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Our bankruptcy attorneys have the knowledge and experience you need.
Unexpected life events can put you into financial distress. Uncontrollable events such as unemployment, divorce lose or a medical emergency, can have devastating financial effects that cause the bills to pile up. Needless to say, this adds to your existing stress especially if collectors are calling and demanding money you don’t have! Filing for bankruptcy may be the best option for you. Each bankruptcy chapter has distinct advantages that meet the needs of the person filing for bankruptcy. Chapter 7 provides the consumer with an elimination of debt and a fresh start to begin again either debt-free or virtually debt-free, while Chapter 13 can be used to stop a foreclosure or prevent a repossession of property while giving the consumer time to develop a workable plan for repayment of debts through a structured repayment plan over three or five years.
Types of Bankruptcy
An attorney will advise you as to your different options within bankruptcy and which may be best for you. The following are the primary options:
- Chapter 7 bankruptcy is primarily designed for low-income filers, although higher income individuals may also file depending on their income and qualified expenses. You must meet a means test to satisfy the income eligibility guidelines and an attorney will assist you in determining your eligibility depending on your income and expenses.
- Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows you to pay back your debts in part or whole via a three or five year structured repayment plan. Therefore, you must have a steady source of income to fund the repayment plan and qualify for Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy is often the best option to resolve problems with a mortgage and stop the threat of foreclosure.
Regardless of which type of personal bankruptcy you file, there are several requirements as part of your bankruptcy application:
- You must complete a government-approved credit counseling session and financial management course which can be done on line or over the phone.
- You must fill out and file a bankruptcy petition and any appropriate schedules.
- You must provide information about all of your assets, income and debts.
- You must attend a meeting of creditors which is a hearing with your court appointed Trustee to answer questions about your bankruptcy petition, finances and assets.
- Whether you file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you will also have to prove your income, identify all assets, including business assets, if any, and declare exemptions on your assets, including your home, as applicable under the law.