The agency that oversees the work visa program says it has received enough applications to reach the congressionally mandated H-2B cap for the second six months of fiscal year 2006 (FY 2007).
Congress set a limit of 66,000 H-2B workers for the FY 2006. The H-2B visa program allows U.S. employers to request foreign workers to fill a one-time, peak load, intermittent, or seasonal need for labor when no workers are available in the local job force.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services says that March 16, 2007 was the “final receipt date” for new H-2B worker petitions requesting employment start dates prior to April 1, 2007. The agency will apply a computer-generated random selection process to all petitions which are subject to the cap and were received on March 16, 2007. The process will select the number of petitions needed to meet the cap. USCIS will reject all cap-subject petitions not randomly selected. USCIS will also reject petitions for new H-2B workers
Small Business, a coalition of business owners relying upon seasonal immigrant labor to serve their customers is is lobbying lawmakers to “recapture” H-2B visas that were unused during the period of 1991 to 2004. The total of unused H-2B visas is approximately 500,000 (this is the difference between the 66,000 H-2B visas authorized each year and the number of H-2B visas actually
“Returning workers” are exempt from H-2B cap limitations. In order to qualify, the worker must have counted against the H-2B numerical cap between October 1, 2002 and September 30, 2005. Any worker not certified as a “returning worker” is subject to the numerical limitations for the relevant fiscal year. Petitions received after the “final receipt date” which contain a combination of “returning workers” and workers subject to the H-2B cap will not be rejected, and petitioning employers will receive partial approvals for those aliens who qualify as “returning workers” if otherwise approvable
The program was started in 1990. Last year was the first year the worker cap was reached, which happened in March, just five months into the federal government’s fiscal year. This year the cap was reached in January. Once the cap is reached, no more H-2B workers can come into the country through the federal fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30.
Because a company cannot apply for workers more than 120 days before they are needed, some businesses, specifically those that need workers later in the fiscal year, were locked out.
The 100 Citizenship Test Questions
CITIZENSHIP TEST QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
For those interested in seeing what type of questions are asked on the citizenship exam, below are 100 typical questions (and not quite 100 answers):
Please click here to print this page.
Note that only 10 questions are usually asked.
1. Q: What are the colors of our flag?
A: Red, White, and Blue;
2. Q: How many stars are there in our flag?
A: Fifty (50);
3. Q: What color are the stars on our flag?
4. Q: What do the stars on the flag signify?
A: There is one for each state in the United States;
5. Q: How many stripes are there on the flag?
A: Thirteen (13);
6. Q: What color are the stripes on the flag?
A: Red and White;
7. Q: What do the stripes on the flag signify?
A: They represent the original 13 states;
8. Q: How many states are there in the U.S.?
A: Fifty (50);
9. Q: What is the 4th of July?
A: Independence Day;
10. Q: What is the date of Independence Day?
A: July 4th;
11. Q: From what country did the U.S. win independence?
12. Q: What country did we fight during the revolutionary War?
13. Q: Who was the first President of the United States?
A: George Washington;
14. Q: Who is the president of the United States today?
A: Bill Clinton;
15. Q: Who is the vice president of the United States today?
A: Albert Gore;
16. Q: Who elects the president of the United States?
A: The electoral college;
17. Q: Who becomes the president of the U.S. if the president should die?
A: The vice president;
18. Q: For how long do we elect the president?
A: Four years;
19. Q: What is the Constitution?
A: The supreme law of the land;
20. Q: Can the Constitution be changed?
A: Yes, by amendment;
21. Q: What do we call a change to the Constitution?
22. Q: How many changes or amendments are there to the Constitution?
A: Twenty seven (27);
23. Q: How many branches are there in the U.S. government?
A: Three (3);
24. Q: What are the three branches of the U.S. government?
A: Legislative, executive, and judicial;
25. Q: What is the legislative branch of our government?
26. Q: Who makes the laws in the United States?
27. Q: What are the two houses of Congress?
A: The Senate and the House of Representatives;
28. Q: What are the duties of Congress?
A: To make laws;
29. Q: Who elects Congress?
A: The people;
30. Q: How many senators are there in the U.S. Congress?
A: One hundred (100);
31. Q: Name the two U.S. senators from your state.
A: (It’s time for a little research on your part!)
32. Q: For how long do we elect each senator?
A: Each term is 6 years;
33. Q: How many voting representatives are there in Congress?
A: Four hundred and thirty five (435);
34. Q: For how long do we elect the representatives?
A: Two years;
35. Q: What is the executive branch of the U.S. government?
A: The president, cabinet, and the departments under the cabinet members;
36. Q: What is the judicial branch of the U.S. government?
A: The Supreme Court;
37. Q: What are the duties of the Supreme Court;
A: To interpret laws;
38. Q: What is the supreme law of the United States?
A: The Constitution;
39. Q: What is the Bill of Rights?
A: The first 10 amendments of the Constitution;
40. Q: What is the capital of your state?
A: (It depends on which state you live in.)
41. Q: Who is the current Governor of your state?
42. Q: If both the president and the vice president die, who becomes president?
A: The Speaker of the House of Representatives;
43. Q: Who is the current chief of justice of the Supreme Court?
A: William Rehnquist;
44. Q: Name the thirteen original states.
A: Connecticut, New Hampshire, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Rhode Island, and Maryland;
45. Q: Who said “give me liberty or give me death”?
A: Patrick Henry;
46. Q: Which countries were our enemies during WWII?
A: Germany, Italy, and Japan;
47. Q: What were the 49th and 50th states admitted to the U.S.?
A: Hawaii and Alaska;
48. Q: How many terms can a president serve?
49. Q: Who was Martin Luther King, Jr.?
A: A famous civil rights leader;
50. Q: Who is the head of your local government?
A: (It depends on where you live.)
51. Q: According to the Constitution, a person must meet certain requirements in order to be eligible to become president. Name one of these requirements.
A: Must be a native born citizen of the United States. Must be at least 35 years old by the time he/she will serve. Must have lived in the United States for at least 14 years.
52. Q: Why are there 100 senators in the Senate?
A: There are two from each state;
53. Q: Who nominates the Supreme Court justices?
A: They are appointed by the president;
54. Q: How many Supreme Court justices are there?
A: Nine (9);
55. Q: Why did the Pilgrims come to America?
A: For religious freedom;
56. Q: What is the head executive of a state government called?
57. Q: What is the head executive of a city government called?
58. Q: What holiday was started by the American Colonists?
59. Q: Who was the main writer of the Declaration of Independence?
A: Thomas Jefferson;
60. Q: When was the declaration of Independence adopted?
A: July 4, 1776;
61. Q: What is the basic belief of the Declaration of Independence?
A: That all men are created equal;
62. Q: What is the national anthem of the United States?
A: The Star-Spangled Banner;
63. Q: Who wrote the Star-Spangled Banner?
A. Francis Scott Key;
64. Q: Where does the freedom of speech come from?
A: The Bill of Rights;
65. Q: What is the minimum voting age in the United States?
A: Eighteen (18);
66. Q: Who signs bills into law?
A: The President;
67. Q: What is the highest court in the United States?
A: The Supreme Court;
68. Q: Who was the president during the Civil War?
A: Abraham Lincoln;
69. Q: What did the Emancipation Proclamation do?
A: It freed the slaves;
70. Q: What special group advises the president?
A: The cabinet;
71. Q: Which president is called the “Father of our Country”?
A: George Washington;
72. Q: What INS form is used to apply to become a naturalized citizen?
A: Form N-400;
73. Q: Who helped the Pilgrims in America?
A: Native American Indians;
74. Q: The first Pilgrims sailed to America in what ship?
A: The Mayflower;
75. Q: What were the 13 original states of the United States called?
A: The colonies;
76. Q: Name three rights or freedoms guaranteed by the Bill of Rights.
A: Freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and freedom of religion;
77. Q: Who has the power to declare war?
A: The Congress;
78. Q: Name an amendment which guarantees or addresses voting rights.
A: The 15th, 19th, 24th, and 26th Amendments;
79. Q: Which president freed the slaves?
A: Abraham Lincoln;
80. Q: In what year was the Constitution written?
81. Q: What are the first 10 amendments to the constitution?
A: The Bill of Rights;
82. Q: Name one purpose of the United Nations.
A: To try to resolve world problems;
83. Q: Where does Congress meet?
A: In the Capitol in Washington, D.C.;
84. Q: Whose rights are guaranteed by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights?
A: Everyone living in the U.S. (Citizens and non-citizens);
85. Q: What is the introduction to the Constitution called?
A: The Preamble;
86. Q: Name one benefit of being a citizen of the United States.
A: Obtain federal government jobs; travel with a U.S. passport; petition for close relatives to come to the U.S. to live;
87. Q: What is the most important right granted to U.S. citizens?
A: The right to vote;
88. Q: What is the United States Capitol?
A: The place where Congress meets;
89. Q: What is the White House?
A: The President’s official home;
90. Q: Where is the White House located?
A: Washington, D.C.;
91. Q: What is the name of the president’s official home?
A: The White House;
92. Q: Name one right guaranteed by the first amendment.
A: Freedom of speech, press, religion, peaceable assembly, and requesting change of the government;
93. Q: Who is the commander in chief of the United States?
A: The President;
94. Q: Who was the first commander in chief of the U.S. Military?
A: George Washington;
95. Q: In what month do we vote for the president?
96. Q: In what month is the new president inaugurated?
97. Q: How many times may a congressman be re-elected?
A: There are no term limits;
98. Q: How many times may a senator be re-elected?
A: There are no term limits;
99. Q: What are the two major political parties in the United States?
A: Republican and Democrat;
100.Q: How many states are there in the United States?
A: Fifty (50).
Our mission, simply put is to assist the many thousands of people who are eligible to become U.S. citizens, to do so. Citizenship is a very special legal status. Only through U.S. Citizenship can “your voice be heard.” And only when it is heard can there be changes in the law beneficial to the growing immigrant communities is made. We hope that everyone qualified to become a citizen does so. To this end, we are providing this kit to anyone interested in becoming a U.S. Citizen. There is no charge for this kit and you may make as many copies as you wish as long as credit is given to eCitizenship.US and its proprietors. You may also provide it on your Web site, so long as there is a link to eCitizenship.US.
THE CITIZENSHIP KIT
This form package includes an easy step-by-step guide to prepare and file your own Naturalization Application, the required Immigration forms, instructions, eligibility requirements, procedures, FAQ’s, completed sample application(s), and everything you need.
The following statement underpins the concept of eLawChannel.com’s dedication to supporting the individuals’ right to self-representation by designing self-help do-it-yourself kits for many areas of the law.
“Pro se’ representation (representing yourself) is firmly embedded in American jurisprudence yet, for a layperson, this conceptual right is but a meaningless truism without the corresponding abilities to see through a legal maze and use the complicated procedural mechanisms necessary to vindicate that right. “ Moses Apsan, Esq., Assisting the Pro Se Litigant: Unauthorized Practice of Law or the Fulfillment of a Public Need, 3 NYLRev XXVIII (1983).
