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Attorneys & Lawyers

Moses Wenslydale Moore–Alabama’s First African American Attorney

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The information in this post was gathered from the research compiled in an article from the December 27, 2021 edition of The Alabama Lawyer entitled, “Blazing the Trail: Alabama’s First Black Lawyers.” To read the article in its entirety, click here.

In a piece commemorating the first graduating class of African American attorneys of Howard University School of Law in Washington, D.C., a black newspaper commissioned them with the sobering reminder that they were going “into the world…to give to the false and hate inspired charge of the black man’s natural inferiority a living, forcible, and effective denial.”

One of those graduates, who likely read those very words and personally felt their gravity as one being commissioned, was Moses Wenslydale Moore.

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

Need Bankruptcy Help? Call David S. Clark

An Inspiring Immigrant

Born in British Guiana on February 15, 1841, Moore was born a free man since Britain had already granted emancipation to enslaved people in 1832.

Not much is known about Moore’s early life, but years later in 1867, Moore was listed as a schoolteacher sailing from London to New York. The next year and a half of Moore’s life once again fell into relative historical obscurity, though we can be sure that he faced much uncertainty while in America given the state of the country after the Civil War during the tumultuous early years of Reconstruction.

In 1869, though, Moore enrolled at the Howard University School of Law to be a member of the 6-man class of black lawyers. This group of aspiring attorneys met in the home offices of their professors since they did not have proper classrooms at the time and they took evening classes since all of them worked full-time jobs.

The Move to Mobile

Following their graduation from the Howard University School of Law in 1871, all 6 graduating men were admitted to the Washington, D.C. bar. Soon after Moses Moore departed the nation’s capital bound for the Deep South–Mobile, Alabama.

One can only speculate what this black man was thinking while en route to the embattled “Heart of Dixie.” Six years prior to Moore’s move men, women, and children who looked like him were bound to work and live in subhuman conditions as slaves.

Surely many friends and family told him that attempting to work as an attorney was too dangerous for a black man. However, Moore was evidently undeterred and bound to be a “living, forcible, and effective denial” of hatred motivated by racist bigotry.

Admitted: An African American Attorney

While in Mobile, Moore was presented for examination in order to be admitted to the Alabama State Bar with no little public interest. After a “very satisfactory examination,” Moore was successfully admitted to the bar.

He then moved to Selma–further into the heart of Alabama–and it was when he lived here that he stood before the Alabama Supreme Court seeking admittance to practice law within the state. On January 4, 1872, Moses Wenslydale Moore was admitted to practice in Alabama.

A Black Lawyer’s Legacy

After only a few years in Alabama, Moore moved to Mississippi for a short time and then took the voyage back across the Atlantic to be an English professor in France.

Though little is known about the actual legal practice of Mr. Moore in Alabama and observers of history can speculate as to why he decided to leave Alabama, the South, and the United States altogether; he offered a unique contribution to Black history in the United States.

In the face of great uncertainty and danger, Moses Moore did what none before him had done in becoming the first African-American Attorney in Alabama and for that all Alabamians owe him our admiration and thanks.

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 Foreclosure Basics

By | Attorneys & Lawyers, Foreclosure | No Comments

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

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

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

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

Need Bankruptcy Help? Call David S. Clark

Why Lenders Pursue Foreclosure

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

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

They begin to miss consecutive payments. 

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

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

The Foreclosure Process

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

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

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

Redemption Period

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

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

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

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

Eviction

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

Help While Facing Foreclosure in Opelika/Auburn, AL

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

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

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

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

Financial Tips From an Opelika Bankruptcy Attorney

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

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

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

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

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

Need Bankruptcy Help? Call David S. Clark

Tip #1: Control Your Spending on Credit

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

Incurring debt through credit is not always a bad thing.

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

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

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

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

Tip #2: Avoid Quick Loans

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

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

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

A Few Alternatives to Quick Loans

Churches & Non-profits

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

Here is a list of Auburn/Opelika Churches.

Family Loans

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

Alternative Sources of Cash

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

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

David S. Clark, An Auburn/Opelika Bankruptcy Attorney

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

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

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

How Not to Think About Bankruptcy

By | Attorneys & Lawyers, Understanding Bankruptcy | No Comments

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

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

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

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

Need Bankruptcy Help? Call David S. Clark

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

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

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

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

Everyone is able to improve their financial skills.

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

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

“Bankruptcy will solve all of my financial problems.”

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

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

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

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

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

“My debts are someone else’s fault.”

