The Law Offices of Paolo M. Newman, PLLC

CHARLOTTE'S BANKRUPTCY ATTORNEY | 428 E 4th Street, Suite 401, Charlotte, NC 28202

Who is eligible for a chapter 7 discharge?

 Any person who is qualified to file a chapter 7 case is eligible for a chapter 7 discharge except the following[1]:

(1)   A person who’s been granted a discharge in a chapter 7 case that was filed within the last 8 years.

(2)   A person who’s been granted a discharge in a chapter 13 case that was filed within the last 6 years.[2]

(3)   A person who obtains court approval of a written waiver of discharge in a chapter 7 case.

(4)   A person who conceals, transfers, or destroys property in an effort to defraud creditors or the trustee in the chapter 7 case.

(5)   A person who conceals, destroys, or falsifies records of one’s financial condition or business transactions.

(6)   A person who makes false statements or claims in the chapter 7 case, or who withholds recorded information from the trustee.

(7)   A person who fails to adequately explain any loss or deficiency of one’s assets.

(8)   A person who refuses to answer questions or obey orders of the bankruptcy court, either in one’s bankruptcy case or in the bankruptcy case of a relative, business associate or corporation.

(9)   A person who, after filing the case, fails to complete the post-bankruptcy financial management course.

(10)  A person who’s been convicted of bankruptcy fraud or who owes a debt related to a securities law violation.

 

 

 

 

 

[1] 11 U.S.C. § 727.

[2] Unless 70% or more of the debtor’s unsecured claims were paid off in the chapter 13 case.

How to Avoid Financial Pitfalls After Filing for Bankruptcy

As a bankruptcy attorney, my job is to help you find relief from the financial stress that you've  been going through.  The process of helping people overcome their debt is what I do, and my objective is to help you find the financial freedom that you need, so that you can avoid filing future bankruptcies.

Here are a few steps that you can follow which will counteract the need for another bankruptcy filing:

Arrange a Budget...and Stick to it

Write down your monthly budget, and make sure that you are sticking to that budget.  Writing down your budget, tracking your expenses, and reviewing the information on a regular basis is one of the most effective methods to pay attention to your spending habits.

It can be surprising to see how much money you are spending on a monthly basis, and tracking your expenses will give you the information that you make a change with your spending habits.

Don't Spend More Than you Earn

One sign that you are heading in the wrong direction is that you are unable to pay off your full credit card balance each month.  Make it a goal to pay the balance off in full at the end of the month, and if you can't pay that balance; it means that it's time to stop spending! Spending more than you are earning is akin to being in the fast-lane back to bankruptcy...once again.

Utilize the Tools from Your Bank or Credit Union

In our digital world, it has become easier to manage your financial accounts online.  Make sure that you have online access for all of your accounts, so that you can log in to view balances and payments that are due.  Many of these online accounts allow you setup payment reminders, so that you never forget to make a payment again.

Also, use the features to setup automatic transactions that will cover the minimum payments that are due each month.  Most minimum payments are as small as $20 or $30, and these small transactions can be scheduled to automatically draw from your checking account.  The advantage of the automatic payment is that you will never have to pay a late fee again.  You can always make additional payments if you have extra money to pay.

Have An Emergency Fund

Setup a savings account that is dedicated as emergency money, which will help you to avoid putting emergency costs on a credit card.  Emergencies are unavoidable, and everyone will encounter unexpected costs at some point: medical bills, car repairs, broken appliances, job layoffs, etc.

The emergency will be less stressful if you know that you have money in the bank to pay for the emergency costs.  Start out with a small amount in your emergency fund, and work to increase that amount over time.  Don't touch that money unless it is an emergency! Your goal should be to save 3 to 4 months of income, which will help to cover costs if you lost your job or faced another big emergency.

Here at Newman Law, we offer debt relief and bankruptcy services in Huntersville, Charlotte surrounding cities.  Are you ready to rid yourself from financial stress? Contact us today to schedule your complimentary consultation: (704) 584-9039 [Feel free to text]

 

 

 

Can I Make My Chapter 13 Payments Online?

Are you considering Chapter 13 bankruptcy? Are you currently in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy plan? Do you reside in the Charlotte area?  If your answer to the above is yes, then you can make your payments online.

Chapter 13 Trustee Warren L. Tadlock is now accepting Chapter 13 payments via debit card and/or bank draft.  Clients seeking to make their payments via this method can visit www.tfsbillpay.com to register for the convenient service.

I currently have several clients who say they have benefited from using this service.  The only other option available for Chapter 13 clients is to send certified check or money order (snail mail) to an address in Memphis, TN.[1]

Contact our office today to schedule a free consultation: (704) 584-9039 [Feel free to text]

 

[1] Warren L. Tadlock, P.O. Box 792, Memphis, TN 38101-0792

 

Can I Achieve Success After I Receive Debt Relief?

This is a question many people ask themselves while considering bankruptcy.  The answer is a resounding yes!  People are always better off having resolved their debt issues.  The bankruptcy process is a way for us to hit the reset button in our finances, a way for us to obtain a “fresh start.”

Many notable individuals have utilized the bankruptcy process to start over.  The opportunity to erase your financial mistakes is available to you as well!

