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Cleveland TN Bankruptcy Law Blog

Review of alternatives to the bankruptcy process

At our law office, we believe that our clients deserve the opportunity to explore all options for resolving their debt should they run into financial trouble. While we do not hesitate to recommend bankruptcy to a southeastern Tennessee resident when that really is their best financial option, we also will not hesitate to let families know when they should consider trying another approach.

After all, while bankruptcy can give a family the fresh financial start they desperately need, it comes with some sacrifices. For one, a person's credit score is always going to take a hit after that person files for bankruptcy, making it harder for that person to get loans and other financial advantages in the short term.

How one can wipe out car, other debt in bankruptcy

As this blog has discussed previously, residents of Bradley County and other parts of southeastern Tennessee can avail themselves of the country's bankruptcy system should they find themselves in trouble financially.

Whether it is a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the system exists to give honest families who have run into financial problems the chance to get a fresh start while still ensuring that creditors get treated fairly.

How Chapter 13 bankruptcy helps stop foreclosure

As this blog has mentioned previously, when family in southeastern Tennessee files for bankruptcy protection, they get the benefit of having immediate relief from all debt collection efforts, which includes foreclosures.

However, at least in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the protection from foreclosure only lasts so long. This is because, if a family falls behind in payments, no bankruptcy will stop the mortgage holder from taking back the home eventually, even though following a bankruptcy the mortgage holder can no longer turn around and sue the family personally. Usually, if a family is significantly behind on their mortgage payments, all a Chapter 7 does is drag out the process.

Black Friday scary prospect for those in credit card debt

What started as a fun family tradition of going shopping on that extra day off after the Thanksgiving holiday has become an all out shopping extravaganza. Some may still love Black Friday for the deals people can get in the check out lines, while others have grown less enthusiastic or even disdainful about this unofficial American holiday.

Still, two out of three people, assuming they shop at all, plan to be in the stores on Black Friday. The problem though is that on Black Friday, and during the four our so weeks afterward, many people in southeastern Tennessee and other parts of the country bite off more than they can chew. Some studies estimate as many as 40 percent of households spend more than they should on their Christmas gifts.

Are business owners subject to the "means test"?

A previous post on this blog discussed how a bankruptcy can help a sole proprietor, that is, a person who conducts business in his or her own name and does not incorporate, manage their business debts and keep their enterprise afloat while they reorganize.

Bankruptcy is also beneficial for business owners who chose to incorporate or otherwise organize their business. This is because most banks and creditors will require individuals who own a business, even if it is incorporated, to sign documents promising to pay all business loans if the business fails. These documents may even require a person put up his or her house or car as collateral.

We can help small businesses recover from financial distress

A previous post on this blog discussed how small southeastern Tennessee business owners who operate in their individual names can get help with their business debts through a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. This is because these debts are usually in the business owner's personal name, just like his or her house loan or personal credit card. As such, they can be repaid through a Chapter 13 repayment plan.

There are a couple of things that our law office recognizes about Chapter 13 plans for small businesses. For one, they allow the debtor to keep all of his or her property so long as he or she makes regular payments according to the agreed-upon plan. This means that Chapter 13 gives the business an opportunity to re-organize its finances and get afloat again.

What does it mean to reaffirm a debt?

After a Bradley County, Tennessee resident files for a bankruptcy, he or she may get something in the mail called a reaffirmation agreement. These agreements are particularly common in Chapter 7 bankruptcies with respect to car loans and similar types of debt, although a debtor might receive one for a mortgage or other type of debt now.

For those who might be filing bankruptcy without a lawyer, these agreements could seem harmless enough and they just sign and return them to the lender. After all, the person may be planning to repay that debt anyway, particularly if the alternative is for them to have their car or other piece of property repossessed once the bankruptcy is over.

Another sit-down restaurant falls on hard times

Romano's Macaroni Grill, an upscale Italian restaurant chain that once had locations sprouting up all over the country, has announced it will enter a Chapter 11 business bankruptcy in order to restructure its debts so that it might be able to continue to operate.

Like other restaurant chains that have either gone through rocky financial times or have had to close their doors over the last two decades or so, the management of Macaroni Grill says that the market conditions simply no longer favor chain restaurants that offer upscale, sit-down dining.

More on using Chapter 13 bankruptcy for business debt

A previous post on this blog mentioned that certain business owners may be able to use Chapter 13 bankruptcy to manage their business debts and therefore save their small business enterprise from having to close.

As this blog has mentioned previously, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, which involves a southeastern Tennessee resident repaying all or part of their debts over time in a monthly plan supervised by the bankruptcy court, is designed for individuals. Thus, a corporation or other business organization, like an LLC, is generally going to have to file a Chapter 7 or Chapter 11 should it run into financial trouble.

Controlling credit card debt through bankruptcy

A previous post on this blog discussed how easily Bradley County, Tennessee residents can find themselves struggling against mounting credit card debt. As the previous post mentioned, problems with credit debt do not just afflict people who have difficulty with overspending on pleasure items.

In many if not most cases, credit card debt starts with an emergency expense like a car repair or medical bill, or it starts when a family is simply no longer making what they need to make ends meet. While there are many ways to cope with this sort of situation, sometimes a solution may just be too little, too late. At other times, it might be that no solution will work since the underlying cause, like an unsustainable income, has not been addressed.

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Cleveland, TN 37364-1515
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