Interview with Patrick Matson

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Kelly Bankruptcy Podcast
Radio Show #1 : Interview with Patrick Matson
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Welcome to the first radio show with Jeff Kelly featuring guest Patrick Matson. Today we debunk the fears surrounding bankruptcy and ensuring that your bankruptcy experience is one that goes smoothly.

Bankruptcy is not as scary

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Kelly Bankruptcy Podcast
Bankruptcy is not as scary as you might think
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Hello, this is Jeff Kelly. Today is October the 15th 2020. And today we’re going to talk about how Filing bankruptcy is not scary. A few weeks ago, I was at a large local hardware store and I watched a young father and his three year old son walked into the store. I was in the lightbulb section, and they walked right up next to me. The Father, let go of his son’s hand, and the son slowly started to walk away now, I’m 50 years old, and I’ve helped raise five kids. And I’ve developed some kind of sixth sense where I can detect when a drama episode is about to erupt from a child.

Three year old slowly walked away from the Father towards a group of Halloween decorative, which is for sale. And one of the witches had a lifelike size and a button beside it that said, press here. I bet you can guess what happens next. After the curious little boy press the button, which came to life and lent out some terrifying warnings along with some Halloween sound effects. As you can guess the little boys, a little boy belted out some shrill screams. And he was shaking with tears. His good father rush to his side and comfort him. Everything’s gonna be okay, so the good father there which is not real, she can’t hurt you. You’re safe in my arms. And much the same way. Many people are as terrified of bankruptcy as that sweet little boy was of the fake which, in my 22 years as a consumer bankruptcy attorney, I’ve seen some people do some crazy things to try to avoid the inevitable bankruptcy. Personally, I think the worst thing a person can do is drain the 401k retirement account. To make payments on credit card debt until the funds run out. Your 401 k is a protected asset. You get to keep all of it when you file chapter 7 and 99.99% of the cases. It’s frustrating to see people fruitlessly lose their retirement funds in an effort to avoid a clearly inevitable bankruptcy.

Another common bad move to avoid bankruptcy is to pawn the title of a car. When you miss your payments of a title upon the title of your vehicle transfers automatically under Georgia law. And as a consequence of this automatic transfer, Chapter 13 is not going to save you from the clutches of a title pawn creditor.

I want to talk a little bit now about more about this this fear of bankruptcy. My my friend Richard James has a saying that goes like this fear equals false evidence appearing real. And so what I want to address now are the most common fears about bankruptcy that are not real. The most common fear is that lawyers are scary and not easy to talk with. And this is certainly not true about myself, or the bankruptcy attorneys at my law firm. Check out our reviews on Google. And you’ll see this is true. We also have some testimonials as well on our YouTube channel. We understand we’re on your side. Another common fear is that you will never be able to get credit again after you file bankruptcy. Yes, chapter 7 bankruptcy will stay on your credit for 10 years. And Chapter 13 will stay on your credit for seven years. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get any credit during that time period.

The truth is that most people have no problem at all obtaining credit once their bankruptcy case is completed. Just ask your friends almost everyone has some connection to a friend or family member who has filed bankruptcy and recovered. If you are a lender, would you be willing to loan money to somebody who has a huge cloud of debt hanging over them and is going nowhere? Of course not. How about somebody who just completed their chapter 7 bankruptcy, and it was no one. If they had good income, how likely are they to obtain credit? Ask a car finance company because they make loans to people who have just obtained their chapter 7 discharge all the time.

Another irrational fear about bankruptcy is that some people believe the trustee is going to come to their house. I have filed thousands of bankruptcy cases and I have never heard of a trustee go into a person’s house to look at their stuff. There are always exceptions to the rule. But I’m sure it’s a rare case. When Evander Holyfield filed for bankruptcy. He had moved Millions of dollars worth of stuff. In his specific case that trustee had a duty to inventory his household items. In contrast, most people don’t possess anything of real true significant cash value. So what should you be afraid of? Well, personally, if you have financial problems, I think the thing you should fear the most is procrastination. If you put your head in the sand and ignore the problem, in Georgia, your creditors will obtain judgments against you. And in Georgia, they’re going to use these judgments to completely clean out your checking account and take 25% of your paycheck. In addition, if you have a house, they will put a lien on it.