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

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

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

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

Let David S. Clark Help You Think About Bankruptcy

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

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

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

More Than Just Bankruptcy

By | Attorneys & Lawyers, News | No Comments

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

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

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

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

Need Bankruptcy Help? Call David S. Clark

An Auburn Bankruptcy Attorney–More Than Just Bankruptcy

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

Debt Consolidation

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

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

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

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

The Payday Loan Cycle

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

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

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

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

Repossessions

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

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

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

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

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

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

Avoiding Foreclosure in Auburn or Opelika, AL

By | Attorneys & Lawyers, Foreclosure | No Comments

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why Hire an Opelika Foreclosure Defense Attorney? 

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

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

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

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

Need Bankruptcy Help? Call David S. Clark

Loss Mitigation 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Repayment Plans

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

Forbearance Plans

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

Modification of Your Loan

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

The accurate presentation of these requirements is crucial. 

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

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

Payment Amount

This is the most common method of loan modification. 

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

Length of the Loan

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

Interest Rate

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

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

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

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

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

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

Debt Consolidation or Bankruptcy–Which Is Right for You?

By | Attorneys & Lawyers, Understanding Bankruptcy | No Comments

Bankruptcy and debt consolidation are tools for different financial situations. See which is right for you.

Financial difficulties are a fact of life for many people in Auburn and Opelika, AL.

If anything has brought this to light, the COVID-19 pandemic has. 

In 2020 the United States lost a total of 9.37 million jobs–that’s nearly 4.5 million more jobs than we lost during the 2009 financial crisis.

When financial markets crash, businesses shut their doors, and jobs are not to be found, bills still have to be paid. 

Through massive government stimulus many Auburn and Opelika residents were able to receive checks that have helped to keep the lights on in the house and food on the table for the kids, but this governmental help will not last forever.

Eventually Americans will have to pay their bills and settle their debts with lenders on their own dime.

This will inevitably put many Alabamians in financial trouble once again. They may come to the conclusion that some kind of debt rearrangement is necessary for their survival, but which is right?

Today, we will discuss the benefits of debt consolidation and bankruptcy for individuals and which might be right for you given your situation.

First we’ll describe the basics of both bankruptcy and debt consolidation in Alabama. Then, we’ll give a bit of guidance as to how each might help you depending on your circumstances.

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

Bankruptcy is a legal process by which debtors can legitimately find relief from their debts.

Though it is often characterized as a life-ending step this is not true.

American greats like Abraham Lincoln, Walt Disney, and Willie Nelson all declared bankruptcy at one point in their lives and it didn’t stop them.

Essentially bankruptcy works by an individual going to the courts willing to do what it takes to get out from under their debts. This is a tedious and time consuming process that requires giving judges, counselors, and creditors very extensive financial records like income, assets, debt amounts, and more.

Then the courts and counselors (your bankruptcy attorney) create a plan to pay off as much of the debt as possible given the individual’s assets.

Individuals seeking relief through bankruptcy will also receive much court-mandated guidance on how to avoid another incident like bankruptcy in the future.

Once the payment plans and debts are settled through the bankruptcy process the individual who filed is once again financially independent.

Depending on your income level and amount of secured and unsecured debts, you may choose to file Chapter 7 Bankruptcy or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy.

Learn more about filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Auburn and Opelika, AL.

Learn more about filing Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Auburn and Opelika, AL.

Debt Consolidation

Debt consolidation works by rolling your existing debts into a lump sum payment.

This payment is a smaller total amount than the sum of your individual debts because it is a loan with a smaller interest rate.

Debt consolidation is helpful for individuals because it gives them a more manageable payment amount each month.

The downside of debt consolidation, however, is that those who choose to consolidate their debt will have to make these smaller payments for a longer period of time. In the end, he or she will pay more than he or she would have paid if he or she had been able to make the original payments.

Which Is Right for You? It Depends on Your Situation

Debt Consolidation

Debt consolidation may be the better option if there still seems to be some light at the end of the tunnel, so to speak. If you believe that you can eventually pay off your debts, then you may want to choose debt consolidation.

Debt consolidation can give debtors a bit of “breathing room” in order to manage their monthly payments a bit better. 

However, if you are not willing to practice more conservative spending habits, then debt consolidation will just put the problem off until a later date and make you pay more than you would have with the original loans.

Bankruptcy

If you have gotten so deep into debt that you see no possible way out, then bankruptcy may be the best option for you.

Are you seeking debt consolidation or bankruptcy in Opelika or Auburn, AL? Contact David S. Clark, Attorney at Law. David has years of experience helping Auburn and Opelika residents escape financial stress through bankruptcy and debt consolidation.

