LAW OFFICES OF JONATHAN R. BUNN
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WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO LOSE?
WHAT WE DO
WE HELP PEOPLE FILE FOR RELIEF UNDER THE UNITED STATES BANKRUPTCY CODE
A fresh start!
Debt consolidation with the power of Federal Law!
What are you waiting for? Call or text (931)576-1033 for your absolutely no cost, no obligation bankruptcy consultation!
I can help.
WHEN YOU'RE READY FOR A FRESH START
Chapter 7 is also known as "liquidation." This Chapter of the Bankruptcy Code works best when most of your debt is unsecured debt like credit cards, medical bills, check-into-cash, personal loans, judgments and repossessions.
Chapter 7 can also work if you have a lot of unsecured debt which is keeping you from paying the important things, like a home or car loan. Those debts can be reaffirmed in a Chapter 7 and you can keep your car and your house.
Most of our Chapter 7 clients do not lose any property. We do all of the work and we answer all of your questions. You provide a description of your debts and property, income and expenses. The Bankruptcy Code is complex, but we walk you through it step by step. From the first day you walk through our doors to the day the Bankruptcy Court enters a discharge of your debts, we will be at your side.
• Under median income for household size
(Does not apply if debts are primarily business debts.)
• No discharge in a prior Chapter 7 filed within
8 years or a Chapter 13 filed within 6 years.
(There are two exceptions to this rule when you file a 13 first and
then a Chapter 7.)
Call me or send me a text message to (931)576-1033 for more information. I am happy to answer your questions.
DEBT CONSOLIDATION WITH THE POWER OF FEDERAL LAW
Chapter 13 is the best remedy if you are behind on your mortgage payments or if your car may be repossessed. We can cure your mortgage arrearage over five years. We also consolidate all of your other debt - car payments, credit card bills, medical bills, personal loans - even taxes and child support.
We prepare a three or five year plan. You make one payment on your schedule (weekly, bi-weekly or monthly) to the Chapter 13 Trustee. As far as continuing mortgage payments, those are upon the original terms. But the arrearage on your mortgage is cured at 2 percent interest. We pay secured debts, like car loans, no more than 7.25 percent. Unsecured creditors - credit cards, medical bills, personal loans - get zero percent interest. At the end of your plan, the only debt you should have is the continuing mortgage on your house. You get the titles to your vehicles and most other debts (not student loans) are discharged whether they were paid in full or not.
• Regular income from employment or other
• No discharge in a prior Chapter 7 filed within
4 years or a Chapter 13 filed within 2 years.
• Unsecured debt less than $383,175.00
• Secured debt less than $1,081,400.00
NOTE: Even if you are not eligible for a discharge in Chapter 13, you may want to file to prevent a foreclosure, repossession or garnishment.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WE WILL ANSWER ALL OF YOUR QUESTIONS
How much does bankruptcy cost?
In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, if you have regular income from employment or another source, you don't have to pay any fees up front. We get paid through the Chapter 13 plan after the plan is confirmed. I prefer that my clients pay the filing fee (the fee the court charges to file your case) up front and that fee is $310.00. But if you can't do that, you can pay the filing fee in installments. In Chapter 7 cases, I like to quote a fee after hearing about the case. In simple cases, I want to charge a simple, low fee. I charge more the more complex your case is. However, I will work with you to make sure that bankruptcy is an affordable option for you. The filing fee (paid to the court) in Chapter 7 cases is $335.00.
If I can't pay my bills, how do you expect me to pay the costs of bankruptcy?
At your very first meeting with us, we will ask what your income and expenses are. If bankruptcy is right for you, we will tell you what you can safely stop paying in preparation for filing bankruptcy. You should NEVER, NEVER, borrow money to pay your bankruptcy lawyer. In a Chapter 13, if you have regular income from employment, you don't need any money down.
Do I have to go to Court?
It's possible, but most of our clients only attend a single Section 341 Meeting of Creditors. Although the meeting is held in the court house, it's not court. At the Meeting of Creditors, the Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Trustee will be able to ask you questions about your petition, schedules and, in Chapter 13, proposed plan. Sometimes creditors attend the meeting and sometimes they do not. I will attend the meeting with you and I will answer all of your questions about the meeting before we go.
What's the difference between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13?
Chapter 7 is known as "liquidation." You have to be under median income for your household size to file Chapter 7 and it works best if most of your debt is unsecured debt like, check into cash, medical bills, personal loans and credit cards. Chapter 7 also works well if you have a lot of unsecured debt that is preventing you from paying your secured debts, like your house mortgage or car payment. Often, if we can discharge the unsecured debt, you are able to comfortably make your house and car payment. Before filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, we will ask you questions to make sure that we can claim all of your property as exempt.
Chapter 13 is known as "reorganization." Think of Chapter 13 as debt consolidation with the power of federal law. In Chapter 13 we propose a plan to deal with all of your debts in a single weekly, bi-weekly or monthly payment to the Chapter 13 Trustee over a period of 36 to 60 months. If you're behind on a house payment or car payment, Chapter 13 is the best remedy to catch up. In addition, we can eliminate high interest rates on car loans, personal loans, credit cards, and other debts. If you have what is known as, "priority debt," i.e., taxes and child support, we can pay those through Chapter 13 as well. At the end of a Chapter 13 plan, you should have one single debt and that would be the continuing mortgage payment on your house. All of your other debts would be discharged and you would be entitled to the car titles that were paid for through the plan.
