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The Frison Firm, LLC.
Promenade II,
Suite 1900
1230 Peachtree Street
Atlanta, Georgia 30309
Office: 404.942.4330

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Bankruptcy

Can I file for bankruptcy on my own?
Without the help of an experienced bankruptcy attorney, I would say that you are destined to create more problems than you will solve. Since 2005 Bankruptcy laws have become so complex that it is even dangerous for the casual lawyer who does not practice in this area to attempt to file a bankruptcy for a client without some specialized training.

When you want bankruptcy done right, you go to an experienced attorney. I have that experience. We Pride ourselves in providing great, quality services at reasonable cost, and as a result, we enjoy a steady stream of referrals from satisfied customers. While the information presented on this website is accurate as of the date of publication, it should not be cited or relied upon as legal authority. It should not be used as a substitute for reference to the United States Bankruptcy Code (title 11, United States Code) and the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure.
Do both husband and wife have to file?
NO. In many cases, where husband and wife both have a lot of debt, it makes sense and saves money for them to both file, but it is never a 'requirement' under the law. In many situations, there is no good reason at all for the second spouse to file. In these situations, we just file the spouse who needs the help, however we will have to count the non-filing spouse's income.
Can I pick and choose which debts and property to list in your bankruptcy?
NO. Doing so would be against the law. Under the law, when you file bankruptcy, you have to list all your property and all your debts. Most people want to leave out a debt because it is their intent to keep paying on it. The good news is that you can achieve the same goal, even though you have to list the debt. If you want to keep paying on a debt after bankruptcy you can.

After bankruptcy, you can go back and pay anybody you want. In fact, after you file bankruptcy, there are some debts you have to keep paying on. For instance, if you have a car, truck or house loan, even though you list the debt in your bankruptcy, if you want to keep the car, truck or house, you have to keep paying on the debt. More importantly, and you need to know this, as long as you stay current on the loan and keep the property properly insured, you are protected under the law and you get to keep the property.
How do I make payment into my bankruptcy?
A Chapter 13 repayment plan is simply a method by which you pay your consumer debt through the protection of the United States Bankruptcy Court. Thus, payments are made through the Court system. If you receive a paycheck from your job, the payments will be taken out of your paycheck and sent to your Trustee. If you are self employed, you will have to make the payments yourself.

The first full monthly payment is due thirty (30) days after filing with the Court. The thirty days begin from the date of filing. The filing date is located in the upper right hand corner of the notice sent by the Court informing of Court hearing date and the name of your Trustee. Lastly, if there are questions about date of filing, contact the Law Office of Lee Frison at (404) 942-4330 for assistance.
Will my bankruptcy payments come out of my paycheck?
The first monthly Chapter 13 repayment is due thirty days after filing. Often, the payroll deduction cannot be set up in time to make your first full monthly payment. Therefore, pay close attention to paycheck, and if a deduction for the payment is not reflected on your pay stub, then you are responsible for getting the money to the Trustee in the form of a money order or personal check. Obviously, when the automatic deduction begins you will no longer have to worry about making personal payments.
When do I have to go to court?
You MUST attend a meeting of the creditors. This meeting normally takes place about thirty (30) days after filing your case. You will receive notice of the date in the mail from the Court about a week after you file. Bring check stubs showing payroll deduction(s) and a money order for any payments not covered by the payroll deduction, as outlined above, as well as PICTURE ID AND SOCIAL SECURITY CARD. If you have a vehicle that is financed, you MUST also bring proof of FULL COVERAGE INSURANCE.

A COPY of the hearing notice from the court should be received at the address that was provided on the front of your petition. The notice will tell the date of your creditor's hearing and confirmation hearing.

If you HAVE NOT received a notice within fifteen (15) days of the date of filing, or you do not understand the notice you received, contact THE FRISON FIRM at (404) 942-4330 and we will assist you.

If you are sick on the day of your creditor's meeting and cannot attend, send a COPY of the doctor's excuse to THE FRISON FIRM and we will TRY to obtain a reset of the hearing. This MAY NOT be possible. Therefore, you are advised to make every effort to attend the originally scheduled hearing.

