Terry Duncan

About Terry Duncan

Terry Duncan is a board certified specialist in consumer bankruptcy and business bankruptcy law. He has been practicing in the area of bankruptcy since 1996 and has filed almost 5,000 bankruptcies in North Carolina. He regularly speaks at seminars teaching other lawyers about bankruptcy law. Learn more about Terry Duncan by going to his Google+ page.

Will I Appear In Front Of A Bankruptcy Judge If I File Bankruptcy?



Most people that file chapter 13 and chapter 7 bankruptcy do not have to appear before the federal bankruptcy judge. The only court hearing they will usually have to attend is the chapter 7 bankruptcy creditors meeting  or the chapter  13 bankruptcy creditors meeting.  In each of these instances,  they will have to appear before a chapter 7 trustee or a chapter 13 trustee, not a judge .

However, there are some circumstances  in which  a debtor may have to appear before the federal bankruptcy judge.  Common examples are  if the debtor  becomes behind on their chapter 13  plan payments.  The chapter 13 […]

What if My Car Breaks Down in a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

Many times if a person is in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, they may need to purchase another car during the bankruptcy time period, which is usually 3-5 years. Sometimes a current car may break down and the debtor needs another vehicle.

In this event, the debtor must receive permission from the Chapter 13 Trustee or the Chapter 13 bankruptcy judge to finance another car. Usually the attorney for the debtor will have to file what is known as a “motion to incur debt.” This is a document requesting a court appearance in front of the judge. The debtor will ask […]

Who is the Chapter 13 Trustee?

 The chapter 13 Trustee is usually an attorney appointed by the federal bankruptcy courts to disperse money to a chapter 13 debtor’s   creditors. The debtor will make direct payments to the chapter 13 Trustee and the chapter 13 Trustee will disburse this money to the creditors of the debtor. Usually the mortgage payments on a home, that is the principal residence of a debtor, is paid to the chapter 13 Trustee in the chapter 13 plan . Most secured debts  are paid in the chapter 13 plan, these may include car payments.
Most unsecured debts, such as credit cards and medical bill, are […]

Who is the Chapter 7 Trustee?

The chapter 7 bankruptcy trustee is usually an attorney or an accountant appointed by the bankruptcy administrator’s office to oversee your bankruptcy case. In theory, the chapter 7 bankruptcy trustee represents your creditors as a group. It is his or her responsibility to liquidate all nonexempt assets of the bankruptcy estate to pay the creditors. For example, if you have a car that is worth $10,000, but you only owe $1000 on the car, you therefore would have $9000 worth of equity in the car. If you do not have the exemptions to protect the equity in the car, […]

Can Taxes Be Eliminated in Bankruptcy?

Some taxes may be eliminated in bankruptcy. The full discussion of dischargeability or eliminating taxes and bankruptcy is too complicated for this one small blog. However, I will discuss the basics of dischargeability of taxes in bankruptcy. For more detailed discussion, contact Duncan Law or a competent bankruptcy or tax attorney.

Most taxes that are over three years old and were filed at the time they were due, may be discharged in bankruptcy. Most taxes that are due within three years of filing the bankruptcy cannot be wiped out or discharged in a bankruptcy. This is generally known as the […]

Eliminating Student Loans in Bankruptcy

Under the bankruptcy laws, student loans are usually non-dischargeable. In other words, most student loans cannot be wiped out in bankruptcy. Under 11 USC 523(a)(8) of the bankruptcy code, loans that are for an educational benefit cannot be discharged in bankruptcy. The only exception of this is the loan causes an “undue hardship” for the person owing the loan.

Most people that are paying back student loans are under a hardship to pay back the student loans. However, the federal courts have stated that the hardship must be an “undue hardship”. An undue hardship is one in which the person […]

Does Bankruptcy Stop Creditor Harrassment?

Yes, filing a bankruptcy does stop most creditor harassment.  When a person files a bankruptcy, an automatic stay by the court is enacted under the federal bankruptcy laws. This stay, which is an order from a federal judge, ordering your creditors not to attempt to collect any debts from you. This order stops all harassment, lawsuits, and attempts to collect debts by a creditor. In the event a creditor attempts to collect a debt after the bankruptcy is filed, and the creditor is aware of the bankruptcy, the debtor’s attorney can file a motion for sanctions against the creditor […]

Do I Need To Appear in Court If I File Bankruptcy?

Under federal law you must attend at least one court hearing known as a “creditor’s meeting” or the “meeting of the creditors” shortly after you file the bankruptcy.

This is a requirement of 11 USC § 341 of the federal bankruptcy code.

This court hearing will usually take place about 20-40 days after you file the bankruptcy. If you are a resident of a larger city the court hearing is usually held in your city.  However, if your bankruptcy court hearing is in a smaller city, you may have to drive to a nearby larger city for this creditor’s meeting.  Most of […]

What Is A Discharge in Bankruptcy?

A discharge in bankruptcy is when your debts are wiped out. This occurs after you have filed the bankruptcy and had a successful creditors’ meeting. The discharge in a bankruptcy will typically occur in 70-90 days in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy it will occur at the end of your Chapter 13 plan.

What Is A Secured Debt?

There are two most common types of debts. Unsecured debts and secured debts. A secured debt is one that is tied to a piece of collateral. If you do not pay unsecured debts they can sue you to try an collect a debt. However, if you do not pay a secured debt then it means the creditor can try to seize the property through a repossession or foreclosure.

An example of this is when someone doesn’t pay their mortgage payments the mortgage company forecloses on their house. They can do this because the mortgage debt is secured by the house. […]