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How the Supreme Court’s Decision on Marriage Equality Affects Our Clients

Posted on Tuesday, June 30th, 2015 at 4:22 pm    

A few weeks ago, a Lawrence & Associates blog discussed the interplay between marriage and bankruptcy. At the time, Kentucky and Ohio were two of only four states in which courts had upheld bans against same-sex marriage, and we noted that a case before the United States Supreme Court could change the status of same-sex married couples in a bankruptcy:

At this time, same-sex couples are not allowed the right of marriage in either Kentucky or Ohio and therefore do not get the benefit of filing together. They do not get the cheaper filing rates of opposite-sex married couples, although the rules regarding household income are the same. The United States Supreme Court is currently considering this issue, so that rule may change. If so, we’ll update this blog in a different post to reflect that change.

supremecourtLast week, the United States Supreme Court ruled in Obergefell v. Hodges that same-sex couples have a right to marry under the United States Constitution. This landmark decision, similar to Brown v. Board of Education decades ago, advanced the goal of equality for all American citizens.

What Does this Mean for Bankruptcy Filers?

What this means for you depends on who you are. If you are not in, or about to enter, a same-sex marriage, then this ruling has no effect on your rights whatsoever. However, if you live in the Northern Kentucky or Southern Ohio areas, are in, or about to enter, a same-sex marriage, and are considering filing bankruptcy, then you have gained rights that had been previously denied to you. Insofar as it relates to a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you now have the right to file together, with only one filing fee. (This applies to both attorney fees and court costs.)

You will also be recognized as one household by the bankruptcy court once you have been married. By contrast, couples that are just dating are treated the same as roommates in the same household. Married couples, however, must list their spouse’s income on their bankruptcy, even if the spouse is not filing. This has no effect on the spouse’s credit, but it does affect one’s ability to file for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. A Chapter 7 debtor must be under median income for his or her household size in the state in which he or she lives. Household income includes a spouse’s income regardless of whether the spouse files. Thus, a same-sex couple may be forced to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy where before they could have filed separate Chapter 7s.

What Does this Mean for Those with an Injury?

In Workers’ Compensation, spouses of an injured worker do not have a claim for damages, so nothing will change for Workers’ Comp filers. In Personal Injury claims, however, a spouse historically has a right to damages called loss of consortium. This is the loss of the injured person’s household services, affection, ability to have sex, etc. Same-sex married couples are now going to be afforded the same loss of consortium rights that other married couples have enjoyed for centuries. Loss of consortium is a small factor for small injuries (and in fact can be worthless in many small injury claims), but is a major factor for major injuries, sometimes totaling millions of dollars. The adopted children of same-sex couples also enjoy a version of loss of consortium based upon the loss of a parent’s affection, or vice versa.

In disability claims, married same-sex couples will likely enjoy the same spousal benefits that opposite-sex married couples enjoy.

Find Out How the Supreme Court’s Ruling Affects You Personally Before Filing Bankruptcy

Being recognized as a same-sex couple can have beneficial or negative effects on any court action. At Lawrence & Associates, we give free consultations on all our cases. Please call us to get more information on how the Obergefell v. Hodges case applies to your legal proceeding. We take pride in representing Northern Kentucky and Greater Cincinnati couples. If you are getting married and have questions about bankruptcy, please give us a call today!

What Happens When I Surrender My House in Bankruptcy?

Posted on Wednesday, June 24th, 2015 at 1:20 pm    

Regardless of whether you file a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you have the option at the time of filing to keep or surrender your home. Many Northern Kentucky residents file bankruptcy especially for the purposes of keeping their homes, especially during the recent foreclosure crisis. However, others in the Northern Kentucky area file bankruptcy for the purpose of getting out from under crippling debts, which often includes the mortgage. People in that group will surrender their house in the bankruptcy, which means they give it back to the bank. This article talks about what happens when you decide to surrender your home.