If you do miss the first hearing and we are able to obtain a reset, then it is your responsibility to contact our office at (404) 942-4330 to obtain the date of your reset hearing. Additional notices will not be sent, therefore, YOU must contact THE FRISON FIRM at (404) 942-4330.
Do I have to make my first mortgage payments?
Chapter 13 repayment plans only include the mortgage payments that were due BEFORE you filed. You must pay all future mortgage payments (1st mortgage, 2nd mortgage and 3rd mortgage, if applicable) directly to the mortgage holder(s).

For example, if your case is filed on September 2nd, ONLY the mortgage payments due before September 2nd can be included. In addition, the due date is measured from the date the payment is first due (this DOES NOT include the grace period), before the payment is considered late. In the above example, ALL mortgage payments due AFTER September 2nd would have to be paid by you DIRECTLY to the mortgage company.
Do I have to make my second mortgage payments?
A second mortgage is treated just like the first mortgage. If the second mortgage payment falls due after the date of filing your case, then you have to make the mortgage payment directly to the mortgage holder.
Are my child support payments included in the bankruptcy?
There are very few "definite" and MANY "maybes". The ONLY definite is that you MUST make ALL child support payments that arise AFTER filing your petition directly to whomever the payments are normally sent. In other words, FUTURE CHILD SUPPORT PAYMENTS ARE NOT INCLUDED in the plan payment and MUST be paid by you. So, does that mean that ANY child support obligations that arose before the filing of the petition can be included? MAYBE. The problem with this area centers upon the fact that many past due child support payments result in our clients being held in CONTEMPT OF COURT by local judges. Whether your situation is one that could place you at risk of being held in contempt and sent to jail is much too complex to answer in this guideline.

If you are of the opinion that an attorney has assured you that filing Chapter 13 will guarantee that you cannot be found in contempt due to child support, such assurances are virtually impossible to give under any circumstances involving child support; past, present, or future. Contact THE FRISON FIRM at(404) 942-4330
What about my car lease payments?
A car or any vehicle LEASE CANNOT be included in a Chapter 13 repayment plan. This often causes confusion because a car PURCHASE IS included in the plan. For this reason it is extremely important that we be informed if your car payment is a lease.

Fortunately, even though the car LEASE CANNOT be included in the plan we CAN INCLUDE lease payments that you WERE BEHIND on at the time of filing. In other words, a car LEASE IS TREATED LIKE A MORTGAGE.
Do I have to pay bounced checks, criminal fees or probation payments?
CRIMINAL FINES and PROBATION PAYMENTS are CRIMINAL IN NATURE and are NOT affected by a Chapter 13 petition, which is a civil proceeding. Checks that are returned for insufficient funds or closed accounts often result in CRIMINAL LIABILITY. Chapter 13 plans are powerless to stop CRIMINAL PROSECUTION for bad checks. WE DO list the checks in your petition and assure the holders of the checks that they will receive full payment in the Chapter 13 plan. However, they do not have to wait and can proceed against you criminally and collect through the criminal court system.

Therefore, if you are contacted by either the holders of the checks or local authorities, you are well advised to resolve this matter yourself by paying the money.
What about my timeshare?
In most cases, any interest in timeshare property is surrendered and removed from your budget. However, if you are RETAINING a timeshare then it must be treated like a MORTGAGE and MORTGAGES MUST BE PAID DIRECTLY TO THE MORTGAGE holder and CANNOT be included in your plan payment.
What happens to my credit union loan?
All debts, including credit unions must be disclosed to the Court. Unless the loan is a CAR LEASE or MORTGAGE it MUST BE included in your plan. That is true even if they are taking the credit union payment out of your payroll check.
Do I need to keep insurance on my car?
ALL vehicles that are financed through your Chapter 13 plan MUST HAVE FULL COVERAGE INSURANCE. Simply having liability coverage is insufficient. In addition LEASED VEHICLES although paid directly by you MUST ALSO have FULL COVERAGE INSURANCE. FAILURE TO HAVE FULL COVERAGE INSURANCE on the vehicle, whether leased or purchased WILL RESULT IN LOSS OF THE VEHICLE
How do I know what's going on while I am in my chapter 13 case?
The Trustee that is responsible for your case maintains a website that you can access at any time. Just go to www.13datacenter.com and set up a user name and password. You will be able to see every dollar that has been paid into your case and every dollar that has been paid out. This website is important for many reasons. First, by dividing your monthly payment into the total amount of claims listed in the "balance owed" column, you can determine the exact number of months that your plan will run. Although the website is normally correct, occasionally a creditor will file a claim for more than you owe. If you see a claim that looks as if it may be incorrect then you need to inform us as soon as possible.

