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Alabama Foreclosure Basics

By | Attorneys & Lawyers, Foreclosure | No Comments

An Auburn & Opelika foreclosure defense lawyer can help you when facing foreclosure.

With the national foreclosure moratorium due to the COVID-19 epidemic no longer in effect, foreclosures in the United States have seen a dramatic increase over the last several months. 

Given the reality that more Auburn and Opelika, Alabama residents are now vulnerable to their homes being foreclosed on, it is important that homeowners know the reasons why lenders may choose to pursue foreclosure and how the foreclosure process unfolds.

DISCLAIMER: The following blog post is just advice, and you will be better served to call David S. Clark with your bankruptcy questions. This blog contains helpful tips and advice, but is not professional legal advice, and shouldn’t treated as such.

Need Bankruptcy Help? Call David S. Clark

Why Lenders Pursue Foreclosure

Though purchasing a home with cash has seen a recent increase, the overwhelming majority of homebuyers still need to finance their homes because they simply do not have a spare $90,000 to $500,000+ lying around.

Sometimes the desire to be a homeowner can be so strong that a person is willing to agree to a mortgage agreement that is not sustainable long-term so that they can purchase the home. Often, though, when this occurs, homeowners realize they are unable to afford the mortgage payments.

They begin to miss consecutive payments. 

They eventually default on the loan and the lender usually sends what is called a “breach letter” to the debtor. Breach letters alert debtors that the loan is in default. If the payment isn’t made within the stipulated time, the lender can accelerate, or call due, the loan.

If the debtor still does not make the loan payment, the lender will initiate a foreclosure on the home.

The Foreclosure Process

In most mortgage agreements the foreclosure process officially begins when a loan is delinquent for more than 120 days.

The lender, then is required to post a notice of foreclosure for three consecutive weeks in the newspaper before the home can be sold.

Once the home has been posted for three weeks, the lender is then able to hold an auction for the sale of the property.

Redemption Period

In Alabama, debtors who have had their home foreclosed have a brief period in which they can redeem the home by coming up with the necessary money to satisfy the loan agreement.

The period during which a debtor can redeem the foreclosed home varies by case.

If a lender gives the debtor a notice of the right of redemption 30 days before the foreclosure, the debtor has 180 days to redeem the property. If the lender fails to give a notice before the auction of the property and sends a notice afterwards, the debtor has 180 days from the date of the notice to redeem the property.

If the lender never provides a right of redemption notice to the debtor, the debtor has no more than a year after the foreclosure date to redeem the property.

Eviction

When you are facing a foreclosure in Auburn or Opelika, AL, be aware that a lender cannot evict you without giving proper notification. In order for a lender to evict a debtor in the process of a foreclosure, the lender must provide a notice of eviction at least ten days before beginning eviction proceedings.

Help While Facing Foreclosure in Opelika/Auburn, AL

David S. Clark is a foreclosure defense attorney serving the residents of Auburn and Opelika Alabama able to help you navigate the difficult waters of home foreclosures.

David and his team will work on your behalf to help you avoid foreclosure, if possible, or come out on the other side of foreclosure in a more stable financial position.

If you are facing foreclosure in Opelika or Auburn, AL and need a foreclosure defense lawyer, contact David S. Clark today.

DISCLAIMER: The above blog post is just advice, and you will be better served to call David S. Clark with your bankruptcy questions. This blog contains helpful tips and advice, but is not professional legal advice, and shouldn’t treated as such.

Financial Tips From an Opelika Bankruptcy Attorney

By | Attorneys & Lawyers, Personal Finance, Understanding Bankruptcy | No Comments

One of the most common reasons that individuals fall into a financial crisis and decide that bankruptcy is the best option for them is poor financial stewardship, specifically when it comes to credit.

Though medical expenses and job loss are ranked higher than poor personal finance for reasons that people file for bankruptcy, those two issues are far more dependent on outside forces than personal financial responsibility.

Given that each person is the most important player in their own financial stewardship, we want to give our clients, potential clients, and readers practical tips about how they can make better financial decisions in order to avoid bankruptcy.

DISCLAIMER: The following blog post is just advice, and you will be better served to call David S. Clark with your bankruptcy questions. This blog contains helpful tips and advice, but is not professional legal advice, and shouldn’t treated as such.

