Attorney Lorraine Raymond puts the law to work for her clients
The law firm of Lorraine Raymond has been serving Hamilton County and the surrounding region for 26 years. Raymond focuses primarily on personal bankruptcies, specifically Chapters 13 and 7, but also handles other areas such as divorce, child support, custody, wills and some criminal matters.
“I do a lot of personal bankruptcies. In most cases, people are stressed and embarrassed of the fact that they are in debt, but after the initial interview they leave much less anxious,” Raymond said.
Raymond said she prides herself on helping people and being personable first and foremost. She added that it is her job to take the stress away and that the federal bankruptcy program is designed to help people who are in debt and who cannot find an easy way out.
Lorraine Raymond has served the Chattanooga area for 26 years.
“One of my favorite parts of my job as a bankruptcy attorney is seeing my clients smile with relief after finding out there is help for them and that they don’t have to bear the weight of all that debt by themselves,” she said.
Raymond explained that Chapter 13 bankruptcy is designed to pay back creditors while at the same time allowing people to keep their car or house. The financial aspects are set up based on how an individual is paid by his or her employer.
“Even people who have retired can be eligible for Chapter 13,” Raymond said. “The main thing is that there must be regular income.”
Chapter 7, on the other hand, is often referred to as “total bankruptcy,” according to Raymond. This is where all debt, excluding child support, alimony, guaranteed student loans and most income taxes, are eliminated. However, there are exceptions to Chapter 7, which include the option to keep one’s car or house as long as payments are current on them, Raymond said.
My job is to let the client know what those exceptions are and whether or not they can do a Chapter 7,” she added.
Divorce and custody issues are two other types of cases in which Raymond is available to assist her clients and help them work through the issues at hand. Most of the time, Raymond noted, Hamilton County judges will require a couple who is seeking a divorce to undergo mediation first before going to divorce court, but only if there are contested issues in the divorce.
“It is always better if the parties have a say in resolving those issues than to have a judge who knows very little about the case decide for you,” she said.
Even if both parties can agree on everything, Raymond added, divorces can be stressful, but she strives to make her clients’ experience as easy and stress free as possible.
It is this desire to help people that led Raymond to Chattanooga after travelling all over Tennessee prior to settling down in the Scenic City 26 years ago. She grew up in northern Illinois and graduated from the law school of Southern Illinois University in 1986, but grew tired of the cold weather and flat terrain.
“I currently live in North Chattanooga and I love the commute across the river to my office off of Ringgold Road,” she said.
While Raymond cannot give legal advice over the phone, she does offer free consultations at her office at 3335 Ringgold Road, Suite 105. Additionally, Raymond offers a flat fee of $65 for the preparation of wills.
Lorraine Raymond’s office can be contacted at 423-305-0384 or online at www.lawchattanooga.com.
Tip of the week:
“I do a lot of personal bankruptcies. In most cases, people are stressed and embarrassed of the fact that they are in debt, but after the initial interview they leave much less anxious.”
— Attorney Lorraine Raymond