Many homes around the United States were abandoned during the last housing bubble. People who declare bankruptcy after leaving one of these homes will still be responsible for those properties and their debts. Bankruptcy law states that those who own such properties known as zombie mortgages will still be liable for those properties.

Zombie mortgages often develop because owners were unable to pay off the charges associated with them. This is especially commonplace among properties that declined in value. The worst part is that these properties were never foreclosed upon even though the lenders attached to these homes could have done so.

You will be held liable for the charges associated with zombie mortgages if you file for bankruptcy and your name is attached to any of these properties. You will still be interpreted as the owner of that property, thus requiring you to place it into your declaration. Remember, the foreclosure process might have never actually taken place, thus meaning that you must still pay off the charges associated with the mortgage.

Foreclosure Zombie

There are many crucial concerns that must be understood when looking at this aspect of bankruptcy law so you can be fully prepared before getting a case taken care of the right way:

  • You may still be held liable for cleanup and maintenance costs associated with your property. This comes as you have your name removed from the old property provided that you follow the proper filings. This comes as the bankruptcy may allow you to remove the property from your name but you will still have to pay for charges to repair it so it can be offered on the market once again.
  • Old property taxes that you failed to pay off may be added to your filing. The total charges you’ve dealt with in this instance may not be fully covered in some cases.
  • There are times when the property may not even be included within your bankruptcy filing, thus meaning that you are still liable for expenses associated with it. This comes from the value of that property potentially having declined to where adding it to your filing would result in next to nothing.

You must be cautious when getting a bankruptcy filing prepared in the event that you abandoned a property in the past for any reason. Remember that just because you have abandoned a property does not mean that you will no longer be liable for the expenses that you incurred on this space.

Anyone could see that becoming a criminal defense lawyer is very rewarding and lucrative. However, one should also consider all the job duties, licensure requirements, and the degree programs associated with becoming a criminal defense lawyer. Once reviewing all of these details, one can accurately make an assessment in determining whether or not becoming a criminal defense lawyer is the right career path for him/her.


When staring to pursue a career as a criminal defense lawyer, a bachelor’s degree must be earned first of all. Much emphasis is not taken on what major one should take in obtaining a bachelor’s degree. However, certain courses, such as English, debating, strategic, and analytical courses, will be very beneficial, since these types of tools will be greatly utilized as a criminal defense lawyer.  Once a bachelor’s degree is earned with at least a certain level of grade point average (GPA) earned, the aspiring criminal defense lawyer must complete three years of law school with the American Bar Association accreditation. The criminal defense lawyer candidate must attend the law school for three years with a specialty in criminal defense resulting in the J.D. degree. This means a total of seven years of education is required to be a criminal defense lawyer, in which good grades, and the acquisition of communicative, analytical, investigative, and research skills are all required to be a good criminal defense lawyer.  Once this is all obtained, the aspiring criminal defense lawyer must take and pass the state’s bar exam.  For the admission to the bar association, a written exam along with an ethics exam must be completed.  Additionally, even though there is no national bar exam, most states use the Multistate Bar Exam (MBE).  The criminal defense lawyer must be licensed with the state.  For states that do not use the MBE, the Multistate Essay Examination (MEE) is normally used in those cases.  The MBE lasts for six hours, and the MEE lasts for three hours.


Upon earning all the requirements, the person is now licensed in the state as a criminal lawyer.  They can be hired by any level of government as public defenders, or they can be hired by a private and established firm. Some criminal defense lawyers decide to have their own legal office.  Additionally, if hired by the government, they are appointed when required. Otherwise, organizations or individuals will contact them for consultation and hiring.


If the criminal defense lawyer decides to own their own office and they are just starting out, they will have to market themselves so that potential clients will know of them and their services. This is the only way to start acquiring business.


Becoming a criminal defense lawyer, as previously mentioned, is rewarding and lucrative. Normally, the starting pay is around $70,000, and according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for these types of lawyers is $114,300. However, along with the all the years of schooling, becoming licensed, and possessing certain required skills,  the criminal defense lawyer main tasks that include research, trials, etc. They also work way beyond 40 hours per week many times.  If a person would love to be a criminal defense lawyer after considering all of the requirements and daunting tasks associated with this career, then he or she will be up for the job.

There are over a million criminals defense lawyers in the US in which most of them have proven to be very reputable criminal defense lawyers.  So many of these attorneys take their jobs very seriously with utilizing so much vigor, stamina, and determination, and most of them have at least some level of experience in the criminal defense field. These attorneys are so dedicated that they work tirelessly throughout the night and weekends a lot, so it’s fairly easy to find more reputable criminal defense lawyers. The question is who is the right criminal defense lawyer for self or for a loved one.


In deciding which criminal defense lawyer is right for the situation, the first thing is to do research on potential lawyers-for-hire. It’s important to check on reviews, their websites, their public record, and to check with word of mouth. And of course, it’s vital to make sure there are great reports of him/her concerning how reliable, knowledgeable, and trustworthy, he or she is.  Another thing that should be done is to get consultation of potential criminal defense attorneys. This is crucial because the client would be able to get a fuller evaluation of the lawyers to determine who will be a good fit. If they are good, they will be straightforward concerning the whole ordeal, even though the reality may be painful, and they will provide possible solutions to the ordeal. Also, if accusation is related to breaking a state law, hiring a state attorney is in order- not a federal attorney. It is also important to determine whether or not the criminal defense lawyer has an experience track record in cases that are similar to the client’s situation.  Having a spectacular two-way conversation with sheer openness and trust are very crucial to have, so it’s imperative to keep that in mind when choosing the right attorney.  This means that the client must be frank in order for the criminal defense lawyer to utilize very chance possible in winning the case, or at least get as mild as a punishment as possible.  He or she must be a great communicator to the court, the client and the client’s family. Additionally, it’s imperative to hire a criminal defense lawyer who belongs to the state and county bar association. They will be even more qualified, if they also are with the ABA’s Criminal Justice Section, or the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. Some large cities and states have the Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, which is an excellent place to start in choosing the right attorney. Other than that, other considerations to consider when choosing the right attorney include the following:


  • Being licensed with good standing in the state
  • Having several years of experience in criminal defensive law
  • Having tons of great client and/or peer reviews
  • Length of service in criminal law
  • Many great case outcomes
  • Legal awards


When hiring a lawyer of such magnitude, families can have the best level of confidence that is allotted in knowing that their cases will be handled in the best way possible.  It’s easy to find the more reputable criminal defense lawyers around. Especially when it comes to oneself or one’s loved ones, it’s of utmost importance to get the best one possible for the situation.