Bankruptcy Terms What does it all mean?

Bankruptcy Terms What does it all mean?

Defining Bankruptcy Issues

Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Lawyers

Chattanooga Bankruptcy Attorneys

In today’s world there is no limit to the specialized terminology of specific subject areas. The practice of law is certainly no exception. Of course now with the power of the internet people no longer need to be so confused, the definition of a term is but a click away. This article is intended to help unlock the mystery of the most common words and phrases used in the practice of bankruptcy law. Whether a person lives in Chattanooga Tennessee, or anywhere else in the United States these terms are commonly and frequently used because as part of the federal bankruptcy code.

What is Bankruptcy?


is the area of federal law that allows a person or entity that is insolvent to petition the court for relief of the obligation to pay the debts owed. This can be total relief or partial, or even just relief from the payment schedule.



the term chapter comes from the United States Code which is set forth in Title, Chapter and Section Format. Bankruptcy law is set forth in Title 11 of the United States Code and encompasses 15 chapters. . The two most relevant chapters for a consumer are 7 and 13.


Chapter 7

is the chapter of Title 11 of the U. S. Code (USCS OR USC) that provides an individual, married couple, or entity such as a corporation to request a complete discharge of debt. This is officially known as liquidation bankruptcy because certain assets can be sold by the Trustee in order to pay something to the creditors.


Chapter 13

is  is the chapter of Title 11 of the U. S. Code designed for consumer debtors or small businesses to enter into a court ordered court supervised repayment plan.  The Chapter 13 Plan is proposed by the debtor and his/her bankruptcy attorney and is intended to provide for the repayment of all or some of the total debts owed over a period of time ranging between 36 and 60 months.

Bankruptcy Terms to Know

Automatic Stay

upon the filing of a petition for any chapter of bankruptcy the debtor obtains automatic instant relief from a creditor’s efforts to collect a debt. All creditors are stayed – temporarily stopped – from taking any action against the debtor or the debtor’s property. A creditor must ask the court to lift the stay.



in bankruptcy this indicates a person or entity that owes money to a creditor. A debtor can be a person, a corporation, a government, and can include a married couple filing together, or a married person filing bankruptcy withouthis/her spouse.



in bankruptcy a creditor is a person or entity that is owed money or property from a debtor.  This can include a claim of an undetermined amount of financial liability, such a a litigant in an ongoing lawsuit with undetermined damages.



the legal term which means that the obligation to pay a debt is eliminated forever.  Even though the debt has not been repaid, the debtor is relieved of the legal responsibility to pay.  The creditor can no longer communicate with the debtor in any way about the debt.



in any court proceeding a petition must be filed with the court in order to begin the case. In bankruptcy the petition includes all of the debtor’s financial information and is the formal request for debt relief.



in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy to reaffirm a debt means that the debtor and the creditors agree to maintain the loan contract as of the bankruptcy never invited. The bankruptcy court must approve any reaffirmation agreement.



in bankruptcy the debtor can surrender or give a secured asset back to the creditor and ask the court to discharge any difference between the sale of the asset and the balance owed – the deficiency.



when a secured asset like an automobile is repossessed prior to filing bankruptcy the debtor can ask the Court to require the returnof that item.



in bankruptcy a Trustee is appointed to administer the bankruptcy case and protect the unsecured creditors.  The Trustee conducts the required meeting of creditors.  There is a “local” trustee and the 
United States Trustee involved in most consumer bankruptcy cases.


Meeting of Creditors

 in every bankruptcy case the debtor or debtors are required to attend a meeting of creditors, which is an informal proceeding conducted by the Trustee which allows the trustee and creditors to ask questions of the debtor under oath and on the record

Classification of Debt in Bankruptcy


a priority debt in bankruptcy is one that can not typically be discharged and must be paid before other creditors. This includes tax debts, fines, Criminal fees, and other specified debts.



a secured debt is one in which the creditor holds an interest in collateral whether it is the item purchased or another item pledged as collateral. Secured creditors are treated differently in bankruptcy than unsecured.



debts include credit cards medical bills, personal loans, judgments, etc. The unsecured creditor has no collateral or guarantee of payment. The bankruptcy trustee represents the interests of the unsecured creditors.

