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Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Benefits in Alabama

By | Bankruptcy Law, Chapter 7 Bankruptcy | No Comments

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is a beneficial option in the bankruptcy code for any Auburn and Opelika resident looking for financial freedom

Many Opelika & Auburn residents are often hesitant to declare bankruptcy because of the incredible amount of myths that our culture places on bankruptcy. 

Bankruptcy, however, is a perfectly legitimate form of debt restructuring that has helped countless Americans not only find relief from their numerous debts–but also have a second chance.

Here are some of the benefits Chapter 7 Bankruptcy provides from David S, Clark, an experienced bankruptcy attorney serving any Auburn or Opelika resident seeking financial peace. 

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

Facing Creditors Alone? Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Can Help

In every Chapter 7 Bankruptcy case, the court assigns an impartial case trustee that faces your debtors for you. Ultimately, these appointed trustees aren’t working to make money for the creditors or to make your debts magically disappear. They seek 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 does not compare to the incredible help a bankruptcy attorney can provide. 

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy attorneys have a fiduciary duty, a duty to put your interests above your debtors or any others. Ultimately, an Auburn or Opelika bankruptcy attorney is an important asset because they will advocate explicitly for you.

David S. Clark is an Opelika bankruptcy attorney that not only advocates on your behalf but understands how to navigate the confusing nature bankruptcy presents.

Discharge Debt With Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

A discharge in Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases is one of the most significant protections offered to a debtor filing for bankruptcy. 

When a person files for bankruptcy, he or she gives immense power to the courts, the court-appointed trustee, and creditors. This is a frightening step for many debtors, and rightfully so. Yet, since a Chapter 7 discharge frees debtors from the personal liability for many of their debts and immediately prevents creditors from taking collection action against them, there is no reason to fear. 

Given the nature of Chapter 7 bankruptcy as a means by which debts can be paid, not all debts are immediately discharged. This is when it is necessary to hire an experienced Auburn and Opelika bankruptcy attorney who understands the ins and outs of dischargeable vs. nondischargeable debt in Chapter 7 bankruptcy. 

The Difference With David S. Clark

Chapter 7 bankruptcy can seem complex because it is. This unfortunately makes a lot of the benefits that come with Chapter 7 out of reach for those that lack the extensive knowledge that really only comes with a law degree. 

That is why hiring a reputable Auburn and Opelika 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 David S. Clark today to get your life back on the path toward 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.

How to File Bankruptcy in Alabama

By | Bankruptcy Law, Financial Tips | No Comments

Filing for bankruptcy in Alabama can be overwhelming–but it doesn’t have to be.

Facing financial challenges is a part of life. But if you’re one of the millions struggling financially due to a job loss, illness, or another event in Alabama, bankruptcy was created to help. Here, you’ll find an explanation of Chapters 7 and 13, how to file for bankruptcy, and that you don’t have to do it alone. 

Of course, it is important to remember that bankruptcy is a complicated law that can be confusing without a professional bankruptcy attorney’s proper guidance and necessary advice. If you are an Auburn or Opelika, Alabama resident, contact the bankruptcy attorneys at David S. Clark today!

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’s the Difference Between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is also known as “Entitled Liquidation.” This means that a court supervised trustee takes over the assets of a debtor’s estate, turns them into cash (liquidates them), then distributes funds to creditors. In Chapter 7 the debtor has rights to make certain assets exempt.

Since the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 those seeking Chapter 7 Bankruptcy must undergo a “means test” to determine whether or not they qualify. There are income thresholds throughout Alabama that, if a debtor exceeds, will disqualify the debtor from being able to declare Chapter 7 Bankruptcy.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy is also known as a “Wage Earner’s Plan”. This is usually a more desirable avenue for debt relief than Chapter 7 because it enables a customer to keep certain valuable assets out of a creditor’s reach. The debtor then proposes a plan with a help of a bankruptcy attorney to repay creditors over a reasonable period of time.

Will Filing Bankruptcy in Alabama Erase My Debts?

Bankruptcy has the ability to wipe out many types of dischargeable debts. When you receive your discharge at the end of your case, you are no longer legally required to pay any of these debts and creditors cannot come after you to collect them. These typically include:

  • Credit Card Debt
  • Medical Bills
  • Payments on Motor Vehicles
  • House Payments
  • Debts Related to Your Business
  • Personal Loans

But you can’t discharge all debts. Nondischargeable debts, like student loans, child support, fines, and taxes, will not be included in your bankruptcy discharge. Ultimately, dischargeable debts exist because the benefit to a creditor and society as a whole outweighs the benefit that the debtor would gain if their debts were completely discharged. 