Let’s talk about some other fears. The court hearing, there’s no need to be afraid of a court hearing. Currently, bankruptcy court hearings are virtual. And this reduces a lot of stress. This is about the only good thing I can think of that has come from COVID-19. And this may change once we find a cure for COVID-19 are the infection rate rate drops dramatically. But until then, I think this is the way it’s going to be for the foreseeable future. Even the signing the petition, we can do that virtually with a program called zoom. So you don’t you don’t actually have to ever come to my office. You don’t have to ever actually physically appear in court.

The bottom line is this. If you have financial issues, you should take advantage of a free consultation and talk to a bankruptcy attorney as soon as you can call us today at 770-881-8449.

Thank you!

Bankruptcy and Bouncing back from Covid-19

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Kelly Bankruptcy Podcast
Bankruptcy and Bouncing back from Covid-19
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Hello, this is Jeff Kelly and Today is September the 16th 2020. And today we’re going to be talking about using bankruptcy to bounce back from COVID-19. Do you remember where you were when you first realized that COVID-19 was going to alter the course of your entire life? I remember the restaurant. I remember the smells. I remember the family members that were sitting with me. March 2020, was the absolute strangest month of my entire life. How do you really prepare for a national shutdown? Do you remember the empty shelves at the grocery store? I do. The past six months have seemed like such a strange, bad dream. Well, what do we do now? Lay down and give up? Well, you can’t. There’s people depending on you. We’ve got to move forward. And for many people in this country, bankruptcy is going to be a good tool to help bounce back. COVID-19 has caused massive amounts of unemployment.

After it hit, over 40 million people in this country lost their job due to the shutdowns. Well, the stimulus money certainly helped. Lots of people still missed many months of mortgage payments and car payments. But the good news is that chapter 13 can help people catch up on the past due payments. Chapter 13 stops a foreclosure of your home. Chapter 13 stops the repossession of your car. This past week, NBC reported that the unemployment rate has fallen back into the single digits. For the first time since the pandemic began and that over 1.4 million jobs were added to the economy last month. Things seem to be heading in the right direction. The March 2020 shutdowns stopped almost all collection activity in Georgia. And that has now ended. Georgia courts were shut down due to the pandemic. But in mid-September, they’ve almost fully reopened and I suspect there’s about to be a huge deluge, a giant wave of garnishment orders coming down the pipe. Unfortunately, most people are going to wait until the last segment to do anything about a garnishment.

Georgia garnishment law is brutal. Once a creditor obtains a judgment against you, they can take 25% of your net paycheck. The good news is that chapter 13 can stop the garnishment as soon as we get a bankruptcy case number. So I want to go over just like a you know, short example of how chapter 13 can help a family back back bounce back from COVID-19.

So I want to tell the story about a young couple that I recently spoke with. To protect their privacy, I’m going to change around some of the facts. This young couple has three children and before COVID-19 hit. They both worked full time jobs after the pandemic, their local daycare completely shut down.

In addition, their local elementary school also closed and moved everything online. Does this story sound familiar?

With no one to watch the kids, they decided that in their particular situation, it would be best for the wife to quit her job because the husband was earning more.

Then a year ago. Before all this stuff began. They both realized that the minimum credit card payments they were making were slowly slipping out of their reach into their misfortune. They heard about a debt settlement commercial on the radio that promised the moon and the sun. They call the phone number they set up a payment plan and they assumed all as well until the sheriff showed up. A few weeks ago, to their horror and dismay, the local sheriff pulled up into their driveway while they were outside in their front yard and find all their neighbors playing with their children. And this Sheriff served them with a collection lawsuit.

At first they thought there must have been some kind of misunderstanding. Then, they called the debt settlement company only to discover that most of the money they had paid out over the past year went to the fees of the debt settlement company. I hear this exact same story from clients all the time. Furthermore, they learned that the debt settlement company had zero legal means to prevent the collection lawsuit and contrast when a person is in an active chapter 13 case no one can file a lawsuit against you? While this case is going? creditors cannot call garnish or bother you while your case is live. You get great protection from the bankruptcy court. This young couple was free, extremely frustrated to learn that they had essentially wasted a year with a debt settlement company. The good news is we were able to get their house and the cars protected with a solid chapter 13 plan. Also, we were able to eliminate all of their credit card debt. Chapter 13 help this young couple. And I believe it’s going to help thousands of consumers in Georgia bounce back from COVID-19. If you think it might be able to help you, give us a call 7708818449 Thank you

