Debt Relief Attorney Serving Clients in Northwest Indiana
Struggling with debt is difficult no matter what the circumstances might be, and many consumers in Indiana deal with seemingly insurmountable debt as a result of job loss, medical bills, mounting credit card payments, and high-interest rates. You should not have to live paycheck-to-paycheck while still being unable to pay your bills.
There are numerous options for debt relief under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, and an experienced Lake County debt relief attorney can discuss those options with you today. By filing for bankruptcy, you can stop creditor contact and harassment, stop wage garnishment, prevent repossession of your car, and avoid foreclosure. We will tell you more about debt relief in Northwest Indiana.
How Chapter 7 Bankruptcy can Help Debtors in Lake County
One of the most common forms of debt relief for individuals is Chapter 7 bankruptcy. This is known as a “liquidation bankruptcy,” which means that all non-exempt assets will be liquidated in order to repay creditors. Once your non-exempt assets have been liquidated, you can be eligible for a bankruptcy discharge. This means that your dischargeable debts will be wiped out, and you will have a fresh start. Most debts are dischargeable, but some examples of debts that cannot be discharged include support obligations, personal injury lawsuit damages, and certain tax debt.
The following are just some of the debt relief benefits of filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy:
- Automatic stay, which prevents debt collectors from continuing to collect or filing a lawsuit against you once you file for bankruptcy;
- You can keep exempt property under Indiana law, which includes a $15,000 homestead or personal property exemption; other real estate or personal property totaling up to $8,000; pension benefits, unemployment compensation, and workers’ compensation benefits; and
- Get a fresh start with a bankruptcy discharge, which means you will no longer owe any debt.
To be eligible for Chapter 7 bankruptcy as an individual, you will need to pass the “means test,” which is a test that shows your income and assets are low enough that it makes sense for you to be eligible for a bankruptcy discharge through a liquidation bankruptcy. A Lake County bankruptcy lawyer can say more. If you cannot pass the means test, you can still obtain debt relief through Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
Lake County Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Benefits
Chapter 13 bankruptcy is known as a “reorganization bankruptcy.” Rather than liquidate all non-exempt assets, debts are reorganized and the debtor comes up with a repayment plan through which to repay creditors over the course of two to five years. Once the terms of the repayment plan are up, the debtor can receive a discharge of all remaining debts.
In some cases, even if a debtor can pass the “means test,” Chapter 13 bankruptcy is preferable. It comes with many of the same debt relief benefits as Chapter 7, such as the automatic stay and an eventual discharge. Yet there are two particular benefits that only come with Chapter 13:
- Stop foreclosure on your home and get caught up on mortgage payments through the repayment plan; and
- Avoid repossession of your automobile or other secured property, and keep the property by getting caught up on payments with your repayment plan.
Contact a Debt Relief Attorney in Lake County
Do you have questions about debt relief and personal bankruptcy? A debt relief lawyer in Lake County can help. Contact Schmidt Whitten & Whitten for more information.
Schedule A Free Consultation
At Schmidt Whitten & Whitten, we offer a free consultation during which we will examine the facts of your case and advise you on how best to proceed