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Bankruptcy Law

What To Do After Bankruptcy Is Complete

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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.

5 Reasons Bankruptcy Occurs in Alabama

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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.

How to Find The “Best” Bankruptcy Attorney

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Important factors to consider when seeking the “best” bankruptcy attorney. 

Due to expensive medical bills, credit card debt, divorce, job loss, or other unexpected expenses, bankruptcy often goes hand in hand with hard financial times that can be overwhelming for anyone. 

Thankfully, bankruptcy does not mean the end of your finances forever, in fact, it often means a fresh start. Although, despite the chance for a clean slate, declaring bankruptcy involves a deep dive into your financial history, mountains of paperwork, and confusing legal discourse that can make it seem impossible. 

Yet, with a dedicated bankruptcy attorney, you don’t have to go through it alone. So, when it comes time to choose a bankruptcy attorney in Alabama, who should you call? 

Here at David S. Clark, we may be a little biased about who the “best” bankruptcy attorney in Alabama is, but being the best isn’t our end goal. Our goal is not only to help those in the depths of financial ruin through bankruptcy but to also bring a level of compassion to each of our clients. 

So, before you choose a bankruptcy attorney, here are a few “must-haves” your attorney should have from the experienced team 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

Dedication to Your Needs

At the end of the day, your bankruptcy attorney should be someone you are comfortable with. Look for an experienced attorney who will not only represent you but will listen to you to best understand your unique situation. 

Also, don’t make your decision solely on price. Bankruptcy requires careful preparation and understanding of legal issues. Misunderstandings of the law or making crucial mistakes in the process could be the difference in the success or failure of your bankruptcy case. 

Local Experience in Chapter 7 & Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

There are a few different distinctions when it comes to Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy. The biggest difference is that Chapter 7 focuses on discharging “unsecured” debt such as credit cards, personal loans, or medical bills while Chapter 13 allows you to catch up on “secured” debts like your home or car while also discharging any unsecured debt.

Beyond having familiarity and experience with the distinctions of bankruptcy laws, a bankruptcy attorney should also be local. By hiring an attorney like David S. Clark, who is local to Auburn and Opelika, Alabama, you can have faith knowing they will use their knowledge of the local court procedures and personnel to your benefit.

David S. Clark – Your Auburn or Opelika Bankruptcy Attorney

So, while there is technically no answer to who the “best” bankruptcy attorney is, through these helpful considerations, we hope that your path to financial peace is closer than ever before. 

For more information on how the experienced team at David S. Clark can help you recover from financial ruin with Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Auburn or Opelika 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 Truth About Bankruptcy

By | Bankruptcy Law, Financial Tips | No Comments

Bankruptcy may seem like the end of your finances forever, but here’s how it could actually be a new beginning.

As a bankruptcy lawyer in Auburn and Opelika, Alabama, David S. Clark counsels numerous Alabama residents through financial hardship. While many understand the benefits of bankruptcy, it can be easy to allow negative thoughts to overwhelm you during these tough times. 

Thankfully, despite how extreme your financial situation may be, you don’t have to face it alone. Here are a few myths about bankruptcy and how any Auburn or Opelika resident can find hope during these trying times from the experienced bankruptcy attorneys at David S. Clark.

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

Need Bankruptcy Help? Call David S. Clark

Bankruptcy Means The End of My Finances Forever

Many Alabama residents believe that bankruptcy means the end of their finances forever. Yet, this couldn’t be farther from true–bankruptcy was created in order to provide another chance. Also, bankruptcy often occurs for greater reasons than failing to have your finances in order. 

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.

It is important to remember that much like everything else in life, no one is perfect. Whether you made a drastic financial mistake or not, everyone is able to improve their financial skills.

Instead of believing this myth, take advantage of the resources provided to you during the process of bankruptcy like financial counseling, and learn how you can improve your situation today!

Bankruptcy Will Solve All My Problems

Bankruptcy is a mechanism within our legal system by which debtors can find relief from debts that they can no longer pay. However, it is a myth to think of this tool as the cure to all financial problems you may have. 

Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy does mean a fresh start, but it is also important to confront the financial mistakes that led to bankruptcy in the first place. Foundational problems need to be dealt with by solutions outside of the scope of bankruptcy in order to avoid future financial mistakes. 

An experienced bankruptcy lawyer like David S. Clark not only understands the complexity that often surrounds bankruptcy but can also point you in the direction of people that can help. 

David S. Clark–A Bankruptcy Attorney That Will Fight For you

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, Alabama resident seeking the help of a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 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 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.