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Best Bankruptcy Attorneys in Memphis

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Darrell Castle And Associates, PLLC logo
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Darrell Castle And Associates, PLLC

4515 Poplar Avenue Suite 510, Memphis, TN 38117
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  • Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
  • Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
  • Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

Business Description

Darrell Castle and Associates, PLLC is a law firm serving clients in and around Memphis. It assists clients in filing for bankruptcy and guides them in stopping foreclosures, property repossessions, and creditor harassment. The firm also offers a credit course to help clients improve their credit ratings after petitions are filed. Firm principal Darrell Castle has more than three decades of industry experience and was a former officer in the United States Marine Corps. He and his colleagues also practice in the area of personal injury.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.7
Google
4.7 / 5 (96)
Avvo
5.0 / 5 (13)
Facebook
4.3 / 5 (6)

(+1 additional source)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
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Bankruptcy Law Firm, PLLC logo
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Bankruptcy Law Firm, PLLC

7894 Winchester Rd Ste 500, Memphis, TN 38125
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  • Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
  • Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Business Description

Bankruptcy Law Firm PLLC serves residents of the Memphis, Tennessee, metro area, providing relief from evictions, foreclosure, garnishment, and repossession. The firm offers all forms of consumer bankruptcy. Its Chapter 7 services are designed to eliminate a portion of unsecured debt for clients with substantial medical and credit card bills. Its Chapter 13 proceedings are often a solution for clients with secured debt, allowing the debtor to agree to a repayment plan and preserve their property.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.3
Google
4.3 / 5 (6)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
4.0
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Counce Law Office logo
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Counce Law Office

3333 Poplar Ave., Memphis, TN 38111
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  • Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
  • Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
  • Credit Card Debt
  • Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

Business Description

The Law Office of Philip F. Counce can file a Chapter 7 (full bankruptcy) or a Chapter 13 (bill consolidated) for you as a Title 11 Debt Relief Agency. They also consider non-bankruptcy options so we can customize a solution that addresses your specific goals and circumstances. Unlike most bankruptcy law offices, you will talk with an attorney, not a paralegal, who can properly advise you and prepare and handle your case from start to finish.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.9
Google
4.9 / 5 (90)
FindLaw
4.0 / 5 (4)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
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Hughes Law Group, PLLC logo
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Hughes Law Group, PLLC

5627 Getwell Road , Building B, Suite 5, Southaven, MS 38672
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  • Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
  • Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Business Description

Hughes Law Group, PLLC, has been providing legal services to clients in the Memphis metro and the surrounding areas since 2005. It assists individuals filing for chapter 7 bankruptcy, which eliminates credit card debts, medical bills, motor vehicle surcharges, and wage garnishments. It also handles chapter 13 bankruptcy cases, helping debtors who are facing foreclosure or repossession. John Hughes, the lead attorney, is a member of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.6
Google
4.6 / 5 (80)
FindLaw
5.0 / 5 (1)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
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Hurst Law Firm logo
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Hurst Law Firm

2287 Union Ave, Memphis, TN 38104
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  • Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
  • Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Business Description

Hurst Law Firm, founded in 1997, is a Memphis, Tennessee, bankruptcy firm that practices consumer bankruptcy and represents average people who are struggling with debt. The firm provides Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 proceedings. Attorneys help individuals with regular incomes create payment plans. The legal team offers straight bankruptcy, or liquidation, to settle unresolvable amounts of debt. Services stop foreclosures and lawsuits. Hurst Law Firm also helps clients rebuild their credit.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.6
Google
4.6 / 5 (71)
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (1)
Yelp
5.0 / 5 (1)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
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Jimmy E. McElroy & Associates logo
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Jimmy E. McElroy & Associates

200 Jefferson Avenue, Memphis, TN 38103
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  • Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
  • Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
  • Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