Need Bankruptcy Help? Call David S. Clark

Tip #1: Control Your Spending on Credit

People incur credit when making a purchase that either costs more than the cash they have on hand or more cash than they want to spend at one time.

Incurring debt through credit is not always a bad thing.

For example, one of the most effective ways that Americans build personal wealth is through home ownership. Most people don’t just casually have $300,000 sitting in their bank accounts, so they take out a mortgage and purchase their home on credit.

Many, however, incur debt less strategically than for the purpose of building long-term wealth. They often incur debt on purchases that are much less important than a home–expensive cars, a TV, clothes, the newest iPhone, etc.

One of the major problems with excessive spending on credit is that people begin to run up credit card bills and have no realistic plan to pay off the debt in the coming months, years, or decades. Eventually, they default on the loan or miss one too many credit card payments and creditors come ready to make them pay their debts.

The best way to avoid finding yourself neck-deep in debt with unending calls from creditors is to manage your spending from the beginning. Unless you have a clear plan to pay back your debts and the discipline to stick to that plan, don’t purchase using credit.

Tip #2: Avoid Quick Loans

Often when individuals are short on cash and a bill comes due, they see no other option, but to go to quick loan, payday loan, title loan, etc. business in order to get the money needed to pay the expense.

The problem with borrowing money from these predatory establishments, though, is that they lend at extremely high interest rates. These companies usually lend to individuals who are already financially vulnerable. When these individuals begin to pay off the massive interest on the relatively small loan, they quickly realize that borrowing from a quick loan company was a mistake.

For more information on payday loans read our article, here.

A Few Alternatives to Quick Loans

Churches & Non-profits

For expenses like grocery bills, one-time rent payments, bus fares for a job interview, etc. local churches, other faith-based organizations, and community non-profits are often willing to help fit the bill.

Here is a list of Auburn/Opelika Churches.

Family Loans

Though it may take a bit of humility to ask, assistance from responsible family members can be one of the safest ways to borrow money and often at no or very little interest.

Alternative Sources of Cash

Now more than ever there are alternative ways for individuals to make a quick buck honestly and with no strings attached, like high interest rates.

Companies like Uber, DoorDash, and TigerTown To Go (an Auburn/Opelika company) are making quick, occasional sources of cash from actual work much easier to find.

David S. Clark, An Auburn/Opelika Bankruptcy Attorney

If you have followed these tips, yet still find yourself in a financial crisis, bankruptcy may be the best option for you. David S. Clark is an Auburn & Opelika bankruptcy attorney who helps clients throughout the entire bankruptcy process.

We can help you determine whether Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy is the best option for you. For a free case consultation, contact David S. Clark, Attorney at Law today!

DISCLAIMER: The above blog post is just advice, and you will be better served to call David S. Clark with your bankruptcy questions. This blog contains helpful tips and advice, but is not professional legal advice, and shouldn’t treated as such.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorney in Opelika, AL

By | Chapter 7 Bankruptcy | No Comments

Hire an Opelika bankruptcy attorney for your Chapter 7 bankruptcy case. 

Alabama Middle District Bankruptcy Statistics

From 2017 – 2018, bankruptcy filings in Alabama’s Middle District, the district of bankruptcy courts in which Opelika is located, have decreased by 2.8%. When the COVID-19 pandemic arrived in the United States in early 2020, though, this trend was expected to change as bankruptcies across the nation were predicted to drastically increase.

However, with the financial help provided through the multiple rounds of stimulus checks provided by the federal government, consumer bankruptcy filings through Chapters 7 and 13 bankruptcies actually decreased.

DISCLAIMER: The following blog post is just advice, and you will be better served to call David S. Clark with your bankruptcy questions. This blog contains helpful tips and advice, but is not professional legal advice, and shouldn’t treated as such.

Need Bankruptcy Help? Call David S. Clark

Interest in Bankruptcy on the Rise in Opelika

Now that a lot of the direct government financial assistance is no longer available to Americans, Opelika residents are once again considering filing bankruptcy in order to avoid complete financial ruin. In just the last month at David S. Clark, we have seen over a 65% increase in inquiries.

