It may be a business failure, a medical problem from a serious injury or illness not covered by insurance, a divorce or falling behind on credit card payments.
Hardworking people should not have to be destroyed by debt. If you feel like you cannot pay your bills any longer and you need the fresh start, a bankruptcy proceeding is an honorable way to start over and can give you peace of mind.
What kind of Bankruptcy is best for me?
There are currently two forms of bankruptcy used for most individuals: Chapter 7 completely wipes out all dischargeable debts, while Chapter 13 is used to stretch out and reduce the repayment of debts. Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is sometimes known as a “straight” bankruptcy. In most cases when we file a Chapter 7 all of the client’s property is classified as exempt, and kept by the debtor. All debts are completely discharged under Chapter 7 except certain taxes, student loans, alimony, child support and fines. While Chapter 7 is usually the best option for our clients there are circumstances when a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy makes more sense. We will complete a financial asset analysis to determine which option is best for you. We also explore non-bankruptcy ways to deal with debt.
Can I avoid a Bankruptcy?
Sometimes creditors will reorganize debt without the need for a bankruptcy proceeding. If it this option is possible, we will work to avoid a bankruptcy for a client. We will refer clients to organizations which can reschedule and reduce debt, or we can assist clients in negotiating the debt. If bankruptcy is warranted, we can guide you through the process making it easy and in most cases without losing any of your property.
Contact us immediately if you experience the following:
Certain situations require immediate bankruptcy proceedings, such as when the client has had property or bank accounts seized, when a mortgage foreclosure is on the horizon, or when wages are being garnished.
Will I ever rebuild my credit?
Most importantly, after bankruptcy it is possible to re-establish credit. There is a financial life after bankruptcy, provided one acts quickly. We can answer any questions you might have regarding bankruptcy and offer a free phone consolation to see if you are a good candidate for Bankruptcy.
How do I know if I should file for bankruptcy?
This answer varies depending on one’s individual circumstances. It will depend upon the status of your dischargeable debts and the nature of your assets. As a general rule, if your total debt has become unmanageable or if you can no longer meet even periodic payments of your debt, it is time to consider seeking relief the bankruptcy laws will provide.
Will I lose all of my property if I file bankruptcy?*
The answer is no. In bankruptcy law, there are a series of common exemptions that will keep one from losing all of their possessions. Some examples are as follows:
- You are allowed to have an interest up to $7,500 in a motor vehicle and $15,000 if used by an elderly person.
- Personal property and household furnishings may be retained up to a total value of $15,000, as long as one item does not exceed $425 in value.
- If you own a home and you have what is called a homestead on your house, you may select a state exemption that will allow you to retain up to $500,000 in equity in your home and up to $1,000,000 if the debtors are disabled or over 62.
There can also be additional exemptions but these are just a few of the most common.
How does filing bankruptcy affect lawsuits and attachments?
Once a bankruptcy petition has been filed with the court, creditors may not pursue a legal action unless the Bankruptcy Court grants them permission to do so. Usually, if a creditor attaches your home we can void the attachment as part of your bankruptcy.
Under what conditions should both the husband and wife file bankruptcy?
If both spouses have debts in common it makes more sense to file bankruptcy together. Otherwise, creditors may pursue legal actions against the non-filing spouse. Also, it usually does not cost more to do a joint bankruptcy.
What is the role of an attorney in a consumer bankruptcy case?
An attorney will be able to analyze the amount of debt owed as well as the type of debt owed. This will help determine if one actually should file Bankrutpcy or not. If a filing is deemed necessary, an attorney will advise their clients on the form of bankruptcy that should be filed, file a petition and supporting documents with the court, and attend the first meeting of the creditors. The client(s) must attend a lease one creditor’s meeting, which is scheduled by the U.S. Trustee’s office.
Can I eliminate a mortgage by filing bankruptcy?
Under some circumstances a second mortgage can be eliminated by filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy if the house is worth less than the amount of the first mortgage.