Another area of concern with the reports is that they may not show a claim from a secured creditor. This omission could indicate that the secured creditor never filed a claim in your case. In most cases, it is to your advantage to have ALL SECURED CREDITORS FILE CLAIMS. If the creditor HAS NOT filed a claim then they WILL NOT be paid by the Chapter 13 plan. If they ARE NOT paid then the creditor RETAINS THE RIGHT TO REPOSSESS WHATEVER COLLATERAL to which they have a security interest. If you look at your report and you DO NOT see ALL of your secured creditors listed along with their amounts of claim PLEASE call us. If you cannot make phone contact with us, then you need to schedule an appointment and come into the office.

Personal Injury

Why do I need to consult with an attorney?
All insurance companies representing the person(s) at fault for your injuries will have at their disposal a team of adjusters, investigators and attorneys working to limit your damages and just compensation. The insurance company's goal is to pay you the least possible to settle your claim. They are trained professionals who have years of experience and training in denying and minimizing injured parties claims. You need the assistance and guidance of an experienced and professional attorney to protect your interests and help ensure that you, the injured party, receive full and fair compensation for your injuries.
When should an attorney be hired?
As a person who might have a potential claim, you should retain an attorney as soon as possible after you have been injured. It is important to know now that after being seriously injured in an accident, or at the hands of a medical professional, you are immediately placed at a legal disadvantage. While you are in the process of dealing with your injuries, the party at fault has notified her or his insurance company and put them on notice. The insurance company's adjuster being experienced begins to immediately investigate and process your potential claim.

It is important that you do not talk to anyone hired by the insurance company prior to consulting an attorney. This will ensure that your legal rights are protected.
Is the hiring of a personal injury attorney expensive?
Our fee arrangement includes no charge for personal consultation, we do not charge retainer fees, in fact, we will advance all costs to pursue your claim.
What damages am I entitled to recover?
When asked this question we respond by informing the client that there are several factors or types of damages which one can recover in a personal injury claim. We are responsible for reviewing each factor, consider your specific claim, and obtain the appropriate just and fair compensation from the insurance company.

The basic types of damages are as follows:
a. Loss of income;
b. Loss of future earning capacity;
c. Recovery of medical expenses you incurred for treatment of your injuries and the possibility of future medical expenses;
d. Pain and suffering; and
e. Past and future loss of enjoyment.

There may be other damages you are entitled to as a result of your injuries
When do I need to make a claim for personal injuries?
The time you have for filing a claim will vary. However, the statute of limitations for most personal injury claims is two (2) years in the State of Georgia.
Does is matter that I wait to make a claim for personal injuries?
Yes. If you wait too long and fail to properly file a lawsuit within the time allowed by law, you will not be able to recover damages for your injuries and be forever barred from recovering.
If I do file a claim will it settle quickly?
That depends. However, there is no definite period of time that determines when a case should be settled because every case has its own unique facts and legal circumstances. While we are fully aware of our clients desire to have their claims resolved as quickly as possible, if our opponents will not come to terms and settle your case on a basis that you find acceptable, we pledge that we will take your case to trial and seek the collective determination of a jury.