Many are searching for Opelika bankruptcy lawyers that can help them work through the process of Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Basics

Chapter 7 bankruptcy relieves a debtor from his or her debts by means of liquidating (turning assets like a car or home into cash) the debtor’s assets and distributing the funds gained from this liquidation to the debtor’s creditors.

Not everyone is able to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy though. Those wishing to do so in Opelika, AL must:

  • Be subject to a means test.
  • Appear before a bankruptcy court.
  • Receive financial counseling from a professional credit counselor.

If a debtor is able to declare Chapter 7 bankruptcy, then he or she will submit a petition to the appropriate district bankruptcy court. For Opelika residents, this is the United States Bankruptcy Court–Middle District of Alabama.

For a more robust description of Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Opelika, AL, read our previous post, “What Is Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?”.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorney in Opelika, AL

David S. Clark is a Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney that has been helping residents of Opelika, AL get financial relief through bankruptcy for years.

David and his team of bankruptcy professionals can walk with you through each step of Chapter 7 bankruptcy helping you to interpret some of the legal jargon that you may not be familiar with, representing you before the bankruptcy judge, and counseling you at moments when you have to make difficult financial decisions.

If you are considering filing bankruptcy in Opelika, AL and need an Opelika Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney that you can trust, contact David S. Clark today.

DISCLAIMER: The above blog post is just advice, and you will be better served to call David S. Clark with your bankruptcy questions. This blog contains helpful tips and advice, but is not professional legal advice, and shouldn’t treated as such.

Bankruptcy Helps: “Buy Here, Pay Here”

By | Chapter 13 Bankruptcy | No Comments

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy can get your car turned back on. 

Every year thousands of Alabamians decide to buy used cars from car dealerships that are commonly called “buy here, pay here” dealerships.

For car buyers whose credit isn’t good enough for a traditional loan or they simply don’t have any existing credit, the messaging from these dealerships can create an almost irresistible allure to buy a car from them.

        “No credit, no problem!”                     “Down payments as low as $500!”                             “Buy here, pay here!”

DISCLAIMER: The following blog post is just advice, and you will be better served to call David S. Clark with your bankruptcy questions. This blog contains helpful tips and advice, but is not professional legal advice, and shouldn’t treated as such.

Need Bankruptcy Help? Call David S. Clark

Many residents of Auburn and Opelika, AL buy cars from these dealerships at a moment that they have a small pile of extra cash lying around. However, whenever the time to make payments on the loan comes around, buyers realize that the interest rate on their loan is ridiculously high.

The creditors at “buy here, pay here” car dealerships know that the individuals that they sell to are often going to be unable to finish making payments on the cars that they buy. So, many times creditors will install a GPS tracker or what’s called a “starter interrupter” in cars that they financed.

If debtors fail to make a payment, the car dealership will initiate the “starter interrupter” and shut the car off until they receive payment on the loan.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Can Get Your Car Turned Back On

Automatic Stay Orders

Whenever debtors file for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, the court imposes an injunction to creditors that prevents them from taking any further action on you or your car. This injunction is called an “automatic stay.”

Modified Car Loan Payments

After the injunction is issued, you still may not be able to repay the original loan amount.

Depending on the restructuring of your debt under your Chapter 13 Bankruptcy plan, you may be able to avoid returning your car to the dealership by making smaller payments. This will help you keep your car while still making payments on the loan.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Protects You From Creditors

Sometimes debtors unfortunately still have to return their cars to the dealerships under Chapter 13 Bankruptcy. However, with Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, there is a real opportunity for you to be able to keep your car.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy protects you from sitting helplessly at the mercy of creditors. In the case of “buy here, pay here” car purchases, Chapter 13 Bankruptcy protects you from the car dealership you bought your car from.

David S. Clark is a bankruptcy attorney in Opelika and Auburn, AL who has been helping clients keep their cars through Chapter 13 Bankruptcy for years.

Contact David S. Clark today for a free bankruptcy consultation!

DISCLAIMER: The above blog post is just advice, and you will be better served to call David S. Clark with your bankruptcy questions. This blog contains helpful tips and advice, but is not professional legal advice, and shouldn’t treated as such.

