Blog Archives

Who is The Best Bankruptcy Lawyer in Georgia?

“Brian R. Cahn is the best bankruptcy lawyer in Georgia” according to a recent client, A. Hulsey, of Cartersville.

According to attorney John Mroczko:  “Brian Cahn is one of the brightest legal minds that I know! I have never met a better bankruptcy attorney. He is thorough as they come. I highly recommend him to all of my clients looking for a bankruptcy attorney.”

Reviews from other clients throughout North Georgia –

Brian, we received our discharge paperwork today. We wanted to thank you again for all your help and advice. You are a really kind and good person who does more than a “job”. We learned so much and value your hard work. We wanted to make certain you know how much you are appreciated. Please also thank your staff as they are amazing and we could not have accomplished this without their help as well. With gratitude, Marc and Kerri

When we visited the law office of Perrotta & Cahn, we were very much in need of professional assistance. We had no idea what our options would be. Mr Cahn looked at the information we provided, he gave us his professional opinion, but most of all Mr. Cahn answered our questions. He made us feel very at ease through our situation and his staff is always available to answer questions. Mr. Cahn continued answering our questions and made us feel at ease throughout the entire process which included office visits and court appearances. We have and will continue referring our friends and family members to Perrotta & Cahn. Darin & Donna B, Paulding County, GA

Perrotta & Cahn is a top tier law firm with a friendly, easy going way of taking care of business. Brian Cahn has been our go-to guy for personal and now our business legal matters since 2003. He is a pro. GHH – Hiram, GA

I cannot say enough about the law firm of Perrotta & Cahn, specifically my attorney, Mr. Brian Cahn. I was referred to Brian Cahn through a close friend who used his services earlier.

Unfortunately, I was experiencing severe financial difficulty, and I needed to inquire about the possibility of declaring bankruptcy. I was already upset and embarrassed that I was in this situation. However, upon meeting Brian, and explaining my situation to him, I began to feel comfortable and reassured. Brian explained that he would work hard to provide the best outcome for me. He is also an excellent strategist.

Brian was always readily available whenever I had questions or concerns. He is a consummate professional who I felt was extremely dedicated to my case. The services provided to me by Brian Cahn have been invaluable. I also felt his prices were reasonable and fair. The office staff was also very professional and courteous.

Should anyone I know need the services of an attorney, without hesitation, I will always highly recommend Mr. Brian Cahn, of Perrotta, Cahn. Dominic R. – Atlanta, GA

At the darkest time of our lives a very good friend recommended Brian Cahn to help us. We were scared, unsure of how to proceed and unfamiliar with the process. Brian treated us with respect, led us each step of the way and answered all of questions and concerns. He stood beside us and for us in a way that we will never forget. He represented us with integrity and consideration. To say that we highly recommend him is an understatement. We recommend only him and it is our privilege to do so. Pam and Tony W. – Canton GA

My family and I found ourselves in a situation that was unique for us and required a swift decision. Working with Mr. Stephens and Mr. Cahn proved to be efficient, professional, and reliable. The peace-of-mind this law firm gave my family was priceless.”

Good luck and best wishes. We owe you a debt of gratitude – but that’s the only debt we have left!! (pardon the pun). KK and RK

My husband and I have referred many of my friends to Brian Cahn’s firm. They helped us and stayed right with us through the bankruptcy process. They went out of their way to ensure we were taken care of. Very kind and concerned as we were going through a very rough time in our lives and it helps when you have people like these guys willing to take the time to make the process a little easier. Thanks guys for all your hard work and always being there for us through a very diffucult time in our lives. Thanks to you we are back on track with our financial situation. J and J, Cartersville, GA

I would like to say Brad Stephens and all the folks in the law office treated me with respect and kindness. The kind of treatment a friend would give. My business was carried out just as Brad explained it. Every time I had a question he was emailing or returning my call. AAA+++. Thank you Brad for taking a difficult time in my life and handling business!!! J, Cartersville, GA

