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The Role of Bankruptcy in Resolving Medical Debt

By Financial Tips No Comments

How bankruptcy can help when medical debt becomes unbearable.

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

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

The Impact of Medical Debt

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

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

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

Need Bankruptcy Help? Call David S. Clark

Bankruptcy as a Solution

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

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

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy 

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

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

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

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

Navigating the Bankruptcy Process in Opelika, Alabama

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

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

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

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

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy: Is It Right for You?

By Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, Financial Tips No Comments

A breakdown of Chapter 7 bankruptcy

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

What is Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

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

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

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

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

Need Bankruptcy Help? Call David S. Clark

How Does Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Work?

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

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

Assessing Your Eligibility for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

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

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

How an Experienced Bankruptcy Attorney Can Help

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

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

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

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

After Bankruptcy: How to Establish Responsible Financial Habits

By Financial Tips, Personal Finance No Comments

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

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

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

Need Bankruptcy Help? Call David S. Clark

Create a Realistic Budget

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

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

Start Saving Money & Create an Emergency Savings Fund

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

Apply for New Lines of Credit

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

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

Make Payments on Time

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

Keep a Low Credit Card Balance

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

Avoid Quick Loans

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

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

David S. Clark, Auburn & Opelika Bankruptcy Attorney

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

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

A Breakdown of Bankruptcy & Wage Garnishment in Alabama

By Bankruptcy Law, Financial Tips No Comments

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

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

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

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

Need Bankruptcy Help? Call David S. Clark

What are wage garnishments?

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

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

Chapter 7 bankruptcy and wage garnishments

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

Chapter 13 bankruptcy and wage garnishments

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

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

The Difference With David S. Clark

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

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

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

Bankruptcy Law Demystified

By Bankruptcy Law, Financial Tips No Comments

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

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

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

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

Need Bankruptcy Help? Call David S. Clark

Understanding Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

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

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

Understanding Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

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

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

The Role of a Bankruptcy Attorney

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

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

Next Steps 

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

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

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

Is Bankruptcy Right for You?

By Bankruptcy Law, Financial Tips No Comments

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

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

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

What is Bankruptcy?

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

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

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

Need Bankruptcy Help? Call David S. Clark

Understanding Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

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

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

Understanding Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

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

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

The Importance of a Bankruptcy Attorney

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

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

David S. Clark, Your Auburn & Opelika Bankruptcy Attorney

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

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

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

Is Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Right For Me?

By Bankruptcy Law, Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, Financial Tips No Comments

Are you considering filing bankruptcy?   

When considering bankruptcy, it is important to examine all of your financial options. Most personal bankruptcy cases fall under Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Also known as liquidation bankruptcy, Chapter 7 bankruptcy involves selling most of your assets to pay off debts.

If you’re an Auburn or Opelika resident wondering if Chapter 7 is right for you, here are a couple of essential questions you need to ask yourself.

Can I avoid bankruptcy?

Simply put, bankruptcy is when someone cannot pay their outstanding debts with the resources they currently possess. You may find yourself in this situation due to unemployment, incurring a significant amount of medical debt, or many other reasons. Just because you are in one of these situations does not always mean bankruptcy is your only option. It is best to speak with a bankruptcy lawyer to ensure that filing for bankruptcy is the best solution for you. Read more here.

When you are uncertain about what next step to take, there are experienced and knowledgeable bankruptcy attorneys like David S. Clark in the Auburn and Opelika area that can help you sort through all of your options and determine your best next step.

 

What kind of debt is discharged in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

Not all forms of debt are created equal, and not all debts can be discharged through Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Before deciding if Chapter 7 bankruptcy is right for you, consider what kind of debt you are looking to discharge.

Some common forms of debt that are dischargeable through Chapter 7 bankruptcy 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

Some common forms of debt that are non-dischargeable include:

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

 

What could I be giving up?

Giving up physical assets to help balance debt is required in most cases. Items that can be taken by the state to help balance your debt are known as nonexempt assets. Exempted assets are those that cannot be taken by the state to balance your debt. Learn more here.

Bankruptcy laws generally exempt assets that are deemed as necessities to life, such as:

  • Your car (depending value)
  • Your home (depending on its value)
  • Clothing 

Some typically nonexempt items may include:

  • Property that is not your primary home
  • A newer model vehicle with equity
  • Investments
  • Valuable artworks
  • Jewelry

 

What does the Chapter 7 Bankruptcy timeline look like?