Many legal proceedings do not require the assistance of anyone, not even a lawyer. The right to self-representation is universally accepted and has been protected by law since the creation of the American government. The Judiciary Act of 1789, enacted by the first Congress and signed by President Washington the day before the sixth amendment specifically provided that “in all the courts of United States, the parties may plead and manage their own causes personally.…” The United States Courts of Appeals have repeatedly held that the right of self-representation is protected by the Bill of Rights. Similarly, the individual states, with few exceptions, accord an individual the right of self-representation, explicitly conferring that right in their state constitutions and corresponding statutes. Many state courts, in accord with federal courts, have opined that the right is supported by the United States Constitution. The American Bar Association [ABA], in its Code of Professional Ethics, recognizes that “anyone who does not wish to avail himself of [legal] representation is not required to do so.” With this in mind, this Do it Yourself Law Kit has been designed.
This kit is not intended to replace a lawyer who is the only person qualified to analyze your individual facts and give a legal opinion. Although every effort is made to have this kit up to date, immigration laws and corresponding laws, rules and regulations are constantly changing. ELawChannel.com and Moses Apsan, Esq. are not responsible for any changes in law, rules or procedure of any agency that could affect the outcome of an application.
The Child Citizenship Act of 2000
What is this law all about?
On October 30, 2000, President Clinton signed into law H.R. 2883, the Child Citizenship Act of 2000. The new law, Public Law 106-395, amends the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) to permit foreign-born children—including adopted children —to acquire citizenship automatically if they meet certain requirements. It became effective on February 27, 2001.
Which Children Automatically Become Citizens Under the New Law?
Beginning February 27, 2001, certain foreign-born children—including adopted children—currently residing permanently in the United States will acquire citizenship automatically. The term “child” is defined differently under immigration law for purposes of naturalization than for other immigration purposes, including adoption. To be eligible, a child must meet the definition of “child” for naturalization purposes under immigration law and must also meet the following requirements:
The child has at least one United States citizen parent (by birth or naturalization);
The child is under 18 years of age;
The child is currently residing permanently in the United States in the legal and physical custody of the United States citizen parent;
The child is a lawful permanent resident;
An adopted child meets the requirements applicable to adopted children under immigration law
Acquiring citizenship automatically means citizenship acquired by law without the need to apply for citizenship. A child who is currently under the age of 18 and has already met all of the above requirements will acquire citizenship automatically on February 27, 2001. Otherwise, a child will acquire citizenship automatically on the date the child meets all of the above requirements.
Is the Law Retroactive? Is Automatic Citizenship Provided for Those Who Are 18 Years of Age or Older?
No. The new law is not retroactive. Individuals who are 18 years of age or older on February 27, 2001, do not qualify for citizenship under Public Law 106-395, even if they meet all other criteria. If they choose to become U.S. citizens, they must apply for naturalization and meet eligibility requirements that currently exist for adult lawful permanent residents.
Will Eligible Children Automatically Receive Proof of Citizenship—Such As Citizenship Certificates and Passports?
No. Proof of citizenship will not be automatically issued to eligible children. However, if proof of citizenship is desired, beginning February 27, 2001, parents of children who meet the conditions of the new law may apply for a certificate of citizenship for their child with INS and/or for a passport for their child with the Department of State.
What Will INS Do With Currently Pending Applications for Certificates of Citizenship?
For pending applications filed to recognize citizenship status already acquired, INS will continue to adjudicate such applications under the relevant law applicable to the case. For applications that required INS approval before an individual could be deemed a U.S. citizen, INS will adjudicate those cases under current law until February 27, 2001. On February 27, 2001, INS will adjudicate those cases under the new law and for applicants who automatically acquire citizenship as of the effective date, INS will issue certificates of reflecting the person’s citizenship as of that date.
Is Automatic Citizenship Provided for Children (Including Adopted Children) Born and Residing Outside the United States?
No. In order for a child born and residing outside the United States to acquire citizenship, the United States citizen parent must apply for naturalization on behalf of the child. The naturalization process for such a child cannot take place overseas. The child will need to be in the United States temporarily to complete naturalization processing and take the oath of allegiance.
To be eligible, a child must meet the definition of “child” for naturalization purposes under immigration law, and must also meet the following requirements:
The child has at least one U.S. citizen parent (by birth or naturalization);
The U.S. citizen parent has been physically present in the United States for at least five years, at least two of which were after the age of 14—or the United States citizen parent has a citizen parent who has been physically present in the United States for at least five years, at least two of which were after the age of 14;
The child is under 18 years of age;
The child is residing outside the United States in the legal and physical custody of the United States citizen parent;
The child is temporarily present in the United States—having entered the United States lawfully and maintaining lawful status in the United States;
An adopted child meets the requirements applicable to adopted children under immigration law;
If the naturalization application is approved, the child must take the same oath of allegiance administered to adult naturalization applicants. If the child is too young to understand the oath, INS may waive the oath requirement
U.S. Policy on Dual Nationality
Dual Citizenship Explained
The Department of State is responsible for determining the citizenship status of a person located outside the United States or in connection with the application for a U.S. passport while in the United States. The following information explains dual nationality and U.S. citizenship, including circumstances where U.S. citizenship may be lost.
What is dual nationality?
Dual nationality is the simultaneous possession of two citizenships. The Supreme Court of the United States has stated that dual nationality is “a status long recognized in the law” and that “a person may have and exercise rights of nationality in two countries and be subject to the responsibilities of both. The mere fact that he asserts the rights of one citizenship does not without more mean that he renounces the other”, Kawakita v. U.S., 343 U.S. 717 (1952). (The Consulate General does not have Supreme Court cases on file; interested parties may wish to consult with local law school libraries.) The concepts discussed in this leaflet apply also to persons who have more than two nationalities.
Dual nationality results from the fact that there is no uniform rule of international law relating to the acquisition of nationality. Each country has its own laws on the subject, and its nationality is conferred upon individuals on the basis of its own independent domestic policy. Individuals may have dual nationality not by choice but by automatic operation of these different and sometimes conflicting laws.
The laws of the United States, no less than those of other countries, contribute to the situation because they provide for acquisition of U.S. citizenship by birth in the United States and also by birth abroad to an American, regardless of the other nationalities which a person might acquire at birth. For example, a child born abroad to U.S. citizens may acquire at birth not only American citizenship but also the nationality of the country in which it was born. Similarly, a child born in the United States to foreigners may acquire at birth both U.S. citizenship and a foreign nationality.
The laws of some countries provide for automatic acquisition of citizenship after birth — for example, by marriage. In addition, some countries do not recognize naturalization in a foreign state as grounds for loss of citizenship. A person from one of those countries who is naturalized in the United States keeps the nationality of the country of origin despite the fact that one of the requirements for U.S. naturalization is a renunciation of other nationalities.
Current law and policy
The current nationality laws of the United States do not specifically refer to dual nationality. The automatic acquisition or retention of a foreign nationality does not affect U.S. citizenship; however, under limited circumstances, the acquisition of a foreign nationality upon one’s own application or the application of a duly authorized agent may cause loss of U.S. citizenship under Section 349 (a)(1) of the Immigration and Nationality Act [8 U.S.C. 1481 (a)(1)].
In order for a loss of nationality to occur under Section 349 (a)(1), it must be established that the naturalization was obtained voluntarily by a person eighteen years of age or older with the intention of relinquishing U.S. citizenship. Such an intention may be shown by the person’s statements or conduct, Vance v. Terrazas, 444 U.S. 252 (1980), but as discussed below in most cases it is assumed that Americans who are naturalized in other countries intend to keep their U.S. citizenship. As a result, they have both nationalities.
United States law does not contain any provisions requiring U.S. citizens who are born with dual nationality to choose one nationality or the other when they become adults, Mandoli v. Acheson, 344 U.S. 133 (1952).
While recognizing the existence of dual nationality and permitting Americans to have other nationalities, the U.S. Government does not endorse dual nationality as a matter of policy because of the problems which it may cause. Claims of other countries upon dual-national U.S. citizens often place them in situations where their obligations to one country are in conflict with the laws of the other. In addition, their dual nationality may hamper efforts to provide diplomatic and consular protection to them when they are abroad.
Allegiance to which country
It generally is considered that while dual nationals are in the country of which they are citizens that country has a predominant claim on them.
As with Americans who possess only U.S. citizenship, dual national U.S. citizens owe allegiance to the United States and are obliged to obey its laws and regulations. Such persons usually have certain obligations to the other country as well. Although failure to fulfill such obligations may have no adverse effect on dual nationals while in the United States because the other country would have few means to force compliance, under those circumstances, dual nationals might be forced to comply with those obligations or pay a penalty if they go to the country of their other citizenship. In cases where dual nationals encounter difficulty in a foreign country of which they are citizens, the ability of U.S. Foreign Service posts to provide assistance may be quite limited since many foreign countries may not recognize a dual national’s claim to U.S. citizenship.
Which passport to use?
Section 215 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1185) requires U.S. citizens to use U.S. passports when entering or leaving the United States unless one of the exceptions listed in Section 53.2 of Title 22 of the Code of Federal Regulations applies. (One of these exceptions permits a child under the age of 12, who is included in the foreign passport of a parent who has no claim to U.S. citizenship, to enter the United States without a U.S. passport, provided the child presents evidence of his/her U.S. citizenship when entering the United States.) Dual nationals may be required by the other country of which they are citizens to enter or leave that country using its passport, but do not endanger their U.S. citizenship by complying with such a requirement.
How to give up dual nationality?
Most countries have laws that specify how a citizen may lose or divest citizenship. Generally, persons who do not wish to maintain dual nationality may renounce the citizenship which they do not want. Information on renouncing a foreign nationality may be obtained from the foreign country’s Embassies and Consulates or from the appropriate governmental agency in that country.
Americans may renounce their U.S. citizenship abroad pursuant to Section 349 (a)(5) of the Immigration and Nationality Act [8 U.S.C. 1481 (a)(5)]. Information on renouncing U.S. citizenship may be obtained from U.S. Embassies and Consulates and the office of Citizens Consular Services, Department of State, Washington, D.C. 20520.
Furthermore, an American citizen who is naturalized as a citizen of another country voluntarily and with intent to abandon his/her allegiance to the United States may so indicate their intent and thereby lose U.S. citizenship. See below for further information.
For further information on dual nationality, see Marjorie M. Whiteman’s Digest of International Law (Department of State Publication 8290, released September 1967), Volume 8, pages 64-84.
Potentially expatriating statutes
Section 349 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, as amended, states that U.S. citizens are subject to loss of citizenship if they perform certain acts voluntarily. Briefly stated, these acts include:
(a) obtaining naturalization in a foreign state (Sec. 349(a)(1), INA);
(b) taking an oath, affirmation or other formal declaration of allegiance to a foreign state or its political subdivisions (Sec. 349(a)(2), INA);
(c) entering or serving in the armed forces of a foreign state engaged in hostilities against the U.S. or serving as a commissioned or non-commissioned officer in the armed forces of a foreign state (Sec. 349(a)(3), INA);
(d) accepting employment with a foreign government if:
(i) one has or acquires the nationality of that foreign state;
or (ii) a declaration of allegiance is required in accepting the position (Sec. 349(a)(4), INA);
(e) formally renouncing U.S. citizenship before a U.S. consular officer outside the United States (Sec. 349(a)(5), INA);
(f) formally renouncing U.S. citizenship within the U.S. (but only in time of war) (Sec. 349(a)(6), INA);
(g) a conviction for an act of treason (Sec. 349(a)(7), INA).