The Process of Giving the Home Back

keys-400When you file your bankruptcy, you will have the option to surrender the house. If you file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you will use the Form 8 to make this choice. If you file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you must fill in the appropriate section of the Plan to surrender. In either event, the filing of the bankruptcy gives the mortgage company all the information they need to know they can take the house back.

However, the bank does not get to automatically take the house back. The automatic stay applies even to property you have surrendered in the bankruptcy, and will prevent the mortgage lender from taking the house without first asking the bankruptcy court for permission. Typically, mortgage companies will file a proof of claim and a motion for relief from stay with the bankruptcy court before it does anything else. You typically will not object to the motion for relief from stay if the debtor has surrendered the home, and the court will enter an order granting the motion.

After the mortgage company gets its order granting relief from stay, it still has to file a foreclosure action in state court. Even though you have surrendered the house, you will still get served with all the foreclosure paperwork. This is normal, and it does not mean you have to appear in court or file anything with the court. If you know you surrendered the property and have no intention of fighting to keep it, you can just throw all the papers sent to you in the recycling bin. Eventually, the mortgage company will get a judgment and a Master Commissioner’s sale will be set. The Master Commissioner’s sale is the date that the property will be taken out of your name and put into the buyer’s name.

Problems that Can Arise Before the Bank Takes the House Back

Many months can pass between the day you file your bankruptcy and the day the Master Commissioner’s sale takes place. During this time, you own the property and it is yours to maintain, regardless of whether you filed a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. This is both good and bad.

On the good side, since you own the house you are free to live in it up until the date of the Master Commissioner’s sale, and you can do so without paying anything to the mortgage company. This allows you to save the money you would normally pay toward rent or mortgage payments to give yourself a financial cushion going forward. Likewise, you can rent the property to someone and keep the rent payments (but make sure you are up front with the renter about the bankruptcy). However, if you choose this option, be ready to move your things quickly. If you enter the home after the Master Commissioner’s sale, you are trespassing.

On the bad side, you are responsible for maintaining the property and making payments to homeowner’s associations until the date of the master commissioner’s sale. If the city has an ordinance requiring the grass to be cut and they cite you for letting it grow too long, that citation is yours to pay. If the HOA makes an assessment against the homeowners after the bankruptcy but before the Master Commissioner’s sale, that is your assessment to pay. Remember that a bankruptcy only eliminates debts that exists before you filed, so debts like these that come up after the bankruptcy will not be covered by it. You cannot force the mortgage company to file the foreclosure quickly, and sometimes they wait a very long time.

Why it is Usually Better to Surrender the Home in Bankruptcy

There are other ways to allow the bank to take a home back. You could enter a short sale, or sign a “deed in lieu of foreclosure.” The problem with these solution is that they may be taxable to you. The IRS requires a tax paid for forgiveness of debt, so if the mortgage company writes off $100,000 of debt using these options, then you will owe the IRS taxes on $100,000.

A bankruptcy does not create a taxable event, although its effect is worse on your credit. Thus, you need to weigh your options prior to picking one of these alternatives.

Get Legal Advice Before Getting Rid of Your Home

Bankruptcy consultations are free, so take advantage of them. When Lawrence & Associates does a bankruptcy consultation, we do not charge you or ask you to sign a contract. If you decide to retain us, you can do so at a second appointment or at the first, whichever you choose. We take pride in representing Northern Kentucky and Greater Cincinnati residents, and we can advise you on how to best let go of a home that has become an albatross around your neck. Please give us a call today!

How Marriage Affects Bankruptcy

Posted on Monday, May 11th, 2015 at 2:06 pm    

At Lawrence & Associates, our bankruptcy attorneys deal with a lot of bankruptcies that come at the same time as a marriage or divorce. Many Northern Kentucky residents find that they either want to get rid of debts before they get married (often to avoid affecting the other person’s credit), or find that their debts become overwhelming following even the most amicable and fair divorce. In this post, we will talk a little bit about how an upcoming marriage can affect the filing of a bankruptcy.