After being filed, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case in the Auburn and Opelika area can typically be resolved in about 4 months when conducted by an experienced personal bankruptcy attorney such as David S. Clark. Filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy can give you a financial reset, telling creditors to take a step back and giving you some breathing room to figure out your next steps without the added stress of having to deal with them.

Once you have successfully discharged your debts, you can begin to rebuild your credit through financially responsible practices such as paying bills on time, keeping a low credit card balance, and limiting applications for new credit. 

 

Who can help me navigate Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

Although the process of filing for bankruptcy and the process to financial recovery can be stressful and difficult, there are personal bankruptcy attorneys like David S. Clark who are more than willing to walk with you through this process. You do not have to go into this battle alone. Having an attorney present during the process of filing for bankruptcy takes some of the load off your shoulders and guarantees you are taking all of the correct steps. 

If you’re an Opelika or Auburn, Alabama resident struggling with the weight of overwhelming debt and seeking the financial advice, wisdom, and encouragement of an experienced bankruptcy attorney, contact David S. Clark! You can get started by requesting a 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.

3 Signs You May Need to File for Bankruptcy

By Bankruptcy Law, Financial Tips No Comments

Bankruptcy is often misunderstood and could actually lead to a life of financial peace.

Even with the most meticulous planning and as much as we try to avoid it, financial hardship and bankruptcy can happen to anyone. Also, with many myths surrounding it, bankruptcy is often dismissed as a viable solution for many Auburn or Opelika residents. Some even believe that filing for bankruptcy means the end of their finances forever. However, bankruptcy is often misunderstood and could actually lead to a life of financial peace.

Despite that, deciding whether or not to file for bankruptcy is a major decision that requires careful consideration. So, here are three signs that may indicate it’s time to speak with a bankruptcy attorney about your options from David S. Clark, an experienced personal bankruptcy attorney in Opelika, Alabama. 

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

Need Bankruptcy Help? Call David S. Clark

Overwhelming Debt

When the weight of debt becomes seemingly unmanageable, it can be challenging to pay even the minimum amount owed. This not only leads to deeper debt but can even add a significant burden to your daily life. More debt can also lead to late fees, penalties, and interest charges, making it even harder to get out of debt.

Unmanageable debt is often a strong indication that it may be time to talk to an experienced bankruptcy attorney about your options. Depending on your situation, Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy may be able to help by consolidating your debts and allowing you to make more manageable payments. In some cases, it may even be possible to discharge some or all of your debts, giving your finances a fresh start.

Debt Collection Harassment & Threats of Legal Action

Beyond the effect that overwhelming debt can have on you and your family, creditors can sue you for non-payment of debt, leading to wage garnishment, property liens, or even the seizure of a number of your assets.

Thankfully, filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy can halt legal action and protect your valuable assets. When you file for bankruptcy, an automatic stay goes into effect, which puts an immediate stop to creditor actions, including lawsuits and wage garnishment.

Lack of Savings

While the lack of a savings account does not mean bankruptcy, it can act as a warning of what could happen in the future. Ultimately, without a financial cushion, a single unexpected expense, such as a medical emergency, car repair, or job loss, can quickly spiral into financial distress. 

Filing for bankruptcy can help you get back on your feet by giving you a fresh start. It can discharge your debts, freeing up your income to rebuild your savings and secure your financial future

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

In conclusion, if you are struggling with overwhelming debt or facing legal action from creditors in Alabama, filing for bankruptcy may be a viable solution. However, it’s essential to speak with an experienced bankruptcy attorney in Alabama to understand your options. 

At David S. Clark, we are dedicated to helping our clients in Auburn or Opelika achieve financial freedom. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can help you with Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. 

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.

Understanding Bankruptcy: Chapter 7 vs. Chapter 13

By Bankruptcy Law, Financial Tips No Comments

Chapter 13 vs. Chapter 7 and how an experienced bankruptcy attorney can help.

Bankruptcy can be difficult to comprehend due to its complex nature. In addition to the myths surrounding it, one of the more confusing aspects is the types of chapters available for Alabama residents to file for.

