Articles Tagged with Mecklenburg County

Bankruptcy Lawyer Bryan W. Stone answers the question: “What are the pros and cons of bankruptcy?”

distressing-phone-call-Charlotte-Monroe-Lake-Norman-Bankruptcy-Lawyer-300x225People avoid debt collectors at all costs for a reason. Debt collectors have a bad reputation in North Carolina because they often disregard the law when trying to get a debtor to pay.

Bankruptcy Lawyer Bryan W. Stone answers the question: “Can I keep my house if I file bankruptcy?”

For would-be homeowners who are struggling to secure a loan, seller financing can be an alternate path to home ownership. It can seem like a no-brainer for individuals with spotty credit histories eager to have a house to call their own: monthly mortgage payments directly to the old owner in exchange for the keys to your new home! The bank is cut out as the middleman!

Charlotte Bankruptcy Lawyer Bryan W. Stone of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “What is a bankruptcy discharge ?”

A doctor who once ran a successful east coast anesthesiology practice that employed hundreds of physicians and his wife have been sentenced to a year each in federal prison for concealing assets in their failed 2008 bankruptcy.

Charlotte Bankruptcy Lawyer Bryan W. Stone of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “What is a small business bankruptcy ?”

If you are a small business owner and someone owes you a lot of money, collecting the money—or a substantial portion of it—seems like a no-brainer.

Charlotte Bankruptcy Lawyer Bryan W. Stone of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “Will I lose my property if I file for bankruptcy ?”


A Colorado couple say they have been unfairly penalized by a United States bankruptcy judge because they run a legal medical-marijuana business.

Medical Marijuana Charlotte Bankruptcy Lawyer North Carolina Chapter 7 AttorneyThe couple—Frank and Sarah Arenas—filed for bankruptcy in February of last year. A bankruptcy judge dismissed their bankruptcy petition in August because, the judge ruled, most of their income came from their medical marijuana business—an activity that is still illegal under federal law.

Through their attorneys, the couple appealed, arguing that the United States Justice Department created a “Catch 22” in which Frank and Sarah Arenas are ensnared by giving its tacit approval to the now-thriving medical and recreational marijuana industries in Colorado. Then-Attorney General Eric Holder announced in 2013 that federal law-enforcement officials would not prosecute federal pot crimes in the states of Colorado and Washington.

“Refusing to allow marijuana-derived assets to be protected in bankruptcy in the same way other assets are,” however, amounts to “passive prosecution” of crimes the federal government had pledged not to prosecute, attorneys for Frank and Sarah Arenas argued in an appeal of the bankruptcy judge’s ruling. The Arenas are seeking to overturn the judge’s ruling and have their bankruptcy petition reinstated.

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Charlotte Bankruptcy Lawyer Bryan W. Stone of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “Are my 401k and IRA protected in bankruptcy?”


This is a new year, and no time beats the present when it comes to throwing the lasso round out-of-control debts.

Credit Cards Charlotte Debt Lawyer North Carolina Chapter 7 AttorneyHow do you know when your debts have spiraled out of control? One expert, writing in the Orange County, California Register, has devised a simple equation you can use to determine whether you have too much debt: Pretend you don’t have to make a mortgage or rent payment for the next year. With the money you have and the money you will save on rent or mortgage payments, can you pay off your debts? If the answer is no, you probably do not have a firm handle on your finances.

Other telltale signs of an impending personal financial crisis include a reliance on credit cards to pay for every day expenses, payment of only minimums due each month on credit cards, late or missed payments on credit cards, taking out new loans or credit cards to pay off old ones, or taking on a second (or third) job just to keep up with your current obligations.

If you have done the math and you are drowning in debt, the first, crucial step is to be honest about how much you owe and whether there is any reasonable likelihood that you can ever repay your debts. The best practice, of course, is to not fall into credit-card trouble in the first place—that is, you should always pay your credit card balances in full, every month.