Wedding Bells and Bankruptcy – What You Should Know

weddingflowersOne of the questions we get asked most often at our Fort Mitchell, Kentucky office is whether a bankruptcy should be filed before or after the couple gets married. Generally, the concern is that getting married will somehow make the other spouse responsible for the indebted spouse’s debts. We’ll deal with two scenarios: one in which both spouses-to-be are indebted and need to file bankruptcy, and one in which only one spouse is indebted and needs to file.

First, let’s assume both of the soon-to-be married couple both have an avalanche of debt and both require bankruptcy. In that instance, it will usually make sense for the couple to get married before filing. First, a married couple only has to pay one court filing fee and one attorney fee, so the cost of filing is cheaper. Second, in both Kentucky and Ohio, all bankruptcies – regardless of whether they are Chapter 7 or 13 – require all household income to be listed. (This information helps determine whether you can file a chapter 7 or a chapter 13, and also how much a payment in a Chapter 13 will be.)

Therefore, an engaged couple in the same household is treated the same as a married couple when household income is taken into consideration. It would be rare that an engaged couple would want to file separate bankruptcies before getting married, but that might be wise if: a) the couple lives apart, b) at least one qualifies for a Chapter 7 while living alone, and c) when the engaged couple combines incomes, it would force them into a Chapter 13. In that case, filing separately would allow the spouse with the Chapter 7 to get in and out of bankruptcy quickly, rather than being in the bankruptcy for three to five years. However, this involves a means test calculation and the means test is complex. We do not recommend that you do this without an attorney.

Next, let’s assume only one person has a lot of debt coming into the marriage, while the other person has very little debt. The second person may not need a bankruptcy, although the first might. The analysis changes very little from the first scenario. If only one person is filing, the fees and costs will be the same regardless of whether that person is married or not. There is still no change in household income based on marriage; rather, the court looks at whether the two people are co-habitating regardless of marriage. One of the biggest concerns voiced is that the partner without the debt does not want his or her credit affected by the bankruptcy. However, in Northern Kentucky and Greater Cincinnati, the courts will not require the non-filing spouse’s social security information on the bankruptcy documents. Therefore, the non-filing spouse’s credit will not be affected by the bankruptcy. Just like in the prior scenario, the toughest question is for spouses-to-be who don’t live together before marriage. In that situation, an experienced bankruptcy attorney should determine whether moving in together will change the type of bankruptcy you can file.

Marriage Equality and the Supreme Court

At this time, same-sex couples are not allowed the right of marriage in either Kentucky or Ohio and therefore do not get the benefit of filing together. They do not get the cheaper filing rates of opposite-sex married couples, although the rules regarding household income are the same. The United States Supreme Court is currently considering this issue, so that rule may change. If so, we’ll update this blog in a different post to reflect that change.

Get Legal Advice to Prepare for Bankruptcy Before You Make Any Life Changes

There are still a few free lunches in the world. One is in the form of a bankruptcy consultation. When Lawrence & Associates does a bankruptcy consultation, we do not charge you or ask you to sign a contract. If you decide to retain us, you can do so at a second appointment or at the first, whichever you choose. We take pride in representing Northern Kentucky and Greater Cincinnati couples and helping them achieve a debt free future. If you are getting married and have questions about bankruptcy, please give us a call today!

How Do I Know if that Debt Collection Call Was Really a Scam?

Posted on Monday, May 4th, 2015 at 2:03 pm    

Lawrence & Associates’ bankruptcy section sees many calls from Northern Kentucky residents who have been contacted by debt collectors – or at least people claiming to be debt collectors. In this post, we will discuss whether a call to collect a debt might be a scam, or whether a legitimate debt collector is lying about what they can do to collect a debt.

Did the IRS Really Just Call Me About Past Due Taxes?

debt-scam-callsBetween January and April of 2015, many Greater Cincinnati residents began receiving phone calls (sometimes automated) from callers claiming to be IRS representatives. These calls were especially common in Northern Kentucky. The calls stated that the person being called owed unpaid and past due income taxes. The caller then demanded that the taxpayer give up personal information – including a social security number – and sometimes demand that the taxpayer make an immediate payment on the balance owed.

