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Does Bankruptcy Affect Employment Status?

By Bankruptcy Law, Financial Tips No Comments

It is very rare for employers to find out about your bankruptcy status. In fact, you are not legally required to inform your employer of your Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Although filing for bankruptcy can be seen as a fresh start for your finances, it can also come with some costs. Many people worry what the consequences will be after filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Questions arise such as: “Will my employer find out about my bankruptcy?”, “Can my employer fire me because I filed for bankruptcy?” or “Is there a chance that bankruptcy will affect my future employment?”

Rest assured knowing that you can not be fired solely due to the fact that you filed for bankruptcy. However, in some situations, it could possibly prevent you from getting a job within a private industry in the future.

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

Can I Lose My Job Due to Bankruptcy?

An employer can not legally fire you because of your bankruptcy. Even more, an employer can’t change the terms and conditions of your employment based on your bankruptcy filing. 

For example, your employer is not allowed to:

  • Reduce your salary
  • Downgrade your position
  • Take away your specific responsibilities, or
  • Terminate your employment

If for some reason you are fired shortly after filing for bankruptcy and there are no other justifications for your dismissal, you may have a case against your employer for illegal bankruptcy discrimination. However, keep in mind that bankruptcy can’t protect you from other misconduct, such as tardiness, inability to get the job done and dishonesty.

Could Bankruptcy Affect My Future Employment?

When applying for jobs, no federal, state or local government agency can take your bankruptcy into consideration when deciding whether to hire you. On the other hand, private employers have the power to do so.

The only time this really causes problems against someone who has filed for bankruptcy is for certain jobs that deal with money. For example, if you are applying for a job such as accounting or bookkeeping, employers tend to be more cautious.

Will My Employer Find Out About My Filed Bankruptcy?

It is very rare for employers to find out about your bankruptcy status. In fact, you are not legally required to inform your employer of your Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Although it is very unlikely, these are the most likely ways that an employer could find out:

  • Wage garnishments. If your wages were being garnished previously, your employer will be notified to stop the wage garnishments due to your debt being discharged. 
  • Chapter 13 payments. This is very uncommon, but if you have filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, a few jurisdictions require your debt reorganization payments to be deducted from your paycheck, which would make your employer aware.
  • Owing your employer money. If for instance, you have to pay back a wage overpayment, you will have to list that as one of your debts in your bankruptcy paperwork, and your employer will be notified of that.

David S. Clark – An Experienced Bankruptcy Attorney Here to Help You!

If you have worries about the consequences of Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy affecting your employment status, 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.

The Role of a Bankruptcy Attorney

By Bankruptcy Law, Financial Tips No Comments

A quick breakdown of the helpful role an experienced bankruptcy attorney provides in your unique bankruptcy case

Filing for bankruptcy can be an overwhelming, complex, and complicated process that requires time, experience, and knowledge of how the Alabama legal system works. Thankfully, you don’t have to go through this process alone. 

Below is a helpful explanation of the role of a bankruptcy attorney, and what to expect during bankruptcy 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 is Bankruptcy?

Before walking through the specific tasks of a bankruptcy attorney, it is important to provide a brief explanation of what bankruptcy is. Essentially, when it comes to personal bankruptcy, there are two main types: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows individuals and businesses to discharge their debts, while Chapter 13 bankruptcy involves a repayment plan.

Each chapter of bankruptcy requires certain qualifications and includes different processes. For more information on which chapter of bankruptcy could be best for you, click here

Initial Bankruptcy Consultation

Before any plans are drawn up, a bankruptcy attorney’s initial consultation is essential to your journey toward a fresh start. During this consultation, your attorney will evaluate your financial situation and provide advice on the best course of action. 

Additionally, the attorney will review your debts, assets, and income to determine if you qualify for bankruptcy and discuss the potential consequences of filing.

Preparation of Bankruptcy Paperwork

After your initial consultation, the bankruptcy process begins. One of the most important roles of a bankruptcy attorney is to prepare and file the necessary paperwork for your unique bankruptcy case. This process can be complex and time-consuming, and it requires a thorough understanding of Alabama’s bankruptcy laws and regulations. 

Your attorney will work closely with you to gather all the required information and documentation, such as financial records, tax returns, and asset listings. With this information, your attorney will prepare the necessary forms, including the bankruptcy petition, schedules, and statements, ensuring that everything is complete and accurate. 