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.

Photo by Bob Fitch

Fred Gray–An Alabama Attorney for Integration

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During black History Month, America reflects on the particularly important role that African-Americans have played in our history.

Alabama residents have a rich opportunity to think about the work that our fellow Alabamians have played in fighting legal segregation in our state and working toward the full civil rights of all in our state regardless of race.

Civil Rights in Alabama–A Legal Battle

Many of the most influential players in the Civil Rights Movement were attorneys. Dr. Clarence B. Jones who provided legal counsel to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Thurgood Marshall who served as the first African-American Justice from 1967 to 1991, Barbara Jordan was a Texas attorney who was the first woman to be elected to the Texas Legislature are some names that often come to mind when thinking of influential black attorneys.

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
Photo by AP Photo

Fred Gray–Alabama’s Civil Rights Attorney

Fred Gray is an Alabama-born attorney that played a massive role in ending legal segregation in our state.

When Gray opened up his Montgomery law office at the age of 23 in 1954, he was one of very few African-American Attorneys in Alabama. 

By representing Rosa Parks and Claudette Colvin when they were charged with disorderly conduct for refusing to give up their bus seats to white passengers in Montgomery, Alabama, Mr. Gray was thrust into the spotlight of history.

Although Mrs. Parks was eventually convicted of disorderly conduct and violation of a Montgomery ordinance, this case started the pivotal Montgomery Bus Boycott.

During this boycott, Gray served as a legal advisor for the Montgomery Improvement Association.

In 1956 he was the lead counsel in the Supreme Court case Browder v. Gale. This case upheld the lower court’s ruling that segregation on city buses is unconstitutional and illegal.

Gray also provided legal counsel for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) while it fought to overcome an effective outlawing done by the then Alabama State Attorney General, John Patterson. After 8 years of legal struggle, the NAACP was once again allowed to operate in the state.

Mr. Gray served on Dr. Martin Luther King’s defense team when the reverend was accused of tax evasion in the State of Alabama in 1960. Gray and his team successfully argued King’s case before an all-white jury and achieved acquittal for Dr. King.

The list of Mr. Fred Gray’s legal contributions to racial equality in America are too numerous to mention in a brief post. 

However, one of the most notable achievements that Mr. Gray accomplished in his career as an Alabama attorney was his work ending segregation in Alabama schools.

In 1963, Gray represented Vivian Malone and James Hood in their efforts to attend the University of Alabama which sparked Gov. George Wallace’s infamous stand in the schoolhouse door.

He was also the plaintiff’s attorney in the case Franklyn v. Auburn  which led to the integration of Auburn University.

Gray did not stop his legal work here, eventually through lawsuits that he filed, all public colleges and universities in Alabama and more than 100 public schools were integrated.

Mr. Gray has not stopped the fight for the equal rights of all Americans. In the years since the Civil Rights Movement, he has used his position as a prominent African-American lawyer as a cause for good. 

In 1970 Gray, along with Thomas Reed, became the first African Americans to be elected to the Alabama state legislature, in 1985 he served as president of the National Bar Association, in 2002 he became the first African-American president of the Alabama Bar Association, and in 2017 he was awarded a Lifetime Service Award from HOPE International (this is a just a snapshot of his lifetime awards and accomplishments).

As an African-American lawyer, Fred Gray has served the people of Alabama with passion and commitment. We are glad to honor him as a hero of Alabama during this Black History Month.

David S. Clark is an Auburn and Opelika, AL attorney who works to help his clients, no matter their creed or color, overcome financial difficulty through bankruptcy. Contact David S. Clark today for a free consultation!

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

Why Choose a Local Bankruptcy Attorney

By | Attorneys & Lawyers, Bankruptcy Law | No Comments

One way to lower the risk of hiring an attorney who will work for him or herself rather than to help you overcome your financial hardship is to hire a local bankruptcy attorney like David S. Clark.

During financial crisis threats of repossession and collection calls from creditors often seem to come daily. Foreclosure of your home because of the inability to pay back your loan and falling prey to the payday loan cycle can feel like rock bottom for many.

The scary decision to file for bankruptcy or restructure your debt through debt consolidation may be the best way forward for those who find themselves in such economic turmoil.

Hiring an attorney to help you navigate these muddy waters can be a lifesaver, but hiring the wrong attorney can be more harmful than helpful.

