Bankruptcy Lawyers Near Me
Most people have heard of bankruptcy but never considered it as a debt-relief option for themselves. You might think that bankruptcy is reserved for large corporations or celebrities, but in reality, regular consumers file the most bankruptcy cases. Bankruptcy can help many households facing debts for a variety of reasons. Never hesitate to discuss the bankruptcy process and your options with an experienced bankruptcy lawyer near you.
How Bankruptcy Works
Bankruptcy is a legal process created by the United States Bankruptcy Code. The process allows qualified individuals, married couples, or businesses to eliminate debts they cannot pay through a court order called a “discharge.” A discharge states that you no longer have any obligation to pay the debts you previously agreed to, and creditors should not try to collect any additional payment from you.
How you obtain a discharge will depend on the type of bankruptcy you file:
Chapter 7 – As the most popular type of bankruptcy, Chapter 7 discharges your debts in the fastest manner (usually four to six months) and without much obligation from you. Chapter 7 cases might require you to give up some non-exempt property in exchange for the discharge, though most people have little to no non-exempt property that is vulnerable. Small businesses can also benefit from Chapter 7 if they are looking to liquidate everything and close their doors without remaining debts.
Chapter 13 – This is a longer, more complex process available to consumers who might not qualify for Chapter 7 due to higher income or who have too much non-exempt property. Chapter 13 requires you to make monthly payments to the bankruptcy court for three to five years, and the court will allocate funds to your priority creditors. After you complete the payment plan, you can obtain a discharge, and no property is ever vulnerable. While a repayment plan might not seem attractive, it can be highly beneficial in many situations, including if you have mortgage arrears.
The type of bankruptcy you file will depend on your circumstances, and you should discuss this decision in detail with a bankruptcy attorney.
Who Should File for Bankruptcy?
While bankruptcy helps thousands of people each year, it is not the right choice for everyone. When you contact a bankruptcy attorney, the first step is for them to evaluate your situation and advise whether this is the right course of action for you. An attorney should consider:
- The nature of your debt
- Whether you have enough income to pay anything toward your debts
- How bankruptcy would impact your credit
- Whether bankruptcy might help stop a foreclosure or repossession
- Your property and assets in relation to available exemptions
This is a complicated decision that is not to be taken lightly, so you always want a professional helping you reach the decision to file for bankruptcy.
Learn More from a Bankruptcy Lawyer Near You
If you’re drowning in debts and cannot see a way to get ahead, you are not alone. Contact the office of Kevin M. Schmidt, Attorney at Law, to discuss bankruptcy as a possible solution. Contact us for more information.
Schedule A Free Consultation
At the Law Office of Kevin M. Schmidt, P.C., we offer a free consultation during which we will examine the facts of your case and advise you on how best to proceed