Hiring a Bankruptcy Lawyer in Alabama

With the extensive paperwork, financial documentation, laws, and Alabama procedures present in a bankruptcy filing, hiring an experienced bankruptcy attorney to represent you in bankruptcy is very important.

With over 25 years of combined experience, the attorneys at David S. Clark are here to help any Auburn or Opelika resident navigate through bankruptcy. For more information on how you can find financial peace through 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.

Will Bankruptcy Take My Home?

By | Bankruptcy Law, Financial Tips, Foreclosure | No Comments

Here’s how you can keep your home and get financial freedom with bankruptcy.

According to Statista, in June of 2021, Alabama had the highest bankruptcy filing rate in the United States with 306.37 residents per 100,000 filing for bankruptcy. 

Often, bankruptcy tends to have a negative connotation that causes it to be viewed as a sign of defeat or failure, but it can be an effective tool that helps Alabama residents regroup and successfully move forward. Ultimately, bankruptcy laws were created in order to help Alabama residents, not hurt them.

Thus, if you are scared to file for bankruptcy because you could lose your home, you don’t have to be. Here’s how you can keep your home and get financial freedom from the experienced bankruptcy attorneys at David S. Clark 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

Consider The Type of Bankruptcy

There are two main types of bankruptcy: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. While there are a lot of differences between the two, the major point of contention comes from the differing exemptions to which you are entitled. 

Property that is exempt generally includes the sort of items that are necessary for living or working (more formally known as the “necessities of life”). While bankruptcy law is foremost concerned with giving debtors a new start, there are still non-exempt properties. Non-exempt property generally covers all items that fall outside of these important necessities of life. 

Court rulings and bankruptcy practice experience have established a general idea of what types of property are necessary to live. Below are a few examples of exempt properties that Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy grant.

Chapter 7

  • Cars (up to a certain value)
  • Reasonably necessary clothing
  • Household appliances
  • Jewelry (up to a certain value)
  • Pensions
  • A portion of the equity in your home
  • Tools of the debtor’s trade or profession (up to a certain value)
  • A portion of unpaid but earned wages

Chapter 13

  • Cars
  • Family homes or “Homestead”
  • Personal items (clothes)
  • Household appliances and furniture
  • Jewelry

Consider Your Home Equity

At first glance, it can be disheartening to know you may lose your home if you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Yet, there are still ways for you to keep it. When a trustee is deciding whether your home will be exempt, the overall equity of your home is their only consideration. 

Equity is the market value of your house minus the balance on your mortgages or loans. It is important to consider and calculate your home equity because equity under the exemption limit means you can keep your home after you’ve filed for bankruptcy. 

Unfortunately,  if you have equity in your home over the exemption limit, you may be forced to sell your house to pay your debt or “buy it back” by paying a trustee your overall home value. 

Life After Bankruptcy

As long as you continue to pay the mortgage, you are free to keep your home after bankruptcy. Yet, if you are unable to pay, the bank may eventually foreclose your home. 

If you are an Auburn or Opelika, Alabama resident facing foreclosure, you are not alone. David S. Clark is a foreclosure defense attorney that is able to help you navigate the difficult waters of home foreclosures.

Auburn and Opelika Bankruptcy Attorney David S. Clark

David S. Clark is an experienced Auburn and Opelika Bankruptcy Attorney that understands the intricacies, complications, and stress that bankruptcy can present. 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.

Top Bankruptcy Myths in Alabama

By | Bankruptcy Law, Financial Tips | No Comments

There are a lot of myths surrounding bankruptcy that can cause unnecessary hardship and stress. 

There are a lot of misconceptions that Auburn and Opelika residents have about the bankruptcy process, including how filing bankruptcy will affect them moving forward. Friends, family, and colleagues are all going to weigh in; however, it is always better to trust the opinions and advice of trained professionals like 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

Myth 1: Filing For Bankruptcy Means I Will Lose Everything 

Today’s bankruptcy laws offer every debtor many “exemptions” so that any Alabama resident may protect as much of their property as possible. While Chapter 7 bankruptcy is referred to as “liquidation,” it is much less common for one’s assets to be at risk. 

Generous exemptions exist and can limit risk related to your residence, vehicle, some cash, retirement accounts, and most household goods. Ultimately, most property that is considered necessary for life will be exempt from Chapter 7 bankruptcy.  