 Bankruptcy Attorney and Legal Advice

The above-listed terms are commonly used in bankruptcy proceedings, and are listed here to help facilitate a basic understanding of the process of filing for bankruptcy.  In order to receive legal advice and the professional assistance that is necessary, one should contact a bankruptcy attorney and schedule a consultation appointment.  In Hamilton, Rhea, Bradley, Bledsoe, and Sequatchie Counties in Tennessee, contact the experienced Chattanooga bankruptcy attorneys of Purple Law Firm, to learn more about bankruptcy terms and what it all means to you.




Chattanooga Criminal Defense: Plea or Trial

Chattanooga Criminal Defense: Plea or Trial

Understanding Plea Bargains

Arrested for a crime, bail can be revoked

Criminal Law Attorneys

When a person is charged with a crime, the choice must be made, plead guilty or go to trial. Making an informed decision requires the expertise of a seasoned legal professional. Of course there are times when the criminal defense attorney can manage to get the charges dismissed, but that is a rare result. The process of plea bargaining involves negotiations between the State of Tennessee and the criminal defendant, through the prosecutor and the defense lawyer. The goal for the defendant is obviously to get the least possible sentence while the goal of the prosecution is to protect the public.The result for the person charged with a crime, the defendant,  ranges between community service and probation to time in jail or prison, reduced through the bargaining process. Be sure to retain an experienced criminal defense attorney.

Reducing Criminal Penalties

Every crime or criminal act  is clearly defined in the Tennessee Code along with penalties which are usually a range and subject to the Tennessee sentence reform act. The Attorney General has a lot of discretion as does the court. It i usually not a question of guilty or not guilty, but what type of penalty will be enforced. The criminal defense attorney will seek to get a reduced penalty for the person charged with a crime.  This process involves the expertise of the legal professional understanding the facts of the case, the relevant law, and negotiation strategy.  Often times the results of plea bargaining will vary depending upon the background of the criminal defendant, the type of crime charged, and the overall circumstances.  The victim of the crime also has an input through the prosecutor.

The Results of Plea Bargaining

A first time offender charged with a non-violent crime will stand a better chance of sentence reduction then a repeat offender charged with a violent crime. There are a broad range of options that are available in plea bargaining.  The defense attorney can sometimes convince the prosecutor to reduce the charge to a lower crime which results in a lower penalty. Other times it is a matter of negotiating for probation and/or  community service.  If the person charged with the crime is a first time offender he/she may be eligible for judicial diversion.  Again, all of these options require the defense attorney to first understand all of the facts and circumstances leading up t the criminal charge and the background of the defendant.

Remember there are never any guarantees when entering into the plea bargaining phase of a criminal case.  Even an experienced attorney can only do so much not everyone will walk out of the courtroom free from incarceration.  But, when charged with a crime having a seasoned legal professional on your side gives you a much better chance of receiving a lower penalty. Speak to a Chattanooga criminal defense attorney about your case and whether to plea or go to trial.



Super Discharge in Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Super Discharge in Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

The debt burden on you

Debt Relief Options

Bankruptcy is designed to allow an insolvent debtor to become solvent by relieving the burden of debt. Although chapter 7 is the only available form of consumer bankruptcy that allows a complete discharge or elimination of all debt, there are alternative solutions found in chapter 13. A super discharge is a term which in essence means that the bankruptcy is a hybrid having elements of both chapter 13 and 7. e.  Seek the legal advice of a bankruptcy attorney regarding the different debt relief options.

Chapter 7 is not for Everyone

In order to file chapter 7 a person must meet certain qualifications including passing a financial means test. Additionally, this form of consumer bankruptcy can only be filed once in eight (8) years. A super discharge chapter 13 may be filed more than four (4) years after chapter 7 or a previous  super discharge bankruptcy case. So if a debtor can not file chapter 7, or has significant equity in assets like a house that he/she desires to retain, then chapter 13 may be the best if not the only solution.

Benefits of a Chapter 13 Super Discharge

Although chapter 13 bankruptcy involves repayment of the debts owed, not all debt is required to be paid. Depending of course on the financial means of an individual debtor, a chapter 13 plan can provide for the repayment of only a percentage of the total of them unsecured debts owed. For example a 70% plan leaves 30% unpaid at the end of the plan period. This remainder would be super discharged upon the successful completion of the chapter 13 plan. An experienced bankruptcy lawyer can help the debtor take the right steps to complete the plan.