If I start a Chapter 13, but can't make the payments, what then?
If you don't make payments, the Chapter 13 Trustee will move to dismiss your case. When a case is dismissed, we lose the protection of the automatic stay which prevents creditors from suing you or garnishing your wages or repossessing collateral. Sometimes, we can modify a Chapter 13 plan if you are having trouble with the payments and we can also convert a case filed under Chapter 13 to a case under Chapter 7.
How often can I file a bankruptcy case?
If you previously filed a Chapter 7, you have to wait eight (8) years for a discharge in another Chapter 7 case. If the first case was a Chapter 7, then you have to wait four (4) years for a discharge in a case filed under Chapter 13. From Chapter 13 to Chapter 13 is two (2) years. From Chapter 13 to Chapter 7 the time period is six (6) years, but there are two exceptions: If you paid unsecured creditors in full or if you paid at least 70% of the claims and the plan was proposed in good faith and was your best effort. So, to recap: 7 to 7 is 8 years; 13 to 13 is 2 years; 7 to 13 is 4 years; 13 to 7 is 6 years. However, there might be times that you would want to file a Chapter 13 even if you were not eligible for a discharge. You may need the immediate protection of bankruptcy.
If I'm married, do both spouses have to file?
No. A married person can file independently of his or her spouse. We do have to schedule the income of a spouse or other adult household member, but they do not have to file bankruptcy. The question would be whether the spouse was also obligated to the debts that you are obligated to.
Will I lose all of my stuff if I file Chapter 7?
In most of our cases (and I mean the vast majority of our cases) our Chapter 7 clients do not lose anything. Tennessee has a $10,000 personal property exemption ($20,000 for a married couple) along with various exemptions for clothing, tools of the trade, retirement accounts and homestead. As long as we can fit your property within those exemptions, and we usually can, you don't lose anything. You also need to realize that we do not need to use an exemption on encumbered property. So, for instance, if you have a car that's worth $15,000.00 but you owe $12,000.00 on the car, we only need to use $3,000.00 of your personal property exemption on that vehicle. The homestead exemption in Tennessee goes from a low of $5,000.00 for a single person to a high of $50,000.00 for a married couple with minor children. The same rule applies - we only need enough exemption to cover the unencumbered portion of the house. If we did not have enough exemptions to cover all of your property, then we would discuss Chapter 13.
Will my bankruptcy case be reported on my credit report?
Yes. The fact that you filed bankruptcy will be reported for up to 10 years on your credit report. However, typically your credit score will actually go up after you file bankruptcy. Why is that? In a Chapter 7 case, creditors will know that you have discharged all of your debts and that you will not be eligible for Chapter 7 again for eight years.
Are there any types of debts that can not be discharged in bankruptcy?
Yes. Student loans are not dischargeable in bankruptcy and some taxes (depending on the type of tax and when it was due) are not dischargeable. Domestic support obligations (child support, spousal support and other obligations in a domestic decree) are not dischargeable. There are other debts which may not be dischargeable as well, such as debts founded upon fraud. When you meet with us, we are interested in the nature of your debts and the date they were incurred. We will advise you of which, if any, of your debts may not be subject to discharge.
How long does it take to file a bankruptcy petition?
We can get your petition ready as fast as you can get us the information we need to complete the petition. Generally, it takes about a week from the first meeting to the day we sign and file your petition.
How does bankruptcy stop creditors from calling me, suing me, garnishing my wages or repossessing my car?
From the very second that you file a bankruptcy petition, the automatic stay goes immediately into effect. The automatic stay prohibits creditors from doing anything to collect a debt or the collateral securing a debt. A creditor that ignores the automatic stay is in contempt of the orders of the Bankruptcy Court and can be punished accordingly.
What if I file a Chapter 7, but want to keep a car that I owe money on?
In most cases, that is not a problem. The creditor (car loan company) will want you to keep insurance on the vehicle and to enter into an agreement reaffirming the car. As long as we can show the bankruptcy court that the payments will not be unduly burdensome on you, you can keep the debt. The better question is, many times, should you keep the debt. It depends upon the value of the car, how much you owe and how much the interest on the debt is.
What if I enter into a reaffirmation agreement for my car, but then change my mind?
That's okay too, as long as you change your mind soon enough. You can cancel a reaffirmation agreement any time before a discharge is entered in your case. Also, you can cancel a reaffirmation agreement within sixty (60) days of filing the agreement with the Court.
What if I have a question that is not listed here?
You can call me or text me at (931)576-1033. I'm happy to answer all of your questions.
MORE ABOUT ME
Jonathan R. Bunn
Every bankruptcy case that we take on is a joint effort between you and me. You will meet with me and I will find out exactly what is going on. I'm interested in what pressure you are under. Foreclosure sale pending? Is someone trying to repossess your car? Have you been sued? Are your wages being garnished? After I get the details, I will meet with you and explain exactly what we can do to help. Once we get the process started, we can typically have your case ready to file in about a week. Sooner, if we need to. At your first appointment with us, you don't need to bring any money and there is no obligation.
Attorney at Law
HOW MUCH DOES BANKRUPTCY COST?
We'll make it affordable for you.
Quoted by individual case. We'll work with you.
There are no up-front attorney's fees if you have steady income.
WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU
WE REALLY DO WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU
Law Offices of Jonathan R. Bunn