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Does Filing Bankruptcy Affect a Co-Signer’s Credit?

Posted on Thursday, March 20th, 2014 at 5:39 pm    

Many people who file bankruptcy in Northern Kentucky have co-signers on their debt. For some, the co-signer is part of the reason they are filing bankruptcy in the first place! I cannot count the number of parents I have met who have had to file bankruptcy because they were sued when a child defaulted on car payments. Similarly, I have helped quite a few people file bankruptcy because an ex-spouse defaulted on the mortgage that both spouses signed before the divorce.

Trying Not to Hurt a Family Member’s Credit

Sometimes the reverse of that situation is also true. I’ve seen quite a few people fall on hard times with their debts generally, but faithfully keep a particular debt paid because they know a family member co-signed on that debt. The last thing anyone wants is for a family member’s credit to be hurt, especially if that family member has nothing to do with the default on that debt. In this situation, the question I’m most commonly asked is, “If I file bankruptcy on this debt, will it hurt my co-signer’s credit?”

Bankruptcy is Tied to Specific Social Security Numbers

The answer is straightforward, but there are a few factors that need to be considered before you arrive at a plan to deal with the debt. In short, if you file bankruptcy, your social security number is the one the bankruptcy attaches to. A co-signer’s social security number will not be involved, and thus the bankruptcy does not go on their credit. At most, the co-signer’s credit report will receive a notation, on the particular debt in question, that a bankruptcy was filed on that debt. This should not affect the co-signer’s credit score.

Can Creditors Come After Co-Signers After Kentucky Bankruptcy Proceedings Are Started?

The bigger and more important issue is the matter of whether the creditor can sue or demand payment from the co-signer. If the co-signer has not filed a bankruptcy of his or her own, then the co-signer might be forced to pay the debt. This can be avoided if you continue to pay on the debt, and there are several ways that this can be accomplished, including by filing a reaffirmation or by paying the debt through a Chapter 13 payment plan.

Protecting co-signers during a bankruptcy is one of the many reasons that Northern Kentucky bankruptcy filers need the services of a skilled bankruptcy attorney.

If you or someone you know may need to file bankruptcy, contact a Northern Kentucky Bankruptcy Lawyer today. Lawrence & Associates can help!

Contact Us (859.371.5997) for a Free Consultation


What is a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

Posted on Thursday, March 13th, 2014 at 8:56 am    

Chapter 13 BankruptcyChapter 13 is a type of bankruptcy that allows consumers who are struggling with debt to seek relief through the court. Chapter 13 is commonly used by people who are facing home foreclosure, as it can stop that process in its tracks. A debtor must meet Chapter 13 requirements to file for bankruptcy under this chapter. Unlike a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which allows the debtor to discharge some debts in exchange for the sale of nonexempt property to pay creditors, Chapter 13 allows the debtor to keep their property and repay creditors in a three or five year court-approved repayment plan.

If you’re struggling to pay your bills each month, filing for bankruptcy under Chapter 13 may allow to you get back on track by reorganizing your debts into one affordable monthly payment; however, there are certain requirements that must absolutely be met in order to file for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. A Kenton County, Kentucky bankruptcy attorney can determine if you are eligible for a Chapter 13.

If you don’t qualify to permanently discharge debt under Chapter 7 or prefer to set up a new payment plan with your creditors, Lawrence & Associates 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.

If you or someone you know needs to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, contact a Northern Kentucky Bankruptcy Attorney today. Lawrence & Associates can help!

Contact Us (859.371.5997) for a Free Consultation

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Why Northern Kentucky Residents Need Lawyers for Auto Accident Claims

Posted on Friday, March 7th, 2014 at 10:50 am    

bad phone callAfter an auto accident some people aren’t sure whether they should hire an attorney at all.  It’s also tough to decide which Northern Kentucky attorney to hire to represent you in your dealing with insurance companies. No matter what, it is always a good idea to hire an attorney – a good attorney – to represent you in an automobile accident and/or liability claim. Look no further than the insurance industry itself for proof of this fact.