Representation in Court

Another important role of a bankruptcy attorney is to represent you in court throughout the bankruptcy process. Your attorney will attend all necessary court hearings, including the meeting of creditors and the confirmation hearing, to advocate for your specialized interests. 

They will present evidence and arguments to the bankruptcy trustee and the judge, and answer any questions they may have about the case. Throughout this process, the attorney’s goal is to not only protect your rights but ensure your best interests are being served.

Post-Bankruptcy Guidance

There are a number of myths surrounding bankruptcy, especially when it comes to the consequences. 

David S. Clark and his team of professionals understand the overwhelming nature that bankruptcy can present. While it may be easy to find information about the best course of action to take, what is actually true about bankruptcy, or ways to cheat the system–an experienced bankruptcy lawyer could be the difference in the future of your finances forever. 

If you are an Auburn or Opelika resident seeking the help of an experienced 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.

Personal Bankruptcy FAQ

By Bankruptcy Law, Financial Tips No Comments

Frequently asked questions about bankruptcy and how an experienced bankruptcy attorney can help.

If you’re an Auburn or Opelika resident struggling with debt, bankruptcy may seem like a daunting but necessary option to get a fresh financial start. However, due to the seemingly complex nature of bankruptcy, many people, naturally, have questions and concerns about the bankruptcy process. 

Below are a few of the most commonly asked questions about bankruptcy to help you understand the process and make informed decisions about your financial future. 

So, whether you’re an Opelika resident considering bankruptcy as a way to manage your debt or you simply want to learn more about the process, here are a few of the answers you may need 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

Will I lose my home if I file for bankruptcy?

As mentioned, bankruptcy is a daunting idea for several reasons, but the ability to lose your home often causes many Alabama residents to shy away from even the thought of bankruptcy. 

The answer to this question depends on a number of important factors such as the type of bankruptcy you file for (as shown below), the amount of equity in your home, and more. 

If you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, your home may be at risk if you have a significant amount of equity in it. However, if you file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you may be able to keep your home as long as you continue making payments under the court-approved repayment plan

Ultimately, when it comes to personal bankruptcy, every case is going to be different, so it is essential to communicate with a dedicated bankruptcy attorney on the best options that could protect your home. 

Will bankruptcy stop debt collection harassment?

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 as soon as you file for bankruptcy. 

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 a 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.

When should I file for bankruptcy?

Unfortunately, when it comes to bankruptcy, there is no simple answer to this question as it depends on your individual circumstances. Generally speaking, if you’re struggling with overwhelming debt and are unable to make timely payments, it may be time to consider filing for bankruptcy. 

Other instances could include situations where you’re facing foreclosure, wage garnishment, or constant harassment from creditors. However, it is important to note that filing for bankruptcy should not be taken lightly, and seeking the counsel of an experienced bankruptcy attorney first is essential.

David S. Clark – A Local Lawyer Dedicated To You

While these are a few of the more popular questions about bankruptcy, it is important to remember that every personal bankruptcy case will be different. Yet, you don’t have to go through it alone. 

If you are an Auburn or Opelika resident ready to file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy or simply seeking the financial help of an experienced 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.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Explained

By Bankruptcy Law, Chapter 7 Bankruptcy No Comments

Chapter 7 bankruptcy can be complicated, but it doesn’t have to be.

Despite similarities in occupations throughout Auburn and Opelika, every resident’s financial situation differs. Ultimately, no matter how stable your income is, debts can quickly become unmanageable for anyone, leading to financial distress and even the loss of valuable assets, like your home. 

Thankfully, when debt does become unmanageable there is a fresh start available. Here is an explanation of Chapter 7 bankruptcy and how the process works from David S. Clark, an experienced Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 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

Perhaps the most common type of bankruptcy, known as “liquidation bankruptcy” or Chapter 7, allows you to regain control of your finances by having most of your unsecured debt, including credit card debt, medical bills, and personal loans discharged by a bankruptcy court.

Yet, before describing how Chapter 7 bankruptcy works, it is essential to know exactly what kinds of debt could be discharged. 

