditor law and we can advise Northern Kentucky debtors on whether a non-bankruptcy workout will provide immediate debt relief.


How to Get Your Driver’s License Back With a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Posted on Friday, February 20th, 2015 at 3:12 pm    

Drivers LicenseGenerally, an old debt costs someone their driver’s license in one of two ways.

  1. Drunk Driving Accident – A drunk driver hurts an innocent bystander and is assessed damages as a result. Debts related to drunk driving are not dischargeable in a Chapter 7, although you can set up a Chapter 13 bankruptcy to create a payment plan to pay the drunk driving debt off over time.
  2. Uninsured During an Auto Accident – Northern Kentucky drivers sometimes lose their licenses because they did not have automobile insurance at the time an accident occurred. If a Northern Kentucky driver causes an automobile accident and does not have insurance, the injured person will turn to his or her Uninsured Motorist policy for recovery. Let’s say the injured person has automobile insurance with State Farm, and State Farm has to pay $50,000 in Uninsured Motorist Coverage to the injured person. The injured person has now been compensated, but State Farm is out $50,000. State Farm won’t just eat that loss – they come after the uninsured driver in court. Often, the uninsured driver is unable to defend him- or her-self, and State Farm will get a judgment for the full $50,000. As a way of making sure the uninsured driver pays toward the judgment, the court will suspend the uninsured driver’s license.

You Can Get Your Driver’s License Back if You Were Not Involved In an Accident as a Drunk Driver 

A debt from a judgment related to the personal injury of another person are completely dischargeable so long as the accident was not a result of drunk driving. Such a debt is considered “unsecured”, meaning that it is not attached to any personal property of the debtor unless the insurance company takes special measures (such as filing a judgment lien with the County Clerk). When a Northern Kentucky driver files a Chapter 7, all unsecured debts are discharged, and the driver owes no further obligation to the insurance company (in our example above, State Farm). Since the insurance company has no further right to collect on the debt, it cannot cause the driver’s license to be suspended any longer. In fact, if the insurance company would try to keep a hold on the driver’s license, it would be liable for damages as a violation of the automatic stay or the bankruptcy court’s discharge injunction.

File Now to Get Your Licence Back As Soon As Possible

Typically, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy takes about six months to complete when filed in the Northern Kentucky bankruptcy system. The insurance company releases the hold on that license during that time, usually within two to three months. Northern Kentucky drivers should not despair – with one simple phone call, you can get your driver’s license back and get rid of the debt that is holding you down!

If you or someone you know has lost their drivers license because they were uninsured at the time of their auto accident but not drunk, please contact Lawrence & Associates.

Contact Us (859.371.5997) for a Free Consultation


Bankruptcy Explained: Understanding Property Exemptions – Keeping Your House and Car

Posted on Wednesday, February 18th, 2015 at 1:19 pm    

If you file a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, you can always keep your property. If you file a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, the United States bankruptcy code allows you to keep your house, keep your car, and keep your property so long as your equity in that property is below certain thresholds at the time the bankruptcy is filed. Equity is the value of the property minus the amount of any loans secured against it. The amount of equity you can have and still keep your property depends on whether you file your bankruptcy in Kentucky or Ohio.

How to Keep Your House and Car When You File Bankruptcy in Kentucky

Kentucky allows you to use federal exemptions to keep your property. This is good, because federal exemptions are usually much more forgiving than state exemptions. Kentucky allows you to use Kentucky state exemptions as well, but they are not as good as the federal exemptions and are rarely used. You can read the entire section of the federal bankruptcy code that gives us property exemptions, 11 U.S.C. 522, here: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/11/522. The exemption levels are adjusted every three years. For the latest levels, contact Lawrence & Associates or check our blog to make sure these amounts haven’t changed.

