Debt Relief Attorney in Bend
Providing Sound Financial Advice & Legal Assistance in Hermiston & Surrounding Areas
It's a common misconception that out-of-control debt is only for the reckless and irresponsible. In reality, an honest person can become overwhelmed with debt due to job loss, medical bills, or even just living beyond their means. No matter how it happened, if you’re struggling with unmanageable debts, there is hope and help available.
At Oregon Fresh Start, we understand your situation and will work hard to provide sound financial advice and legal assistance so you can get back on track financially. Our experienced attorney has over 40 years of experience helping people like you get out of debt and start again. We offer free consultations, where we will review your finances in detail to determine which solution best fits your needs — whether it’s Chapter 7 bankruptcy or another option, such as loan modification or credit counseling services.
We know that declaring bankruptcy can be stressful, but it doesn't have to be overwhelming when you have the right support system in place; our knowledgeable team at Oregon Fresh Start is here to help guide you through the process every step of the way. We take pride in providing personalized service tailored specifically for each client, while keeping them informed throughout their case journey.
Don't let debt control your life — get the help you need to make a fresh start. Contact Oregon Fresh Start today and schedule a FREE consultation with our experienced Bend debt relief attorney to discuss your options. We look forward to assisting you!
Debt Settlement — An Option Worth Considering
Bankruptcy can be a viable option for those with too much debt and not enough resources to pay it off. However, this isn't the right choice for everyone, as it comes with some long-term consequences that could limit financial opportunities. Debt settlement is another option worth considering. This involves negotiating directly with creditors to reduce or eliminate owed amounts or interest rates in exchange for a lump sum payment.
Here's what an experienced Bend debt relief attorney at Oregon Fresh Start can do for you:
- Negotiate with creditors to reduce or eliminate debt amounts
- Offer education and guidance on budgeting and credit management
- Help clients understand their financial rights and the bankruptcy process
- Provide advice about the best options for each individual situation
- Represent clients in court proceedings
- Find non-bankruptcy alternatives that may better suit a client's needs
- Assist with filing legal paperwork related to bankruptcy cases
- Explain potential outcomes of any decisions made concerning debt relief and bankruptcy
Debt settlement can take anywhere from several weeks to several months, depending on the complexity of the case and the number of creditors involved. At Oregon Fresh Start, we are dedicated to expediting the process. Our experienced team works closely with clients to come up with creative strategies and negotiate terms that will provide an acceptable solution for everyone involved.
Why Should I Hire a Debt Relief Attorney?
When it comes to debt relief, many people believe that they can go it alone and deal directly with creditors. However, the reality is that having an experienced attorney on your side increases your chances of success when trying to negotiate a favorable resolution. A qualified debt relief attorney not only understands the legal aspects of bankruptcy and other forms of debt relief but also has experience negotiating with creditors on behalf of their clients.
By working with an attorney, you benefit from:
- Having someone who understands the legal system and knows how to navigate it on your behalf
- A professional negotiator with experience dealing with creditors
- The latest information about debt relief laws and regulations
- Obtaining a better settlement than you could have achieved alone
- Someone to represent you in court, should the need arise
- More leverage in dealing with creditors
At Oregon Fresh Start, we have dedicated ourselves to the practice of debt relief. Our team understands how difficult it can be to deal with overwhelming financial obligations and is here to help you explore your options and work toward a favorable resolution.