Dischargeable debts under Chapter 7 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

Non-dischargeable Debts Include:

  • Non-dischargeable debts under Chapter 7 include:
  • Child support
  • Alimony
  • Student loans
  • HOA fees
  • Secured debts

The Process of Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Three main steps occur once you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Alabama. These consist of the following:

  • Forms and Counseling

Before a bankruptcy court looks at each unique case, there are a number of necessary forms an Opelika or Auburn resident must fill out. These require in-depth knowledge of your personal information, including finances, creditors, assets, income, expenses, and more. 

After filing, the court places an automatic stay on your case, preventing any and all creditors from collecting debts. 

  • Trustee Appointment

After filing for bankruptcy, Auburn or Opelika’s bankruptcy court will appoint an unbiased trustee to oversee your entire Chapter 7 bankruptcy process. Beyond choosing what assets to liquidate to pay off creditors, the trustee will also schedule meetings with creditors, where plans for debt repayment are put in place. 

  • Debt Repayment & Discharge

After meeting with creditors and the bankruptcy court, certain non-dischargeable debts are paid with assets decided by the bankruptcy trustee, while any dischargeable debts are immediately discharged. 

After debts are discharged with Chapter 7 bankruptcy (approximately two months after), creditors may still attempt to recover previous debts, even though they have no right to. So, throughout your Chapter 7 bankruptcy process, make sure to retain any and all necessary documents.

David S. Clark – Your Local Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorney 

David S. Clark is an experienced Auburn and Opelika Bankruptcy Attorney who understands the intricacies, complications, and stress of bankruptcy. 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.

What To Do After Bankruptcy Is Complete

By Bankruptcy Law, Financial Tips No Comments

Important steps to take to start fresh, following the completion of your bankruptcy.

After filing for bankruptcy, many Auburn and Opelika residents are faced with the scary question, “What do I do now?” Life after bankruptcy holds a lot of uncertainty and will come with some hardships, including rebuilding your credit. However, it can also offer a fresh start to your finances.

Nobody is going to tell you that recovering from bankruptcy is going to be easy, but here are some next steps to take to help you transition into a new financial life. 

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

Adapt Good Saving Habits

They say history tends to repeat itself, but we want to avoid that in every way possible when facing bankruptcy. The best way to ensure you don’t go bankrupt all over again is to start by establishing superior financial habits. Learning to manage your money is crucial in times like these. Begin with opening a savings account that you can access for financial emergencies only.

Create a Budget & Stick To It

Living on a budget can create a lot of unwanted pressure in your life. However, building a budget is simply a tool to help you spend your money wisely and ultimately, achieve your financial goals. Budgets are a great aid for allowing you to personalize your finances based on your wants and needs.

Don’t Trash Your Paperwork

Although it may be tempting to just throw all of the paperwork away in an attempt to forget about the problem at hand, avoid doing that at all costs. It is very important for you to save all of your paperwork from your bankruptcy case. In the future, you may be asked for these files when applying for certain financial products. 

Furthermore, in the instance that a debt collector contacts you about a debt that was discharged in your bankruptcy case, you will have these files on-hand as proof that they were previously discharged.

Rebuild Your Credit, Rebuild Your Financial Freedom

To achieve a new financial life after Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, it is very important to take the necessary steps to rebuild your credit. Rebuilding your credit can be accomplished by making your payments on time, opening a secure credit card and gaining a credit-builder loan.

Payment history accounts for 35 percent of your overall FICO credit score calculation. Therefore, it is highly imperative that you are consistent with paying your bills on time when rebuilding your credit. This goes to show that you are becoming financially responsible.

You should begin by reducing your dependence on credit cards in general, though the use of a secured credit card can help you gain a sense of trust through the eyes of your creditors. A secured credit card is usually backed by a savings account in your name, where the money serves as collateral and establishes a spending limit. Once again though, it is still just as important to make those on-time payments with your secured credit card.

Credit-builder loans are just another great way for you to continue rebuilding your credit. With this type of loan, you essentially make fixed payments to your lender and then get access to the loan amount at the end of the loan’s term. Credit-builder loans provide you with another opportunity to show that you are financially responsible enough to consistently make on-time payments.

Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Attorney serving the Lee County Area – David S. Clark

If you are an Auburn or Opelika, Alabama resident searching for a new start with Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 personal bankruptcy, David S. Clark has years of experience serving this community. Contact David S. Clark today for more information!

