Compassionate Debt Relief Attorneys With Offices In Augusta, Dublin and Statesboro

Compassionate Debt Relief Attorneys With Offices In Augusta, Dublin and Statesboro

Dealing with unmanageable debt can be extremely difficult, but you don’t have to go through it alone. At the law firm of Claeys, McElroy-Magruder & Kitchens, we have helped people throughout the greater Augusta, Statesboro and Dublin areas regain control of their finances. We provide complete consumer debt relief services, including help with Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Angie McElroy-Magruder was the first attorney in Augusta, Statesboro and Dublin to become certified in consumer bankruptcy by the American Board of Certification. Her dedicated focus on bankruptcy and complete understanding of the law allow her to provide sound advice and effective debt relief solutions for even the most complex financial problems.

Committed To The Care Of Neglected Animals

You may recognize Angie from our television commercials featuring some of the animals we have rescued over the years. Yes, we are animal lovers, and we dedicate a considerable amount of our time to rescuing neglected animals when we aren’t helping our clients find solutions to their financial struggles.

Our attorneys are deeply dedicated to doing our part to make the communities where we do business better places to live and work. In addition to the work we do on behalf of neglected animals, we are actively involved in a wide variety of national and local civic and professional organizations.

Talk To One Of Our Georgia Bankruptcy Attorneys Today

In addition to helping our clients find workable debt relief solutions, we also offer complete services in the areas of family law and personal injury. We have offices in Augusta, Dublin and Statesboro as well as a mobile office to serve you. Contact our law firm today to schedule a free consultation with one of our Augusta lawyers. We are available during regular business hours and by appointment evenings and weekends. For your convenience, we accept most major credit cards.

Call One Of Our Three Convenient Georgia Offices

Contact Us for a free consultation

Augusta: 706-724-6000

Dublin: 478-275-8311

Statesboro: 912-764-7000

We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.

Foreclosure Lawyers With Offices In Augusta, Dublin And Statesboro

Foreclosure Lawyers With Offices In Augusta, Dublin And Statesboro

When you are struggling to keep up with your mortgage payments and facing the possibility of losing your home to foreclosure, don’t feel like you have no other option but to let the bank take it from you. Filing for bankruptcy stops all collection activity, including foreclosures. Filing for bankruptcy can give you the time you need to get your life in order and develop a plan to get back on the right financial path.

At the law firm of Claeys, McElroy-Magruder & Kitchens, we dedicate our practice to helping people obtain the debt relief they need. We understand how devastating it can be to face the prospect of losing your home. Our Augusta foreclosure attorneys are committed to working with you to find a solution that allows you to keep your home and take back control of your finances.

How Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Can Save Your Home

Under a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you can obtain immediate relief from your past due mortgage payments. In Chapter 13, you can repay all your mortgage arrearages along with the other debts included in your bankruptcy as part of your court-approved repayment plan. By consolidating your debts into a Chapter 13, you will be in a much better position to make your regular mortgage payments going forward.

When you choose our firm, we will take the time to explain the entire process and how bankruptcy can help you beyond saving your home. We will be there with you at every step, working hard to ensure that everything goes smoothly and that your interests are protected at all times. Owning a home, in many ways, is the embodiment of the American dream. We will do everything we can to see that your dreams are not lost. On the other hand, if your dreams have changed and you want to sell your home, we can help you do that too.

Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP)

HAMP is a government-sponsored program that provides incentives to participating lenders who work with homeowners to modify their mortgages. Not all mortgages are eligible for HAMP, and there are a number of criteria that must be met in order to qualify. We will work with you to determine if your loan is eligible for HAMP and walk you through the process from start to finish. As a general rule, the goal of HAMP is to get your mortgage payment to an amount that is less than 31 percent of your gross monthly income.

Compassionate Mortgage Foreclosure Attorneys With Offices In Augusta, Dublin And Statesboro

Contact our office today to schedule a free consultation about your foreclosure questions with a respected Georgia lawyer. We have offices in Augusta, Dublin and Statesboro as well as a mobile office to serve you. We are available during regular business hours and by appointment evenings and weekends.

Call One Of Our Three Convenient Georgia Offices

Contact Us for a free consultation

Augusta: 706-724-6000

Dublin: 478-275-8311

Statesboro: 912-764-7000

We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code

Co-signor for ex-spouse’s student loans discharged in bankruptcy

Co-signor for ex-spouse’s student loans discharged in bankruptcy

In the case of In re Zumbro, the U.S. Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the district court was correct in upholding the bankruptcy court’s order decision determining that student loans co-signed by the debtor were dischargeable in bankruptcy under a hardship exception.

The “Brunner test

Bankruptcy courts apply a three-prong Brunner test for ordering a discharge of student loan debt. The debtor must prove the following:

  • An inability to maintain a minimal standard of living for the debtor and the debtor’s dependents, based on current income and expenses, if required to repay the loans.
  • Additional circumstances showing that this inability is likely to persist for a significant portion of the loan repayment period.
  • Good-faith efforts on the part of the debtor to repay the loans.

Background

During her marriage, the debtor was a co-signor on three promissory notes to obtain loans to help finance her former spouse’s medical education. The former spouse finished medical school and completed his residency, but practiced medicine for only a few years. In 2003, the former spouse surrendered his medical license. The former spouse was later arrested and convicted on criminal charges and has been incarcerated since 2005. The debtor also filed divorce proceedings in 2005. Aside from the student loans, the debtor also incurred large consumer debts during the marriage due to the former spouse’s lavish lifestyle. The debtor’s obligation under two of the promissory notes became fully due in 2006. Her obligation under the third promissory note does not become fully due until 2016.

