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Social Media Posts Can Cause Trouble During and After Bankruptcy Proceedings

January 18th, 2021 at 2:54 pm

TX bankrutpcy lawyer, TX bankruptcy attorney, Many people share intimate details of their lives on social media — vacations they take, places they shop, purchases they make, and even what they wear. Unfortunately, this form of sharing can sometimes have legal repercussions. For example, angry posts about your soon-to-be ex-spouse can find their way into your divorce case. Similarly, social media posts that depict a financial situation that is different from what you have claimed in bankruptcy filings could also cause serious problems. In fact, a high-profile example from a few years ago shows just how difficult things can be when you are not careful on social media.

Bankruptcy Filing and a Social Media Blunder

In 2015, the rapper 50 Cent filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Right in the middle of it all, he posted several Instagram photos with loads of cash — one of a stack of money in his freezer, one in which bills were arranged to spell the word “Broke,” and one of him surrounded by stacks of cash on a bed. The rapper claimed the bills were props, such as those used in music videos, but his creditors and the judge were far from amused.

According to the New York Times, 50 Cent stated that the postings were essential to maintaining his appearance and securing his future. When his history of merchandising deals and “living large” were mixed with a number of failed business ventures and several lawsuits, it was understandably difficult to determine whether he was hiding assets or telling the truth. Because of this, his creditors asked for a reevaluation of his assets, and a judge pulled him back into court to speak about the matter.

This story does have a happy ending, however, as the bankruptcy was discharged less than one year later after 50 Cent paid off more than $22 million in debts. He managed to pay off his five-year repayment plan in just under eight months. Lawyers for the rapper indicated that he was able to pay off the debts so quickly thanks largely to a substantial settlement he received in a legal malpractice lawsuit.

Avoid Creating Additional Problems the Same Fate

Creditors do not know you personally. They have no way of knowing that, while posting pictures by the beach in Maui, you were simply on a lunch break during a work event. Tending to an ill family member in San Francisco can look an awful lot like a leisurely trip, and posting pictures of yourself in or outside of a rental car while your old jalopy is being repaired can look like you are hiding assets. In other words, be mindful of what you are posting on social media during bankruptcy proceedings; anything can be misconstrued to look like fraud.

A Texas Bankruptcy Lawyer Can Help with Your Debt Problems

If you are drowning in debt, bankruptcy may seem like the best option, but it is not the right path for everyone. Discuss your situation and all your possible solutions with the team at the Law Offices of Chance M. McGhee. Call 210-342-3400 for a free consultation with an experienced San Antonio bankruptcy attorney today.

 

Source:

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/11/nyregion/50-cent-bankruptcy-fake-cash-money-bills.html

https://www.theguardian.com/music/2017/feb/03/50-cent-discharged-bankruptcy

Debunking Four Common Bankruptcy Myths

December 3rd, 2020 at 11:56 am

mythsThere are many negative perceptions about bankruptcy. On one hand, some of these perceptions are well-deserved. After all, there are some potential drawbacks to filing. Yet there are also some major misconceptions about bankruptcy—some of which could keep someone from filing when they really should. The following information is designed to debunk these bankruptcy myths. It may even help you decide what your next step should be, and if bankruptcy might be the right solution for you.

Myth 1: Bankruptcy Ruins Your Credit Forever

True, your credit can take a hit after filing for bankruptcy, and it may be difficult to obtain new lines of credit once the process starts, but bankruptcy does not completely ruin your credit. If anything, it gives you a clean slate to start over. It is also usually less damaging than continuing to make late payments on your debts. If you are still a little apprehensive about filing, talk to a qualified bankruptcy attorney for a comprehensive analysis of your financial situation.

Myth 2: You Lose All Your Personal Property

Many people think you have to give up everything in bankruptcy, but this is not always the case. In fact, bankruptcy is designed to help protect some of your possessions from creditors. Furthermore, you may be able to keep some of your unprotected items by agreeing to continue paying on them. Do not expect to keep it all, just do not expect to lose it all either.

Myth 3: Everyone Will Know You Filed

This common bankruptcy misconception really has two components. The first is that, because bankruptcy is a public record, everyone will know that you filed. The second hinges on the first and involves a fear of being labeled a “bad person.” Neither is true. While it is true that your bankruptcy is a public record, those that are most likely to access the information are those that might extend credit to you in the future. Secondly, bankruptcy is not as rare as it used to be. In fact, around one million people and businesses file each year. Filing does not make you a bad person. It just means you got in over your head and need help finding a way out.

Myth 4: The New Laws Make Filing Impossible

The reformation to bankruptcy laws in the early 2000s has caused many to believe that they could not file – that bankruptcy could only be granted to a select few. Rest assured: these new laws were not put in place to restrict those that need bankruptcy relief. Instead, they were implemented to deter those who might try to commit bankruptcy fraud from filing. If you are truly concerned about your eligibility, contact a skilled experienced bankruptcy lawyer for guidance.

