• Ohio

    (513) 351-5997
  • Kentucky

    859-371-5997
  • Google Hangout | Facetime | Skype
    Upon Request
Inner Banner
Working Hard for the Working Class

We devote all our resources to getting the best possible result. Contact us today to start your FREE case evaluation.

What’s the difference between a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and a Chapter 13 bankruptcy?

Posted on Monday, January 25th, 2016 at 9:10 am    

Anyone who needs to file a bankruptcy is faced with an important choice: Chapter 7 or Chapter 13? Finding out what those terms mean is as simple as going to your local library, but knowing when you can file a Chapter 7 or when you should choose a Chapter 13 requires expert legal knowledge. At Lawrence & Associates, our Northern Kentucky attorneys can make sure you file the right kind of bankruptcy for your situation, whether you are 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.

chapter-7-squareChoosing the right kind of bankruptcy can mean the difference between keeping your house, keeping your car, keeping your money, or losing it all. Geography matters: Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati have very different bankruptcy exemptions, and this is a big factor in the choice between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Other factors include your past income and current assets. Only by knowing the asset exemptions and median income levels applicable to the Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati areas can the choice between Chapter 13 bankruptcy and Chapter 7 bankruptcy be made. For example, the median income is lower for Northern Kentucky residents than it is for Cincinnati residents, and people over median income have to file Chapter 13. Therefore, if all else is equal, someone living in Cincinnati can file a Chapter 7 with the same income that forces a Northern Kentucky resident into a Chapter 13!

What Stops You From Filing a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

In general, you cannot file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy if you: a) have filed a bankruptcy in the last eight years; b) have assets with significant, unexempt value that you don’t want to lose, or; c) have income over median for your household size in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Anyone falling into any of those categories may have to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Figuring out how to correctly assess the value of your property, or the correct number for median income, can be a daunting task. Further, the consequences of making a mistake are very drastic; you could lose your property or get kicked out of bankruptcy and into the arms of your creditors! The attorneys at Lawrence & Associates can make sure your bankruptcy is filed correctly so that you get the maximum benefit from your decision to file.

Why Might You Want to File a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

If you are behind on a secured debt such as a mortgage or a car loan, but want to keep the house or car, you will have to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy so you can set up a payment plan. There is no such thing as a repayment plan in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, and if you are behind on paying the debt on a car or house then you will lose it. The repayment plans afforded in a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy also go toward non-dischargeable debts such as taxes, student loans, or child support. If your current repayment schedule makes it impossible to make ends meet, then filing under Chapter 13 allows you to change the repayment schedule to suit your monthly budget.

Another reason to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is to get predatory car loans under control. Many Chapter 13 bankruptcy filers can reduce the amount they need to pay on a car loan if they have owned the car for more than two-and-a-half years and if the amount on the loan is more than the value of the car. Also, the interest rate on a car loan can often be reduced when the loan is paid off through a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

How Can I Get My Bankruptcy Started?

Lawrence & Associates employs highly skilled bankruptcy attorneys, and we offer free consultations with an attorney to find out whether Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 is right for you. Get the answers you are looking for, and avoid the hassle of creditors and the confusion of following the bankruptcy laws on your own. We are Working Hard for the Working Class, and we want to work hard for you. Call Lawrence & Associates today!


The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) Protects Debtors From Harassment Such as Robo Call Abuse and Other Techniques

Posted on Thursday, January 15th, 2015 at 4:22 pm    

Robo CallsRecently, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act has become a big deal. This important law says that big banks, mortgage companies, and credit card companies cannot harass you when trying to collect a debt. Specifically, the TCPA doesn’t allow the creditors to call your cell phone without permission to do so. Robo calls that happen multiple times per day are especially frowned upon (although not outright illegal yet), and can result in big penalties for the creditor.

Example: Bank of American and the Coniglios of Florida

The TCPA is a powerful law, as is the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Either can make a creditor sorry for using abusive methods to collect a debt. Take, for example, the example of the Coniglios, a Florida couple that began receiving harassing calls from Bank of America. They sometimes received robocalls five times per day, all related to a mortgage they were behind on. Bank of America had the option to foreclose on the house, or to re-structure the mortgage so the Coniglios could get caught up, but it apparently chose to do neither. Instead, Bank of America allegedly decided to harass the Coniglios into giving up the home via robocall.  The Coniglios took them to court and they wound up receiving over $1,000,000 from Bank of America as a penalty for Bank of America’s conduct – an amount that came to approximately $1,500 per call!