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 Guide to Chapter 13 Repayment Plans

By Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, Financial Tips No Comments

What is a Chapter 13 bankruptcy repayment plan? What would mine look like?

According to Statista, in 2021, Alabama had the highest personal bankruptcy filing rate in the United States, with 296.44 per 100,000 inhabitants filing for bankruptcy. 

Typically, when it comes to personal bankruptcy, there are two types: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. While these may fall under the same umbrella, there are a few key differences when it comes to their distinctions. 

More specifically, Chapter 13 bankruptcy is also called the “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.

Here is a guide to Chapter 13 repayment plans for any Auburn or Opelika resident looking to file Chapter 13 bankruptcy from David S. Clark, an experienced bankruptcy attorney in Alabama. 

What is the Chapter 13 Repayment Plan

The Chapter 13 repayment plan is a legal document that establishes how to pay back creditors, typically over 3 to 5 years. Once your unique plan is drawn up, a bankruptcy judge and any creditors will have a chance to assess and possibly challenge any part of your repayment. Once confirmed, you’ll follow the plan and pay back any and all debt over the allotted time. 

While it is possible to create your own repayment plan, the process can be extremely complicated, plus without detailed knowledge about Chapter 13 bankruptcy, presenting your plan to the bankruptcy judge can result in failure. 

That’s why it is best to work with an experienced bankruptcy lawyer, who can ensure your repayment plan meets all requirements and has your best interests at heart. 

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

Differences in Debts, Differences in Repayment 

Unfortunately, creating a repayment plan is not as easy as placing all your debts in one box with a bow on top. Generally, your debts will be split into three different categories in your Chapter 13 bankruptcy repayment plan.

Priority Debts

Aptly named, priority debts are the debts that must be paid off during a Chapter 13 repayment plan. These can include a number of types of debt but a few examples include the taxes you owe, the cost of filing for bankruptcy, and child/spousal support payments. 

Secured Debts

Secured debts are backed by a home mortgage, auto loan, business equipment, inventory, or any other type of collateral. Depending on the foundation around the secured debt, you could be required to pay back the value of the collateral or the full payment of the debt.

Unsecured Debts

Unsecured debts typically come in the form of medical bills, credit cards, or unsecured personal loans. These debts are typically last on the list in terms of Chapter 13 repayment, which means that it’s totally possible for creditors not to be paid in full and these debts are “discharged” at the end of your plan. 

David S. Clark – Auburn and Opelika Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Attorney

When it comes to Chapter 13 repayment plans, every plan is unique. That’s why having a dedicated Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney can not only help establish the best repayment plan for you but do so with your best interests at heart. 

David S. Clark is an Auburn and Opelika, Alabama bankruptcy attorney that understands the complex nature of Chapter 13 bankruptcy. For more information, 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: Your Fresh Start in 2023

By Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, Financial Tips No Comments

Bankruptcy can provide a fresh start to your finances, but what happens after that?

The start of the new year often brings thoughts of resolutions. Whether it’s to read more books, lose a certain amount of weight, or learn a new skill or hobby, whatever the case may be, it can be hard to remain motivated to “get better” when progress seems slow. 

Much like a New Year resolution, improving the control of your finances can be extremely tough. Yet, it doesn’t have to be. Here are a few ways bankruptcy could help you achieve a fresh start financially 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

How Bankruptcy Could Help

From job loss, medical expenses, housing costs, or simply living beyond your means, bankruptcy is often the cause of a combination of significant life events. Unfortunately, these events are prevalent among Alabama residents, especially in the hardships that often come with a new year. 

Thankfully there are tactics in place for you to gain a second chance. Perhaps the most common type of bankruptcy, known as “liquidation bankruptcy” or Chapter 7, allows you to regain control of your finances by having most of your unsecured debt, including credit card debt, medical bills, and personal loans discharged by a bankruptcy court.

Yet, before filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, it is crucial to know the difference between dischargeable and non-dischargeable debts. 

Dischargeable debts under Chapter 7 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

Non-dischargeable debts under Chapter 7 include:

  • Child support
  • Alimony
  • Student loans
  • HOA fees
  • Secured debts

Ultimately, Chapter 7 bankruptcy isn’t a magic wand that removes all debts, nor is it always a simple process. From an immense amount of paperwork to complicated court discussions, there are many parts to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case that require expertise. That’s 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.