Student loans should be dischargeable in bankruptcy

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Kelly Bankruptcy Podcast
Student loans should be dischargeable in bankruptcy.
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Hello, this is Jeff Kelly and Today is August 31, 2020. Today’s title of what I’m going to talk about is why should student loans be dischargeable in bankruptcy? I believe that it is way past time to end the economic slavery that millions of college graduates across our country suffer and make student loans dischargeable in bankruptcy just like they were back in the 90s. Can you imagine the nightmare of living with a $200,000 debt that just hangs over your head increases with interest every single year? For many Americans this nightmare is their daily reality. Want to finance a house? Forget it. Want to finance a car? Forget it. How about getting a loan to start a new business? Forget it. When a dark cloud of student loan debt hangs over your head moving forward is economically impossible. Now, prior to 1976, student loans could be discharged just like any other debt. And over the years, restrictions were added.

The first restriction was you had to wait five years after graduating before you could discharge student loans. Then the goal line got changed to seven years and then in 1998, the hammer was completely put down. Student Loans could virtually no longer be dischargeable in bankruptcy. As a result, if you want to go find a good summary on the internet about the history of student loans and bankruptcy, you can go to savingforcollege.com backslash article backslash history of student loans bankruptcy discharge the consequences of making student loans non-dischargeable in bankruptcy. Since 1998, the cost the cost of a college education has more than doubled in real dollar terms. Think about that doubled.

When I went to college, the vast majority of college housing was extremely Spartan, shall we say? Today, most college dorms look similar to a resort, so that colleges can attract students lower them into huge amounts of federally backed debt and make millions. Most colleges now have bloated bureaucracies due to the lack of real market forces. The connection between the true economic value of a college education has been disconnected from the value that said education will produce because of the restrictions on dischargeability in bankruptcy. Many people have been sold on the idea you cannot have a successful life unless you have a college degree. It’s becoming increasingly it’s becoming an increasingly popular choice for many young adults to forego college completely because of the high risk that they will never be able to repay the loans. As a result, someone who should go to college may never develop their full potential because of this artificially inflated price. Currently, the federal government keeps footing the bill for unpaid student loans, colleges get their money from the federal government whether or not a student loan a student ever repays them. Where’s the incentive to keep costs down and connected to the reality of whether or not the loan will ever be repaid?

Now my argument for bankruptcy.

Many famous people in US history have filed bankruptcy and gone on to do great things for the world. Henry Ford’s first automobile company did not make it. Can you imagine a world without Henry Ford? Thank goodness he was able to file bankruptcy, recover and get a fresh start. What about Walt Disney? Can you imagine a world with no Disney? No Mickey Mouse, no disney world? Thank goodness while Disney was able to file bankruptcy, recover and get a fresh start. Because of the current non-dischargeability of student loans, many college graduates who have tons of student loans have never been able to recover from the debt load. What a horrible shame. How many marriages never took place? How many children were never born? How many houses were never built? How many businesses were never started because of the dark cloud of excessive balances on student loans. Any answer to these questions is pure conjecture. But I think it is safe to say that if we could estimate it, the answer would be in the millions.

Nerdwallet reports that 5.2 million student loans are currently in default. Keeping these loans non-dischargeable in bankruptcy does not result in them magically being reimbursed by the students who borrowed 99% of these loans will still never get paid. Bankruptcy has made the United States the best country in history. If you want more detail on that, go to my website, www.kellycanhelp.com and type that in. I’ve got a link to it also on my blog.

Giving people a second chance make sense in so many ways. Remember, there but for the grace of God go you. Bankruptcy is not some magic button people press to make all their debts go away. To file bankruptcy, the debtor must submit documentation under oath to a court of law showing that they are in fact bankrupt. People who attempt to abuse the system end up in jail. The lawyers who work for the United States bankruptcy trustees take their jobs super seriously. And they will zealously enforce the law. My point is that when someone can afford to pay their student loans, they should continue to pay their student loans, even if the loans become dischargeable once again. In conclusion, our bankruptcy system should be allowed to determine who should and should not repay their student loans. Thank you for tuning in.

liable for the medical bills of my spouse

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Kelly Bankruptcy Podcast
Am I liable for the medical bills of my spouse?
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Hello, this is Jeff Kelly and Today is August the 13th 2020. And today I want to talk about, are you legally liable for your spouse’s medical bills just by virtue of the fact that you’re married? And in Georgia as a general rule, the answer to this question is no. Now, this question usually arises when one spouse has suffered an extreme trauma traumatic event, like COVID-19, Corona hospitalization, cancer, diabetes, heart attack, or some other health catastrophe that forces a person to accumulate a large amount of medical debt.

