September 15, 2019

Bankruptcy Lawyer Near Me

At Butcher Law Office, LLC, we are compassionate and experienced at helping clients obtain a fresh financial start through the bankruptcy process.    We offer a very personal approach to bankruptcy, realizing that no two people or financial situations are the same.  We treat clients with the utmost respect and dignity throughout the bankruptcy process and understand that clients appreciate this greatly.

Butcher Law Office, LLC and bankruptcy lawyer Tom Butcher offer free, in-office bankruptcy consultations where we listen carefully and compassionately to your situation and craft a plan of action that best meets your needs.  We understand how stressful the thought of bankruptcy can be, and we strive to offer a very friendly and low-stress experience for clients.  In fact, after meeting with lawyer Tom Butcher, clients often feel as though a heavy burden has been lifted knowing that bankruptcy can offer a resolution to their financial woes.  Clients also realize that they will have a truly compassionate and experienced attorney standing by their side during this process.

As clients soon discover, bankruptcy can provide many great benefits.  For example, bankruptcy eliminates credit card debt, medical debt, stops harassing phone calls, stops wage and bank garnishments, stops foreclosures, and provides a fresh financial start and tremendous peace of mind.

At Butcher Law Office, LLC we strive to make the experience of filing bankruptcy as stress-free as possible. We have a simple document requirement, and we will sit by your side as we construct your bankruptcy.  We will answer all your questions that you may have about bankruptcy and bankruptcy-related topics. We will stand tall by your side throughout the bankruptcy process and are available for any questions you may have after your bankruptcy is completed.  And when you call, you will always be able to speak directly with attorney Tom Butcher, not a legal assistant or paralegal.

Retaining Credit Cards through Bankruptcy

I have many clients who want to hold onto a credit card through bankruptcy. But this is not always the best idea and is a lot more difficult than it may seem at first blush.

In the first place, you must list all creditors you owe money to in your bankruptcy, including any medical bills and credit card debt. Omitting any creditor from your bankruptcy is perjury. But what happens when you want to keep a credit card open when you file bankruptcy? If you have a credit card open, in which you owe a zero balance ($0.00) on, this credit card is not actually a creditor and does not need to be listed in your bankruptcy.

However, just because a credit card has a zero balance ($0.00) and need not be listed in your bankruptcy as a creditor, the credit card may still be closed as a result of the bankruptcy filing. Most, if not all, credit card companies pay for a service to screen bankruptcies by social security number. Most credit card companies’ policies are to close the account once the bankruptcy is discovered, whether you owe $10,000 or $0.00.

While some people may think that if they pay the credit card down to zero ($0.00) prior to bankruptcy, they will not need to list the credit card as a debt for bankruptcy, and the card will remain open. The card in most cases will be closed. Additionally, this may create a recoverable “preference payment.” A recoverable preference payment essentially means you paid a creditor $600 or more in the 90 days before you filed the bankruptcy. In such cases, a bankruptcy trustee, or the individual who administers the bankruptcy, can recover this payment for the potential benefit of all your creditors. In this example, not only could your card with a zero balance on the day of bankruptcy filing be canceled, but a bankruptcy trustee could go after the credit card company for a recovery of funds.

But what about reaffirming the debt in bankruptcy? Certain debt can be reaffirmed through the bankrutpcy process, which essentially means you re-obligate yourself to the debt. Reaffirmation of debt makes better sense in the case where you get to hold onto the collateral, such as reaffirming a car loan and holding onto the car. I always advise clients never to reaffirm an unsecured debt, as there really is no benefit here.

After you file bankruptcy, opportunities for credit abound. An emergency credit card can be easily replaced after the bankruptcy is completed in most cases.

If you are interested in learning more about bankruptcy and its effect on credit, please feel free to contact me today for a free bankruptcy consultation.

Thank you.

Tom Butcher
Bankruptcy Lawyer
116 Highway 99 N #101
Eugene, OR 97402
541 762 1967
tom@butcherlawoffice.com

Time Barred Debt; or, Debt that Lives on Past its Expiration Date.

If debt were milk, this milk would be rotten. I am speaking about old debt, or time-barred debt.  This article addresses time-barred debt, how to respond to time-barred debt, and how bankruptcy may play into the analysis.

[Read more…]

Bankruptcy Hearing – What If I Cannot Attend on the Date the Hearing is Set For?

Every time a bankruptcy is filed, a corresponding bankruptcy hearing is set.  This hearing is commonly called the “Meeting of Creditors” hearing, or the 341(a) hearing (which is the section of the bankruptcy code that establishes this mandatory hearing requirement).  At this hearing, a bankruptcy trustee will ask a series of questions (as described in an earlier post) of the debtor, and creditors have a chance to ask the debtor (the person who has filed bankruptcy) questions under oath, as well.  Creditors, however, largely do not appear at this bankruptcy hearing, although they have the legal right to do so. [Read more…]

Debt Settlement – Why This May Not be A Good Option for You

Debt settlement is one option to consider when trying to resolve debt issues. However, sometimes this option may not the wisest option to choose. It will be a good idea to meet with a bankruptcy lawyer to weigh all your options first, including debt settlement or bankruptcy.

