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.

15 Jul Can I keep a credit card out of my bankruptcy?

The Bankruptcy Code requires a debtor to list all creditors in his bankruptcy schedules. However, a “creditor” is typically defined as someone to whom the debtor owes money. Specifically, 11 U.S.C. § 101(10)(a) defines a creditor as an "entity that has a claim against the debtor that arose at the time of or before the order for relief concerning the debtor."

So, if the debtor has a credit card with a zero balance, the issuer of that card IS NOT A CREDITOR, and therefore, the debtor need not disclose his bankruptcy to that credit card company. BUT, that’s not the end of the story.

Read More

15 Jun Should we just put an * by our Foreclosure Era?

Baseball had the “Steroid Era,” and the law has its “Foreclosure Era.” The two phenomenons are so similar, but the latter has shaken our confidence in our system of justice.

Major League Baseball, Congress and the media found the ultimate solution to the Steroid Era of our “National Pastime” – put an asterisk by it and forget how baseball became professional wrestling. I can barely remember how an entire sport and its heroes became just another bunch of cheaters chasing hollow glory and big bucks. Yeah, Roger Clemens is still being prosecuted for perjury, but who cares?

Our Nation is facing the same situation today with the Foreclosure Era of law, and for the sake of history and restoring faith in our system of justice, we must decide how we shall deal with this.

Read More

15 Apr Bankruptcy Lawyers: Your Mother Was Right!

Mothers are well known for dispensing good, common sense to their children, and the one piece of motherly advice that can be applied to your selection of a bankruptcy lawyer is, “You get what you pay for.”

Do you know what a lawyer has to do to be a “bankruptcy lawyer?” Nothing! Ten years ago, every general practice lawyer added bankruptcy to the list of things he or she did to make money.

Then, in 2005, the bankruptcy laws changed when the United States Congress passed broad modifications to the bankruptcy law in an ill-advised attempt to reign in “abuses” by broke Americans trying to get a fresh start. These new laws created a labyrinth that the middle class has been forced to navigate ever since. From the standpoint of lawyering, filing a bankruptcy before 2005 was ten times easier than it is today.

Read More

15 Feb Foreclosure Fraud by Robo-Signing Lawyers – Our Leaders Wish You’d Just Forget About It

[caption id="attachment_27444" align="alignleft" width="384" caption="Obama Cares This Much About Homeowners"][/caption]

Much has been written over the last week about what President Obama calls a “landmark” foreclosure fraud settlement between 49 Attorneys General and the five largest banks. With the lone exception of the National Association of Consumer Advocates, champions for Middle Class consumers have roundly criticized the agreement as a sweetheart deal for the banks. In response, supporters of the settlement are quick to point out that it settles the “narrow” issue of “robo-signing.”

What is robo-signing? After all, it doesn’t sound as bad as "fraud and corruption."

Robo-signing and it’s sibling, “surrogate signing,” is the systematic, intentional misrepresentation or fabrication of evidence in every court of every county in every state of the United States. It is the filing of forged documents critical to a bank’s case in nearly every foreclosure in our country. It’s bad enough that the banks are perpetrating fraud, but what’s worse is that their lawyers are knowing accomplices to the fraud.

Read More