Inexpensive Bankruptcy Lawyer
Bankruptcy ~ Low Fees ~ Payment Plans!
Upon receipt of your call we can explain your options including Chapter 7 & 13.
Stop Foreclosure - Save Your Home — Filing for bankruptcy can prevent mortgage lenders from pursuing foreclosure agasintn your home. Withr Chapter 13 bankruptcy, debt can be reduced into a manageable payment plan, stopping unsecured interest, which can lower your monthly mortgage payment and permit you to keep your home.
Stop Repossession - Get Your Car or Truck Back - Lower Your Payment — Filing for bankruptcy gives you automatic stay protection, which prevents repossession creditors from taking your car or truck If you act quickly, bankruptcy can even get your repossessed car or truck back — and get a lower monthly payment.
Stop Wage Garnishment - — Garnishment is a court ordered proceeding that forces your employer to withhold a substantial portion of your wages and deliver that money to the creditor.
You lose the ability to decide how to spend your earned income, and your employer learns far too much about your financial hardship. Bankruptcy stops the garnishment preventing inconvenience and embarrassment.
Stop Credit Card Debt - Repair Your Credit — As your debt income ratio increases, your credit score decreases. In response, lenders charge higher interest rates and tighten your credit. Filing for bankruptcy actually turnhsw around these rations as you proceed to take the necessary steps to re-build your credit.
Stop Creditor Harassment - — By filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, the bankruptcy court provides an automatic stay protection. This means that after this action is taken, creditors can not call you, can not take certain legal actions agaisnt you't contact you directly and can only attempt to take actions through the bankruptcy court. The automatic stay provision effectively halts harassing phone calls and other collection activities. If creditors violatge this court order, you may be able to instiute a suit against the creditor for damages for damages.
Keep Your Possessions — Many people think that filing for bankruptcy forces you to sell your property. This is false. Bankruptcy helps you exempt important items including your house, your car, truck, pension, tax returns and cash.
If late expenses, default charges and enthusiasm on your obligations is keeping you from realistically paying down your obligations on a month to month premise bankruptcy may be the main practical choice for you. Our office has picked up involvement in speaking to a huge number of purchasers and business since 1973 with low fees and payment plans. There is not a viable replacement for experience.  : As we are touchy to the way that your time is profitable, we have night and weekend arrangements. At your starting arrangement we will survey your genuine circumstance and clarify your insolvency alternatives, and in addition your non liquidation choices to you. If another choice may be more advantageous than chapter 11 we will likewise completely disclose those choices to you.
Your Creditors Do Not Want You To Be Aware of These MISCONCEPTIONs:
MISCONCEPTIONs about chapter 11 are the bill collectors' closest companion. For whatever length of time that you continue trusting all the baloney about chapter 11 your lenders know they can keep on beating without end at you. They know they are in an ideal situation in the event that they keep you out of the loop. In the event that they can keep you trusting the falsehoods, they can keep you and your family binded owing debtors. They need to keep you paying, paying and paying month in month out, year after year�.for whatever remains of your life. They need to unnerve you into paying.
MISCONCEPTION 1: You Will Never Get Credit Again.
Not True. Actually the exact inverse is true. You are in a superior position to get credit after you record, than if you don�t document. After you have finished your liquidation you are sans obligation! Your obligation to salary proportion is superb. There are no reprobate bills wrote about your credit any more. There are no more bills or bill authorities enduring to hop of the woodwork and chomp you like a snake.
The majority of clients' FICO ratings shoot up more than 100 points in the first year after the filing�Like the bankruptcy never happened. One client experienced a separation and had a lot of debt and two repossessions. In less than two years after the fact he could buy another condominium.
MISCONCEPTION 2: Filing Bankruptcy Means You are a Bad Person.
Incorrect. Documenting insolvency implies that you are acting mindfully to take control of your life because you are a decent individual, and to begin fresh. Everybody needs to pay their bills and everybody needs to deal with their family and furnish them with the things they require. But if you can't do both, which is more critical? Your family, obviously, and liquidation liberates you from debilitating obligations and provides funds to better deal with your obligations.
Putting your family first is responsible and doing as such means you are a decent individual.
MISCONCEPTION 3: You Will Lose Everything You Have
False. As long as your case is appropriately handled you won't lose property. That is the reason for advice: to legitimately survey your particular circumstances and build up a suitable estate.
