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Navigating the Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Process

By Chapter 13 Bankruptcy No Comments

A guide to Chapter 13 bankruptcy

Are you facing overwhelming debt and considering Chapter 13 bankruptcy as a solution? Navigating the Chapter 13 bankruptcy process can be complex, but with the right guidance from a dedicated Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney, you can regain control of your finances and pave the way to a fresh start. Here is a breakdown of the Chapter 13 bankruptcy process from David S. Clark, an experienced bankruptcy attorney in Opelika, Alabama.

Understanding Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Before breaking down the process of Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, it is essential to understand what it is. Chapter 13 bankruptcy, often referred to as a “wage earner’s plan,” allows individuals with regular income to restructure their debts while keeping their property. Unlike Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which involves liquidating assets to pay off creditors, Chapter 13 creates a manageable repayment plan based on your income and expenses.

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

Initial Consultation and Evaluation

Prior to making any decisions, the first step in any bankruptcy process is an initial consultation and evaluation with a bankruptcy attorney. Spend time searching for the “best” attorney in the Auburn and Opelika area. Read reviews, look at their history, and choose a bankruptcy attorney who not only represents you but cares for you and your financial future. 

During the consultation, your dedicated bankruptcy attorney will evaluate your financial situation, discuss your goals, and determine if Chapter 13 bankruptcy is the right option for you.

Preparing and Filing the Petition

Once you and your Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney have decided to proceed with Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you’ll work together to gather the necessary documentation, including income statements, tax returns, asset valuations, and a detailed list of debts. 

With these items, your bankruptcy attorney will prepare and file your bankruptcy petition with the bankruptcy court in Opelika or Auburn. 

Automatic Stay 

Worried about harassment from creditors? Thankfully, upon filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, an automatic stay goes into effect, halting creditor harassment, foreclosure proceedings, wage garnishments, and other collection actions. This can provide immediate relief from the constant calls, emails, and more that may come from a number of creditors. 

Developing a Repayment Plan

The next step in the Chapter 13 process comes in the form of a repayment plan. Essentially, your bankruptcy attorney will negotiate with creditors to establish manageable monthly payments based on your income and expenses. This plan typically lasts three to five years, allowing you to catch up on past-due balances while maintaining essential assets like your home and car.

Once your repayment plan is finalized, it must be submitted to the bankruptcy court for approval. If the court confirms your plan, you’ll begin making monthly payments to a court-appointed trustee, who will distribute funds to your creditors according to the terms of the plan. 

David S. Clark – Your Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Attorney in Opelika

Ultimately, while this is a guide on the Chapter 13 bankruptcy process, it is crucial to note that every bankruptcy case is different. Thankfully, with the guidance of an experienced personal bankruptcy attorney, you can overcome financial challenges and achieve long-term stability. If you’re considering Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Opelika, Alabama, don’t hesitate to reach out to David S. Clark for personalized assistance and support! 

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 Role of Bankruptcy in Resolving Medical Debt

By Financial Tips No Comments

How bankruptcy can help when medical debt becomes unbearable.

Throughout Alabama, medical debt can quickly spiral out of control, leaving individuals and families facing overwhelming financial burdens. Specifically, almost 20% of all residents in Alabama are people with medical debt in collections. 

Fortunately, bankruptcy can serve as a lifeline for those struggling with medical bills, offering a path to financial relief and a fresh start. Below is a breakdown of the role of bankruptcy in resolving medical debt, how a bankruptcy attorney can help, and more from David S. Clark, a Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney in Opelika, Alabama. 

The Impact of Medical Debt

Unfortunately, medical debt can arise unexpectedly due to emergencies, illnesses, or lack of health insurance. Yet, even with insurance, out-of-pocket expenses such as deductibles, copayments, and non-covered services can accumulate rapidly, causing a great amount of stress. 

With that in mind, it can be hard to live with the weight of medical debt around you or your family. Thankfully, you are not alone and there are options available! 

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

Bankruptcy as a Solution

Bankruptcy, particularly Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy, offers viable solutions for addressing medical debt and gaining a second chance regarding finances.

