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Highland Bankruptcy Attorney

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Highland Bankruptcy Attorney

This quiet Lake County township has been touched by Presidential greatness twice in its long history. In 1927, Calvin Coolidge gave the keynote address at the grand opening of Wicker Park, which is on the city’s west side. Years later, a few days before his 2008 election, Barack Obama held a rally in this same park which drew over 40,000 people. Times changed between 1937 and 2008, but family finances have not changed much. Then as now, families experience job loss, divorce, illness, and other financial storms, which, in many cases, drive them beneath the rolling waves.

The experienced Highland bankruptcy attorneys at Whitten & Whitten have been helping families like yours since 2002, well before President Obama’s visit. Then, as now, filing for bankruptcy is usually much more involved than submitting paperwork. Only an attorney gives distressed debtors solid legal advice and helps them through a challenging period. Furthermore, only an attorney can stand up for your rights in court and speak for you during pretrial negotiation sessions.

Debt Relief Options 

Most people qualify for Chapter 7 debt elimination bankruptcies and Chapter 13 repayment plan bankruptcies. Some non-bankruptcy options are available as well.

All bankruptcy filers must take a pre-filing debtor education class and a post-filing budgeting class. These brief, inexpensive classes are usually available online. 

Chapter 7 filers must pass the means test. Their incomes must be below the statewide average for that family size. As of November 1, 2022, for an Indiana family of four, that figure is $95,002 per year. If you are marginally above that line, a Highland bankruptcy attorney can often use your family’s monthly income and expenses to qualify. If you are substantially above that line, you probably do not need to file Chapter 7. Other options, such as Chapter 13, are usually available. 

Chapter 13 filers must be under a debt ceiling. Usually, this ceiling is about $2.2 million in home mortgage and other secured debt and about $400,000 in credit card bills and other unsecured debts. 

At Whitten & Whitten, we also offer non-bankruptcy debt negotiation services. Pretty much all financial terms, including the payment amount, interest rate, and even the UPB (unpaid principal balance), are negotiable. An attorney is a good negotiator as well as a good litigator. Additionally, the threat of filing bankruptcy, when used as a negotiating tool, may be more effective than actually filing bankruptcy.

Bankruptcy Basics 

The Automatic Stay, asset protection, and debt relief are the three pillars of a consumer bankruptcy case in the Hoosier State. 

Usually, as soon as debtors file their voluntary petitions, Section 362 of the Bankruptcy Code prohibits most creditor adverse actions, such as:

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

Generally, the Automatic Stay remains in full effect throughout the bankruptcy repayment period. More on that is below.

Additionally, only bankruptcy shields your most important possessions from creditor seizure and liquidation. Exempt assets in Indiana include:

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

These are just the formal exemptions. Our Highland bankruptcy attorneys often use informal exemptions, such as the best interests of creditors rule, to maximize your fresh start.

Finally, bankruptcy offers debt relief. Chapter 7 discharges most unsecured debts in as little as nine months. Chapter 13 gives distressed debtors up to five years to erase secured debt delinquency, such as past-due home mortgage payments, and other allowed claims, such as past-due alimony or child support payments. Neither public nor private creditors can harass debtors during their protected repayment periods.

Contact a Tough-Minded Lake County Attorney 

No matter what financial problems you’re experiencing, bankruptcy could be a way out. For a free consultation with an experienced bankruptcy attorney in Highland, contact Whitten & Whitten. Convenient payment plans are available.

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