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Crown Point Bankruptcy Attorneys

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Crown Point Bankruptcy Attorneys

The Hub of Lake County has a long and interesting history. The Grand Old Lady courthouse and bell tower, which dates back to the 1880s, is now a National Historical Landmark. John Dillinger escaped from jail here in 1934, supposedly with a carved-wood “pistol” he had covered with shoe polish. Adding insult to injury, Dillinger fled the scene in the county sheriff’s new Ford V-8.

Bankruptcy has a long and interesting history as well. Abraham Lincoln declared bankruptcy in 1833. He and a partner had high hopes for a general store, but the store never took off. Creditors seized Lincoln’s surveying gear and a horse, which were his only assets, and he repaid his creditors over the next seventeen years.

Lincoln did not have the benefit of the modern Bankruptcy Code. But an experienced Crown Point bankruptcy attorney from Whitten & Whitten helps your family take full advantage of the Code. Its provisions, some of which are hidden, guarantee distressed debtors a fresh financial start.

Benefits of Bankruptcy

The Automatic Stay and asset protection are probably the two biggest benefits of bankruptcy. These benefits are not available anywhere else.

Section 362 of the Bankruptcy Code makes this federal debt relief program very attractive to people facing adverse creditor actions like:

  • Foreclosure,
  • Creditor harassment,
  • Eviction,
  • Utility shutoff,
  • Repossession, and
  • Wage garnishment.

The Automatic Stay prohibits all these creditor adverse actions and more. Debtors do not have to prove creditor negligence or fault to take full advantage of its provisions. They simply need to file a voluntary petition.

As mentioned, bankruptcy gives families a fresh start. They cannot get fresh starts if they lose most or all their assets. That is why bankruptcy protects important financial assets like:

  • House,
  • Motor vehicle,
  • Retirement account,
  • Personal property, and
  • Government benefits.

The Hoosier State also has a very large wildcard exemption that debtors use to protect additional motor vehicles, cash in a checking account, and other otherwise nonexempt assets.

Kinds of Bankruptcy

Different families face different financial emergencies, which is why different kinds of bankruptcy are available.

Uncontrollable events, like sudden illness and job loss, often create financial emergencies. Medical, credit card, and other unsecured debt quickly piles up in these situations. In as little as nine months, Chapter 7 discharges (forgives) these and other unsecured debts. Almost everyone qualifies for Chapter 7. If their income is above the state average for that family size, a Crown Point bankruptcy attorney typically uses a back door.

These same financial emergencies sometimes cause people to fall behind on mortgage payments and other secured debt obligations. Chapter 13 is ideal for these families. Lincoln repaid his debts over seventeen years. Chapter 13 bankruptcy typically lasts only five years. At the end of this period, the judge discharges any remaining unsecured debt. During these five years, families make income-based payments that erase secured debt arrearage.

Other options may be available as well, like an informal Chapter 20 bankruptcy. Assume Rick filed Chapter 7 to clear student loan debt, but he does not qualify under the complex rules. Many jurisdictions allow Rick to immediately file a Chapter 13. That way, he gets five years to catch up on student loan payments free from creditor harassment.

Rely on a Dedicated Lake County Attorney

No matter what financial emergency you face, bankruptcy could be a way out. For a free consultation with an experienced Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney in Crown Point, contact Whitten & Whitten. We routinely handle matters throughout the Hoosier State.

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