Bankruptcy
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BANKRUPTCY & CONSUMER LAW

Russo, White & Keller, P.C. handles several types of bankruptcy cases and consumer litigation cases. Bankruptcy is never an easy decision and sometimes it is the right decision. The bankruptcy laws can be challenging to navigate but they are designed to protect you and your property. We help individuals and businesses file bankruptcy, consolidate debt, stop creditor harassment, and fight to protect our clients’ rights under both bankruptcy and consumer laws.

Tired of being harassed by creditors?

Are they calling you every hour on the hour every day? Creditors seem to be relentless in their quest to force you to pay a debt. Often times, the original creditor will sell your debt to debt collectors that will harrass you in order to get you to pay them. Pressure from both creditors and debt collection agencies can come in the form of creditor harassment. We have several options at our disposal to put a stop to the harassment.

Consumer Bankruptcy

Debt reorganization options for individuals

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Business Bankruptcy

Debt reorganization options for businesses

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A wrongful foreclosure action typically occurs when the lender starts a non judicial foreclosure action when it simply has no legal cause. Wrongful foreclosure actions are also brought when the service providers accept partial payments after initiation of the wrongful foreclosure process, and then continue on with the foreclosure process. These predatory lending strategies, as well as other forms of misleading homeowners, are illegal.

Please contact us immediately if you currently have a modification of your mortgage pending, and your home has been foreclosed (or the mortgage company is threatening foreclosure).

AUTOMATIC STAY AND DISCHARGE INJUNCTION VIOLATIONS

Filing for bankruptcy creates an automatic stay which is like a security blanket or shield that protects you from harassment by creditors and stops most non-criminal proceedings against you, such as lawsuits and garnishments. It also prevents creditors from contacting you by telephone, email, text, or in writing. The automatic stay applies while you are in the case.

Once you receive a discharge at the end of your case, the discharge follows you the rest of your life and protects you from continued efforts by creditors or collection agencies from trying to collect from you the debt you discharged in the bankruptcy.

Sometimes creditors or collection agencies will try to collect debt during the bankruptcy case or after the discharge. You have certain rights and remedies available to you against those creditors or collection agencies when this happens. For example, creditors may continue to write or email you and demand payment for the debt even though the debt is included in the bankruptcy. Sometimes, these actions can occur many months or years after you have received a discharge of the debt.

We are one of only a few law firms in Alabama that handle these claims and have had great success in protecting the rights of debtors. If you feel that your rights might be violated, contact us for a free consultation.

FAIR DEBT COLLECTION PRACTICES ACT

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) requires debt collector to follow certain requirements as they try to collect debts. In essence, it provides debtors a large amount of protections from others trying to collect debts. For example, debt collectors can only contact consumers during certain hours of the day, cannot misrepresent the character, amount or legal status of the debt, or harass, oppress, or abuse a consumer in connection with the collection of the debt.

The FDCPA provides protections for consumers when debt collectors do not comply with its requirements. If you feel that your rights might be violated, contact us for a free consultation.

FAQ

A discharge is a court order which prohibits the collection of all debt which you listed in your bankruptcy petition. The discharge follows and protects you the rest of your life. There are certain debts that are excepted from discharge and that you still must pay despite a discharge in your bankruptcy case. Three of the most common debts that you still must pay after a discharge are federal and state income taxes, student loans, and child support and alimony. Another type of debt which you must repay despite receiving a discharge is debt that you have reaffirmed, such as a house or car.
In general, the answer is yes. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is designed to wipe out your debt. However, this is conditioned upon you not owning any property that is not exempt. Non-exempt property is sold by the bankruptcy court, converted to cash, and then used to pay back all or a portion of the debt that is owed by you. The bankruptcy law allows you to exempt your property, whether it be a home, car, 401(k), or other property. If your property is exempt, it generally cannot be used to pay your creditors any money. In most cases, all of your property will be exempt. The exemptions differ for each piece of property that you own, and we will be able to explain to you in more detail about these exemptions.
In general, the answer is yes. Some debtors can no longer afford their house or car payments. In other cases, the house is just too big for them to keep up and they want to downsize. In still other cases, a car may keep breaking down and it is not worthwhile to continue to repair. Regardless of the circumstances, you can still surrender the property back to the mortgage company or to the lienholder. If you do so, the balance of the debt will be wiped out (discharged).
If there is a co-signer on a credit card, medical bill, personal loan, or other such bill, then the co-signer will be responsible for paying that bill once you have discharged your debt. This is also the case if there is a co-signer on a home mortgage or car note and you are surrendering the home or car. If, on the other hand, you are keeping the home or car, and you reaffirm the debt, then both you and the co-signer will remain obligated to pay the debt reaffirmed.