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Our bankruptcy attorneys will help you decide if bankruptcy is the correct decision for your particular situation.
We will be your partner and guide you through the bankruptcy lawsuit and handle the debt relief process for the best results.
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What is Chapter 7 bankruptcy?
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is known as straight bankruptcy as well as liquidation (converting assets into money) and it is the most common form of bankruptcy. Most, if not all debts are discharged within months of your attorney filing a bankruptcy petition.
Can I own anything after bankruptcy?
Yes, it is possible to own assets after bankruptcy. The bankruptcy process does not necessarily involve the sale of all of an individual’s or business’s assets. In most cases, certain assets are protected, or “exempt,” from being sold to pay off debts. The types of assets that may be exempt vary depending on the state in which the individual or business resides and the type of bankruptcy being filed.
Some common examples of exempt property may include:
- A certain amount of equity in a primary residence
- Personal property, such as clothing and household furnishings
- Retirement accounts, such as 401(k)s and IRAs
- Tools of the trade, such as equipment and inventory needed for a business
It is important to note that not all assets may be exempt, and an individual or business may be required to sell or surrender some assets as part of the bankruptcy process. However, in most cases, individuals and businesses are able to keep at least some of their assets after bankruptcy.
It is advisable to seek the advice of a bankruptcy attorney if you are considering filing for bankruptcy, as they can help you understand the exemptions available in your state and determine the best strategy for protecting your assets.
Can I file for bankruptcy twice?
How long does bankruptcy process take?
The length of the bankruptcy process depends on the type of bankruptcy being filed and the individual’s or business’s specific circumstances.
In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, also known as a “liquidation” bankruptcy, the process typically takes three to six months from the date the bankruptcy petition is filed. If the individual or business has any non-exempt assets that need to be sold to pay off their debts, the process may take longer. Once the bankruptcy is complete, the individual or business is typically granted a bankruptcy discharge, which releases them from the obligation to pay certain debts.
In a Chapter 11 bankruptcy, also known as a “reorganization” bankruptcy, the process can take several months to a few years, depending on the complexity of the case. During the Chapter 11 bankruptcy process, the business remains in operation and works with the bankruptcy court to develop a repayment plan to pay off a portion of its debts over time. Once the repayment plan is complete, the business is typically granted a bankruptcy discharge.
In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, also known as a “wage earner’s” bankruptcy, the process typically takes three to five years from the date the bankruptcy petition is filed. During this time, the individual creates a repayment plan to pay off their debts according to the terms of the plan. Once the repayment plan is complete, the individual is typically granted a bankruptcy discharge.
It is important to note that bankruptcy is a complex process and the length of time it takes can vary depending on a variety
How do I pay for bankruptcy attorney?
There are several ways to pay for a bankruptcy attorney. Some options may include:
Flat fee: Some bankruptcy attorneys may charge a flat fee for their services. This means that the attorney will charge a set amount for representing the client throughout the bankruptcy process, regardless of the amount of time or work required.
Hourly fee: Other bankruptcy attorneys may charge an hourly fee for their services. This means that the attorney will bill the client for the time they spend working on the case, at a predetermined hourly rate.
Retainer: Some attorneys may require the client to pay a retainer fee upfront. The retainer fee is typically a deposit that is held in a trust account and used to pay the attorney’s fees as the case progresses. The client may be required to replenish the retainer as needed.
Payment plan: Some attorneys may offer a payment plan to help clients pay for their services. The payment plan may involve making regular payments to the attorney over a period of time.
It is important to note that the cost of hiring a bankruptcy attorney can vary widely depending on the complexity of the case and the attorney’s hourly rate. It is advisable to shop around and get quotes from several attorneys before making a decision. It may also be helpful to ask about payment options and whether the attorney offers any discounts or financial assistance to clients who are struggling to pay their fees.
What is Chapter 13 bankruptcy?
Chapter 13 bankruptcy, also known as a “wage earner’s” bankruptcy, is a type of bankruptcy available to individuals who have a regular income and who wish to reorganize their debts. Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows the individual to create a repayment plan to pay off their debts over a period of three to five years.
To qualify for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the individual must have a regular income, and their debts must fall within certain limits. The individual must also have enough disposable income to make the payments outlined in the repayment plan.
In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the individual’s assets are not typically sold to pay off their debts. Instead, the individual works with the bankruptcy court to develop a repayment plan that outlines the amounts and schedules for paying off their debts. The repayment plan must be approved by the bankruptcy court and may include payments to unsecured creditors, such as credit card companies and medical providers, as well as secured creditors, such as mortgage lenders and car loan lenders.
Once the repayment plan is approved, the individual is required to make the payments outlined in the plan, typically through the bankruptcy trustee. At the end of the repayment plan, any remaining dischargeable debts are typically discharged (cancelled).