Business Description

Jimmy E. McElroy and Associates is a bankruptcy law firm in Memphis, Tennessee, that's been in operation for more than 20 years, guiding clients through the processes of foreclosure, bankruptcy, and debt consolidation. The firm helps clients file Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 proceedings, allowing them to use payment plans or assets to recover from financial distress. Filing for bankruptcy stops repossessions and restores utilities, such as gas and electricity.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
3.9
Google
3.9 / 5 (91)
Facebook
3.9 / 5 (7)
Yelp
2.0 / 5 (1)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
4.0
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––
John E. Dunlap, P.C. Attorney At Law logo
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John E. Dunlap, P.C. Attorney At Law

3340 Poplar Ave #321, Memphis, TN 38111
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  • Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
  • Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
  • Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

Business Description

John E. Dunlap, P.C. Attorney At Law, is a Memphis law firm that has over 20 years of experience assisting clients with bankruptcy and financial distress issues. Bankruptcy lawyer John E. Dunlap provides a full range of bankruptcy legal services for clients including Chapter 7, Chapter 13, and Chapter 11 filing; making a repayment plan or debt discharge plan; and helping clients get through the required financial counseling. Dunlap is also the author of the book “Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in the Western District of Tennessee,” a guide to filing for bankruptcy.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.7
Google
4.7 / 5 (79)
Facebook
4.3 / 5 (9)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
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Detail
Johnson & Johnson, PC Attorneys at Law logo
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Johnson & Johnson, PC Attorneys at Law

1407 Union Avenue, Suite 1002, Memphis, TN 38104
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  • Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Business Description

Johnson & Johnson, PC Attorneys at Law, caters to clients requiring assistance with chapters 7 and 13 bankruptcy, foreclosures, and repossessions. Its attorneys represent both individuals and businesses in bankruptcy cases. One of its partners, Florence Johnson, has conducted over 50 jury trials in federal and state courts and has resolved over 150 claims through alternative dispute resolution. The firm has been representing the Memphis area since 1992, extending its representation to employment discrimination, business issues, and personal injury.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Google
5.0 / 5 (18)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
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Detail
Law Office of Jonathan Garrett logo
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Law Office of Jonathan Garrett

2670 Union Ave Ext Ste 1200, Memphis, TN 38112
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  • Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
  • Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Business Description

The Law Office of Jonathan Garrett is a Memphis-based firm that caters to clients throughout the metro. The firm provides legal assistance to clients dealing with bankruptcy and helps with filing for chapters 7 and 13. It deals with various debt types, including rental and credit card debts. The firm also assists clients in stopping or temporarily halting the foreclosure process. It has been operating since 2002, and its primary attorney, Jonathan Garrett, has more than two decades of legal experience.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
3.9
Google
4.2 / 5 (10)
Yelp
1.0 / 5 (1)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
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Mayfield Law Firm, P.A. logo
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Mayfield Law Firm, P.A.

200 Jefferson Avenue, Suite 713, Memphis, TN 38103
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  • Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
  • Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Business Description

Mayfield Law Firm, P.A., provides legal assistance from its offices in Memphis, Southaven, and Tupelo. The firm represents individuals and businesses that are unable to repay bills. It helps analyze financial situations to provide solutions available under chapter 7 or straight bankruptcy and chapter 13. Dominique Mayfield, one of the firm's attorneys, helps clients get back on track or start anew with their debts. She has been practicing law since 2017 and serves on the Bankruptcy Court Liaison Committee for the Western District of TN and the Memphis Bar Association's Bankruptcy Section.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.7
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (1)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
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McCullough Law logo
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McCullough Law

2206 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TN 38104
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  • Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
  • Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
  • Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

Business Description

McCullough Law is a firm serving Memphis and nearby areas. It provides debt relief for individuals by assisting them throughout the process of filing either chapter 7, 11, or 13 bankruptcy cases. Its legal team conducts consultations and maintains open communication with clients to keep them up-to-date about the progress of their case or certain changes in the law. The firm's bankruptcy lawyer, Carlee McCullough, previously worked as a CPA and has an extensive background in business and entertainment law.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.0
Google
4.0 / 5 (41)
Facebook
4.2 / 5 (5)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
4.0
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Detail
––
Memphis Bankruptcy - Law Office of Artie Byrd Jr. logo
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Memphis Bankruptcy - Law Office of Artie Byrd Jr.