Discharge of debt

means that the obligation and requirement to pay is eliminated forever. The consumer credit report will still reflect that the debt was owed with a notation of discharged in bankruptcy.  The creditor will be forbidden by law to take any action to collect the former debt.

Surrender and Discharge Secured Debt

Choose the right bankruptcy attorney in Chattanooga TN

Chattanooga Attorneys

Like unsecured debts secured obligations are also eligible for a super discharge. A person may surrender a house, a car or other secured asset and discharge any amount owed after the lender sells the item- discharge of deficiency. There are exceptions and of course the creditor can object to confirmation of the chapter 13 plan. Discuss this issue and the specific details of super discharge in chapter 13 with a qualified bankruptcy attorney.


Taxes and Bankruptcy

Taxes and Bankruptcy

Clearing up tax debt in Chapter 13

The debt burden on you

Tax Debt

When a person owes the IRS then it can to be an impossible feat to clear up the debt and move on with life. Although tax debt can not generally be discharged it can be resolved through a chapter 13 bankruptcy. Like all other creditors the Internal Revenue Service is subject to the provisions of the United States Bankruptcy Code. Upon filing a Chapter 13 petition the automatic stay prevents the IRS from attempting to collect except through the bankruptcy court, and interest stops accruing on the tax debt. As with all other creditors the IRS must submit a proof of claim with the court. At this point the bankruptcy attorney must analyze the claim and determine the best strategy.

Challenging the Claims of the IRS

An integral part of the chapter 13 bankruptcy process is the ability of a debtor to challenge the claims of his/her creditors. Claims for tax debts are no exception.  It is not uncommon for the IRS to file a proof of claim which contains errors- at least from the tax debtor’s point of view  The debtor’s bankruptcy lawyer will file an objection to the claim and require that the IRS prove every aspect of its claim for tax debt. This is also an opportunity to negotiate the claim and reach a settlement agreement.  Beware though, this is a very complicated process which requires the expertise of an experienced attorney.

Benefits of Chapter 13

Be Debt Free

Debt Relief

Once the amount claim of the IRS is resolved then the chapter 13 plan must provide for the payment of the claim.  It is important to note that the proof of claim will include several items. Due to the complexity of the Internal Revenue Code and the restrictions prohibiting tax advice, only general issues will be included here. Except in very rare instances, all of the tax debt will be free of interest from the point of the filing of the bankruptcy petition. Only interest owed at the time of filing will be included in the claim.  Of course the actual tax which is due and owing will be included as a priority – non-dischargeable- claim.  There are also certain penalties and types of interest which become a priority claim.  There are other types of interest and certain penalties that will be claimed as a general unsecured debt, and will be treated the same as claims of credit card debts and other unsecured debts. Speak to a Chattanooga bankruptcy attorney about the specific issues related to your tax debt.

This article is not intended as legal advice nor as tax advice.  In order to receive advice about the legal consequences of tax debt and solutions seek the counsel of a Chattanooga bankruptcy attorney.  If you need tax advice contact a Certified Public Accountant or a tax attorney. The attorneys of Purple Law Firm are recognized by the United States Congress as a debt relief agency, and are experienced in the practice of bankruptcy law. To discuss taxes and bankruptcy contact the legal professionals of Purple Law Firm.


When to File for Bankruptcy

In today’s economic upheaval a question that is plaguing many Tennesseans is:

When should I file bankruptcy? 

Can you Reaffirm Debt in a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

Chattanooga Bankruptcy Attorneys

It is important to first understand some of the basics about bankruptcyWhat is bankruptcy? Bankruptcy is provided for under the United States Code Title 11.  Complete or liquidation bankruptcy is found under Chapter 7 of the said Title, while repayment bankruptcy is found under Chapter 13.  Bankruptcy is very complicated and involves numerous legal issues.  This is why you should have the assistance of a Chattanooga bankruptcy attorney.

The answer to when you should file for bankruptcy is not always the same for every person. Bankruptcy like many legal issues involves questions of fact and issues of law.  An attorney experienced in bankruptcy law will review your financial circumstances, including income, unsecured debts like credit cards, home mortgage, car loans, etc.   The Chattanooga bankruptcy  lawyer will also review and analyze your monthly expenses including utilities, food, transportation expenses and the like.  After getting a good grasp on your financial situation your bankruptcy attorney can then look at the options available under bankruptcy law.

There are many reasons that a person needs or should file bankruptcy.