Earlier this year, I met with an elderly lady who for purposes of this illustration, we’re going to call her Marjorie Okay, now Marjorie, was about five feet tall, about 95 pounds, married to the same husband for over like 40 years. Supersweet lady worked so hard. And at one point in her life, she had probably at least $300,000 saved up in her 401k when her husband passed away, he had an insurance policy. But what neither one of them ever anticipated, was just the exorbitant through the roof cost of medical treatment. And he had a huge, long battle with cancer and ended up leaving behind this overwhelming mountain of debt. Now what did the sweet lady do? She did honestly what most people do, and she made payments for years and years, until there was no more money left from the 401k and no more money from the life insurance proceeds. This is tragic and horrible on so many levels. Because all of that life insurance and all of that 401k money should have been protected from her husband’s medical bills, she was not legally obligated to make those payments.

We see this happen a lot and so don’t feel bad if it’s you because you’re just like everybody else if if you’ve done this, but, you know, most people delay talking to a bankruptcy attorney until like way after they need to, which is, you know, again, double ironic and tragic because we offer a free consultation, it doesn’t cost anything to come talk to us if at any point. I’ve been practicing consumer bankruptcy for over 22 years And believe me, I have seen it all. You know, again, you would not believe how many people will needlessly spend their way into bankruptcy trying to pay somebody else’s bills that they’re not legally liable for. So what should a person do? What in the perfect world you lose your spouse, somebody you love your, your your other half? What a terrible traumatic event to go through. And as a consequence of the emotional toll, it’s also the absolute worst time to make major financial decisions.

So step one, I think everybody should meet with a wills and estates attorney. And, you know, I don’t practice in this area, but I know many great attorneys around here who do and I am happy to help you find one give me a call 7708818449. I’ll help you if you’re in the situation. And the purpose of meeting with an estate attorney is to determine you know whether or not the estate needs to be probated, are there any assets that do need to be used to pay any leftover medical bills. Is there an estate at all? Very important to get those questions answered. As soon as somebody passes away, was there a will?

The next step, I think, is that people should meet with a financial planner and plan out what what does the future look like without this other spouse. And then worst case scenario, there’s just a ton of debt that’s left and it’s not going anywhere. I think you need to meet with a bankruptcy attorney, and again, is a free consultation. And what we would do is we would sit down with you and go over your income go over your budget, and we would take a good hard look at a at coming up with a plan for the future. If you’ve got money in 401k, leave it there. If you have just inherited some life insurance money, don’t touch it. Meet with us first. You know, before you start throwing it towards debt. Again, it’s a free consultation. Why not take advantage of this? If you don’t, you could end up getting suckered by debt collectors. And these debt collectors are extremely skilled at guilting people into paying debts that they legally otherwise don’t have to, particularly medical bills where the surviving spouse has no legal liability. Debt collectors also have this amazing supernatural ability to call right after our life insurance check hit your mailbox. So again, in most cases, life insurance proceeds are not exposed to a deceased spouse’s debts, but again, meet with an estate planning attorney and get answers to those questions for sure.

So what’s the magic question to ask when Somebody says, Hey, you owe me money. That magic question is, can you show me a contract where I signed and agreed to be liable for this debt, if they cannot produce any proof of your signature on a guarantee, you are not liable in the state of Georgia. Right now with all this COVID-19 mess going on, we are conducting virtual appointments. I do some live ones as well. I mean, if you really want to, but most people are opting for the virtual appointment, we can do it over the phone. And I also like to use this program called zoom. I’ve got a camera hooked up at my desk so you can see me talk if you want. We can do a computer screen share if we need to. The worst thing that you can do is to just ignore the problem. Don’t do that. Give me a call. It’s free. It won’t cost you anything. The problem is not going to go away by itself. So please give me Call 7708818449. I’ve also written a book on chapter 13 and chapter 7 and I want you to get a free copy. So go to my website www.kellycanhelp.com. And you can download a copy for free. If you live in the state of Georgia. I’ll mail you a hardcopy if while supplies last. Again, call us 7708818449. I hope you have a great day. Thank you for tuning in. Bye-bye.

File Bankruptcy without leaving your home

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Kelly Bankruptcy Podcast
File Bankruptcy without leaving your home
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Transcript:

Hello, this is bankruptcy attorney Jeff Kelly Today is August 3, 2020. And today I’m going to be talking about how you can currently file bankruptcy without ever leaving your home.

