Who is Clark & Washington, P.C.?

  1. The firm was started by Emory Clark in Atlanta in 1983
  2. The firm expanded to Tennessee in 2005
  3. We exclusively represent debtors in consumer bankruptcy cases
  4. We are one of the largest bankruptcy filers in the country
  5. Several of our attorneys are board certified in consumer bankruptcy and regularly speak at local, regional and even national conventions and seminars on bankruptcy law


What does it take to represent debtors in bankruptcy?

  1. A good understanding of the law
  2. Patience and empathy
  3. You must enjoy working with people – even in difficult situations
  4. The ability to communicate effectively
  5. The ability to multi-task


Why do people file for bankruptcy?

  1. To stop collection actions and to preserve assets
  2. For peace of mind
  3. To obtain a fresh financial start


What typically causes people to file bankruptcy?

  1. Divorce
  2. Illness/medical bills
  3. Overextending your budget to help family members and friends
  4. Loss of job/under employment
  5. Death of a spouse or partner


What are the different types of bankruptcy that individuals can file, and what are the differences?  

  1. Chapter 7 – this is “straight” bankruptcy or liquidation
  2. Chapter 11 – this is designed for businesses
  3. Chapter 12 – family farmers and fishermen can file for Chapter 12
  4. Chapter 13 – is the repayment plan for individuals
  5. We just represent clients in Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 cases


Normally, when would you choose a Chapter 7 versus a Chapter 13 case?  What are the advantages and disadvantages of each?

Chapter 7


  1. It’s cheaper overall
  2. It lasts for a much shorter time (approximately 3 and ½ months)
  3. You are not under the court’s scrutiny for 3 to 5 years


  1. It costs more upfront to file
  2. It could require the liquidation of your non-exempt assets
  3. It’s up to the creditors if they want to work with you and let you retain and pay for their collateral
  4. It is less flexible than Chapter 13
  5. A Chapter 7 discharge is less liberal than the Chapter 13 discharge
  6. It can stay up to 10 years on your credit report

Chapter 13


  1. It is cheaper to file a Chapter 13 case
  2. The Chapter 13 plan payment usually is cheaper than your current debt payments
  3. The Chapter 13 is designed to allow you keep your assets while repaying your creditors at a rate you can afford
  4. A Chapter 13 plan can cure arrearages on your mortgage and allow you to maintain your on-going mortgage payments
  5. If plan meets the legal requirements, creditors don’t get to say no to being included in the plan
  6. Chapter 13 allows you to deal with certain debts that cannot be discharged in Chapter 7
  7. A Chapter 13 plan allows more flexibility in dealing with your creditors than Chapter 7
  8. A Chapter 13 case only stays up to 7 years on your credit report


  1. A Chapter 13 case requires repayment on some or all of your debts
  2. A Chapter 13 plan will usually require that your payments be made pursuant to an Employer Deduction Order
  3. Chapter 13 cases usually run 3 to 5 year years and you (and your money) will be under the Bankruptcy Court’s supervision during that time
  4. You cannot incur new debt while you are under Chapter 13 unless you get the Bankruptcy Court’s permission beforehand
  5. You cannot sell or dispose of assets while you are under Chapter 13 unless you get the Bankruptcy Court’s permission beforehand
  6. You cannot retain or use credit cards while you are under Chapter 13
  7. You cannot settle claims against third parties while you are under Chapter 13 unless you get the Bankruptcy Court’s permission beforehand.


We are here to help you navigate the ins and outs of the bankruptcy laws – please contact us for a friendly, free consultation.