By Cynthia Podis, Bankruptcy Lawyer
The answer is probably! There are several types of Bankruptcy. At Podis and Podis, our bankruptcy lawyers deal with Chapter 7 Bankruptcy and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy for individuals and married couples. Which bankruptcy to choose? Well, that is an individual decision and depends on what debts you are trying to wipe out and what items you are trying to keep or repay.
Chapter 7 is for anyone who has dischargeable debt and assets that are not at risk in a bankruptcy. You can protect your personal items up to $10,000 per person filing bankruptcy and $20,000 per couple. Personal property means items like cash, cars with no loan or with value over what is owed, household goods like furniture, tv, computer, tax refund money, antiques, jewelry and electronics. The amount of equity in your home is protected up to a point. This depends on your age and if you have children in the home. Filing for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is limited by household income and family size. The level begins with an individual in Tennessee $43270; with one dependent $53887 and with two dependents $56042. It is a sliding scale of income to family size. If you are trying to get rid of debt, and have little or no non-dischargeable debt, then Chapter 7 can help!
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy repayment plans are designed to help you keep your house, car or inheritance. You need regular income to repay in a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy. Income can be a job, social security or self-employment. Chapter 13 helps when you do not qualify for Chapter 7, due to income, or assets or you are behind on payments for a house or car and want to keep them. Chapter 13 repayment will give you a chance to repay some or all of your debts over a period of up to 60 months. It stops creditors from calling and suing you when they are listed in the repayment plan. If you stop paying, then your case will be dismissed or converted to Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. You still have the protection of exemption in Chapter 13 bankruptcy. You can keep your secured things like a house or car or boat and repay the debts over time to catch up what you are behind.
Mark Podis and Cindy Podis Bankruptcy Attorneys in Nashville TN and Cookeville TN
For more information visit www.BankruptcyNashville.com or call 615-399-3800 or 931-303-0740 or toll free 1-888-372-8780 and schedule a free appointment with us!
Podis and Podis 1161 Murfreesboro Pike Suite 300 Nashville TN 37217
Podis and Podis 345 S. Jefferson Avenue Suite 207 Cookeville TN 38501 931-303-0740
We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy under the Bankruptcy Code
This blog post is for informational purposes and does not constitute legal advice.
Do you find your self out of money at the end of every month and still have bills you cannot pay? A Chapter 7 Bankruptcy can help wipe out credit cards, medical bills and pay day loans. A Chapter 13 Bankruptcy works as a legal debt consolidation giving you a repayment plan of up to 60 months, paying 0 to 100% on your debt. Your creditors cannot sue you while they are being paid in the bankruptcy. Chapter 13 takes into consideration your income, household size and regular monthly expenses to determine your repayment amounts.
Generally, you pay a small payment up front and the attorney fee is financed through the Chapter 13 plan. Chapter 13 helps you take control of your budget. You can keep your house, car and other assets in Chapter 13. The Automatic Stay of the Bankruptcy Code protects you while you repay your creditors.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy allows you to erase debts and keep some assets (up to $10,000 in personal property). The amount of exemption is determined by state law in most cases and by Federal Code in others. A knowledgeable attorney will always ask how long you have lived in the state to determine the protection available to you. You can keep a car or house if they are not worth a lot more than is owed on them.
While Bankruptcy rules and laws are complex, we make it easy to file! At Podis and Podis, we pull your credit report, tax transcripts, and prepare the paperwork to be filed with the court. We walk you through all of the questions to expect from the Trustee. We work on your behalf to negotiate reaffirmation agreements, void liens and redeem items that are subject to secured loans. We file dischargeability complaints to determine if debts are eligible to be wiped out in bankruptcy. We have over 50 years of combined legal experience we use to help our clients. We do not just file your case! We follow up with the work necessary to get you the maximum relief available under the Bankruptcy Code.
For More information, call us and set an appointment to see how bankruptcy can help you!Podis and Podis 615-399-38001161 Murfreesboro Pike Suite 300Nashville TN 37217
We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for Bankruptcy Under the Bankruptcy Code.-
Disclaimer: This article is not legal advice. To obtain legal advice, please call and set an appointment to speak with us.
Clients in my office ask this question every day! The answer is it depends on the amount of your refund and other assets. The Bankruptcy Code allows you to keep some personal assets in a Chapter 7 by referring to your state law or in some special cases, the Federal Exemptions. The Tennessee Code Annotated, as referred to by 11 USC §522 under the Bankruptcy Code, allows you to keep up to $10,000 in personal property including: furniture, electronics, cars (equity or paid in full), and cash (in the bank or income tax refunds). You must be a Tennessee resident to claim the Tennessee exemptions. This is a complex area of the Bankruptcy Code. I encourage you to hire an experienced Bankruptcy Attorney to guide you through the protection of your assets! It is sad when I see bankruptcy filers lose assets that may have been protected with competent help from their attorney.
To determine whether you can use the Tennessee Exemptions, Federal Exemptions or your prior state of residence, your lawyer will ask you specific questions concerning where you have lived over the past 3 years. The Federal Exemption allows you to use “…any property, not to exceed in value $800 plus up to $7,500 of any unused amount of the exemption provided under paragraph (1) of this subsection.”https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/11/522 You must not be a Tennessee resident to use the Federal Exemptions.