One of the few good things that has come out as a result of the covid-19 pandemic is that you can now file bankruptcy without ever leaving your house. You can even attend your court hearing via telephone now from the comfort and safety of your home. Before COVID-19 hit, you had to physically appear in one of our offices, and a bankruptcy attorney had to see you physically sign the documents. And for many people who have to juggle busy work schedules and family schedules, it was difficult at times to physically get into the office. Traffic delays used to wreak havoc on some of our sign appointments. Now because of the shelter in place concerns, the bankruptcy court allows us to file your case without you ever having to come to one of our offices.

Here’s how the process works.

Step one, we conduct your free initial consultation with you by phone. During this conference, we want to review all of your debts, lawsuits, assets, income and expenses with you. Our goal is to get a feel for your entire situation. At the end of this free consultation, we will clearly explain to you why chapter 13 or chapter 7 bankruptcy is or is not a good option for you. Unlike many other bankruptcy law firms, you will be able to talk directly to an experienced bankruptcy attorney who will closely analyze the specific facts of your case. In addition, we will answer all of your questions. If you decide to move forward with either chapter 13 or chapter 7 bankruptcy. We will need you to give us your social security number and your birthdate so that we can pull your credit card for processing your bankruptcy petition. If you have received any lawsuits or other bills that you’d like for us to include in your case, you can take a picture of the documents and email them to us. If you have access to a scanner, that’s even better, it might be a lot easier for you to send them to us that way.

Step two, the sign appointment during this appointment, which will take about two hours on average, we will do a screen share with you so that you can go through each page of the bankruptcy petition to make sure it’s absolutely perfect. We currently use zoom to make this happen. We will also when we’re finished use a program called DocuSign so that you can electronically sign the court required signature pages. We can file your chapter 13 or chapter 7 bankruptcy case shortly after your sign appointment, so your court protection will begin immediately. We will mail you a hard copy of the bankruptcy petition after your case is filed, then we will need you to sign it with a pin and mail the documents back to us.

Until October 2020, all bankruptcy court hearings will be conducted virtually over the telephone. And this is great news because this means you can currently attend your court hearing without leaving your house without having to risk any COVID-19 have been around crowds of people. You know, before COVID-19, you would have to appear physically in court for 341 meetings. You’d have to stand in line, sometimes a long line and then you’d have to get scanned by the security officers and then you would have to in the past, go sit in a crowded room where they do Roll Call and then they call the names of everyone, per hour for the hearing. Thank goodness, you don’t have to do that right now. And I, I think this is really great. And personally, I’m hoping that all the changes that have been made to our bankruptcy system as a consequence of COVID-19 will become permanent.

So if you are considering chapter 13 or chapter 7, please give us a call at 770-881-8449. If you get a chance, go on Google and check our reviews. We’ve got really, really good reviews, and we got a lot of them because I’ve got the best staff on planet Earth. I’ve written a book on chapter 13 and chapter 7, you can go to my main website, www.kellycanhelp.com and you can download a free copy of it or you can call us at 770-881-8449 We’ll send you a hardcopy while supplies last. I look forward to talking with you soon. Thank you

Hiring a Bankruptcy Attorney

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Kelly Bankruptcy Podcast
5 Questions You Must Ask Before Hiring A Bankruptcy Attorney
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Transcript:

Hello, this is Jeff Kelly and Today is July 23 2020. Today we are going to talk about the five most important questions that you should ask before you decide to hire a bankruptcy attorney. There are some important questions that every consumer should ask before hiring a bankruptcy attorney. Hiring the right attorney will ensure that you get the best Fresh Start possible after completing your case. And after being a senior bankruptcy attorney in Georgia for over 22 years, I think I can offer some advice on this topic.

First of all, you must ask How many years has this attorney practice consumer bankruptcy law. Of course, the longer the time the more training and experience he will have 10 years or more gives you a good probability that he’ll have specific legal knowledge to use in getting you the best outcome for your case. This specific knowledge not only relates to knowing the laws but also knowing the other lawyers judges and how they operate and being able to figure out the best strategy for your case.

Secondly, you must ask, does this attorney limit her practice to consumer bankruptcy law? Do you want your attorneys caseload to include legitimising child, criminal law, handling divorces, child custody, real estate, firearms, reading wills and estates, probating estates and throwing for good measure consumer bankruptcy? I think not. Obviously, you would rather be represented by an attorney who limits his or her practice to consumer bankruptcy.