Myth 2: Everyone Will Know I’m a Failure

Bankruptcy is often due to circumstances beyond an individual’s control, such as divorce, job loss, and major illness. Bankruptcy is rarely the result of irresponsible financial behavior. Rather, filing for bankruptcy relief shows an understanding of one’s financial issues and a willingness to address them.

It is true, however, that bankruptcy is a matter of public record. There may be some reporting regarding your bankruptcy filing but most people will not be privy to this information unless they are specifically looking for it. As long as you are careful who you share this information with, you should not have to worry about everyone knowing about your bankruptcy and financial status.

Myth 3: I Will Never Get Another Line Of Credit

While debtors who have filed for bankruptcy typically find higher interest rates from credit lenders, the focus should be more on keeping new credit cards paid off and rebuilding your credit score organically.

While you will see a decrease in your credit score following your decision to file for bankruptcy, it doesn’t mean you will never have credit again–it’s called a fresh start for a reason. David S. Clark not only understands the overwhelming stress bankruptcy can bring but offers professional financial advice on how to recover

Myth 4: Filing For Bankruptcy Is Too Difficult

While it is technically possible to file for bankruptcy on your own, it is extremely difficult. Filing for bankruptcy requires time, money, paperwork, and expertise that is necessary in order to ensure the financial peace Auburn or Opelika residents seek. 

In contrast, David S. Clark is an experienced bankruptcy attorney that can do all of the work for you while offering legal aid throughout the bankruptcy filing process. 

Filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. David S. Clark is a bankruptcy attorney in Auburn, Alabama that can help you get the financial relief you need. Contact David S. Clark today to start your journey towards 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.

How to Rebuild Credit After Bankruptcy

By | Financial Tips, Personal Finance, Understanding Bankruptcy | No Comments

Unfortunately, life after bankruptcy isn’t easy. You have a fresh start, but you also have a lot of repair work to do with your credit, which has most likely taken a huge hit during the process. The good news is that any Auburn or Opelika resident has the ability to not only rebuild but fully recover from bankruptcy. 

Here are some financial tips from David S. Clark, an experienced Auburn & Opelika bankruptcy attorney, on how you can improve your credit score after filing for 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

Understanding Your Credit Score

The first step to rebuilding your credit is understanding what your credit score really is. In the most basic of terms, a credit score is a number that reflects your trustworthiness with lines of credit. This number is calculated using the total amount of debt owed, payment history, any and all credit history, amount of credit lines, the amount of diversity in credit, and more. 

It is important to know the state of your debt and finances so you can carefully consider any decisions you make regarding your credit. Knowing where mistakes have been made and how to avoid future mistakes can greatly help the rebuilding process after bankruptcy. 

Check Your Credit Report for Inaccuracies

Credit reporting companies, also known as credit bureaus, collect and store financial data about you that is submitted to them by creditors, such as lenders, credit card companies, and other financial companies.

Many of the major lenders provide access to this information for free in the form of credit reports. It is important to note that there are a few different major lenders, so reporting from each can vary.

After receiving your credit report, check that the items on the report are accurate. While most of the financial information will be correct, lenders can make inaccuracies that lead to unfairly low credit scores.

If you’re an Auburn or Opelika resident seeking help, David S. Clark is an experienced bankruptcy attorney that can not only walk you through your credit report but help assist you in disputing any inaccurate information. 

Apply for New Lines of Credit

An important step to take after filing for Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy is to apply for new lines of credit. It might be difficult to be approved for a new line of credit, and interest rates may be higher than before, but do not be discouraged!

New lines of credit can help lenders see that you are someone who is responsible for the money you borrow, despite your previous financial history. These new lines of credit can rebuild trust and confidence in your ability to repay debt. 

Be On-Time With Payments

Now that you have your new lines of credit, you will need to prove that you are responsible for them. One way to do this is to make your payments in a timely manner. This means avoiding late fees and generally paying your bills on or before their due date.

Keep Balances Low

Keeping your credit card balance low gives you a low credit utilization ratio. This ratio is an important factor to lenders when assessing your eligibility for lines of credit and especially when assessing your credit score. 

A low credit utilization ratio means that you are not using your line of credit up to its limit. This gives lenders confidence that you will not max out credit cards and be unable to pay them back. 

David S. Clark, A Local Bankruptcy Attorney

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.

Alabama Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Requirements

By | Bankruptcy Law, Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, Uncategorized | No Comments

 David S. Clark is an experienced Auburn and Opelika Bankruptcy Attorney that understands the intricacies of Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. 