Contact Our Experienced San Antonio Bankruptcy Lawyer Today

At the Law Offices of Chance McGhee, we advocate for those who are drowning in debt and struggling to find a way out. We offer comprehensive services and craft creative solutions to help our clients get their financial lives back on track. Committed to your best interests, we pursue the option that is most beneficial for you. Get started today by scheduling your free consultation with our knowledgeable Texas bankruptcy attorney. Call 210-342-3400 for an appointment.

 

Sources:

http://www.uscourts.gov/services-forms/bankruptcy

http://www.uscourts.gov/services-forms/bankruptcy/bankruptcy-basics/chapter-7-bankruptcy-basics

http://www.uscourts.gov/services-forms/bankruptcy/bankruptcy-basics/chapter-13-bankruptcy-basics

Settling Debt with Your Creditors After a Hardship

November 30th, 2020 at 12:01 pm

bankruptcyLife can be unpredictable. Life can be messy and complicated. And, sometimes, the worst things that can happen to us are completely out of our control. But what do you do when the messy, unpredictable, and complicated lead to financial problems? How do you turn things around and regain control of your financial future? The answer really depends on where you are in the debt collection process. While some may be able to find a viable bankruptcy alternative, others may need more aggressive action. The following information may be able to help you in determining your best course of action for settling debt with creditors.

Creditor Harassment with No Negative Actions

If you have only just started being hounded by your creditors and have not yet received any notice of wage garnishment, tax or property liens, bank seizures, home foreclosure, or any other negative actions against you, you may be able to negotiate a repayment plan with your creditors. But, because not all creditors are willing to work with consumers, and because they have no incentive to actually help you, it may take the assistance of a skilled attorney to resolve the matter before things escalate.

Liens, Levies, Wage Garnishment, Foreclosure, and Other Negative Actions

If matters have already started to spiral out of control and you are facing negative actions, such as a tax lien or levy, wage garnishment, home foreclosure, vehicle repossession, or bank account seizure, resolving the issue can be a little more complicated. In some situations, a lawyer may be able to assist you with a negotiation that can keep you from further actions. If, however, the process has already begun, your only option may be to file bankruptcy.

Stopping Negative Actions and Creditor Harassment Through Bankruptcy

Deciding to file for bankruptcy is not an easy decision. Moreover, it is not an option that works for everyone. However, if you have recently faced a hardship and are experiencing excessive stress and anxiety over the constant harassment from creditors or are about to lose your home, vehicle, or wages, it may be the solution that can help you turn things around. There are several types of bankruptcy, and your attorney can help you determine which one is the best fit for your unique circumstances.

Contact a Texas Bankruptcy Lawyer

At the Law Offices of Chance M. McGhee, we have been helping clients resolve their debt problems for over 20 years. A skilled and experienced San Antonio bankruptcy law firm, we can examine your current financial situation to help you determine the debt solution that may be most appropriate for you. If bankruptcy is the appropriate step, we can represent you in your case and take immediate action to stop creditor harassment and other negative actions against you. Take control of your financial future today. Call us at 210-342-3400 to schedule your free initial consultation.

 

Sources:

https://www.thebalance.com/six-ways-to-avoid-bankruptcy-960626

http://www.uscourts.gov/services-forms/bankruptcy/bankruptcy-basics/discharge-bankruptcy-bankruptcy-basics

Bankruptcy and Debt Solutions: How Can I Find a Reputable Credit Counselor?

October 28th, 2020 at 9:03 pm

TX bankrupcy attorney, Texas debt lawyer, Whether you are planning on filing for bankruptcy or simply need assistance in developing a budget, credit counselors can provide you with the tools and resources you need. Unfortunately, not all credit counselors are created equal. In fact, some can leave you worse off than when you started, which makes finding an experienced, reputable credit counselor absolutely essential for your financial future. The following tips can help you find the one most suited for your needs and preferences and improve your chances of finding the financial empowerment you are looking for.

Know Why You Need a Credit Counselor

Each credit counseling agency and provider has an area in which they are best equipped to help their clients. With this in mind, it is critical that you first know why you need credit counseling. To find the answer, consider your goals and examine your current financial situation. If you are filing for bankruptcy, then you will also want to ensure you find a credit counselor that is approved by the United States Department of Justice since those who are not accredited will not be accepted by the courts.

Check and Verify Credentials and Qualifications

While credit counselors that are listed on the Department of Justice’s website most likely carry some of the highest levels of certification and meet some of the most stringent government standards, it is necessary that you check and verify the credentials and qualifications of all other credit counselors. The National Foundation for Credit Counseling and the Financial Counseling Association of America are both renowned agencies that ensure the quality of certified professionals, but the Council of Accreditation is also a reliable accreditation held by qualified credit counselors. You may also wish to check the agency’s rating with the Better Business Bureau to determine if they have any major complaints from other consumers.