Administrative standard of evidence
The actions listed above can cause loss of U.S. citizenship only if performed voluntarily and with the intention of relinquishing U.S. citizenship. The Department has a uniform administrative standard of evidence based on the premise that U.S. citizens intend to retain United States citizenship when they obtain naturalization in a foreign state, subscribe to routine declarations of allegiance to a foreign state, or accept non-policy level employment with a foreign government. (See note on policy-level employment, below.)
Disposition of cases when administrative premise is applicable
In light of the administrative premise discussed above, a person who:
(1) is naturalized in a foreign country;
or (2) takes a routine oath of allegiance;
or (3) accepts non-policy level employment with a foreign government
and in so doing wishes to retain U.S. citizenship need not submit prior to the commission of a potentially expatriating act a statement or evidence of his or her intent to retain U.S. citizenship since such an intent will be presumed.
When such cases come to the attention of a U.S. consular officer, for example, the person concerned applies for a new passport, he/she is required to submit with the application a supplementary explanatory signed statement to ascertain his/her intent towards U.S. citizenship. Accordingly, the consular officer will certify that it was not the person’s intent to relinquish U.S. citizenship and, consequently, find that the person has retained U.S. citizenship. Evidence of how and when the foreign nationality was acquired should be presented with the statement.
Disposition of cases when the administrative premise is inapplicable
The premise that a person intends to retain U.S. citizenship is not applicable when the individual:
(1) formally renounces U.S. citizenship before a consular officer;
or (2) takes a policy level position in a foreign state;
or (3) is convicted of treason;
or (4) performs an act made potentially expatriating by statute accompanied by conduct which is so inconsistent with retention of U.S. citizenship that it compels a conclusion that the individual intended to relinquish U.S. citizenship. (Such cases are very rare.)
Cases in categories 2, 3 and 4 will be developed carefully by U.S. consular officers to ascertain the individual’s intent towards U.S. citizenship.
What is policy-level employment?
As a general rule, policy level employment would include, but not be limited to, the following high government positions: head of state or government, member of a national legislature, top positions in executive agencies, and diplomatic representatives down to even relatively low positions.
Persons who wish to relinquish U.S. citizenship
An individual who has performed any of the acts made potentially expatriating by statute who wishes to lose U.S. citizenship may do so by affirming in writing to a U.S. consular officer that the act was performed with an intent to relinquish U.S. citizenship.
This can be done by signing a “Statement of Voluntary Relinquishment of U.S. Nationality” in the presence of a U.S. consular officer, or by submitting a signed statement executed before a Notary Public or a Court Magistrate. In any case, evidence of foreign citizenship (original copy) and U.S. citizenship must be presented to a U.S. consular officer as outlined above.
A person always has the option of seeking to formally renounce U.S. citizenship in accordance with Section 349(a)(5), INA. Please consult the U.S. Embassy or Consulate General in your consular district for details.
We strongly recommend that a person who wishes to sign the “Statement of Voluntary Relinquishment of U.S. Nationality” do so before a consular officer, to ensure that the statement is clear and unequivocal as to the person’s intent. With respect to renunciation, in every case the renunciation must be done in person before a consular officer.
Applicability of administrative premise to past cases
The premise established by the administrative standard of evidence is applicable to cases previously adjudicated by the Department. Persons who previously lost U.S. citizenship may wish to have their cases reconsidered in light of this policy. A person may initiate such reconsideration by submitting a request to the nearest U.S. consular office or by writing directly to:
Chief, East Asia and Pacific Division
Office of American Citizens Services
(CA/OCS/ACS/EAP), Room 4811
Department of State
Washington D.C. 20520-4818
Each case will be reviewed on its own merits taking into consideration, for example, statements made by the person at the time of the potentially expatriating act. (See “Review of Loss of U.S. Nationality”.)
When a person is naturalized in a foreign state (or otherwise possesses another nationality) and is thereafter found not to have lost U.S. citizenship, the individual consequently may possess dual nationality. It is prudent, however, to check with authorities of the other country to see if dual nationality is permissible under local law. The United States does not favor dual nationality as a matter of policy, but does recognize its existence in individual cases.
Bankruptcy Attorney in Gwinnett County
Life after Bankruptcy: Get Relief
Bankruptcy law offers individuals, families and business owners the opportunity to get a fresh start. The benefits can far outweigh the damage to your credit, which can usually be restored if your finances are carefully managed thereafter. If you want more information about bankruptcy and it’s benefits, you should contact a Gwinnett County bankruptcy attorney from our firm today. We can help you to make the decision about how to best resolve your personal or business financial problems, and what to expect after the bankruptcy is finalized with regard to access to credit. This concern should be addressed from a trusted source. It is notable that our clients are often astounded at the relief they feel after filing – they are no longer receiving creditor calls or facing legal threats. They are now free to move forward with a fresh start.
Bankruptcy filings are at an all time high, and continuing to rise. The stigma that was formerly part of filing bankruptcy essentially no longer exists; this is merely an opportunity offered under federal law to get a fresh start. Your credit will not be destroyed forever, and in fact, for many their credit is actually improved, as they no longer owe the debt after it is discharged. Most were already suffering the effects on their credit by the time they filed. Restoring credit after bankruptcy can be achieved by carefully paying all current obligations in a timely manner. You will be getting credit offers within months for high interest, secured cards in most cases, and can begin building up your credit.
Speak with Our Gwinnett County Bankruptcy Lawyers
Buff & Chronister is made up of a group of very experienced bankruptcy attorneys that can advise you how to best manage your credit after bankruptcy. We are a small, boutique law firm that works one-on-one with each individual or business owner. You will never be pushed on to a secretary or paralegal. We will personally help you with all documentation, negotiations, represent you and appear on your behalf at all court dates, and any other legal help you need with regards to your bankruptcy. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have questions about your bankruptcy, credit score, and financial future.
Gwinnett County Bankruptcy Attorney
The Psychology of Spending and Debt
For those who feel overwhelmed because of consumer debt, it is hard to remember the steps and process that brought them to this place. If you are in a difficult financial circumstance, it could prove helpful to understand the psychology of credit card debt and spending habits in order to prevent this circumstance from recurring. For those who do not know how they have accumulated so much debt within such a short amount of time, we can help them gain a clearer understanding of the root of the problem so that they can develop a healthy financial future. At Buff & Chronister, LLC, we not only help our clients eliminate their debt problem but help them to adequately prepare for the future so that this is not a recurring issue. To gain a better understanding of your debt issue, speak with a Gwinnett County bankruptcy lawyer from our firm today!
Credit Card Habits
Spending more than you can pay off is typically a problem that arises from credit cards. They are designed to put you in debt and keep you there. It takes an individual with an incredible amount of self-control to not fall into the trap that credit cards have set for us. They use manipulation tools, such as anchoring payments, to collect interest and fees from the spender. The psychological tool of anchoring is used to influence the spender’s decision by permitting low monthly payments compared to the amount actually needed to pay off the entire portion. The limits that credit cards provide to the spender are also anchored. Providing the consumer with high limits increases our spending habits and our feelings about budgeting.
The amount you will have to pay off in the future seems minimal compared with the enjoyment you can receive from the product you purchase with a credit card. Future discounting is a psychological tool that credit card companies use to trap consumers. Most individuals can swipe their credit card much more easily then handing over cash. The pain that you feel when handing over cash is immediate whereas the pain of paying off a credit card is in the future. Credit card companies also capture new clients by using this tactic. Even with the understanding that the rates will increase in the future, it is easy to get trapped in the present.
Emotional spending is another culprit of over-consumption. As Americans, we live in a consumer rich culture. Every direction we look, we can observe advertisements for products that we feel we simply must possess. We then come to the conclusion that we will be happier if we purchase that item. This is a positive feeling that always fades very quickly and leaves us in the market to be captivated by the next product we desire. In this country, we believe that hard work equates to financial success. The more we possess, the more successful we feel, which is a trap that many individuals face.
Many individuals use shopping and spending money as an emotional outlet. When we are having a bad day or are in a negative mood, shopping is often used as therapy. It is used by many Americans to eliminate pressure and release feelings of depression and anxiety. When it comes to being trapped in debt, however, these feelings can instantly reawaken. It is important to understand your spending habits and the reasons behind the debt in order to prevent the situation from reoccurring. As your Lawrenceville bankruptcy attorney, we can help you gain a better understanding of the psychology of your personal debt. Contact us today for the assistance you need to get back on your feet and stay there.
Repossession Attorney in Gwinnett County
Stopping Repossession Actions in Georgia
When someone leases, rents, or is making payments on something and they fail to make those payments, the item in question will eventually be repossessed by the lender. Most generally, repossession refers to vehicles that are either being leased, or that the buyer has not finished paying completely. Although repossession can be used for other items, such as boats, other vehicles, or generally any object that one can buy in payments, repossession of cars is one of the more common situations for people who are having financial difficulties. For more information about repossessions and how to stop repossession actions, contact our firm today to consult with a Gwinnett County bankruptcy attorney. We can help you understand what your best options are in avoiding the loss of your car or other assets.
Gwinnett County Repossession Lawyer
When a borrower defaults on their payments, the lender will generally not need to go through a court or other legal channels to have permission to repossess a car. The usual course of action is that the lender will send notifications to the buyer, and if they do not receive payment, or notification from the buyer that a payment is on its way, or if they fail to make arrangements with the lender the lender will hire a repossession firm to pick up the vehicle. They will either tow the vehicle away, or pick the lock or get the key from the buyer.
The added costs of repossession, including storage and towing of the vehicle will now be added to the bill. Buff & Chronister has over 20 years of combined experience in the field of bankruptcy law and all associated financial matters, including repossession actions. We offer individualized legal advice and representation and are able to resolve the issue of repossession for most individuals quickly and effectively, but early intervention is important, so contact us immediately if you are in facing serious financial difficulties.
Wage Garnishment in Gwinnett County
Wage Garnishment: Get Help to Stop Garnishment in Gwinnett County
If your wages are being garnished, you are likely struggling to make ends meet, or even feed and clothe your family. Garnishments can feel particularly unfair when you are struggling to provide for a family, and you may be having up to 25% of your take home pay being diverted. One option you may consider is to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. By filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, your wage garnishments are immediately stopped, and you will once again receive your full paycheck.
You do not need to wait for a judge to excuse your garnishments; the moment your bankruptcy case is filed, an “automatic stay” goes into effect, and all garnishments and pending garnishments that creditors have against you will be instantly stopped. If you have a garnishment against you, and are considering filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, contact a Gwinnett County bankruptcy attorney today to discuss your options.
When you are sued by someone for non-payment, they can get a judgment against you that allows them access to your paycheck before it reaches you. If you had a contract or document that you signed that was an agreement to pay, the judge will likely rule against you. At this point, the judge may authorize a wage garnishment and money will be automatically taken from your paycheck and sent to the person or company to whom you owe money. This can be extremely frustrating and devastating when you are providing for a family and have bills to pay. Contact our firm today to learn more about wage garnishments and what you can do to stop them.
