Using The Law To Make Your Life Better

Northern Tennessee Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Blog

David Sexton

Understanding exemptions in bankruptcy is crucial

Chapter 7 bankruptcy has helped millions of Americans address overwhelming debt burdens, including many people in Tennessee. Regardless of how a person's financial situation spiraled out of control, filing for bankruptcy is an option that can help Tennessee residents get themselves on a better financial path in life. However, understanding the details of a bankruptcy filing is crucial, including how exemptions come into play in the bankruptcy process.

Once people determine that they are eligible for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, determining which exemptions to claim in terms of personal property can be a difficult task. There are multiple types of assets which may be exempt from the bankruptcy process, meaning that those assets will not be liquidated as part of the Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing. For example, these are the types of assets that might be considered exempt: workers' compensation benefits; vehicles; household appliances and furniture, among other household goods; jewelry; items used by the filer in their work; clothing; and even funds that are placed in retirement plans. Quite simply, there are many different assets for Tennessee residents to consider when they are determining which assets will be exempt.

What do you need to know about Chapter 7 bankruptcy?

Most of our readers in Tennessee know the basics about bankruptcy: it helps consumers and businesses address overwhelming debt obligations. But, there are different types of bankruptcy filings that an individual can pursue. Most commonly, an individual who is exploring bankruptcy will likely be presented with the option to pursue Chapter 7 bankruptcy first. So, what do you need to know about Chapter 7 bankruptcy?

Well, for starters, Chapter 7 bankruptcy is more commonly known as "liquidation" bankruptcy. This is because under this chapter of bankruptcy filings a person will list all non-exempt assets they own, as well as all applicable debts owed, and then the bankruptcy trustee will sell off the assets with the funds gained being used to pay down debts. Any assets that are exempt under the applicable bankruptcy laws are kept by the filer.

What if you cannot afford to file for bankruptcy?

The point of filing for bankruptcy is to eliminate or reduce debts you do not have the funds to pay. Unfortunately, the bankruptcy process requires money, even if you do not hire a lawyer, due to court fees. This fact prevents many people from filing even though bankruptcy would help them.

It is no surprise, then, that declarations of bankruptcy increase during the tax season, reveals The Washington Post, as people use their tax returns to pay the fees. This is not your only option, however, for being able to afford bankruptcy.

Know your options when it comes to consumer bankruptcy

Despite the recent years of a good economy in Tennessee and throughout the country, there are still millions of Americans who struggle with overwhelming debt. Some are right here in Tennessee. When your income is less than the debt you owe, you may feel like you are facing a dwindling number of options. However, consumer bankruptcy could be an option in even the worst of financial scenarios.

There are different types of bankruptcy filings for Tennessee residents to consider if they are thinking of taking this step to address their debt situation. First, there is Chapter 7 bankruptcy, commonly known as "liquidation" bankruptcy. This form of bankruptcy allows the person who files to list almost all debts, as well as assets, and then the bankruptcy trustee will sell off the applicable assets to apply the funds gained to debts owed. Once all applicable assets have been liquidated in this manner and the person's debts are addressed to the fullest extent possible, many other outstanding debts will be discharged. However, there are some types of debts that usually cannot be part of a bankruptcy filing.

The basics about elderly abuse and neglect

No one in Tennessee wants to imagine that an elderly relative might be abused or neglected at a nursing home, but the reality is that these types of incidents occur with alarming frequency. When we help our elderly relatives get situated in a nursing home, we hope for -- and expect -- that relative to receive the best care possible. However, when elderly abuse occurs, the facilities and the staff members must be held accountable.

There are some basics aspects of elder abuse and neglect that our readers should be aware of. For starters, the signs of abuse may not be as obvious as one would expect. Sure, if your elderly loved one has obvious bruises or other injuries, you'll want to know how those injuries occurred. But, such abuse can go beyond the physical impact it can have on a victim. The victim may be intimidated as well, and so may feel pressured to hide the truth about the injuries for fear of further reprisals. This type of abuse must not be tolerated.