What is Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a type of bankruptcy that allows any Auburn or Opelika Resident to discharge debt involved with medical bills, signature loans, credit cards, or any other unsecured debts. 

If you are an Auburn or Opelika resident struggling with a lot of debt or difficult financial times, Chapter 7 bankruptcy could provide the fresh start you need.  

Ultimately, chapter 7 bankruptcy will help you liquidate a portion of your assets in order to pay off creditors. While the process sounds simple, bankruptcy can be a complicated and stressful action that requires the knowledge of a professional Bankruptcy attorney. 

David S. Clark is an experienced bankruptcy attorney that understands the stress that comes with financial hardship. For more information on Chapter 7 bankruptcy and how you can navigate the weight of debt, contact David S. Clark today

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 Happens When I File for Chapter 7 bankruptcy?

One of the great benefits that bankruptcy provides is a court-ordered action known as the Automatic Stay which stops all forms of debt collection from creditors, immediately. 

Yet, before you file for bankruptcy it is important to know that bankruptcy does not mean the end of your finances forever. Rebuilding your finances is hard, but having the support of an experienced bankruptcy attorney could provide the help you need to do it. 

When you decide to file for bankruptcy, you will need to sign a petition and file it with your local bankruptcy court. This petition includes a detailed list of your creditors, the nature and amount of their claims, your income, and assets, as well as a layout of all of your expenses. 

After you file for bankruptcy, an appointed trustee will go over your creditors and their claims, the source, frequency, and amount of your income, all of your property, and a detailed list of all of your expenses in order to remove any suspicion of fraud.

How Do I Qualify For Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

Qualifications for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy begin with the submission of your average income, along with any assets or unexpired leases that you have. Your bankruptcy attorney will then go over any property that you have to help you liquidate your assets. 

In the midst of bankruptcy, there may be necessary assets that are unable to be liquidated. This means any liquidation of those assets will cease and creditors will need to be reaffirmed that you owe the amount of any necessary assets. If the amount you are trying to reaffirm is large enough, or if you are trying to reaffirm multiple unsecured debts, Chapter 7 bankruptcy may be disapproved. 

What can a Bankruptcy Attorney do for Me?

David S. Clark is an experienced Auburn and Opelika Bankruptcy Attorney that understands the intricacies, complications, and stress that bankruptcy presents. If you need help navigating Chapter 7 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.

Facing Foreclosure? Bankruptcy Can Help

By | Bankruptcy Law, Foreclosure | No Comments

Are you an Auburn or Opelika resident facing foreclosure? Here’s how bankruptcy could save your home.

Foreclosure is the legal process that allows a lender, or creditor, to sell your property to satisfy the debt you owe. Of Alabama’s 2,288,330 homes, 391 went into foreclosure in April of 2022, revealing a foreclosure rate of one in every 5,853 homes.

Fortunately, if you’re an Alabama resident facing foreclosure, a lender won’t begin the foreclosure process until you’ve fallen far behind in mortgage payments. This gives you time to try some alternate measures before filing for bankruptcy, such as loan forbearance, a short sale, or a deed in lieu of foreclosure

When these measures fail, it makes sense to consider whether bankruptcy can help you avoid foreclosure, or at least buy you a little time. As a bankruptcy lawyer in Auburn, Alabama, David S. Clark and his team of professionals have years of experience helping Alabama residents navigate financial hardship and they can help you too.

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

Delaying Foreclosure With The Automatic Stay 

One of the biggest benefits of filing for bankruptcy is the court-mandated order that causes any creditors to cease their collection activities immediately. Known as “The Automatic Stay”, creditors can’t call, email, visit or do anything that attempts to collect payments from you. 

Ultimately, If your home has been scheduled for a foreclosure sale, and you file for bankruptcy, the automatic stay will legally postpone the sale while your bankruptcy is pending (this process typically lasts three to four months)

While this is true, a lender can appeal to the bankruptcy court for permission to proceed with the foreclosure by filing a “motion to lift the automatic stay.” If successful, a creditor can continue with the foreclosure sale as well as any collection activities. 

Please note that although the automatic stay can temporarily stop a foreclosure sale, you may still lose your home if the foreclosure sale is completed under state law before filing for bankruptcy. 

How Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Can Help

If you are an Auburn or Opelika resident that is facing foreclosure due to unpaid mortgage payments but want to remain in your home, then filing for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy could help. 

Also known as a wage earner’s plan, Chapter 13 bankruptcy enables Alabama residents with a regular income to develop a plan to repay all or part of their missed mortgage payments. The plan is typically between three to five years and requires timely payments or payroll deductions. 