If you receive a call like this, it is a scam. The IRS has held a press conference on this, and has publicly stated that they do not make phone calls for past due taxes owed. Instead, the IRS sends letters. Further, the IRS generally avoids filing lawsuits related to past due taxes. Instead, the IRS will often seize any future tax returns, because this allows them to be repaid without having to pay an attorney. Don’t fall for this scam!

Can I Go to Jail for a Past Due Debt?

Many Greater Cincinnati residents receive phone calls from debt collectors threatening jail time if a debt is not paid. The debt collector will state that failure to make a payment by a certain date will result in a sheriff or the state police arresting the debtor and taking them to prison. Many Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky residents become so afraid of prison time that they go without food in order to make a payment.

This is a scam; debtor’s prison was outlawed centuries ago. While it is true that fraudulently incurring a debt can land someone in prison in both Kentucky and Ohio, unwisely taking out a debt simply is not fraud. In fact, in the thousands of bankruptcies this law firm has filed over the years, we have never once seen a client charged criminally for fraud. So rest easy – there is no jail time for accidentally getting behind on a payment. The sheriff’s deputy will visit you if you are sued, but this is only to serve you with the complaint from the civil suit. If you are sued civilly, that just means the creditor wants money from you. And if you are sued civilly, Lawrence & Associates can help you take care of that lawsuit by filing a bankruptcy.

Bankruptcy Foreclosure Scams – Can you Save Your Home for $800?

If your home has never been foreclosed upon, you’ve probably never seen this scam. But anyone in the Northern Kentucky area that has been served with foreclosure papers can probably recite this scam by heart. Usually in a snail mail letter, or sometimes even in the local newspaper, companies will offer “mortgage assistance” or “foreclosure counseling” – two very vague terms that really mean nothing. The letter will offer to work out the mortgage arrearage by having the homeowner sign a deed over to the “foreclosure counselor,” or by transferring a fraction of the interest in the home to another person in bankruptcy. By doing so, this company promises that attempts to foreclose on the property will stop.
This is also a scam. Yes, attempts to foreclose on the property will stop for a while. But you can also lose ownership of your home. Further, the foreclosure will only be stopped temporarily at best. Once everything is sorted out, and assuming the homeowner still has a home, the foreclosure will proceed. This type of scam has gotten so bad that the federal government has written a report warning homeowners about it. Never sign a deed without consulting with an attorney first, under any circumstances! And never believe that your foreclosure will be permanently stopped without making plans to repay the arrearage on the mortgage.

Bankruptcy Can Legitimately Stop the Problems These Scams Claim to Stop

If you are on the receiving end of any of these scams, you probably have real financial problems. Financial problems that cannot be resolved by setting up a short repayment plan with a creditor are nearly always best solved by filing bankruptcy. Remember, the most common reaction of most Northern Kentucky residents upon filing a bankruptcy is wishing they had investigated the possibility before sinking their time and money into poorly thought out financial “solutions.” Lawrence & Associates can help Northern Kentucky and Greater Cincinnati clients file bankruptcy and stop the harassment. Call us today and learn how we can help you!

Steps To Take Before, During, and After a Bankruptcy To Reduce The Impact On Your Credit

Posted on Friday, April 17th, 2015 at 4:42 pm    

credit-scoreMany people wonder how they can protect their credit during a bankruptcy. There are actually several steps you can take before, during, and after a bankruptcy to help reduce the bankruptcy’s impact on your credit to the greatest extent possible. The Fort Mitchell, Kentucky offices of Lawrence & Associates can help you find ways to mitigate credit damage based on your particular circumstances. In the meantime, here are some tips:

Tips Before Bankruptcy

A Fort Mitchell, Kentucky resident with credit card accounts that have zero balances should stop using them immediately! If the balance is less than six hundred dollars, paying it off may be a good idea before the bankruptcy. However, you should never pay more than $600 toward your debts prior to bankruptcy, and you should always consult with an attorney before doing so. Many credit card companies will keep a person’s account open during bankruptcy if the card has a $0 balance when the bankruptcy is filed. If the account remains open until after the bankruptcy, then that card can be used to rebuild credit.