Before breaking down these chapters of bankruptcy, though, it is important to know that bankruptcy is not always a clean slate. Furthermore, every bankruptcy case is different, so talk to an experienced bankruptcy attorney about your options. 

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy 

Also known as “liquidation bankruptcy,” Chapter 7 allows eligible individuals to discharge unsecured debts, including medical bills, credit card debt, and personal loans. 

Qualification for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy involves submitting your average income and disclosing any assets or unexpired leases you possess. Your bankruptcy attorney will assist you in evaluating your property and assets to determine the feasibility of liquidating them.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Alternatively, Chapter 13 bankruptcy involves creating a court-approved repayment plan to repay a portion of debts over a specified period, typically three to five years. Medical debt can be included in the repayment plan, allowing debtors to manage their obligations while retaining assets such as a home or vehicle.

Navigating the Bankruptcy Process in Opelika, Alabama

As mentioned above, before anything, it is essential to consult with a knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney who can help you choose the best option for your unique situation. 

Ultimately, bankruptcy offers more than just a means of resolving medical debt. It provides individuals with a fresh financial start, freedom from creditor harassment, and the opportunity to rebuild credit over time. By taking proactive steps to address medical debt through bankruptcy, individuals in Opelika can regain control of their finances and move toward a brighter financial future.

From his many valuable years of experience serving the Auburn and Opelika, Alabama community, David S. Clark is knowledgeable and prepared to help you start your journey back to financial security. If you need help navigating the stress, intricacies, and complexities of Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, 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: Is It Right for You?

By Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, Financial Tips No Comments

A breakdown of Chapter 7 bankruptcy

Are you facing overwhelming debt and financial challenges in Auburn or Opelika, Alabama? If so, you may be considering Chapter 7 bankruptcy as a potential solution. Yet, there are a few things to consider before making any decisions. Here is a quick breakdown of Chapter 7 bankruptcy and if it’s right for you from David S. Clark, an experienced bankruptcy attorney in Opelika, Alabama. 

What is Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

Before any decision, it is important to have a foundation of knowledge about the issues at hand. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is no different, especially with the myths surrounding it. So, what is Chapter 7 bankruptcy? 

Chapter 7 bankruptcy, often referred to as “liquidation” bankruptcy, is a legal process that allows individuals to discharge unsecured debts, providing a fresh start. Unsecured debts include: 

  • Credit card balances (including overdue and late fees)
  • Medical bills
  • Personal and payday loans 
  • Mortgage or automobile loans for which you are unable to pay
  • Utility bills
  • Social Security overpayments
  • Veterans’ assistance loans and overpayments

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

How Does Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Work?

In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing, a dedicated trustee is appointed to liquidate non-exempt assets, which are then used to repay creditors. Ultimately, while it may be scary, giving up physical assets to help balance debt is usually required.

Items that the state can take to help balance your debt are known as nonexempt assets. Exempted assets are those that cannot be taken by the state to balance your debt. Learn more here.

Assessing Your Eligibility for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Qualification for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy involves submitting your average income and disclosing any assets or unexpired leases you possess. Your bankruptcy attorney will assist you in evaluating your property and assets to determine the feasibility of liquidating them.

Ultimately, every Chapter 7 bankruptcy case is going to be different. So, finding a dedicated bankruptcy attorney could be the difference between success and failure. 

How an Experienced Bankruptcy Attorney Can Help

In conclusion, Chapter 7 bankruptcy can be a powerful tool for residents in Auburn and Opelika facing financial hardships. By understanding the process, assessing eligibility, and seeking the guidance of a bankruptcy attorney, you can make an informed decision about whether Chapter 7 is the right solution for you.

Navigating the complexities of bankruptcy law can be challenging, but a skilled bankruptcy attorney such as David S. Clark can guide you through the process. This includes assessing your financial situation, helping you understand your options, and ensuring that your bankruptcy filing is completed accurately and efficiently.

If you’re considering Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Opelika, Alabama, the team of experts at David S. Clark is here to help. Contact us for a free consultation to discuss your financial situation and determine your best course of action 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.

The Best Opelika Foreclosure Defense Attorney

By Uncategorized No Comments

You are not alone in your struggle with mortgage payments. In fact, Opelika foreclosure defense is a commonly sought out service.

