Default [Q] Soft bricked my encrypted phone and I can't factory restore or flash new ROM

While installing the most recent update to my encrypted SG3-L710, the phone restarted and while booting up remained stuck on the blue/white Samsung logo.

-After removing the battery and attempting to get around this several times it appeared that the update had soft-bricked my phone. I was never prompted to put in my passcode to undo the encryption.

-I am able to access CWM Recovery and, being that the only significant thing I would lose are my contacts so I attempted to perform a factory restore which was unsuccessful. It appeared the error indicated it was the /sd_card and /data folders posing the problem.

-I attempted to mount and unmount the /sd_card and /data folders which was unsuccessful, formating them also did not work.

-I downloaded Odin and the PIT file as my last hope. I attempted to flash the stock ROM to the phone and hopefully wipe the old ROM from the system. Odin also encountered problems with the /sd_card and /data and was not able to progress past that point. Now I am attempting it a second time to obtain the specifics and it's stuck on "<ID:0/004> Send lock information...".

Any ideas on how to be able to bypass the encryption and wipe my phone so I can flash a new ROM on this?

I've been working on this problem for almost two days now and I would greatly prefer not having to send my phone into Samsung and spend $100 to do this for me! Thanks ahead of time, bear in mind I'm new to this and might be a bit slow.