CARES Act Reduced Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Payments & Modified Plans

By | COVID-19, Understanding Bankruptcy | No Comments

Don’t miss this opportunity for additional relief with Chapter 13 Bankruptcy from the CARES Act.

COVID-19 has changed the world in numerous ways from putting entire countries on strict lockdown to taking the lives of millions to changing the way many companies do business. Many of these effects, like so many other world events, disproportionately negatively affect those who are struggling through difficult financial times.

Individuals who have declared bankruptcy have still had to make payments that were specified in their debt resettlement agreements. Thanks to the CARES Act, though, those who have outstanding Chapter 13 payments may be able to reduce their monthly payment amount.

DISCLAIMER: The following blog post is just advice, and you will be better served to call David S. Clark with your bankruptcy questions. This blog contains helpful tips and advice, but is not professional legal advice, and shouldn’t treated as such.

Need Bankruptcy Help? Call David S. Clark

Disposable Income Amendments

Any payments made under federal law relating to the national emergency declared by the President cannot be counted as “current monthly income” or “disposable income” when considering the debtors repayment plan.

This provision will benefit those who are currently paying off bankruptcy payments and future Chapter 13 bankruptcy pursuants.

Payment Plan Modifications

The CARES Act permits debtors to seek payment plan modification if they can prove that they have suffered a “direct or indirect” hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The law does not give extensive definitions for “direct or indirect” hardships caused by the pandemic, so pursuants will have to make a verifiable case that they suffered financial difficulties because of the coronavirus pandemic.

It is unclear the extent to which debtors will be able to alter their original payment plans. However, the law allows for debtors to seek modification in their favor, so debtors should take advantage of this opportunity.

How Long Will This Last?

These amendments were originally put into law on March 27, 2020 and were scheduled to sunset, or expire, on March 27, 2021. However, due to the continued economic uncertainty from the pandemic, these amendments were extended until March 27, 2022.

If these amendments are not extended past the latest expiration date, then debtors have about six months to take advantage of these helpful provisions for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy.

David S. Clark Can Help

Having helped people file for and carry out Chapter 13 Bankruptcy plans for over 20 years, David S. Clark has had to adjust to changes in the law, changes in the larger culture, and countless other changes relating to his clients’ bankruptcy cases.

These recent changes are intended to help debtors. David S. Clark can help walk you through taking advantage of this opportunity, rather than failing to make your payments because of additional financial hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Call David S. Clark today for help with the CARES Act reduced Chapter 13 Bankruptcy payments and modified payment plans.

DISCLAIMER: The above blog post is just advice, and you will be better served to call David S. Clark with your bankruptcy questions. This blog contains helpful tips and advice, but is not professional legal advice, and shouldn’t treated as such.

How Not to Think About Bankruptcy

By | Attorneys & Lawyers, Understanding Bankruptcy | No Comments

Hiring an attorney can often add undue stress to an already fractious time. Bankruptcy cases are no different. 

As a bankruptcy lawyer in Auburn, Alabama, David S. Clark counsels numerous Lee County residents through shaky financial times. Over the years, he has encountered many different client responses to the fact that they need to declare bankruptcy. Some responses have been healthier than others and when clients have an unhealthy outlook on their situation, it can lead to a more difficult process and additional future financial hardships.

So, as a bankruptcy law firm in Auburn, we want to warn Auburn residents who may be considering bankruptcy about a few ways you should not think about it.

DISCLAIMER: The following blog post is just advice, and you will be better served to call David S. Clark with your bankruptcy questions. This blog contains helpful tips and advice, but is not professional legal advice, and shouldn’t treated as such.

Need Bankruptcy Help? Call David S. Clark

“I am incompetent with finances and there’s no hope for me to learn.”

If someone chooses to declare bankruptcy, then there is inevitably a serious disconnect between income and expenses in the actions of the client. This disconnect can occur for a number of reasons other than incompetence on the part of a client.

A sudden loss of income due to losing a job, unexpected expenses like hospital bills, or a miscalculation from the onset of a major purchase that leads to interest payments the client is unable to pay are all examples of events that can cause someone to declare bankruptcy.

There are mistakes that are made in all of these situations and others like them, but there is a fundamental difference between making a financial mistake and complete financial incompetence.