Opelika foreclosure defense is a commonly sought after service. You are not alone in your struggle to stay on top of difficult payments and juggle all of the other expenses that come with life in the Auburn & Opelika area. In fact, foreclosure is actually quite common. 

Foreclosure begins when a borrower misses their mortgage payments. Lenders can look to repossess your home and sell it to recover their lost margin. Foreclosure works this way because with mortgage loans, your home itself is held as collateral should you, the borrower, default on payments. If you want to learn more about the best Opelika foreclosure defense attorney, contact David S. Clark today, and read here about the best tips for dealing with foreclosure. 

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

Asking for Forbearance

Borrowers asking for forbearance during times of financial difficulty is a common occurrence. Oftentimes savings run low, income is not at the level expected, or some unforeseen crisis arises that causes a serious financial blow. Life happens, and when it does, the possibility of forbearance is in place. What forbearance does for borrowers, essentially, is allow them a limited amount of time to pay off debt, acquire more income, or increase their savings in the wake of a financial crisis.

This limited period where mortgage payments are paused gives borrowers some time to get back on their feet. Without the impending mortgage payment being around the corner, borrowers can focus on rebuilding their finances and preparing themselves to take on their future mortgage payments. While this period of forbearance is not unlimited, it can still go a long way in helping borrowers get themselves back into a better financial position.

Applying for a Repayment Plan

A mortgage repayment plan is another option for those suffering from a short-term financial crisis. A mortgage repayment plan takes the amount of money that is past-due on your mortgage and splits it up, spreading it over future payments until the debt has been paid off. This allows borrowers to look into the future without worrying about past unpaid debts.

Keep in mind that with mortgage repayment plans, future payments will be more expensive than they were previously, on account of the addition of the missed payments to the future months’ payments. This would not be an advisable option for those who are dealing with more sustained financial difficulty, as this can lead to more missed payments. Consider applying for a mortgage repayment plan only if your financial hardship is short-term.

 

Refinancing Your Loan

If you have yet to miss a mortgage payment, but are wary of the possibility of doing so in the near future, refinancing your loan can be an option to help you avoid foreclosure. What refinancing does for borrowers is allow them to agree to a more affordable payment plan for them. This could include an extended timeline with lower monthly payments, for example.

Refinancing your loan is unfortunately not an option if you have already missed a mortgage payment, or if the foreclosure process has already begun. However, there are still options to fight for your home after you have missed a payment or foreclosure has begun. 

 

David S. Clark, Opelika’s Foreclosure Defense Attorney

If you are dealing with financial hardships including foreclosure or the threat of foreclosure, contact David S. Clark today for help. With over 25 years of experience serving the Auburn & Opelika area, David is tested, professional, and prepared to help you reach the best possible outcome of your financial hardships. 

For help with foreclosure defense, bankruptcy law, Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, schedule a free consultation today, and let us help you onto the road towards financial recovery.

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.

After Bankruptcy: How to Establish Responsible Financial Habits

By Financial Tips, Personal Finance No Comments

The reality is, life after bankruptcy completely depends on your attitude.

Life after bankruptcy can look many different ways. For some, it is a scary time where money is tight and it seems like you are still trying to dig out of a bottomless hole. For others, it is a time of hope and opportunity; a chance to start again. The reality is, life after bankruptcy completely depends on your attitude. If you want to get your financial situation back on track and build good habits that foster financial stability, all you have to do is make a plan and stick to it. Staying disciplined can be challenging and stressful, but when you establish responsible financial habits after bankruptcy, you give yourself a chance to reach financial freedom again. Here are the best ways to do just that, from the Auburn & Opelika bankruptcy law experts at David S. Clark.

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

Create a Realistic Budget

One of the most intuitive and important steps in establishing healthy and responsible financial habits following Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy is to create a budget, and stick to it. The act of simply creating a budget for your spending habits means nothing if you don’t stay disciplined and follow the budget. 

Some important aspects of building a budget include knowing your regular income, knowing your regular expenses, tracking your spending, and setting realistic, achievable goals. Planning for a budget requires commitment and consistency, whether you are old school and want to take the approach of allocating envelopes for monthly expense categories, or want to use more technologically advanced methods, your budget will only serve you as well as you let it. For a more detailed look at making a budget, click here.