Third, you must ask, how many bankruptcies has he handled? Obviously, you would rather have someone who has tried, has has filed a lot of cases ideally 500 or more. An attorney with that level of experience is gonna be much better at things such as figuring out liquidation issues in your case, you know, do you risk losing your house? Do you risk losing your car? You know, are there other assets? basically keeping keeping you out of hot water. And you certainly don’t want to get someone who just graduated from law school, that’s a disaster waiting to happen.

Something else you want to know is after after reviewing your case, can he or she give you specific issues on the fine details of your bankruptcy case? Like are you going to lose your house? How much is your payment going to be and how is this payment calculated?

Last but not least, you must ask. Will he give you will he explained to you in detail the costs that are involved all of the transaction costs and after an attorney does a thorough job of determining what type of work is needed in your case, if he’s experienced, he should be able to get you these details.

Okay, so you’re probably wondering what my answers would be to the above questions and I will lay it out for you.

As I mentioned, I have over 20 years of experience in bankruptcy in Georgia. In other words, I’ve been around the block a few times. Your case would not be my first rodeo. Before I opened my practice in 2005, I worked a few years for some large bankruptcy filers. I’ve handled just about everything you can think of in a consumer bankruptcy case.

My practice is 100% computer consumer bankruptcy. I don’t spend my time fighting over who gets the table and chairs and a divorce. Instead, I spend my time aggressively defending clients in their bankruptcy cases.

Over the years, I have handled several thousand bankruptcy cases.

After reviewing your case, I will tell you upfront the specific issues I believe that are relevant your bankruptcy case, we will discuss all of your debts, all of your assets will go up your income will go up your expenses and we will come up with a plan that works for you.

After you share with me everything I need to know to analyze your case, you will receive a clear explanation of all the costs relating to your case. After all, isn’t that what you’re after to improve your chances of getting the best outcome being kept up to date, knowing what it’ll cost and getting this handled so that you can get on with the rest of your life.

All you have to do now is give me a call at 770-881-8449 and schedule a free appointment. If I’m not available. I have three super experienced attorneys at work for me who will also do a fantastic job.

Thank you very much for tuning in.

strict compliance in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy

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Kelly Bankruptcy Podcast
What is strict compliance in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case?
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Transcript:

Hello! this is Jeff Kelly, today is July the ninth 2020 and today we are going to talk about what is strict compliance in a chapter 13 bankruptcy case. Strict compliance in a chapter 13 bankruptcy is when your case has been placed on a period where if you miss a single chapter 13 payment your case is automatically dismissed without a hearing. Dismiss without a hearing is a bad thing because you have no time to prepare. The second your case is dismissed, the creditors are free to legally take action against you as soon as the law is as soon as the law allows.

So how fast do you think a car creditor is going to come after your car and try to repossess it after your case is dismissed?

Answer, as fast as they humanly can contrast a chapter 13 on strict compliance versus a case where strict compliance does not exist. Normally When a chapter 13 debtor falls behind on payments to the trustee, the hearing is set down with the bankruptcy court which gives them time to come up with the plan to make up for missed payments or in the alternative if you know your bankruptcy case is about to dismiss you could make plans for alternative transportation, when you know your car is about to get repossessed. In contrast, if a case is is on strict compliance, or chapter 13 case will be dismissed shortly after a payment is missed. All bankruptcy protection is lost as soon as the dismissal order is entered.

Thank you, Lord, we do have gracious chapter 13 trustees.

So during this COVID-19 crisis, the chapter 13 trustees have been extremely gracious by not enforcing strict compliance orders. But now that we are months into the crisis and people are back to work, most trustees have resumed enforcing strict compliance orders. So how does someone end up on strict compliance to begin with? Well, in some cases, the debtors attorney might agree with a trustee for a requested period of strict compliance. For example, most chapter 13 cases have what’s called an employment deduction order. That’s where they’re going to take, you know, the chapter 13 payment directly out of your paycheck every single time you get paid. So your whatever your monthly payment is, it gets prorated. You know, like if you get paid weekly, then it would be divided by four and so forth. So, some people do not want a an employment deduction in order at any cost. And because maybe they’re, you know, give an example. Maybe they’re a supervisor and they’re worried. This is going to hurt their chances for promotion. So a trustee might say, okay, fine, you can pay it directly to me every month, on the condition that you agree to one year strict compliance for the first year of the case. This way that you know saves the trustee a lot of trouble if you don’t make your payment, they can just boom automatically dismiss it without having to set it down for a hearing.

