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Bankruptcy

Q.

What happens when I file bankruptcy?

A.

The first step toward your fresh start is to call Mills Law and schedule your free consultation. You’ll need to bring certain information. During this appointment you’ll meet with David Mills to talk about your concerns, goals, and the details of your financial situation. Based on your assets, liabilities, income and your objectives, we’ll help you decide whether bankruptcy is right for you and, if so, what type (or chapter) of bankruptcy will most help you.

At this point you’ll receive a list of additional information to gather and an outline of the steps needed in order to prepare for bankruptcy filing. We’ll also discuss the cost of the bankruptcy case so that you can make an informed decision.

Once you’ve provided all the needed information we can prepare the required documents for Bankruptcy Court, which you will carefully review to make sure everything is accurate, truthful, and complete. Once you’ve finished this step, your case gets filed.At that point, the automatic stay stops your creditors from calling, writing, or trying to collect from you. The court appoints a trustee to oversee your case and sets up a meeting between you and this trustee. Rest assured you won’t be alone as Mills Law will be with you each and every step along the way. Mr. Mills will attend this meeting where the trustee will ask you a series of questions to make sure the information you’ve provided is honest and accurate.

Once you complete the requirements of the Bankruptcy Court, you’ll receive the discharge, which is the forgiveness of debt, and your case will soon be closed allowing your life to move forward with a clean slate.

Q.

What do I need to bring for our first meeting?

A.

When preparing for you free consultation with Mr. Mills, please bring the following documents to help us better understand your picture. If you can’t find all of these items, don’t let that discourage you from coming in. Often we can provide guidance on where this information can be obtained:

1. The most recent bill or statement from each creditor
2. All letters from collection agencies or lawyers
3. Any papers relating to a lawsuit
4. The past 6 months of paystubs
5. The past 2 years of tax returns
5. State ID (such as a driver’s license) and your Social Security card
6. A list of real estate and automobiles you own

Although this is not a complete list of what’s needed should you choose to pursue bankruptcy, it serves as a starting place to help us make an initial analysis of how we can provide the help you need.

Q.

Will Bankruptcy Affect My Credit Score?

A.

If you’ve been making a lot of late payments, or not paying some debts at all, then your credit score has probably already taken a hit, and there’s likely nowhere to go from here but “up.”  Bankruptcy will show up on your credit report for up to 10 years, but ask yourself how long it will take you to dig out of the financial hole you’re in if you don’t file? Getting your debts forgiven in bankruptcy can give you some breathing room and a chance to finally get your feet back on solid ground.

Q.

Can I afford bankruptcy?

A.

Perhaps it seems ironic, but filing for bankruptcy protection costs money. There are court filing fees, trustee administration fees, attorney fees, credit counseling fees, etc. After learning about the costs involved, some who could benefit from bankruptcy protection may end up wondering, “Can I afford to file bankruptcy?” In a good number of cases where bankruptcy is appropriate, the answer is “yes.” If bankruptcy protection would be beneficial in your case, your bankruptcy attorney can advise you on how to afford it.

Q.

Who can file for bankruptcy? Am I eligible?

A.

Bankruptcy gives many people the opportunity for a financial fresh start. When you work with us, we review your financial situation, look at the options that are available and determine the course of action that best addresses your financial situation.

For many people that is filing Chapter 7, for others it may be Chapter 13 and finally some people are not well served by the bankruptcy process.

After your free initial consultation you will be required to take the means test.The Means Test is a tool that the Bankruptcy court uses to determine if you qualify to file Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. This test uses a complex formula to compare your income, expenses and family size to the median income of similar North Carolina households.

For income levels below state median you will qualify for Chapter 7.  Even if your income is above the state median income you may still qualify for Chapter 7 after a detailed analysis of your financial situation.  For people with income above the state median income Chapter 13 may be an option to provide considerable debt relief.

Personal Injury

Q.

Do I Have A Valid Personal Injury Claim?

A.

To have a valid personal injury claim, you must be able to prove that you suffered a physical injury, that your injury was caused by someone else and that the person responsible for your injury has sufficient insurance or personal assets to compensate you for your losses.

Q.

When Do I Need To File A Lawsuit?

A.

Time is of the essence in personal injury cases. In North Carolina, the time to file a lawsuit is limited by what is called a Statute of Limitations. If you have been injured in an accident through no fault of your own, you should speak with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible.

Q.

Who Would I Receive Compensation From?

A.

In many cases, you would receive compensation from the insurance carrier of the person at fault for your injuries. In some circumstances, you may be able to pursue compensation from the personal assets of the person at fault.

If the person who caused your injuries does not have insurance, or their insurance policy is insufficient to pay for your losses, you may also be entitled to compensation under your own insurance policy.

Q.

Can I Afford A Personal Injury Lawyer?

A.

The simple answer is yes. We represent personal injury victims on a contingency fee basis, meaning that you will not pay attorneys' fees unless we win. If we succeed, then we are paid on an agreed upon percentage of the settlement or court awarded amount.

Wills & Estates

Q.

Do I Need A Will In North Carolina?

A.

If you die without a will in North Carolina, your property will be distributed according to state "intestacy" laws by a probate court. To help your family and loved ones avoid what could be a time-consuming, complicated and emotionally upsetting process, a valid will allows you to leave your property to specific people or organizations, name a guardian to care for your minor children, and name the executor of your will, among other things.

Q.

What Makes A Valid Will?

A.

To make a valid will in North Carolina, you must sign your will in front of at least two witnesses, and the witnesses must also sign your will.

Q.

Can I Change My Will?

A.

You can change or revoke your will. In fact, it is advisable to update your will as circumstances in your life change. The same will you created 20 years ago may no longer reflect your final wishes. If your circumstances have changed since writing your last will, you should consider writing an entirely new will or modifying your current will through codicils.

Q.

What Is A Living Will?

A.

A living will sets out how a person would like to be treated in a medical emergency. For example, a living will may state that its creator does not want to be kept alive with a ventilator, or that he or she does not want to be resuscitated. Living wills are usually are carried out by an individual designated through a durable power of attorney.