Mounting debt can quickly take over your life. If you have fallen seriously behind on homeowners association assessments, for example, your HOA may sue you, obtain a judgment, and garnish your wages. They could even file a lien against your property and attempt to foreclose. If this scenario describes your situation, it is time to seek professional legal assistance.
At Reidy Law Firm, LLC, we are committed to helping individuals and families overcome immense financial difficulties. Our Atlanta consumer protection lawyer is ready to serve as your advocate in a wide range of scenarios, and our goal is to give you the support and guidance you need to defeat debt. Our approach may involve considering bankruptcy, which can stop collection actions and allow you to wipe away certain types of debt. We can also explore debt negotiation if bankruptcy is not a viable option. Our firm is responsive to your needs and will develop a tailored solution, no matter your circumstances, and our hands-on attorney will work closely with you every step of the way.
Contact us online or call (678) 883-1210 to schedule a free case evaluation. We offer after-hours appointments and flexible payment options.
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Filing for bankruptcy prevents your HOA from taking collection actions against you. It also stops any collection actions that are already in progress. If you have little to no current income, Chapter 7 bankruptcy is probably the best path forward, as it can quickly eliminate debt in exchange for a liquidation of non-exempt assets. Chapter 13 bankruptcy may be necessary if you do have a reliable income but cannot keep up with your HOA dues.
When you complete either type of bankruptcy, you will generally be allowed to discharge several types of unsecured debt, including credit card debt and medical debt. In a Chapter 7 case, HOA assessments that are missed prior to the filing of the case are dischargeable and will thus be wiped out. HOA assessments that come due after a case is filed are not dischargeable. However, you will not always be able to eliminate a lien filed against your home, which is why it is important to explore your bankruptcy options before your HOA acts against you.
Not sure if you qualify for bankruptcy or if this strategy makes sense? Our Atlanta consumer protection attorney will carefully review your case and be transparent when advising whether bankruptcy is the right choice for you.
When you fall behind on HOA dues, your homeowners association will likely attempt to directly collect payment before taking further action. You may receive a phone call or a letter in the mail requesting immediate payment of what is owed. Keep in mind that your HOA is subject to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, meaning they cannot harass you, mislead you, or call you at odd hours.
If you know you will be unable to pay, get in touch with a debt relief professional once you start to receive letters or phone calls from your HOA. The next steps they take may be extremely financially damaging, and the sooner you act, the better.
If you do nothing, your HOA may file a collections lawsuit against you, which they will most likely win. They can then get a judgment and garnish your wages, meaning you will lose a portion of your paycheck until the debt is paid. They could also file a lien against your home and threaten foreclosure.
Bankruptcy is not always the best approach for tackling debt. In some cases, you may be able to negotiate with your creditors, through your attorney, to settle your obligations for less than what you actually owe.
Why are creditors sometimes willing to negotiate? Creditors tend to get more through settlement than what they would receive if you were to file for bankruptcy.
When you attempt to settle a debt, you offer a lump sum payment, and, in exchange, the creditor “forgives” the remainder of your debt. The final amount of the lump sum payment is usually the point of contention, and the process is rarely instantaneous.
There are certain risks that come with debt negotiation. Creditors are under no obligation to settle, and they could walk away at any time. If they are not satisfied with what you can offer, they may decide to file a collection lawsuit (at which point bankruptcy may be a better option). During negotiations, you will continue to accumulate interest and penalties, so if a settlement cannot be reached, you may end up with more owed than when you started. Finally, if you do reach a settlement, keep in mind that the IRS considers some forgiven debt to be taxable.
Our Atlanta consumer protection lawyer is a skilled negotiator and will work to secure an optimal outcome. At Reidy Law Firm, LLC, we will always be direct and honest when exploring whether debt negotiation is likely to result in a favorable result. If this approach is not practical, we will walk you through alternatives, including bankruptcy.
Stop worrying about debt and take action today. Call (678) 883-1210 or contact us online to get started.
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