- Debt Settlement
Holly Roark provides individualized, personal service to all of her clients, and guides them through the process from commencement to discharge.
Bankruptcy Practice Areas
- Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases
- Chapter 11 bankruptcy cases
- Chapter 12 bankruptcy cases
- Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases
- lien stripping
- defending against collection actions
- initiating lawsuits against creditors under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
- commencing or defending all adversary proceedings in bankruptcy such as proceedings to determine the validity, priority, or extent of a lien or other interest in property
- nondischargeability or exception from discharge actions
- fraudulent transfer actions
- preference actions
- actions removed from state court to the bankruptcy forum
- third party actions
- proceedings relating to Chapter 13 Plan confirmations
- automatic stay issues
- violation of the discharge injunction
- services related to various other bankruptcy issues and actions.
- debt settlement services when bankruptcy is not appropriate
The Bankruptcy Process
Free Initial Consultation
Holly Roark provides a detailed free initial consultation either over the phone or in person. If your case is appropriate for either a Chapter 7 bankruptcy or a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, Holly Roark will thoroughly advise you of the next steps in the process and will provide you with a quote for fees and costs.
The next steps are simple: you will fill out a detailed intake form, sign a retainer agreement, and gather up documents set forth in Holly Roark’s document list. There are a lot of documents to assemble, but all this information is needed to prepare your 60- 80 page bankruptcy petition, and for Holly Roark to thoroughly analyze any issues that may have not come to light in the initial consultation. Holly Roark accepts payment plans according to your needs, so you need not pay the full retainer at signing, though all fees and costs must be paid prior to filing the case (with the exception of certain Chapter 13 cases where a portion of the fees can be paid through the Chapter 13 Plan), or such fees and costs will become uncollectable as a dischargeable “debt”.
Pre-Filing Credit Counseling Course
Next, Holly Roark will direct you to take the mandatory online credit counseling course which you will have already prepaid pursuant to the retainer agreement. Usually it takes about 90 minutes to complete this informative course.
Once you take the credit counseling course, review and sign your bankruptcy petition and pay the fees and costs, your case will be filed.
Meeting with Bankruptcy Trustee
About 30 days after filing the case, Holly Roark will accompany you to a meeting with the trustee assigned to your case.
Post-Filing Financial Management Course
Prior to discharge and within 45 days after the meeting with the trustee, you will need to take one final mandatory online course: a financial management course. This course takes one to two hours to complete. You will have already prepaid for this course and Holly Roark will direct you to take it after the meeting with the trustee. You will have to sign a declaration stating you took this course, and Holly Roark will file that declaration with the court. In a Chapter 7 case, this is usually the last thing you have to do.
Reaffirmation of Car Loan or Assumption of Lease
If you have a car loan or a lease of any type, or other personal property that you are still making payments on which you would like to keep, you may be required to enter into a reaffirmation agreement or a lease assumption agreement prior to your bankruptcy discharge. Holly Roark will assist you through that process as well.
Bankruptcy Discharge of Debt
In most routine Chapter 7 cases, you will receive your bankruptcy discharge 90-120 days after that meeting with the trustee. In Chapter 13 cases, you will enter into a 36 month to 60 month repayment plan, and you will receive your discharge after your plan payments are completed. (Note that in Chapter 13 cases you may not receive a discharge of your long term debt, such as your mortgage loan.)
Debt Settlement Services
There are circumstances in which bankruptcy is not the best option. In that case, debt settlement may be preferable.
Holly Roark has a wealth of experience negotiating settlements with creditors, and she is not afraid to take a case to trial and put the creditors to their burden of proof if necessary. Creditors know this, and this provides much leverage for settlement. Often, if the debt has been sold to a collection agency, the evidence of the debt is lacking proper documentary support. Additionally, many collection agencies cannot produce a live witness with personal knowledge to authenticate the documents evidencing the debt. Unfortunately, some courts may still rule in favor of the collection agency, without regard for the Rules of Evidence. Because trial is a gamble for both sides, creditors usually prefer to settle rather than go to trial.
Fees for Debt Settlement
Holly Roark takes debt settlement cases on a contingency fee basis. The fee for debt settlement is 20% of the amount saved. This provides an incentive for the attorney to try to maximize the savings to you. For example, if you owe $10,000, and Holly Roark settles the debt for $4,000, the savings to you is $6,000. 20% of $6,000 is $1,200, and that equals the attorney's fee.
Call Holly Roark today for a free consultation. (208) 536-3638