Joe Charter, Attorney at Law

  • I specialize in these areas of law:
  • Bankruptcies, Foreclosure Defense, and Loan Modifications
  • Real estate transactions (also: easements, construction defects, leases and purchase agreements)
  • Family law (mediation, uncontested divorces, adoptions, prenuptial agreements, and domestic partnership agreements)

I have been assisting debtors to obtain debt relief under the Bankruptcy Code for more than 10 years.  Because I have handled cases in a number of areas, such as family law (divorce) real estate, foreclosure, and collections, I am knowledgeable in how those areas of law can impact the decision of whether and when to file for bankruptcy.  Some large out of town firms might try to talk you into a Chapter 13 plan because it will generate larger fees for them. Conversely, other firms advertise that they “just do Chapter 7s.”  What you want is someone to tell you which type of bankruptcy is right for you, without any preconceptions. In some cases, it may not make sense to file for bankruptcy at all; for example if you have few assets and your source of income is exempt, like Social Security. I have sued the banks to stop foreclosure when the client wants to stay in their home and avoid bankruptcy. I have attended Max Gardiner’s “Bankruptcy Bootcamp” course and have helped more than 100 local residents with bankruptcy, foreclosure, and collections issues since the beginning of the recession and foreclosure crisis.

QUESTIONS you might have:

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Real Estate Transactions

Often our homes and property, after our families and jobs, are the most precious things to us.  I have previously held an active real estate license and can guide you through the details of a purchase or sale transaction.  I have both drafted agreements to create easements and tried court cases to preserve the right and value of easement access.  I have litigated numerous cases regarding defective construction workmanship and fraudulent real estate investments.  During the foreclosure crisis, my primary emphasis has been advising clients regarding loan modifications, predatory lending, and their options when facing foreclosure.  Real estate law is often complex and fraught with traps for the unwary.  Before making a major and costly economic decision, you may want to first obtain some seasoned legal advice.  MORE

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Family Law

Dissolution of Marriage (Divorce)

What are the grounds for divorce?
Oregon has adopted the concept of no-fault divorce, making it generally unnecessary to prove cruelty, adultery, etc. , in order to obtain a divorce. An allegation that you and your spouse have developed irreconcilable differences will suffice.  MORE

Mediation is an alternative

There is a better way to separate or divorce without destroying your children, yourself, your spouse, and your finances through an unpredictable and inherently contentious court process . Few families that go to war in divorce court emerge without everyone suffering painful wounds and scars. I have been a mediator since 1996. I have been a coach for divorce mediation training at Southern Oregon University and participated in numerous mediation trainings. As a divorce attorney, I have seen first hand how the litigation process hardens positions, reduces communication, increases animosity, and produces unpredictable or arbitrary outcomes. Even if you are not able to settle all issues in your divorce, you will be better off the more issues you can come to agreement on.  MORE

Domestic Partnerships

If you live with your partner without being married, you must take certain legal steps if you want to make sure that you and your partner have rights and obligations similar to those that married couples have. A partnership contract can be used to establish the rights and duties of each person in the relationship.  MORE


The act of adopting a child establishes a parent-child relationship between a child and an adult or adults who are not the biological parents. An adoptive parent takes on the same rights and responsibilities as the biological parent. When a child is adopted, the birth parents’ rights are terminated and the adoptive parents become the child’s legal parents. Adoption is permanent. Because adoption affects important parental rights, these cases can be procedurally complicated and you may discover great benefit from getting competent legal advice and representation.  MORE

MORE about family law


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Justice of the Peace
I can perform weddings as Jackson County Justice of the Peace either at my office in Ashland ($75) or at your chosen location ($100). I am willing to perform weddings during evenings and weekends, depending on my schedule. The bride and groom need to first obtain a marriage license from any county clerk in Oregon.  MORE…

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Please feel free to call us during normal business hours (Monday through Friday: 9am to 5pm, Pacific Standard Time) to set up an appointment: 541-488-9556.

If you’d like more detailed information, please email our office () and we will send a PDF document with more detail as an attachment in an email. When you contact us, please make sure to include your name and the area of our legal services that interest you the most. NOTE: We will NEVER give or sell your name or email address to any third party for any reason. We will only use your email address to provide additional, no obligation information.

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