Thanks so much fots. You and your team helped me to get a fresh jump-start on life. You are absolutely going to be my first call for any legal needs in the future. RDR, Bartow County, GA

For a FREE CONSULTATION with Brian Cahn, call the office: (770) 382-8900

E-mail Mr. Cahn: brc@perrottalaw.com

Perrotta & Cahn

http://www.NorthGaBankruptcy.com

Cartersville | Dallas | Calhoun | Dalton

Frederick J. Hanna & Associates Accused of Wrongfully Charging Debtors for Court Error

Another rip-off alert involving collection attorney, Frederick J. Hanna & Associates. I’ve written about this collection firm before, warning my clients and cosumers about the aggressive collection tactics of this collection firm: https://northgabankruptcy.wordpress.com/2011/10/17/are-you-defending-a-lawsuit-or-garnishment-served-by-frederick-j-hanna-associates-things-you-should-know/

Yet again, Channel 46 CBS Atlanta News reports that Frederick J. Hanna & Associates faces new accusations of ripping-off debtors.  According to the report, a class action lawsuit was filed accusing the law firm of garnishing paychecks of debtors for late charges or interest they didn’t legally incur or owe.  Check out the article, and watch Fred Hanna squirm when approached by the investigative reporter, at this link:

http://www.cbsatlanta.com/story/24832869/cobb-law-firm-accused-of-charging-former-debtors-for-court-error

If you feel like Fred Hanna is ripping you off or taking advantage of you, please give me the opportunity to help level the legal playing field. I take-on Fred Hanna every single week. Check out the client testimonial page of my website for a sample of the results: http://www.northgabankruptcy.com/testimonials/

The consultation is always free, confidential, and courteous.

Brian R. Cahn
brc@perrottalaw.com
Cartersville – Dallas – Calhoun – Dalton

(770) 382-8900

North Georgia Bankruptcy Attorney: Tips & Advice if Sued – Successfully Defending a Lawsuit filed by Zwicker & Associates

Over the years, I have successfully  represented hundreds, maybe even  thousands, of clients sued or garnished by the collection firm of Zwicker & Associates.  I’ve managed to help these clients in a variety of ways, whether it’s defending the lawsuit, or erasing the judgment through bankruptcy.

If you’ve been sued by Zwicker & Associates, I can help.   Here’s some practical advice:

1.  KNOW YOUR ENEMY.  Zwicker & Associates is not a creditor.  They’re a debt collector.  Because they’re a debt collector, you are entitled to the protections afforded to you by Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”).    The FDCPA protects you from unfair and unreasonable collection tactics.  If a representative from Zwicker & Associates has violated any of the FDCPA provisions, we can help you fight back.  We will not hesitate to sue Zwicker & Associates on your behalf, seeking monetary damages for FDCPA violations.  Common FDCPA violations include:

  • Garnishing your wages when not allowed;
  • threatening to charge you with a crime;
  • threatening to take your home, car, or other exempt assets;
  • threatening to call your employer, neighbors, or friends;
  • suing or threatening to sue you on a consumer debt barred by the statute of limitations;
  • telling you they are a law office when they are not, or otherwise misrepresenting their services, or misrepresenting their affiliation with the Court or government;
  • cursing you, or using language intended to unreasonable abuse you;
  • calling you at work when they have been put on notice that you are not allowed to receive personal calls there;
  • calling you at a time or place know to them to be inconvenient to you;
  • misrepresenting the amount owed;
  • misrepresenting your right to dispute an account in collections;
  • misrepresenting the status of the case in a judicial or court proceeding;

Other conduct may also violate collection laws and may be a tort, such as invasion of privacy. I regularly see new collection tactics that simply amaze me in their boldness and disregard for the law.  Zwicker & Associates recently settled a class action lawsuit for FDCPA violations – this settlement was simply a cost of doing business.  There is no evidence whatsoever that FDCPA violations no longer continue.

Collection laws also apply to debt buyers who purchase the account when it is in default, collection agencies, lawyers, and law firms who may call or write to you while attempting to collect a consumer debt.