Procedural history

The debtor filed a petition for bankruptcy relief under Chapter 13 and commenced legal proceedings to obtain a discharge of the student loan debt. The bankruptcy court originally ruled that the student loans were nondischargeable since the debtor had not satisfied her burden of proof regarding the second prong of the Brunner test. The bankruptcy court incorrectly believed that the student loans could be restructured and refinanced under the provisions of certain federal regulations which allow borrowers of certain government-issued student loans to restructure their payment period for up to 30 years.

After the debtor filed a petition for reconsideration, the bankruptcy court reversed its prior ruling. The bankruptcy court held that, because the debtor was only a co-signer, not the actual borrower, and the student loans were not government-issued, the debts were not eligible for an extension of the loan repayment period under federal regulations. The district court reviewed and affirmed the bankruptcy court’s decision and the creditor which had guaranteed the student loans filed an appeal in the Eleventh Circuit.

The Eleventh Circuit’s ruling

On appeal, the Eleventh Circuit upheld the district court’s decision. The circuit court held that the debtor satisfied the undue hardship requirements under the Bruner test. With regard to the second part of the Bruner test, the court found that the debtor’s state of affairs would persist for a significant portion of the repayment period since she was not eligible under federal law for the extended loan repayment period.

Individuals facing bankruptcy proceedings are urged to consult with a competent attorney experienced in these matters to ensure that their legal rights are protected.

Contact Us for a free consultation

Augusta: 706-724-6000

Dublin: 478-275-8311

Statesboro: 912-764-7000

Poor credit histories hindering job hunters in Georgia

Poor credit histories hindering job hunters in Georgia

Many Americans are having difficulty digging out of the recession. Economists are predicting positive economic recovery in Georgia but job growth is slower in 2013 than it was last year and Augusta is reporting job losses over six of the past seven quarters. As unemployed residents search for jobs, they are finding an unexpected hindrance to gaining new employment.

Credit report use in hiring

What many job hunters do not realize is that potential employers regularly use applicants’ credit reports during the hiring process. With numerous people applying for each available job, those making the hiring decisions are using credit histories to narrow the applicant pool of those they will consider for a particular posting.

This relatively new hiring practice creates difficulties for those already in financial distress. Often the issue is not due to overspending; a job loss, divorce, injury or family emergency can quickly deplete a family’s savings account. For many, it does not take long to get behind on their monthly bills.

As an employer reviews a job applicant’s credit report, he or she checks to see if the potential employee has a history of such issues as:

  • Late payments
  • Unpaid credit card bills
  • Outstanding judgments
  • Foreclosures
  • Bankruptcies

A number of consumer, employment and advocacy groups are fighting to break the connection between credit reports and jobs. Eight states already have laws restricting the use of credit reports in hiring practices and three more have legislation pending regarding the same issue. The federal government is likely to address the issue in the future as the unemployment rate continues to hover around 8 percent.

Improving your credit

Foreclosure may be avoidable if late payments are addressed quickly. A Georgia foreclosure lawyer may help you find a solution that allows you to keep your home by filing for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Additionally, it is important for job seekers to review their credit reports on an annual basis. Not only may errors affect one’s ability to obtain a new job, mistakes in your credit history can greatly affect your ability to do such things as:

  • Purchase a new home
  • Refinance your mortgage
  • Set up a payment plan for medical expenses

Having a bankruptcy on your record is not a permanent blemish on your credit history. Many are surprised to find that offers of new credit arriving in their mailboxes as soon as six months after filing for bankruptcy.

If you are struggling with overwhelming debt, consult with an experienced debt relief attorney in order to learn what options are available to you. A lawyer can help you decide whether bankruptcy is right for you and your situation.

Contact Us for a free consultation

Augusta: 706-724-6000

Dublin: 478-275-8311

Statesboro: 912-764-7000

Bankruptcy Myths In Georgia

Bankruptcy Myths In Georgia

Over the years, there has been a large amount of misinformation about bankruptcy that people have grown to believe is true. At the law firm of Claeys, McElroy-Magruder & Kitchens, we provide comprehensive consumer bankruptcy services to clients throughout the Augusta, Dublin and Statesboro areas. Our attorneys have compiled a list of the most common myths that keep people from exploring the benefits that bankruptcy can provide.

The following are among the more common bankruptcy myths in Georgia:

Myth: If you file for bankruptcy, you can never get credit again.

  • The Truth: For many people, conditional credit offers begin arriving in the mail in as little as six months. Once you have established enough of a payment history, you will become eligible for regular credit and, eventually, traditional lending such as home and auto loans.

Myth: You will lose everything you own if you file for bankruptcy.

  • The Truth: In many cases, the opposite is true. While the trustee does have the right to sell non-exempt property in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy to raise money for creditors, he or she usually decides that the amounts owed on secured assets are more than their value.

Myth: After the 2005 laws went into effect, hardly anyone qualifies for bankruptcy.

  • The Truth: In fact, everyone who qualified prior to the change in the law still qualifies today. For some people, there may simply be a few extra steps involved in the process.

Myth: If you need to file for bankruptcy, you must be some kind of deadbeat.

  • The Truth: Absolutely not. Nobody wants to face financial hardship, and nobody wants to file for bankruptcy. Job loss, medical bills, divorce and many other causes have driven even the most financially secure individuals into severe financial difficulty. Oftentimes, filing bankruptcy is the financially responsible thing to do.

Get Honest Answers To Your Questions About Bankruptcy

Contact our law firm today for a free consultation with a lawyer. We have offices in Augusta, Dublin and Statesboro as well as a mobile office to serve you. We are available during regular business hours and by appointment evenings and weekends.

Call One Of Our Three Convenient Georgia Offices

Contact Us for a free consultation

Augusta: 706-724-6000

Dublin: 478-275-8311

Statesboro: 912-764-7000

We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.