Articles Tagged with Unsecured Debt

Bankruptcy Lawyer Bryan W. Stone answers the question: “Can I get credit after filing personal bankruptcy?”

Those following business headlines have likely seen news of how hard hit brick-and-mortar retailers have been in recent years. Though consumers haven’t stopped spending, it does appear that their habits have changed, with far more dollars flowing through the internet than through traditional retail stores. This has led to a string of bankruptcies in the industry, including Aeropostale, RadioShack and American Apparel (which recently filed for the second time). Analysts say that in the coming month and years other big companies are expected to follow suit.

Charlotte Bankruptcy Lawyer Bryan W. Stone of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “What is Chapter 11 Bankruptcy?”

A suburb of Louisville, Kentucky announced that it was seeking Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection this week, an attempt to save the city from mounting interest and fees associated with a judgment it is unable to pay. City administrators say they are using the bankruptcy as a chance to buy time, suspending payments to creditors, in the hopes of creating a new plan and readjusting debts to a more manageable level.

Charlotte Bankruptcy Lawyer Bryan W. Stone of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “What is Chapter 11 Bankruptcy?”

Gift cards are increasingly popular choices for birthdays and holidays. After all, you put money on a card and the recipient can then spend that however and whenever he or she chooses. Not so fast. If a retailer files bankruptcy, your ability to spend that money may disappear. Keep reading to find out more about what happens to consumers after a retailer files for bankruptcy protection.

Charlotte Bankruptcy Lawyer Bryan W. Stone of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “What are the pros and cons of bankruptcy ?”

A creditor challenging a California city’s bankruptcy plan says the city and its retirees manipulated the bankruptcy process in an effort to drown out the creditor’s objections to the plan.

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

Chicago’s legal community saw one of its lawyer-brethren awarded a multimillion-dollar jury verdict Tuesday evening only to see the award cast into doubt, hours later, by an early-Wednesday morning bankruptcy filing. Both cases involved a former real-estate executive from suburban Hinsdale, Illinois named Marc M. Jacobs.

Charlotte Bankruptcy attorney Bryan W. Stone answers the question: “What is Chapter 11 Bankruptcy?”

 

Though most people have heard of Chapter 7 bankruptcies (known as liquidation bankruptcy) and Chapter 13s (used to restructure debts), Chapter 12 bankruptcies are far less common. To find out more about what a Chapter 12 bankruptcy is and how it is used, keep reading.

 

Number 12 sign Charlotte Chapter 12 Bankruptcy Lawyer North Carolina Debt AttorneyWhat is a Chapter 12 bankruptcy?

 

Chapter 12 is actually one of the newer categories of bankruptcy and was only formally made permanent in 2005. Chapter 12 is used specifically for family farmers and family fishermen. Chapter 12 is similar to a Chapter 13 in that it allows the restructuring of a person’s debts to avoid liquidation or foreclosure.

 

Who is eligible for a Chapter 12 bankruptcy?

 

Very few debtors are actually eligible to file Chapter 12 bankruptcy and in 2011, the most recent year that numbers have been made available, only 630 of the overall 1.4 million bankruptcies filed in the U.S. were for Chapter 12 cases.

Continue reading

Charlotte Bankruptcy attorney Bryan W. Stone answers the question: “Does Bankruptcy stop foreclosure?”

 

One of the things most people considering filing for bankruptcy are confused by and concerned with is the meeting of creditors. The name can seem ominous, implying that the debtor is placed on a chair in the center of the room and then picked apart by angry lenders. The reality is, thankfully, far more boring.

 

contemplating woman Charlotte Debt Attorney North Carolina Bankruptcy LawyerWhen does the first meeting of creditors happen?

 

Once you officially file for bankruptcy you will receive a notice from the bankruptcy court informing you that the case has begun. This letter will typically appear about a week after you first file. In the letter, the date and time for the first meeting of creditors will be found. The meeting itself is usually scheduled a few weeks after the letter is delivered, ensuring that the process moves along at a relatively fast pace.

 

What is the meeting about?

 

The meeting of creditors is also known as a 341(a) meeting and it exists so that the bankruptcy court trustee, as well as your creditors, receive an opportunity to ask you questions under oath. This allows creditors to get a more complete understanding of your overall financial picture and clear up any confusion that may exist regarding your bankruptcy filings.