Everyone is able to improve their financial skills.

Don’t believe the lie that because you now have to declare bankruptcy and need help from a bankruptcy lawyer, you are financially incompetent.

Instead, take advantage of the resources provided to you during the process of bankruptcy like financial counseling and learn how not to find yourself in this situation again.

“Bankruptcy will solve all of my financial problems.”

Bankruptcy is a mechanism within our legal system by which debtors can find relief from debts that they can no longer pay.

It is not, however, a cure all for financial problems. 

Often the issues that cause bankruptcy cannot be cured with the relief of debt at one time. Foundational problems need to be dealt with by solutions outside of the scope of bankruptcy in order to avoid another financial catastrophe.

Debtors usually need counseling about healthy spending habits. They often need to begin taking more personal responsibility for the situation they are in. They sometimes need to find a more steady stream of income than they currently have.

Though a bankruptcy lawyer cannot directly “fix” any of these problems, he can point clients to other people and groups that can help.

“My debts are someone else’s fault.”

Bankruptcy can be an extremely painful and humbling time for debtors. Your finances are laid bare before creditors. You openly admit that you cannot make the payments you are obligated to make. You are subjected to numerous meetings in which others tell you how you must act in order to overcome your debt.

These are humbling, sometimes humiliating processes. Nevertheless, debtors respond to these processes with obstinate pride, insisting that they are not really the ones responsible for the situation that they are in.

A complex situation like bankruptcy often has complex causes. So, during the process of bankruptcy it may be revealed that several individuals and groups share some of the blame for a debtor’s situation. However, for a debtor to take little blame or worse yet, no blame at all, is detrimental to the likelihood of long-term financial recovery.

Admitting there is a problem within yourself and your actions, that this problem has played a major role in getting you into such a bad financial situation is key to your bankruptcy being a success.

Let David S. Clark Help You Think About Bankruptcy

David as an Auburn bankruptcy lawyer and his team of professionals have years of experience helping clients get out from under their debts by helping them to rightly think about bankruptcy and walking with them through the whole process.

If you are looking for a bankruptcy lawyer in Auburn, contact David S. Clark today for a free case evaluation.

DISCLAIMER: The above blog post is just advice, and you will be better served to call David S. Clark with your bankruptcy questions. This blog contains helpful tips and advice, but is not professional legal advice, and shouldn’t treated as such.

More Than Just Bankruptcy

By | Attorneys & Lawyers, News | No Comments

Hiring a qualified Auburn bankruptcy attorney like David S. Clark to guide you through the storm of financial crisis may be exactly the help you need.

Auburn, AL is known as “The Loveliest Village on the Plains.” Though this may be true, it does not mean that all Auburn residents are shielded from not-so-lovely financial times. 

If you have found yourself in one of these difficult financial times, then hiring a qualified Auburn bankruptcy attorney like David S. Clark to guide you through the storm of financial crisis may be exactly the help you need.

DISCLAIMER: The following blog post is just advice, and you will be better served to call David S. Clark with your bankruptcy questions. This blog contains helpful tips and advice, but is not professional legal advice, and shouldn’t treated as such.

Need Bankruptcy Help? Call David S. Clark

An Auburn Bankruptcy Attorney–More Than Just Bankruptcy

Though David S. Clark primarily works with Auburn clients through the difficult and often confusing process of filing for bankruptcy, he also helps Auburn residents overcome a variety of financial difficulties.

Debt Consolidation

Sometimes Auburn residents have several outstanding debts with varying interest rates, that have to be paid on different days of the month, and must be addressed to different companies or individuals.

If someone is less than organized and misses a few payments on some of these debts, it can cause some seriously harmful ramifications for that person.

One of the benefits of debt consolidation is that all of your outstanding debt payments are rolled into one payment that has one interest rate, is paid to one entity, and is paid at the same time (this may be weekly, monthly, bi-monthly, etc.).

Debt consolidation is especially helpful if you can get a lower interest rate on the consolidated payment compared to your separated payments. This, however, can be difficult to achieve without the help of someone who knows the ins and outs of debt consolidation. An Auburn bankruptcy attorney like David S. Clark can be a tremendous help when looking for the right debt consolidation loan.