Chapter 13 bankruptcy can be a good option for individuals who are struggling with debt but want to keep their assets, such as a home or a car. It can also be a good option for individuals who are behind on their mortgage or car payments and want to catch up on missed payments. A bankruptcy attorney can provide guidance and support to help individuals understand the benefits and limitations of Chapter 13 bankruptcy and determine if it is the right option for their specific situation.
What can filing bankruptcy do?
Filing for bankruptcy can provide an individual or business with relief from their debts and a fresh start financially. When an individual or business files for bankruptcy, they are essentially seeking relief from their debts through the bankruptcy court. The bankruptcy process allows the individual or business to reorganize or eliminate their debts according to the terms of the bankruptcy code.
There are several types of bankruptcy available to individuals and businesses, including Chapter 7, Chapter 11, and Chapter 13. Each type of bankruptcy has its own specific requirements and consequences, and it is important for individuals and businesses to understand the options available to them and the potential consequences of each before deciding to file for bankruptcy.
Some of the potential benefits of filing for bankruptcy may include:
Stopping creditor harassment: When an individual or business files for bankruptcy, an automatic stay goes into effect. The automatic stay is a legal order that prevents creditors from taking any action to collect a debt, such as garnishing wages or repossessing property. The automatic stay provides temporary relief from creditor harassment and allows the individual or business to focus on their financial situation.
Discharging debts: Depending on the type of bankruptcy being filed, some or all of the individual’s or business’s debts may be discharged (cancelled). This means that the individual or business is no longer legally required to pay the debts and the creditors are no longer able to take action
What is bankruptcy discharge?
A bankruptcy discharge is a legal order issued by the bankruptcy court that releases an individual or business from the obligation to pay certain debts. When a debt is discharged, it is no longer legally enforceable, and the creditor is no longer able to take action to collect the debt.
Not all debts are eligible for discharge in bankruptcy. Some types of debts, such as most taxes, student loans, and child support payments, are generally not dischargeable. Other types of debts, such as credit card debts and medical bills, are generally dischargeable in bankruptcy.
The process of obtaining a bankruptcy discharge varies depending on the type of bankruptcy being filed. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, also known as a “liquidation” bankruptcy, the bankruptcy trustee is responsible for selling the individual’s or business’s non-exempt assets to pay off their debts. If the individual or business does not have any non-exempt assets, their debts may be discharged without the need to sell any assets.
In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, also known as a “wage earner’s” bankruptcy, the individual creates a repayment plan that lasts for three to five years. At the end of the repayment plan, any remaining dischargeable debts are typically discharged.
It is important to note that a bankruptcy discharge is not automatic and must be granted by the bankruptcy court. The bankruptcy discharge process can be complex, and it is advisable to seek the advice of a bankruptcy attorney if you are considering filing for bankruptcy.
Can I keep my bank account after bankruptcy?
It is generally possible to keep a bank account after bankruptcy, but it may depend on the specific circumstances of the individual or business and the terms of their bank account agreement.
During the bankruptcy process, the individual’s or business’s assets may be reviewed to determine which assets are exempt (protected) and which assets may be sold to pay off debts. In most cases, a bank account may be considered an exempt asset, depending on the state in which the individual or business resides and the type of bankruptcy being filed.
However, it is important to note that bankruptcy can have an impact on an individual’s or business’s credit rating and financial reputation, and this may affect their ability to maintain a bank account. Some banks may choose to close an account or place restrictions on an account if the individual or business has a low credit score or a negative financial history.
It is advisable to speak with the bank and seek the advice of a bankruptcy attorney if you are considering filing for bankruptcy and have concerns about the impact it may have on your bank account. The attorney can help you understand the potential consequences of bankruptcy and help you take steps to protect your assets.
Do I have another choice instead of bankruptcy?
Yes, there are alternatives to bankruptcy that may be available to individuals and businesses who are struggling with debt. Some options may include:
Debt consolidation: Debt consolidation involves taking out a new loan to pay off multiple debts, such as credit card debts or medical bills. The new loan is typically at a lower interest rate than the individual’s or business’s existing debts, which can make it easier to pay off the debts over time.
Debt management plan: A debt management plan involves working with a credit counseling agency to develop a plan to pay off debts. The credit counseling agency may be able to negotiate lower interest rates and fees with the individual’s creditors, which can make it easier to pay off the debts.
Debt settlement: Debt settlement involves negotiating with creditors to pay off a portion of the debt in exchange for the creditor agreeing to consider the debt paid in full. Debt settlement can be a risky option, as it may have a negative impact on the individual’s or business’s credit rating and may result in legal action by the creditor.
Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA): An Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) is a legal agreement between an individual and their creditors that allows the individual to pay off their debts over a period of time. An IVA is typically used by individuals who have a regular income and are able to make some payments towards their debts, but need a more structured repayment plan.
It is important to note that each of these alternatives has its own benefits and limitations, and it is advisable to seek the advice of a financial professional or a bankruptcy attorney to determine the best option for your specific situation.