Filing Bankruptcy Articles
Bankruptcy Hearings – In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the trustee can bring forward a list of objections and may petition to have your case dismissed. Your bankruptcy attorney can help you formulate a plan that is feasible for both you and your creditors.
Bankruptcy Laws – Bankruptcy laws are complex and differ between the types of bankruptcy that can be filed. Naturally, people in a position to file bankruptcy will benefit from consulting with an experienced bankruptcy lawyer. Before filing bankruptcy, you should understand as much as possible about bankruptcy laws and how they may affect you.
Car Repossession – If you fail to pay your car payment as agreed, your lender has the right to repossess your car. However, filing for bankruptcy may help prevent that — or, it may help prevent you from owing what is left on the car after they sell it at auction. Talk to a bankruptcy attorney for more information.
Chapter 13 – A Chapter 13 bankruptcy can help you pay your creditors back in a way that is manageable and affordable for you. Learn more about these 3-5 year repayment plans based on your income by talking to a bankruptcy lawyer.
Chapter 7 – Not everyone qualifies for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, but if you do, it’s possible to have some or all of your debts wiped clean. A bankruptcy attorney can help you determine if you’re eligible and how to move forward with this type of bankruptcy.
Credit Counseling – If you file for bankruptcy, you are required to complete a credit counseling course prior to the completion of your case. Credit counseling focuses on your income, budgeting, and your debt. You may benefit greatly from this course and can use your newly learned skills to start fresh after bankruptcy.
Creditor Violations – If you are contacted by a creditor after filing bankruptcy, they may be in violation of the law. Contact a bankruptcy lawyer to find out what your next move should be.
Debt Relief – If you’re struggling with debt, you’re not alone. A bankruptcy attorney can help you get the debt relief you need so you can start over with a clean financial slate.
Debt Settlement – A debt settlement may allow you to settle a bill for less than you owe by agreeing to pay the lesser amount in a single lump sum. Learn how to negotiate a debt settlement with the help of a bankruptcy lawyer.
Exemptions – Filing bankruptcy doesn’t mean the court will liquidate everything you own. Certain assets are exempt, like your home and your car. Learn what is and isn’t exempt and why you need an experienced bankruptcy lawyer to make sure you’re listing your exemptions properly.
Foreclosure – If you’ve been notified of your home lender’s intent to foreclose, you may be able to keep your home through filing bankruptcy. However, it’s important that you act quickly and contact a qualified bankruptcy attorney as soon as possible.
Garnishments – Some creditors, like student loan servicers or the IRS, have the power to garnish your wages if you are behind on payments. Bankruptcy may be able to help you stop wage garnishments and set up a reasonable payment plan.
General Advice – Being overwhelmed with debt can be exhausting, especially when your creditors are calling you nonstop trying to collect payment that you just don’t have. At CMC Law, we provide a wealth of advice to individuals struggling with their finances but who may not know what legal options are available to them. When you consult with a bankruptcy lawyer at our firm, we can help you determine what the best path is to recover from surmounting debt according to your unique situation.
Keeping Car in Bankruptcy – Many people think that when you file bankruptcy, your car is taken away, even if it is the only thing you have of value. In most cases, this isn’t true. A car is usually considered exempt from liquidation because it’s your primary means of transportation. If you have more than one car or an antique car, you may have to surrender it. However, bankruptcy court isn’t likely to take your only means to get to work, school, the grocery store, and more.
Keeping Home in Bankruptcy – Contrary to popular belief, you can usually keep your home during bankruptcy. Along with your car and other necessary living expenses, your home is generally considered exempt. Whether you file for a Chapter 13 or a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, a bankruptcy court typically won’t force the sale of your home. Luxury items like boats, jewelry, and other property may be liquidated, but you are highly unlikely to be left to find a new home after filing for bankruptcy.
Lawsuits – Some creditors have the ability to file a lawsuit against you in order to compel payment from you. Typically, this is only the case with entities like the IRS or student loan and credit card providers. If you are being sent to collections over medical bills or unpaid utility bills, these creditors generally don’t have the right to file a lawsuit against you. However, if you do find yourself subject to a lawsuit, it’s important that you have adequate legal representation from a seasoned bankruptcy attorney.
Reaffirmation Agreements – When you do keep property after a bankruptcy, like your home or car, you need to sign a reaffirmation agreement. This means you agree to remain the responsible party for the debt and to continue making payments. Typically this means you enter into a new contract and submit it for approval to the bankruptcy court, but in order to do so, you must be current on the payments for the existing contract.
Student Loans – Student loans are rarely dischargeable, even under a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. They’re protected by federal law and only in very unique circumstances can they be discharged. However, during bankruptcy, you may be able to negotiate a lower payment to help you better meet your financial obligations with the resources you have available to you. If you file for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, discharging other debts can help you secure the funds to be able to make your student loan payments. In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, your student loan payment is lumped in with your agreement, which is based on how much you can afford.
Taxes – Tax debts are another federally protected debt and it’s extremely difficult to get them discharged except in rare circumstances. The same situation applies with taxes as it does student loans — you will likely have more money to pay your taxes once you’ve had other debts discharged under a Chapter 7. In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you may be able to negotiate a lower monthly payment once you analyze your debt to income ratio.
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