If you have substantial assets, fear family disagreements, or simply feel more confident placing your affairs into the hands of an experienced professional, it makes good sense to hire an estate planning lawyer.
Here is an overview of how this site works and what articles you'll find most useful. It can be confusing to sort out the process, the taxes, and the issues that arise after someone's death. This site will help.
Each state has rules, called the laws of intestacy, that determine how to divide property when a spouse dies without a Will. Read this article to find out who inherits if a spouse or parent dies without a Will in North Carolina.
Did you work full time in a public service job for at least 10 years? Did you make payments on your direct student loan for that entire time? If so, you may be able to get ALL of your remaining student loan debt cancelled once you've made your 120th qualifying payment.
When you default on a student loan, you may be subject to a wide range of collection tactics -- from phone calls and letters to the loss of your tax refund or some of your wages. Know what's legal and what's not.
To make changes or resolve problems with a student loan, you must work with the loan "servicer." Sometimes, though, it's difficult to know who the servicer is. Here are tips on finding that information and getting results.
Most Americans are just one catastrophic event away from financial ruin. Sometimes a life event (i.e. "shit") happens to us.... And it can overwhelm us with debt. But, fortunately, that doesn't mean your life is ruined forever. In fact, that's exactly why bankruptcy law was created! — for the “honest but unfortunate debtor.”
Where will you be in 5 years if you don't file bankruptcy now? If your financial situation will better, and if the problems that are dogging you now are likely to pass without too much disruption in your life, then maybe bankruptcy isn't the right answer. But if you are going to be in the same place, or worse, then we should take a hard look at bankruptcy now.
Filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy means that you'll be dealing with a "bankruptcy trustee" who will be assigned to handle your case. The trustee's job is to gather all non-exempt property you own into the "bankruptcy estate" to determine what (if anything) can be sold and the proceeds distributed to your unsecured creditors. In most cases, there's nothing left — "no-asset" cases make up more than 90% of consumer chapter 7 cases — but the trustee will be looking.
You may be surprised to learn that every federal bankruptcy court has a special section just for people filing bankruptcy without an attorney. Learn how to use this information if you are thinking about filing for bankruptcy.
The law does not require to have a lawyer, and if your case is simple and you have few assets, you can successfully file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy yourself. Chapter 13? Not so much. And if you have property to lose, or you're not great with details, getting a lawyers help can be a good idea, no matter what kind of bankruptcy you're filing. Also a lawyer may find ways to help that you haven't' thought of
Yes. You must complete a credit counseling course before you file your bankruptcy petition. Fortunately, it's easy and can be done online. And your case cannot be completed (i.e. you can't get your "discharge order" from the judge until you take a "Debtor Education" course.
Everyone who files for bankruptcy must attend a 341 hearing, which is also called a "creditors meeting." The meeting is conducted by the bankruptcy trustee assigned to your case. During the Coronavirus, it. can be done by phone.
Bankruptcy can eliminate some kinds of debts, like credit card debt and medical debt, but not others, like child support and (in most cases) student loans. And liens associated with "purchase money secured debts", where you have pledged collateral for a loan, also are not affected by a bankruptcy, so you can still lose the collateral to the lien-holder.
Yes, but it is much more difficult than discharging other types of unsecured debt like credit cards. You have to prove “undue hardship.” But you might get lucky, if you get the right bankruptcy judge. Be sure to consider non-bankruptcy options.
Bankruptcy helps you get rid of unsecured debt. It does not eliminate secured debts, where you have pledged collateral for a loan, such as a car loan or a mortgage. When you file bankruptcy you must declare what you intend to do about your secured debts.
Federal bankruptcy law has its own list of exemptions 11 U.S.C. § 522, but some states require you to use only the state law exemptions instead, while other states offer a choice of the state or federal exemptions. Find out what North Carolina does.
When you file, you'll be asked by the court to decide what you want to do about property you've pledged as collateral, and then you have 45 days to act on it. Your options include surrendering the property, "redeeming" the property by essentially buying it outright at it's current (reduced) market value, or "reaffirming" the debt via a contractual agreement to retain your personal liability and keep making payments, or in some cases, "ride through" - that is, keep making payments on the secured debt even though your personal liability has been wiped out.
The answer is, it depends.. on a lot of things: Do you lease or own? If you own the car and are making payments on it, how much of the equity in the car is protected by exemptions allowed in North Carolina? Most people who file for bankruptcy can end up keeping their car, or at least some kind of vehicle that can get them to work and back, but the answer depend on your particular circumstances.
Can bankruptcy help stop an eviction? Well, it can delay it, for an extra month or two, in some cases, in some states, if you file early enough in the eviction process. Bankruptcy can, however be a great solution to the problem of "back rent debt" accumulated during the pandemic.
Retirement accounts that are recognized by the IRS are exempt by law in bankruptcy up to over a million dollars. State law may provide additional protection for specific kinds of pensions, under state law.
Wages are protected by federal non bankruptcy law, and by state wage garnishment laws, which are generally more generous than the Federal wage garnishment protection. There are typically exceptions to this exemption for things like child support, and other priority debts.
Almost every state has an exemption for "any property" which is sometimes called the "wildcard" or "grubsteak" exemption. Generally this exemption is useful because it can be combined with other exemptions to fully protect equity that might otherwise go unprotected.
Some exemptions exist under Federal law, wholly separate from the bankruptcy code, and protect such assets from the reach of creditors regardless of whether bankruptcy is at issue. These exemptions can only be claimed if you are using state exemptions, (regardless of whether a state has 'opted out' of the federal bankruptcy exemptions under § 522(d)).