It is important to discuss your prior residences and the values of your personal items to determine if you can keep your tax refund. It is important to hold on to your Income Tax Refund to protect it. The protection of Exemptions apply only when you have possession of the money. The Trustee in your Chapter 7 Bankruptcy can take the money back from individuals or creditors if you spend it before your Trustee waives any interest in it. They will generally allow you to use the money to file your bankruptcy, pay the filing fee to the Bankruptcy Court Clerk, and to pay basic living expenses like rent, electric and water bills. Any extraneous expenses like paying back a family member or other insider can be subject to scrutiny by the Chapter 7 Trustee.
When a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy will not protect all your assets, you may want to consider a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy. Chapter 13 is a repayment plan that protects your assets that may not be completely protected in Chapter 7 by paying unsecured creditors over time the amount of the unprotected asset (this is called the Best Interest of the Creditors Test).
If you answer yes to one or more of the following questions, you may benefit from a Bankruptcy:
1) I am falling behind each month on credit card bills and other bills.
2) I am using one credit card to pay another.
3) I am living paycheck to paycheck. If I miss work, I will not be able to pay my bills.
4) I am living on credit cards. If the credit card company cuts off my cards, I will not be able to make it through the month.
5) I cannot pay my balance at the end of the month.
6) Credit Card companies are calling and calling looking for their payment.
7) I pay the minimum balance on my credit cards every month and the balance never goes down.
8) I pay my credit cards late each month.
A Chapter 7 bankruptcy can wipe out credit card debt. you should stop charging on cards at least 70 to 90 days before filing for bankruptcy. Charges made within 70 days of filing bankruptcy may not be discharged/wiped out.
A Chapter 13 bankruptcy can give you relief from unrelenting debt. Chapter 13 gives you the chance to get back on track while making repayment of 0& to 100% of the debt over a period of up to 60 months.
Call us for a free appointment to discuss your unique situation. We can walk you through your options so you can decide if bankruptcy will help you.
For more information visit www.BankruptcyNashville.com or call 615-399-3800 and schedule a free appointment with us!
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy is a repayment plan that lasts between 3 to 5 years versus a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy which wipes out debts without repayment. In Chapter 13 and Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you must list all of your debts and assets in the Bankruptcy Petition (forms filed with the court). Both Chapter 13 and Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases have a Meeting of Creditors where a Bankruptcy trustee reviews the forms and asks questions concerning what you intend to do with certain debts and assets, like cars, houses and other secured items.
You can keep a house, car, or other secured items in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy if you do not have equity over the amount allowed under the Bankruptcy exemptions. In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you can keep a house, car, or other secured item, regardless of the value as long as your plan meets the best interest of the creditors test and you can afford the repayment plan.
Chapter 7 filers must meet certain criteria in order to qualify for a discharge in their case. Most importantly, you must not have the ability to repay the debts listed and have a household income less than that in the Means Test (found at https://www.justice.gov/ust/means-testing/20161101 ). In Tennessee for a household of 1, income should be less than $42,731; a household of 2 should be less than $53,216; income for a household of 3 should be less than $59,294, etc. If you are over the Means after reasonable deductions are taken, you will not qualify for Chapter 7 relief.
You can file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy even if your income is less than the Means Testing numbers, so long as you can afford the repayment plan which would be between 0% and 100% depending on your financial circumstances.
Chapter 7 has no debt limit, no matter how much you owe, you are not stopped from filing if you meet the other requirements under the Bankruptcy Code.
Chapter 13 limits unsecured debt to $394,725 and secured debt (house, cars, furniture loans) to $1,184,200. If you owe more than the debt limit in either secured or unsecured debt, you cannot get relief under a Chapter 13.
Most clients file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy to keep items they cannot protect under a Chapter 7 bankruptcy or to catch up on house or car payments. Clients file Chapter 13 bankruptcy to allow them to get out from under the stress of overwhelming bills and set up a repayment plan that allows them to enjoy their lives while keeping their assets.
For more information, visit www.BankruptcyNashville.com or call 615-399-3800 and schedule a free appointment with us!
Podis and Podis, 1161 Murfreesboro Pike Suite 300, Nashville, TN 37217
We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy under the Bankruptcy Code.
Set a free appointment to see Podis and Podis to discuss your options under the Bankruptcy Code.
Bring your Drivers’ License, Social Security Card, latest pay check stub, and an estimate of how much you owe to your appointment.
You would then schedule a Second Appointment with us. The first half of the appointment is when you go through the pre-bankruptcy Financial Counseling Class in order to obtain the certificate that is necessary for you to file bankruptcy. You will also provide your financial information, bank statements, paystubs and tax returns.
The second half of the appointment involves answering all the questions in the Chapter 7 Petition and then signing the Bankruptcy Petition.
Upon review by Mark Podis, the petition is filed with the Bankruptcy Court in the Middle District of Tennessee.