The Payday Loan Cycle

The payday loan cycle can be a vicious cycle of debt that traps individuals in a constant pattern of attempting to pay off one loan or one debt by starting another.

With the high interest rates and low barriers to entry that payday loans have relative to other types of loans, they can be very easy for individuals in vulnerable financial situations to obtain. 

Navigating your way out of a payday loan cycle can be very difficult for most people, having an Auburn bankruptcy attorney on your side while trying to figure out how to get out of the payday loan cycle can be a huge asset.

For more information from David S. Clark on escaping the payday loan debt cycle, click here.

Repossessions

Usually when individuals sign a loan agreement, they waive certain rights in the event that the loan goes unpaid for the time period specified. When this happens, a creditor can take several steps to ensure that they receive payment on the loan.

One of the most notorious actions that a creditor may take is a repossession of the property against which the loan was taken.

A repossession can be a jarring experience and one that leaves a debtor confused, worried, and with a feeling of helplessness.

This, though, need not be the case. An experienced Auburn bankruptcy attorney like David S. Clark can help a debtor regain possession of the property that was taken. This can be by the processes of reinstatement or redemption.

If you are an Auburn resident looking for an Auburn bankruptcy attorney that can help you work through a variety of financial options to help you overcome your debt crisis, contact David S. Clark.

DISCLAIMER: The above blog post is just advice, and you will be better served to call David S. Clark with your bankruptcy questions. This blog contains helpful tips and advice, but is not professional legal advice, and shouldn’t treated as such.

The Benefits of Chapter 7 Bankruptcy for Opelika & Auburn Residents

By | Bankruptcy Law, Chapter 7 Bankruptcy | No Comments

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is a particularly helpful option in bankruptcy code for Auburn and Opelika residents who have a current monthly income that falls below the state median monthly income.

Many Opelika & Auburn residents are very hesitant to look into declaring bankruptcy to find relief from their numerous debts that they are unable to repay because declaring bankruptcy is often looked down on by the public.

Bankruptcy, however, is a perfectly legitimate form of debt restructuring that has helped countless Americans escape financial ruin since its adoption into United States law.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is a particularly helpful option in bankruptcy code for Auburn and Opelika residents who have a current monthly income that falls below the state median monthly income.

Here are some of the benefits of Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Opelika and Auburn, AL:

DISCLAIMER: The following blog post is just advice, and you will be better served to call David S. Clark with your bankruptcy questions. This blog contains helpful tips and advice, but is not professional legal advice, and shouldn’t treated as such.

Need Bankruptcy Help? Call David S. Clark

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Helps Those With Little Financial Resources

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is specifically designed to assist those on the lower end of the financial system gain relief from their debts.

This is accomplished by those who wish to file Chapter 7 Bankruptcy being subject to the means test mentioned earlier.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Doesn’t Make You Face Creditors Alone

In every Chapter 7 Bankruptcy case, the court assigns an impartial case trustee to help mediate between you and your debtors. These trustees are assigned as impartial case managers for the state.

They aren’t working to make money for the creditors and they also aren’t working to magically make your debts appear. They are seeking the best route forward for both parties.

Though this case trustee is a helpful and necessary player in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy cases, he or she is not a bankruptcy attorney.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy attorneys have a fiduciary duty, a duty to put your interests above any others. So, even with the benefit of having impartial case trustees in Chapter 7 bankruptcies, an Opelika/Auburn bankruptcy attorney is an important asset to your team because he or she will advocate explicitly for you.

The Chapter 7 Discharge

A discharge in Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases is one of the greatest protections that is offered to debtors against creditors in the bankruptcy process.

When a person files for bankruptcy, he or she gives immense power to the courts, the court appointed trustee, and their creditors. This is a frightening step for many debtors, and rightfully so. With a Chapter 7 discharge, however, many fears that a debtor might have of losing all of his or her civil rights because of debts owed are laid to rest because it frees debtors from the personal liability for many of their debts and it prevents creditors from taking collection action against them.

Given the nature of Chapter 7 bankruptcy as a means by which debts can be paid, there are many exceptions present in a Chapter 7 discharge clause. This is one of the many areas that hiring a qualified Chapter 7 Bankruptcy attorney can be an asset to you.