116 Mulberry Street East, Collierville, TN 38017
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  • Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
  • Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Business Description

The Law Office of Artie Byrd Jr. caters to the needs of individuals, families, and businesses in the greater Memphis area. The firm offers its services under bankruptcy law, which covers chapter 7 and 13 bankruptcy petitions to halt garnishments, repossessions, and foreclosures. Its service involves discussing clients' distinct situations and their available options; providing required documentation; and reviewing, signing, and filing bankruptcy petitions and plans. Owner Artie Byrd Jr. also handles other matters relating to general litigation, divorce, and traffic tickets.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.2
Facebook
3.8 / 5 (19)
Google
5.0 / 5 (13)
Avvo
3.7 / 5 (3)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
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Detail
Memphis Low Cost Bankruptcy Center logo
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Memphis Low Cost Bankruptcy Center

5100 Poplar Ave., Suite 2008, Memphis, TN 38137
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  • Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
  • Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Business Description

Memphis Low Cost Bankruptcy Center serves individuals and businesses in the metro. The firm helps clients file for chapters 7 and 13 and bankruptcy. Its attorneys also assist with stopping wage garnishment and creditor harassment, restructuring loans, and keeping the clients' assets. Clients can submit their documents electronically and file their bankruptcy cases in court virtually through the firm's representation. Founding attorney David N. Arnold is a member of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys.

Preston Wilson Attorney & Counsellor at Law logo
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Preston Wilson Attorney & Counsellor at Law

208 Adams Avenue, Memphis, TN 38103
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  • Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
  • Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
  • Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

Business Description

Preston Wilson, Attorney & Counsellor at Law, serves individuals, families, and small business owners in the Memphis area. The firm handles chapters 7, 11, and 13 bankruptcy. Founder Preston Wilson helps clients maximize their personal property exemptions to protect their assets, including retirement plans, bank accounts, and vehicles. He has served as a bankruptcy trustee for 12 years. Wilson has been working in the legal industry since 1978. The office provides legal representation to business law, probate issues, estate planning, and trust administration.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Google
5.0 / 5 (1)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
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Helpfulness
Detail
Ralston Buchanan Consumer Law Group logo
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Ralston Buchanan Consumer Law Group

2670 Union Ave. Extended, Suite #1200, Memphis, TN 38112
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  • Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
  • Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Business Description

Ralston Buchanan Consumer Law Group is a team of attorneys that serve clients across Memphis. They offer legal assistance to clients dealing with bankruptcy and helps them file for chapters 7 and 13. The team educates clients on wage garnishments, home foreclosures, creditor harassment, and tax penalties. They also deal with other issues including car warranties, auto fraud, and tax debts. One of the firm's attorneys, Dan Buchanan, is the recipient of the Champion of Justice Award from the Memphis Bar Association in 2019.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Google
4.5 / 5 (182)
Facebook
4.5 / 5 (57)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
4.0
Responsiveness
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Helpfulness
––
Detail
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Schuerman Smith and Associates, PLLC logo
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Schuerman Smith and Associates, PLLC

1027 South Yates Road, Memphis, TN 38119
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  • Repossession

Business Description

Serving the Memphis metro, Schuerman Smith and Associates, PLLC, is a law firm that provides clients with legal assistance and representation. Since 2008, it has been analyzing their unique financial situations and has been helping them get a fresh start by guiding them in bankruptcy proceedings and cases involving creditor harassment, repossession, and foreclosure. The other practice areas that the firm also handles include personal injury lawsuits and Social Security claims.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.7
Google
4.7 / 5 (10)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
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Helpfulness
Detail
Stokes & Glass logo
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Stokes & Glass