Continue reading

Charlotte Bankruptcy attorney Bryan W. Stone answers the question: “Are my 401k and IRA protected in bankruptcy?”

 

The Supreme Court recently made waves in the bankruptcy world when it released an opinion in Clark v. Rameker, a case concerning the exemption for inherited IRAs. In Clark, the justices agreed unanimously that the inherited IRA Ms. Clark received from her mother was not eligible for protection from creditors.

 

Supreme Court 2 Charlotte Debt Lawyer North Carolina Bankruptcy Law FirmThe case began back in 2010, when the Clarks filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Ten years before filing, Ms. Clark had received the IRA from the estate of her deceased mother. At the time of the bankruptcy filing, Ms. Clark and her husband listed the IRA as an asset, valued at around $300,000, but said that it was exempt from the overall bankruptcy estate. The couple argued that the money should be protected against claims by creditors, something that the trustee disagreed with.

 

The bankruptcy trustee overseeing the case, as well as the Clarks’ creditors, fought the couple over the claimed exemption. The creditors argued that because the money was not the actual retirement money of Ms. Clark it should not be exempted under the usual retirement fund heading.

 

The case eventually made its way to the Supreme Court where Justice Sonia Sotomayor pointed out several ways in which the inherited IRA differs from a person’s personal IRA savings. The Court noted that in traditional IRAs, a person can continue to invest money in the account, whereas those with inherited IRAs cannot. Most importantly, those who hold inherited IRAs are allowed to withdraw any or all of the money in the account for any reason without ever incurring a penalty. Those with traditional IRAs face a 10 percent penalty for early withdrawals.

Continue reading

Charlotte Bankruptcy attorney Bryan W. Stone answers the question: “Can I get credit after filing personal bankruptcy?”

 

A recent article on CNBC discussed the issue of increasingly pricey prescription drug bills and how the escalating costs associated with treating illness can drive families into bankruptcy.

 

Prescription bottle Charlotte Bankruptcy Attorney North Carolina Chapter 11 LawyerThe report noted that in 2013, Americans forked over more than $41 billion in unreimbursed prescription drug costs. This number has continued a steady march upwards and is reaching levels that are impacting the financial health of some homes. The reality is that many insurance plans today carry not only steep monthly premiums, but large annual deductibles that must first be hit before coverage kicks in, putting those families with low incomes in trouble.

 

One bankruptcy attorney interviewed in the article noted that half of his clients have medical-related debts. In other cases, experts say that a person’s debt may appear to have nothing to do with medical expenses, for instance, it may be exclusively on credit cards. However, this usually is because the family chose to use their cards to pay for living expenses after their income went towards prescription drug bills.

 

Sadly, the implementation of the new Affordable Care Act appears to have done little to solve the problem. Those with chronic health conditions must still pay large monthly premiums and contend with potentially thousands of dollars in annual deductibles. Additionally, a lack of knowledge surrounding the confusing insurance plans and their offerings make it even more difficult for consumers to understand how best to minimize medication costs.

Continue reading

Charlotte Bankruptcy attorney Bryan W. Stone answers the question: “Do I need an attorney to file bankruptcy?”

 

Though it’s not something many people think about, filing bankruptcy can have an important impact on whether you get to see your yearly tax refund. As a result, timing your filing can matter a great deal, a decision that could cost you potentially hundreds or thousands of dollars.

 

Tax sign Charlotte Bankruptcy Lawyer North Carolina Tax Debt AttorneyChapter 13

 

In the case of a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the money you receive from a tax refund will almost always need to be turned over for payment to your creditors. This is because the tax refund is viewed as disposable income and will be considered surplus money that will almost always be paid into your bankruptcy plan.

 

The only exception is if you are able to excuse a tax refund from your repayment plan. To do this you’ll need to file a request with the bankruptcy trustee and explain why the money should be excused. Usually this will only be allowed in cases where you need the money to pay for something unexpected.

 

What issues are at play?

 

Whether a person gets to keep his or her tax refund when filing for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy depends on several factors: 1) the amount of the overall refund, 2) any bankruptcy exemptions and 3) when the case is filed.

Continue reading