Gwinnett County Bankruptcy Lawyer
Buff & Chronister is a boutique legal firm with over 20 years of experience in bankruptcy and all debt-related legal actions. There are a variety of ways wage garnishment can be brought to a halt, either in debt settlement, debt negotiations, filing for bankruptcy and others. You deserve to have your rights protected, and access to your full paycheck. We can help. If you are struggling with wage garnishment or are threatened with garnishment, contact our firm.
What Is the Difference Between Chapter 13 and Chapter 7?
Posted on Mar 12, 2014 10:54am PDT
Any individual who is considering filing for bankruptcy should be aware that there are different types of bankruptcy protection available. Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 are the two most common types of bankruptcy filed by individuals and couples seeking debt relief. Chapter 7 is often referred to as liquidation bankruptcy, as assets and property that cannot be claimed under state exemption laws can be sold off for the purpose of paying back creditors. Chapter 7 can be extremely beneficial to those who do not have the income necessary to fulfill their financial obligations, and just can’t meet the payments due to financial difficulties.
Bankruptcy can also be employed as an effective foreclosure defense. In Chapter 7, an individual will be able to discharge the majority of their unsecured debt so that they can get a fresh start and regain control of their finances. If you qualify for Chapter 7, our Lawrenceville bankruptcy lawyers with work with you closely to determine what property and assets can be exempted from your bankruptcy proceedings. In most cases, our clients are able to retain all of their personal possessions, including their home when the right legal action is taken.
Individuals who do have a regular source of income, or who do not qualify to file for Chapter 7, may want to consider filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection. In Chapter 13, individuals are given the opportunity to restructure their debts so that they can be paid off within a 3-5 year period. During the repayment period, no further legal actions can be pursued by creditors and interest will not continue to accrue during this time. At the end of the payment period, those debts which have not be paid in full may be eligible for discharge, saving you thousands or more.
If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, you may be wondering how to find a bankruptcy lawyer in Gwinnett County who can help you navigate through this complex process. At Buff & Chronister, LLC, we have years of experience helping individuals resolve their debt-related problems through bankruptcy. We have an in-depth understanding of bankruptcy laws and are compassionate to the needs of our clients. Hiring a bankruptcy lawyer from our firm will greatly improve your chances of obtaining the debt relief you need. To find out if you qualify for bankruptcy protection, contact a Gwinnett County bankruptcy attorney at our firm today.
Braselton Bankruptcy Lawyer
Why hire a bankruptcy attorney?
From time to time, attorneys at Buff & Chronister hear the question, “Why do I need an attorney for bankruptcy?” or “What kind of attorney should I hire?” If you are reading this page, it is more than likely that you have credit card and/or other debts that have become extremely difficult to manage. You may have already suffered a wage garnishment, repossession or need to stop foreclosure on your home. For some, you may see your business going under and are unsure what solution could save you. You need real financial solutions and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. This is also where a skilled attorney can be the best investment you have made in some time.
Like many federal laws, bankruptcy can be complex and extremely difficult to make your way through. The bankruptcy process begins with finding out if you are qualified and this is where it can start to be complicated. In 2005, the federal laws governing bankruptcy were amended. Among the changes were stricter rules and added documentation to the qualifying procedure. In order to establish your eligibility, a proven Braselton bankruptcy attorney from our firm conducts a standard “means test” which fully assesses your financial condition. Once we are able to show that you are qualified, we can quickly move to the next step of the process. If you are not eligible to file, we can then search for and implement alternatives to bankruptcy that still go towards the goal of discharging your debts. Despite the more stringent rules, we have found that most individuals or companies in severe financial states will still qualify.
Bankruptcy really begins when your petition is filed with the court. What is not generally known is that these petitions are routinely denied. When you file a petition that is not properly documented, for the incorrect kind of bankruptcy or when you were not truly qualified, it has several unwanted effects. You will waste the funds required to prepare and file the petition. In many cases, though, the most undesirable result will be the precious time that is wasted. When we file a correctly prepared petition, you have the opportunity to receive the collections and foreclosure defense that you need, in a timely manner.
Debt Negotiations or Loan Modification as Alternatives to Bankruptcy
The goal of any bankruptcy proceeding is to provide a new beginning to your finances by the discharge of your debts. This is achieved through various types or chapters of bankruptcy. Frequently, a mechanic can only use a precise tool to repair a piece of machinery and using the wrong tool just won’t work. Likewise, it is vital that we review your debts, assets, income and other aspects of your finances to determine whether Chapter 7, 11 or 13 is the exact financial solution for you.
In searching for the best attorney for your needs, we offer three pieces of advice. First, retain a lawyer who is significantly experienced in bankruptcy laws and rules. Second, only use a firm that has successfully helped others with their debt problems in the past. Over the past two and a half decades, our firm has assisted thousands of families with their financial difficulties. Additionally, we have helped numerous businesses, large and small, to file for bankruptcy. To defend clients against creditors who have violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, we have tried more than 40 cases to a jury verdict.
The last piece of advice is to look for a firm that is experienced in solutions outside of bankruptcy, as it is not always the best financial method to overcome your debts. In some cases, we utilize loan modification, debt settlement, deed in lieu of foreclosure or debt negotiations to better assist our clients. In an area like Braselton where foreclosures are high, there is a great need for answers to how to save your home or get out from under a mortgage. Once we have completed a review of your situation, we can then propose the best way to get you back in control of your finances.
Daily, we work with good people who have run into severe financial troubles. We understand that your choice of attorney is personal, as is the decision to file for bankruptcy. We also know that behind the facts and figures are individuals who only want a fresh start. Your best hope to succeed in overcoming the debts you currently face is through the use of a skilled, committed attorney.
In addition to Braselton, our firm serves all of Gwinnet County and we look forward to the opportunity to help you and your family.
To understand all that can be done to overcome your debts, contact a Braselton bankruptcy lawyer from our firm today.
Gwinnett County Bankruptcy Attorney
Helping Seek Debt Relief in Lawrenceville & Gwinnett County, Georgia
Getting the immediate legal help you need in filing for bankruptcy is important, and who you choose to represent you can significantly impact the final outcome with regard to debt, speed of resolution and other crucial issues. At Buff & Chronister, our dedicated legal team possesses more than 20 years of combined experience, and we pride ourselves on providing personal, one-on-one service to all of our clients.
You will not be shoved off onto an assistant, paralegal or first-year attorney, but be handled directly by a skilled Gwinnett County bankruptcy lawyer from our legal team. Any person that is facing financial problems will require aggressive, high quality and professional legal counsel if they hope for success. We are experienced litigators and are proud of the many favorable verdicts we have achieved for our clients, from individuals to businesses.
Areas of Practice: Chapter 7, 11 and 13 Bankruptcies
Our firm represents individuals, families and business owners in bankruptcy filings and throughout the bankruptcy process. There are a large number of bankruptcy myths and you need to find out the truth about both the advantages and risks you will face from a trusted source. You may have questions about bankruptcy exemptions or the many potential alternatives to bankruptcy that could resolve your financial problems. You may not need to file bankruptcy, and we can take on your creditors and get them under control.
We provide focused, high quality legal representation in Chapter 7, Chapter 11, and Chapter 13 bankruptcies. We are exceptionally aggressive in collections defense, resolving financial problems involving credit card debt, and in discharging your debt through bankruptcy. We also provide legal services in debt settlement, debt negotiation, debt relief, and in arranging a deed in lieu to help our clients who are hoping to avoid foreclosure.
You are protected under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, and any case of creditor harassment will be addressed with aggressive legal action. We fight for our clients in foreclosure defense, negotiating with lenders in a loan modification, and can answer your questions about how we can help you with the means test. We can help you fight back against any threats regarding repossessions, pursue a short sale, stop garnishment, stop foreclosure, and address wage garnishment. Our Georgia bankruptcy lawyer is prepared to find the best opportunities for you and your interests. When you are facing financial difficulties, you need a qualified lawyer with the credentials and experience that will best protect you, and we can help.
Struggling with debt? Contact our Gwinnett County firm today!
Many law firms are limited in their understanding of the federal bankruptcy laws and do not offer legal services in bankruptcy and debt-related issues to business owners; this is one of our busiest areas of practice. We provide the educated and professional representation needed, even in the most complex legal issues surrounding financial matters and bankruptcy.
Auburn Bankruptcy Lawyer
Bankruptcy Fundamentals – A Way of Discharging Debts You Owe
In addressing any subject, it is crucial to understand the basics. Once we help you to understand the fundamentals of bankruptcy, you can make an informed decision as to whether or not to file. Frequently, those who visit our website are in the midst of severe financial difficulties and need help. Bankruptcy myths or simply not having enough information can, unfortunately, prevent you from moving forward on discharging your debts. The attorneys at Buff & Chronister want you to have every opportunity to experience the debt relief that bankruptcy is capable of accomplishing.
Over the past 20 plus years, our firm has helped thousands of families who were facing foreclosure, violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, repossessions and other consequences of overwhelming debts. On order to protect our clients from unfair actions by creditors, we have tried over 40 cases to jury verdict. We are proud of our accomplishments to date, but want you to be equally confident in choosing us as your attorneys and in the financial decisions you make. If you are interested in knowing the purpose of bankruptcy, how the process works and what can be achieved, please read on.
Bankruptcy was established by our federal government to help honest people who are no longer able to meet their financial obligations. The death of a family’s wage earner, the depressed housing market in Auburn, an unexpected medical emergency, the sudden loss of a job and other circumstances can quickly leave you in a financially unstable condition. For many, there can appear to be no way out. The purpose of bankruptcy is to give you a fresh start to the financial portion of your life. This is done, through various means, by legally clearing your debts.
In Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you are permitted to sell off specific assets to pay certain debts that you owe. At the end of the procedure, the court has the power to discharge additional debts that you have not been able to pay. For some, when a committed Auburn bankruptcy attorney from our firm successfully sees you through the process, you will be debt free. Others can be in a position to pay off their remaining debts in a reasonable manner and once again be in control of their finances. Credit card debts, personal loans and medical expenses are common types of bills that will be resolved through Chapter 7.
Chapter 11 for Business and Chapter 13 for Individuals
Chapter 11 is used by businesses who are finding it extremely difficult to pay vendors, meet payroll or have accrued various debts that are too large to get paid on time. We utilize this chapter to reorganize your business in accordance with bankruptcy laws. Our attorneys file Chapter 11 so that you will be able to get back to paying the debts you owe but in a time frame and manner that is manageable.
Chapter 13 is used by individuals whose income is too high to qualify them for Chapter 7, yet they are still in need of a way to resolve their debts. We formulate and propose to the court and your creditors a 3 to 5 year plan that restructures your debts. Many times, our attorneys use debt negotiation to reduce the final amounts that you will have to pay. Just as in other chapters, the final result is to get your debts legally discharged. No matter which form we file, our lawyers know the bankruptcy exemptions allowed in our state. We work hard to see that you retain valued possessions such as your home, vehicles, retirement accounts and others. In nearly all cases, these assets will not be part of your bankruptcy proceedings.