As a rule of thumb, if you file bankruptcy in Kentucky you usually only have to worry about protecting your home, your car, or any “luxury” items you might own (such as a nice boat). The federal exemptions are large enough that it is rare for anything else to be in danger. The good Fort Mitchell bankruptcy attorney assess your equity in your property for you, and report your options to keep your house, car, and other property to you before filing. For example, under the federal exemptions you can keep your home as long as your equity in the house and land is less than $22,975.00 (and married couples can keep their home with double that exemption). So a married couple filing bankruptcy with a $200,000.00 house and a $175,000.00 mortgage can keep the house since their equity ($25,000.00) is less than the total exemption ($35,950.00). Figuring out how to value the home, car, or other property appropriately is sometimes a matter of controversy, but your attorney will be able to affix all values before filing.

How to Keep Your House and Car When You File Bankruptcy in Ohio

Ohio requires that you use the state exemptions, but does not allow federal exemptions. This can be good or bad, since Ohio has a much better exemption for your home, but lesser exemptions in other areas. Other than the change in exemption levels, the analysis works basically the same when you file bankruptcy in Ohio as it does when you file bankruptcy in Kentucky. Unfortunately, because Ohio’s exemptions are so much worse than the federal exemptions (again, other than the exemption for your home), many people who file bankruptcy in Ohio have more trouble keeping their car, or other property.


Bankruptcy Explained: What Actions Can a Creditor Legally Take to Collect A Debt?

Posted on Friday, February 13th, 2015 at 4:24 pm    

creditor harassmentA good bankruptcy attorney can protect you from abusive and threatening creditors. Creditors are notorious for using threats, intimidation tactics and false information in order to scare debtors into making payments. The truth is, regardless of your ability to pay, or what a creditor may claim, there are certain actions they cannot legally take. When you know the facts, you are in a better position to make decisions about your financial future and stop the abuse. According to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, creditors are prohibited from “abusive, deceptive and unfair debt collection practices.” If a creditor continues to violate these laws and harass you and your family, you may be able to bring a claim against them and sue for financial damages.

Find an Experienced Creditor Harassment Attorney

Find an experienced Northern Kentucky Bankruptcy Lawyer who has handled creditor harassment cases in the past. A good bankruptcy attorney will work to build a strong and successful case for you against creditors that are harassing you.

The truth about debt collection attempts is that…

  • Creditors CANNOT call you at work once you have asked them to stop
  • Creditors CANNOT call you excessively or at unreasonable times
  • Creditors CANNOT call your family members and reveal the alleged debt
  • Creditors CANNOT intimidate you by providing false and misleading information
  • Creditors CANNOT have you arrested
  • Creditors CANNOT use vulgar or abusive language
  • Creditors CAN file a lawsuit to have a lien placed on your home
  • Creditors CAN seek to repossess your automobile
  • Creditors CAN attempt to garnish your wages
  • Creditors are legally obligated to cease all contact and collection attempts once you have filed for bankruptcy. If they do not, you have the right to sue them.

Contact Us (859.371.5997) for a Free Consultation


Bankruptcy Explained: What Type of Bankruptcy Should I File?

Posted on Friday, February 6th, 2015 at 9:04 am    

types of bankruptcyAdvice from an attorney is your best bet when deciding if you should file a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy.  Are you facing foreclosure from a bank like Wells Fargo, being sued for medical bills by a hospital like St. Elizabeth, or confronting a mountain of Capital One credit card debt? Filing a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy will end the harassing phone calls and letters. You must comply with the terms of any repayment agreement or you will lose these protections, so it is important to have strong legal guidance before agreeing to anything. Choosing the right kind of bankruptcy can mean the difference between keeping your house, keeping your car, keeping your money, or losing it all. Some of the things a Northern Kentucky Bankruptcy attorney will need to know is a client’s past income and current assets. Knowing the asset exemptions and median income levels of the client will help to make the decision easier.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

A bankruptcy lawyer’s first step will be to determine whether you are eligible for protection under Chapter 7. The 2005 revisions to the bankruptcy laws require that, to qualify to discharge debts under Chapter 7, you must submit to a “means test,” demonstrating to the court that you lack the means to repay your creditors in a Chapter 13 proceeding. We will conduct a means test and, if you qualify, we will prepare and file all documents required to complete the Chapter 7 process. We will carefully explain which debts can be eliminated, as well as which assets you can protect, so that you get the benefit you deserve.

