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There’s a Lien on My Property; What Does that Mean?

Posted on Thursday, December 4th, 2014 at 4:30 pm    

lien on propertyIn Northern Kentucky and surrounding areas, creditors will sometimes sue over bills such as a Chase credit card or a St. Elizabeth hospital medical bill. Usually, these creditors are trying to garnish your wages, but sometimes the creditor will decide to put a judicial lien on your property. If that happens, there can be serious consequences. The creditor can try to force the sale of your home, and while the home remains unsold  interest will continue to accumulate. The equity you’ve worked hard to build in your home can disappear unless you taken action.

Act Quickly for Your Best Results

For most consumers, filing a bankruptcy is the best way to stop a credit card or medical bill lawsuit in its tracks. If you can, contact an attorney as soon as the complaint is filed, if not beforehand. This gives us the maximum amount of time in which to prepare for the bankruptcy and the best ability to prevent the lien in the first place. Once a lien is filed in Northern Kentucky, it is much harder to discharge the debt. Rather than being unsecured, the creditor with the lien on your property is potentially secured. Northern Kentucky Bankruptcy lawyers have the ability to strip some judicial liens based upon your equity in your property and the exemptions applicable to you.

Avoid the hassle of creditors and their liens! A free consultation  with Lawrence & Associates will help you decide what action to take.  We can also work together to stop foreclosures, repossessions, and lawsuits.

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


My Car Was Repossessed Right Before Filing a Bankruptcy…. What Should I Do?

Posted on Friday, October 3rd, 2014 at 1:35 pm    

repossessionAct Quickly, You May Be Able to Get Your Car Back

If your car is repossessed before you file for bankruptcy, you might be able to get the car back by filing for bankruptcy; however, you must act quickly! Generally, once the car is sold at auction, you won’t get it back. Therefore, you should contact a Kenton County Bankruptcy attorney as soon as your car is repossessed. Legally, if you have nonexempt equity in your car, the lender must return the car because it is part of the bankruptcy estate, and the repossession is considered to be an illegal preference. In practice, however, car loan lenders generally won’t return the car without an order from the court, which usually means you’ll need help from a Northern Kentucky bankruptcy attorney. Once you have the car back, you’ll still have to either redeem the car or reaffirm the contract in order to keep the car.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Can Also Allow You to Get the Car Back

If you were considering filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy anyway, and do so quickly you may be able to keep your car. In Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you can repay any car loan arrears through your Chapter 13 repayment plan. So, if you can make your regular car note payment and your plan payments, you’ll be able to keep your car. The automatic stay applies to Chapter 13 too, so you should be able to stop any pending repossession sale.

Beware: If You Can’t Afford the Payments, Getting the Car Back May Not Be Your Best Option

Sometimes, getting your car back once it’s been repossessed is not the always the best option. Often, people are willing to accept any terms to get a vehicle back because they need the car, for example, to get to work. However, if you owe significantly more than the vehicle is worth and know you will have trouble keeping up with the payments in the future, you might want to contact an attorney and discuss your options.

If you or someone you know is facing repossession or has recently had his or her vehicle repossessed, contact Lawrence & Associates in Fort Mitchell, Kentucky today to get the help that you deserve!

Contact Us (859.371.5997) for a Free Consultation


Need a Status Update On Your Chapter 13 Bankruptcy? Check Online or Call Your Attorney

Posted on Friday, September 26th, 2014 at 2:33 pm    

Bankruptcy UpdateChapter 13 Bankruptcies last for 3-5 years in almost every case so it’s common for the debtor to want to check its status.  Filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is often a straightforward affair. Most of the work is done on the front end, especially for the debtor. You gather your paperwork, let the lawyer generate the documents, show up to a few meetings and one court hearing, and then wait for the discharge in the mail. Filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a much longer and more involved process. Debtors want a status on the bankruptcy during that time, to make sure the payments he or she is making are actually doing what they are supposed to do.

Call Your Attorney to Get an Update

If you want a status on your bankruptcy, don’t be afraid to call your attorney to get an update. Your attorney is paid to counsel you not just at the time of filing, but also throughout the bankruptcy. If you have questions or a problem with your Chapter 13, your attorney should be able to help you with that even if you filed the bankruptcy years ago.

Check Your Status Online!

You can also get a status on your bankruptcy online. Go to www.13datacenter.com and set up a free account as a Debtor. You will be asked some background questions to verify your identity, similar to the kinds of questions you are asked when you look up your credit report. Once your account is created, you can see all the payments you’ve made to the trustee and where those payments have gone.

Typically, you’ll see payments made in the following order…

  1. Fees your attorney did not charge up front (but which should be disclosed in the contract)
  2. Secured claims such as a car loan
  3. Any mortgage or tax arrearage
  4. Unsecured creditors such as credit cards.

As a rule, you should see car loans, taxes, and mortgage arrearages being paid in full, if you are near the end of your bankruptcy.

Call Your Attorney First Before Contacting the Chapter 13 Trustee Office

You can also get some information from the Chapter 13 trustee’s office, although calling the Chapter 13 trustee should be an option of last resort. Generally, if the Chapter 13 trustee has to step in and start answering questions about how the bankruptcy case is being handled, the attorney isn’t doing a very good job. Make sure you call your attorney first!

At Lawrence & Associates’ Kenton County office, we’ve helped hundreds of people get a fresh start from crushing debts. Our attorneys take care to communicate with each and every valued client so that there is no confusion as to how a bankruptcy will operate. 