Tips During Bankruptcy

A Northern Kentucky resident can help to improve credit as well. Reaffirming on a loan or lease for a car will help to improve your credit rating. Future car payments will also help boost your credit score. It is not wise to reaffirm on a vehicle if the payments are beyond your ability to pay, but with a careful budget in place payments toward a mortgage or a car loan will continually improve your credit score. A good Northern Kentucky Bankruptcy attorney will prepare a budget that allows for such payments.

Tips After Bankruptcy

In Fort Mitchell, Kentucky, almost everyone that exits a bankruptcy gets credit card solicitations immediately. If the solicitation comes from a legitimate and well known credit card company, they might help you improve your credit. You’ll need to make sure that the company reports the credit line to the credit bureaus, so the payments on the card will help your credit. If you do accept such a credit card, be sure to charge only minimal amounts to it such as gas or groceries. Most importantly, ALWAYS pay the card off at the end of the month to avoid interest taking a big bite out of your budget. Finally, be sure to always pay all loan or credit card payments on time, as timeliness is important to your credit rating.

Unfortunately, our office does not provide additional services for rebuilding your credit after bankruptcy, although we can help you file bankruptcy or preserve your credit rating before filing bankruptcy. If you’d like more advice on filing bankruptcy or maintaining or preparing to preserve credit during bankruptcy, call Lawrence & Associates at our Fort Mitchell, Kentucky or Warsaw, Kentucky today!

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

Illness and Overwhelming Medical Bills Send Many into Bankruptcy

Posted on Thursday, April 2nd, 2015 at 3:53 pm    

chapter 7 bankruptcyAccording to a 2007 study, 62.1% of all bankruptcies have a medical cause and the share of bankruptcies attributable to medical problems rose by 50% between 2001 and 2007. [1] Moreover, a recent article in Forbes highlighted one woman’s story of illness and mounting debt and stated that overwhelming medical bills cause 17-62% of all bankruptcy declarations. [2]

Stephanie Casey Diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis

The woman featured in the Forbes article, 30-year-old Stephanie Casey, discusses her diagnosis with Multiple Sclerosis and the skyrocketing medical bills and debt associated with the diagnosis. Before the diagnosis, Mrs. Casey and her family were in an ideal situation- they had health insurance, IRA accounts, a sizeable emergency fund, were saving for a home, and no debt. However, the medication for MS rose from $2,800.00 to $3,600.00 per month and even with health insurance, Mrs. Casey was responsible for $250.00 per month. That’s over $3000.00 a year spent just on injections to help slow the progression of MS!

The High Cost of Healthcare

In the article, Mrs. Casey also expresses concern for her future and the future of her family. She states, “If I lose my vision, like 81% of MS patients do, and can’t work–this would mean that I’d no longer be covered by health insurance after 18 months of COBRA–we’re prepared to file for bankruptcy. If I don’t have insurance, and I lose my income, our family would be functioning on my husband’s salary alone to cover a $2,200 a month mortgage–and my $3,500 per month medication.” She goes on to state, “We’d be bankrupt within a few months of running up credit card bills to pay for the drugs, so it would be better for me to file individually, get down to no income and qualify for disability insurance and patient assistance programs from the drug manufacturers.”

Filing for Bankruptcy May Help

Although Mrs. Casey’s situation may seem extreme, many insurance companies in Northern Kentucky cancel coverage when the employee suffers a disabling illness because they become too sick to work, leaving them with medical bills and no insurance.With the rising costs of medical care and the increase of individuals struggling to stay on top, filing for bankruptcy may help relieve some of that debt. A Northern Kentucky Bankruptcy Attorney can help you get a better idea of what disclosures are required in order to file for bankruptcy and what debts will be discharged.

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

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.

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