Bankruptcy Lawyer by Me
If you are unable to manage your personal debt, you can have some or all of the debt discharged through bankruptcy. Personal debt includes credit card debt, money owed on a home or vehicle, or medical bill debt. Basically, any debt accrued for non-business purposes may be considered to be personal debt, though certain types of personal debt, such as student loan debt, can be very difficult to discharge through bankruptcy. Others, such as child and spousal support debt, cannot be discharged through bankruptcy.
If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, the first thing to do is to speak with an experienced bankruptcy lawyer to determine all of your options. You might find that there are more effective options available to you. If your lawyer determines that bankruptcy is in your best interest, he or she can help you move forward with the process and avoid pitfalls like filing your case incorrectly and invalidating it through certain transfers or purchases.
Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
There are two types of bankruptcy available to individuals struggling with personal debt: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is also known as liquidation bankruptcy because it involves the sale of all of the filer’s nonexempt assets, such as personal electronics, recreational vehicles, and jewelry, to use the profits to satisfy his or her debt.
With Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the filer keeps his or her assets. Through this type of bankruptcy, the filer works with his or her trustee to repay the debts through a three-to-five-year repayment plan using his or her available disposable income.
What to Know Before you File for Bankruptcy
Each chapter of bankruptcy has specific filing requirements. Both have a filing fee, which is $310 for Chapter 13 and $335 for Chapter 7. If you cannot afford to pay this fee, the court will accept it in installments.
To file for either chapter of bankruptcy, you must complete a mandatory credit counseling session. With both types of bankruptcy, the filer is assigned to a bankruptcy trustee, an employee of the court who oversees the bankruptcy case.
In order to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the filer must pass the Means Test. To file for Chapter 13, he or she must be caught up on his or her taxes for the past four years and demonstrate this through copies of the past four years’ worth of tax returns. Chapter 13 also has debt limits for filers. Individuals with more than $1,184,200 in secured debt and/or more than $394,725 in unsecured debt do not qualify for Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
Work with an Experienced Merrillville Bankruptcy Attorney
If you are struggling with a level of personal debt that you cannot realistically repay on your own, consider filing for bankruptcy to have your debt discharged after completing the bankruptcy process. To learn more about what bankruptcy entails and whether it is an appropriate choice for your case, speak with experienced bankruptcy attorney Kevin M. Schmidt of The Law Office of Kevin M. Schmidt, P.C. Contact our office today to schedule your free consultation.