Start Saving Money & Create an Emergency Savings Fund

An obvious step in the right direction for those recovering from bankruptcy is to prioritize saving money. Emergency savings funds are important to have, and in addition to said emergency savings funds, it is very important to be regularly putting money away for the future, even if there aren’t any looming financial crises on the horizon. Open a savings account and start earning interest. Make it an absolute priority to live below your means. This is an essential fiscally responsible practice for anyone looking to have a healthy financial future. 

Apply for New Lines of Credit

Applying for new lines of credit after Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy is also an important step to take. Although interest rates may be higher following bankruptcy, it is still important to begin building back good credit. It may take an extended amount of time before you are approved to open new lines of credit post-bankruptcy, but once you can, it is absolutely recommended that you do so. 

Credit builder loans, which are intended to help you rebuild credit following bankruptcy, are another great way to start rebuilding a healthy credit score and positive financial practices. Also, consider obtaining a secured credit card, which is backed by the balance in your savings account. This balance determines your credit limit, making it a safer option than using traditional credit cards.

Make Payments on Time

In order to keep building credit and instilling responsible financial habits, making payments on time is crucial. By avoiding late fees and paying your bills on time, or earlier, you will not only be building credit, but you will also be saving money! Timely payments cannot be overlooked as a critical part of being financially responsible after bankruptcy. Without this, you can face even higher interest rates, which can be crippling when trying to rebuild financial security. 

Keep a Low Credit Card Balance

Keeping a low credit card balance is a simple, effective way to maintain responsible spending habits. Monitoring your credit utilization ratio and keeping it low will help creditors see that you are making responsible financial decisions. Keeping your credit utilization ratio means that you are not using your line of credit up to its limit. Setting spending limits for yourself– and sticking to them– will help you establish responsible financial habits.

Avoid Quick Loans

Quick loans, where individuals can almost always receive cash, involve incredibly high interest rates, and often trap financially vulnerable individuals in another cycle of debt following bankruptcy. Though they can be tempting when payments are due and cash is short, find safer and less predatory solutions. 

Some examples of better ways to solve a cash shortage include borrowing from a church or nonprofit, or finding additional short term streams of revenue, like online sales or third-party food delivery services. There are many ways to make an honest dollar these days that only take a little time. Read here to learn more financial tips and alternatives to quick loans.

David S. Clark, Auburn & Opelika Bankruptcy Attorney

From his many valuable years of experience serving the Auburn and Opelika, Alabama community, David S. Clark is knowledgeable and prepared to help you start your journey back to financial security. If you need help navigating the stress, intricacies, and complexities of Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, 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.

A Breakdown of Bankruptcy & Wage Garnishment in Alabama

By Bankruptcy Law, Financial Tips No Comments

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

Bankruptcy can be scary. The thought of losing your home, car, and other possessions is certainly intimidating. And to add insult to injury, when considering bankruptcy, debt collectors can garnish your wages. Thankfully, many of the common misconceptions about bankruptcy are untrue. In fact, bankruptcy can significantly help those with overwhelming personal debt in many ways. One such way is protection from wage garnishment. 

Here is a quick breakdown on bankruptcy and wage garnishment from David S. Clark, an experienced bankruptcy attorney in Opelika, Alabama.

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

What are wage garnishments?

According to the US Department of Labor, wage garnishment is “a legal procedure in which a person’s earnings are required by court order to be withheld by an employer for the payment of a debt such as child support.” This means that your pay goes to a creditor instead of you. Some common forms of garnishments can be child support, alimony, student loans, and income taxes. 

Wage garnishments can be embarrassing, financially crippling, and difficult to stop. Some forms of wage garnishment can even take up to 50% or more of your wages. One of the few ways to effectively fight against wage garnishments is declaring bankruptcy. 

Chapter 7 bankruptcy and wage garnishments

When you declare Chapter 7 bankruptcy, wage garnishments are stopped. IRS garnishments are also temporarily stopped. The automatic stay that is enacted upon declaration of Chapter 7 bankruptcy will temporarily halt all collections. This gives you a break from the financial stress that comes with wage garnishments. From there, law professionals can help you regain your financial footing and instill fiscally responsible habits. 