Generally speaking, one should file bankruptcy when you are unable to reasonably repay your debts without threatening your ability to provide the life essentials like food, clothing and housing. In other words a person is financially insolvent or close to insolvency. Of course in today’s fractured real estate market housing is one of the leading causes of bankruptcy.  Obviously, if your home is in foreclosure filing bankruptcy is usually imminent.  Both chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy can help you when you are facing foreclosure.    Sometimes this decision is a result of a lawsuit – like for a car accident, or a garnishment of wages for a bad medical or credit card debt. Certainly if you have been sued and a judgment issued you should immediately seek the advice of a bankruptcy attorney in Chattanooga - a garnishment will be right around the corner.

Unemployment, pay reductions, foreclosure, medical bills, and divorce are leading causes of bankruptcy.

Get a free bankruptcy case evaluationIf you are in one or more of these situations and are considering your debt relief options contact an bankruptcy attorney for an  evaluation and consultation.  Keep in mind that before you can file bankruptcy there are certain steps that must be taken like credit counseling, and you must meet certain qualifications including passing the means test.  Your bankruptcy lawyer can help you complete the pre fiing steps, and will advise you concerning the bankruptcy qualifications.

As a part of the United States Bankruptcy Code the Us Congress has designated law firms, attorneys and lawyers as debt relief agencies.


Please remember that this neither this article, nor any other internet information on bankruptcy is or should be construed as legal advice.  Attorneys are specially trained and experienced in bankruptcy law and will only give legal advice during a consultation, usually in person. Contact a Chattanooga bankruptcy attorney to find out when you should file for bankruptcy chapter 7 or chapter 13

The Economy -Jobs, Unemployment and Debt

The Economy -Jobs, Unemployment and Debt

What are the debt solutions for you?

Although the politicians continually claim to have the answers, it does not appear that our National Debt problems will get better anytime soon.  Of course over the last several years we have all learned that our government seems to have unlimited credit and will borrow from China whenever the whim is felt.  

Can’t Borrow Your Way Out?

 Once a person or family has maxed out the credit card limit, and no more offers are coming in the mail, that’s it.  Going to the local bank for a loan? Debt ratio or credit score are not in the proper range?  The bank will say NO!



The debt burden on you

Get Debt Relief


The protesting, heated political debates, blaming one political party or the other, and talking heads of the media – round tables, etc. – certainly have American’s talking about the economy and the negative impact on the lives of individuals.  But, will protesting in the streets provide you debt relief? At the end of the day many people still have no job, or are working at a low wage job, part time, and have less money.  Many people are in heavy credit card debt, facing the possibility of home foreclosure, and have no idea where to turn.  It by no means the purpose of this article to discourage the national conversation or in anyway to stifle the peaceful protests against the greed and bad policies of  our national leaders (Wall Street and Washington)  However, individual budget and debt issues can not usually be resolved by such measures, certainly not immediately. So these are not debt solutions for you.

Stop Creditor Harassment End Debt Crisis


Bankruptcy provides immediate and complete debt relief

All day and all night long, work, home, cell phone the creditors keep calling.  You check the mail – yet another letter from a debt collector, an attorney offering to let you settle your debt for a lump sum payment threatening to file a lawsuit.  Creditor harassment irritates and emotionally drains a person.  The home mortgage is past due, you are behind and you start to ask yourself is it worth paying $1000 $1500 $2000+ every month for a house that is now worth much less than you paid for it maybe less than you owe on it.  Debt crisis can be very frightening, sometimes over zealous credit collectors even threaten things like arrest or coming to your home to take all that you own.

If this situation describes you, then you need immediate debt relief.  A bankruptcy lawyer can ease your mind and explain what options are available to you under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy.  The only immediate and complete debt relief option comes from filing for bankruptcy which provides every debtor the benefit of the automatic stay.  Debt repayment programs do not provide you with an automatic stay, and don’t always end creditor harassment or other collection practices.  Mortgage modification usually does little to help and can even push you closer to foreclosure.

Bankruptcy Options and Benefits

There are two options for individuals who file bankruptcy chapter 7 and chapter 13.  While both chapters of bankruptcy provide immediate relief from debt collections and harassment the options and benefits are different.  The reasons for filing chapter 7 or chapter 13 bankruptcy are also different.  A bankruptcy attorney will review your debts your income, and your property – both incumbered and assets free from secured debt.  You and your lawyer will also need to discuss your goals for bankruptcy and the relief from your debt.

