Stephen Behrends Law Office Blog | Eugene, OR

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Stephen Behrends Law Office | Bankruptcy | Eugene, OR


Welcome to my blog


This blog is for people who are thinking that they might have to file bankruptcy. I have been helping people work through their financial problems for so many years that I know the concerns that come up again and again. I want to provide practical information that you can use right now in helping decide how to take on these complicated issues.

By Stephen Behrends, Feb 21 2020 03:52AM

The answer is technically no, but if you don't go to Court when you are served with a notice of a Judgment Debtor's Exam, an arrest warrant will probably be issued.

Most people know that you can't be put in jail because you can't afford to pay medical bills, credit cards or other debts. But not very many people know that they could end up in jail if they don't cooperate in the debt collection process.

When you are sued and personally served with a summons and complaint for a medical bill or other debt and you don't respond, which is usually the case, all that happens is that the creditor gets a judgment against you.

But after the judgment is entered, the creditor has the right to set up a judgment debtor's exam and get an Order requiring you to appear in Court and answer questions about your income and assets. If you are personally served with the Order, just like you were with the lawsuit itself, and you don't respond, just like you didn't respond when you were served with the lawsuit, you can be held in contempt of court and an arrest warrant may be issued.

So if you are served with an Order to appear in Court, don't ignore it because you could end up in jail over an unpaid medical or other bill.

By Stephen Behrends, Feb 17 2020 05:30PM

I recently had the pleasure of retaining the legal services and representation of Mr. Behrends.

I have never been a fan of attorneys before but my experiences with him and his associates has given me a whole new perspective. He was very professional and courteous and walked me through my legal needs as well as informed me of all the requirements that we would need to meet together to resolve my issues. He worked with me through the entire process and is currently still there as my attorney even after completing my legal obligations. I would and will highly recommend him and his associates to anyone in need of attorney services.

Sincerely LG

By Stephen Behrends, Feb 15 2020 10:53PM

A recent study released earlier this week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics found that one in seven families struggles to pay medical bills.

As shocking as this statistic is, the sad truth is that it is actually an improvement over the findings in a similar study by the same group in 2011 that found that one in five families found it difficult or impossible to pay medical cost.

While the medicaid expansion in many states, including Oregon, has helped many people get the care they need, it is still under attack by those who want to reduce government help to those who can't afford medical care or prescriptions. A pending lawsuit, supported by many states and the US Justice Department, would knock out the medicaid expansion completely. And other efforts are underway to reduce it or cut it completely from the federal budget. Another plan would allow states to impose limitations or requirements on recipients. Another movement would change the medicaid money into block grants that the states would control. This is likely to end up with less money going to programs like the Oregon Health Plan.

Unpaid medical bills remains one of the leading causes of personal bankruptcy so this is a very serious problem.

By Stephen Behrends, Feb 10 2020 07:46PM

I am fortunate to practice law with two excellent and experienced attorneys. When you call us, you can rest easy that the attorney you will see has been helping people just like you for years. They know the importance of being responsive, compassionate, diligent and thorough. My partners, Jud Carusone and Kim Covington, are knowledgeable and will advise you of your options to protect your family, your income and your assets. Check out their websites:

They are dedicated to helping our clients through the maze of bankruptcy rules and procedures and making sure that you get the answers and the help you need. We like our jobs because we know that everyday we help people find their way to financial stability and security.

By Stephen Behrends, Feb 4 2020 03:10AM

If you have to file Chapter 13, will you be able to keep making the payments on your income based repayment plan while you are in Chapter 13? The answer from the US Trustee's office is yes!

It is very difficult to discharge student loans in bankruptcy.

Many people have set up Income-Driven Repayment Plans. While there are a confusing array of different IDR plans, the number of people enrolled in them has significantly increased in recent years.

Generally, when someone with student loans has to file bankruptcy, the loans go into an administrative forbearance status that suspends collection and communication activity while the bankruptcy is pending. With Ch 13, that can be up to 5 years. However, the interest continues to accrue and so the balance on the student loans can be much higher at the end of the case than it was at the beginning.

The US Trustee has a template for Ch 13 plan provisions that will allow, under certain circumstances, the person in Ch 13 to continue to make monthly IDR plan payments while they are in Ch 13.

While it is complicated, it is good news for people with IDR plans who have to file Ch 13.

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