The Bankruptcy Court automatically assigns a case number, court date, and time for the Meeting of Creditors which is mailed and e-mailed to your creditors through the Bankruptcy Court Noticing Center.
Upon receipt of the Bankruptcy Court Notice, the Automatic Stay of 11 §362 is in place for 45 days or until a creditor obtains an Order of Relief signed by a Bankruptcy Court Judge.
We send copies of your tax returns, pay stubs and bank statements to the United States Trustee and the case Trustee assigned to your Bankruptcy for their review.
We will file any necessary motions in your case such as: Avoid Liens, Redeem Property or Complaints to Determine Discharge of Tax Debt.
You must take a Post-Petition Financial Management Class and obtain a Certificate of Attendance which we will file with the Court on your behalf.
Attend your Meeting of Creditors.
Answer the questions of the Trustee honestly and completely.
At the Meeting of Creditors we will deal with any creditors who appear and discuss any Reaffirmation Agreements that were not provided before the court date.
Pay your filing fee to the Bankruptcy Court Clerk (if you did not pay it in advance).
After the Meeting of Creditors, attend any extra court dates that come up (our clients are generally notified before the court date if they must appear or an agreement has been reached.)
Creditors may file objections to Dischargeability of a Debt or Motions for Relief of Stay. At Podis and Podis, we have you come to our office to discuss these matters.
The United States Trustee’s Office must file a report stating if your case is an abuse of the Bankruptcy Code or not an abuse of the Bankruptcy Code. (If the U.S. Trustee states your case is an abuse of the Bankruptcy Code, the U.S.Trustee has 30 days to file a Complaint to Dismiss or Convert your Bankruptcy to a case under Chapter 13.)
If no objections or other motions are filed, you will receive an Order of Discharge from the Bankruptcy Court Clerk’s Office no sooner than 61 days after the Meeting of Creditors was held.
If you would like to know more about filing a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, please call us for an appointment at 615-399-3800 or see our website at www.BankruptcyNashville.com
This is a blog post, this is not legal advice and should not be considered legal advice. We do not represent you until you meet with us in our office, hire us and provide the information we request from you.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy is a repayment plan that is facilitated by the Bankruptcy Court. You must list all of your debts and assets in the Bankruptcy Petition (forms that are filed with the court). Once the Bankruptcy Petition is prepared and filed with the Bankruptcy Court, your creditors are notified by the Court of the filing of the bankruptcy and the date and time of the Meeting of Creditors. You begin making payments to the Chapter 13 Trustee to fund your Chapter 13 Plan. If you have a regular paycheck, the Chapter 13 plan payment is payroll deducted. If you receive Social Security Income or are self-employed, you can use a direct pay service from your checking account to make your payment.
The Meeting of Creditors is your court date. This is where your bankruptcy lawyer proposes the Chapter 13 Plan of repayment to the Chapter 13 Trustee for approval of the court. Your creditors have the opportunity to show up and ask questions. Mostly car creditors or other secured lenders send a lawyer or representative to ask for proof of insurance on their collateral or ask for better treatment under the plan of repayment, such as a higher amount of interest, or monthly payment. The Trustee asks you and your bankruptcy lawyer questions about your Chapter 13 Plan.
When your Chapter 13 Plan is approved. You will make the Chapter 13 plan payments through the Chapter 13 Trustee who will then mail payments to your creditors. It is important to list everyone you owe money too in your Chapter 13 plan. You will continue to pay your living expenses, such as rent, electric, gas and water bills directly.
The Chapter 13 Trustee in Nashville offers a Financial Management Class that you schedule on the Trustee’s website at http://www.ch13nsh.com/debtored/ch13class.aspx
During your Chapter 13 plan, you cannot sell assets or finance anything on credit without permission from the Bankruptcy Court. It is important to keep your bankruptcy attorney up to date with your address, phone number and email address. If you change your employment, let your bankruptcy lawyer know so they can update the court with that information.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy helps you keep a car or house if you are behind on the payments. If you have filed a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in the last 8 years (or earlier), you may still be eligible for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. You can file a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy even if you qualify for a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy.
Most clients file Chapter 13 Bankruptcy to keep items they cannot protect under Chapter 7 or to catch up on house or car payments. Clients file Chapter 13 Bankruptcy to allow them to get out from under the stress of overwhelming bills and set up a repayment plan that allows them to enjoy their lives while keeping their assets.
For more information visit www.BankruptcyNashville.com or call 6153993800 and schedule a free appointment with us! Podis and Podis, 1161 Murfreesboro Pike Suite 300, Nashville TN 37217
We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy under the Bankruptcy Code.
It is income tax time! We see a lot of clients filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy this time of year. It is very important to let your attorney know the amount of your expected income tax refund. Do not spend your tax refund before you speak to your attorrney. Why? Because the Chapter 7 Trustee can take the money back from creditors or friends and family members you have repaid with your refund as a “preferential transfer” — you chose to pay them instead of your other creditors. So, to your protect your refund, be sure to have this discussion with your attorney! For more information, see our website at www.PodisBankruptcy.com
Cynthia Podis Bankruptcy Attorney in Nashville TN
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