While Chapter 13 Bankruptcy can stop foreclosure proceedings, you’ll need enough income to not only meet your current mortgage payment, but also any arrearage (late unpaid mortgage payments). 

David S. Clark: An Experienced Auburn & Opelika Bankruptcy Attorney

When it comes to understanding the relationship between bankruptcy and foreclosure, it’s a good idea to consult an experienced bankruptcy attorney. With over 25 years of combined experience, the attorneys at David S. Clark are here to help any Auburn or Opelika resident navigate through bankruptcy. 

If you are facing foreclosure and don’t know where to turn, 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.

What is Debt Collection Harassment?

By | Bankruptcy Law | No Comments

Whether it’s considered “good debt” or “bad debt,” the truth is that any type of debt can cause many emotional and physical effects to an Auburn or Opelika resident.

Studies show what many of us already know: debt is about much more than money. While the stress of debt can be immense on its own, creditors have the potential to bring even more stress when they resort to unethical tactics to try and force you to make payments. 

While creditors do possess a right to their collections activity, they are bound by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act with how they may collect it. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always stop creditors, as debt collection harassment can even continue after you’ve filed for bankruptcy. 

Here’s what you need to know about debt collection harassment and how to fight it with the help of David S. Clark, an experienced Auburn and Opelika bankruptcy attorney.

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 Debt Collection Harassment?

Debt collection harassment, or creditor abuse, occurs when a collection agency that is owed money uses abusive collection practices to intimidate or force debtors to make a payment. Even without the money to pay off debt, a collection agency may act deceitfully in an attempt to collect anyway. 

Ultimately, debt collection harassment can come from any kind of debt including (but not limited to): student loans, credit card payments, mortgages, and auto loans; but with over 140 billion in unpaid medical bills across the United States, collection agencies are most often chasing payments related to medical bills. 

This is especially true in Lee County as the mean medical debt per person is at an incredibly high concentration between $994 and $3661.

Examples of Debt Collection Harassment

Despite what type of debt you may have, it is essential to know the signs of debt collection harassment and your rights as an Auburn or Opelika resident. Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act debt collectors may not: 

  • Use or threaten the use of violence to harm you, your reputation, or your property
  • Lie about who they are, the debt you owe, or what will happen if you fail to pay it
  • Call you repeatedly with the intent to annoy, abuse, or harass you
  • Use obscene or profane language with the intent to intimidate or scare you
  • Publish a list of consumers who allegedly refuse to pay debts (except to a consumer reporting agency) 

What if a Creditor Contacts Me During Bankruptcy?

According to Section 524 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, no one can take action against you if your debt has been discharged through bankruptcy. Known as the “automatic stay”, this action is immediately ordered and enforced by the bankruptcy court. 

Ultimately, the automatic stay makes it illegal for creditors to contact you about any discharged debt once you file for bankruptcy. This means creditors can’t call, email, visit, or do anything that attempts to collect debt from you. 

It is important to note that although creditors can no longer contact you regarding discharged debts, not all debts are discharged through bankruptcy.

Unfortunately, there are times when creditors still contact you, which violates the protections of the automatic stay. If a creditor willfully violates the automatic stay with an intent to collect, the court can sanction the creditor with the help of your bankruptcy attorney. 

How to fight Debt Collection Harassment 

If you are being harassed by unethical debt collection tactics, it is important to seek the help of a trusted Auburn and Opelika bankruptcy attorney to fight on your behalf. David S. Clark has years of experience and understands how overwhelming debt, bankruptcy, and creditors can be. 

If you are an Auburn or Opelika resident facing debt collection harassment, contact David S. Clark as soon as possible to discuss your situation in complete confidentiality. 

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.

Dischargeable vs. Nondischargeable Debt

By | Understanding Bankruptcy | No Comments

There are many types of debts that bankruptcy can discharge, but not all debts are created equal. 

Most Auburn and Opelika residents seek bankruptcy to wipe out their debts and get a fresh start. While bankruptcy allows for a large elimination of debt, certain obligations (called nondischargeable debts) will survive your bankruptcy discharge. When it comes time for you to file bankruptcy, it is important to know the difference between dischargeable and nondischargeable debts. 

If you have found yourself in difficult financial times, then hiring a qualified Auburn bankruptcy attorney like David S. Clark to guide you through a 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

What are Dischargeable Debts?