It doesn't mean you have nothing. It just means that the property you do own is either pledged as collateral to a secured creditor , and/or whatever equity you have is protected by bankruptcy exemptions — and therefore there are "no assets" available to pay unsecured creditors.
Every state has laws that designate certain types of property (your home, some personal possessions, tools of your trade) that are off-limits to "unsecured" creditors. Some states give you the option of using the Federal bankruptcy exemptions.
If there is a judicial lien on your property as a result of a court judgment against you, you may have the right to remove it if it "impairs" an exemption on the property. You must intitiate a special procedure called an "adversary proceeding." You may need a lawyer's help to do this, and you need to make ask your bankruptcy lawyer if they charge extra fees for doing this.
A mathematical formula—called the means test—determines whether you qualify for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in North Carolina. The means test first looks to see if your average income for the past six months is below the median income in North Carolina. And if it is, then it looks at whether would have enough "disposable income" to fund a five-year Chapter 13 debt repayment plan—after allowing for monthly expenses for food, housing, clothing, transportation and medical care, based in part on county-by-county expense standards for Graham County that the IRS uses in their nationwide tax-collections efforts.
The Means Test Calculator is an automated version of the official three-part test form. Just choose your zip code, and the calculator applies the relevant state median income and county living standards, based on the number of persons in your household, your marital status and what county you live in.
The bankruptcy means test was added to US bankruptcy law in 2005 as part of the credt-card-industry sponsored bankruptcy law to weed out so-called "bankruptcy-abusers" -- hence the language about a "presumption of abuse" (just to make you feel extra ashamed for exercising your right to bankruptcy!).
The 2005 Bankruptcy Law (BAPCPA) created the means test, ostensibly to prevent people from abusing bankruptcy. The means test mans you can't file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy if your income is above the median income for North Carolina, or your allowed expenses leave enough disposable income to fund pay some of your debts over 5 years. In fact, most people who file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy have no trouble passing the means test.
This summarizes the opinion of the United States Trustee Program (USTP) on issues that arise under each line of the means test. These statements are not the last word on the law. They're just how the trustees office interprets the law.
The means test can be completed very quickly if your average income for the past six months is below the state median. It takes a bit longer if your income is above the state median. But it can easily be completed in under an hour, regardless.
If you fail the means test you can still claim "special circumstances." Possible "special circumstances" are job loss or pay cut, a serious medical condition, or unusually high child care expenses. You must be able to produce proof of your expenses and that your expenses are reasonable -- and that you have no reasonable alternative.
The CARES Act made an important change to the means test form to indicate that payments under the CARES act are NOT included in determining median income. This could be a great boon to those thinking of filing.
Consumer bankruptcy filing reached a 34 year low in 2020 and remained low in 2021, because forbearance and stimulus programs prevented the normal collection efforts, like wage garnishment and foreclosure, — the things that usually prompt people to recognize how dire their situation is — prompting them to file. Whether the timing for filing for bankruptcy is now or later, the time to talk to a bankruptcy attorney IS NOW, so you can take full advantage of the financial protections that bankruptcy law can provide, and avoid common financial mistakes in the year to 18 months before filing, that may cause you to lose assets you could otherwise keep in bankruptcy.
We've gathered links to best information on the web on the subject of COVID-19 legislation and resources that can help you keep your home during this economic crisis. We've gathered the best stuff all into the one article. -- Bookmark this page. We will revise it as we find new sources
With the upcoming election, there has been much discussion about voter fraud and how much security there is in our vote. Here is the law for your state regarding challenging votes, and having observers at the polls.
Republicans are caving to the fever dreams of the wanna-be autocrat Donald J Trump, and abandoning their oath to defend democracy. The 2022 elections may well determine the future of democracy in America. Could it lead to a second U.S. Civil War between the states? Possibly.
As of 2022 midterm elections approach, here's how redistricting is going. From “cracking” to “packing” we help you understand the tools of gerrymandering and the extent to which it happens in North Carolina.
Across the nation, Republicans in state legislatures are passing laws that restrict access to voting, while appointing political hacks to supervise elections and giving them the power to reject the vote count if it's not to their liking.
Recently, in New York City, and major cities, some non-citizens have been given the right to vote in certain kinds of purely local elections, involving school boards, and the like. This just so happens to be an issue I studied for a law review article that I never finished when I went to the University of Michigan law school. I still have a garage full of citations about this issue and so I thought I’d write an article to share them.
Democracy is our most basic governmental idea. It is the secular, Enlightenment era exiperiment that our founding fathers embarked upon, that the power of government should derive from "the consent of the governed" as opposed to "the devine right"from "God" that Kings had always asserted as their source of legitimate authority
The modern Republican Party, since the mid 1970s has been obsessed with having government, not individuals, control private decisions about sex. Republicans have tirelessly fought to make sure that the government, not individuals, should be able to regulate pregnancy, sexual preferences, and thinks that the government, not individuals, should have the final say on whether a woman carries a pregnancy to term, removing that choice from individual women, and requiring rape and incest victims to have their rapist's baby.
The welfare and rights of children affect their health in terms of food and shelter but also mental health, and their choices and civil rights regarding the medical choices and treatments affecting them
Sinclair media and other right-wing companies have made a business of buying up local tv and radio stations, depriving Americans of a true local voice in community affairs. Learn how you can start a community radio station.