5050 Poplar Ave, Memphis, TN
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  • Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
  • Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
  • Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

Business Description

Stokes & Glass is a full-service law firm that offers legal solutions to clients in Memphis in the areas of family law, personal injury, and bankruptcy. Since 2013, its bankruptcy lawyer, Brian M. Glass, has been providing courtroom and boardroom representations accessible not just to business owners but also to the average public and private workers. Additionally, Glass can help clients stop garnishments, foreclosures, evictions, repossessions, and collection calls. Glass is also a member of the Bankruptcy Liaison Committee.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.2
Google
4.0 / 5 (24)
Facebook
4.6 / 5 (23)
Avvo
1.0 / 5 (1)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
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The Law Office of Joseph S. Ozment logo
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The Law Office of Joseph S. Ozment

212 Adams Ave #1922, Memphis, TN 38103
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  • Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
  • Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Business Description

The Law Office of Joseph S. Ozment serves clients throughout the Memphis area. Ozment practices bankruptcy, criminal, and family law. For clients filing for bankruptcy, he can help them determine if a chapter 7 or chapter 13 bankruptcy matches their needs. He can also represent clients in the creditors' meetings associated with chapter 7 bankruptcies. Ozment is a member of the Tennessee Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. In 2013, the association awarded him with the Workhorse Award for his service to the organization.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.4
Google
4.4 / 5 (50)
Facebook
4.4 / 5 (7)
Avvo
5.0 / 5 (1)

(+1 additional source)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
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Detail
The Sweeney Law Firm, P.C. logo
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The Sweeney Law Firm, P.C.

2795 Appling Rd Suite 112, Memphis, TN 38133
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  • Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
  • Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Business Description

The Sweeney Law Firm, P.C., is a practice operating in Memphis. It assists individuals who are looking to file bankruptcy in determining whether their cases are eligible for chapter 7 or 13 petitions. The process includes credit counseling, filing a petition, appointment of a trustee, meeting with creditors, and confirmation of eligibility. Its bankruptcy lawyer, David Sweeney, has been practicing law since 1987. He advocates for consumer issues by focusing on the fields of bankruptcy and consumers' rights, corporate formation, and estate planning.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.3
Google
4.2 / 5 (21)
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (2)
Yelp
5.0 / 5 (1)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
4.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
––
Back to Providers

Frequently Asked Questions

What does a bankruptcy attorney do?

Bankruptcy attorneys help clients understand whether they qualify for bankruptcy and what their best options are. They also prepare and file petitions, answer questions during the proceedings, and educate clients about potential best steps for a positive bankruptcy outcome. Bankruptcy attorneys might also file motions or paperwork if creditors dispute the bankruptcy, or to stop creditors from taking collections actions forbidden by the bankruptcy.

What happens when you file bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy is a formal process that individuals, married couples, or businesses can enact when they are no longer able to pay creditors. In a bankruptcy proceeding, filers are allowed to reduce debt to more manageable levels to best pay off money owed.

Once the bankruptcy process is initiated, debt collectors can no longer seek repayments outside of the arrangements detailed in the bankruptcy settlement. Some forms of bankruptcy result in the liquidation of assets to pay back debts, while others allow filers to retain most of their possessions and investments. Many types of unsecured debt can be managed with bankruptcy filings, but not all.

Can you file bankruptcy on student loans?

Under most circumstances, student loans aren't dischargeable and aren't included in bankruptcy proceedings. In rare cases, it may be possible to eliminate student loans through bankruptcy, but only if the courts determine that continuing to pay the loans would impose an undue hardship. Meeting the criteria for undue hardship is challenging, and most bankruptcy filers don't qualify.

What is bankruptcy fraud?