Whatever the circumstances leading to your present situation, no one deserves to be victimized by overly aggressive debt collectors. These collectors sometimes completely ignore the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act . When they do so, I am prepared to advise you and possibly help you.

Call our office for your free case analysis, and we will tell you if you’ve got a valid claim.

Interestingly, the following excerpt was posted on news website for the California Bar Association:

KENNETH D. ZWICKER 46, of Chatsworth CA, a relative and former associate of Zwicker and Associates was summarily disbarred Aug. 21, 2005, and was ordered to comply with rule 955 of the FDCPA.. Zwicker was also convicted of one count of mail fraud in 2003 and placed on interim suspension in 2004. Because the offense was a felony that involved moral turpitude, he was summarily disbarred.

You should know that Zwicker & Associates or its client has likely purchased your debt from the original creditor or another collector.  When purchasing debt, the buyer does not pay anywhere near 100% of the value of the note.  For example, if you owe $10,000 to the original creditor, it’s likely that Zwicker & Associates or its client purchased the receivable for pennies on the dollar – maybe for as low as 15%, (or $1,500, in our example).  That means that you may be able to settle the matter for pennies on the dollar.  If Zwicker & Associates bought the receivable for $1,500, they may settle for $3,000.  This is a “win-win” settlement.  You’ve just settled your debt for only 30% of your balance, and Zwicker & Associates or its client has doubled their investment.

An ex-employee recently posted the following article about the shady inside operations of Zwicker & Associates:

I worked for Zwicker once upon a time and I can definitely help you!!!

AUTHOR: Denis – E. Hampstead (U.S.A.)

SUBMITTED: Friday, March 27, 2009

POSTED: Friday, March 27, 2009 Hi Kim,

I worked in the collection industry, in the Boston area, for over six years during the late 1980s through the early 1990s. I worked my way up to middle management at three national collection agencies and three collection law firms, Zwicker included.

In 1994, I left the collection industry and joined the lending industry, where I was very happy through the end of 2008. Like thousands of others in the lending industry, I lost my career and my life savings, with the crash of the finance and lending industries. Subsequently, I reluctantly returned to the collection industry and Zwicker & Associates, in an attempt to supplement my income and put food on the table.

In any event, I left after just two short months as I came to realize that Zwicker had not evolved professionally, in any facet of their operation and their collection ethics were worse than I even remembered. to on a professional level and their business ethics or worse than I even remembered.

Zwicker &Associates breaks down into two basic sides of operations, which we will refer to as the front side and the backside.

The front side consists of attorneys, sales and administrative support staff, human resources and technical support. The primary function of the front side is to fabricate and maintain an appearance of integrity, professionalism, ethical standard and employee credibility. Maintaining this type of facade allows them to lure fresh collection placements from credit card companies, bank and retail clients, as well as the occasional debt purchasing company that runs around buying really old accounts, for pennies on the dollar and placing them with companies like Zwicker.

The backside consists of approximately 100 collectors who are all paid a base salary and monthly commissions. The monthly commissions are calculated according to how much money the collector recovers during the course of the calendar month. A recovery goal is established for the collector based on their hourly rate. Once the collector reaches the recovery goal, they are paid a percentage of anything they can collect beyond the goal.

The majority of the collectors at Zwicker, have no educational or professional background and have a marginal understanding of collection laws and practices, at best. They literally live from paycheck to paycheck and many have extremely poor credit. Zwicker has had to settle many lawsuits over the years stemming from complaints filed against them as a result of collection law violations.

Although they represent themselves to be a law firm, which is technically correct, they are nothing more than a collection agency and are regulated as such. I know firsthand that the experienced collectors at Zwicker & Associates have a talent for impersonating a legitimate legal professional for the sole purpose of intimidating, bullying and manipulating money out of people.

Here is the good part: as a resident of Texas, you are guaranteed consumer protection from the Texas Attorney General Office, as well as the Federal Trade Commission’s Fair Debt Collection Practices Act; FDCPA 95-109.