Chapter 13 bankruptcy and wage garnishments

When you declare Chapter 13 bankruptcy, wage garnishments are also stopped. Much like declaring Chapter 7 bankruptcy, declaring Chapter 13 bankruptcy also issues an automatic stay that halts all collections. Stopping wage garnishments is one the most impactful ways that declaring bankruptcy helps those in overwhelming debt. Once wage garnishments have been halted, you have time to get your financial situation back to a manageable state.

Through the Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy processes, and with the help of legal professionals, regaining your financial freedom and getting back on your feet isn’t so far away. It will take hard work, commitment, and starting new financial habits, but it is absolutely possible to get back to a healthy place with your finances. The financial easement process of automatic stays, which halt wage garnishments, is only one such way that the bankruptcy process can help.

The Difference With David S. Clark

If you are looking for dedicated bankruptcy law professionals to help you with your financial hardships, look no further than the experienced David S. Clark. Our focused and successful legal team has a combined legal experience of over 25 years. 

If you are an Auburn or Opelika, Alabama area resident in financial distress, let us serve you and help you get back on your feet. Contact us today to begin your journey back to financial freedom.

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 Law Demystified

By Bankruptcy Law, Financial Tips No Comments

Bankruptcy can seem mysterious, but it doesn’t have to be.

Navigating the complex landscape of bankruptcy law can be confusing, but with the guidance of an experienced Auburn and Opelika, Alabama bankruptcy attorney, you can gain a clear understanding of your options and find a path to financial recovery. 

Ultimately, a lot of myths surround the bankruptcy process, especially when it comes to Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. So, here is a quick breakdown of the bankruptcy process from David S. Clark, a personal bankruptcy attorney in Opelika, Alabama. 

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

Understanding Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Chapter 7 bankruptcy, often referred to as “liquidation bankruptcy,” provides individuals an option to eliminate most of their unsecured debts. While there are many types of “unsecured debts” these typically include medical bills or credit card debt. 

In Auburn and Opelika, Alabama, a bankruptcy attorney can help you determine whether you qualify for Chapter 7 and guide you through the often confusing process. If you do qualify, Chapter 7 can not only provide a fresh start for your finances but relieve you from the stress of large medical bills or credit card debt. 

Understanding Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Chapter 13 bankruptcy, also known as “reorganization bankruptcy,” is designed for individuals with a regular income who wish to create a repayment plan to manage their debts over a three to five-year period. 

With the support of a bankruptcy attorney in Auburn and Opelika, you can work to keep your assets while restructuring your debts into manageable monthly payments. Chapter 13 can be a powerful tool for homeowners facing foreclosure, as it can allow you to catch up on missed mortgage payments while keeping your home. 

The Role of a Bankruptcy Attorney

Bankruptcy law is intricate and riddled with legal complexities, legal conversations, and mounds of paperwork. Thankfully, having an experienced bankruptcy attorney in Auburn and Opelika by your side can make all the difference. 

While experience is important, it is also crucial to remember that every personal bankruptcy case is different, which is why finding a bankruptcy attorney who understands your situation, wants, and needs can transform your case. 

Next Steps 

If you’re considering Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy as a solution to your financial challenges, the first step is to schedule a consultation with a bankruptcy attorney in Auburn and Opelika. During this consultation, you’ll have the opportunity to discuss your financial situation, goals, and concerns. The attorney will provide you with insights tailored to your circumstances and guide you toward the best course of action.

Bankruptcy law need not be shrouded in mystery. David S. Clark is a bankruptcy attorney in Opelika and Auburn, Alabama who can provide clarity, encouragement, and help when you feel like there’s nowhere else to go. Whether you’re exploring Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, remember that you’re not alone—professional support is available to help you regain control of your finances and move forward with confidence. 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.

Is Bankruptcy Right for You?

By Bankruptcy Law, Financial Tips No Comments

A guide to bankruptcy and which chapter is right for you.