One way to lower the risk of hiring an attorney who will work for him or herself rather than to help you overcome your financial hardship is to hire a local bankruptcy attorney like David S. Clark. Here are a few reasons why:

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

It’s Easier to Know Local Bankruptcy Attorneys

Lawyers that have central offices across the nation or throughout the state are often located in distant urban centers.

This can make it difficult for them to empathize fully with their clients.

A local attorney, however, is focused on a much more focused area. They live in the same area that you do. Their children go to school with yours. You go to church with them. You see them at the park or at a restaurant downtown.

They are accessible and approachable.

This adds a level of transparency to an attorney because the people that he or she would represent are able to know him or her on a far deeper level than just how many millions of dollars have been won in settlements or how many successful bankruptcy declarations he or she has had.

Local Bankruptcy Attorneys Are Invested in Their Communities

This investment is both financial and social.

When you pay your local lawyer for the services they provide, that money is going to be used to pay bills including groceries for their family, a house payment on a loan from the local bank, tuition for their kids at the local community college or university, and charitable giving to local non-profit organizations.

This is an investment in the improvement of your community.

If you were to hire a lawyer who is part of a law firm that is centrally located in a distant city, then the money that you pay for legal representation may go to several different places. The community that you live in, however, will not likely be where this money ends up.

Local Bankruptcy Attorneys Know the Local Courts and Financial Services

The journey to financial freedom through bankruptcy is one that involves several meetings with financial counselors, standing before judges, and negotiating with creditors. 

Much of this involvement with bankruptcy happens at the local level.

A local bankruptcy attorney will be able to help you navigate these institutions better than almost anyone because they interact regularly with the same individuals in these organizations.

This interaction builds a natural bond of trust between your local lawyer and these institutions. As one who is represented by a local lawyer, that trust may then extend to you and give you more favorable conditions from which to work for financial freedom.

If you are a resident of Auburn, Opelika, or East Alabama and are looking to file Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, contact David S. Clark, a local bankruptcy attorney, 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 To Escape the Payday Loan Debt Cycle

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Given that Alabama has a 7% usage rate for payday loans, paying back these loans is a concern for many in our state. With the COVID-19 pandemic these loans are only expected to increase. 

Everyone has seen payday loan centers advertised on commercials with smiling people who have cash stuffed in both hands. These commercials suggest payday loan businesses are centers for getting back on your feet financially.

The reality though is a very different picture.

Payday loan use is a recurring practice for many of its victims; 80 percent of loans were taken out two weeks after a previous loan was paid.

The state of Alabama has a higher concentration of payday loan storefronts than 47 states. These payday lenders charge an average of 461 percent APR on their loans. 

Given that Alabama has a 7% usage rate for payday loans, paying back these loans is a concern for many in our state. With the COVID-19 pandemic these loans are only expected to increase. 

We want to help you understand what the payday loan debt cycle is and how you can get out of it.

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

Need Bankruptcy Help? Call David S. Clark

What Is the Payday Loan Debt Cycle?

The payday loan debt cycle describes the oftentimes detrimental debt process that many people in dire financial circumstances find themselves.

It frequently starts with an individual needing cash quickly. They may need this cash to pay rent, keep up with a car loan payment, or even to buy groceries for their family.

Payday loan companies will then lend the individual an amount of money (not usually exceeding $500). It is usually mandated that these loans be paid no later than 30 days after the loan is made. The harmful aspect of these loans to the debtor is that the interest on these loans is often extremely high. In fact, the interest payment on average is higher than the amount of the original loan.

After the money becomes due, many individuals find themselves in a financial bind once again. Though they have yet to pay the original loan interest payment, they seek another loan from payday lenders. These are often the only options that these individuals have to get cash because no other lenders will lend to them because of poor credit history.

Thus, a cycle of debt to payday loan companies begins.

How to Escape the Payday Loan Cycle

When solving a debt problem, the solution is often found only by getting to the root of the problem.

Why did you seek out a fast money loan? You were low on income, of course!

So, how do you remedy this?

Find some type of employment.

Though it is often difficult to find the exact job that you want, there are countless opportunities for work. You may need to work a job for which you feel overqualified  and underpaid. However, some income is better than none and any little bit will help you pay off your debt and manage paying your expenses.

Next, pay off your debts.

We suggest using the “debt snowball” method developed by Dave Ramsey.

Begin by ordering all of your payday loan debts from smallest to largest. Then, make the minimum payment on all debts except the smallest. As you begin to pay off each debt little by little you will build momentum.

If you are struggling to come out of the payday loan debt cycle and can’t see a way out, call David S. Clark. Our attorneys not only cover bankruptcies, but also assists clients with other financial matters like payday loans.

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.