What’s Happens After Bankruptcy?

So, while Chapter 7 bankruptcy acts as a second chance, what happens next? As mentioned, like any New Year’s resolution, starting fresh financially will take time. Here are a few “resolutions” for 2023 that could help:

Create a budget

Budgets come in many shapes and sizes because incomes come in many shapes and sizes. So, creating a personalized budget for your needs and wants is key to building a good foundation for your finances. 

Prepare for the unexpected 

Risk is, unfortunately, a part of life, especially in finances. Surprises can come from an illness, job loss, disability, death, natural disasters, or even lawsuits. Setting aside money each month to prepare for the unexpected means you won’t have to break the bank when one of these surprises happens. 

Auburn and Opelika Bankruptcy Attorney David S. Clark

David S. Clark is an experienced Auburn and Opelika Bankruptcy Attorney who understands the intricacies, complications, and stress of bankruptcy. 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.

5 Reasons Bankruptcy Occurs in Alabama

By Bankruptcy Law, Financial Tips No Comments

While financial irresponsibility is a valid cause of bankruptcy, it is solely the main cause. 

Among Auburn & Opelika residents, it is rarely one thing that leads to financial struggles serious enough for bankruptcy. More often, it is a combination of events, such as a job loss in conjunction with an unexpected medical injury.

So, whether you are overwhelmed by financial struggles or trying your best to avoid bankruptcy, whatever the case is, here are the top five reasons residents in Alabama go bankrupt from David S. Clark, an experienced bankruptcy attorney in Opelika, Alabama. 

The order of the following list is based primarily on a paper by the American Journal of Public Health

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

1. Loss of Income

As cited by nearly 78% of the survey respondents, loss of income was the most common reason for filing for bankruptcy. Unfortunately, this statistic is far from surprising since over 65% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck

Income brings stability, so when paychecks stop, financial trouble can be close behind—for example, the failure to pay health insurance payments, car payments, or even mortgage payments. Plus, doctor or hospital visits can be extremely expensive without health insurance. 

2. Medical Expenses

In conjunction with the loss of income, medical expenses were the second most popular reason why a person in Auburn or Opelika, Alabama may go bankrupt. This is not a surprise with the expenses that can come from an accident or illness. 

Furthermore (and as mentioned), in conjunction with a loss of income, the loss of health insurance can lead to seemingly impossible to pay medical bills. 

3. Housing Costs

Home mortgages represent the single most significant portion of household debt in Alabama, far surpassing credit cards or student debt. This is often due to residents taking on mortgages outside of what they can afford, more commonly known as those who are “house broke”. 

When someone is house-broke, it means that they’re spending too much of their total monthly income on housing costs such as monthly mortgage payments, property taxes, maintenance, utilities, and insurance. These expenses can quickly add up, leading to difficult financial struggles or bankruptcy as shown by 45% of survey respondents. 

4. Living Beyond Your Means

Overspending can come in many shapes and sizes—from maxing out credit cards to simply being unwise with money. Whatever the cause, thankfully there are ways to learn how to budget correctly to avoid bankruptcy. 

5. Helping Family Members

Whether helping a child pay off student loan debt or paying off a parent’s mortgage, close to 30% of survey respondents said that assisting their family placed a massive burden on their own finances and became a motivation for bankruptcy. 

David S. Clark – Experienced Auburn Bankruptcy Attorney

In conclusion, many circumstances can lead to bankruptcy, but bankruptcy does not mean the end of your finances forever.  David S. Clark is an Opelika-based bankruptcy attorney who has helped countless Alabama residents find freedom from the weight of immense debt. 

Whether you are seeking to file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, David S. Clark can help you every step of the way. For more information, 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 Explained

By Bankruptcy Law, Chapter 7 Bankruptcy No Comments

Don’t let hard financial times ruin your holiday season, here’s how Chapter 7 bankruptcy could help. 

With the holiday season quickly approaching, debt can start to build up under the strain of expensive Christmas gifts, ill-judged credit card usage, and more. While the holiday season can be particularly stressful, any time of financial adversity can lead to heightened anxiety.