Exercise Patience and Due Diligence

When you are dealing with debt issues, it can be easy to get in a rush. You want to finally be free, to feel like you are making some sort of progress, but this is not the time for impatience or hurried decisions. Many consumers spend weeks, months, or even years working with a credit counselor to fully resolve their debt. If you are not working with someone who has your best interests in mind, that can mean a significant amount of wasted time and money, and it could even hurt you in the long run. Take your time, be patient, and practice due diligence so that you can find a credit counselor that best suits your needs.

A Bexar County, TX Debt Management and Bankruptcy Lawyer Can Help

Whether you are looking to file for bankruptcy or need help finding an alternative path, the Law Offices of Chance M. McGhee can help. As a skilled consumer bankruptcy attorney, Attorney Chance McGhee has more than 25 years of experience in assisting consumers and small businesses with their debt and bankruptcy issues. Put your debt problems behind you. Call 210-342-3400 to schedule your free initial consultation with our knowledgeable San Antonio bankruptcy attorney today.

 

Sources:

https://www.nfcc.org/what-we-offer/bankruptcy-counseling/

https://fcaa.org/bankruptcy-counseling/

https://www.justice.gov/ust/list-credit-counseling-agencies-approved-pursuant-11-usc-111

How Should I Handle Creditor Harassment After a Bankruptcy Filing?

October 15th, 2020 at 8:39 pm

TX bankrutpcy attorney, Texas bankruptcy lawyerWhen you file for bankruptcy, you are granted an automatic stay on most of your debts. Essentially, this means your creditors cannot contact you or attempt to collect the debt. What happens, though, if the creditor keeps calling and harassing you through the mail, at your work, or at your home? Rest assured: you can enforce the protections that bankruptcy offers.

When Contact Is a Genuine Oversight

All creditors know (or should know) that a bankruptcy filing means they must cease all contact with you, as the debtor. As such, most who violate this rule have simply done so due to an oversight. Perhaps they did not remove your name from the system properly, or they have not received the paperwork yet that notifies them of your filing. In any case, it is important that you not overreact or panic during the initial contact from a creditor. Instead, simply inform them that you have filed for bankruptcy and politely refer them to your attorney.

If the contact was made by phone, document the date and time of the call, the agent’s name and extension number (if applicable), and the creditor’s name and phone number. If the contact was by mail, copy or scan the mailing (after you have written a response that indicates your bankruptcy filing and your attorney’s number). This information gives you proof of contact and ensures you can take action if the contact continues or escalates.

When Your Notice Is Ignored

If you have already notified a creditor of your bankruptcy filing and have referred them to your attorney, and they still call or otherwise attempt to contact you, it is time to take the next step. Again, you should document the contact, but this time, forward the information to your attorney. Let your lawyer know that you have already notified the creditor of your filing and that you have provided them with the attorney’s number. From there, your attorney will likely contact the creditor and let them know they are in violation of the stay order.

If the creditor continues to contact you, even after you have spoken with your attorney, do not lose your temper. Instead, let your lawyer know the dates and times of the phone calls or letters. If necessary, he or she can summon the creditor to court. At the very least, the creditor may be reprimanded and instructed by the judge not to contact you. Some may also be subject to fines and/or punitive damages. Your attorney can walk you through the process and your options.

Contact a Texas Bankruptcy Lawyer

Filing for bankruptcy is not an easy decision. Creditor harassment after you file does not make it any easier. Thankfully, you can have the Law Offices of Chance M. McGhee on your side. Dedicated to protecting your best interest, our experienced San Antonio bankruptcy attorney can take quick and effective action to stop creditor harassment. Because we care about your future, we even provide guidance on how to make the most of your new start. Get the quality representation you deserve. Call 210-342-3400 and schedule your free consultation with us today.

 

Sources:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/christopherelliott/2018/07/18/how-to-protect-yourself-from-debt-collectors-and-debt-collection-scams/

https://www.thebalance.com/when-creditors-do-not-stop-calling-after-bankruptcy-4156787

Does the Automatic Stay During Bankruptcy Apply to Child Support?

September 15th, 2020 at 9:48 am

TX bankrupcy lawyer, Texas bankruptcy attorneyWhen you file for protection under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, the bankruptcy court will automatically issue a stay that stops all collection activities by creditors. The automatic stay is a court order that prevents creditors from calling you, sending you letters, and otherwise pushing you to pay what you owe them. The stay is meant to be a form of relief that gives you the chance to get organized as you approach your bankruptcy proceedings. If you are subject to a child support order, however, it is important to understand that the automatic stay will not help you with that particular obligation.

