Blog

07 Jan GasBuddy = Gas Savings

Now more than ever clients and ordinary people are trying to save money any way they can.  People will seek out obvious ways to save such as eliminating eating out or for me, stop coffee purchases. But what about looking for not so obvious ways to save money? Gas is one of those necessary expenses we think we have no control over the price we pay. But, that may not be true.
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06 Oct Why I will be Rude to You After You File Chapter 13

I like my clients. I find bankruptcy work rewarding because I can offer positive change to the lives of honest, hardworking people who have an immediate financial problem. However, I can be an absolute pain in the rear end to my Chapter 13 clients after we file and during the two to four month period of time prior to the plan confirmation hearing. Why does this disconnect exist? Why would you want to hire a lawyer who will be demanding and abrupt? The answer is simple - if you want your Chapter 13 to work, you and I have a lot of work to do after we file but many Chapter 13 debtors do not realize this. It is tempting to think that your problem has been solved the minute we file your Chapter 13 case. The immediate pressure of foreclosure, repossession, wage garnishment and lawsuits is gone and all adverse creditor action stops. The phone stops ringing and the collection letters dwindle. The first court hearing - your meeting of creditors - won’t occur for 30 to 45 days so it is only natural that you will enjoy the quiet.
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06 Jun Why Nothing Good Comes from Pro Se Bankruptcy Filings

I have been a personal bankruptcy lawyer in Atlanta for more than 30 years and one of the trends that I have seen over all these years has been that personal bankruptcy is more complicated and confusing now than it is ever been in the past. Back in 1988, for example, I would often see pro se (people who filed bankruptcy without a lawyer) appearing at 341 hearings and Chapter 13 confirmation hearings. At that time, a pro se filer could head over to Office Depot and buy Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 forms, fill them out with a pen, make copies and stand in line with everyone else to file a case. In those days, there was no online access to the Clerk of Courts office and everyone - lawyers and non-lawyers - would have to stand in long lines with 5 or 6 copies of bankruptcy petitions and wait for the clerk to hand stamp each copy. Bankruptcy schedules in 1988 were fairly straightforward and other than figuring out how to declare the right exemptions to protect property, a reasonably intelligent person could muddle through a Chapter 7 case. Chapter 13 cases were problematic for pro se filers even in the 1980's but occasionally a friendly trustee would take the time to help a non-lawyer navigate the waters of Chapter 13.
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