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Charlotte Bankruptcy Lawyer Bryan W. Stone of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “How do I find a bankruptcy attorney in Charlotte?”


Now is the time for New Year’s resolutions. As 2015 swings into gear, a leading bankruptcy adviser is offering tips for individuals and businesses who are contemplating bankruptcy.

Out of business sale Charlotte Mecklenburg Bankruptcy Lawyer North Carolina Debt AttorneyJustin Harelik, founder of Westgate Law in Los Angeles, says an effective bankruptcy is as much a result of solid pre-bankruptcy planning as it is a result of actions undertaken during the bankruptcy process.

Too often, Harelick said, bankrupt consumers and businesses wait too long to take action. Many times clients hire Harelick and pay their attorney fee but then hold on to their paperwork for too long. Only after creditors begin levying on property or garnishing accounts, Harelick said, clients follow up with him about their paperwork.

A bankruptcy attorney can stop garnishment, Harelick said, although sometimes one is unable to recover monies seized in a bank levy. Once a client has paid for a bankruptcy attorney’s services, Harelick said, it is important to follow up to ensure that everything necessary to get the bankruptcy action filed has been completed. The longer a client holds onto documents, the longer the relief that a bankruptcy affords may be delayed.

Since it is much easier, in the digital age, for creditors to levy bank accounts, Harelick encourages those facing bankruptcy to keep their bank account balances low. That will stem the tide of losses due to bank levies, particularly if the bankruptcy filing is made after levying of accounts has commenced.

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Charlotte Bankruptcy Lawyer Bryan W. Stone of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “Will I lose my property if I file for bankruptcy ?”


Katy, Texas-based Tactical Firearms entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy when one of its former owners refused to sign financial documents that would have enabled the company to refinance some of its existing debt.

Supressors Charlotte Debt Lawyer North Carolina Chapter 7 AttorneyThe former owner—Jeremey Alcede—was shown the door, and the new owner–Steven “Coe” Wilson—brought in the owner of a competitor business to run the store while the company passed through bankruptcy.

As a part passing through that process, Wilson sought to “harness the steam” built up on the company’s Facebook account by Alcede. Alcede’s account—which he says is a personal Facebook account—has some 11,000 followers. Like many Facebook pages, Alcede’s contains a mix of business and personal posts which could make it “infuriatingly difficult for judges… to suss out.”

At least one bankruptcy judge “sussed out” the Tactical Firearms matter and determined that Alcede’s personal Facebook page was the property of Tactical Firearms. After a hearing, the judge overseeing Tactical’s bankruptcy ordered Alcede to surrender the password to the Facebook page.

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Charlotte Bankruptcy Lawyer Bryan W. Stone of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “What is a bankruptcy discharge ?”


Anyone who has passed through the bankruptcy process and received a bankruptcy discharge notice in the mail may experience an understandable sense of joy and relief. It is over. Or is it?

House Auction Charlotte Bankruptcy Lawyer Mecklenburg Chapter 7 AttorneyAt the risk of sounding like a lawyer, whether “it” is “over” depends upon what one means by “it’ and what one means by “over.” In the world of bankruptcy, very little is ever really over, and even the bankruptcy discharge—while an important formality—does not end any actions that are still pending in a bankruptcy.

A bankruptcy, at its essence, is less like a lawsuit and more like probate—gathering the assets of a dead person and using them to pay off the person’s debts. The difference is the person is not dead; the person is you, and sometimes the best recourse you have against creditors is to sue. In bankruptcy, your trustee may sue creditors for a variety of reasons, and your trustee may answer and defend against creditors or others who sue you, for whatever reason. These cases can drag on long after a person has received one’s bankruptcy discharge.

A bankruptcy discharge does not, as many believe, wipe the proverbial slate clean, so if clearing yourself of any and all debts is what you define as having “it” over and done, then you may misunderstand the effect of a bankruptcy discharge.

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