 

Internal Insurance Company Statistics Show You Should Hire an Attorney

Insurance companies’ internal statistics reveal that claims asserted by attorneys settle for an average of fifty percent higher than claims asserted by claimants without an attorney.[1] On average, you leave fifty percent of the money you deserve, by law, on the table when you decide not to hire an attorney. It doesn’t take long to realize this is a bad deal for you. Remember that insurance company adjusters are trained to pay out as little as possible in any auto accident claim. Further, under Kentucky law the other driver’s insurance company doesn’t have a duty to pay you a fair settlement. Whether these adjusters have an ethical duty to treat injured people fairly is never considered by the insurance company. Insurance companies have a legal duty to investigate the claim, but rarely is a claim’s investigation fairly handled. Rather, insurance company’s use this opportunity to ignore or minimize facts helpful to the injured Northern Kentucky resident and to emphasize other facts that often have no relationship to whether or not an injury occurred.

For example, insurance companies will insist that the following facts are important…

  • The fact that the injured person did not report a significant injury at the scene or use an ambulance (again, very common even with significant injuries);
  • Any prior injuries you have had, even if those injuries have nothing to do with the way you were hurt in the crash;
  • Degenerative Disc Disease or underlying arthritis shown in X-rays (everyone has this, but the insurance claims it is proof that the injured person has a pre-existing injury);
  • The fact that the emergency room report reports an injury incorrectly (this is more common than you think);
  • The extent or type of property damage to the cars involved in the wreck;
  • In truth, none of these things tell the story of your injury, and your claim should never be declined or paid in less-than-full because of these things.

Don’t Get Caught Between Sophisticated Automobile and Health Insurance Companies

A good Northern Kentucky auto accident attorney can help you minimize the effect of liens from health insurance companies and medical providers after your verdict or settlement. Some laws, such as the Medicare Secondary Payer Act, are very complex and almost impossible to wade through even for some attorneys. If you don’t have attorney, the people that are supposed to be on your side – your own insurance company or your medical providers – will often take more of your settlement or verdict than the law requires you to pay. In short, the injured Northern Kentucky resident is often caught between multiple insurance companies, both auto insurance and health insurance, and medical providers who are sophisticated and want to be paid with money that should compensate the injured person for his or her injuries. The unrepresented injured person is often taken advantage of. A full-time Fort Mitchell Kentucky personal injury attorney knows that reaching a resolution with the other person’s insurance carrier is only half the battle, and takes pride in maximizing his or her client’s recovery.

Lawrence & Associates Law Firm also helps auto injury victims in Ohio receive the compensation they deserve. Call us today!

Ohio: (513) 351-5997
Kentucky: (859) 371-5997

[1] Determinants of Total Compensation for Auto Bodily Injury Liability Under No Fault; Investigation, Negotiation and the Suspicion of Fraud, published in Insurance and Risk Management, volume 71, January 2004, at pages 633 through 662.

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What is an Automatic Stay and How Does It Affect Me?

Posted on Friday, March 7th, 2014 at 8:37 am    

timeoutWhen you file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Kentucky, the automatic stay immediately goes into effect. The automatic stay prohibits most creditors from continuing with collection activities, which can provide some relief to debtors.

Once the automatic stay goes into effect, it can protect a debtor from the following…

  • Utility Disconnections – If you’re behind on a utility bill and the company is threatening to disconnect your water, electric, gas, or telephone service, the automatic stay will prevent the disconnection for a period of time.
  • Foreclosure – If your home mortgage is being foreclosed on, the automatic stay temporarily stops the proceedings, but the creditor will often be able to proceed with the foreclosure eventually. If you are facing foreclosure, Chapter 13 bankruptcy is usually a better remedy than Chapter 7 bankruptcy, if you wish to keep your house. A Northern Kentucky bankruptcy attorney can help you determine this.
  • Eviction – If you are being evicted from your home, the automatic stay may provide some help; however, there may be a few wrinkles. If you are facing eviction, it is in your best interests to speak to an experienced bankruptcy attorney.
  • Collection of Overpayments of Public Benefits – If you receive public benefits and were overpaid, normally the agency is entitled to collect the overpayment out of your future checks. The automatic stay prevents this collection.
  • Multiple Wage Garnishments = Filing for bankruptcy stops garnishments dead in their tracks. Although no more than 25% of your wages may be taken to satisfy court judgments (up to 50% for child support and alimony), many people file for bankruptcy if more than one wage garnishment is threatened because garnishments can be detrimental to an employee’s paycheck.

Lawrence & Associates’ Bankruptcy attorneys are dedicated to helping Northern Kentucky families get the help they need. We serve all of Boone, Kenton, Campbell, Gallatin, Owen and Pendleton County, as well as other counties in the surrounding areas. Come see us at our Fort Mitchell, Kentucky office today.

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