Contact Us (859.371.5997) for a Free Consultation


Lawrence & Associates Help a Husband and Wife in Northern Kentucky Avoid Foreclosure on Their Home

Posted on Thursday, September 11th, 2014 at 4:02 pm    

foreclosure noticeThere 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 Bankruptcy 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 clients, a husband and wife, got a foreclosure notice in the mail. They had worked really hard to get their house and even harder to get the mortgage modified after they both got laid off a few years ago. Now it looked like all those efforts were for nothing, because the bank was coming to take the house away.

What We Did

Lawrence & Associates helped our clients file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, with a five year repayment plan to get their mortgage caught up. Their monthly payment was something they could afford to pay, and the bank was not allowed to foreclose on their house.

The Result

Our clients kept their home and are still living there to this day!

Contact Us (859.371.5997) for a Free Consultation


How Many Years Do I Have to Wait Before Filing a New Bankruptcy in Northern Kentucky?

Posted on Friday, September 5th, 2014 at 10:32 am    

how long between bankruptciesMany people in Northern Kentucky filed a bankruptcy within the last five to ten years, only to find new debts piling up. Northern Kentucky citizens sometimes find that the first bankruptcy may not have erased a debt as expected. Other times unexpected new debts occur after the first bankruptcy was filed, such as high medical bills from a Northern Kentucky hospital like St. Elizabeth Medical Center. The Northern Kentucky attorneys at Lawrence & Associates can provide affordable debt relief in this situation.

8 Years Between Chapter 7 Bankruptcies – Don’t Wait To Meet with an Bankruptcy Attorney Until the 8 year Term is Up

The bankruptcy code requires eight years between filing Chapter 7s, but there are many other options available for relief from out of control debt. That doesn’t mean you should wait for eight years to seek legal advice! The Northern Kentucky attorneys at Lawrence & Associates will work with you while you are waiting for your opportunity to file a Chapter 7 again, making sure you are ready to file as soon as your new Chapter 7 bankruptcy is available. If you delay seeking legal advice, you play right into your creditors’ hands, because they know you are able to file a new Chapter 7 bankruptcy after eight years, and they will try to sue you in Northern Kentucky before you can file. Get in touch with a Northern Kentucky Bankruptcy Attorney today to stop creditors from suing you!

You Can File a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy at Any Time

In Northern Kentucky, you also have the option of filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy at any time after your Chapter 7 discharge, and this Chapter 13 will hold off your creditors until you can file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy again. The Northern Kentucky attorneys at Lawrence & Associates can work with you on this and many other options to stop creditor harassment and provide debt relief immediately. If you aren’t able to file a new Chapter 7 bankruptcy yet but you need legal assistance now, call Lawrence & Associates in Northern Kentucky and we can help you!

If you or someone you know need(s) to file bankruptcy and has recently moved in or out of Kentucky, contact Lawrence & Associates today!

Contact Us (859.371.5997) for a Free Consultation


Will Filing for Bankruptcy in Northern Kentucky Affect Your Spouse’s Credit?

Posted on Thursday, August 28th, 2014 at 3:41 pm    

bankruptcyIn Northern Kentucky, if you choose to file for bankruptcy without including your spouse, your spouse’s social security number will not appear on the bankruptcy. As a result, there will be no effect on your spouse’s credit.  Bear in mind that whichever spouse chooses not to file will not have any of their debts affected.  Co-signed debts, such as a credit card in both spouse’s names, will still be the responsibility of the non-filing spouse to pay. Often times, it is in both parties best interest to file together if the couple has co-signed debts. Therefore, it is within your best interest to contact an experienced Northern Kentucky bankruptcy attorney who can advise you and your spouse of the best option.

When Only One Spouse Files for Bankruptcy

If only one spouse chooses to file, the credit of the non-filing spouse should remain unaffected. Each person has a separate credit file for credit reporting purposes. Your debts, if the debts are truly yours alone, are not supposed to show in your spouse’s credit report. Similarly, your bankruptcy should not show in your spouse’s file if you have no joint debts.

Applying for Loans Jointly

While the bankruptcy of one spouse should not affect the credit of the non-filing spouse, the bankruptcy of one spouse will have some effect on the credit worthiness of the non-filing spouse if they apply jointly in the future for a loan. The loan grantor will likely consider the credit rating of both applicants in making a lending decision.

Lawrence & Associates can help Kenton County residents, as well as other Northern Kentucky couples, file bankruptcy as a couple or file for one spouse alone.

If you or someone you know need(s) to file bankruptcy, contact Lawrence & Associates today!

Contact Us (859.371.5997) for a Free Consultation


Lawrence & Associates Help a Widow Overwhelmed with Medical Bills After Losing Her Husband to Cancer

Posted on Thursday, August 14th, 2014 at 3:43 pm    

bankruptcy due to medical billsThere 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 Bankruptcy 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 (M.C.) was a widow who had a mountain of medical bills waiting for her after her husband lost his battle with cancer. The hospital threatened a lawsuit and would not accept the amount of money she offered to pay them each month.

What We Did

Lawrence & Associates helped our client file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy so she could keep her farm and pay a reasonable amount toward the medical bills each month. She did not have to pay the medical bills in full, but paid what she could.

The Result

Our client successfully paid the hospital to the best of her ability and received a discharge on the rest of the debt.

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.

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