Sunday, March 27, 2011

Choosing between Chapter 7 and 13 Bankruptcies

Consumer bankruptcy cases are generally governed under chapters 7 and 13 of the Bankruptcy Code (while individuals can also file under chapter 11, this is more  rare and expensive).   A natural question consumers ask is – what is the difference between chapters 7 and 13 and which is the best one to file under?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

To Reaffirm or not to Reaffirm

In chapter 7 bankruptcy cases, debtors are required to file a document called a “Statement of Intention” for any property which is the collateral for a debt that is not covered by any bankruptcy exemptions.  The Statement of Intention lists three options for each such piece of property:

i. Surrender
ii. Redeem
iii. Reaffirm

This article focuses on the “Reaffirm” option and provides a brief overview on reaffirmation and its consequences.

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Importance of Estate Planning

For various reasons, it is common for individuals to put off creating their will and other estate planning documents.  Many believe that they do not have sufficient assets to warrant the creation of a will, that enlisting the help of an attorney is simply too expensive or that planning for one's death is an unpleasant topic that they wish to avoid.  However, there are numerous pressing reasons why estate planning should be made a priority in one's life.  

Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Effect of a Chapter 11 Bankruptcy on Gift Cards

It seems as though more companies than ever have recently attempted to reorganize their debts under chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code.  Whether more companies are actually filing bankruptcy may or may not be true, but certainly we are seeing it more frequently in the news.  Indeed, over the last few months, we have seen the likes of Blockbuster, MGM, Borders, and Giordano’s file bankruptcy in order to restructure their debts.  As many of us are customers of these companies, it often leaves us wondering how their filings affect us, specifically when we hold gift cards for those companies.

Understanding the Importance of the Automatic Stay

At the VC Law Group, quite often clients will come in with at least one of the following debt-related issues:

- They are involved in a lawsuit relating to debt that they owe
- Their house is in foreclosure
- Their wages are being garnished
- They are receiving harassing phone calls from debt collectors

When I hear this, I tell our clients that one of the most powerful tools that comes along with the filing of a bankruptcy petition is the Automatic Stay that goes into effect immediately upon the filing.