Yet, if you are an Auburn or Opelika resident overwrought by debt, there are tactics in place for you to gain a second chance. Perhaps the most common type of bankruptcy, known as “liquidation bankruptcy” or Chapter 7, allows you to regain control of your finances by having most of your unsecured debt, including credit card debt, medical bills, and personal loans discharged by a bankruptcy court.

Here is a quick but crucial explanation of Chapter 7 bankruptcy 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

How Does Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Work?

Unfortunately, while Chapter 7 is an incredible tool, it is not a magic wand that automatically wipes out any debt you may have. Thus, before describing the inner workings of Chapter 7 bankruptcy, it is important to understand exactly which type of debt could be discharged. 

Dischargeable debts under Chapter 7 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

Non-dischargeable debts under Chapter 7 include:

  • Child support
  • Alimony
  • Student loans
  • HOA fees
  • Secured debts

When you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the court immediately places an automatic temporary stay on all current debts and appoints a dedicated bankruptcy trustee to your case. The automatic stay stops creditors from collecting payments, foreclosing on your home, or repossessing property. 

The trustee’s job is to oversee every aspect of your Chapter 7 bankruptcy case. Yet, unlike an attorney, they remain neutral for both you and your creditors. 

The Importance of a Local Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorney 

While filing a successful Chapter 7 bankruptcy on your own is possible, it’s not wise in every case. Unfortunately, bankruptcy may seem like a universal and simple process, but most of the time it’s not. 

From an immense amount of paperwork to complicated court discussions, there are many parts to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case that require expertise. Ultimately, by hiring a knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney, your case could be more successful (which means you’re not only able to keep more property but also discharge more debts). 

David S. Clark is a dedicated bankruptcy attorney that handles Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases. Whether you’re in the Auburn and Opelika area or seeking a local firm that has your best interests at heart, David S. Clark has years of experience helping those in difficult financial times. For more information on 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.

Is a Bankruptcy Attorney Necessary?

By Bankruptcy Law, Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, Chapter 7 Bankruptcy No Comments

Bankruptcy can give you a fresh start when you are under the weight of overwhelming debt. Yet, much like any legal matter, the process of bankruptcy can be confusing.

Bankruptcy can give you a fresh start when you are under the weight of overwhelming debt. Yet, much like any legal matter, the process of bankruptcy can be confusing. You can file the case without legal help, known as going pro se, but the expertise of an experienced bankruptcy attorney is unmatched. 

Here’s how to decide if you need a bankruptcy lawyer and what to expect from David S. Clark, a bankruptcy attorney based in Opelika, Alabama. 

Different Types of Bankruptcy

While there are many types of bankruptcy, when filing as an individual, cases often fall under either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13.

Chapter 7, also known as a straight or liquidation bankruptcy is designed for Auburn or Opelika residents who are unable to pay monthly debt payments. 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.

In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case, also called a wage earner’s plan, the court approves a repayment plan that gives you a period of a reasonable amount of time to pay off your debt. This is usually a more desirable avenue for debt relief than Chapter 7 because it enables you to keep certain valuable assets out of a creditor’s reach. 

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 Point of a Bankruptcy Lawyer?

When it comes time to file for bankruptcy, it can seem like everyone is against you. A dedicated bankruptcy lawyer, like David S. Clark, seeks to not only fight for you but also to relieve the overwhelming aspects that often come with a bankruptcy case. 

Almost like a tour guide, a bankruptcy attorney can advise you about matters such as: 

  • Whether bankruptcy is a smart move or not
  • Which type of bankruptcy to file
  • How every step of the bankruptcy process will work
  • Details on the elimination of debt depending on the chapter of bankruptcy you file
  • Any and all paperwork as well as further discussions with creditors

It can be tempting to handle every step of bankruptcy alone, but just because you file for bankruptcy doesn’t mean your debt magically disappears. Without an experienced lawyer, you may make legal mistakes that carry long-term financial consequences.

David S. Clark, More Than Your Bankruptcy Attorney

Filing for bankruptcy is a significant decision, yet, as mentioned, it doesn’t mean the end of your finances forever. David S. Clark is an Opelika-based bankruptcy attorney who has helped countless Alabama residents find freedom from the weight of immense debt. 

Whether you are seeking to file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, David S. Clark can help you every step of the way. For more information, 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.