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‘Serial filer’ loses home after 18th bankruptcy petition Atlanta, GA

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‘Serial filer’ loses home after 18th bankruptcy petition

Judge Gavel, Scales of Justice and legal books on the desk

When threatened with the loss of a home, many Atlanta residents would do anything to save it. For many people, a home is more than a house. Lives unfold inside the places we call home. Many people start a family, watch their children take their first steps, and create millions of other memories in a home. The idea of losing a place so sacred can be devastating. 

When faced with foreclosure, however, there are right ways to move forward and wrong ways. One Florida man took a unique approach to saving his home, but ultimately, it cost him. 

Faced with financial hardship, the man stopped making mortgage payments on his family’s home in 2001. Although he filed for bankruptcy, he did not file correctly, so the court dismissed his case. As U.S. Bank readied to sell his house in foreclosure, he filed again, which halted the process.

Because the man never made payments on his home, this routine went on for years. The bank would initiate foreclosure, and he would file for bankruptcy just before the house was set to be sold. Between him and his wife, the pair filed for bankruptcy 18 times in the last 12 years. Each time, they filed for Chapter 13, which requires a person to pay back creditors to some extent. 

Eventually, however, the bankruptcy court caught on. Several of the man’s filings were dismissed because he did not provide necessary information. In 2011, a judge ruled that he had to wait two years before he could file for bankruptcy again. Then, after complaints from his homeowners association, the judge accused him of bankruptcy abuse and ruled that he could not file again until 2015. 

Ultimately, the family lost their home. 

Any time a family is forced to leave their home, it is unfortunate. However, this man went about saving his home in the wrong way. Rather than being honest about his situation, he tried to game the system — and it cost him. Bankruptcy, however, can be an extremely effective tool for avoiding foreclosure if implemented in the right way. 

The importance of working with an attorney cannot be understated. Bankruptcy laws are extremely complex, and as we saw in this case, providing the right information is of utmost importance. By being honest and complete in your bankruptcy filing, it may be possible to save your home. 

Source: Tampa Bay Times, “Meet the Palm Harbor man who is 12 years behind on his mortgage payments,” Susan Taylor Martin, April 11, 2014

Posted on behalf of Gingold & Gingold

1718 Peachtree St NW, #385
Atlanta, GA 30309

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Jack L.

They did an excellent job with my case. Jamie took the time to really listen and understand things. She delved into the details and was extremely knowledgeable and non judgmental. Very professional and they know what they are doing. Would definitely recommend!

All C.

Mr. Gingold was recommended by an attorney I had worked with previously. I met with Ira Gingold to discuss credit issues. He went over each specific issue thoroughly. He advised me of the potential outcomes. He did all this in one meeting for a very reasonable price. When we finished I was confident in moving forward with a resolution. He definitely wants to help people take the appropriate course of action for their circumstance.

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Dear Mr Gingold, There are so many reasons to be thankful for all you have done and will do. Anyone who has ever had unfavorable experiences with an attorney or the legal system will feel the trepidation that I experienced once I realized that my situation seemed hopeless. It was by chance and happily good luck that I decided to put my future and sanity into your hands. I was mortified at having to deal with my debts by claiming bankruptcy. I remember in our first meeting how you assured me that I was not alone and should not feel ashamed. And, anyone in this position obviously does not have money to spare and you were clear about all the costs and allowing me to pay according to my own ability to do so. You advised me in all aspects of the law, but also, you were at each meeting incredibly supportive and complementary of my personal and professional plans. Anyone else in this situation should feel blessed to have access to your expertise and support.

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I thought the process of filing bankruptcy was going to be a difficult one. However, Gingold & Gingold treated me with respect and dignity from the moment I walked through their door. I had the pleasure of working with Jamie. She is very responsive, professional, and knowledgeable. She took the time and listened to my every concern and handled each and every one of them to my satisfaction. My experience with filing bankruptcy under Gingold & Gingold's representation exceeded my expectations in a major way. They gave me such a peace of mind. I am very pleased with my decision of going with Gingold & Gingold to represent me when I filed Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Julie T.

Wow! I am finally out of debt and can say that I am debt free after completing my chapter 7 bankruptcy case with Gingold and Gingold. Mr dangled was very knowledgeable and direct with regard to my debt situation. there were no surprises and the case went as I was advised. The staff was also very helpful whenever I had a question. I will definitely recommend them in the future to my friends.

Sherard W.

I cannot say enough about this law firm. From the initial consultation to our discharge, the entire office kept me updated with every step of the entire process. I came to the Gingold after a bad experience with another law firm. Ira and Jamie immediately began treating me like family through this experience. In the end, they assisted with eliminating many debts including my 2nd mortgage. I cannot say enough about the experience and knowledge that Ira brought to the table from the office visits to the court time. Thank you very much for helping me through this tough time. Thank you.

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