Workers' Compensation

What is Workers' Compensation?
Workers' compensation is an accident insurance program paid by your employer which may provide you with medical, rehabilitation and income benefits if you are injured on the job. These benefits are provided to help you return to work. It also provides benefits to your dependents if you die as a result of a job related injury.
When am I covered?
Workers' Compensation coverage begins the first day of employment. Employers with three or more employees are required by law to provide coverage.
What is considered an on-the-job injury, illness and death claim?
Any injury, illness or death arising out of and in the course of employment is by definition a compensable work-related claim. This means if employees are injured while performing assigned job duties during assigned work hours, they are covered under the workers' compensation program. Injuries sustained while engaging in unassigned duties, during lunch and breaks, are not covered. In addition, injuries that occur during an employee's normal commute to and from work are not covered.
Can I receive from my employer, money damages in addition to workers' compensation benefits if I am injured on-the-job?
No. Workers' compensation is the "exclusive remedy" a worker has against his/her employer for damages resulting from an on-the-job injury. However, if another party other than your employer was responsible for your injury or it was caused by a defective machine, then you can pursue your claim against the responsible party or the manufacturer.
What income benefits are available under the Workers' Compensation Program?
The Workers' Compensation Statute provides four basic income benefits. The maximum amount of weekly workers' compensation benefits an employee can receive from an on-the-job injury, illness or death depends on the workers' compensation rate at the time of the injury and the employee's average weekly wage. Benefits cannot be combined. Only one type of benefit is payable at a time.

Temporary Total Disability (TTD) Benefits - This benefit is payable to an employee who is injured on-the-job and unable to work as determined by the authorized treating physician. The amount is two-thirds of the employee's average weekly wage at the time of the injury, not to exceed the maximum allowed under law. For non-catastrophic injuries, there is a limit of 400 weeks of benefits from the date of injury if the injury occurred on or after July 1, 1992. For catastrophic injuries, benefits are unlimited.

Temporary Partial Disability (TPD) Benefits - This benefit is payable to an employee when he/she returns to work in a job paying less as a result of an on-the-job accident. These benefits are payable for up to 350 weeks from the date of injury. This lost wage amount is two-thirds of the difference between the employee's average weekly wage before and after the injury. The maximum amount payable cannot exceed the maximum amount allowed under law.

Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) Benefits - This benefit is payable to the employee for a permanent disability resulting from an on-the-job injury. It is payable based upon a percentage given by your authorized treating physician in accordance with current AMA Guidelines. The percentage is calculated by a formula that contains number of weeks assigned by the State Board x the percentage rating x the TTD rate. Not all injuries result in ratings assigned by a physician.

Death Benefits - This benefit is payable to eligible dependents (i.e. dependent spouse, minor children) of an employee whose on-the-job injuries result in death. This benefit is payable at the rate of two-thirds of the deceased employee's average weekly wage at the time of the accident not to exceed the maximum allowed under the law for all eligible dependents. Funeral expenses are payable up to the maximum allowed under the law at the time of injury.
Are there any expenses that I incur that will be reimbursed to me?
The Workers' Compensation Statute provides for reimbursement of certain reasonable personal expenses incurred to obtain medical treatment. This includes such things as mileage, meals, lodging and other expenses, in limited instances that are deemed necessary and appropriate in order to ensure you receive quality medical care.

Be sure to use the Mileage and Parking Reimbursement form to record your expenses. You must also keep your receipts for all expenses incurred, such as parking.
THE FRISON FIRM represents clients throughout Georgia, including those in Downtown and Midtown Atlanta, Decatur, Alpharetta, Duluth, East Point, Lilburn, Stone Mountain, Lithonia, Covington, Clarkston, Peachtree City, Marietta, Conyers, Dallas, Savannah, Brunswick, Smyrna, Jonesboro, Lawrenceville, Sandy Springs, Buckhead, Gainsville, Athens, Austell, Carrollton, Macon, McDonough, Newnan, Norcross, Riverdale, Rockmart, Roswell, Stockbridge, Villa Rica and all cities within Fulton County, Dekalb County, Cobb County, Rockdale County, Gwinnett County, Bibb County, Whitfield County, Clarke County, Richmond County, Chatham County, Muscogee County, Floyd County, Houston County, Dougherty County, Clayton County, Carroll County, Henry County and Lowndes County.