A common practice in the buying and reselling up of old collection accounts, is for collectors to accept settlements, leaving the consumer to believe that the account is paid in full, when in fact, they apply your settlement payment then close the account with a balance and resell it to another purchaser.

When the collector told you that you are subject to the laws of the state of Massachusetts, as opposed to your home state of Texas, he or she was not only wrong, but in direct violation of Texas and Federal law.

You should also know that it is also violation of law for a debt collector to insinuate,threaten legal action.

Let’s recap, shall we?

1) Zwicker is in direct and deliberate violation of Federal and state consumer protection laws for failure to acknowledge your legitimate dispute and furnish documentation of the debt allegedly owed.

2) Zwicker is in direct violation of Federal and state laws for intentionally misrepresenting jurisdiction of collection laws, for the sole purpose of attempting to disarm you of your consumer rights under Texas law.

3) Zwicker is in violation of Federal and state law for threatening legal action and wage garnishment, when they clearly have no intention of taking such action, nor is it legal to do so under Texas law.

Were I in your shoes, I would file a complaint with the Federal trade commission, and the Texas Attorney General Office in writing and enclose any and all supporting documentation.

I would also send Zwicker a certified letter, instructing them to cease any and all communications immediately.

You never mentioned whether or not they reported this account to your credit report. If that is the case, then Zwicker is also in violation of the fair credit reporting act as well.

It is extremely important that you understand that you were speaking to a collector that could have cared less whether you all the money or not. His one main concern was to tell you what ever it took to get you to pay the money in order to force himself closer to commission.

GOOD LUCK!!!

2.  BEWARE OF SETTLEMENT WITHOUT AN ATTORNEY REPRESENTING YOU.  The golden rule with regard to debt settlements is “get it in writing!”   You should always have your own attorney review any proposed consent judgment or settlement agreement.   Mr. Zwicker’s office doesn’t represent you, so you should be skeptical about any proposed settlement offers.  The settlement should state that your credit will reflect that the account is settled and paid in full when the settlement amount is paid.

3.  KNOW YOUR OPTIONS.  When you’re sued, you have a number of options.

First of all, explore any possible defenses to the lawsuit.  For example, it’s possible that the lawsuit was filed after expiration of the applicable statute of limitations.  If so, an Answer can be filed raising the defense, and the case can be thrown-out by virtue of a Motion to Dismiss or a Motion for Summary Judgment

If the lawsuit was filed to recover a post-repossession deficiency on a repossessed vehicle, you may have several technical defenses based upon Georgia’s adaptation of the Uniform Commercial Code.  Did you receive a certified letter notifying you of your 10-day right of redemption?  Does the size of the deficiency imply that the vehicle wasn’t sold in a commercially reasonable manner?  These are defenses that we can explore.

4.  BANKRUPTCY AUTOMATICALLY STOPS LAWSUITS AND GARNISHMENTS.  Anoter option is a chapter 7 or chapter 13 bankruptcy.  Our office can file a bankruptcy for as little as $344 down.  The mere filing of the bankruptcy will stop all collection activity, including the lawsuit or garnishment.   We do all the work.  Typically, you keep your assets, and you pay absolutely nothing to Mr. Zwicker and his Associates.  A chapter 7 or chapter 13 bankruptcy is designed to give you a fresh financial start.

The worst thing you can do is “nothing.”  That’s what Zwicker is hoping will happen – if you do nothing, they’ll get a default judgment and garnish your paycheck and put a lien on your property.  Fight back.   If you’re looking for an aggressive advocate with experience; an attorney who enjoys fighting  Zwicker & Associates, give me a call, or send me an e-mail.

Brian R. Cahn | brc@perrottalaw.com | 770-382-8900

Perrotta, Cahn & Prieto, P.C. | www.northgabankruptcy.com

Atlanta | Dallas | Cartersville | Calhoun | Cartersville

FIGHT BACK against SHERWIN P. ROBIN – Cavalry Portfolio Services, LLC or Calvary Investments, LLC: Lawsuit and Garnishment Mill

Over the years, I have successfully  represented hundreds of clients sued or garnished by the Savannah, GA collection firm owned by attorney Sherwin P. Robin.  I’ve managed to help these clients in a variety of ways, whether it’s defending the lawsuit, exploring FDCPA violations, or erasing a judgment through bankruptcy.

