John Boddie, Bankruptcy Attorney

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Office Address:

1515 W. Cornwallis Dr., Suite 101

Greensboro, NC 27408

 

(336) 379-0079


 

 

If you are one of John Boddie's current clients (or if you have been a client in the past) please call John at 379-0079 in Greensboro or email him at jhboddie@gmail.com.  If you're not a client and want a free consultation to discuss whether bankruptcy is right for you, please call Ling and Farran at 272-2157.   For general information about bankruptcy, keep reading below for answers to frequently asked questions.

 

What is bankruptcy?
How can bankruptcy help me?
Is there more than one type of bankruptcy?
What is Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?
What is Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
What can I do other than file bankruptcy?
Is there life after bankruptcy?
Does my husband or wife have to file bankruptcy too?
What does it cost to file bankruptcy?
Has bankruptcy law changed recently?
How can I find out if bankruptcy can help me?
Where is your office located?


What is bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy is a set of laws designed to help individuals and companies protect their property and satisfy their debts to the best of their ability. Bankruptcy law attempts to be fair to both the debtor (the person who owes) and the creditors (the people or companies who are owed).

How can bankruptcy help me?

Bankruptcy can stop most of the legal proceedings against you and your property immediately. It can end the phone calls and harassment from your creditors. It can stop garnishment and seizure of your assets from most sources. It can allow you to get back on your feet and reorganize your financial situation by giving you extra time to pay back some bills, and ending or reducing the amount you have to pay back for other bills.

Is there more than one type of bankruptcy?

Yes. There are several forms of bankruptcy. Most commonly helpful to individuals are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Both provide immediate protection for your property and from creditors. The individual advantages and disadvantages of each type can be best dealt with in a consultation with a bankruptcy lawyer.

What is Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

Chapter 13 is a bankruptcy plan designed to reorganize your personal finances. In Chapter 13 the court sets up a monthly payment to pay back virtually all of your creditors a portion of the amount you owe them. The amount you pay back is determined by several things, including the amount you can afford to pay each month, the value of property you own, and the amount of debt that you have. You must have a regular source of income. Chapter 13 payment plans can last from three to five years, and you must keep making these payments the entire time even if you lose your job or your income is reduced.  Because it is difficult  to complete a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, Chapter 7 bankruptcy is often a better solution for people in financial distress.  However, Chapter 13 may be desirable if you have a regular guaranteed income and may be required if your income is high enough.  Homeowners who are facing foreclosure often use Chapter 13 as a  way to save their home.

 
What is Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

A Chapter 7 bankruptcy is designed to help an individual get out from under bills they simply can't afford to pay, and provide a fresh start. Your obligation to pay these debts ends; there are no monthly payments to the Court. Most individuals filing Chapter 7 are allowed to keep all of their property. Property given as collateral to lenders often requires continuation of the monthly payments.  So in order to keep a house or car, you  must keep making the mortgage and car payments.  In North Carolina household goods can usually be kept even though they were pledged as collateral.  Chapter 7 stays on your credit report for 10 years from the day it is filed.

What can I do other than file bankruptcy?

You can contact Consumer Credit Counseling, a public debt counseling service. They can be reached at 373-8882 in Greensboro. They can set up a program to pay back almost everything to your unsecured creditors. Please note, however, that while you are in a debt repayment program, your credit report will show that you are in credit counseling, and you will probably find it difficult to get credit until all of your debts are paid in full.  Debt management programs stay on your credit report for seven years after your final payment.


Is there life after bankruptcy?

While no one should file bankruptcy expecting to have good credit afterward, The Wall Street Journal says that many individuals obtain credit shortly after completing their bankruptcy proceeding. In fact, the Consumer Reports Money Book says that only one-third of the people they interviewed found credit harder to get after their bankruptcy than before.  Since the late 1990's most lenders use credit scores from companies such as Fair Isaac & Co. in deciding whether to give someone credit.  We have found that our clients' credit scores improve dramatically two years after their bankruptcy discharge (for Chapter 7, usually four or five months after the bankruptcy is filed).  For this reason, most people find that they can finance a car at a reasonable interest rate about two and 1/2 years after filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy (financing a car immediately after the discharge means a high interest rate).  Until the 2008 financial crisis most people could get a home mortgage two years after their bankruptcy discharge; today it usually takes three years.

Does my husband or wife have to file bankruptcy too?

Any individual can file bankruptcy without their spouse filing with them. However, any debt owed by both husband and wife will remain in full against the one who did not file. A husband and wife can file together even if they are separated, but only if they are not divorced.


What does it cost to file bankruptcy?

For a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you must pay court costs of $281.00, a "credit counseling" fee of $34, credit report fees and attorney's fees.   Usually the upfront fees total about $800 (including the court filing fee, the credit counseling fee and credit report charges) to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.  The remainder of the lawyer's fee is paid out of what you pay each month during your Chapter 13 plan.  Bankruptcy attorneys get a standard fee in Chapter 13 that is set by the Bankruptcy Court.  The standard fee set by the court is $3700 for cases filed in the Middle District of North Carolina.

For a Chapter 7 bankruptcy the court filing fee is $306.  Our normal fee is $1150.00 for Chapter 7 bankruptcies.  Your first consultation in our office is free, and we will tell you then exactly what your total fee will be.


Has bankruptcy law changed recently?

The  U.S. Congress passed a new bankruptcy law on April 14, 2005, which took effect October 17, 2005.  The law passed after intensive lobbying by the credit card industry, and it was intended to make it harder for consumers to file bankruptcy.  However, it turns out that the new law is not as harsh as many had feared.

Meanwhile, on January 1, 2006, a new North Carolina law took effect that allows people who file bankruptcy to keep their assets in most cases. In 2009 state law changed again to raise the home value that can be kept in bankruptcy.  Because of these new "exemptions" set by state law, some people who would not have benefited from bankruptcy before 2006 now find that bankruptcy is their best option.

 How can I find out if bankruptcy can help me?

If you want a consultation with a bankruptcy attorney, call Ling & Farran at 272-2157.   At your first consultation your bankruptcy lawyer will discuss all of your options, including bankruptcy.  If bankruptcy is the right option for you, he will help you obtain bankruptcy relief by filing for protection under the United States Bankruptcy Code.   

Where is your office located?

Our office is on Cornwallis Drive, just east of Lawndale Drive and Battleground Avenue in Greensboro.

 

 

 


Our Hours
 
Monday -Thursday

10am -  4pm

Friday

9am - 3pm

Weekends

Closed

John Boddie, Bankruptcy Attorney 
jhboddie@gmail.com

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