Thankfully, when it comes to bankruptcy, you don’t have to walk through it alone. Here is a quick breakdown of the difference between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 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

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Chapter 7, also known as “liquidation bankruptcy,” is the most commonly filed type of bankruptcy in the United States. This type of bankruptcy enables you to regain control of your finances by having a bankruptcy court discharge most of your unsecured debt. 

By eliminating these debts, Chapter 7 bankruptcy can provide a fresh start for any Auburn or Opelika resident seeking freedom from the, often, overwhelming weight of debt. 

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:

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

Furthermore, in every Chapter 7 Bankruptcy case, the bankruptcy 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.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Chapter 13 bankruptcy, while similar to Chapter 7, focuses more on the idea of repayment and reorganization. Ultimately, unlike Chapter 7, Chapter 13 provides more flexibility in terms of debt repayment, allowing residents to catch up on missed mortgage payments or car payments.

In Chapter 13 bankruptcy, a dedicated bankruptcy attorney creates a repayment plan to pay off your debts over a period of three to five years. The repayment plan is based on a number of items such as your income, expenses, and the types of debts owed.

Which Type of Bankruptcy is Right for You?

The type of bankruptcy that is right for you will depend on your unique financial situation. If you have little to no disposable income and cannot pay off your debts, Chapter 7 bankruptcy may be the best option. However, if you have a regular income and want to keep your assets while paying off your debts, Chapter 13 bankruptcy may be a better fit.

Ultimately, consulting with an experienced bankruptcy attorney is essential to determine which type of bankruptcy is right for you. They can evaluate your financial situation and help you make an informed decision.

Before anything, it is also important to remember that while debts can appear similar, every financial situation is unique. So, before filing for bankruptcy, it is important to understand that bankruptcy is not the end. With the help of an experienced bankruptcy attorney, like David S. Clark, you can not only have an advocate, but a friend to encourage you through the entire process. 

If you’re an Opelika or Auburn, Alabama resident struggling with the weight of overwhelming debt and seeking the financial advice, wisdom, and encouragement 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.

How to Stop Debt Collection Harassment

By Bankruptcy Law, Financial Tips No Comments

The weight of debt can be overwhelming, especially when it comes to the, seemingly, never-ending harassment from creditors. Thankfully, you have rights and protections that can help you put an end to debt collection harassment. 

If you’re struggling with the weight of debt in Auburn or Opelika, Alabama, you, unfortunately, may be all too familiar with the harassing phone calls, threatening letters, and other aggressive tactics used by debt collectors. 

The constant harassment can be overwhelming and make your financial situation even more stressful. However, as a resident of Alabama, you have rights and protections under federal and state laws that can help you put an end to debt harassment. Here are a few ways you can improve your financial situation and put a stop to debt collection harassment 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

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is a federal law that regulates the behavior of debt collectors and provides Auburn or Opelika residents with certain rights when dealing with a multitude of debt collection activities. Under the FDCPA, debt collectors are prohibited from engaging in abusive or unfair practices, including:

  • Harassment, such as making repeated phone calls, using profane language, or even threatening violence.
  • False or misleading representations, such as a misrepresentation of the amount of debt, falsely claiming to be an attorney or government representative, or threatening legal action they do not intend to take.
  • Unfair practices, such as unauthorized fees or charges to debts. 

Unfortunately, this doesn’t always stop creditors, as debt collection harassment can even continue after you’ve filed for bankruptcy. 

What if a Creditor Contacts Me During Bankruptcy?

Under Section 524 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, once your debt has been discharged through bankruptcy, you are protected by what is known as the “automatic stay”. This legal action is immediately ordered and enforced by the bankruptcy court in Auburn or Opelika, preventing any creditor from taking further action against you.

The automatic stay makes it illegal for creditors to contact you in an attempt to collect any debt that has been discharged through bankruptcy. This means they cannot call, email, visit, or take any other action to collect a debt from you.

It’s important to note that not all debts are discharged through bankruptcy, so it’s essential to understand which debts are eligible for discharge in your specific case.

Unfortunately, there are instances when creditors still attempt to contact you, which violates the protections of the automatic stay. If a creditor knowingly and willfully violates the automatic stay with the intent to collect a debt, the court can impose sanctions against the creditor with the assistance of your bankruptcy attorney.

David S. Clark, Your Dedicated Bankruptcy Attorney

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

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

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