There is an entire industry focused on debt buying and debt collecting. Often, a credit card account or other account, may be sold off to a third party, known as a “junk debt buyer.” The junk debt buyer may offer the debtor a discount to paying off the debt; and sometimes these discounts are rather steep. In some cases, settling a debt in such cases may prove beneficial. However, many of these cases are rife with problems, which may include: [Read more…]

Should I Wait to File Bankruptcy Until After I Receive My Tax Refund?

This article is posted in a strange part of the year (August), but this question comes up usually starting around October:  “Should I wait to file bankruptcy until after I receive my tax refund?” Or a variation of this question: “If I file bankruptcy right now, will I lose a portion of my 2014 tax refund?”   [Read more…]

The Pitfalls of Receiving an Inheritance Shortly After You File Bankruptcy

Inheritance, including life insurance proceeds, and bankruptcy can prove to be a very serious issue if not planned for correctly. An individual, depending on timing, may have to surrender a portion or all of an inheritance or life insurance proceeds as a result of filing bankruptcy. This article discusses inheritance in the context of bankruptcy, and the potential issues that may arise.
[Read more…]

Where Do I File Bankruptcy If I Just Moved To Oregon?

From time to time, I come across the issue of someone who recently moved to Oregon, and is considering bankruptcy. They come to my office, and I conduct my usual free bankruptcy consultation. I soon learn that the person has only been in Oregon but a few months, or for even less time. This raises a few issues regarding “venue,” or the proper place where a bankruptcy ought to be filed. This post discusses venue in the context of bankruptcy. [Read more…]

5 Mistakes to Avoid Before You File Bankruptcy

There are many mistakes for consumers to avoid before filing bankruptcy. The following list is what I consider some of the top mistakes to avoid before filing bankruptcy.

1. Not Being Honest With Your Attorney: Disclose everything to your attorney; [Read more…]

What Can You Do When You Accidentally Miss a Creditor in Bankruptcy?

Infrequently, a client will come to me after they receive their bankruptcy discharge with a debt that the client forgot to include in their bankruptcy. At the time the client filed the bankruptcy, the debt was not listed on their credit reports nor had the client received a bill for the debt to the best of their knowledge. Often, this type of missed debt is a medical bill from a small medical provider.

What can the client do? They received their discharge, and forgot to list a creditor. There is still hope! If the bankruptcy trustee determined that the client’s bankruptcy was a “no asset” case, meaning there was no property to liquidate and pay a dividend to creditors with, then a missed creditor is also discharged by operation of law. In Re Beezley is the court case in the 9th Circuit (Oregon is included in this Circuit) that sets forth that an unlisted creditor in a “no asset” case is still discharged, provided that the creditor was not fraudulently omitted from the bankruptcy.

However, if there are assets to be administered through the bankruptcy by the trustee, rendering an “asset case,” a consumer who missed listing a creditor and receives a discharge will still be liable for the debt to that creditor. This is based on the fact that the creditor may have received a distribution of funds from the bankruptcy had the creditor been listed in the bankruptcy.

The vast majority of chapter 7 bankruptcies are “no asset” cases, and probably twice a year a client will come to me with an old medical bill that they had forgotten to include in their bankruptcy. If the case was a “no asset” case, I will send a letter to the creditor informing the creditor that the debt was discharged by operation of law pursuant to In Re Beezely.

The idea and goal, however, is to capture all creditors in your bankruptcy when you file.

If you are interested in learning more about bankruptcy, please call today for your free in-office consultation in Eugene.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

Tom Butcher
Attorney at Law
116 State Highway 99 N #101
Eugene, OR 97402
541 762-1967 telephone
541 762-1968 facsimile

Pursuant to 11 U.S. Code § 528: "I am a debt relief agency. I help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code."

CAUTION: This website is to provide visitors with basic information about my law office, and information about how to contact me. Every situation is different, and no information on this website is legal advice on any specific question. You should not act on any of the information without first conferring with an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction. No attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by visiting this site or by unsolicited email. Therefore, initial emails should not contain any confidential information. I may already represent parties adverse to you and cannot advise or represent you until we check for conflicts. I am licensed only in Oregon and offer my services only to those doing business in Oregon, unless I am associated with local counsel in accordance with other states' laws. The applicable laws may have changed after the information on this website was published. While effort is made to keep the information current, you should not presume that all information is up to date. You must confer with an attorney to be sure you have current information.

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