If you find yourself struggling with overwhelming debts, mounting bills, and creditor harassment, you may wonder if bankruptcy is the right path to regain financial stability. However, it is important to remember that bankruptcy does not always provide a complete fresh start, nor is it suitable for every person with debt. 

So, in order to provide some clarity, here is a quick breakdown of the concept of bankruptcy, its impact, and the options available to you from David S. Clark, an experienced bankruptcy attorney in Auburn and Opelika, Alabama. 

What is Bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy is a legal process that provides individuals and businesses in financial distress with the opportunity to eliminate or reorganize their debts under the protection of the court. It is not a decision to be taken lightly, but it can be a valuable tool to help you achieve a fresh financial start.

If you’re an individual in Auburn or Opelika, there are two main chapters for personal bankruptcy that you should be aware of: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Each chapter serves different purposes and offers unique options and outcomes. Understanding the differences between these chapters is essential in determining the best path for your specific financial situation. 

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

Understanding Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Chapter 7 bankruptcy, also known as “liquidation bankruptcy,” is designed for individuals with a limited income and a small number of assets. In Auburn and Opelika this option allows eligible filers to discharge certain unsecured debts, such as credit card debt, medical bills, and personal loans, typically within a few months. For more information on secured vs. unsecured debts, click here!

To qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you must pass the means test, which compares your income to the median income in Alabama. If your income is below the state median, you are likely eligible for Chapter 7. However, if your income exceeds the median, you may still qualify based on a number of other factors. Ultimately, when it comes time to file for bankruptcy, an experienced bankruptcy attorney can help navigate this often confusing process. 

Understanding Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Chapter 13 bankruptcy, also called “reorganization bankruptcy,” is available for individuals who have a more stable income but are struggling to keep up with their debts. Instead of liquidating assets, Chapter 13 creates a repayment plan that spans three to five years, allowing you to catch up on missed payments while keeping your assets. 

With Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you can potentially prevent foreclosure, stop vehicle repossession, and halt creditor actions, providing breathing room to address any and all financial challenges. Yet, as mentioned in Chapter 7, every bankruptcy case will be unique, so it is crucial to contact a dedicated bankruptcy attorney to see if Chapter 13 bankruptcy is right for you. 

The Importance of a Bankruptcy Attorney

Deciding whether bankruptcy is right for you requires careful consideration of your financial situation, long-term goals, a deep dive into your financial history, and any potential consequences. A qualified bankruptcy attorney can provide invaluable guidance throughout this process, helping you make the most informed decision possible.

Plus, the help of a dedicated bankruptcy attorney could mean the difference between a successful personal bankruptcy case and a return to the overwhelming financial situation you had prior to the bankruptcy process. 

David S. Clark, Your Auburn & Opelika Bankruptcy Attorney

Navigating the complexities of bankruptcy requires a comprehensive understanding of your options and their implications. Thankfully, you don’t have to do it alone! David S. Clark is an experienced bankruptcy attorney in Opelika, Alabama who is dedicated to supporting you on the path to financial recovery. 

Let us help you determine if bankruptcy is the right solution for your unique circumstances and guide you towards a brighter financial future. 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.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Requirements

By Chapter 7 Bankruptcy No Comments

Chapter 7 bankruptcy can be confusing, overwhelming, and complicated. It doesn’t have to be. 

Are you an Auburn or Opelika resident overwhelmed by debt and facing financial difficulties? Chapter 7 bankruptcy might be the fresh start you need. By filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you can discharge various unsecured debts, including medical bills, credit card debt, and signature loans.

However, without the proper experience, navigating the complexities of bankruptcy can be extremely confusing. Here is a quick guide on Chapter 7 bankruptcy and the necessary requirements from David S. Clark, a Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 personal bankruptcy attorney in Opelika, Alabama. 

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

Understanding the Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Process

When you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, a court-ordered action called the Automatic Stay comes into effect immediately. This stay halts all debt collection attempts by creditors, offering you relief and protection.

It’s important to remember that bankruptcy doesn’t signify the end of your finances forever. Rebuilding your financial life can be challenging, but with the support of a skilled Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney, it is far from impossible. 

