I represent individuals in Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 cases filed in the Northern District of Georgia, which includes Atlanta, Newnan, Gainesville and Rome. I publish several informative web sites, including https://www.atlanta-bankruptcy.com and an Atlanta bankruptcy blog, https://www.thebklawyer.com/thebkblog. Please mention Bankruptcy Law Network when you call.

 

Author: Jonathan Ginsberg, Esq.

03 Jan Why You Should Not Expect Your Bank to Voluntarily Rewrite Your Loan

no mortgage modificationEconomists of every political stripe agree that our recent recession and lackluster recovery arose from a collapse of real estate markets in cities all over the country. Homeowners are either stuck in properties worth less than what is owed on them, while other homeowners have just walked away. The result is a landscape where real estate has lost its liquidity and banks are afraid to rely on real estate to extend needed loans, thereby freeing up the capital markets. A few years ago, a several members of Congress floated the idea of empowering bankruptcy judges to “cram down” mortgages to equal the fair market value of the underlying real estate. Currently bankruptcy judges can, with some restrictions, cram down auto loans and other secured debt to fair market value in Chapter 13. From my perspective as a bankruptcy lawyer, this cram down power does a lot of good. Debtors can now afford to keep their vehicles, and thus their means to and from work. The used vehicle and used furniture market is not depressed with excessive inventory of returned property and more people are able to reorganize rather than liquidate.
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13 Dec Prepare to Pay if You Forget to Take the Financial Management Course

Recently I received a notice from the bankruptcy court that my client's Chapter 7 case has been closed without the issuance of a discharge order because my client never completed his mandatory financial management course. This means that in order to get his discharge, my client will have to pay a filing fee of $260 plus attorney's fees (I usually charge $240) to get his case reopened so that we can file his financial management certificate and he can receive his discharge. While reasonable people can debate the merits of requiring bankruptcy debtors to spend the time and money to take two financial counseling courses - one must be completed prior to filing and the second after filing - it is clearly a waste of money to spend $500 because you did not get around to taking a $35 course that may take an hour or two of your time.
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lawsuit settlements

13 Nov What do Credit Card Companies Demand for Non-Bankruptcy Settlements?

Credit card debt remains a primary reason that folks call me to ask for a financial problem evaluation issues. Generally bankruptcy constitutes one option but by no means is Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 the only option. Recently I met with a very nice woman who owes around $6,000 in credit card debt, but not much else. After talking to her, we both agreed that bankruptcy did not make sense for this small amount of debt. There is, by the way, no "minimum" amount of debt that would disqualify you from filing bankruptcy but given that the attorney's fee cost of Chapter 7 usually exceeds $1,000 and the attorney's fee cost of Chapter 13 can exceed $3,000, it hardly makes sense to file a bankruptcy if you debt is not significant.
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05 Oct Obama 2011 Jobs Bill Authorizes Collection “Robo Calls” to Your Cell Phone

The Associated Press reports that the Obama Administration wants to legalize the use of "robo calls" - auto dialers and recorded messages - to cell phones by debt collectors seeking to recover student loans and other debts owed to the federal government. Under a proposal included at page 28 of the president's September, 2011 Jobs bill, federal employees and private debt collectors working on behalf of the federal government would be empowered to call a debtor's cell phone without first obtaining permission and without regard to any "do not call" list.
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04 Oct How to Use Chapter 13 to get Your Repossessed Car Back

There can be no more sickening feeling than to discover that your car or truck has been repossessed. In Georgia, where I practice, self-help repossession by vehicle lenders can occur quickly and with no prior notice. Specifically, in Georgia, lenders do not need to file any paperwork in court, nor do they need any permission to repossess your car. If your account is delinquent - even by one day - you are at risk. Note that every state has its own rules about vehicle repossession.
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