How the Automatic Stay Works

Whether you are filing Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the bankruptcy code recognizes that you will need time and space to sort out your thoughts and to prepare for the proceedings without creditors bothering you at all hours of the day. The automatic stay is meant to give you that time and space. The stay also serves as the proverbial “line in the sand” as well, meaning that once the stay is issued, collection efforts cannot resume until the bankruptcy proceedings are complete or the creditor obtains the express permission of the bankruptcy court to contact you again. In the meantime, you will not be at risk of foreclosure, eviction, wage garnishments, or even having your utilities shut off.

Child Support Is an Exception

If you currently pay child support, the automatic stay will not help your required payments nor will it prevent collection activities if you are behind on your support obligation. The automatic stay is intended to give you relief, but not at the expense of your child’s best interests. You must continue making your child support payments during the bankruptcy proceedings, or you could be subject to collection efforts by state agencies or the court.

It is also important to note that child support obligations—including obligations for back support—are not eligible to be discharged in Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Regardless of what happens to your other debt, you will still be required to pay your current support amount, as well as any delinquent amounts.

Your child support obligations will not be discharged in 13 bankruptcy either. Child support and other types of “domestic support obligations” are considered high-priority debts, which means they will be at the top of the list of debts to be paid according to your reorganization plan. However, if you keep up with the terms of your plan, the state cannot take action against you during the repayment period, which usually lasts between three and five years.

Speak With a New Braunfels Bankruptcy Attorney

If you have questions about how filing for bankruptcy might be able to help you catch up on your child support obligations, contact an experienced San Antonio bankruptcy lawyer at The Law Offices of Chance M. McGhee today. We will help you find the answers you need as you look to get back your feet financially. Call 210-342-3400 for a free consultation today.

 

Sources:

https://www.thebalance.com/child-support-and-alimony-in-bankruptcy-4154002

https://civil.sog.unc.edu/bankruptcy-and-the-application-of-the-automatic-stay-to-family-law-cases/

Can You Incur More Debt During a Chapter 13 Repayment Plan?

December 27th, 2019 at 12:38 am

debtIf you have gotten a bankruptcy, the one thing you do not want to do is to incur more debt; being unable to pay your debt is the reason you filed for bankruptcy, right? Chapter 13 bankruptcy repayment plans usually last anywhere from three to five years, meaning you must be financially responsible during that time period or you could risk having your case dismissed and being responsible for repaying your debts in full. While it is a good rule of thumb to avoid taking on any further debts during a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, sometimes taking on more debt is unavoidable and is a necessity. Incurring new debt during your Chapter 13 repayment period is possible, but there is a certain way you must go about it.

Reasons for Incurring New Debt

Sometimes, life can be unpredictable. Even though you were probably not planning on taking on any new debts during your Chapter 13 repayment period, things can happen and can put you in a situation where there is no other option. Generally, incurring new debt during a Chapter 13 repayment period is frowned upon and is only permitted when the debt is for something that is considered a necessity. Common reasons for incurring debt during a repayment plan include:

  • Refinancing a mortgage on your current home
  • Purchasing a new home or a new vehicle
  • Financing equipment needed for necessities, such as a new water heater or furnace

Filing a Motion to Incur Debt

Before you take on any new debt, you must speak with your bankruptcy trustee about filing a motion to incur debt. If you were to take on new debt without notifying the court or your trustee, you could risk having your bankruptcy case dismissed, leaving you in an arguably worse financial situation than before. To file a motion to incur debt with the court, you will need to provide the following information:

  • Proof of income for at least the past 60 days
  • An updated list of your monthly expenses
  • Information about the loan and the financing company, including how much the loan is for, the interest rate of the loan, the length of the repayment period and how much the estimated monthly payment would be

The court will examine your motion and make a determination on whether or not the debt is necessary, whether or not you will be financially able to make the monthly payments and whether or not the new debt will interfere with your ongoing bankruptcy repayment plan.

Contact a San Antonio, TX Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Attorney For Assistance

Making the decision to file for bankruptcy can be a difficult one, but it can ultimately end up being the best financial decision you make for yourself. If you are currently in a Chapter 13 repayment plan, you likely know that there are limitations to what you can do with your money. If you need to incur debt during your repayment period, you need help from a Schertz, TX Chapter 13 bankruptcy lawyer. At the Law Offices of Chance M. McGhee, we can help you correctly file a motion with the bankruptcy court to allow you to take on more debt during your repayment period. Call our office today at 210-342-3400 to schedule a free consultation.

 

Sources:

https://www.carsdirect.com/auto-loans/what-s-an-authorization-to-incur-debt-with-a-chapter-13

https://www.uscourts.gov/services-forms/bankruptcy/bankruptcy-basics/chapter-13-bankruptcy-basics

 

Call today for a FREE Consultation

210-342-3400

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