Bankruptcy fraud is a blanket term that refers to any kind of dishonest bankruptcy proceeding, which can include:

  • Hiding assets by transferring them to another person or entity
  • Intentionally omitting assets when reporting to the court
  • Destroying or withholding required documents
  • Knowingly making false statements to bankruptcy trustees or creditors

How long is bankruptcy on public record?

How long bankruptcy stays on public record depends on the kind of bankruptcy filing in question. Chapter 7 bankruptcy remains on the record for 10 years as there isn't necessarily a repayment component. Chapter 13 bankruptcy remains on the record for seven years as some obligations are repaid following filing based on the terms of a discharge settlement.

Does bankruptcy clear tax debt?

Bankruptcy can clear tax debt, depending on the circumstances. Taxes are dischargeable under Chapter 7 bankruptcy, not Chapter 13, and only if the tax debt is:

  • Federal income tax debt related to current properly filed tax returns
  • Honestly incurred with no fraud or evasion
  • At least three years old
  • Assessed at least 240 days before bankruptcy filings

Existing liens are not eliminated with bankruptcy.


Can they take my car in Chapter 7 bankruptcy?

In many cases, it's possible to keep a vehicle following Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The Chapter 7 Motor Vehicle Exemption allows filers who own their vehicles outright or who are up to date with payments to keep their cars. However, those behind on making car payments are required to arrange a repayment plan. Otherwise, the vehicle may be repossessed as a part of the proceedings.

How bad is it to file bankruptcy twice?

Although possible, due to the damaging nature of bankruptcy, filing bankruptcy more than once isn't recommended. Filing multiple times puts a serious burden on one's credit report, making it harder to get a loan, buy a house, buy a car, or even open credit cards.

Note that filing for bankruptcy isn't something that can be done at a filer's leisure. There are time limits following bankruptcy cases that dictate when it's permissible to file again. For example, after Chapter 7 bankruptcy, filers must wait at least eight years before filing Chapter 7 again or four years before filing Chapter 13.

Can anyone file bankruptcy?

Anyone can file bankruptcy, but there are limitations regarding which form of bankruptcy is permissible. Qualifying for Chapter 7 requires a means test that evaluates income, debt levels, and income left over each month after paying basic obligations. Income over the median set by the court and monthly income that allows meaningful payments toward unsecured debt can disqualify filers from Chapter 7, which is generally the preferred form of bankruptcy due to the possibility of a full discharge. Anyone can file Chapter 13 bankruptcy, but the terms are less favorable. In most cases, some debts must be repaid following a successful filing. Chapter 13 is also more likely to result in asset forfeiture.

How will bankruptcy affect my credit score?

Bankruptcies are noted on credit reports. How much a bankruptcy might drop a person's credit score depends on how high the score was to begin with, but generally speaking, the hit can be as much as 100 to 200 points. Often scores are already dropping because people filing for bankruptcy may have already missed payments on debts. Chapter 13 bankruptcies are listed on credit reports for seven years from the filing date, while Chapter 7 bankruptcies are listed for 10 years from the filing date. This is because Chapter 13 bankruptcies require at least partial payment of debts owed.

What are the benefits of filing for bankruptcy?

Filing a bankruptcy petition causes an automatic stay. This legally stops creditors from taking further action to collect debt, including garnishing wages or foreclosing on property. Going through a bankruptcy successfully means that debts included in the bankruptcy are discharged and don't have to be paid back, except as provided in a Chapter 13 repayment plan. Bankruptcy can help someone recover from financial duress so they can make better decisions and improve financial situations in the future. Disadvantages can include temporary lower credit scores and limitations on spending and financing.

What's the difference between debt settlement and bankruptcy?

Debt settlement occurs when people negotiate with individual creditors. The creditor agrees to take a payment that's lower than what someone owes and call the debt “paid in full.” Bankruptcy is a legal process that causes debts to be dismissed after someone proves they don't currently have the means to pay their debts as owed. Typically, someone can't enter into bankruptcy and also settle some debts, because the court would see that as favoring one creditor over another.

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