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Bankruptcy Law Blog

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.


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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.


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Monday, May 16, 2016

How to Stop a Wage Garnishment


Does filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy stop a wage garnishment?

Many individuals who find themselves unable to pay their debts face the potential of having their wages garnished. A wage garnishment is a court order directing an employer to withhold part of an employee's earnings and pay it directly to a creditor until the debt is paid off.

In Alabama, most creditors need to obtain a court judgment stating that you owe them money in order to obtain a wage garnishment. Moreover, if you lose a lawsuit and a money judgment is entered against you, the party that prevailed in the lawsuit can also garnish your wages. Your wages can be garnished without a judgment, however, for unpaid income taxes, court ordered child support, support arrearages, and defaulted student loans.


Read more . . .


Saturday, May 7, 2016

Law Student Allowed to Discharge Bar Study Loan


Can you be relieved of any education related loans in bankruptcy?

Student loan debt is a overwhelming problem in this country.  In fact, it has been calculated that the average person has approximately $28,950 in student loan debt to pay back to the government.  Those who pursue careers as professionals, such as physicians and lawyers, often have a much greater amount than that.  Some have hundreds of thousands of dollars in loans.  Unfortunately, student loan debts are generally considered nondischargeable in bankruptcy (with certain exceptions).


Read more . . .


Monday, April 25, 2016

Foreclosures Continue to Plague Calhoun County


Why do foreclosures remain stubbornly high is some parts of Alabama?

The so-called Great Recession of 2008 is slowly fading into the rearview mirror of the nation's psyche. In Alabama and across the nation, the financial crisis resulted in a number of homeowners losing their homes through foreclosure. While foreclosures in the state are not as widespread as they were during the height of the housing market collapse, some residents of Alabama still face the potential of losing their homes.

Foreclosures in Calhoun County

One particularly hard hit area continues to be Calhoun County, where home


Read more . . .


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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.”