Important Issues When Completing Your Bankruptcy Paperwork

The foundation of your bankruptcy starts with your paperwork.  We find it easier to gather all of your documents and then start to fill out your workbook.  When gathering all of your documents, make sure that they are all there.  We would rather receive too much information than not enough.  The documents themselves determine quite a few things in your bankruptcy- your pay determines whether you qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy or not;  or how much you can pay back in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.  Papers from the purchase of vehicles show whether or not to pay the car back in full or at the value of the vehicle.  These all have an impact on your bankruptcy plan.  Sometimes one piece of paper can save you several hundred dollars in your Chapter 13 plan  (well worth the effort of gathering them!).

Make sure that you list anything and everything that is in your possession, especially if there is a papertrail to it; we will try to protect everything that you have.  Leaving things out only hurts you in the future.  You definitely do not want to be called to court because you were trying to keep a possession hidden.   List all creditors’ account numbers and addresses; if they cannot locate your account, it may not be taken care of.  Above all, just make sure to fill out the workbook completely; if it is not filled out, we will ask for the answer either way,  it makes it less work for you if it is done correctly in the first place.

What is a Motion for Relief from Stay?

Regardless of whether you file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy or a Chapter 13 bankruptcy , the automatic stay immediately goes into effect when the bankruptcy is filed. The automatic stay is a court order that can stop a foreclosure on a house or a repossession of a vehicle and prohibits creditors from contacting you to collect a debt.

A creditor cannot proceed with a foreclosure or repossession unless the automatic stay is lifted; this is done by filing a Motion for Relief from Stay with the court. When a creditor files a Motion for Relief from Stay they are asking the court for permission to foreclose on a house or repossess property.

The two most common reasons a secured creditor files a Motion for Relief from Stay are as follows:

1. If you surrendered property in your bankruptcy, such as a house or a car, the creditor will file a Motion for Relief from Stay in order to get permission to proceed with foreclosure or to repossess the property.

2. A secured creditor may also file a Motion for Relief from Stay because you’re behind on your mortgage payments since filing bankruptcy. If you agree you’re behind on your payments, we may be able to work out a consent order with the creditor to allow you to resume making your regular payments plus an additional payment to catch up on the amount you’re behind.

The goal in a bankruptcy is to avoid a Motion for Relief from Stay if you are not already surrendering your property, because a Motion for Relief from Stay can create additional attorney’s fees and may cause you to have problems in your bankruptcy proceedings. In most bankruptcy cases, however, a Motion for Relief from Stay is not filed and the bankruptcy process goes smoothly.

How Terry Duncan Began Practicing Bankruptcy Law

Many times people have asked me why I have chosen bankruptcy as one of the fields of law to practice.

I have to be honest with you, when I started law school in Texas I didn’t know the slightest thing about bankruptcy. I started law school with the intention of having a trial litigation practice. For a short while in law school I worked for a trial litigation group owned by attorney Gary Dobbs and psychologist Phil McGraw. That’s right, Dr. Phil, of TV fame. Both were very nice guys. I soon learned the cold hard facts that there were many months of trial preparation for just a few days of actual trial. I had watched many different TV shows in which every week the attorney had a new exciting trial to battle for justice for his client. I soon realized in reality most trial attorneys only have an actual trial only several times each year. Most of their time was spent on technical matters and the discovery process of the trial.

As my law school studies progressed I wanted more daily interaction with real people. One day I was checking what law classes were available for the next semester. It turned out there was a bankruptcy course scheduled exactly between two other courses I was taking. I thought I would take the course and learn the basics of bankruptcy. As I was taking the course and learning about Chapter 7 bankruptcy and Chapter 13 bankruptcy laws I began to enjoy the class.

When I graduated law school and moved to Charlotte, North Carolina to eventually open my own law practice, I listed bankruptcy as one of my fields of practice. At that time, I believed bankruptcy would only be a small percentage of my law practice. However, as time progressed so did the bankruptcy practice. I would represent one client and they would refer me to their friends, co-workers, and family. Eventually the majority of my law practice was Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Unlike some corporate law attorneys that usually see one client every week, I would see many different clients each day. Each client would have their own unique story of their road to their current situation. It was a great personal pleasure for me to help the client and relieve the enormous financial pressure the client was under.

In conclusion, this is how I became involved in the bankruptcy law practice. I still do nursing home abuse, medical malpractice, and workers’ compensation, but the majority of my business is helping people with Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

I hope that if you are looking for a bankruptcy lawyer you will contact us.  I work in our Charlotte, NC bankruptcy office but my son and daughter-in-law work in our Greensboro , NC bankruptcy law firm.  We hope to earn your business.

What is the Means Test?

With major changes in the bankruptcy laws in 2005, you are required to undergo a “means test.” Simply put, your household’s income for the six months prior to filing bankruptcy (your income, your spouse’s income and any contribution to your household from others) is annualized and compared to the Census Bureau’s median income for the same size household within your state.

Duncan Law – Bankruptcy Attorneys with Free Consultation and Payment Plan

Many of those going through financially tough times face a catch-22 when it comes to filing bankruptcy.  Someone looking to file bankruptcy usually has more debt than they do money.  Therefore, liquid cash is at a premium.

Bankruptcy prices in North Carolina and across the nation can range anywhere between $1,200 to $4,000.  Many attorneys require that their clients pay in one lump sum and pay before any work is done on their bankruptcy.  That means too often someone interested in filing for bankruptcy has to pay the full amount before an attorney will even sit down with them.

At Duncan Law we are different.  At Duncan Law we offer a free consultation and, more importantly, a payment plan.

Free Consultation – when you set up an initial appointment with Duncan Law it is free of charge.  No strings attached.  Our top priority is to make sure that our clients are happy and only file bankruptcy if they need to.  We know that if we treat those who come in to see us the way we would want to be treated, they will refer others to us, even if together we decide bankruptcy isn’t the best route for them.  At your free initial consultation you will get quality information and guidance from one of our attorneys that will help you make a decision that best fits your situation.  Go ahead, set up your free consultation by contacting Duncan Law today.

Easy Payment Plan – we are confident that at Duncan Law we have competitive attorneys fees that offer great value and service.  We also allow YOU to set up a payment plan that works on your schedule.  Whether it is two lump sums or several payments over a few months we work with you to make sure that you are able to get fresh financial start.  However, by law we have to have all of the attorney’s fees paid in full before we are able to file your bankruptcy. Despite this, we are willing to work with you on your bankruptcy before the full fees are paid.  This can help harassing phone calls that you may be receiving.   Contact us to learn more about our payment plan and how we can help you get a new start in these tough times!