Memphis Bankruptcy Attorney
Do you feel buried by your debts? Are you worried about losing your house or your car? Are garnishments eating up your paycheck?
The Reaves Law Firm is dedicated to helping honest but unfortunate people get out debt. We understand that financial problems can happen to anyone. We also understand that trying to make ends meet can be difficult and stressful. That’s why we offer a FREE CONSULTATION.
When you come in to speak with a bankruptcy attorney at the Reaves Law Firm, you will receive thoughtful advice on how best to approach your individual situation. Our number one goal is to help you get out of debt in the fastest and cheapest way possible. Additionally, the Reaves Law Firm is committed to explaining the complex concepts of bankruptcy in a way that each client understands; that way, you can be certain that you are making the right financial decision.
To help you decide what’s best, we will work up your bankruptcy petition for FREE so that you can get a complete understanding of what bankruptcy will entail. If you decide not to file, there is no fee. In fact, if you decide to file Chapter 13 (“Wage Earner”), there are usually no upfront attorney’s fees or court costs period.
If you have any of the following problems, we encourage you to read more on this site and make an appointment with the bankruptcy department of the Reaves Law Firm today.
- Repossessed Vehicle
- Payday Loans
- Title Loans
- Tax Debts
- Medical Bills
- Harassing Phone Calls From Bill Collectors
Chapter 13 bankruptcy is sometimes referred to as a Wage Earner. Unlike Chapter 7, a Chapter 13 involves paying your creditors a portion of what you owe over a three to five year period. The following is a simplified explanation of just how a Chapter 13 may be able to help you get out of debt.
Reduce What You Owe
Under Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you could pay as little as 10% of what you owe to your unsecured creditors (i.e. credit cards, medical bills, payday loans, etc.). If you owe $60,000 in unsecured debt, you may only have to pay $6,000 over five years. That’s only $100 a month to eliminate $60,000.
Protect Your House
If you are behind on your mortgage payments and worried about foreclosure, Chapter 13 can help. It allows you to spread out the amount you are behind over five years. For example, if you have missed six mortgage payments and each payment is $1,000, you can pay that back at $100 per month for five years.
Filing Chapter 13 also creates an automatic stay, which is just a legal term that means the mortgage company cannot foreclose on your house without getting permission from the bankruptcy court. As long as you make your bankruptcy payments, your house will be protected.
Stop Repossession or Get Your Car Back
The automatic stay also stops the finance company from repossessing your car. If your car has already been repossessed, it may be possible to get it returned to you if you file a Chapter 13.
Additionally, a Chapter 13 may lower your monthly car note by reducing the interest rate. In fact, a Chapter 13 may even reduce the amount you owe on the car if you have owned it long enough.
A Chapter 13 can also help with many other forms of debt, including:
- Past-due rent
- Past-due utilities
- Title loans
- Past-due child support
- Income taxes
- Medical bills
If you are drowning in debt and want to see what type of relief Chapter 13 can provide for your situation, then call the Reaves Law Firm today for a FREE CONSULTATION. We can give you an idea of just how low your payment could be.
In just a few hours, the bankruptcy department at the Reaves Law Firm can have a Chapter 13 filed for you that substantially reduces your monthly payments.
Is it time to just start your financial life over?
With a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you can wipe out most forms of unsecured debt (i.e. credit cards, medical bills, payday loans, etc.). This means you won’t have to pay anything on those debts. While this may sound enticing to many people, the decision to file Chapter 7 is not one that should be made lightly. The bankruptcy department at the Reaves Law Firm has the expertise to explain the pros and cons of Chapter 7 for your individual situation. This way, we can help you make an informed decision.
Debts That a Chapter 7 Usually Won’t Help
As a general matter, a Chapter 7 won’t provide you with any relief for student loans and child support. Certain types of taxes and fines will also survive a Chapter 7 discharge; however, those debts need to be considered on a case-by-case basis.
What About My House And Car?
If you are behind on your house or car and you want to keep them, then a Chapter 7 is probably not for you. But if you are current on those payments, then generally you can enter into what is called a Reaffirmation Agreement with those creditors and keep making your payments. If you are willing to surrender your property back to the creditor, then a Chapter 7 can help you avoid having to pay the difference if the creditor sells your house or car for less than you owe on it.