Our attorneys work with you to determine what form of bankruptcy will be in your best interests and truly help you to achieve your financial goals. In addition, there is an important piece of knowledge regarding bankruptcy that we want you to know. Once we file your petition, the court quickly and automatically orders your creditors to cease any and all collection actions against you. This is how bankruptcy can provide foreclosure and collections defense. This is also the way in which we can stop garnishments, repossessions and creditor law suits.
There is much more to know about the bankruptcy process. We are here not only to provide skilled legal representation, but to answers you questions in a clear and complete manner. For those outside of Auburn, we provide service to all of Gwinnett County as well.
Contact an Auburn bankruptcy lawyer from our firm to learn the fundamentals of bankruptcy and how to get a fresh start and regain financial control.
Gwinnett County Bankruptcy Attorney
Are you considering bankruptcy?
If your financial future looks grim and you are buried under debt, the legal team at Buff & Chronister urges you to contact a Gwinnett County bankruptcy attorney at your earliest opportunity. We focus our efforts on assisting individuals and businesses that are going under and need to get their financial issues resolved permanently. To find out if bankruptcy is right for you or if there are alternatives available that would fit your situation better, contact our firm today. At your free consultation we will carefully evaluate your debt problems and determine if we may be able to help you get the fresh financial start that you need.
Alternatives to Bankruptcy in Gwinnett County
Many responsible people have gotten into serious financial trouble but are either not eligible to file for bankruptcy or want to avoid filing as a means to get out of debt. Because we listen to our clients and believe that every case is different, we take care to tailor our approach to everyone’s specific circumstances and use our expertise and resources to explore all options before recommending bankruptcy. Some of those alternatives include:
Debt negotiation to reduce the balance on past due unsecured debts
Debt settlement out of court
Home short sale, deed in lieu or loan modification to avoid foreclosure
We strongly advise you to let one of our Gwinnett County bankruptcy lawyers, with over 20 years of combined bankruptcy experience, assess your situation. We are a “boutique” law firm, not a mill or mass filer of petitions, and pride ourselves on providing intensive one-on-one service to our clients. You can be assured that if you retain us, you will meet with and be represented by an experienced bankruptcy attorney, not a paralegal or first year lawyer. With our understanding of debt relief options and the dedication we have to our clients, a solution that suits your particular circumstances may be just around the corner.
Gwinnett County Debt Negotiation Attorney
Negotiating on a Debt Settlement or Payment Terms
More than ever, our economic system leads people in all walks of life to acquire large amounts of debt, often just to “get by”. With jobs being few and far between, many of these debts have become increasingly difficult for people to pay off. When you find yourself unable to pay your obligations, there are many different ways to legally plan for the relief and discharge of this debt, and give you relief you need.
When it comes time for you to negotiate with the creditor or debt collector to whom you owe money, it is advised that you enlist the assistance of our law firm. We have successfully negotiated debt issues for clients on countless occasions, and always seek the best possible deal and know exactly how to deal with any creditor that is hounding you. It is imperative that you seek the legal representation of a Gwinnett County bankruptcy attorney if you are anticipating pursuing debt negotiations.
The Process of Negotiation
There are many options to choose from when you are attempting to absolve or relieve yourself from debt. Although chapter 7, and chapter 13 bankruptcies do provide a final solution for discharging debt, there are often other solutions that work better and help you avoid filing. Most creditors prefer negotiations and a resolution as the cost of pursuing payment can exceed the amount of the debt. Consequently it is often the best solution to negotiate a settlement. When you are considering engaging in negotiations with regard to an outstanding obligation, it is of benefit to have the legal expertise of a qualified legal professional involved.
Debt Negotiation Lawyer in Gwinnett County
In many cases, negotiating the payment terms and possible settlement of a debt can be out of the question without skilled legal representation. Creditors can be extremely unreasonable and unwilling to work with you. They can make offers that don’t work, or even just threaten you with legal action to get a judgment and access to your wages or bank accounts. With over 20 years of combined experience, and an aggressive legal approach, our legal team at Buff & Chronister will help fight for a favorable settlement, and know exactly how to deal with creditors or collection agencies to pursue the best possible settlement for you. Your interests will be our only concern, so contact a Gwinnett County bankruptcy lawyer today.
Gwinnett County Debt Settlement Attorney
Agreeing on a Debt Settlement
In these trying economic times debt has become a problem for millions of people. For those who have acquired unmanageable levels of debt, there are legal solutions available that can help you to resolve the situation. One more aggressive method of addressing debt is to negotiate an agreement with the creditor. In many cases, our law firm can negotiate your debt down to a much lower amount, and arrange a payment schedule that you can adhere to, saving you from stress as well as thousands of dollars (or tens of thousands in larger obligations). A debt settlement is a very viable option and should be thoroughly considered if you are underwater financially. If you are in a difficult financial situation, and would like to pursue a debt settlement, you should seek the legal representation of a Gwinnett County bankruptcy attorney.
The Process of Reaching Settlement
If you are approaching the financial point of filing for bankruptcy, it is in your best interest to first take a look at agreeing on a debt settlement. While debt settlement does show up on your credit report, the benefits of settlement far outweigh the negative consequences. It follows that if your situations merits negotiating with a creditor or debt collector on an agreed upon amount, you should pursue this alternative to bankruptcy.
Debt Settlement Lawyer in Lawrenceville & Gwinnett County
Should the opportunity arise, debt settlement is an aggressive and ideal method of discharging debt and should be considered over other options. Our attorney’s at Buff & Chronister know when and how to approach these settlement negotiations in order to maximize your debt relief. We understand the emotional stress that those in the Gwinnett County area are suffering, and we are here to help. If you need aggressive representation with a proven history of success to help you get out of a financial situation, we are the firm for you.
Bankruptcy Exemptions in Gwinnett County
Gwinnett County Bankruptcy Lawyer: Exemptions
Within Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy laws, certain assets can be liquidated in order to assist in paying off your creditors. If you are considering either of these options, you should schedule a consultation with an experienced Gwinnett County bankruptcy lawyer to find out which option is the right one for you, and get all your questions about it answered. It is a bankruptcy myth that all of your possessions will be liquidated if you file for bankruptcy. State and federal laws provide protection of certain assets by declaring them bankruptcy exemptions. Under Georgia law, the debtor is entitled to specific exemptions when they file for bankruptcy.
These exemptions include provisions for interest in real or personal property (up to a specified amount), periodic payments from a retirement or pension plan, the debtor’s interest in a motor vehicle (up to a specified amount), household furnishings, apparel, appliances, jewelry, professional books, tools of the trade, unmatured life insurance policies, interest from life insurance policies for which the debtor was a dependent, awards received under a crime victim’s reparation law, payments for a wrongful death claim, life insurance payments that insured the an individual who the debtor was a dependent, and personal injury settlement awards. Interested in learning more? Contact a bankruptcy attorney for detailed information about how you can take full advantage of the bankruptcy exemptions.
Life after Bankruptcy in Lawrenceville & Gwinnett County
There are many other kinds of exemptions. The Gwinnett County bankruptcy attorneys at Buff & Chronister can help you to understand the federal bankruptcy laws and make the determination as to which type of filing is the right one for you. We can provide you with peace of mind and relief form harassing creditors, lawsuits and wage garnishments. You will work one-on-one with an experienced attorney, not a paralegal or first year lawyer.
Common Questions about Bankruptcy
Questions about Filing for Bankruptcy in Lawrenceville & Gwinnett County
Do I need an attorney to file bankruptcy?
You have the right to file without an attorney, but you should be aware that errors or a failure to provide full documentation can lead to denials, delays and even legal action against you. The government has taken a hard line with regard to accuracy on bankruptcy filings. They have increased the requirements with regard to full supporting evidence regarding your financial condition. With the help of a Gwinnett County bankruptcy lawyer, you protect against these problems, as well as decrease the possibility that you will be denied the opportunity for a fresh start offered through bankruptcy.
What debts will be discharged in chapter 7?
Chapter 7, the most commonly filed form of bankruptcy, allows the individual or business owner to discharge unsecured debt. There are some debts that cannot be discharged, such as back child support, some taxes and student loans. It is best to bring your situation to our office and we can evaluate your personal financial situation and advise you what the outcome of filing bankruptcy will be in your case. There are often alternatives to bankruptcy that could serve to resolve the situation as well.
What if there is a complex corporate bankruptcy?
Our firm has assisted businesses, both small and large, to file bankruptcy, and has the resources and knowledge that is necessary to address these legal issues. Many law firms do not provide legal counsel in corporate bankruptcies. We provide this service in both chapter 7 and chapter 11 bankruptcy.
What if I don’t qualify for chapter 7?
If you don’t qualify for chapter 7, you could take advantage of chapter 13 bankruptcy to resolve your financial difficulties. By the time the term of the bankruptcy is completed, usually only a percentage of the debt owing is paid, and there are exceptional advantages for those who are underwater financially but do not want to lose property or other assets.
A Gwinnett County Bankruptcy Attorney Explodes Bankruptcy Myths
There are myths about bankruptcy and, to fully clear these up, you should have a consultation with a Gwinnett County bankruptcy lawyer who can explain how bankruptcy laws work and if filing for bankruptcy is the right thing for you to do. One of the most common myths regarding bankruptcy is that your credit will be ruined for ten years. In actuality, even though a bankruptcy will show up on your credit history for ten years, in time – usually much less time than you expect, your credit will begin to improve.
Late payments and wage garnishments are what have likely already damaged your credit rating and you will be more able to re-establish your credit now that you are free of crushing debt. Another myth is that you will not be able to get credit again but this is also not the case. You will get new offers of credit after filing, although your interest rates will be higher for a time. People also wonder if all their debts can be discharged. Even though many types of debt can be discharged, certain types of debt like taxes, student loans and outstanding alimony or child support cannot be discharged.
Do I qualify for Chapter 7 in Gwinnett County?
We can quickly determine if you or your business qualify to file bankruptcy. Many fear that they will lose everything that they own, of great concern for both individuals and business owners. Bankruptcy can actually help you to keep your assets, rather than getting them repossessed. There are many assets which are protected by bankruptcy exemption laws and the majority of those filing for bankruptcy are able to retain most of their assets.
At Buff & Chronister, we work with you one-on-one to help you determine which filing is right for you. We take care of the legal paperwork and aggressively represent your best interests in court so that the process is not hard on you but provides peace of mind and a new start for you in your financial life. For this reason, you should not wait any longer to contact a Gwinnett County bankruptcy attorney at our firm.
The Bankruptcy Process in Gwinnett County
A Gwinnett County Bankruptcy Attorney Explains the Bankruptcy Process
There are different types of bankruptcy filings and a Gwinnett County bankruptcy attorney will help you to understand if filing for bankruptcy is the right thing for you to do and which type of bankruptcy you should file. This is a complicated process requiring a great deal of legal paperwork and observations of time lines to coordinate with the Trustee and the court. If you file for Chapter 7, your debt can be discharged. You must make a report of all your income and expenses to your attorney as well as assets and liabilities.
This type of bankruptcy also requires mandatory credit counseling prior to filing and, once you have filed your petition, your creditors will no longer be able to contact you. A meeting of creditors occurs approximately thirty days after the date of filing. The vast majority of consumers who file a bankruptcy case keep all of their personal and real property. You will be required to take a financial management course before the court will grant you a final discharge of non-exempt debts. Chapter 13 bankruptcy involves paying back your creditors, using your disposable income, over a three to five year period.