So another situation where strict compliance could be added to a chapter 13 bankruptcy case is after a motion to dismiss has been filed. In some cases, you know, people miss work for extended periods, maybe it’s because of surgery, maybe, you know, the plant shut down for a short time, whatever. Your payments, get missed payments gets missed, the trustee files a motion to throw the case out. And we can go to the hearing and say, Okay, we’re back at work. Now we can make payments, and as a condition of allowing you to continue in the chapter 13 case, the trustee might require a period of strict compliance. Sometimes if you’re really far behind, they may say, hey, I want strict compliance for the rest of this case, and so that’s how that works.

If you think your case has been placed on strict compliance or you’re not sure, call us. If you’ve missed some recent payments, call us as soon as you can. Don’t wait for a dismissal order to come in the mail. It’s much better to address the problem ahead of time.

Thank you for tuning in today. Have a good one.

How to fight a creditor lawsuit

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Kelly Bankruptcy Podcast
How to fight a creditor lawsuit
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Transcript:

Hello! this is Jeff Kelly, and in this podcast today I’m going to talk a little bit about How to fight a creditor lawsuit.

So, In Georgia, consumers have the right to fight back against creditor lawsuits. In my experience, the people who I have seen have the most successful outcomes are victims of identity theft. Before I get into it, I wanna go something real quick. A lot of people will call me and say “Why in the world am I getting a letter from you just because I’m being sued?”

Well, the answer is. I am a bankruptcy attorney and in my law practice, we send out a ton of direct mail advertisements to people who are getting sued. Often times, our letters will get to people before the sheriff will serve the lawsuit, particularly during this corona time. A lot of sheriff officers are being delayed for obvious reasons and our letter gets there first. So people understandably wanna know when they’re gonna get the information. Usually is about a week or two after our letter hits, but the sheriff is coming he will serve you with a complaint. And it’s very important to make note of the date you are served of the complaint because you have 30 days to respond to it. If you don’t respond, you’re gonna end up with a default judgment against you and that is very very bad because you could lose a lot of important rights.

So, what you do if you’ve got a creditor lawsuit against you and you want to fight it? Well, if we’re talking about a significant amount of money you really need to hire an attorney. I mean it’s kind of crazy to walk into a court of law if you don’t know what you’re doing. But I do understand if it is a small amount of money there are some cases where the amount of money that’s state at stake might be less than what you would pay an attorney.

So, I get it. In Georgia, you have the right to represent yourself without an attorney. I don’t recommend this but I get it. So, you wanna make sure that you respond to the lawsuit within 30 days of you being served. You can go on Google and you can type in “How do I respond to a creditor lawsuit?”. Usually, a small amount are going to be in magistrate court, “How do I respond to magistrate court lawsuit?”. The form is not super complicated, you can possibly do it all in one page. You wanna style the top part just like the complaint that you’ve been served, You’re going to want to, you know, right at the top answer that this is your answer to the complaint.

If you’re a victim of identity theft, you’re probably going to want to say something along the lines of “I am not liable for the debt as alleged in the complaint, I’ve never had a contract with the defendant. Ever! I’d like to have a hearing before the judge”. Something that simple should be enough to get you a hearing. Now, if you do get a hearing before the judge, you’re gonna get notified by mail. And you better show up at the hearing date. Because if you don’t, you know, judges are very powerful people if they wanted to, and I doubt they would do this very often, but if they wanted to, they could issue a bench warrant for your arrest, if there is a hearing that you requested and then you don’t bother to show up for it. So that can be pretty embarrassing for you. So make sure you show up or if you can’t go to court. Make sure you communicate with the court and let them know So assuming that you respond correctly by filing your answer to the complaint and serving said answer on the creditor, you will get the hearing you will get a chance to give your evidence that you do not owe the debt.

Now, what should you do in a case where you, you do have the debt? What should you do? Well, you’ve got three options. Number one, you can call the attorney who filed the lawsuit against you and you can work out a payment plan or number two, you can just ignore the whole thing and let the creditor get a default judgment against you. If you do that, and they garnish your wages, you know, Georgia is pretty brutal, they can take 25% of your wages. So if you’re expecting to see $1,000 in your paycheck, you’re only going to see 750 because they’re gonna take 25% they can do that or they can clean out your checking account up to the amount of the debt.

