Can I Keep A Credit Card After Bankruptcy?

I saw this blog article on a Texas bankruptcy website and thought it was excellent, so I am passing it on to you. If you have any questions and are thinking about contacting a Maryland Bankruptcy Lawyer or Maryland Bankruptcy Attorney, call or e-mail us today and we will get back to you immediately. CAN I KEEP A CREDIT CARD AFTER BANKRUPTCY? Many bankruptcy debtors need a credit card for work. Whether it is necessary for business purchases or travel, it is common for a debtor to ask, “Can I keep one of my credit cards?” The answer to this question depends on a few circumstances. First, is there a balance on the card? If your card balance is zero on the day that you file your bankruptcy, then the credit card company is not a “creditor” for bankruptcy purposes, and you do not have to list the card as a debt in your bankruptcy schedules. Consequently, the credit card company will not receive notice of your bankruptcy case. Before you pay down your credit card debt, be advised … [Read more...]

New Law In Maryland About Your Automobile

Hot of the presses: The law has changed in the state of Maryland. Let me set the stage: When a person files bankruptcy and they own a car and making payments on the car, that person is permitted to keep the car as long as they remain current on the payments. A "reaffirmation" agreement is something that a person signs AFTER he or she files bankruptcy, and it is an agreement a car owner signs with the company who has the lien on the car that essentially says "even though I filed bankruptcy and can discharge (not be responsible for) the debt, I am going to sign a NEW contract saying that I will be resonsible for the debt." Now, in the past, as bankruptcy lawyers in Maryland, we always advised our client's NOT to sign reaffirmation agreements. That was because it use to be that as long as the owner was making the payments on time, the car loan company had absolutely no right to repossess the car. However, the Maryland Court of Appeals, in the recent case of Ford Motor Credit … [Read more...]

Getting Credit After Bankruptcy, It’s Easier Than You Think!

There is one question that people always ask when they come in to my office to file a Chapter  7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy.  They are concerned, and rightfully so, about whether or not they are going to be able to buy a car, buy a house or even get another credit card after they file bankruptcy.  My answer is always the same.   I say "I don't know the true answer because I am not a lender, however, many people and many articles seem to indicate that people ARE able to obtain credit to buy cars, houses and get credit cards within a very short time after filing Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy."  This morning I was searching the web looking for articles on this subject and I found the following article.  It addresses the issue very well.  Please read on if you are interested. The author is Liz Pulliam Weston, and she writes as follows: Almost anyone can get credit soon after a bankruptcy. It's just a matter of knowing how. It's true that bankruptcy deals a devastating blow to … [Read more...]

Can a Second Mortgage Foreclose?

In most states, including Maryland the answer is yes a second mortgage can foreclose if in default.   The practical difficulty is that many junior mortgages are partially or wholly under water.  This makes foreclosure all but impossible.  In the case of a junior mortgage, there is always a senior mortgage with superior rights and first dibs on the money from the sale.  Moreover, there are often tax and condo fee creditors with rights that trump the junior mortgagee.  Consequently, unless there is clear equity above all outstanding liens and the expected costs of the foreclosure process, a junior mortgagee is extremely unlikely to press a foreclosure.  We often see people with second mortgages that are in severe default but with no attempts on the part of the junior mortgagee to foreclose.  One can’t take too much solace in this because the lien will stay with the property and will be a major problem if the property appreciates or if the homeowners ever want to sell or refinance the … [Read more...]

The Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Process

I want to give you all an idea of the bankruptcy process. I'll try to keep this simple and cover only the "normal" case and not cases involving objections from creditors and other complications. Once you've chosen an attorney, provided all the documentation requested and paid the required fees, it's time to file your case. If you are in a Chapter 7 case, then the procedure is the case gets filed with the Clerk's office in your jurisdiction. Upon the filing, an automatic stay goes into effect. This stay immediately stops your creditors from doing any collection proceedings, including court-ordered garnishments, license suspensions, phone calls, billings, etc... About 4-6 weeks after your case is filed, you will have to attend a "meeting of creditors" or "Section 341" meeting. This is a hearing that debtors are required to attend. Typically, if you've hired a full-service bankruptcy law firm such as ours, an attorney will be at your hearing with you. An interim trustee appointed by the … [Read more...]