The amount of disposable income used to pay back creditors is determined by the IRS. Chapter 13 also requires mandatory credit counseling prior to filing and a statement of financial affairs and plan filed with the court. This plan will detail how your creditors are going to be paid back. Chapter 11 bankruptcy is for businesses and certain individuals with high incomes who might not qualify for Chapter 7. Chapter 11 allows for the continued operation of a business with possession of assets retained and the debtor continues to operate and manage as the “debtor in possession.” You need to be aware that some types of debts can be substantially compromised, also that executory contracts can be rejected under Chapter 11.
Working One-on-one with You
At Buff & Chronister we are experienced litigators and can deal with any and all situations where other areas of law intersect bankruptcy law. We work with you one-on-one and provide a Gwinnett County bankruptcy attorney and not a paralegal or first year attorney. We will represent your best interests in court and are aggressive in fighting a creditor’s attorney who tries damage your finances further.
Filing for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy in the Atlanta Metro Area?
Chapter 11: Bankruptcy for Businesses
Today’s economic downturn has had a huge impact on the ability of many businesses to survive, forcing companies both large and small to face unprecedented financial challenges. It is a frightening time for many businesses, but fortunately, the possibility of filing a Chapter 11 bankruptcy is available to help you resolve difficult financial situations. Even better, this type of bankruptcy may also help certain individuals who don’t qualify for other types of bankruptcy. If you want to learn more about a Chapter 11 bankruptcy and how it may assist your company or you as an individual, please contact a bankruptcy attorney at Buff & Chronister.
We have extensive business bankruptcy experience and pride ourselves on keeping current regarding complex and changing Georgia laws and federal bankruptcy law and other regulations. Our extensive experience in assisting business owners to file Chapter 11 bankruptcy allows us to move forward quickly and get all the financial issues under control. When you file a Chapter 11 bankruptcy as a business owner in the Atlanta metro area, you will have the opportunity to greatly reduce the amount you finally pay in overdue obligations, as well as halt legal actions against you.
Filing for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy in Georgia
Chapter 11 bankruptcy is an opportunity when a business is struggling. The economy will recover; until that time, you may need to address the issue of unpaid obligations such as leases, vendor payments, equipment costs and others to maintain your operation. Under Chapter 11, your business will be under certain restrictions, but it allows you the time to reorganize your operation and get it back into the black. After years of dedication to your business, you want the opportunity to keep your doors open and move forward without great losses. Similar to filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy, Chapter 11 entails a reorganization of debt; unlike a Chapter 13, however, there is no limit to the amount of debt that can be restructured and may the best solution for those with large debt obligations.
Many law firms are only experienced in filing personal bankruptcy petitions and do not have enough background and know-how to adequately represent business Chapter 11 clients. Fortunately, our dedicated attorneys have 20 years of combined bankruptcy experience and are seasoned litigators with knowledge in a broad range of legal issues. Chapter 11 reorganization permits businesses to continuing operating after restructuring their debt and at the same time stops repossessions, collections, foreclosures and lawsuits. Our firm represents small and closely held businesses in Chapter 11 cases and would like the opportunity to provide a confidential analysis of your situation.
Bankruptcy Attorney Serving the Atlanta Metro Area
Buff & Chronister is a boutique law firm that provides skilled legal counsel to business owners throughout the Gwinnett County area. We know how tough it is to do business in the current financial climate, and will take action to help you manage your situation so that you can get on with the “business of doing business” as opposed to constantly juggling payments and fighting legal threats. We have over 20 years of experience in corporate bankruptcy. We are aggressive negotiators, and can pursue further advantages in bankruptcy court through litigation, among other actions to protect you and your business interests.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Lawyer in Gwinnett County, GA
Struggling with debt? Find out how Buff & Chronister, LLC can help.
If you have found it difficult to repay your debts, stay on top of bills or fight off persistent creditors, it may be time to explore your financial options. Fortunately, you do not have to face this difficult time alone. With the help of a Gwinnett County bankruptcy attorney from Buff & Chronister, LLC, you can determine which course of action is right for you. Our firm is experienced in all areas of bankruptcy law, including Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy, so you can trust that we will be able to provide you with the straight-forward legal advice that you need. We understand that no two cases are the same, which means that we will take the time to fully assess your financial situation before recommending an appropriate debt relief solution—be it bankruptcy or a viable alternative.
How does Chapter 7 bankruptcy work?
Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which is also known as “liquidation” bankruptcy, is a process that allows debtors to discharge most, if not all, of their debt in a short period of time. In most cases, you can expect the entire process to take about four to six months. Unlike Chapter 13 bankruptcy, however, you must first determine whether or not you qualify by taking a means test. This is because Chapter 7 bankruptcy is strictly reserved for those who are truly unable to repay their debts. If you qualify, you will be asked to file a petition with the court describing your debts, your current monthly income and living expenses, your property and more. Once your case is accepted, the court will subsequently order an automatic stay—which would prohibit all creditors from continuing their collection efforts.
What are the benefits of filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy?
As of 2014, per recent changes in Georgia bankruptcy law, you will now be able to strip your second mortgage through Chapter 7 bankruptcy if you owe more on your mortgage than what your home is actually worth. Prior to these changes, this could only be done in Chapter 13 bankruptcies. You will also be protected from all creditors’ impending efforts to foreclose upon your home, repossess your property or garnish your wages until the bankruptcy process has been concluded—which means that you will have time to reassess your financial situation without the added worry of creditor harassment. There are numerous other benefits that come along with filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which can be addressed when you sit down with a Gwinnett County bankruptcy lawyer from our firm.
To schedule a confidential consultation with a Gwinnett County bankruptcy attorney at Buff & Chronister, LLC, call our office today at (888) 605-5508 or fill out a case evaluation form online.
Bankruptcy Attorney Serving Gwinnett County
Means Test for Determining Bankruptcy Eligibility
When determining eligibility for filing bankruptcy, a “means test” is the process. Filing for bankruptcy is a process in which most of your debt will be forgiven or reduced, and this test was implemented to ensure that only those who really need a fresh start have access to the process. A means test determines if someone has the means to pay off a reasonable portion of their debt. If the test indicates that they do not and that there is no hope that they can pay off their debt, they will be eligible to file for chapter 7 bankruptcy, in which your consumer debt is discharged.
Those with a high level of income or many assets will not qualify for chapter 7, and can seek relief through filing chapter 13 bankruptcy, which allows them to pay off their outstanding obligations over a 3 – 5 year period. For more information on a means test, the necessary documentation and the entire process, contact a Gwinnett County bankruptcy attorney from our firm today. We assist our clients with the process of the means test, which must be completely accurate or there is danger of delays, denials or even legal trouble.
How a Gwinnett County Bankruptcy Lawyer Can Help
Buff & Chronister is a legal firm that is dedicated to one-on-one legal representation for our clients. We are a small, boutique firm, and we treat our clients with the care and consideration they deserve. We understand the time sensitive nature of bankruptcy cases, and we will never leave you wondering where your attorney is. We will always be available to discuss the case, and when you call to speak to your attorney, that is who you will speak with, not a paralegal or assistant. We know it is important to be responsive to our clients and believe that you have every right to clear and honest communication from your law firm . We are dedicated to helping each of our clients on an individual basis so that they have the opportunity to get a fresh start, whether through filing chapter 7, chapter 13 or for business owners that need to file chapter 11 to get back on track.
Gwinnett County Collections Defense Lawyer
Have harassing creditors violated your rights?
In today’s economy there is unfortunately one business that is flourishing: debt collection. These agencies are often very hostile and bullying in their attempts to get money owed to them, resorting to nasty phone calls and threatening letters among other tactics. People who are at the receiving end of such mistreatment often feel defeated, helpless and ashamed and because they can’t pay their bills, may assume that they don’t have any recourse. If this description speaks to your situation, the place to start looking for help is the law firm of Buff & Chronister. At our offices, a Gwinnett County bankruptcy lawyer is ready to meet with you, talk about our collections defense strategies and discuss how we may be able to help you assert your rights.
Collection Defense Lawyer in Gwinnett County, GA
Our collections defense attorneys, with a broad range of experience in bankruptcy and other types of law, carry numerous responsibilities with respect to collections defense. Some of our many duties include:
Court representation at creditor lawsuit hearings to ensure rights are not violated
Bank negotiations to stop foreclosures so clients do not lose their homes
Bankruptcy filings to ensure that paperwork is done timely and correctly
Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) complaints
With respect to the FDCPA, this federal law was enacted in the 1970’s to prevent collections abuse. If retained by you, our attorneys will vigorously defend your FDCPA rights and take immediate actions to stop creditor abuse against you. We believe you have the right to be treated with dignity and respect even if you owe money, and we will do all that is possible to protect your rights. We provide intensive one-on-one service to our clients and take pride in assuring you that an experienced attorney will always personally meet with you and represent your interests. You can fight back, and we know how to hold creditors accountable in court when they violate your rights.
Gwinnett County Credit Counseling Attorney
Why do I have to complete credit counseling before filing?
The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act (BAPCPA) of 2005 was passed by the 109th United States Congress in an attempt to limit the amount of people filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Since this legislative act has since made substantial changes to the United States Bankruptcy Code, all consumers are now required to complete a credit counseling session with an approved non-profit counseling agency before filing their bankruptcy petition with the court. Although this may seem like an inconvenience, credit counseling has proven to be an effective tool for debt management. This process was designed to educate consumers about the pitfalls of incurring debt, and subsequently help them to establish a suitable debt management plan (DMP).
Pre-Filing Credit CounselingPost-Filing Debtor Education
Fulfilling Pre-Bankruptcy Requirements in Gwinnett County, GA
Credit counseling is one of the most important steps to take before filing for bankruptcy in Georgia—as failing to complete a course that has been approved by the U.S. Trustee’s Office could lead to the rejection or dismissal of your bankruptcy petition. This may also prohibit you from re-filing for a certain period of time, so it is crucial that you make necessary arrangements to enroll in credit counseling within the time frame of 180 days prior to filing. At the conclusion of the course, you will receive a certificate of completion that must be filed with your bankruptcy petition.
If you fail to adhere to any of these pre-bankruptcy requirements, the court judge overseeing your case will have little authority to approve your petition. For this reason, we encourage you to involve a Gwinnett County bankruptcy lawyer from Buff & Chronister, LLC early on in the process. Our firm can recommend an approved counseling agency and help to ensure that all pre-filing requirements are carried out in a timely manner, so there is no reason to go through this process alone. Contact our office at (888) 605-5508 or submit a free case evaluation form to learn more about how we can help.
How much does credit counseling typically cost?
On average, credit counseling will cost about $50 in Gwinnett County, GA. This may vary, however, as it really just depends on the type of session that you choose to complete. When you enlist the help of a Gwinnett County bankruptcy attorney from our firm, you can ensure that you get a fair price for the counseling that you receive. We have recommended a number of different agencies to our clients, but we have found that one of the most comprehensive online courses is the one offered by DebtorCC. The first course, which must be completed before filing for bankruptcy, is only $9.95 per household. The second course for post-filing is also listed at the same price, so we encourage you to learn more by visiting their official website.