To initiate the Chapter 7 bankruptcy process, you’ll need to sign a petition and file it with your local bankruptcy court. The petition includes comprehensive details such as a list of creditors, the nature and amount of their claims, your income and assets, as well as a breakdown of your expenses.

After filing for bankruptcy, an appointed trustee will review your creditors and their claims, assess your income sources, frequency, and amount, scrutinize your property and assets, and examine your expenses. This thorough examination ensures that there are no suspicions of fraud.

Qualifying for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Qualification for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy involves submitting your average income and disclosing any assets or unexpired leases you possess. Your bankruptcy attorney will assist you in evaluating your property and assets to determine the feasibility of liquidating them.

However, certain necessary assets may be exempt from liquidation. In such cases, the liquidation process stops completely, and you’ll need to reaffirm your obligations to the creditors. It’s important to note that Chapter 7 bankruptcy may be disapproved if the amount you’re trying to reaffirm is significant or if you’re attempting to reaffirm multiple unsecured debts.

Furthermore, every Chapter 7 bankruptcy case is going to be different. So, finding a dedicated bankruptcy attorney could be the difference between success and failure. 

David S. Clark, Your Opelika Bankruptcy Attorney

When facing the complexities and stresses of bankruptcy, having a knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney like David S. Clark by your side is invaluable. With years of expertise, a local location, and a heart to understand and encourage, David S. Clark can provide the help you need when debt feels overwhelming. 

For more information on David S. Clark, your trusted Opelika and Auburn bankruptcy attorney, 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.

How Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Affects Your Credit Score

By Bankruptcy Law, Chapter 13 Bankruptcy No Comments

Bankruptcy affects your credit score. But what are the short and long term effects?

When considering filing Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, one of the most common questions asked is “how will filing Chapter 13 Bankruptcy affect my credit score?” In short, the answer is that filing Chapter 13 Bankruptcy will damage your credit score. However, even though filing Chapter 13 Bankruptcy will damage your credit score, it doesn’t have to permanently affect your financial well being. To truly answer this question, let’s break it down a bit more.

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

What is the purpose of a credit score?

Credit scores are intended to show the likelihood of you paying your bills on time. Creditors use your credit score and credit report as some of their factors when determining whether or not to lend to you. Because the nature of Chapter 13 Bankruptcy means that you have been unable to repay all your debt in the past, it sends a negative message to creditors.

There are no two ways about it; filing Chapter 13 Bankruptcy is not good for your credit score. But, it is important to know that the negative impact of Chapter 13 Bankruptcy on your credit score is not permanent, and doesn’t have to keep you from improving your financial situation. 

How long is Chapter 13 Bankruptcy on my credit report?

The good news is that Chapter 13 Bankruptcy only stays on your credit report for 7 years. It is important to note that this does not mean your credit score will be damaged for 7 years. Usually, about 2 years after taking the initial hit from filing Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, your credit score will significantly increase, so long as you have financially responsible practices in place.

Even though the Chapter 13 Bankruptcy will remain on your credit report for 7 years, you will still be able to get credit. 7 years after the day you file Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, you will be able to contact the credit bureau and request your bankruptcy to be removed from your report. 

What effect does Chapter 13 Bankruptcy have on my credit score?

There is no set number of points that your credit score will drop by, because it depends on multiple factors like your current score and past negative items. Generally, the higher your current score, the higher the hit will be.

As you rebuild your credit score, you will still be able to receive credit. However, the effect of having a low credit score is that you will receive credit at a higher interest rate. 

How do I rebuild my credit score after Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

The process of rebuilding your credit score after Chapter 13 Bankruptcy is essential. Practicing financially responsible habits like paying your bills on time is of utmost importance. There are also other practices that can help boost your credit score like using a secured credit card and keeping a low credit card balance. Read more about rebuilding after Chapter 13 Bankruptcy here.

David S. Clark, Your Auburn & Opelika Personal Bankruptcy Attorney 

Even though it can feel stressful and discouraging, filing Chapter 13 Bankruptcy is not the end for your credit score. Rebuilding your credit score is possible when you practice good financial habits. David S. Clark is an experienced bankruptcy attorney who understands the complications of life after bankruptcy. If you need help navigating Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy, 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.