If you’ve been sued by Sherwin P. Robin, I can help.   Here’s some practical advice:

1.  KNOW YOUR ENEMY.  Sherwin P. Robin is not a creditor.  He’s a debt collector.  Because he’s a debt collector, you are entitled to the protections afforded to you by Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”).    The FDCPA protects you from unfair and unreasonable collection tactics.  A simple Google search shows that Sherwin P. Robin has been sued before – the lawsuit alleged that Mr. Robin violated the FDCPA’s consumer protection laws.  If you feel that Mr. Robin’s collection tactics violated your FDCPA rights, make an appointment with me for your free case analysis, and I will tell you if you’ve got a valid claim against Mr. Robin.

It’s unclear as to whether Cavalry Portfolio is an actual “client” of Mr. Robin’s, or whether it’s an entity owned by Mr. Robin.

You should know that Sherwin P. Robin, and/or his “client,” Cavalry Portfolio, has likely purchased your debt from the original creditor or another collector.  When a collector, like Cavalry Portfolio purchases a debt, the debt is “assigned” by the old creditor to Cavalry.

When you are sued by an unfamiliar entity (like Cavalry Portfolio), you are entitled to demand PROOF of a valid assignment.  I’ve seen many cases dismissed because the Plaintiff can’t provide proof of a valid assignment; i.e., it can’t prove that it owns the debt it’s collecting.

When purchasing debt, the buyer does not pay anywhere near 100% of the value of the note.  For example, if you owe $10,000 to the original creditor, it’s likely that Sherwin P. Robin or his client purchased the receivable for pennies on the dollar – maybe for as low as 15%, (or $1,500, in our example).  That means that you may be able to settle the matter for pennies on the dollar.  If Cavalry Portfilio Services, LLC, bought the receivable for $1,500, they may settle for for any amount in excess of their cost.

2.  BEWARE OF SETTLEMENT WITHOUT AN ATTORNEY REPRESENTING YOU.  Mr. Robin doesn’t like to litigate.  He’s a businessman who wants to collect the maximum amount of money for the least amount of work.  When he sues someone, and that person hires an attorney to put up a fight, Mr. Robin knows that he’s got to work hard to collect the debt.  In my opinion, Mr. Robin is much more likely to settle or dismiss a lawsuit if the Defendant hires an attorney.

If Mr. Robin’s office agrees to settle the debt, you’ve got to abide by “the golden rule of settlements.”  The golden rule with regard to debt settlements is simple:  “get it in writing!”   You should always have your own attorney review any proposed consent judgment or settlement agreement.   Mr. Robin’s office doesn’t represent you, so you should be skeptical about any proposed settlement offers.  The settlement should state that your credit will reflect that the account is settled and paid in full when the settlement amount is paid.

3.  KNOW YOUR OPTIONS.  When you’re sued, you have a variety of legal options.

First of all, meet with any attorney and explore any possible defenses to the lawsuit.  For example, it’s possible that the lawsuit was filed after expiration of the applicable statute of limitations.  If so, an Answer can be filed raising the defense, and the case can be thrown-out by virtue of a Motion to Dismiss or a Motion for Summary Judgment.

If the lawsuit was filed to recover a post-repossession deficiency on a repossessed vehicle, you may have several technical defenses based upon Georgia’s adaptation of the Uniform Commercial Code.  Did you receive a certified letter notifying you of your 10-day right of redemption?  Does the size of the deficiency imply that the vehicle wasn’t sold in a commercially reasonable manner?  These are defenses that your attorney can use to get the lawsuit tossed out of court.