Finally, if you own your house outright or have too much equity, you may want to file a Chapter 13 in order to protect that equity. The Reaves Law Firm will not file a Chapter 7 for an individual if there is even a slight chance that he will lose his home involuntarily.
Garnishments, Title Loans, and Payday loans
Is your paycheck being garnished?
In most cases, filing a bankruptcy will stop a garnishment. Both a Chapter 13 and a Chapter 7 can be very helpful. In Tennessee, garnishments can reduce your paycheck by 25%. Depending on what the garnishment is for, it may be possible to eliminate it completely with a Chapter 7 or reduce the amount owed by 90% in a Chapter 13. Either option could save you hundreds, even thousands, of dollars.
If you receive notification of a garnishment, you should make an appointment with the bankruptcy department at the Reaves Law Firm as soon as possible. After considering your individual situation, we can advise you on the best course of action. We can even file a bankruptcy for you in just a few hours. Then we can notify your payroll department that the garnishment should be stopped.
Do you have a title loan?
For the most part, getting a title loan is the same as taking out a loan to purchase a vehicle. If you fail to pay the title loan on time, the title loan company can repossess your vehicle. While these loans are usually smaller than purchase loans, they usually carry higher interest rates.
Filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy can be beneficial for individuals who are struggling with a title loan. First, depending on the situation, it may be possible to reduce the payment on the title loan. This is due to a number of factors: the interest rate will likely be lower in the Chapter 13, it may be possible to reduce the total amount of secured debt, and you can spread the payments out over five years. Second, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy will protect your vehicle from repossession.
Generally speaking, a Chapter 7 will not provide any relief on title loans, unless you are willing to turn the vehicle over to the title loan company.
Are you trapped in the cycle of payday loans?
Payday loans are perhaps the most difficult type of debt to get out of. Many people often find themselves making payment after payment on the payday loan, only to discover that they still owe the same amount they started with. This is because the interest rates on payday loans are insane: sometimes as much as 600 or 700 percent. This means that each payment you make is only covering the interest. For example, if you borrowed $400 at 650% interest and you pay $100 every two weeks, you would still owe $400 after every payment because the interest on that loan is $100 every two weeks.
If you file a Chapter 7, you can usually completely eliminate payday loans. That 650% interest simply disappears along with the $400 you still owe.
If you file a Chapter 13, you can usually reduce the interest to 0%. Plus, it may be possible to reduce the $400 you owe to as low $40. Spread out over five years, that’s just 66 cents a month.
Don’t make the mistake of taking out new payday loans to pay off old payday loans. That’s a cycle that most people can never get out of. Instead, make an appointment with the bankruptcy department of the Reaves Law Firm. Let us be your voice and we can get you out from under the payday loans.
Houses and Foreclosures
Are you behind on your mortgage? Are you worried about foreclosure? Has a foreclosure sale already been scheduled for your property?
The good news is that a Chapter 13 can help with all of these problems. If you are behind on your mortgage, you can pay off the amount you are behind over five years. This allows for lower, more manageable payments. For example, if your mortgage is $1,000 every month and you are behind six payments, you can pay that $6,000 back at $100 per month over five years.
Unless you have had a bankruptcy dismissed in the last year, when you file Chapter 13, an automatic stay goes into effect. This is a fancy way of saying that any collection actions must stop, including foreclosures. So a Chapter 13 can help you keep your house.
If you have received a foreclosure notice, it is important that you contact an attorney as soon as possible. The bankruptcy department at the Reaves Law Firm can help you save your home, but this is not something that can wait until later.
Typically, a Chapter 7 will not help you if you are behind on your mortgage, unless you are willing to give the house back to the mortgage company. This is because a Chapter 7 is not designed to allow you to catch up on your mortgage payments. A Chapter 13 is designed to do so.
Are you one of the many people who are struggling to make their car payment? Are you worried about repossession? Has your car already been repoed?
The type of bankruptcy most likely to help you with any of these problems is a Chapter 13. It has numerous advantages for people struggling with their car note.
Please note, however, these advantages apply to financed vehicles and not leased vehicles. If you are leasing your vehicle, then the law handles your situation differently. See Leased Vehicles below for more information.