Once in a while a customer will choose to surrender certain property, for example, a venture property that is losing cash, or an old auto, however that is entirely a client�s decision.
The laws give exceptions to protect your property, for example, a Homestead exclusion for your home.
There are exceptions for your auto, IRA, truck, tools, 401k, annuity, adornments, disaster protection, financial balances and individual harm claims. There is likewise a special case exception that you can apply to any property you pick.
MISCONCEPTION 4: The Whole World Will Know about your Bankruptcy
In fact, nobody will know. with the exception of the people population you tell. Chapter 11 data is not distributed in daily papers or anyplace else.
MISCONCEPTION 5: Filing Bankruptcy is Too Expensive
Not with us: for the most part, we charge lower expenses than different legal counselors in light of the fact that our expenses are less because of efficiencies. We have chapter 11 down to a science. Also, we give you individual one-on-one-consideration.
In particular, we don't charge you for duplicates. We don't charge by the hour. We don't charge you for telephone calls or anything of the sort. When we have assessed your particular circumstances, we will let you know precisely what we can accomplish for you and what we can't do, and what it will cost before we start. No secrets. We accuse low level expenses of installment arranges and place it in composing.
MISCONCEPTION 6: If You�re Married, Both Spouses Must File
Not true. It�s never a prerequisite under the law. On the off chance that one life partner has every one of the credits in his or her name, it would not bode well for the other life partner to document. Much of the time where both the spouse and the wife have a great deal of obligation, it benefits them two to record together.
Entirely your call, yet the primary concern is we can petition for the companion that needs the assistance and leave the other life partner totally out of it.
MISCONCEPTION 7: Even If You File Bankruptcy, Bill Collectors Will Still Harass You
Not at all.; As soon as your case is filed, the Bankruptcy Court issues a directive restricting your leasers from making any further move against you. It is a restraining request and it has a name: the programmed stay. The programmed stay is powerful and in engages the full weight of The United States Federal Court to work for you, to guarantee that your creditors leave you alone.
Indeed, if a bank violates the programmed stay, you have the privilege to convey the loan boss to Court to answer for Contempt of Court Charges.
YOu will find that the tables turn once you file for bankruptcy. There will be no more telephone calls, no repossessions, or claims or forfeitures! No more dangers.
MISCONCEPTION 8: It�s Really Tough To File Bankruptcy
Not when you have the right law office. With our firm, we handle the whole process. We assume full liability and we treat you reasonably. We have taken care of a large number of insolvencies than some other firm in Maryland abd this is no mishap. We are requesting of our paralegals and of ourselves, and we get a constant flow of referrals from fulfilled customers.
MISCONCEPTION 9: Only Deadbeats File For Bankruptcy
Incorrect. The vast majority of our customers who file bankruptcy are honesrt peope who file only after months or years of attempting to pay their bills. It is one of the most mindful, positive, fair and respectable steps you can take to seize control of your family�s future wellbeing.
It is not your fault that you were saddled with overpowering debt as a result of a life-changing event, such as illness, divorce, business reversals or because of dishonest moneylenders with usurious loan fees.
MISCONCEPTION 10: Under The New Bankruptcy Law, There Is No More Help.
Untrue. Trying to attract viewers, the news media sensationalized the entire story. Without a doubt, the new law really expanded the advantages of filing bankruptcy.
This chapter 7 is about liquidating all your non-exempt property.
In chapter 7, the trustee sells your non exempt property and uses the money to pay creditors. Frequently debtors have no non-exempt property. In this case, the debtor retains all his or her property.
However, potential debtors should realize that the filing of a petition under chapter 7 could result in the loss of property.
Remember, however, that chapter 7 will not let you avoid paying car loan or a mortgage. Those obligations must be paid, even in chapter 7, in order to keep the property. If a debtor is behind on a car loan or a mortgage, chapter 7 is not appropriate. A chapter 7 bankruptcy case does not include a plan for repayment. Instead, the bankruptcy trustee collects and sells the debtor's nonexempt property and uses the proceeds of to pay creditors in accordance with the provisions of the Bankruptcy Code.