4.  BANKRUPTCY AUTOMATICALLY STOPS LAWSUITS AND GARNISHMENTS.  Anoter powerful option is a chapter 7 or chapter 13 bankruptcy.  Our office can file a bankruptcy for as little as $344 down.  The mere filing of the bankruptcy will stop all collection activity, including the lawsuit or garnishment.   We do all the work.  Typically, you keep your assets, and you pay absolutely nothing to Mr.Robin or Cavalry Portfolio.  A chapter 7 or chapter 13 bankruptcy is designed to give you a fresh financial start.

The worst thing you can do is “nothing.”  That’s what Mr. Robin is hoping will happen – if you do nothing, they’ll get a default judgment against you; they’ll garnish your paycheck and put a lien on your property.  Fight back!!   If you’re looking for an aggressive advocate with years of experience; an attorney who enjoys fighting  Sherwin P. Robin, give me a call, or send me an e-mail.

Brian R. Cahn | brc@perrottalaw.com | 770-382-8900

Perrotta, Cahn & Prieto, P.C. | www.northgabankruptcy.com

Atlanta | Dallas | Cartersville | Calhoun | Cartersville

How to Beat a Lawsuit or Garnishment filed by Frederick J. Hanna & Associates – Fight Back!

Over the years, I have successfully  represented hundreds, maybe even  thousands, of clients sued or garnished by the collection firm of Frederick J. Hanna & Associates.  I’ve managed to help these clients in a variety of ways, whether it’s defending the lawsuit, or erasing the judgment through bankruptcy.

If you’ve been sued by Frederick J. Hanna & Associates, I can help.   Here’s some practical advice:

1.  KNOW YOUR ENEMY.  Frederick J. Hanna & Associates is not a creditor.  They’re a debt collector.  Because they’re a debt collector, you are entitled to the protections afforded to you by Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”).    The FDCPA protects you from unfair and unreasonable collection tactics.  If a representative from Frederick J. Hanna & Associates has violated any of the FDCPA provisions, we can help you fight back.  We will not hesitate to sue Frederick J. Hanna & Associates on your behalf, seeking monetary damages for FDCPA violations.  Call our office for your free case analysis, and we will tell you if you’ve got a valid claim.

Frederick J. Hanna & Associates was investigated by the State of Georgia Office of Conumer Affairs for unfair and deceptice practices, and possible violations of the FDCPA.

Frederick J. Hanna & Associates was recently busted by a consumer attorney for filing lawsuits against consumers that had falsified signatures.

Specifically, Frederick J. Hanna & Associates was in the news because of their falsified court filings one of their mass-lawsuit filing attorneys, Dennis Henry.  Apparently, it had been uncovered that several of the lawsuit complaints filed in Gwinnett county in late 2010 supposedly did not bear the signature of Dennis Henry, but a forgery possibly done from within Frederick J. Hanna & Associates.  Complaints filed within our court system are supposed to be actually signed by the attorney filing them, not someone else signing their name.  On top of that, they were notarized too.  Sounds a lot like the robosigning going on else where in the country.  If debt collection attorenys are too lazy to even use their own hand to sign complaints, what makes you think they will put effort into “validating” your debt, as they are required to do pursuant to the FDCPA?

You should know that Frederick J. Hanna & Associates or its client has likely purchased your debt from the original creditor or another collector.  When purchasing debt, the buyer does not pay anywhere near 100% of the value of the note.  For example, if you owe $10,000 to the original creditor, it’s likely that Frederick J. Hanna & Associates or its client purchased the receivable for pennies on the dollar – maybe for as low as 15%, (or $1,500, in our example).  That means that you may be able to settle the matter for pennies on the dollar.  If Frederick J. Hanna & Associates bought the receivable for $1,500, they may settle for $3,000.  This is a “win-win” settlement.  You’ve just settled your debt for only 30% of your balance, and Frederick J. Hanna & Associates or its client has doubled their investment.

2.  BEWARE OF SETTLEMENT WITHOUT AN ATTORNEY REPRESENTING YOU.  The golden rule with regard to debt settlements is “get it in writing!”   You should always have your own attorney review any proposed consent judgment or settlement agreement.   Mr. Hanna’s office doesn’t represent you, so you should be skeptical about any proposed settlement offers.  The settlement should state that your credit will reflect that the account is settled and paid in full when the settlement amount is paid.