Some questions will need to answered before your attorney for bankruptcy can properly advise you as to proceeding with either a chapter 7 or 13  filing: Do you want to save your home or keep it?; Is your home mortgage current or in arrears?;  Do you want or need to keep your vehicle and its payments? Do you want preserve your ability to file chapter 7  bankruptcy in the near future?  These are just a few examples of what needs to be discussed with a lawyer before deciding what chapter of bankruptcy is best for you. In order to file either chapter 7 or chapter 7 you must be able meet certain pre bankruptcy requirements like means testing and credit counseling.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Benefits and Options for Debt Relief

You need  to have a complete and thorough discussion with a bankruptcy attorney before knowing what Chapter 7  can do for you.  However, in short chapter 7 bankruptcy is also known as complete or fresh start bankruptcy.  When filing chapter 7 you will be able to discharge all of your debt, with some limited exceptionsChapter 7 discharges credit card debt, medical bills, personal loans, most cash advances, civil court judgments, and other unsecured debts. Under a chapter 7 bankruptcy you have the option to reaffirm your home mortgage and  keep your home, your car, or other secured debts. Or you can choose to surrender secured property back to the creditor and have the debt completely discharged.  Most of your assets, property, will be exempt from the bankruptcy Trustee – most people can keep all of their property.

Options and Benefits of filing Chapter 13

Chapter 13 bankruptcy involves repayment of some or all of your debts under a chapter 13 plan.  You and your lawyer for bankruptcy will put together a plan to repay your debts in a period of up to five years to be approved by the bankruptcy court.  If you are facing foreclosure, but can now make your mortgage payments and repay the arrears, chapter 13 will allow you to stop foreclosure and save your home. You can also save your car from repossession.  Chapter 13 stops all interest on unsecured debt, so you can then repay only the credit card balance as of the date of bankruptcy filing.  Depending upon your income and the chapter 13 means test you may be able to repay only a percentage of your unsecured debt.  For example, you owe $30,000 total credit card debt and you propose a 70% chapter 13 plan you would repay $21,000 at no interest over five years (note there is a 3.5% trustee fee- $735 for this example) at a payment of approximately $362.00.

Speak to A Chattanooga Bankruptcy Attorney

Bankruptcy Attorney

Bankruptcy Attorney

Before you decide what bankruptcy or debt relief option is best for you.  Before you spend another week not answering your phone for fear that it is yet another harassing collection call.  Before you spend another sleepless night worrying if you are going to be foreclosed upon and kicked out of your home tomorrow.  Consult with a bankruptcy attorney about the debt relief available to you and whether you qualify to file chapter 7 or chapter 13 bankruptcy.  Get a free online bankruptcy evaluation from a bankruptcy attorney in Chattanooga.





Family Law Attorney in Chattanooga Tennessee

Family Law Attorney in Chattanooga Tennessee

What is Family Law?

Family law is an area of legal practice that involves numerous  issues affecting the family.  Although the matters of law are somewhat typical,  the involvement of family relationships, and the emotionally charged issues add a level of uniqueness to every family law case.  This classification of legal practice which is also referred to as domestic relations law includes:

All of these matters involve issues of law, and questions of fact, but above all they involve real lives, close intimate relationships, and deeply emotional controversies.   Family law matters require wise legal counsel, and considerate professional representation by a lawyer.

Attorney Jim Purple has More than 30 Years Experience in Family Law Matters

Family law attorney Jim Purple

Jim Purple, Lawyer

Jim Purple has been practicing law in the Chattanooga, TN area for more than 30 years, and over that time he has represented hundreds of people in numerous situations involving family law.  There are very few issues that arise that are not within his realm of experience as a lawyer.  As a person and an attorney, Jim Purple centers his focus on the person and the relationships that are involved.  Of course, every domestic relations issue involves questions of law.  At Purple Law Firm the knowledgeable professional legal staff delivers a high standard of legal analysis in every case.  First the facts, the family dynamic, then the legal aspects of the case.  Family Law Attorney Jim Purple believes strongly in the philosophy that every client deserves special attention and a realistic legal counsel.  In other words you can expect an honest projection of the realistic potential and/or probable outcomes in your family law case.  For all of your family law needs, contact (by phone 423-899-0131 or email) Purple Law Firm in Chattanooga, and have seasoned legal professionals on your side.