'Drowsy driving' can cause serious motor vehicle accidents

Our readers in Tennessee probably know by now that distracted driving is one of the main causes of motor vehicle accidents these days. But, we all know that there are other causes as well. "Drowsy driving" is one cause of car accidents that some people may not be as familiar with. However, drowsy driving is responsible for a significant number of collisions across the U.S.

As recent numbers from the National Sleep Foundation noted, drowsy driving is the cause of one-sixth of all traffic accidents that result in a fatality. Furthermore, the report noted that approximately 10 percent of all drivers have, at one time or another, fallen asleep while they were driving. Those statistics are shocking since, like drunk driving, drowsy driving is seemingly completely avoidable.

Do you know your options in family law disputes?

Thousands of Tennessee residents end up in family law court each year. Most of the issues that need to be decided in family law court stem from a divorce proceeding, such as child custody and support issues, spousal support, property division and, eventually, requests for modification of some of the orders that result from these disputes. Tennessee residents who find themselves in front of a family law judge will need to know their options.

For example, in a divorce proceeding, it is important to look beyond the actual courtroom battle or intense out-of-court negotiations and attempt to take stock of how the decision that will be made by a family law court will affect your life in the long-run. For instance, it may seem important to fight for more child support now, but are you doing so at the expense of making concessions in the property division battle that will have a greater long-term impact? Or, is that child support arrangement you are fighting desperately for actually in the best interests of your child, now and in the future?

Traveling for the holidays? Be sure to get your rest

If you are planning to drive out of town or across state lines during the holiday season, you are joining this tradition with countless other residents of Tennessee and elsewhere. As you may already be aware, you can face numerous hazards on your trek to visit family, ranging from inattentive or intoxicated drivers to adverse weather. Drowsy driving is another significant danger that you need to prepare for.

Drowsy driving has become a more serious problem than many people think, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In 2015, a reported 72,000 motor vehicle accidents related to fatigued driving resulted in 824 deaths and 41,000 injuries across the country. Authorities say the numbers may have been higher since drowsiness is difficult to pinpoint after an accident, especially if those involved did not survive. You may reduce your chances of being in a drowsy driving accident by considering the following tips before your trip:

  • Bring someone with whom you can take turns driving.
  • Pull over in a safe place, such as a rest stop or populated parking lot, so you can take a nap if you become drowsy while driving.
  • Refrain from taking medications that cause drowsiness before getting behind the wheel.
  • Remember that caffeine, cold air and loud music are only temporary solutions, and you should not rely on them for long periods.
  • Get plenty of sleep the night before your trip.

What do you need to know about DUI charges in Tennessee?

Driving under the influence is a common charge that forms the basis for an arrest in Tennessee and, in fact, throughout the country. As much as public and private entities have, over the last few decades, tried to raise awareness about the dangers of drunk driving, the fact remains that thousands of people engage in this conduct each year. What do our readers need to know about DUI charges in Tennessee?

Well, for starters, the maximum allowable blood alcohol content for drivers in Tennessee is 0.08 percent. Anyone who is found to have a BAC above that level may face DUI charges. And, even though many people might think that DUI is a relatively minor charge, even a first-time DUI arrestee will likely face some severe consequences.

Understand the basics about how Chapter 7 bankruptcy works

There are many Tennessee residents who are facing difficult financial situations and who are looking for options. Some of these people will try to look for better paying jobs to earn more income in order to pay off their bills and debts. Others may turn to family members, asking for small monetary loans to get them through tough times. However, there are many individuals and families who have debt obligations that probably seem insurmountable. For those Tennessee residents, Chapter 7 bankruptcy might be the best option.

Anyone who is considering filing for bankruptcy protection should know the basics about how the process works. Chapter 7, in particular, can be a useful option to eliminate debt obligations, although not all debts will qualify and not all Tennessee residents will be eligible to pursue a bankruptcy filing under Chapter 7.

Don't delay any longer.

When you need qualified, experienced legal counsel from a legal leader with over 25 years' experience, you need The Sexton Law Firm.

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