3.  KNOW YOUR OPTIONS.  When you’re sued, you have a number of options.

First of all, explore any possible defenses to the lawsuit.  For example, it’s possible that the lawsuit was filed after expiration of the applicable statute of limitations.  If so, an Answer can be filed raising the defense, and the case can be thrown-out by virtue of a Motion to Dismiss or a Motion for Summary Judgment

If the lawsuit was filed to recover a post-repossession deficiency on a repossessed vehicle, you may have several technical defenses based upon Georgia’s adaptation of the Uniform Commercial Code.  Did you receive a certified letter notifying you of your 10-day right of redemption?  Does the size of the deficiency imply that the vehicle wasn’t sold in a commercially reasonable manner?  These are defenses that we can explore.

4.  BANKRUPTCY AUTOMATICALLY STOPS LAWSUITS AND GARNISHMENTS.  Anoter option is a chapter 7 or chapter 13 bankruptcy.  Our office can file a bankruptcy for as little as $344 down.  The mere filing of the bankruptcy will stop all collection activity, including the lawsuit or garnishment.   We do all the work.  Typically, you keep your assets, and you pay absolutely nothing to Mr. Hanna and Associates.  A chapter 7 or chapter 13 bankruptcy is designed to give you a fresh financial start.

The worst thing you can do is “nothing.”  That’s what Hanna is hoping will happen – if you do nothing, they’ll get a default judgment and garnish your paycheck and put a lien on your property.  Fight back.   If you’re looking for an aggressive advocate with experience; an attorney who enjoys fighting  Frederick J. Hanna & Associates, give me a call, or send me an e-mail.

Brian R. Cahn | brc@perrottalaw.com | 770-382-8900

Perrotta, Cahn & Prieto, P.C. | www.northgabankruptcy.com

Atlanta | Dallas | Cartersville | Calhoun | Cartersville

Abogado con oficinas en Cartersville, Dallas, Calhoun y Dalton Georgia: Nos especializamos en las prácticas de Bancarrota; Ley Familiar; Ley Criminal; Testamentos y Fideicomisos; Accidentes de Auto; Negligencia y Abuso de Ancianos; Bienes y Raíces; y Compensación del Trabajador

DESPACHO DE ABOGADOS OFRECE SERVICIOS PARA LAS NECESIDADES LEGALES DE LA COMUNIDAD HISPANA

            En Perrotta, Cahn & Prieto, P.C. nos enfocamos en proporcionar representación legal ingeniosa por medio de atención individualizada a cada uno de nuestros clientes.  Nos especializamos en las prácticas de Bancarrota; Ley Familiar; Ley Criminal; DUI; Testamentos y Fideicomisos; Accidentes de Auto; Negligencia y Abuso de Ancianos; Bienes y Raíces; y Compensación del Trabajador.

Sirviendo al Norte de Georgia con oficinas en Cartersville, Dallas, Calhoun y Dalton.  Nuestras Asistentes Legales bilingües, Cristina Flores y Maria Salaices siempre están dispuestas a escucharle y ayudarle con sus necesidades legales.  Llámenos al 770-382-8900 para obtener su primera consulta gratis con uno de nuestros abogados.

Cristina Flores: cgf@perrottalaw.com   |  (678) 792-2025  |  Calhoun: (706) 629-9699  |  Cartersville:  (770) 382-8900  |  Dallas: (770) 445-1723

Maria Salaices: mes@perrottalaw.com  |   (678) 792-2267  |   Dalton: (706) 275-6022

www.NorthGaBankruptcy.com
www.PerrottaLaw.com

Brian R. Cahn: “General Order Staying Garnishments is needed for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Cases”

It happens all the time.

When my clients make their initial consultation, it’s often because an aggressive creditor has filed a lawsuit, obtained a judgment, and started garnishing wages or bank accounts.