A good Auburn/Opelika Chapter 7 Bankruptcy attorney knows the ins and outs of these discharges and can guide you through this process.

David S. Clark, Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorney

Because of the complexity of Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, its benefits are often out of reach for most Opelika or Auburn residents because they don’t hold a law degree.

This is why hiring a reputable Auburn/Opelika Chapter 7 Bankruptcy attorney like David S. Clark can be an important factor in successfully filing for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy.

If you are looking to file Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Auburn or Opelika, AL contact us today for a free case consultation and get your life back on the path toward financial freedom!

For more information about Chapter 7 Bankruptcy visit the United States Courts’ “Chapter 7 – Bankruptcy Basics.”

DISCLAIMER: The above blog post is just advice, and you will be better served to call David S. Clark with your bankruptcy questions. This blog contains helpful tips and advice, but is not professional legal advice, and shouldn’t treated as such.

Avoiding Foreclosure in Auburn or Opelika, AL

By | Attorneys & Lawyers, Foreclosure | No Comments

When you fail to pay massive mortgage payments, your dream home can quickly turn into a nightmare.

The U.S. housing market has proven resilient during the pandemic, and Alabama has been no exception. While Auburn and Opelika home sales positively increased during the pandemic, mortgage rates are continuing to rise. 

These higher rates transform the once affordable asking price of a house, into a dangerous growing expense for homeowners. 

Because higher interest rates make mortgages less affordable on a monthly basis, it can quickly cause you to fail to pay your mortgage at all. 

Banks quickly act on payment failures, leading to a difficult process known as foreclosure. This is the legal process where your mortgage company obtains ownership of your home. 

This process can produce long-lasting and stressful consequences, but it can be avoided. 

When foreclosure is imminent, Auburn or Opelika Alabama residents may need a foreclosure defense attorney to avoid such a crisis. 

Why Hire an Opelika Foreclosure Defense Attorney? 

Knowing the options available to you when attempting to fight a foreclosure and navigating the technicalities of them can be daunting for anyone. 

Hiring a foreclosure defense attorney can be the difference between sinking and swimming for you when navigating these dangerous waters.

From stacks of paperwork to multiple intimidating meetings, if you are caught in the vast legal landscape of foreclosure or if you are only beginning the process, a foreclosure defense attorney can change the result of foreclosure in some key ways: 

DISCLAIMER: The following blog post is just advice, and you will be better served to call David S. Clark with your bankruptcy questions. This blog contains helpful tips and advice, but is not professional legal advice, and shouldn’t treated as such.

Need Bankruptcy Help? Call David S. Clark

Loss Mitigation 

Loss mitigation is the process of protecting homeowners from foreclosure. It refers to several strategies that could be employed to keep homeowners current on their mortgage payments while remaining in their homes. 

Before beginning the process of receiving loss mitigation, homeowners will be required to submit a loss mitigation application. 

This application includes personal information, property information, and mortgage terms. It may also require pay stubs, tax returns, and financial statements. 

Without accurate information in each of these categories, foreclosure could still occur. 

Without an attorney you would likely have no idea how to navigate loss mitigation in order to avoid foreclosure on your home. 

There are many strategies that can mitigate loss. Some of the most common are repayment plans and forbearance plans.

Repayment Plans

If you missed payments due to sickness or job loss, repayment plans can be negotiated to add payments to make up for the payments missed. 

Forbearance Plans

Forbearance plans allow the homeowner to make reduced payments for a specific period of time. These allow you to get out of a financial hardship and can put you in a position to negotiate new repayment plans.

Modification of Your Loan

Loan modification is a change in the original terms of your mortgage loan. In order for someone to apply for this option, homeowners must provide financial information, mortgage terms, and the specifics of the financial hardship. 

The accurate presentation of these requirements is crucial. 

Foreclosure defense attorneys can ensure that all of your loan information is reported correctly, so that you have the best chance of modifying your loan. 

There are various ways that your loan can be modified. Some of the most common modifications are:

Payment Amount

This is the most common method of loan modification. 

Banks modify a homeowner’s existing mortgage payment to a more affordable amount (though you will usually have to pay more in the long run). This can lessen financial stress and place you back in good standing with the bank. 