Divorce as Part of Family Law Practice

divorce lawyer Perhaps the most common area of family law that an attorney deals with is divorce.  The dissolution of marriage often times involves formidable issues like adultery, spousal or child abuse, drug and alcohol abuse, and the like.  Divorce also involves several other areas of family law such as spousal support or alimony, division of marital assets and debts, child custody and child support.  Sometimes divorce even involves a question of paternity – the determination of fatherhood.  Most of the issues presented to a divorce lawyer have a legal side as well as a personal side, and often times are deeply personal and full of emotional and psychological ramifications.   With over 30 years of practicing divorce law,  an undergraduate degree  in Psychology, and his life experiences, Chattanooga attorney Jim Purple is prepared to help you with any of these issues. Learn more about divorce.

Adoption and Termination of Parental Rights in Family Law

Tennessee adoption attorneyThe  constitutional right to raise one’s own children is fundamental and held to a high value and legal standard in the courts of Tennessee.  But, there are times when this right must yield to the best interests of the child and the parent-child relationship must be legally terminated in order to provide a proper family structure for the child.  Unless the natural parents are deceased, their parental rights must be terminated in order for the child to be adopted by another couple or single parent.  Child neglect, abuse, and abandonment are some of the most common issues that lead to termination of parental rights and adoption of a child.  Often times the adoptive parents are already related to the child – such as grandparents adopting a grandchild.  Make no mistake the process of termination of parental rights and adoption of a child is a very serious matter involving strict legal procedures and requires a court to find by clear and convincing evidence that it is best for the child.  Adoption is permanent and should never be entered into lightly nor without wise legal counsel and representation by an experienced family law attorney.  If you are consider adopting a child contact Purple Law Firm to schedule a free consultation appointment.


Family law also includes the issues of protection from domestic abuse — orders of protection or restraining orders, and child dependency and neglect.  Any legal matter involving family members and relationships should be considered to be serious.   Always consult with a a family law attorney about domestic relations issues and problems – call (423) 899-0131 or email Purple Law Firm, in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Child Custody Can Parents Move with Child?

Very commonly a parent who is going through a divorce or a child custody case will ask:

Can the custodial parent move out of state with the child?

In Tennssee the primary residential parent can not relocate with the minor child if the alternate residential parent is currently spending time with the child. Of course if  the alternate residential parent consents then the parent can relocate. Otherwise consent from the divorce or child custody court will be required. If the other parent is not spending any time with the child then consent is not required to move with the child.

divorce lawyer

Dividing the child in child custody cases is sometimes very difficult

When both parents are spending significant time with a minor child Tennessee’s child custody law requires the following procedure for relocation with the child. This procedure applies regardless of the designation of decision making authority in the permanent parenting plan, and must be followed if a parent desires to move out of Tennessee or more than 100 miles away within Tennesse. The parent wanting to move must no notify the other parent by certified or registered mail at least 60 days in advance of the intended move. The notice of intent to move with the child must contain the destination address and a notice that advises the non-custodial parent of the right to file an objection to the relocation in the court within 30 days after receipt of the notice.

Court Hearing to Review Relocation

In the event that an objection is filed, the Tennessee court will conduct a hearing to determine if the request to relocate with the child should be granted. Tennesse courts weigh several factors when considering a parent’s intent to relocate with a minor child. It is always best to consult with and retain a family law attorney in this type of situation.

Ultimately, you should always consider the fact that shared parenting in child custody cases is the is preferred by the Tennessee Courts and Tennessee Law.  Although, sometimes a parent needs to relocate with a child for employment or other life changing reasons, it is not the ideal and can make it quite difficult to continue a shared parenting relationship. Again, consult a child custody, divorce attorney if you are considering relocation.


Don’t Qualify for Bankruptcy? Other Debt Relief Options

Don’t Qualify for Bankruptcy? Other Debt Relief Options

Beyond the Bankruptcy Options

Debt  Relief Attorneys

Chattanooga Attorney

It has been written many times in this blog and the main web site of Purple Law Firm, that bankruptcy is the best debt relief option for most people in most situations.  However, it has also been explained that in order to file bankruptcy, chapter 7 or chapter 13, you must qualify and meet other requirements.  And of course if you have filed Chapter 7 in the last 8 years you can not file again until after the eight years passes.  So are there effective debt relief solutions outside of bankruptcy? Are there ways to reduce your overall debt, the total money you owe to creditors, and still maintain your living expenses? Or maybe to just take care of the delinquencies?