The following is a list of distinguished individuals who have utilized the bankruptcy process to obtain a fresh financial start:

Abraham Lincoln—16th President of the United States

Walt Disney –cartoonist, animator and film producer

Henry Ford—automobile manufacturer; founder of the Ford Motor Company

Larry King—newspaper editor and radio personality

Wayne Newton—once listed as the highest paid entertainer in the world

Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson—top selling hip-hop artist, actor, television producer

Toni Braxton—singer, songwriter, producer

 

Donald Trump—businessman, television personality, and candidate for President of the United States in 2016 election

I have helped others in your situation file for bankruptcy.  Helping to relieve the financial burden debt brings is what I do.  If you are ready to build a better life for yourself and your family, don’t hesitate to contact me by phone, text or email.

 

Credit Card Debt and the Bankruptcy Process

 

 

Discharging Credit Card Debt in Bankruptcy

Are you having difficulty making the minimum payments on your credit card debt? Are you receiving annoying calls from creditors at home, at work or on your cell phone?  Have you been served with a debt collection lawsuit?  Are you using one credit card in order to make the payment for another credit card?  Have you started using your credit card(s) to pay for your basic living expenses?  If this is the case, now is the time to consider filing bankruptcy.

Directly Addressing the Problem

It is very easy to become overwhelmed with credit card debt.  You may have lost a job; suffered a serious infirmity; lost a loved one; or simply mismanaged your credit card usage.  Irrespective of the reason why you cannot pay your credit card debt, filing bankruptcy may be the optimal course of action.  When you have no income left at the end of the month to pay credit card debt after paying your living expenses, borrowing extra money, refinancing debt—the utilization of a debt consolidation company will not directly confront your debt problem.  The true problem is that you do not have enough income to pay your credit card debt.  Filing bankruptcy can assist.  The bankruptcy system provides a fresh start to the honest but unfortunate debtor.[1]

Bankruptcy Exterminates Credit Card Debt

When you file bankruptcy, your creditors are barred from any collective actions, including filing a debt collection lawsuit.  This protection is triggered as soon as you file, and continues through the duration of your bankruptcy case.[2]

Credit card debt is unsecured debt—the creditor has not attached a security device in the form of a lien or mortgage to any of your assets[3].  Since credit card debt is unsecured debt,  it can be eliminated without paying anything back to the credit card company (or only paying cents on the dollar).

In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case, credit card debt is discharged (wiped out) at the conclusion of your case.  In the typical Chapter 7 bankruptcy case, you have no obligation to repay any of this debt.  In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case, you may be obligated to repay a portion of the credit card debt.  The amount you will be required to pay will depend upon multiple factors including: 1) income; 2) expenses; 3) assets; and 4) debts.  In most scenarios, you will only repay a small percentage of credit card debt extended over a 5-year bankruptcy plan.  Once your bankruptcy plan is completed, the credit card debt is discharged—in other words, you will no longer owe any of the remaining credit card debt.

The bankruptcy discharge prevents creditors from pursuing collection action on any portion of the discharged debt.  If this discharge order is violated, the creditor can face consequences for contempt—the sanctions may include fines, attorney’s fees and/or damages assessed by the bankruptcy court.

Contact a Capable North Carolina Bankruptcy Attorney

I have helped others in your situation file for bankruptcy.  Helping to relieve the financial burden debt brings is what I do.   If you are ready to build a better life for yourself and your family, don’t hesitate to contact me by phone, text or email.

 

[1] Debtors who are forthcoming regarding their income and assets.

[2] 11 U.S.C. § 362—Automatic stay.

[3] E.g., real estate or an automobile.

 

Can I Discharge My Student Loan Debt?

 

When filing for bankruptcy, many debts can be discharged; however, some debts can be difficult to discharge.  In particular, student loan debt can be troublesome in terms of dischargeability.

The best way to determine if you can rid yourself of student loan debt through the bankruptcy process is by talking with a competent bankruptcy attorney who is equipped to analyze your specific situation.

 

The Undue Hardship Test

Student loans may be discharged (and/or partially discharged) if it can be proven that the loans create an “undue hardship” on you and your dependents.  This is called the Brunner test (Brunner v. New York State Higher Education Services Corp.).

The following three-pronged test must be proven:

1.     you cannot maintain a “minimal” standard of living for yourself and your dependents if forced to repay the loans;

2.     your financial situation/standard of living is not likely to change; and

3.     you have tried your best to repay the loans.

The Brunner court said that dischargeability of student loans should be based upon “a certainty of hopelessness, not merely a present inability to fulfill the financial commitment.” As shown, doing away with student loan debt is possible, but the above test can be difficult to prove.

How Can I Use Bankruptcy to Discharge Student Loan Debt?

The best approach is to discuss your personal situation with your bankruptcy attorney in order to determine whether you can meet the undue hardship standard.  Some assume that student loans can be instantly discharged by filing bankruptcy; however, it isn’t that simple: you will need to file a petition in order to obtain an assessment of your individual situation.

If bankruptcy is not the best option for you, there are several other options available that address student loan repayment.  These options, however, are complex and subject to frequent change.

Contact our office today to schedule a free consultation: (704) 584-9039 [Feel free to text]

Disclaimer: This site is for general informational purposes only and does not create an attorney-client relationship with you. The information contained at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. Some of the information on this site may be or may become out of date due to changes in the law and other factors. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters, and email. However, contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.

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