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- Home Foreclosure
- Wage Garnishment
- IRS tax levy
- Credit Card Debt
- Student Loan Debt
- Eviction Notices
- Utility cut off notices
- Car or Truck Reposession
- Property Liens
- Harassing Creditor Calls
- etc...we can help!
Call us now to see if bankruptcy is your best option and get the fresh start that you deserve.
3 Questions to ask your Memphis Bankruptcy Attorney
Filing for bankruptcy in Memphis and Shelby County is a hard situation for many people and some fail to understand what to do about it. If you happen to find yourself in this unfortunate situation, it is important to look for a bankruptcy attorney to represent you. Some people do not think much about the kind of attorney they hire but it is very important to hire an attorney who offers quality services to his/her clients. Hiring the wrong attorney will increase the stress associated with bankruptcy filing. On the other hand, a good bankruptcy attorney will represent you in the best way possible to ensure that you succeed in your endeavors. Such an attorney knows that the situation is a tough one for you and you need to be represented in the right way to help you cope with it.
There are certain steps that you can take to help you determine if the attorney you are about to hire is good. One of them is to ask your attorney some questions. The following are some of the questions you should ask in order to ensure that you hire a reputable Memphis bankruptcy attorney. These questions will also give you a hint of what to expect and what might be the outcome of the crisis you are in.
1. Should I file for bankruptcy? Some people file for bankruptcy without asking their lawyers any questions. It is always important to ask your bankruptcy attorney whether there are other options available to you apart from filing for bankruptcy. Knowing about alternative options is very important. Ask your attorney to explain each of them to you so that you can know the advantages and disadvantages of all the options. In this way, you will be able to compare them and decide on the best option with your attorney’s assistance. If you find that filing for bankruptcy is the best option you need to ask another question.
2. What kind of bankruptcy should I file? There are different forms of bankruptcy but most of them deal with businesses, farms and corporations. The ones that deal with individuals are chapter 7 bankruptcy and chapter 13 bankruptcy. It is important to ask what these chapters entail and which one is good for you. The chapter you file will determine whether your debts will be discharged or you will restructure the way you pay your debts. A good Memphis bankruptcy attorney will advise you on the chapter that will work best for you and will guide you on how to file it. He or she will also explain to you the benefits you will gain after filing either of the chapters and the challenges you may experience. In addition to that he/she will let you know the filing location. With all this information, you will not end up regretting after filing for bankruptcy.
3. How will my assets be affected? This is another important question that you should ask your attorney. For instance, if you file chapter 7, you should know whether any of your assets will be at risk for liquidation. You should also ask him or her whether there is any asset that has been protected from your creditors.
The above are only some of the questions that will be very beneficial to you. In addition to these questions, ask your lawyer about his/her qualifications, experience, license and charges among others. Asking your Memphis bankruptcy attorney the above questions will help you know a lot about filing for bankruptcy and help you choose the best attorney.
Stop Foreclosure in Memphis
The foreclosure process in Memphis TN takes time. Most creditors do not begin foreclosing until the homeowner is two to three months behind on their mortgage payments. This gives the homeowner some time to consider alternatives to foreclosure, such as a loan forbearance, short sale, or deed in lieu of foreclosure. Should all of these alternatives fail, bankruptcy may help in several different ways.
How to Delay Foreclosure with an Automatic Stay
. Bankruptcy and foreclosure are both words that the average person dreads hearing. If you are facing foreclosure, however, bankruptcy can become a tool to help you keep your house.
Once you file bankruptcy, either Chapter 13 or Chapter 7, the court automatically issues an Order for Relief. This order grants you an “automatic stay”, that directs your creditors to immediately cease their collection attempts, no matter what. So, if a foreclosure sale has been scheduled for your home, it will be postponed, by law, until the bankruptcy is finalized. This usually takes about three to four months.
There are two exceptions to this buying time rule:
If the Lender Files a Motion to Lift the Stay: Unfortunately, the lender can file a motion to lift the stay, which asks permission from the bankruptcy court to continue with the foreclosure sale. If this is granted, you may not receive the extra three to four months of time. However, bankruptcy normally still postpones the sale by about two months or more, or even longer if the lender does not act fast in filing the motion to lift the stay.
If the Foreclosure Notice has Already Been Filed: Most states have laws that require lenders to give homeowners a certain amount of notice before selling their property. A bankruptcy’s automatic stay will NOT stop the clock on this advance notice. For instance, California law requires a lender to give the homeowner at least three months notice before selling the home. If a California resident receives this three month notice, and then files for bankruptcy two months later, the three month period would have passed after being in bankruptcy for only one month. As a result, the lender could file a motion to lift the stay and ask the court’s permission to schedule the foreclosure.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy vs Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Chapter 7 is better than Chapter 13 and here is why. For most people who are looking to file bankruptcy the choice really comes down to filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy or a chapter 13 bankruptcy. I believe that in most situations people are much happier with the benefits offered in a chapter 7 bankruptcy case.