Some people do take that route because you know, if it’s a small amount, I get it, I understand. But if we’re talking about a significant amount of money, and if you’re in a situation where this is not your only debt, there are plenty of others and they’re just basically gonna start lining up filing lawsuits against you.

Call me, let’s talk about chapter 13 or chapter 7. It is a free consultation. You’re crazy if you don’t take advantage of this. Let’s go over income. Let’s go over your budget. Let’s come up with a plan that works to take care of everything. To give you some peace of mind so you can sleep at night and not stress or worry about any of this stuff. Let’s take care of the big picture.

Give me a call 7708818449 now, anything I’ve said in this podcast, do not rely on it is legal advice. If you want free legal advice about your specific situation, call Call me 7708818449. If you get a chance, check out my main website www.kellycanhelp.com. I’ve got a lot of podcast on there there’s a search bar you can use to find other topics you might be interested in. And I want you to go to my website scroll down to the bottom and type in your email address so I can send you a digital copy of a book that I’ve written on chapter 13 and chapter 7. We will give it to you for free. You can also give us a call at 770-881-8449 and let us know if you prefer to have a hard copy. We will send you one while supplies last. And I want to thank you for tuning in today and wish you the best.

Thank you

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Kelly Bankruptcy Podcast
Don't let yourself get smacked by the tidal wave!
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Hello, this is Jeff Kelly, and today is June 25th, 2020. And the title of today’s podcast is Don’t Let Yourself Get Smacked by the Tidal Wave. It is no secret that a tidal wave of vanquishes are coming down the pipe soon. Over 40 million Americans have lost their jobs due through no fault of their own because of this blasted, COVID 19 government four shutdown of our economy. What’s going to drive this tidal wave of bankruptcies is going to be a tidal wave of creditor lawsuits.

So for almost five months, creditors in Georgia have not been able to get orders on the collection lawsuits they filed.

And the deadline has been extended and been extended. And currently it’s going to be extended until about mid July. And this lack of enforcement has created a false sense of security for a lot of people. I, I bet there’s tons of consumers who have just completely forgotten about the lawsuit with all the strange stuff that’s been going on in the world. This is probably not top of mind and this false sense of security is about to get blown away. Once courts are allowed to operate at full capacity in mid July.

So along with the tidal wave, a predictable nightmare is coming for many consumers in Georgia after the courts reopen. Some person is going to get their wages garnished out of the blue. They are going to see twenty five percent of their paycheck disappear. So what does this look like in real life? Someone who is expecting to see 500 hours in their paycheck is only going to get about three seventy five. Someone who has a few thousand dollars in their checking account could potentially see it all disappear depending on the amount of the debt.

What’s this going to lead to?

Rent payments won’t be able to get made. Mortgage payments will not be able to get made. Car payments will not be able to get made. Financial disaster. And I imagine that many people are going to procrastinate and they’re going to be calling us in late July. And I hope this doesn’t happen, but it is possible that they may hear these awful words. I’m so sorry. We’re fully booked out. And I imagine you’re going to hear people say, look, I’m desperate.

Your five months of collection lawsuits are going to hit all at once. We’re not going to be able to help everybody. And I doubt I think there’s gonna be a major shortage of bankruptcy attorneys for the first couple of months. So don’t wait until after the nightmare hits, the tidal wave hits. You know who you are.

You know, if you’re in financial trouble, you know, if you’ve got stuff hanging over your head. Take care of business. Call me today. It is a free consultation. 770-881-8449. Let’s get the ball rolling before everything hit you. Don’t wait until afterwards. It could really compound your headache. So almost every bankruptcy firm that I know of has has been forced to lay off at least half their staff.

So, I mean, not only is there going to be this big, huge tidal wave of collection losses coming, but most bankruptcy firms are downsized and they’re going to stay downsized until things start coming back. Most firms are either going to be in pay off the debt or, you know, replenish the savings mode. There’s not going to be a huge amount of capacity. So it’s just going to compound the problem. So, again, call me today.

It doesn’t cost you anything to explore your options. It takes time to get properly ready for a bankruptcy case. We need to review your paycheck stub. We need to look at your assets. We’re going to tell you if bankruptcy is not a right fit for you.

For some people, it may not be. But we need time to evaluate. So, again, take action. Don’t wait. You know, you are. You need to call me. 770-881-8449. Thank you.