Chip Parker is the managing partner of Parker & DuFresne, P.A., where he represents Northeast Florida businesses and consumers facing bankruptcy, and homeowners facing foreclosure. His firm files more homeowners in the Mortgage Modification Mediation Program than any other law firm in Northeast Florida.

Parker is the recipient of Jacksonville Area Legal Aid's prestigious Award for Outstanding Pro Bono Service. Mr. Parker is an active member of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys and National Association of Consumer Advocates.

 

Author: Chip Parker, Esq.

20 Jun Why Should There Be Greater Regulation of Subprime Lenders? Part 1: Can You Say Enron?

The late Ronald Reagan was the poster child for deregulation, but while his dream about a less intrusive federal government was noble, it assumes that people in power can suppress their natural propensity for greed. If you have never seen the documentary, Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, it is a case study in the necessity of governmental oversight. In the years leading up to its demise, Enron was "legally" allowed to report projected future profits as present income using an approved accounting scheme known as "Mark to Market." In one example of its many accounting abuses, it reported a $51 million dollar profit one year for a venture with Blockbuster Video that never made a dime.
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11 Jun Prison And Unpaid Debts

An Eastern European immigrant asked me the other day, "Will I go to jail if I dont pay my debt?" I chuckled and reassured him that there are no debtor prisons in the United States. He told me that he thought he was safe, but that a credit collector told him hed be thrown in jail if he didnt make a payment on the debt. Now, Ive been in the bankruptcy business for long enough to have heard everything, and I occasionally would have clients relay similar stories. However, there was always this part of me that found such claims of obvious illegality, falsehood and abuse hard to believe. Well, today, in my local paper, appears two stories on this very subject.
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11 Jun Is There A Time Limit for Collecting A Debt?

Often during bankruptcy consultations, I hear stories of collection agencies attempting to collect really old debt. Generally, people have a vague notion that there is a time limit within which a creditor can collect a debt, but often they are told by collectors that their particular account is still collectible. This time limit, known as the "statute of limitations," prevents a creditor from suing a debtor after the expiration of the allowed time. However, a debtor can take certain actions which can actually restart the limitation period, so get educated before you deal with old debt.
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31 May Florida Personal Property Exemption Increased to $4000

The following information is vital for Florida bankruptcy lawyers and non-homeowners on the verge of filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Florida. The Florida legislature recently passed bill CS/SB 2118, which amends Florida Statutes Section 222.25, to increase to $4,000 from $1,000 the amount of personal property exempt from creditor claims, provided that the debtor does not receive the homestead exemption under Florida's Constitution. The exemption for persons with homestead property will remain at $1,000 as provided in the Florida Constitution Article X, Section 4(a)(2). An argument can be made that the new exemption for non-homeownersis in addition to the $1,000 exemption available to all residents. That would bring the total exemption to $5,000 for an individual or $10,000 for a couple. However, the bill provides that this exemption does not apply to debts for child or spousal support.
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29 May How Can I Rebuild My Credit After Bankruptcy?

I have always referred to bankruptcy as a tool in the toolbox. In other words, bankruptcy is but one step toward fixing your financial troubles. You must also think in terms of life after bankruptcy, and rebuilding your credit will help to stabilize your financial future. However, attorney Justin Harelik notes in his recent article on Bankrate.com that, by the time the bankruptcy is completed, "debtors are so fed up with credit and debt issues that they wait forever to re-establish their credit." Don't wait! Start rebuilding your credit now! Here's how:
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21 May Where Does Your City Rank in Foreclosures?

Here and elsewhere, you have read about the foreclosure crisis sweeping across this country, but how well is your city holding out during this unprecedented time in our history? According to a recent study published by RealtyTrac, Detroit leads the nation with one out of every 51 houses in foreclosure, which is more than 5 times the national average. Of the 100 largest metropolitan areas, Richmond, Virginia has the fewest houses per capita in foreclosure.
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