Narron Wenzel, P.A.

Business & Farm BANKRUPTCY

Are your bills piling up?
Are you worried and stressed?


Don't go about it alone. Call us today to see how we can help you.


North Carolina Bankruptcy attorneys

As attorneys practicing in Smithfield and Raleigh, North Carolina, we understand how overwhelming and stressful it can be for clients to file for bankruptcy. Our primary goal is to help clients navigate the bankruptcy process with ease and achieve financial stability. We provide comprehensive legal representation to clients throughout the bankruptcy process, from the initial consultation to the final discharge of debts.

Are You Facing Any of the Following Challenges? We Can Help


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Foreclosure of Your Home

We help families obtain temporary and long term solutions to keep their homes.

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Repossession of Your Vehicle

Bankruptcy can be an effective tool to prevent repossession of a vehicle.

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Creditor Harassment

An automatic stay can stop all collection actions, including creditor harassment.

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Student Loan Debt

We help plan and tackle piling student loan debt.

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Medical Bills

Medical Bills can often be discharged along with other types of unsecured debts, through bankruptcy.

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Stress & Uncertainty

Our expertise in bankruptcy law allows us to guide clients through the process of bankruptcy.

Client-Centered Business Bankruptcy Lawyers

We understand the emotional toll that financial struggles can take on individuals and families and work to provide a compassionate and understanding approach to the bankruptcy process. By providing comprehensive legal and emotional support, we aim to help clients move forward with a fresh start and a brighter financial future.

the benefits & trade-offs of bankruptcy

Bankruptcy cases are full of various trade-offs.  A debtor receives significant help getting out of his or her debt, but in return, must disclose all financial information, usually including projected income and expenses, current debts and assets, and any transfers recently made.  Creditors may end up stuck with unpaid debts resulting from the process, but they also have the resources and ability to appear and be heard in bankruptcy cases, either through the filing of claims, the confirmation process or through contesting dischargeability of certain debts.

Particularly in consumer cases, the retention of a debtor’s car or truck with high monthly payments can be a conundrum in getting a case to successful completion.  Courts are loathe to favor expenditures which are for luxury goods or which serve to perpetuate a luxury lifestyle.  In re Loper, 367 B.R. 660 (Bankr. D. Colo. 2007); In re McNichols, 249 B.R. 160 (Bankr. N.D. Ill. 2000).  Expensive sport utility vehicles often catch the attention of trustees and judges, and are generally luxuries that are not enjoyed by the average American family.  In re Nicola, 244 B.R. 795 (Bankr. N.D. Ill. 2000), In re Zaleski, 216 B.R. 425 (Bankr. D. N.D. 1997).  Likewise, a single debtor that retains multiple modes of transportation at the expense of his or her creditors is not likely to find favor with a bankruptcy court.  In re Allawas, 2008 WL 6069662 (Bankr. D. S.C. 2008); In re Brown; 546 B.R. 642 (Bankr. E.D.N.C. 2016).

The matter in question for most courts is whether a debtor has entered into a bankruptcy case in “good faith” when proposing to both retain and pay for an expensive car while discharging much of the existing unsecured debt.   A court will not abide a debtor using his or her income to maintain a luxurious lifestyle at the expense of the unsecured creditors.  In re Martellini, 482 B.R. 537 (Bankr. D. S.C. 2012).  Most courts fail to find good faith when a debtor proposes to retain a sports car or other luxury vehicle, such as a Mercedes or Lexus.  In re Nadeau, 520 B.R. 380 (Bankr. D. R.I. 2014); In re Walls, 2010 WL 2219329 (Bankr. M.D.N.C. 2010). In the Middle District of North Carolina, a debtor proposed a Chapter 13 plan retaining three vehicles subject to secured claims, most notably a 2008 Nissan Titan worth $25,375.00 that was used primarily to take trash to the dump.  In re Mazzarella, 2010 WL 4452352 (Bankr. M.D.N.C. 2010).  The plan proposed no dividend to unsecured claims.  Id.  The court denied confirmation finding the retention of the 2008 Nissan Titan to be an unnecessary luxury.  Id.

The lesson for both consumers potentially considering bankruptcy and for bankruptcy attorneys is to carefully consider whether to retain that new truck, expensive SUV, or sportscar as part of the bankruptcy case, particularly if the plan is to discharge substantial unsecured debt without payment.  Many years ago, a rule of thumb was that a debtor could not drive a car nicer than the bankruptcy judge, but that rule likely still holds true in most courtrooms today.  If a debtor wants to retain “luxury” items, some kind of payment on the unsecured debt should be proposed.

Bankruptcy Insights


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Eligibility Issues in Chapter 13


For a debtor to be eligible to commence a Chapter 13 case, certain statutory requirements must be adhered to.  Section 109 of the Bankruptcy Code provides these requirements, which are as follows: Only “individuals” have access to Chapter 13 as a means of financial rehabilitation.  11 U.S.C. §109(e).  Eligibility for other chapters of bankruptcy is not as limited; for example,

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About Narron Wenzel, P.A.


Our mission is to improve the lives of the clients we serve.

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Addtional Practice Areas


Practice areas include corporate & business law, civil litigation, estates & trusts, real estate, and more.

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Contact Us


Contact Narron Wenzel today to speak with an attorney.

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Contact Us Today

Contact our office today to schedule a consultation with an attorney. Complete the form below and our office will reach out shortly.

Smithfield

Telephone
919-934-0049

Estate Planning Fax
919-934-6280

Real Estate Fax
919-938-1058


Raleigh


Benson


Smithfield

102 South Third Street
P.O. Box 1567
Smithfield, NC 27577

Raleigh

5400 Glenwood Avenue
Suite 201
Raleigh, NC 27612

Benson

207 E. Main Street
P.O. Box 457
Benson, NC 27504