Reduce the Payment
A Chapter 13 bankruptcy can reduce your car payment several ways. First, it can dramatically reduce the interest rate, causing a reduction in the monthly payment. Second, if you have less than 60 months left on the loan, you can spread out the payments for 60 months, effectively lowering them. For example, instead of paying $120 per month for 40 months, you could pay $80 for 60 months. Lastly, if you owe more on your car than it is worth and you have owned your car for more than 910 days, we may be able to reduce what you owe to the value of the car. For example, if you owe $15,000 but your car is only worth $8,000, it may be possible for you to pay only the $8,000 plus interest over five years.
Filing a Chapter 13 can prevent your finance company from repossessing your vehicle. Generally, when you file a bankruptcy, an automatic stay is created. This prevents creditors from taking collection actions against you, including repossessions. Once the automatic stay is in effect, the only lawful way a creditor can repossess your property is to get permission from the bankruptcy court. This permission is rarely given as long as you make your Chapter 13 payments.
Get Your Car Back!
If your car has already been repossessed, you need to speak with an attorney fast. The finance company is required to give you 10 days notice of their intent to sell your vehicle. Once this 10 day period has past and your car is sold, filing a Chapter 13 will no longer result in the return of the car. However, filing a Chapter 13 before that 10 day period is over can result in the return of the car. Once the bankruptcy has been filed, we will notify the finance company. This is usually all that it takes to get the car back, but if the finance company refuses, we can seek a court order from the bankruptcy court.
It is also important to remember that often cars are sold at auction for less than what is owed on them. This means that your finance company may auction your car off and then try to collect more money from you. For example, if the car sells for $8,000 but you owe $15,000, the finance company can try to collect the remaining $7,000 from you.
Leased vehicles are handled differently in Chapter 13. If you are behind on the lease payments for your car, then a Chapter 13 can allow you to catch up by spreading those missed payments out. You would continue making your regular monthly payments plus your bankruptcy payment.
You can also decide to reject the lease, which means you would return the vehicle to the leasing company and stop making payments on it.
Finally, if your car was leased and has already been repossessed, there is likely little a Chapter 13 can do to help you get it back. This is because when you lease a car, the title is not in your name, so the car is owned by the leasing company and you only have a right to use it. When you miss your payments and the car is repossessed, that right disappears.
What does it cost to file for bankruptcy?
The costs depend on what type of bankruptcy you file.
For a typical Chapter 7, the fees are as follows:
- $25 for credit counseling
- $800 attorney’s fees (may be higher for complex cases)
- $335 court costs (due 120 days after you file)
- $25 for the 2nd credit counseling course (due after you file)
For a typical Chapter 13, the only upfront fee is the $25 for credit counseling. The attorney’s fees (usually $3,800) and court costs ($310) are rolled into the monthly payment you make to the bankruptcy court.
What should I bring to my appointment?
Bring whatever you have. Don’t let missing documents keep you from speaking with an attorney. That being said, eventually, certain information must be provided.
We must provide the court with copies of your driver’s license, social security card, tax returns, and paystubs. It is very helpful if you have the name, address, and balance for anyone you owe money to. If you want to speak with the attorney and file bankruptcy all in one appointment, you should bring $25 for the credit counseling course.
But if you are missing any of these items, don’t let that stop you from coming to see the bankruptcy attorneys at the Reaves Law Firm. Most people wait too long before consulting a bankruptcy attorney.
Do I need to get a copy of my credit report before my appointment?
Credit reports are helpful but not necessary. While credit reports are an easy way to provide us with the names and addresses of your creditors, they are not perfect. Credit Reports are often missing debts. For example, pay day loans, balances owed for rent at a prior residence, and certain types of medical bills are often left off of your credit report.
Do I have to list all of my debts.
Everything you owe must be listed. Failure to do so can have bad consequences. If you want to voluntarily pay a particular creditor after the bankruptcy is over, you can do so.
Will I lose my property?
The bankruptcy attorneys at the Reaves Law Firm will not file a bankruptcy for someone if there is a chance of that person losing their property against their wishes. Tennessee law protects certain property from creditors. If you have property that is unprotected, then the usual solution is to file a Chapter 13 instead of a Chapter 7. This allows you to pay the value of that property over five years instead of giving the property to the Trustee to sell. However, sometimes even this will not work. In that case, the bankruptcy attorneys at the Reaves Law Firm will advise you that a bankruptcy is not in your best interests and discuss alternative options with you.
We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy under the bankruptcy code.