Chapter 7 Eligibility
To qualify for relief under chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code, the debtor may be a partnership, an individual, or a corporation or other business entity. One of the primary purposes of bankruptcy is to discharge certain debts to give an honest individual debtor a fresh start. The debtor has no liability for discharged debts. In a chapter 7 case, however, a discharge is only available to individual debtors, not to partnerships or corporations. Although an individual chapter 7 case usually results in a discharge of debts, the right to a discharge is not absolute, and some types of debts such as student loans are not discharged. Moreover, a bankruptcy discharge does not extinguish a lien on property such as an attachment or execution unless the bankruptcy court issues a specific order regarding the lien.
The Chapter 7 Discharge
A discharge stops collections against the debtor. Since a chapter 7 discharge is subject to many exceptions, debtors should meet with an attorney before filing to discuss the consequences of the discharge. Usually excluding cases that are dismissed or converted, individual debtors receive a discharge in most instances in chapter 7 cases. In most cases, unless a party in interest files a complaint objecting to the discharge or a motion to extend the time to object, the bankruptcy court will issue a discharge order relatively early in the case, usually two to three months after the date first schedules for the meeting of creditors.
The grounds for denying an individual debtor a discharge in a chapter 7 case are narrow and are construed in the debtor's favor, usually. Among other reasons, the court may deny the debtor a discharge if it finds that the debtor: failed to keep or produce adequate books or financial records; failed to explain satisfactorily any loss of assets; committed a bankruptcy crime such as perjury; failed to obey a lawful order of the bankruptcy court; fraudulently transferred, concealed, or destroyed property that would have become property of the estate; or failed to complete an approved instructional course concerning financial management.
Secured creditors may retain some rights to seize property securing an underlying debt even after a discharge is granted. Depending on individual circumstances, if a debtor wishes to keep certain secured property such as an automobile, he or she may decide to reaffirm the obligation. A reaffirmation is an agreement between the debtor and the creditor that the debtor will remain liable and will pay all or a portion of the money owed, even though the debt would otherwise be discharged in the bankruptcy. In return, the creditor promises that it will not repossess or take back the automobile or other property so long as the debtor continues to pay the debt.
If the debtor decides to reaffirm a debt, he or she must do so before the discharge is entered. The debtor must sign a written reaffirmation agreement and file it with the court. The Bankruptcy Code requires that reaffirmation agreements contain an extensive set of disclosures. Among other things, the disclosures must advise the debtor of the amount of the debt being reaffirmed and how it is calculated, and that reaffirmation means that the debtor's personal liability for that debt will not be discharged in the bankruptcy. The disclosures also require the person in debt to execute and file a statement of monthly income and expenses which shows that the balance of income paying expenses is sufficient to pay the reaffirmed debt. If the balance is not enough to pay the debt to be reaffirmed, there is a presumption of undue hardship, and the court may decide not to approve the reaffirmation agreement. Unless the debtor is represented by an attorney, the bankruptcy judge must approve the reaffirmation agreement.
An individual receives a discharge for most of his or her debts in a chapter 7 bankruptcy case. A creditor may no longer initiate or continue any legal or other action against the debtor to collect a discharged debt. But not all of an individual's debts are discharged in chapter 7. Debts not discharged include debts for alimony and child support, certain taxes, student loan debts, judgments for torts, student loans, and debts for certain criminal restitution orders. The debtor will continue to be liable for these types of debts to the extent that they are not paid in the chapter 7 case.
The court may revoke a chapter 7 discharge on the request of the trustee, a creditor, or the U.S. trustee if the discharge was obtained through fraud by the debtor, if the debtor acquired property that is property of the estate and knowingly and fraudulently failed to report the acquisition of such property or to surrender the property to the trustee, if the debtor fails to provide documents, or if the debtor without a satisfactory explanationor makes a material misstatement.
How Chapter 7 operates
In order to provide the debtor complete relief, the Bankruptcy Code allows the debtor to convert a chapter 7 case to a chapter 11, 12 or 13 case as long as the debtor is eligible to be a debtor under the new chapter. However, a condition of the debtor's voluntary conversion is that the case has not previously been converted to chapter 7 from another chapter. Thus, the debtor will not be permitted to convert the case repeatedly from one chapter to another.
A chapter 7 case begins when a debtor files a petition with the regional bankruptcy court. Debtors must also provide the trustee with a copy of tax return or transcripts for the most recent tax year. Individual persons in debt with primarily consumer debts have additional document filing requirements. They must file a credit counselling certificate, and pay stubs received 60 days before filing. A married couple may file a joint petition or two individual petitions. Even if they are filing jointly, a husband and wife are subject to all the document filing requirements of individual debtors.