Debt Harassment is Happening in Northern Kentucky Also

While the Coniglios’ case is unusual in size and scope, similar conduct by creditors causes Northern Kentucky families grief and hardship every day. Many times, this harassment forces families into bankruptcy and further hurts their credit. The emotional impact of the banks’ harassment only adds to the families’ stress from being financially strained.

If you or someone you know is suffering financially, or getting harassed by their lenders, know that you (or they) don’t have to suffer alone. A Northern Kentucky Bankruptcy Lawyer can help you!

Contact Us (859.371.5997) for a Free Consultation

Providing You With Debt Relief Solutions Through Bankruptcy

Regardless of the reasons that brought you to financial distress, filing for bankruptcy does not make you a bad person. In fact, the government created bankruptcy in order to help people recover from unmanageable financial problems. At Lawrence & Associates, we help our clients understand how bankruptcy laws are made to protect them and will allow for a brighter financial future.

We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.

More About Us

>> Our Team
>> Our Testimonials
>> Our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


Tips For Filing Bankruptcy in Northern Kentucky During the Holidays

Posted on Thursday, December 11th, 2014 at 4:27 pm    

Holiday BankruptcyBelow are some thing to keep in mind this holiday Season if a bankruptcy is a possibility before the new year…

  1. Gifts –  Christmas gifts that are worth hundreds of dollars must be listed in your bankruptcy.
  2. Expensive Items Purchased –  Any items purchased to be kept in house or given away as a gift  to someone else has to be reported. Luxury items being purchased will raise red flags that could prevent you from discharging your debt. A luxury item is defined as something costing more the $650.
  3. Tax Refunds – Tax refunds are considered an asset and must be reported even if you do not know the exact amount you will be receiving.
  4. Home Equity – If you have a lot of equity in your home, it can limit the amount of exemption you can put towards your assets. Be very careful.

If you are planning to go bankrupt over the holidays, it would be good to consultant with a Northern Kentucky bankruptcy attorney as soon as possible.

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


Keep Your Car: How You Can Stop the Repo Man

Posted on Wednesday, November 19th, 2014 at 3:32 pm    

Car RepossessionWhen times get tough, you may be hard-pressed to make mortgage or car payments. In Northern Kentucky, creditors don’t have to give you any written notice of their intent to repossess your car. They don’t even have to notify you that you are late on payments. There is no set number of months that you have to be behind on payments before they can try to repossess the vehicle. In Northern Kentucky, the average number of days a car owner is late prior to repossession of the vehicle tends to be sixty-nine, but that is not a law. Many creditors, especially buy-here, pay-here lots, tend to attempt repossession immediately after the first payment is missed. In fact, many creditors make their living by repossessing a vehicle as soon as possible, then selling the vehicle to a new person, over and over again.

Contact Your Creditor

First, be pro-active. If you call your creditor ahead of time and explain the situation, some of them will allow you a payment modification plan so you can catch up a missed payment or avoid getting behind altogether. This is especially true if you have good credit or a good payment history with that creditor. Another benefit of asking ahead of time is that you can gauge a creditor’s attitude before they have an opportunity to repossess. They can’t repossess if you haven’t missed a payment yet, but you can force them to tip their hand as to whether they would rather work out a payment plan, or rather repossess and re-sell your vehicle. Be aware that the creditor will want to know the reason you are late. If it is a one-time issue, they will be more likely to hold off on repossessing your vehicle than if you have a more long term issue, such as loss of a job.

Some Temporary Tips To Slow Down a Car Repossession 

If the creditor has already called the repo man, you can still buy time to catch up payments on the car. First, make sure your car is parked inside a garage somewhere. In Northern Kentucky, the repo man is not allowed to illegally enter a building to legally repossess a car. Second, if you have to drive your car and park it outdoors (such as at work), then don’t park it in the lot where you would normally park. Park it down the street and walk a bit. If the repo man can’t find the car, he can’t repossess it. Finally, park with your license plate facing the wall. In Northern Kentucky, cars aren’t required to have front license plates, and this means the front of your car is more anonymous than the back of the car. All of these steps are very temporary fixes. Eventually the creditor will file papers in court to force you to turn over the car, and violating a court order to turn the vehicle over will result in accusations of theft.

Bankruptcy Will Protect Your Vehicle

A Northern Kentucky bankruptcy lawyer can help you file a bankruptcy to protect the vehicle and other property. You can keep your car in a bankruptcy, even if you are behind on payments. Northern Kentucky bankruptcy attorneys can create of new payment plan with a creditor that they are forced to accept. The main benefit of bankruptcy, moreso than any other option, is that your car lender will no longer dictate the terms of payment. Instead, you will. Filing bankruptcy is often vilified by creditors, because in a bankruptcy you take the reins of your financial future and get a fresh start.