A garnishment can be devastating to an indivdual or family living paycheck-to-paycheck. Fortunately, a bankruptcy filing will stop the garnishment and allow the seized funds to be returned to the client.

The filing of a bankruptcy petition, whether chapter 7 or chapter 13, invokes the “automatic stay” codified in the Bankruptcy Code under 11 U.S.C. § 362(a). In a nutshell, the automatic stay is generally invoked immediately and automatically upon the filing of a bankruptcy petition. Therefore, once the bankruptcy case is filed, GARNISHMENTS are supposed to IMMEDIATELY STOP as a matter of law. The law is clear, but without a court order dismissing the garnishment or directing the bank or employer to release the funds, it’s not always easy to convince banks or employers to stop the garnishment or release the funds “automatically” or “immediately.”

It’s relatively easy to stop wage garnishments upon the filing of a chapter 13 bankruptcy in the Northern District of Georgia. A chapter 13 case, commonly referred to as a “wage earner plan,” involves submission of a weekly or monthly payment to creditors under a court-approved plan. The payments are deducted from the debtor’s paycheck pursuant to an “Employment Deduction Order” or “EDO.” Immediately upon the filing of a chapter 13 case, the Court issues an EDO, which is directed to the debtor’s employer. Here’s a link to the standard EDO form issued in the Northern District of Georgia.

The EDO instructs to employer to remit a set periodic payment to the chapter 13 trustee. Paragraph 4 of the Court-issued EDO contains the following language: “This order supersedes any previous order issued with respect to the debtor’s wages.” As a result of the EDO, which is usually issued within hours or days of filing of the chapter 13 case, the Employer has a clear and unambiguous mandate from the United States Bankruptcy Court, instructing the employer to STOP ANY PENDING WAGE GARNISHMENTS.

The real problem arises when a chapter 7 is filed in the Northern District of Georgia. Chapter 7 cases eliminate debt – there’s no EDO issued in the case. Most employers require a COURT ORDER stopping or dismissing the garnishment, or in the alternative, a DISMISSAL OF GARNISHMENT from the creditor. Since we don’t have an EDO, the debtor’s lawyerusually has to contact the attorney for the creditor responsible for the garnishment, and ask that attorney to DISMISS the garnishment. Many creditors attorneys are diligent, but it’s not uncommon for a creditors’ attorneys to take days, or weeks, before filing a dismissal. The delay often has catastrophic consequences when my clients need to pay their living expenses (utilities, insurance, house or car payments, etc.) and can’t get the garnishment lifted.

I am able to file various motions with the bankruptcy court, seeking a court order staying the garnishment, but these motions take 30 days minimum for a hearing, then several more days for entry of the order. If “justice delayed is justice denied,” then “money delayed is money denied.” I can also file a motion for contempt, if the creditor acted unreasonably or exercised control over my client’s funds. The problem, again, is the delay in ultimately recovering funds for my client, and the additional cost to my client for the additional legal work.

One of our neighboring jurisdictions – the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Tennessee – has SOLVED THE PROBLEM. That district allows the debtor’s attorney to cause an Order Staying Wage Garnishment to be immediately and automatically issued in a chapter 7 case, stopping all wage or bank account garnishments.

I can’t think of any reason for our District not to implement this form Order for chapter 7 cases. The Order simply follows the Code; specifically, the automatic stay. It’s time for our local bankruptcy attorneys and trustees to make a concerted effort to bring this problem, and the proposed solution, to the attention of our judges and clerk.

Feel free to e-mail me with any questions, or leave a comment below.

If you are being sued or garnished, please call my office for your free and confidential chapter 7, chapter 11 or chapter 13 bankruptcy consultation. I have offices in Cartersville, Atlanta, Dallas, Dalton and Calhoun.

Brian R. Cahn
(770) 382-8900
brc@perrottalaw.com
www.NorthGaBankruptcy.com
www.PerrottaLaw.com
Cartersville | Dallas | Dalton | Calhoun | Atlanta