You Will Recover More Quickly From A Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. Most people are surprised that their credit score has actually increased 12 months after their Chapter 7 bankruptcy case is complete. Further, most people are unaware that if you have good payment history after your chapter 7 case, the Federal Housing Administration can qualify you for a home loan within 2 years of your bankruptcy case being completed. While you can also qualify for Federal Housing Administration loans while in your chapter 13 case, the reality of this is you are going to have a more difficult time getting financing while you have an active bankruptcy case, and in Chapter 13 you will have an active case for 3 to 5 years.
There is no question that filing a chapter 7 bankruptcy hurts your credit, but it is a static event every day you get further away from it the more likely you will be able to obtain new financing if you need.
Stop Wage Garnishment in Memphis
Wage garnishment in Memphis can wreak havoc as creditors can collect up to 25% of your take-home income, which can put you and your family in a difficult situation. However, filing for bankruptcy can stop wage garnishment quickly.
As soon as someone files for bankruptcy, they can benefit from an automatic stay.
An automatic stay, or also known as an injunction, will go into effect as soon as you file for bankruptcy and hinders creditors from taking action to collect on debt, including wage garnishment.
After filing, it could take the court more than a week to send official documentation to creditors. However, there is one thing you and your Memphis bankruptcy attorney can do to ensure wage garnishment stops quickly.
As soon as you file for bankruptcy, send all the information regarding your bankruptcy case such as file number, filing date, as well as the location of the court to both your place of employment and to the creditor.
Once the creditor has been notified of the bankruptcy, they are legally obliged to cease wage garnishment. This is true even if they haven’t received official paperwork from the court.
After the bankruptcy case ends, creditors cannot continue garnishing wages on discharged debts. However, this isn’t true for nondischargeable debts.
You are responsible for settling any debt that the bankruptcy court has ruled as nondischargeable. When the case ends, the automatic stay no longer applies, and creditors can resume wage garnishment.
If a person’s wages have already been garnished, then they might be able to recover those wages.
If your wages were garnished within 90 days of filing and the total amount garnished was more than $600, then you will probably be able to reclaim your wages by filing another lawsuit in bankruptcy court.
Depending on your financial situation, recovering lost wages through court might not make much financial sense. Consult a Memphis bankruptcy attorney if you have questions related to wage garnishment – whether it’s how to find out how to stop it quickly or to recover garnished income.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
With bankruptcy, the main goal is to wipe out all debt. Filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a perfectly legal way to discharge your debts. Although some debts are “nondischargeable,” most people filing for Chapter 7 will be able to discharge MOST or ALL of their debts. While credit card debt is one of the most common dischargeable debts, there are many, many other types of debt that Chapter 7 will discharge.
What Is A Discharge And How Does It Work?
A discharge releases individual debtors from personal liability for the debt and prevents the creditor owed that debt from taking any collection actions against the debtor. In other words, the debtor is no longer legally required to pay any debts that are discharged.
Although a debtor is not personally liable for discharged debts, a valid lien that has not been avoided (made unenforceable) in the bankruptcy case will remain. Therefore, a secured creditor may enforce the lien to recover the property secured by the lien.
In most cases, Chapter 7 bankruptcy filers automatically receive a discharge at the end of their case. In Chapter 7, the court usually grants the discharge 60 days after the 341(a) Meeting of Creditors. Typically, this means you will obtain a discharge about four months after filing your Chapter 7 petition.
Which Debts Are Dischargeable?
Although not all debts are dischargeable, the majority of your debts will be discharged through Chapter 7, especially if you do not have any extraordinary circumstances. Among your dischargeable debt, all your debts that arose before the date of filing for Chapter 7 will be discharged. You will still be responsible for any debt you incur after filing your petition but before receiving a discharge.
Below is a list of the most common dischargeable debts:
- credit card charges (including overdue and late fees)
- collection agency accounts
- medical bills
- personal loans from friends, family, and employers
- utility bills (past due amounts only)
- dishonored checks (unless based on fraud)
- student loans (only in a few rare circumstances)
- repossession deficiency balances
- auto accident claims (except those involving drunk driving)
- business debts
- money owed under lease agreements (includes past due rent)
- civil court judgments (unless based on fraud)
- tax penalties and unpaid taxes past a certain number of years
- attorney fees (except child support and alimony awards)
- revolving charge accounts (except extended payment charges)
- social security overpayments, and
- veterans assistance loans and overpayments.