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Common Faq’s especially for Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy


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Divorce Mediation?

Do I have to stay in the same room as my spouse?

I prefer to meet initially in a conference room. This enables the preliminaries to be gotten out of the way and a framework of the mediation discussion to be gotten out of the way. If the meeting doesn’t make any progress then it’s fairly standard for the parties to move into two separate rooms and for me to act as diplomatic courier helping the two parties fashion a clean marital dissolution.

Social Security Faq’s

Who qualified for Social Security Disability

Briefly, individuals who can’t work and that condition is likely to last for twelve months or more. The condition must be medically determinable, which in common parlance means a Doctor will diagnose you with the condition. If you are in doubt it is best to apply, the Social Security Administration working with the state will pay for you to develop the evidence needed to develop your claim.

Do I have to keep going to the doctor?

Yes, Social Security Disability requires that you be treated for your impairment. In addition, a judge will view your claim with extreme skepticism if you are not seeking medical treatment.

General Memphis Bankruptcy

What will happen if a creditor continues to call me?

The bankruptcy stay is very powerful, if a creditor continues to call or harass you than I can motion for a stay violation. You will still need to document any contacts. Tennessee allows you to tape record phone calls that one party is aware of the taping. I suggest doing this.

What happens if I omit a creditor from the schedule?

You can usually always amend to add a creditor. The filing is rather simple and the court charges and extra twenty dollar fee. If it is after your case is closed than you will need to pay another filing fee to add another creditor to reopen the case.

Can I discharge IRS back taxes in Bankruptcy?

Most IRS back taxes will be dischargeable in a bankruptcy provided they are over three years old, a return was filed at least 2 years ago, and they were assessed over 210 days ago. Unfortunately, Tennessee state sales taxes are not dischargeable. In addition, if you failed to file a tax return or were committing tax fraud than it is unlikely your taxes would prove dischargeable.

If only one spouse is filing bankruptcy what happens to jointly owned property?

Tennessee is not a community property state, so if the property is titled as a Tenancy by the entirety the property will be exempt from debts of one spouse. The bankruptcy may sell property owned as joint tenants and divide the property. The equity achieved would need to be divided between the creditors and the spouse. This procedure would be more costly than a normal sale so a trustee would be unlikely to attempt this except for larger amounts of equity.

What mistakes do people make when dealing with debt?

Not seeing a lawyer soon enough tops the list. A bankruptcy attorney can give you all sorts of advice that a debt consolidation or settlement company isn’t going to give you. It’s not just bankruptcy. Tennessee has a six year statute of limitations on actions to collect debt. I’ve seen people a year out from having their debts become uncollectible ruin this by entering into a debt settlement plan. They didn’t need to do anything. I advise people on all options in the initial bankruptcy consult, even the options I don’t provide myself or make money from.

A bankruptcy lawyer has ethical obligations enforced by a state bar to provide advice that no one else in the debt industry shares.

Chapter 7

What property can I keep in a Memphis chapter 7 bankruptcy?

Memphis utilizes the Tennessee bankruptcy exemptions. There’s a four thousand dollar wildcard bankruptcy exemption that can be used for any property. There are also a variety of specialized bankruptcy exemptions for home equity, tools of your trade, some household items, and for those over sixty five.

Can I keep my retirement accounts in a Memphis Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

In almost all cases, you will be allowed to keep your 401 pensions and individual retirement accounts in a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. Amounts over a million dollars may be at some risk.

Can I keep my house and car in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy?

Most individuals have very little equity in their homes and vehicles. This means in Memphis chapter 7 bankruptcies you can keep these properties in most circumstances provided you are not behind in payments. Chapter 13 bankruptcy will allow you to keep these properties provided you make up back payments over a five year payment plan.

What will I have to attend personally in my bankruptcy?

Every court will have different local rules, the Memphis bankruptcy court requires that you attend a section 341 meeting of creditors for both Chapter 7 bankruptcy and Chapter 13. In addition, for Chapter 13 you will in most cases be required to attend a confirmation hearing in front of a judge.

What’s the means test?

In 2005, Congress in response to creditor’s lobbying effort amended the bankruptcy code to prevent individuals with excessive disposable income from filing the easy chapter 7 bankruptcy and encourage use of chapter 13 which provides for some repayment. Individuals over the state median income who did not show enough qualifying expenses are disqualified from using chapter 7 bankruptcy. The state median income is approximately $37,500 for a single individual currently with an additional $7,500 per household member. There are some special rules applicable for Chapter 7 for those with business debts in the bankruptcy code.

Can I delay the meeting of Creditors?

Unfortunately, the Memphis trustees are very strict about continuing the meeting of creditors. You may generally delay one time. I will charge a fee if a request is not received at least two weeks ahead of time. The bankruptcy trustee may dismiss your case if you attempt to continue the proceeding more than one time.

What happens if my case is dismissed?

Generally, unless your case was dismissed for lack of good faith, there is very little adverse consequence except you will need to motion to reinstate the automatic stay before thirty days as elapsed. You would also need to pay the bankruptcy filing fee again.

Can I discharge student loans?

Generally, the answer to this is unfortunately negative. In order to discharge student loans, you must show an extraordinary hardship, usually this means a long term disability. You also need to show an effort to have paid back the loan.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Questions

What happens if I miss a payment?

Generally, the bankruptcy trustee will move to dismiss your case. If an emergency befalls you, you’ll need to inform your bankruptcy attorney as soon as possible and it may be possible to recalculate the plan. If you have paid over three years you may be able to file for an emergency discharge.

What happens if my income goes down?

You’ll need to contact your bankruptcy attorney. It may be possible to recalculate your Chapter 13 bankruptcy plan payments. In addition, if your income has fallen far enough it may be possible to convert to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

What paperwork is required for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy?

In addition to the paystubs required under a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you will need the last four years of tax returns or transcripts. You will also need to be able to document your expenses if you are not claiming the standard IRS deductions.