Debt & Bankruptcy Alternatives Attorney in Portland, Oregon
There are many misconceptions about debt and bankruptcy. However, almost everyone faces some kind of financial challenge every now and then. The federal bankruptcy law allows a person and some businesses to be released from debt liability by going through different legal processes such as filing bankruptcy. There are also bankruptcy alternatives available for individuals dealing with debt.
Since debt and bankruptcy are complicated and tough challenges, working with an experienced federal bankruptcy law will ensure that you go through this process with professional help.
Being served a debt collection lawsuit can be stressful, but ignoring the complaint and letting time pass by will only make matters worse! Ignoring the lawsuit can lead to bank and/or wage garnishments, debt collection depositions and judgment liens on property.
Defending a lawsuit may be a much better solution. There are several factors why a debt defense may be an option for you. The fact that the debtor simply cannot afford to pay the debt is not an acceptable reason but you may still benefit from defense in working out an affordable payment plan. Some common defenses to a debt collection lawsuit include:
- You are a victim of identity theft (must provide facts and evidence).
- You were not of legal age when you signed the credit agreement.
- The debt is outside the applicable statute of limitations
- You paid the credit, but the creditor forced you to pay more.
- The creditor doesn’t have any proof or signed agreement of the debt.
- The creditor is forcing the debtor to pay more than the previously agreed upon amount.
- The creditor is forcing the debtor to pay unnecessary additional fees that are not part of the agreement.
- The plaintiff doesn’t have legal authority to collect the debt.
- The creditor is harassing or blackmailing the debtor.
Avoid further complications by working with a reliable Portland debt defense attorney. To know more about the different debt defense alternatives, reach out to us by scheduling a consultation with our Oregon attorney or calling us at 503-852-9047.
Are you facing unlawful debt collection? It is not uncommon for debt collectors or creditors to employ illegal strategies and abusive tactics just to repossess your car or collect money from you. The bad news is that most debtors do not realize these unfair practices early on, leading them to lose a significant portion of their savings and continue paying for incorrect billings. This is clearly in violation of the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act.
Even debtors have legal rights over this. If you have been harassed by a creditor, you can hold them accountable by filing lawsuits against those illegal collection tactics. As a debtor, you still have legal rights to just and fair treatment. You can file a lawsuit against creditors if they did some of these illegal practices:
- Physically and verbally abused the debtor.
- Used force or blackmail.
- Used demeaning language such as racial or profane words.
- Caused defamation or publicly humiliated a debtor.
- Harassed a debtor through phone calls.
- Called family members, neighbors, or workplace to publicly shame the debtor.
- Falsification of the agreed debt amount.
- Use threats if debts were not paid.
Have you ever heard the phrase “the best defense is a good offense”? This applies when you are sued by a creditor as well! If you were a victim of the above abuses, you may defend a lawsuit and counterclaim against the creditor! If the creditor did not perform the action or service on the agreement, then this is another ground for a counterclaim.
Another defense may be if a creditor seeks damages from the debtor that sometimes may be more than you owe. An example of this is if the creditor underperformed an agreed service or task, and unlawful overcharging of interest.
When creditors are taking illegal steps against you, don’t keep silent! To win using this bankruptcy alternative method, you must have an expert debt defense and bankruptcy attorney to guide you through the process. Contact our Portland debt attorneys to get help, TODAY!
In a debt settlement, the debtor negotiates for a payment plan amounting to less than the original or principal balance of the unsecured debt owed. This contrasts with debt consolidation, which sometimes reduces the interest rate but does not affect the debt balance.
However, not all debt settlements have been successful. Sometimes a debt settlement may even risk or harm your credit score in the future. It may even result in more debts, because of fees and other charges from debt settlement companies.
The debtor will likely open a program with a third-party company to use for the settlement program. The debtor will continue to pay the monthly fees for the dedicated account till the target amount has been reached.
In most instances, debt settlement can result in a new income tax bill! The Internal Revenue Service looks at the forgiven tax as a taxable income. However, if you can prove to the IRS that you are insolvent, then maybe the tax can be waived off.
Debt settlement is not as easy as it sounds. If you are struggling with your debts and thinking about whether debt settlement is a better choice for you than filing bankruptcy, you can consult our Portland debt settlement attorneys. We can help you know more about the different debt and bankruptcy alternatives available in Portland, Oregon. We are available 24/7! Call us at 503-852-9047.
Are you thinking about striking a deal with your creditors? Before you do, think about the main reason why you want to negotiate debt with your creditors. Negotiating with creditors alone might become a problem, especially when agreements are biased towards the creditor.
It is also wise for debtors to make a formal debt negotiation with the creditor, and not with the collectors. By having a personal or formal agreement with the creditor, you can develop different payment schemes to ease your payment plan.
Whether you want to save your credit score, obtain debt relief, or are in a financially tight situation, make sure to consult with a nationally-certified bankruptcy attorney in Oregon first before exploring bankruptcy alternatives or non-bankruptcy options!
Thinking About Filing Bankruptcy Instead? Ask Our Attorneys!
Willl Bankruptcy Kill My Credit?
Although bankruptcy may appear on your credit for 7 – 10 years, filing for bankruptcy will not completely kill your credit score. During those years, you will experience financial limitations, but those are not permanent. We have many clients who have so improved their credit score within two years after bankruptcy that they are buying homes!
Those who successfully filed for bankruptcy often have an increase in credit score after the bankruptcy discharge – sometimes up to 150 points within one year! When the bankruptcy eliminates the old debt, people can start anew in a responsible way to restore their credit score. But you have to eliminate the old stuff first!
Will I Lose Everything After Filing Bankruptcy?
This is one of the most common misconceptions about bankruptcy. Our clients almost never lose any property after filing bankruptcy and the property that they may lose is a choice they make. There are property exemptions through this process which protect your home, vehicle, and clothes.
A common test is this – if you sold everything and had a pile of money, would you have more or less than $25,000? If the answer is less, then you shouldn’t lose anything in bankruptcy. If the answer is more, then you should consider an asset protection type of bankruptcy.
Does Bankruptcy Discharge All Debts?
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy – also known as liquidation bankruptcy – can discharge most unsecured debts. Some examples are utility bills, medical bills, personal loans, and other credit card charges. Some debts are favored by the law and are not discharge in a bankruptcy – common examples include: criminal fines, support obligations, student loans, and most taxes.
Can I Max Out My Debt Before Filing?
Some people think they can maximize their debts before filing for bankruptcy. However, this will cause serious problems when they officially file for bankruptcy. It is assumed that 90 days before the filer filed for bankruptcy, they are insolvent or incapable of paying debts. Incurring more debts before filing for bankruptcy will appear like a fraudulent case for intending to swindle creditors. This is NEVER a good idea. If it doesn’t pass the “smell test” then don’t do it!
Are Bankruptcy Filers Irresponsible?
Different circumstances and events might affect one’s life. Some file for bankruptcy because they cannot afford to pay high medical bills, while some apply for bankruptcy because they lost their source of income, and they have nothing left to pay their creditors. Different people have different reasons for filing bankruptcy and they should not feel ashamed about it.
Seek Reliable Legal Help
Choosing between filing bankruptcy or going with other bankruptcy alternatives is a tough choice. If you are constantly getting collection calls, your property is being foreclosed, you’re about to lose your valuable property, or just discovered that your wages are being garnished, the need to get out of this financially stressful situation may sometimes prompt you to decide without fully exploring all options. With the right guidance, you can avoid future complications and achieve immediate debt relief. Consult our Portland Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorneys, Chapter 11, and Chapter 13 bankruptcy lawyers today! You can schedule a free consultation and explore your options first.