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Bankruptcy Law Blog

Monday, October 31, 2016

Debt-Relief Phone Scam Targets Alabama Consumers


How can you spot a debt collection scam?

Living with debt you can’t afford to make payments on is stressful. Constant phone calls can cause additional tension and anxiety that you don’t need.  It doesn’t help when disreputable people try to capitalize on your situation to try and scam you out of more money. Unfortunately, this happens on a regular basis.

Fake Attorney General Investigations Division

Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange has recently warned residents of new phone scams popping up in the state.


Read more . . .


Monday, October 17, 2016

Family of deceased veteran suing Wells Fargo over sudden foreclosure


How can you save your house during a bankruptcy?

Perhaps one of the common questions that comes up when we talk to people about filing for bankruptcy is: Will I get to keep my house? Being able to hit the refresh button on your finances while still being able to live in your home is often critical to people’s decision to file. 

While it’s often the case that people can keep their homes during bankruptcy, if there’s a foreclosure in the process, banks tend to make it harder to do.

Unsavory Bank Tactics Trigger Foreclosure

Wells Fargo has recently come under scrutiny again when it suddenly foreclosed on a deceased veteran’s home.


Read more . . .


Friday, September 30, 2016

Credit Counseling: Not Just Another Hoop To Jump Through


A few years ago, Congress updated our nation’s bankruptcy laws. Conservatives and the financial services lobbies argue that the new law was needed to curb abuse of the bankruptcy system and teach people to be more financially responsible, while liberals and consumer advocates say that this law unfairly penalizes poor people who may be suffering financially due to illness, divorce or unemployment.

One of the things people who want to file for bankruptcy must now do, which all sides generally agree is a good thing, is undergo credit counseling.


Read more . . .


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Filing Bankruptcy as an Individual When You're Married


How will my spouse be affected if I file for individual bankruptcy?

If you are married and file for individual bankruptcy, your spouse may also be affected. The results will be different if you reside in a community property state or if you live in a common law property state like Alabama. In the latter case, your bankruptcy follows the rules of equitable distribution.

There are a great many complexities involved in filing for personal bankruptcy. The decisions made, such as whether to file individually or jointly as a married couple, and whether to file Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, may have serious consequences for both parties.


Read more . . .


Sunday, August 28, 2016

Bankruptcy Filings Increased in Alabama Over the Past Year Despite Decreasing Nationwide


The old saying “no news is good news” could basically be the mantra of all of us hoping that Alabama is finally starting to recover from the Great Recession of the last decade. The latest financial news is in fact, somewhat of a mixed bag. The Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts has just released its data on the number of bankruptcies filed over the past year, and Alabama has seen an increase while the country as a whole saw a decrease.
Read more . . .


Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Consumer Watchdog Reins in Debt Collectors


What is being done about abusive debt collectors?

If you're like many Americans, you have debts that are in collection, and may have been faced with aggressive practice of debt collectors. Now, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has announced new rules to curb certain practices of third-party debt collectors that engage in debt collection activities on behalf of creditors or purchase. The new rules are also aimed at reining in debt buyers that purchase consumer debt, often for pennies on the dollar.

This is another step by the CFPB, put in place under the 2010 Dodd-Frank law, to protect credit consumers. We have previously reported that the federal consumer agency intends to regulate payday lenders, and the CFPB has plans to roll out additional initiatives aimed at creditors and first-party collectors later this year.


Read more . . .


Sunday, July 31, 2016

Don’t Try This at Home


A bizarre bankruptcy case from up near Birmingham has created a new rule: if you crash your car while drunk driving, your car loan can be forgiven when you file for bankruptcy.

Before we explain any further, let us be clear, drunk driving is not something we are encouraging. This is just a weird case that we thought it would be interesting to share.

Debt Dismissed Because Driver Was Drunk

The facts of the case are kind of sad. The guy in the case has been diagnosed with depression, and admits he became an alcoholic after suffering an injury that resulted in an honorable discharge from the military.


Read more . . .


Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Consumer Debt on the Mend


How can I improve my FICO score?

In the wake of the financial crisis of 2008, many consumers saw their credit scores fall into the subprime zone with FICO credit scores in a range from 300 to 599. Now, the percentage of subprime borrowers is hovering at 20 percent, which is the lowest level in over 10 years. By comparison, in 2010 that figure peaked at 25.5 percent as mortgages, credit cards and other consumer debts went unpaid, and this prompted banks to tighten lending standards.

There are a number of factors that are contributing to the improvement of credit scores.


Read more . . .


Tuesday, June 28, 2016

What Does That Really Mean? Common Bankruptcy Terms Explained


What Does That Really Mean? Common Bankruptcy Terms Explained 

When the attorneys at our firm talk with someone who is thinking about filing bankruptcy, or someone who is already going through the bankruptcy process, we try to talk like normal humans rather than the legal mutants we are.


Read more . . .


Thursday, June 23, 2016

Beware of Payday Lenders


What is the government doing to rein in payday lenders?

The Consumer Finance Protection Bureau recently proposed new rules aimed at bringing payday lenders and other short-term credit providers under federal jurisdiction. Consumers who are strapped for money often use these lenders as a short-term fix, but invariably wind up with long-term problems and falling into debt traps. While these lenders are currently regulated by the states, borrowers are often the target of lending abuses.

"Too many borrowers seeking a short-term cash fix are saddled with loans they cannot afford and sink into long-term debt," said CFPB Director Richard Cordray.

What are Payday Loans?

Payday loans are small, short-term loans of about $350 that are supposed to be repaid when a consumer gets his or her paycheck.


Read more . . .


Tuesday, May 31, 2016

The Affect of Loans on Credit Ratings


How do loans affect your credit rating?

In understanding how your loans affect your credit rating, it is important to grasp the differences among various types of debt. Almost everyone in our society lives with some debt. Typically, even very wealthy people purposely carry some debt because they understand the value of being creditworthy and the financial advantages of paying off some things over a prolonged period of time. The rest of us usually become aware early in our lives that our credit rating will affect us when we attempt to make significant purchases, such as a car or a home, and that it is in our own best interests to maintain a good credit score.             

Types of Debt

Debt is characterized into two primary types: secured and unsecured.


Read more . . .


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Bankruptcy Law News

Padgett and Robertson assist clients with Bankruptcy, Personal Bankruptcy, Consumer Bankruptcy, Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, Chapter 13 Bankruptcy and The New Bankruptcy Law in Mobile, Alabama and throughout southern Alabama. Alabama State Bar Association Regulations require the following: "No representation is made that the quality of the legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers." 11 U.S.C. 528 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code requires the following: "We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.”



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Alabama State Bar Association Regulations require the following: "No representation is made that the quality of the legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers." 11 U.S.C. 528 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code requires the following: "We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.”