Dischargeable debts are obligations that can be wiped out by your bankruptcy discharge. When you receive your discharge at the end of your case, you are no longer legally required to pay any of these debts and creditors cannot come after you to collect them. 

Examples of Dischargeable Debts Include: 

  • Credit Card Debt
  • Medical Bills
  • Payments on Motor Vehicles
  • House Payments
  • Debts Related to Your Business
  • Personal Loans

Timing Matters For Dischargeable Debt

Depending on what type of bankruptcy you’re filing, there might be changes in your dischargeable debt. For example, slightly more debts are available to discharge in a chapter 13 case than in a chapter 7 case

The timing of your bankruptcy can also affect which debts are discharged, and which ones are not. 

Pre-Filing Debt

Pre-petition debt is any debt incurred before the day that you file for bankruptcy. At the end of your case, the bankruptcy court will discharge all qualifying pre-petition debt. 

Post-Filing Debt 

In contrast, any debt that builds up after you submit your bankruptcy paperwork is known as post-petition debt. The court will not discharge this debt, and you remain responsible for paying any balances that you incur after the initial bankruptcy filing date. 

What are Nondischargeable Debts?

Nondischargeable debts exist because Congress decided, because of public policy reasons, that allowing debtors to eliminate their responsibility for certain debts would not be beneficial to society. Ultimately, the benefit to a creditor and society as a whole outweighs the benefit that the debtor would gain if their debts were completely discharged. 

Examples of Nondischargeable Debts Include:

  • Student Loans
  • Child Support
  • Personal Injury
  • Taxes
  • Fines

There are other debts that cannot be dischargeable, but only if someone files a lawsuit against you and the bankruptcy court decides that the debts must be nondischargeable. This includes debts incurred by a divorce, fraud, embezzlement, or by a malicious/willful injury. 

However, if you file a case and the creditor of these debts never files a lawsuit, these will automatically be discharged by a bankruptcy court. 

This is not true for the previous list of nondischargeable debts, which will automatically be nondischargeable. 

If you are an Alabama 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.

Debt Consolidation vs. Bankruptcy – How to Settle Your Debt

By | Bankruptcy Law, Understanding Bankruptcy | No Comments

Learn to settle your debt with either Debt Consolidation or Bankruptcy. 

Alabama’s total state debt is nearly $9 billion. If an institution such as the State Government of Alabama is not always in the green financially, then it is no wonder that its residents often find themselves in positions of repaying debts.

While some debt isn’t bad—a mortgage can help you achieve the goal of owning a home and may help you ultimately build wealth, student loans can help you obtain a college degree, and a moderate amount of debt, if paid off in time, can help you build credit–the wrong kind of debt can lead to financial ruin.

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

There are several tools that debtors can use which can help someone recover from an extensive amount of debt. The number of these, though, can be overwhelming if you are not sure which option is best for you.

Two of the more common options are debt consolidation and bankruptcy. When choosing between debt consolidation and bankruptcy, it is important to know the benefits and to determine which option is best for you based on your unique financial situation.

Debt Consolidation 

Debt consolidation refers to the act of consolidating multiple lines of debt into a single, bundle debt payment. This payment usually has a lower interest rate, and, therefore, a lower monthly payment.

If you have multiple student loans, credit cards, or other liabilities with high monthly payments because debt consolidation can simplify things for you, it may be the best choice.

While the interest rate and monthly payment may be lower on a debt consolidation loan, it’s important to pay attention to the payment structure. Typically, with a smaller monthly payment that debt consolidation provides, debtors will pay on their loans for a longer period of time. This means that you will end up paying a higher amount than you originally would have paid.

If, however, this means that you are able to make your payments, then it will be a good option for you.

Bankruptcy

Many Alabama residents consider bankruptcy as a financial boogeyman to be avoided at all costs. Yet, if you have taken on an unimaginable amount of debt, bankruptcy exists to help you. 

Bankruptcy is a legal process where an individual who cannot repay debts to creditors may seek relief from part or all of their debt. This can be an extremely long process that requires granting judges and creditors extensive access to financial records, among other things. 

In deliberation with your bankruptcy attorney, the court will put together a plan for you to pay off as much as your debt as possible. They will also provide court-mandated guidance on how to avoid another incident involving bankruptcy in the future.

With the extensive paperwork, financial documentation, laws, and local procedures present in a bankruptcy filing, hiring an experienced bankruptcy attorney to represent you in bankruptcy is very important. 

David S. Clark and his team have been helping Auburn and Opelika, AL residents settle debt through debt consolidation and bankruptcy for years. 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.