Length of the Loan

Length of a loan is another consideration in the loan modification process. Rather than decreasing the overall payment, banks can lengthen the repayment period in relation to a homeowner’s financial situation. 

Interest Rate

With all mortgages, homeowners pay back a portion of the amount borrowed plus interest every month. In this method of loan modification, these interest rates can be altered to lower percentages, creating a more affordable total payment. 

David S. Clark–An Auburn/Opelika Foreclosure Defense Attorney

Facing the threat of foreclosure is a scary and difficult process to navigate, but you don’t have to do it alone!

David S. Clark is a dedicated Auburn/Opelika foreclosure defense attorney that will do everything in his power to help you avoid foreclosure. 

Contact David S. Clark, Attorney At Law and get your free consultation today!

DISCLAIMER: The above blog post is just advice, and you will be better served to call David S. Clark with your bankruptcy questions. This blog contains helpful tips and advice, but is not professional legal advice, and shouldn’t treated as such.

How COVID-19 Is Affecting Bankruptcy Law in Alabama

By | Bankruptcy Law, COVID-19, Understanding Bankruptcy | No Comments

Seeking bankruptcy in Auburn or Opelika will look a bit different after the COVID-19 pandemic. Make sure your bankruptcy attorney knows about these changes and is prepared to help you understand them.

There seems to be no area of society that the COVID-19 virus has not affected. 

One of the most significant effects and hotly contested issues is the role that this pandemic has played in the economic downturn that our entire country has experienced.

One thing that is certain, though, is that COVID-19 has made many people in Alabama suffer financially.

As an avenue for financial relief during personal economic crises, Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy have, unsurprisingly, had some rules changed

Residents of Auburn and Opelika who are seeking to file bankruptcy should be aware of these changes so that they can take advantage of their benefits to debtors seeking relief.

Under the CARES Act and the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 here are some of those changes:

DISCLAIMER: The following blog post is just advice, and you will be better served to call David S. Clark with your bankruptcy questions. This blog contains helpful tips and advice, but is not professional legal advice, and shouldn’t treated as such.

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Chapter 13 Payment Extension

If debtors can prove to their local bankruptcy court that they have endured a financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic, then they may qualify for an extension to the payment plan for seven years.

Waived Original Signature Requirement

Because the entire country has been in lockdown at some point during the pandemic, some bankruptcy courts have decided to waive the requirement that a bankruptcy attorney must get a “wet signature” from his or her client on the bankruptcy petition.

This is simply the original signature from the debtor on the petition to file bankruptcy.

Debtors and their bankruptcy attorneys can review the necessary documents virtually rather than meeting in person.

This allows for the bankruptcy process to move forward without the physical contact that was previously required.

Section 341 Meeting of Creditors

Regardless of whether or not a debtor files for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, he or she will have to attend a “meeting of creditors.”

This is where the debtor faces all of his or her creditors alongside the court-assigned trustee and discusses every relevant detail of what is owed so that everyone can have a unified, realistic expectation of what needs to be paid back.

Stimulus Money Cannot Be Counted as Income

When filing for bankruptcy, debtors have to list their income to submit to the courts.

With the stimulus checks that were given to many Americans, some people’s income drastically increased. If a debtor had to claim this as income, this could misrepresent the true financial situation of him or her.

In order to prevent this misrepresentation, the debtor is able to leave any money received from a stimulus check related to the coronavirus pandemic out of consideration when adding up income.

This list is a good start in the search for information on how the coronavirus pandemic has affected bankruptcy, but it is by no means exhaustive.

If you are an Auburn or Opelika resident who is considering filing for bankruptcy, you should consult an Auburn/Opelika bankruptcy lawyer who can explain in depth how bankruptcy law has been affected by recent COVID-19 legislation.

David S. Clark is a bankruptcy attorney who has represented numerous residents of Auburn, Opelika, and Lee County. Contact David S. Clark today for a free evaluation on your bankruptcy case!

DISCLAIMER: The above blog post is just advice, and you will be better served to call David S. Clark with your bankruptcy questions. This blog contains helpful tips and advice, but is not professional legal advice, and shouldn’t treated as such.