The courts charge a fee of $335, which can be paid in installments or, in certain circumstances, waived.
The Bankruptcy Code allows an individual debtor to protect some property (that is, to claim it as exempt) from the claims of creditors and from the trustee. Many states have taken advantage of a provision in the Bankruptcy Code that permits each state to adopt its own exemption law in place of the federal exemptions. In other jurisdictions, the individual debtor has the option of choosing between a federal package of exemptions or the exemptions available under state law. Thus, whether certain property is exempt and may be kept by the debtor is often a question of state law. The debtor should consult an attorney to determine the exemptions available in the state where the debtor lives.
Filing a petition under chapter 7 automatically stops most collection actions against the debtor or the debtor's property. But filing the petition does not stay all types of actions, such as criminal prosecution, and the stay will be effective only for a limited time. The stay usually requires no action by a judge unless you've filed more than one case in a year. As long as the stay is in effect, creditors generally may not initiate or continue lawsuits, wage garnishments, or even telephone calls demanding payments. The bankruptcy clerk gives notice of the bankruptcy case to all creditors whose names and addresses are provided by the debtor.
Between 20 and 40 days after the petition is filed, the trustee, who is a court officer, will hold a meeting of creditors. The debtor must attend the meeting and answer any questions regarding financial affairs and property. If a husband and wife have filed a joint petition, both must attend the creditors' meeting and answer questions. The case trustee and the US Trustee will review the filing and decide whether a chapter 7 discharge is appropriate.
It is important for the debtor to cooperate with the trustee and to provide any financial records or documents requested. The Bankruptcy Code requires the trustee to ask the debtor questions at the meeting of creditors to ensure that the debtor is aware of the potential consequences of seeking a discharge in bankruptcy such as the effect on credit history, the ability to file a petition under a different chapter, the effect of receiving a discharge, and the effect of reaffirming a debt. Some trustees provide written information on these topics at or before the meeting to ensure that the debtor is aware of this information. In order to preserve their independent judgment, bankruptcy judges are prohibited from attending the meeting of creditors.
Role of the Case Trustee
When a chapter 7 petition is filed, the U.S. trustee (or the bankruptcy court in Alabama and North Carolina) appoints an impartial case trustee to administer the case and liquidate the debtor's nonexempt assets. If all the debtor's assets are exempt or subject to valid liens, such as mortgages, the trustee will normally file a no asset report with the court, and there will be no distribution to unsecured creditors. Most chapter 7 cases involving individual debtors are no asset cases. But if the case appears to be an asset case at the outset, unsecured creditors must file their claims with the court within 90 days after the first date set for the meeting of creditors. A governmental unit, however, has 180 days from the date the case is filed to file a claim. In the typical no asset chapter 7 case, there is no need for creditors to file proofs of claim because there will be no distribution. If the trustee later recovers assets for distribution to unsecured creditors, the Bankruptcy Court will provide notice to creditors and will allow additional time to file proofs of claim. Although a secured creditor does not need to file a proof of claim in a chapter 7 case to preserve its security interest or lien, there may be other reasons to file a claim. A creditor in a chapter 7 case who has a lien on the debtor's property should consult an attorney for advice.
The primary role of a chapter 7 trustee in an asset case is to sell the debtor's nonexempt assets in a manner that maximizes the return to the debtor's unsecured creditors. The trustee accomplishes this by selling the debtor's property if it is free and clear of liens as long as the property is not exempt or if it is worth more than any security interest or lien attached to the property and any exemption that the debtor holds in the property. The trustee may also attempt to recover money or property under the trustee's avoiding powers. The trustee's avoiding powers include the power to: set aside preferential transfers made to creditors within three months before the petition; undo security interests and other prepetition transfers of property that were not properly perfected under non-bankruptcy law at the time of the petition; and pursue nonbankruptcy claims such as fraudulent conveyance and bulk transfer remedies available under state law. In addition, if the debtor is a business, the bankruptcy court may authorize the trustee to operate the business for a limited period of time, if such operation will benefit creditors and enhance the liquidation of the estate.
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© Bruce Lamb, 2015
© Bruce Lamb, 2015