Things Not To Do When Considering Bankruptcy

At the Maryland Bankruptcy Center, our lawyers are always trying to educate ourselves so that we can pass on important information to our Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 client's.  I saw this article on a great consumer bankruptcy website and I thought I would pass it on.  Check it out.  And if you have any other questions about Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 consumer personal bankruptcy in Maryland, and you are looking for a Maryland Bankruptcy Lawyer to assist you, please call us anytime: Bankruptcy Planning: Ten Dumbest Things NOT to Do–Part One As a bankruptcy attorney, a recent headline offering to tell me the dumbest mistakes I could make if I owed too much debt caught my eye.  Rarely does a potential bankruptcy client come to me as soon as they get into financial trouble; often they have done things to try and fix the problems themselves that I can only wish had not been done.  Unfortunately the headline that caught my eye was only a link to an advertisement that didn’t deliver on the … [Read more...]

Why do we call bankruptcy Chapter 7?

Very few people know why the type of personal bankruptcy that eliminates a persons debts is called CHAPTER 7.  Well, here's the answer.  There is huge volume of books that contain all of the laws that our Federal Government passes.  Those books are called the United States Code.   That Code has TITLES, and within those TITLES are CHAPTERS.  TITLE 11 of the United States Code is all about bankruptcy, and is sometimes called by bankruptcy code.  Within TITLE 11 is Chapter 7, which is called  the "Liquidation" section of TITLE 11 of the United States Code.  Chapter 7 Liquidation means that in exchange for liquidating all of your property (with exemptions that usually means that you get to keep everything you own), you are permitted to discharge, or eliminate your unsecured debts in Chapter 7.  Chapter 13 and Chapter 11 are other Chapters of TITLE 11 of the United States Code, and they will be discussed elsewhere. Click below if you would like to see all of Chapter 7 as actually written … [Read more...]

What is Personal Bankruptcy Discharge?

What is a bankruptcy discharge? The typical consumer files a bankruptcy case in order to obtain a "discharge" of overwhelming debt. An unfortunate word that is used to describe what for many is a life changing "event". Why? When a debt is "discharged", the obligation of the debtor to pay it, no longer exists. The obligation is simply gone...poof. It is government intervention in the realm of private contract relationship at it's "finest", and with some careful planning and preparation, it works like a charm. Now, having said that, this powerful discharge has it's limits. It isn't perfect. 1. It doesn't deal with every debt. some debts cannot be "discharged" by statute, like child support, newer income tax debt, spousal maintenance etc. 2. Even though the personal liability may no longer exist as a result of the "discharge", liens recorded against the debtor's property, may survive the bankruptcy unless they are modified or removed. 3. You can't get very many of them too … [Read more...]

National Personal Bankruptcy Chapter 7 and 13 for May

Personal bankruptcy filings for the month of May have increased compared with a year ago, but dropped slightly compared with a month earlier, the American Bankruptcy Institute reported last week. Here’s a breakdown of the data. Total filings: In May 2010, 136,142 personal bankruptcy cases were filed, a nine percent increase from May 2009, when 124,838 cases were filed. Month-to-month change: May’s total marked a six percent drop from April of this year, when 144,490 cases were filed. Distribution: Of the cases filed, 26 percent were under Chapter 13 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, and most of the remaining 74 percent were under Chapter 7. Projected total: Based on figures collected so far this year, most sources estimate that personal bankruptcy filings this year will total about 1.6 million, a 10 percent increase over the 1.44 million filed in 2009. So what can these numbers tell us about the economic situation in the U.S.? Let’s take a look. The Effect of … [Read more...]

Glossary of Bankruptcy Terms

Bankruptcy terms can be difficult to understand.  Below are brief definitions of the terms used in this site and in the Bankruptcy Code. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us. 410-766-4044. Adequate protection:Payment to a secured creditor to protect the value of the creditor's lien during the bankruptcy proceeding from loss due to depreciation or non payment of a senior lien. Adversary proceeding: A lawsuit filed in the bankruptcy court which is related to the debtor's bankruptcy case. Examples are complaints to determine the dischargeability of a debt and complaints to determine the extent and validity of liens. Assets:Assets are every form of property that the debtor owns.  They include such intangible things as business goodwill; the right to sue someone; or stock options.  The debtor must disclose all of his assets in the bankruptcy schedules; exemptions remove the exempt assets from property of the estate. Automatic stay: The injunction issued … [Read more...]