Lawrence & Associates can help you which option to take to stop the possibility of repossession today!

Contact Us (859.371.5997) for a Free Consultation


Tips On Getting Rid of Your Small Business’s Debt

Posted on Monday, November 10th, 2014 at 1:50 pm    

small business bankruptcySmall businesses are the lifeblood of any community, and Kentucky’s staggering number of small businesses – over 70,000 – is no exception. Unfortunately, opening, operating, and succeeding in a small business is difficult.  It is no secret that most small business (between 50% and 90%, depending on who you ask) fail in the first few years they are open. The failure of a small business can be devastating to a family, and the effects can linger for many years.

Is the Debt Yours or Part of the Corporation?

In the Northern Kentucky area, one of the most significant, lingering effects of a small business is the debt incurred to open the business. If you do not incorporate your small business, then any debt you take on belongs to you as well as the business. Even if you do incorporate your small business, many creditors will make you co-sign for your business in order to get a start up loan. In either event, closing the business does not eliminate the debt. The creditor simply turns to you, the business owner, with an expectation of full payment.

Should Your Small Business Stay Open or Shut Down?

Dealing with a business’s out of control debts initially comes down to one major decision: Should the business stay open, or is it time to shut it down? This is usually a decision for the business owner and perhaps an accountant or bookkeeper to make, since they know the business better than any outsider. If the small business will stay open, then a Chapter 11 bankruptcy is probably the best way to restructure the business’s debts while the business continues to operate.  The Northern Kentucky Bankruptcy Attorney can help you with the process of filing a Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

If You Decide to Close the Business, Is Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy the Best Option?

If it is time to close the small business, then the best way to deal with the debts may first be to take the value of the assets or equipment the business owns and determine if they can be sold for an amount sufficient to pay the debt.  If not, then a consumer bankruptcy – either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 – may be the best option for most Kenton County, Kentucky residents.  If it looks like you will have to file a bankruptcy, it is very important that you speak to a Fort Mitchell Kentucky bankruptcy lawyer before disbursing any assets of the business. You might be surprised at what you can keep during a bankruptcy, and your attorney may be able to help you reduce secured debts significantly by negotiating asset transfers with secured creditors.

Delaying a Decision Is Usually a Small Business Owners Greatest Mistake

A bankruptcy of any kind, whether Chapter 7, 11, or 13, is generally a scary prospect for a small business owner. It almost always follows hard times, where money has been tight and stress has been high. However, delay is a small business owner’s greatest enemy whenever the business is failing and a change needs to be made.

Avoid the hassle of creditors and the confusion of following the bankruptcy laws on your own! A free consultation will decide which bankruptcy to file.  We can also work together to stop foreclosures, repossessions, and lawsuits. Lawrence & Associates Bankruptcy office is located in Fort Mitchell, KY.

Contact Us (859.371.5997) for a Free Consultation


Lawrence & Associates Help a Client Being Hassled by Student Loan Lenders

Posted on Thursday, November 6th, 2014 at 4:57 pm    

Student LoansThere 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 or been saddled with overwhelming medical bills. 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. We want to share a recent case we handled to give you an idea of what we can do for our clients. We will supply as many details as possible while still respecting our clients need for privacy.

The Situation

Our client from Erlanger, Kentucky contacted us to file bankruptcy because of her student loans. Her student loans were in default and she was getting hounded day and night by the lender. She knew that student loans were not dischargeable in bankruptcy, and she didn’t know what to do.

What We Did

Lawrence & Associates analyzed our clients  debt and realized that her student loans were the only non-dischargeable debt. We further realized that she could pay the student loans off within five years with reasonable monthly payments so long as her other, dischargeable debts did not continue eating into her monthly disposable income. We filed two bankruptcies for our client, the first was a Chapter 7 that discharged her medical bills, credit card debts, and payday loans. The second was a Chapter 13 filed after the Chapter 7. In the Chapter 13, the only debt was the student loan and we forced the student loan lender to accept a repayment schedule that lasted five years. While in the bankruptcy, our client could not be hassled by the student loan lender so long as she made her monthly payments.

The Result

Our client is currently paying off her student loans and is otherwise debt free! If you or someone you know is struggling financially, give us a call. We’re here to help. Lawrence & Associates Bankruptcy office is located in Fort Mitchell, KY.

Contact Us (859.371.5997) for a Free Consultation

Super Lawyers
Avvo
Top 100
Million Dollar Advocates Forum
ASLA
Badge

Ready to get started? Contact us today!