Contact us today for a free consultation at (541) 262-0040! We are eager to help clients in Bend, Hermiston, and surrounding communities get out of debt and start a new chapter.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN WHEN A CREDITOR WANTS ME TO REAFFIRM MY LOAN WITH THEM? IS THAT DIFFERENT FROM REDEMPTION?Secured creditors (those creditors who have collateral for their loans, such as a car or boat) will want you to reaffirm the loan. When you reaffirm the loan, you re-obligate yourself to all of the loan terms just as if you were getting a new loan from the creditor. Although this may sound harmless, it has serious consequences. If you reaffirm and then later default on the loan, you are personally liable to pay the balance and you will have no protection on that debt from the bankruptcy. One of the major changes made to bankruptcy law in 2005 is that a creditor can repossess the collateral if you do not reaffirm. This change does not apply to real estate debt. Your reaffirmation agreement is subject to court approval in some circumstances. If your income is less than your monthly expenses, you may be required to participate in a telephone hearing with the court where you will be required to explain to a bankruptcy judge why the reaffirmation is in your best interest and how you intend to make the payment. More often than not, when you file bankruptcy, you owe more on the collateral securing the loan than it is worth. If your loan is more than 2 1/2 years old, under a process called REDEMPTION, bankruptcy law allows you to reduce the amount owing on the debt to the value of the collateral if you can pay it all at once. Many debtors can find a source of family financing or, perhaps, borrow from a 401K account, etc. and come up with the full value. There is also a company on the internet that specializes in redemption funding for cars. Talk with OREGON FRESH START about this for more information. WOULDN'T IT BE BETTER TO SETTLE MY DEBTS THROUGH A DEBT CONSOLIDATION PLAN? Although there may be a few reputable credit counseling services out there, most will not and cannot give you what they promise. Usually, they promise they can settle your debts for 50 cents on the dollar and that when you get done, you will have great credit. The facts are that (1) most people do not complete the "plans" because they usually do not work, and if you do complete the plan, (2) your credit is trashed. Creditors report to credit bureaus exactly what happened. If you get hooked on a 50% plan, your credit report will show that you did not pay all of the debt and that the unpaid balance was charged off. Most creditors do not waive interest or late fees. In addition, most credit counseling programs will charge you a fee (a portion of each payment) and they often do not send your money to the creditors for several months. This gives them an interest-free loan working with your money. Most debtors would be better off filing a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy which can force the creditors to accept your terms of repayment. In addition, and this is a big one, the amount that was charged off by the creditor will likely be reported to the IRS with a 1099 tax form and you will be required to pay income taxes on the charged-off amount which will be a very unpleasant surprise for you when you file your tax returns for that year. CAN STUDENT LOANS BE DISCHARGED? Yes, but it is not easy. It will also, probably, be expensive. Once upon a time, federally guaranteed student loans were dischargeable if the loan was more than 7 years old. In 1998, the federal government changed all that. Now, federally guaranteed student loans cannot be discharged unless you can prove that being required to repay the loan will cause an undue hardship - not just a hardship, but an "undue" hardship. To have an opportunity to prove your case, you will be required to sue the federal government in bankruptcy court through an adversary proceeding. You will be required to prove all of the following: repayment of the loan would prevent you from maintaining a minimal standard of living your financial circumstances are not likely to change in the foreseeable future you made a good faith effort to repay the loan before you became unable to pay Frequently, the federal government will try to show that you could get a reduced payment plan by going through a consolidation program that will stretch out your payments for 20 years or more based upon an "ability to pay." In short, it is possible to discharge a student loan, but the government has made it very difficult. Also, remember that the government has a raft of lawyers to defend the federal government in the lawsuit who are paid for by your taxes. On the other hand, you will be required to pay for your attorney.
ARE LOANS OWING TO RELATIVES GIVEN SPECIAL TREATMENT IN BANKRUPTCY?It is not uncommon for you to owe money to a relative. As discussed in other answers to questions, you must list every debt. This includes debts you owe to your family members. The bankruptcy court looks closely at loan transactions between family members. As we all know, if we owe money to several creditors and one of them is a family member, we will probably be inclined to pay the family member first. In a bankruptcy context, this often means that family members have been paid while the other creditors have not been paid. One of the main ideas behind filing bankruptcy is that all creditors share your misfortune equally. One of the questions asked in the bankruptcy petition is whether you have repaid any loans from relatives within the past year. If you have, you are required to disclose the amount. If the amount is large enough, the bankruptcy trustee has the power to get the money back from the relative and spread it out equally among all the creditors. While there is no set rule as to what amount is "large enough," if the amount were $2,000 or more, that would definitely be "large enough." There are other factors that go into the trustee's decision, including whether you have any other assets which exceed the exemption amounts and how likely it is the trustee can obtain a return of the money from the relative. A relative who has already spent the money and whose only source of income is Social Security is not likely to be a target for the trustee. If you have a loan from a relative and are considering filing bankruptcy, stop paying on the loan until you consult with OREGON FRESH START.
CAN I TRANSFER PROPERTY TO A FRIEND OR RELATIVE TO PROTECT IT FROM BANKRUPTCY?If you transfer any of your property to a relative, even by selling it, within 1 year of filing for bankruptcy, the bankruptcy trustee can reverse that transfer if it was transferred for less than the fair market value of the property. For example, if you gave Uncle Joe your car 30 days prior to filing bankruptcy because you did not want it to show as an asset in your bankruptcy, the trustee has the power to sue Uncle Joe and get the car back. Unfortunately, some people engage in such an activity before consulting with an attorney. It is also not advisable if you have already made the transfer to attempt to transfer it back without first obtaining expert legal advice.