Avoid Future Complications by Enlisting the Help of Buff & Chronister, LLC
If you are interested in filing for bankruptcy in Gwinnett County, GA, the team at Buff & Chronister, LLC encourages you to get in touch with our firm. Not only can we ensure that all pre-filing requirements are fulfilled, but you can rest assured that we will be by your side throughout the entire bankruptcy process. For this reason, we ask you to discuss your case with a Gwinnett County bankruptcy lawyer at our firm as soon as possible. We provide affordable payment options to all of our clients and we even offer discounts to those who are filing under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, so there is no reason to delay any longer. Contact our office at (888) 605-5508 to learn more!
Gwinnett County Debt Relief Attorney
Alleviating the Burden of Debt
It is no secret that living under crushing debt is exceedingly stressful. Given the reality of these tough economic times, credit card debt and other debts can weigh heavy on all aspects of an individual’s life. With debts quickly piling up, it is absolutely essential to seek out the advice and guidance of a qualified professional to get your financial situation back on track. If you are struggling underneath the burden of overwhelming debt, you should speak with a Gwinnett County bankruptcy lawyer today.
About Debt Relief
Depending on the type and amount of debt you have, there are options available to address debt problems. No matter what circumstances led to your financial difficulties, it is very important that you take action to resolve the matter. In some situations, options such as debt negotiations or a loan modification may get your financial issues under control. Bankruptcy is another viable option available to those individuals seeking to discharge their debts. If bankruptcy is the best option for you, a knowledgeable attorney will be able to help you determine whether chapter 7 or chapter 13 bankruptcy fits your specific situation.
Debt Relief Lawyer in Gwinnett County
Debt relief is often possible even if a creditor is not responsive to you. At Buff & Chronister, we have the experience and aggressive legal approach to help you pursue the most optimum results in debt relief for your individual case. With our case by case, individual-first approach to financial difficulties, we will take action to gain you every possible advantage when we negotiate. Call one our Gwinnett County bankruptcy attorneys today and let your concerns become our concerns.
Discharging Your Debt in Gwinnett County
Getting Your Debt Discharged Through Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
When individuals file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy due to insurmountable debt, they are usually able to get a great portion of their debts discharged. When a discharge occurs, the person who filed for bankruptcy is released from the personal responsibility of paying most, or sometimes even all, of his or her debts. This action prevents creditors from trying to collect that money from the individual in the future. Debt discharge gives the person who successfully completed the bankruptcy process a fresh start in his or her finances.
In the typical Chapter 7 bankruptcy case, the debt will be able to obtain a discharge order within 60 to 90 days of their meeting of creditors date. This can take longer, however, if a party of interest in your bankruptcy case files an official complaint of objection or files a motion that asks for more time to be able to formally object. By consulting with one of our Gwinnett County bankruptcy lawyers at Buff & Chronister, LLC, you can learn more about how the bankruptcy and debt discharge processes work. We serve many communities throughout Gwinnett County, Georgia, including Lawrenceville.
What types of debt can be discharged?
In Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the types of debts that can usually be discharged are unsecured consumer debt, such as debt through credit cards, medical bills, personal unsecured loans and more. Unsecured debt is debt in which the individual’s property cannot be repossessed upon nonpayment. There are certain steps that individuals will need to take in order to deal with secured debt, or debt in which property can be repossessed as a result of nonpayment. While those who file for Chapter 7 can be at risk of having certain assets liquidated (or sold off to pay back creditors), most filers are able to complete the process with little to no loss of their property.
There are certain types of debt that cannot be discharged through Chapter 7 bankruptcy, such as money owed for child support and alimony, most student loans, most tax debt, and debt from certain types of criminal restitution and personal injury compensation paid to others. While unsecured debt can also be discharged following the completion of Chapter 13 bankruptcy, this only occurs after the debtor has spent three to five years making payments to creditors under a new payment plan.
Gwinnett County Bankruptcy Attorneys Providing Assistance
If you are stuck in a cycle of debt that you simply cannot get out of, you should not hesitate to explore your options for getting your debt discharged through bankruptcy. At Buff & Chronister, LLC, our skilled bankruptcy attorneys can explain the benefits of bankruptcy and help you determine whether this process is right for you. It is sometimes more favorable to seek debt relief through an alternative solution such as debt negotiation or debt settlement, depending on the debtor’s specific circumstances. Contact us so that we can help you get started on the path toward financial recovery!
Gwinnett County Credit Card Debt Attorney
Taking Legal Action in Response to Credit Card Debt
Dealing with burdensome credit card debt has become an everyday reality for many individuals, businesses and families during these tough and trying economic times. There are a variety of issues that contribute to this dangerous financial situation. If you are in the unfortunate position of owing large amounts of money to your credit card provider, seeking legal counsel can be one way to avoid some of the negative consequences of unmanageable debt. The moment that you anticipate these debt-related difficulties, it is essential that you bring a Gwinnett County bankruptcy attorney on board to help you fight to get these problems under control.
Negative Consequences of Credit Card Debt
Aside from APR percentages and the necessary interest payments involved in using a credit card, there are a number of more severe negative consequences resulting from missed payments. Defaulting or missing consecutive payments will radically lower your credit score. With a low credit score, it will become difficult to obtain loans, qualify for leases, or pass any other credit-based test. Credit card companies may also sell your debt to a collection agency for failure to make payments when the payments continued to remain unpaid. Collection agencies could call you at all hours of the day until you pay back the debt. A qualified lawyer can protect you from the devastating consequences that are often the result if your credit card debt has extended beyond your ability to manage.
Credit Card Debt Assistance in Gwinnett County & Lawrenceville
Problems with credit management are very closely tied to the larger scale economic difficulties of today. If you are undergoing complications with the issues involved in credit card debt management, you will find that without proper legal representation you may suffer severe financial consequences. The Gwinnett County bankruptcy lawyers at Buff & Chronister are dedicated to providing you with the legal experience and knowledge to work with you and fight to get credit card debt issues resolved. With our personal, hands-on approach to dealing with creditors, we take action in negotiations on your behalf, usually saving our clients a large amount of money as well as resolving the ongoing threats from credit card companies or collection agencies.
Gwinnett County Bankruptcy Lawyer
Do I qualify for bankruptcy?
The current economic situation does not present a favorable atmosphere to individuals facing economic hardships. The lack of jobs in the job market and the reluctance on the part of most financial institutions to let debtors negotiate the terms of their debts can be especially trying on those in financially precarious positions. Bankruptcy is an increasingly viable option available to those individuals caught in the economic downturn. Determining whether or not an individual qualifies for bankruptcy requires the attention and knowledge of a qualified Gwinnett County bankruptcy attorney. A knowledgeable attorney will be able to evaluate your situation in order to accurately determine if you qualify for bankruptcy.
Determining if Bankruptcy is the Right Option for You
In recent years bankruptcy has lost much of the stigma. The federal government has amended the requirements one must fulfill in order to qualify for bankruptcy. It is very important to know that in most cases it is not a question of whether or not you qualify for bankruptcy, but what form of bankruptcy fits your financial situation.
Getting the Help You Need in Gwinnett County
At Buff & Chronister, our Gwinnett County bankruptcy attorneys have extensive experience and knowledge regarding the laws and guidelines governing bankruptcy. Our firm takes a personal approach to bankruptcy law. Unlike other firms, we deal with our clients directly, never leaving your important case in the hands of a clerk or paralegal. Together we will evaluate your finances in order to establish a clear economic picture. Once we have a full understanding of your situation we can determine the best course of action you should take whether bankruptcy or an alternative that will better serve your interests. You can have full confidence that you are getting legal counsel from a firm that has all the options to assist you.
Emergency Bankruptcy Filings
Save Your Home in Gwinnett County with an Emergency Bankruptcy Filing
If you are facing a foreclosure which is about to occur within the next 48 hours, you can still save your home with an emergency Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing. A Gwinnett County bankruptcy attorney at Buff & Chronister, LLC can file your petition to stop the foreclosure action. Our competent and caring attorneys have more than 20 years of combined experience in debt relief and bankruptcy law. We are proud of the effectiveness we have demonstrated during our practice for our many clients, whether they are individuals or small businesses. When faced with a dire situation such as the immediate foreclosure of your home, you need fast and capable legal action which our team can provide. Don’t give up your most valuable asset without contacting our firm.
How a Gwinnett County Bankruptcy Lawyer Can Help
As long as your home has not been auctioned on the courthouse steps, it’s not too late for our firm to step in with your emergency Chapter 13 petition. This petition can be filed with the court even if you do not have all the necessary information gathered and put together in all of the documentation and paperwork that must accompany your filing. Once your skeleton petition is filed with the court, an automatic stay is imposed which will immediately stop the imminent foreclosure by your lender.
You will then have an additional 14 days to file all other schedules and your Chapter 13 repayment plan with the court for approval. Bankruptcy filings are notoriously voluminous in all of the documentation that is needed concerning your debts, income, assets, and other financial background. These details can all be determined thoroughly with the help of our firm once your petition is filed with the court. We can provide all of the assistance you need to ensure that your Chapter 13 bankruptcy case is handled smoothly and effectively.
Contact Buff & Chronister, LLC Today
Sometimes circumstances occur that leave you no other option but an emergency filing. If you or anyone you know has been caught in this situation, contact our firm to speak urgently with a Gwinnett County bankruptcy lawyer today.
Gwinnett County Bankruptcy Attorney
Defending Yourself Using the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
Many institutions engaged in debt collection have been found to have resorted to illegal practices to intimidate you into paying. In order to protect debtors from having to face constant harassment, the government has enacted 15 U.S.C. §§ 1692-1692p, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, which is aimed specifically at collection agencies and activities. Under this federal statute, collection agencies address debtors respectfully. If these agencies overstep the bounds of this law, legal action must be taken to fight back. If you are experiencing undue harassment from a collection agency or other financial institution, you should speak with a Gwinnett County bankruptcy attorney immediately.
About the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) helps you if you need to take action in collections defense. After an individual misses a few consecutive payments, some lenders may choose to sell the individual’s debt to a collection agency. These agencies pay only a fraction of the total amount of your debt. It is in an agency’s financial interests to do everything possible to collect any money – but they must not overstep the bounds of this federal law or face legal repercussions. How these agencies go about collecting debt is regulated under the FDCPA. Under this act, collectors cannot:
Excessively call you throughout the day, over and over
Call you at irregular times such as very late at night or very early in the morning
Use offensive or threatening language
Threaten legal action they do not intend to take or use other unfair or misleading intimidation tactics
Continue to contact you directly after you have an attorney
Claim to be an attorney if they are not personally an attorney
Threaten to make your debt known to others
Bankruptcy Lawyer Serving Lawrenceville & Gwinnett County
At Buff & Chronister, we know how to use the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act to your advantage so you don’t have to suffer any unfair treatment from these collection agencies. We take a decidedly personal approach to cases involving unfair collection practices. It is important that your case of harassment is fully documented, and then we move forward with legal action against the firm. They may have to pay you damages. Call a Gwinnett County bankruptcy attorney at our firm today.