In General, You Cannot File a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy If You…

  • have filed a bankruptcy in the last eight years
  • have assets with significant value that you don’t want to lose
  • have income over median for your household size in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

Make Sure to Assess The Value of Your Property Correctly

Figuring out how to correctly assess the value of your property, or the correct number for median income, can be a daunting task, and the consequences of making a mistake are very drastic. A Northern Kentucky Bankruptcy lawyer will make sure your bankruptcy is filed correctly so that you get the maximum benefit from your decision to file.

You Get Immediate Relief  After You File a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Once you file for protection, an automatic stay goes into effect, preventing your creditors from calling, writing or taking any other legal action to collect the debt. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition can also stop foreclosure proceedings, wage garnishments and repossession actions. With the help of a lawyer, in Kentucky, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceeding can generally be completed in 3 to 5 months.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

If you don’t qualify to permanently discharge debt under Chapter 7 or prefer to set up a new payment plan with your creditors, we will help you reorganize your debt in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing. We will prepare and file all the necessary paperwork to complete the process and will represent you in hearings or meetings with creditors, the bankruptcy trustee or the bankruptcy court. We will help you put together a reorganization plan and will review all proposed repayment plans to ensure they are appropriate.

You Get Immediate Relief  After You File a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

When you file for protection under Chapter 13, an automatic stay goes into effect, which prevents your creditors from calling, writing or using any other means to collect the debt, other than through the bankruptcy proceeding. The automatic stay will suspend foreclosure or repossession actions, as well as wage garnishments, giving you time to get back on your feet financially. In many instances, you will be able to reduce the amount you have to pay, sometimes to as little as a penny on the dollar, by entering into agreements with your creditors. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy can be ideal for someone with large medical bills or credit card debt, allowing you the opportunity to keep most or all of your assets and enter into payment arrangements that are workable.

Contact Us (859.371.5997) for a Free Consultation


Bankruptcy Explained: There Are Legal Solutions That Provide Debt Relief to Those Who Need It

Posted on Thursday, January 29th, 2015 at 2:37 pm    

fresh start bankruptcyThere are many reasons that individuals and families find they can no longer afford to pay monthly bills. Some may have recently gone through a divorce. Others have been injured at work or in an accident and are unable to earn an income. Many are facing increased interest rates on mortgages or credit cards and cannot keep up. There are also people who simply let spending get out of control and cannot find a way out. Have you received notice that your wages will be garnished due to delinquent payments on your financial obligations? Has the bank started foreclosure proceedings on your home? Is your car about to be repossessed? Or have you realized that try as you may, there is just no way for you to stay current on all of your bills? Regardless of the financial problems you are facing, it is important to realize that there are legal solutions to help you obtain debt relief.

Immediate Relief For Pressing Financial Problems

Above all, do not ignore your financial problems or lawsuits that creditors bring against you. These issues will not disappear. Your best option is to contact a bankruptcy attorney at the first sign of financial distress. Even if you are facing immediate foreclosure, repossession or wage garnishment, Lawrence & Associates can provide swift legal action to help protect you. Your start to a fresh financial future begins when you contact a Northern Kentucky bankruptcy lawyer. A bankruptcy attorney will help you file Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Good Fort Mitchell, Kentucky bankruptcy lawyers will take the time to fully explain your legal options and the bankruptcy process in an understandable way — not with complex legal jargon. Good bankruptcy attorneys will also provide advice on how to stop creditor harassment, garnishment, foreclosure and repossessions.

Contact Us (859.371.5997) for a Free Consultation

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