What kind of Debt Relief works?

The answer to this question depends heavily on the type of debt issue you are experiencing.  For instance is it credit card debt that is just too high, or has a creditor actually filed a lawsuit?  If it is the latter, then a debtor really needs the assistance of an experienced debt relief attorney.  Sometimes a lawyer can get the lawsuit dismissed by utilizing the fair debt collection act, or by raising a statute of limitation defense.  Other times the legal professional can achieve debt relief by stopping a wage garnishment or bank levy and helping you develop a payment plan – known as slow pay.  While there are other debt relief options such as debt consolidation plans, those listed here are usually the most effective.

Foreclosure Options

If the debt problem you are facing is foreclosure,and bankruptcy is not an option then there are a few other potential solutions.  One of course is a foreclosure defense which directly challenges the creditor’s right to foreclose – a lot of media attention on this issue lately.  Another option, if you are not wanting to save your home, is to negotiate a surrender or short sale of the home. You may even be able to negotiate a surrender and a lease of your home so that you don’t have to move.

Of course there are many

different solutions to debt relief

.  Some options are legitimate, but others alternatives are little more than scams.  The best solution should be arrived at trough legal consultation with a Chattanooga attorney at law experienced in debt solutions. Don’t go it alone, that’s probably what helped get you in this situation, get legal advice and attorney assistance to help you get out of the debt nightmare.

Chattanooga attorney Jim Purple has been practicing law for thirty (30) years and is experienced in providing debt relief solutions for people in the Hamilton County, Tennessee area.  Call (423-899-0131) or email today for a consultation appointment and begin the recovery from debt problems through bankruptcy or other debt relief options.


Filing Bankruptcy What Happens to Lawsuits

Filing Bankruptcy What Happens to Lawsuits

What is a Lawsuit

When you get behind on your bills, medical bills, credit cards, other loans, etc, first comes the collection letters and phone calls, then the civil lawsuits. A civil lawsuit is a court action which seeks a judgment for damages – the past due balance- interest, attorney fees, court costs, etc.  A sheriff’s deputy knocks on your door or shows up at you job and serves you with a civil warrant or civil summons.  Now you have to go to court, and face garnishment or levy of your bank account after a judgment is entered by the court, which will usually happen.  How do you stop this endless cycle?

Does bankruptcy stop a civil lawsuit and the collection process?


With rare exceptions, Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy will stop the lawsuit in its tracks, prevent the entry of a judgment and will stop garnishments or bank levies.
Protect your assets through bankruptcy

Stop Collections and Lawsuits

A civil lawsuit

is the culmination of the collection process and like all other collection activity, upon the filing of a bankruptcy petition for either chapter 7 or chapter 13, the automatic stay prevents the continuation of a civil lawsuit or enforcement of a civil judgment.  In certain cases, such as an allegation of fraud, or a domestic relations related lawsuit, the creditor may file a motion in the Chattanooga bankruptcy court and move the court to lift the bankruptcy automatic stay.  If the automatic stay is lifted the civil suit continues in state court, then will usually return the the Chattanooga bankruptcy court  after disposition – the entry of a judgment.  In a chapter 7 the question of dischargeablility of the debt  will arise, in a chapter 13 the judgment debt will be added in to the chapter 13 plan.

 File Bankruptcy Before Entry of a Judgment

While it is true the bankruptcy will halt the collection process, including judicial proceedings, it is best to file for bankruptcy prior to the entry of a judgment, especially if you own real property.  In Tennessee, a judgment creditor may file a certified copy of a civil court judgment in the Office of the Register of Deeds, and a perfected secured lien is created upon any real property that the debtor owns.  Once a perfected security lien is created then it usually can not be discharged in bankruptcy, without surrendering the secured asset- your real property.

Bankruptcy Attorney

If you have been

served with civil process

– a General Sessions Warrant or a Civil Summons – speak to a Chattanooga bankruptcy lawyer before the case is set to go to court.  Contact Purple Law Firm in Chattanooga, Tennessee, to get the legal advice you need, develop a plan of action that works for you.  Speak to a Chattanooga bankruptcy attorney to learn more about filing bankruptcy – what happens to lawsuits.



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