Filing for Bankruptcy in Gwinnett County
The Filing Process Explained by a Gwinnett County Bankruptcy Attorney
For many individuals who are dealing with a difficult financial challenge and have made the decision to file for bankruptcy, they should understand the steps and process that must be taken. Typically, a bankruptcy only takes place once in an individual’s life at the lowest point of their financial struggles. The individual or family that files for bankruptcy will likely have a substantial number of questions because it is the first time they are going through the process. This is an uncertain time and the confusion may only make the already stressful matter even worse. For those facing the difficulty of bankruptcy, it is important to speak with a Gwinnett County bankruptcy attorney from Buff & Chronister, LLC.
We represent individuals, families and businesses through the filing process of bankruptcy. We can answer their questions and help them make important decisions during the filing stage. For those who live in Georgia and are preparing to file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, they will have to perform credit counseling before they can proceed. The individual who is filing will have to prove to the U.S. Trustee in Georgia that they received credit counseling from an approved agency. This will have to take place within a six month period prior to beginning the bankruptcy process. Before filing, the individual will also have to take a debtor education course. Filing for bankruptcy in Georgia takes a very similar process to that in other states.
Bankruptcy Exemptions in Georgia
The state of Georgia has specific bankruptcy exemptions that can help to determine what Chapter 7 bankruptcy filer will be able to keep and how much the Chapter 13 bankruptcy filer will have to repay the unsecured creditors. Georgia has set bankruptcy laws that do not permit the filer to use the federal bankruptcy exemptions, but they must instead use the state’s exemptions. A Gwinnett County bankruptcy lawyer form the firm can assist the individual who is filing in knowing what exemptions they can receive. What an individual can keep is important to them, which is why we are available to thoroughly discuss the individual’s exemptions.
Georgia Bankruptcy Forms
For those who are filing for either chapter of bankruptcy, they must complete a bankruptcy petition. Other forms that must be completed include schedules that contain detailed information about finances and the means test, which is for Chapter 7. The individual who is completing the means test will have to compare their income to the median income to that of the average household of that particular size. If the income is less than the median, the filer will know that they are eligible for Chapter 7. For those whose income is above the Georgia’s median income, they may still have a chance to qualify for Chapter 7, but will have to offer more detailed information. They may have to pursue a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
Every individual’s bankruptcy is different and the steps can take different lengths of time. The first step to determine the basic path to follow is to have a case evaluation with an attorney from our firm. We can help you determine your eligibility and help you know which chapter to file under. You will them submit a schedule to cover the financial plan of the petitioner. Repayment plans will be provided and creditors will be informed of the situation. The deadline to file creditor objections is 60 days after a creditor’s meeting is held by a trustee who will present the repayment plan. When it comes to filing for bankruptcy, our firm can help you fight for you to become debt free. Contact us today!
Gwinnett County Foreclosure Defense Attorney
Information on Stopping Foreclosure
If you are in danger of losing your home to foreclosure, it is essential that you speak with an experienced Gwinnett County bankruptcy attorney as soon as possible. There are many options you may have to prevent your home from going into foreclosure, but you must act quickly and speak with our firm about what steps you should take. If you have defaulted on your mortgage, your lender will eventually file for foreclosure on the property.
However, most lenders are willing to work with their homeowners to come to a new arrangement when our law firm is involved. If you are facing foreclosure, renegotiating the terms of your loan or other option, such as a deed in lieu or short sale, should be undertaken without delay. Coming to a decision about whether you hope to keep the property or move on is part of the process. We can help. If you have been unable to make your mortgage payment, you are not alone.
Due to the recession, most homes have lost value – often in tens or even hundreds of thousands. Many people have a mortgage that is far higher than the current market value. If you are unable to continue making your mortgage payments, an attorney from our firm can work with you and your lender to try and negotiate a resolution that will best serve your interests. In most cases, lenders would prefer to have you remain in your home than to start the costly and time-consuming process of foreclosure and eviction.
10 Things You Need to Know about Preventing Foreclosure
If you are in danger of losing your home because you are in default, or about to go into default on your first or second mortgage, contact a Gwinnett County foreclosure defense attorney from our firm today to discuss your options. We can seek out the best options for your individual case. The following information may be able to help, but it is essential that you speak with an attorney if you wish to save your home.
Retain the services of a bankruptcy/foreclosure attorney: At Buff & Chronister, we understand the process of stopping foreclosure, and we know how to negotiate with lenders regarding your mortgage payments.
Loan modification: If you negotiate a loan modification, you can lower your monthly payments and avoid foreclosure or eviction, as well as a negative entry on your credit score.
Short Sale: A short sale can help you get out from under your mortgage payment and debt, and pay off your mortgage for less than the original amount.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy: If you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you are saying that you cannot pay off your debts. A foreclosure process will be automatically stayed if you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy: A Chapter 13 bankruptcy means that you are going to attempt to pay back a partial amount of your debts. This will also automatically stay your home from going into foreclosure.
Know your deadlines: If your home is going into foreclosure, the process can take as little as 4 weeks. You need to file for bankruptcy before your lender sets a date for the sale of your home.
Deed in lieu: If you are at risk of falling behind and going into foreclosure, you may be able to negotiate a deed in lieu of foreclosure with your lender. This can help you avoid foreclosure and walk away from a property that does not serve your financial interests.
Be open to negotiation: As your legal representation, we will not allow you to be bullied and we will attempt to get you the best deal possible.
Government programs: There are many government programs to help homeowners keep their home.
Stay in contact with your lender: Your lender will likely work with you to find a solution, if they know you are interested. If you avoid their phone calls and letters, they will foreclosure on you sooner.
Fighting Foreclosure in Lawrenceville & Gwinnett County, GA
The legal team at Buff & Chronister has extensive experience and can provide you with the one -on-one legal counsel you need with your foreclosure defense. Our attorneys are experienced in bankruptcy and foreclosure and we are prepared to evaluate your financial situation and take action to assist you to resolve a foreclosure, whether you want to keep the property or move on. We are a boutique law firm that takes a personal approach and provides the dedicated, individual legal representation that you deserve.
Gwinnett County Deed in Lieu Attorney
Using Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure to Your Advantage
Losing your home or other property due to serious financial issues is extremely stressful and difficult. The foreclosure of your Home carries with it a number of adverse consequences that will negatively impact your credit rating; in many cases even more severely than filing for bankruptcy. If your financial situation has deteriorated to the point where foreclosure seems imminent, arranging a deed in lieu of foreclosure can be a viable option. A Gwinnett County bankruptcy lawyer can help you through the deed in lieu process and protect you throughout the process. If not arranged correctly, once the sale is completed you could still owe tens of thousands of dollars or more in the shortfall between your mortgage and the amount of the final sale.
About Deed in Lieu
Over the past few years, the economic downturn has forced many families and individuals out of their homes. In many situations, individuals do not have the time or money necessary to go through the long process of selling a home or property, and their property is likely mortgaged far beyond the current market value. While other options do exist to avoid a foreclosure, such as a short sale, mortgage modification, or filing chapter 7 or chapter 13 bankruptcy, these options may not be right for you. A deed in lieu of foreclosure entails handing over the deed to your home or property to your mortgage holder and you walking away free from the obligation. This is often the best solution, particularly for homeowners who purchased property during the subprime mortgage boom and the investment no longer makes financial sense.
Deed in Lieu Lawyer in Gwinnett County, GA
Negotiating a deed in lieu can be a complex process that requires quality legal representation. At Buff & Chronister, our attorneys have the knowledge, skill, and aggressive approach needed to face your mortgage holder and negotiate terms that are in your best interests. Our firm has a proven record of success in arranging a deed in lieu of foreclosure. A deed in lieu will absolve your debt to your mortgage lender and leave you free to rebuild your financial future free from a property that is not worth what it was when you bought it, as are many in the Lawrenceville and Gwinnett County areas. We know how to fight for the best terms for you and can be trusted to have your interests as our focus
Gwinnett County Loan Modification Attorney
Information on Loan Modifications
A loan modification can save you from foreclosure, but many have found that it is difficult to arrange, and many banks and other lenders refuse to come up with an offer that is workable. A loan modification can save if you realize you are a few know that foreclosure is imminent. Contrary to popular belief, most lenders would rather modify your mortgage than foreclose on your home , in the final analysis. The market is flooded with homes that the bank now owns. The costs of reselling the property usually outstrip the losses of a modification. Foreclosures and eviction are both costly processes that are time consuming for the lender. Contact a Gwinnett County loan modification attorney today to discuss your options and how we can help you negotiate terms that are in your best interests.
Experienced Loan Modification Attorney in Georgia
In the current housing market, most properties have plummeted in value. Most homes purchased during the real estate boom are mortgaged at a level far beyond the current market value. Due to the recession, job loss, and an over-mortgaged property, the banks may hesitate to make reasonable arrangements. We know exactly how to negotiate with lenders and to help our clients in a loan modification. Each case is unique and you should have your loan documents reviewed immediately.
If your loan has omissions, errors, or other issues, it can allow for more ammunition when negotiating for you. Some of the options in a loan modification may include: adjusting the interest rate, adjusting the principal, lengthening the term of the loan, lowering monthly payments, and capping monthly payments at a percentage of your monthly household income. These can all help ease the financial burden of a loan payment that is unmanageable.
Buff & Chronister is a boutique law firm that provides the one-on-one support and dedication that is so essential in negotiating with your lender. At our firm, we handle each case individually and with conscientious attention to detail. You deserve high quality legal representation that is concerned with you, your family and your financial health on a personal basis.
Gwinnett County Short Sale Attorney
Short Sales as an Alternative to Foreclosure
If you have failed to keep up with your loan payments, and your mortgage is in default, one of your best options may be to negotiate a short sale with your lender. If you are in default, contact a Gwinnett County short sale attorney today to assist in negotiations and to protect your financial interests. Due to the plummeting real estate market and economic recession, many homeowners have mortgages that are worth far more than the current value of their home. A short sale is when a lender allows a homeowner to sell their home for less than the value of the mortgage, accepting the “short” amount, and forgiving or absolving the remainder of the loan.
A short sale is a good way to save your credit rating, and prevent your home from going into foreclosure. Many lenders will prefer to do a short sale as opposed to foreclosing, as they will save the money it costs to file a court order for eviction. Working with an attorney who can negotiate with your lender on the terms of your short sale is imperative; if the process is not managed by a professional, you could find yourself owing the shortfall after the sale of the home has gone through. We aggressively negotiate with banks and have the record of success in short sale negotiations that you need to protect your interests. If filing for bankruptcy is the appropriate legal action, we can help.
Short Sale Attorney you can Trust in Gwinnett County
Buff & Chronister is a small law firm with over 20 years of combined experience in the field of bankruptcy, short sales, and deeds in lieu. If you are struggling under a mortgage payment that is unmanageable or it no longer makes sense to keep a property, we can discuss your options with you, and together, we can devise a strategy to either modify your loan or negotiate a short sale that could be approved by your lender. We have helped numerous clients who have been at risk of going under financially, and helped them to get back on track. We will represent you in dealings with your lender and not allow you to be bullied into a deal that is less than satisfactory. Contact a Gwinnett County bankruptcy lawyer today.