Forget what you think you know.
Many people refuse to consider filing a bankruptcy case because of what they think they know about the process. A great deal of what you hear about bankruptcy is false. You owe it to yourself and your family to find out the true facts. Almost everyone who files a bankruptcy case can tell you that bankruptcy is nothing like they imagined. Our bankruptcy clients often express shock at how better their lives are after they file their bankruptcy case. Get the real facts before you make any decision about your finances. I can help answer all your questions and your initial consultation will cost you nothing.
Only Deadbeats file bankruptcy cases.
Most bankruptcy cases are filed by hard-working people who have tried all their lives to pay their bills on time. Most are horrified at the thought of having to file bankruptcy. Most debtors are living proof that “Life Happens.” The number one cause of bankruptcy is medical bills. The loss of a job, a reduction in hours or overtime, rising gas and food prices, rising interest rates, predatory lending practices, and business failures are also leading causes for the filing of a bankruptcy case. Very few people simply overspend their way into bankruptcy. Life Happens and the twists and turns it brings often leave us in a position we never thought we would be in. Day-after-day, our bankruptcy lawyers help good, hard-working people who want to pay their debts. Some can repay a portion of what they owe. Others are truly unable to repay any of their unsecured debt. Whatever your situation, we will treat you with respect and dignity. We will take the time to get to know you and your financial situation. We will get you the help you need.
I will lose all my property if I file a bankruptcy case.
Very few people lose any property when they file a bankruptcy case. This is true whether they file a Chapter 7 case or a Chapter 13 case. I have the experience to review your debts and your assets and determine if you are at risk of losing any property. I can then advise you of your options and how to best protect your assets. I have 28 years of experience representing debtors in bankruptcy.
Bankruptcy is no longer available after the 2005 law change.
In 2005 Congress re-wrote much of the bankruptcy laws to make it harder for people to file a Chapter 7 case. Studies conducted since 2005 show that over 98% of the people who could file Chapter 7 before the law change are still eligible to file. The law change makes it even more important that you have an experienced bankruptcy lawyer representing you. I have 28 years of experience working for Debtors in bankruptcy case. I can help you determine whether you can file, and what chapters are available to you.
I will never be able to get credit again if I file a bankruptcy case.
Not only can you get credit after the filing of a Chapter 7, you will usually begin getting offers for credit 4 months after your case is filed. If you manage your credit and maintain good employment you should be able to qualify for a home mortgage within 1 to 3 years after you receive your Chapter 7 discharge. We recently had a young couple call to tell us that they had just closed on their first house. Their purchase was financed with a 30 year mortgage at a fixed rate of 5.6%. They closed on their new home with a 745 credit score just over 24 months after they received their Chapter 7 discharge. It was the filing of the Chapter 7 case, and the discharge of their old debt, that allowed them to finally purchase a home after 13 years of marriage. In another case, a client filed a Chapter 7 case, wiped out all of her debt, and a year later she was able to purchase a car with a 648 credit score. Her interest rate was 6% and the creditor waived the required down payment. Bankruptcy can put you on the right path to financial freedom.
My creditors or the Trustee will embarrass me if I file a bankruptcy case.
Most people come into my office after having been harassed and bullied by collection agents. I can help you put an end to the harassing phone calls. I will be by your side throughout the bankruptcy process. Bankruptcy hearings and meetings of creditors are handled in a professional manner and no one is allowed to harass or abuse a debtor. In most cases, no creditors come to the first meeting of creditors. For the majority of debtors, the first meeting of creditors is the only time they ever go to Court.
My employer will fire me if I file a bankruptcy case.
The filing of a bankruptcy case is a public record that anyone can see. However, there is no reason your employer has to know about your bankruptcy filing. In addition, federal law prevents anyone from firing you or discriminating against you simply because you filed a bankruptcy case.
My spouse has to file the bankruptcy case with me.
Married couples can file together or separately. There is no requirement that your spouse file a case with you.
I should give all my property away before I go see a bankruptcy lawyer.
If you are having debt problems you should NEVER transfer or give property away right before the filing of your bankruptcy case. Before making any transfer, sale, or assignment of property you should speak with me or another experienced bankruptcy lawyer. Bankruptcy laws are very complex and transfers can cause you to lose your right to receive a discharge. Why take the risk when your property can be protected in bankruptcy?
You can only file one bankruptcy case in your life.
You can file multiple cases during your lifetime. There are limits to how often you can file a case. I can tell you, based upon your facts, if you are eligible to file a new case.
Debt management plans are better than filing a bankruptcy case.
Debt management plans rarely work and often leave people deeper in debt than when they first entered the program. Also, many people in debt management programs are sued by a creditor during the program because the debt management company can only work with a creditor who is willing to work with them. Many “debt management” companies have been sued by various state attorneys general and the Federal Trade Commission for deceptive practices. Before you decide on one of these programs, you owe it to yourself to talk to an experienced bankruptcy lawyer. Remember this: only the Bankruptcy Court has the power to force a creditor to accept a bankruptcy discharge. Creditors have no choice. As long as you qualify, you can be discharged without the need to obtain your creditors consent. I offer a free consultation and I will not pressure you to hire me. Get the facts before you make any decision.
I should buy everything I might need on my credit cards before I file.
You can be denied a discharge for debt that you “run up” right before you bankruptcy case is filed.
I can evaluate your case and will explain all of your options to you. You will not be pressured to hire me, or even to file a bankruptcy case. You owe it to yourself to get fully informed, and the consultation is always free.
How to Get Help and Get Out of Debt
When you are ready to get out from under your crushing debt, give Melinda Dionne a call at 205-349-5911 (Tuscaloosa) or 205-453-1012 (Birmingham) or click here. When you call, let me know that you are a website reader and I will set you up with a free, no obligation, consultation to see how I can help you start living again.