Payday loans are marketed as being a convenient solution to “life situations” where there is “more month than money” as payday draws near but does not quite arrive. Any consumer finance professional will tell you this is a false premise – a car requires predictable maintenance, for example, the tires wearing out is not an “emergency.”
“Chain of Title” How Three Ordinary Americans Uncovered Wall Street’s Great Foreclosure Fraud – By David Dayen (Book Review)
When I am not helping consumers get a fresh start and live debt free in my law practice, I enjoy reading as a pastime. To combine both, I recently had the pleasure of reading this book recently published by this first-time author.
Both single and married consumers find themselves in need of a fresh start through bankruptcy protection. A married person can file for bankruptcy by themselves, just like they can file a separate income tax return if they choose to.
You have probably never heard of a “preference payment” in a Chapter 7 consumer bankruptcy proceeding, but these are never fun conversations to have with a client. Let me write about this now and hope that, if you decide to hire me as your attorney, we will never have to have this conversation. This situation comes up when an otherwise broke person has a sum of money on hand, and then has to decide what to do this money.
Bankruptcy allows consumers who are faced with overwhelming debt to move forward with their lives knowing that they have legally resolved problems with their creditors. While there are some debts, such as student loans, which are not automatically discharged by a bankruptcy filing, almost every type of consumer debt can be discharged in a bankruptcy filing. Here are some life situations which have I seen in more than two thousand consumer bankruptcy filings:
One of the critical goals in any bankruptcy proceeding is to keep as much of your property out of the hands of the Trustee as you can. In fact, you want to keep all of it out of the Trustee’s hands (the so-called “no asset” case). After all, if the Trustee takes everything from you, the idea of a “fresh start” doesn’t really mean too much. Property which you as the consumer filing bankruptcy get to keep is known as “exempt” property.
For most consumers, filing a bankruptcy is a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence. But for others, even after being granted a discharge of debt in bankruptcy, they find themselves in that unbelievable situation of having to ask the question – if I filed for bankruptcy protection previously, can I file another bankruptcy and get my debts discharged? The answer to that question depends not only on the length of time since your previous filing, but also the type of bankruptcy you filed. For more information about the difference between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy filings, click here.
People trying to file bankruptcy starting December 1, 2015, may be in for a surprise. On that day, new mandatory bankruptcy forms went into effect and must be used in all consumer bankruptcy filings under Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Consumers sometimes try to file their own bankruptcy, without a lawyer to represent them. If they do so now, they will be confronted with at least 98 new pages of legal mumbo jumbo.
Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, Cleveland, Ohio
Sponsor: National Business Institute
After you have filed your bankruptcy petition with the Court, the ultimate goal is to get a discharge order from the Court. This is a court order which specifies that all debts which are subject to a discharge have been eliminated – your obligation to pay them has been legally terminated. A bankruptcy discharge order is a powerful thing indeed.