Bankruptcy Matters

This law firm is a debt relief agency and that means I help people file for bankruptcy relief to either be released from their debts (Chapter 7) or to restructure their debts (Chapter 13) of the Bankruptcy Code.

If you are in a situation that makes you wonder if you could file bankruptcy, then you should speak to a qualified attorney and find out how bankruptcy could possibly help. For many years, I have sat across the table from people who did not want to be there discussing bankruptcy. Whether it was job loss, significant illness or accident, divorce, substance abuse, disability, loss/lack of medical insurance or well-intentioned attempts to save a struggling small business, circumstances arise in which filing bankruptcy may help. Early consultation with an attorney may prevent prolonged emotional distress or making unwise decisions that may further complicate matters later on, such as:

  • Borrowing money before filing bankruptcy (payday loans, title loans, lines of credit)
  • Renewing existing loans
  • Cashing in 401K or IRA to obtain funds when those funds could be protected from creditors in bankruptcy
  • Taking loans against retirement accounts
  • Transferring ownership of assets (money, cars, real estate, jewelry, etc) to others
  • Allowing judgments to be taken against you that can lead to wage garnishment and liens against your real estate or other assets
  • Failing to file bankruptcy and thus allowing a foreclosure to occur on your home
  • Failing to file bankruptcy and allowing repossession of your car or other property

Relief from bankruptcy may include stopping wage garnishment, stopping foreclosure proceedings, preventing or reversing car repossession, stopping harassing phone calls, allowing you to have breathing room to reorganize refinances, stopping payments to unsecured debts such as credit cards medical bills and stopping tax seizures and student loan payments. Bankruptcy may not relieve you from all tax obligations and it will likely not excuse you from student loan obligations. However bankruptcy can stop the immediate and pressing need for payment of the debts will allow you time to reevaluate your financial situation. Bankruptcy has provisions to allow you to protect your assets from seizures by your creditors and it may allow you to remove some liens against your personal property and your real estate. The point is bankruptcy has a lot of options that may apply to your factual circumstances and you have nothing to lose by exploring those options. You always control the choice whether or not to file the bankruptcy and if so, when to file.

  There is a lot of incorrect and outdated information out there about bankruptcy, how it works and its effect on your job your credit. Talk to a qualified attorney and get the straight story. Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows you to be relieved of many of your debts, in most cases without giving up any of your assets. There are income guidelines to be qualified to file chapter 7 bankruptcy but for most people, that’s not a problem. If you cannot qualify for chapter 7 or if your situation is not one that is benefited by chapter 7, chapter 13 bankruptcy may be available.

Chapter 13 is a payment plan bankruptcy that allows you to pay your debts through an organized plan over either three years or five years. The payments are based upon what you are able to pay monthly and not the minimum payments that your credit cards want to be paid.  It will allow you to catch up delinquent house payments and car payments, pay your ongoing house payment and car payment, might possibly allow a modification of your car payment, pay delinquent taxes, pay delinquent child support, make the payments on student loans and pay a portion of credit card debts or medical bills.  The availability of chapter 13 depends upon your monthly income and your monthly living expenses and an attorney will be able to determine if chapter 13 is available and right for you.  At the conclusion of the plan, your house payments will likely be current, your car will likely be current, your taxes will be paid, your child support can be current and you can be excused from any unpaid amounts of your credit card and medical debt.  The point is that chapter 13 can allow you to use your available income to your best advantage to improve your financial position. You will likely be surprised at how powerful and versatile chapter 13 can be.

The filing of any bankruptcy will show up on your credit report but so will the delinquent payments, the lawsuits and the judgments. However bankruptcy is a phase of your life that will pass and allow you to do things different and hopefully better after that phase. Lots of well-known people have filed bankruptcy and gone on to greater things after doing so. Bankruptcy will not be with you for life or hanging over your head for years to come.

Talk to a lawyer and get the straight story. 


                                                                         copyright Douglas Dunn, 2015


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706 Walnut St, # 402, Knoxville, TN 37902
| Phone: (865) 546-5600

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