Bankruptcy

We represent consumers and small businesses in bankruptcy proceedings.  We handle filing bankruptcy petitions under chapter 7, 11, and 13.  We also handle all forms of litigation inside bankruptcy whether it is motion practice or a full adversary proceeding to trial.  We offer a free initial phone consultation for all potential clients.  Call today to see how we can help!

Our Background- We have Creditor and Debtor Bankruptcy Experience

Unlike many firms that represent consumers, we have also worked on the other side for the creditors and banks.  This experience helps us to fight your creditors by knowing how they operate, think, and litigate.  We offer a strategic advantage in representing our clients in Bankruptcy due to this background and we can put that experience on your side.

We use a Strategic Approach To Bankruptcy- We Prefer to Delay Filing or Use Bankruptcy as a Last Resort

Many firms use a file first attitude.  However, you can only file a chapter 7 once every eight years and a chapter 13 every six years.  Further, by delaying filing, you can typically have a large and more successful discharge.  Also, it is possible to work out many issues without filing with non-bankruptcy options.  While there are times that the best option is to file first, our experience generally is that a strategic bankruptcy is superior.  We will screen for all options available to resolve any debt issues that you may face, bankruptcy will be among the options we discuss.

Brief Explanation of Chapter 7

A chapter 7 bankruptcy is a liquidation bankruptcy.  Generally, with exemptions, clients generally are able to keep most of their assets while shedding most of their unsecured debt (credit cards, medical debt, etc).  The process usually takes about six months and there is no payment plan to the court.  You must pass the means test to qualify or have primarily non-consumer debt.

Brief Explanation of Chapter 11

A chapter 11 bankruptcy is either a business or an individual with debts and/or assets that exceed the maximum limits to qualify for a chapter 13 bankruptcy and wishes to reorganize.  Chapter 11’s require a payment plan and take a number of years to complete.

Brief Explanation of Chapter 13

A chapter 13 bankruptcy is a payment plan bankruptcy.  It is for people that either want to save secured assets such as their home or make too much money to qualify for a chapter 7 bankruptcy.  A chapter 13 plan typically takes three to five years to complete.

Using Bankruptcy to Resolve Specific Issues

Below are some of the more common issues that Bankruptcy can resolve.

Creditors & Credit Bureau’s Violating your Rights Post Discharge

Many Creditors and often times the Credit Bureaus do not respect your discharge.  We can send demand letters or file a motion for contempt or an adversary proceeding to protect your rights.  Depending upon the amount and extent of the violations, there is the potential to recover damages and attorney fees.

Getting your Driver’s License Back

If you have lost your driver’s license due to debts or fines, a Chapter 13 petition can restore your license.

Property Settlements Pursuant to Divorce: Avoiding or Enforcing

Depending upon the language of your dissolution and property settlement agreement, some debts may or may not be dischargeable.  We are able to help determine if a marital debt can be dischargeable and either assist in getting it discharged or object to the discharge of an ex-spouse.

Saving your House

While we have many techniques to save your home ranging from produce the note litigation to loan modification, sometimes it is safest to do it with a bankruptcy or with litigation inside of a bankruptcy.  We can take a straight forward approach by filing a chapter 13 to get you caught up on payments or a more complex approach such as filing a chapter 7, pushing for an aggressive loan modification, and keep chapter 13 as a backup option.

Chapter 13: Catching up on Past Due Amounts

Sometimes, saving your home is as simple as getting on a payment plan to pay back the arrears.  It is possible to combine this with a loan modification during the bankruptcy and/or a lien strip to make the mortgage more manageable.  No matter your needs, we can help.

Lien Strip & Avoiding Judgment Liens

If your house is worth less than you owe on it and you have more than one mortgage, it may be possible to strip or remove second or subsequent liens.  Further, if a judgment lien impairs your homestead exemption, it is possible to strip off the interfering lien.  If you are curious to see if you qualify to have liens stripped off of your home, contact us for a free consultation.

Loan Modification Inside Bankruptcy

Sometimes, you can try twenty times to get a loan modification and the bank loses everything every time.  Once you have filed a bankruptcy, you have leverage as you can walk away in most instances.  Additionally, it is possible to litigation while shooting for a loan modification as a carrot and stick approach.  In any case, having an attorney on your side can allow you to try for a loan modification with a legitimate chance of success.

Objection to the Amount of a Lien

Banks sometimes decide to skirt the law and any semblance of ethics with their accounting techniques.  They will double or triple bill you, not adjust your mortgage downward if an index drops, or miscalculate contractually based formulas.  Objecting to the claim of the bank can allow you to lower the amount you owe.  We have the knowledge and experience to prevail on this type of objection.

Produce the Note Litigation

If you suspect that your bank is not the real party in interest to your loan, that essential documents have been robo-signed, or that there is other fraud within your case, it can be litigated inside bankruptcy.  The most common ways of attacking the note are through an objection to claim or an adversary proceeding.

Stopping Foreclosure

By virtue of the automatic stay, a bankruptcy stops any foreclosure of a property you have interest in or title to, upon filing.  This gives you time to fight the foreclosure, set forth a plan to become current, or surrender the property and move over several months rather than several days.

Student Loans/Hardship Discharge

Student Loans can be notoriously difficult to discharge.  Many firms cannot or do not handle this sort of litigation.  We do.  We can walk you through the Brunner standards, analyze whether you can obtain a discharge, and then litigate the discharge or settlement of the student loan debt.

Bankruptcy Litigation Services

We offer full litigation services in bankruptcy court.  We can handle anything from motion practice to full trial representation.  Below is a break down of some of our more commonly requested services.

Adversary Proceedings

An adversary proceeding essentially is a trial in bankruptcy court.  Whether this is a student loan, a lien strip, or a consumer protection issue we can handle it from start to finish.

Contempt Motions for Violation of Automatic Stay or Discharge Injunction

Motions for contempt are the general method for addressing violations of bankruptcy law.  The judge assigned to your case gets to decide what the punishment for the violation gets to be.  Generally, judges have no sense of humor regarding the violation of bankruptcy law.  The possibility of being awarded damages and attorney fees very depending upon the amount and extent of the violation of law.

Credit Report Errors & Violations Post Discharge

Once you have filed bankruptcy and received your discharge, your credit report should only reflect that any given was discharged in bankruptcy.  However, creditors rarely do this, hoping instead to sell off the “zombie debt” who might continue to try to collect.  This is a violation of law.  If creditors do not back off after a warning, we can sue for damages and attorney fees.

Motion for Relief

Motions for Relief remove something from the protection of bankruptcy court.  Whether you need to file one or need to defend against one, we can help.

Objection to Claim

If a Creditor submits a proof of claim, we can object and attack the standing and accounting provided.  If you need to defend against an objection to claim, we can help to do that as well.

Objection to Discharge

Creditors may object to the discharge of your debt.  If successful, you would have a non-dischargeable debt that would grow with interest every year and essentially follow you to the grave.  It is essential to defend yourself against this type of threat.  We have experience in defending against these sort of objections as well as experience in objecting to discharge.

Objection to Plan

Creditors or the Trustee will object to your chapter 13 plan.  We can defend against these objections directly or amend a chapter 13 plan to resolve the objections.  We can also object to a chapter 13 plan as necessary.

Proof of Claim

Creditors will file a Proof of Claim to establish that they are owed a debt and how much is owed.  We can object to these proofs of claim or file one as necessary.

Call Our Office for a Free Initial Bankruptcy Consultation

If you believe bankruptcy might be necessary or if you would like to speak with an attorney, call our office for a free initial phone consultation.  (206) 535-2559.