Find Bankruptcy Lawyer

Find Bankruptcy Lawyer

Bankruptcy Law

A ruinous debt can arise from nowhere. A previously unknown health condition flaring up, an emergency situation, a devastating car accident. When these things happen, your financial life can begin a slow descent into the void. But not everything is as bleak as it may seem. The process of bankruptcy was created to give people like you the opportunity to start again. To wipe clean the slate and begin a better way. And with an experienced attorney, that process of starting over can be the prelude to a longer, more fiscally secure life.

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Salomon & Aquino, LLC

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A Complicated Process of Rebuilding

There are two forms of bankruptcy that most individuals will be able to file with: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Both of these formats are named for the section in the bankruptcy code in which they appear and each one features certain benefits and drawbacks.

The best option for understanding which chapter of bankruptcy is best for you to file is to discuss your options with an experienced bankruptcy attorney.

Chapter 7

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the bankruptcy classification that focuses on discharging debts and liquidating assets to pay off creditors. Using this chapter, your assets are completely liquidated to pay off the debts in their entirety.

To file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you will need to file the necessary petitions and documentation which prove that you cannot pay off your debts. A misfiling here is considered fraud and so it is vital that you file these documents accurately. For best results, an attorney should be consulted to ensure the process was completed correctly.

After your paperwork is filed, an impartial trustee is appointed to sell all of your non-exempt assets in order to pay off the debt owed. This can include vehicles, equity in a home, or personal property. Some debts will be discharged during this process and some debts can be kept in order to preserve the property being lost. For example, in order to avoid losing the family car, you may want to reaffirm your car loan debt.

The Chapter 13 bankruptcy classification is the most complex form of bankruptcy. This is because rather than simply liquidating all of your assets to pay off debt then and there, Chapter 13 bankruptcy instead restructures the debt into a payment plan. If you have an attorney, they will be able to negotiate the terms of this plan and could get a more favorable arrangement for you.

You will be bound to this payment plan for three to five years. After the payments are made for this period, there is the possibility that these debts may be discharged completely even if they are not repaid. For best results, an attorney should be consulted and retained prior to beginning the chapter 13 process. As in Chapter 7 bankruptcy, any misfiled forms which fail to disclose assets properly will constitute fraud.

Helping You Find Justice

A bankruptcy attorney can be an invaluable asset to help navigate the minefield of disclosures and exemptions. Bankruptcy attorneys assist with debt elimination, help construct repayment plans, file all necessary paperwork, provide counsel during hearings, navigate property liquidation, and assist with other financial liability processes. With the help of an experienced bankruptcy attorney, you may find that you can keep more of your property, or discharge debts that you thought were inescapable. If you need a bankruptcy attorney, Attorney at Law can find the best one in your area.

With our nationwide network of the finest attorneys and law firms, AAL is the best resource for people looking for excellent legal representation. At AAL, our driving force is ensuring you receive help from attorneys who are guaranteed to pursue your case to its fullest potential and earn the best possible outcome for you.

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Bankruptcy Frequently Asked Questions

1. What happens when I file for bankruptcy?

When you file for bankruptcy, the process will depend on which chapter you are seeking protection under. In general, individuals will file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Chapter 7 is referred to as “straight bankruptcy” while Chapter 13 is known as “wage earner bankruptcy.”

 

In general, the process of Chapter 7 bankruptcy involves liquidating your assets, assessing your debts owed, and resolving as many of the debts as possible with the assets you have. Depending on the circumstances of the bankruptcy, you may be able to retain some property under Chapter 7. 

Chapter 13 bankruptcy has a similar process of assessing debts owed and amassing assets owned, but Chapter 13 aims to create a payment plan to reorganize debt rather than simply selling all possessions to pay off the debts. Most processes in bankruptcy are handled by the trustee on your behalf.

2. When should I file for bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy is designed to assist people whose finances have collapsed either due to bad luck or bad decisions. The most common reason for bankruptcy is high levels of medical debt. When debt becomes overwhelming and it seems impossible to pay it off, bankruptcy can offer a way out. A common rule of thumb is that if the debt cannot realistically be paid off in five years, then bankruptcy should be considered.

3. How long does bankruptcy stay on my credit report?

How long a bankruptcy filing can stay on your credit report varies depending on the chapter of bankruptcy filed for. Chapter 7 bankruptcy stays on your record for up to a decade. By contrast, Chapter 13 bankruptcy stays on your record for seven years. For other forms of bankruptcy, the amount of time that a bankruptcy stays on your credit can vary.

4. What are the downsides of filing for bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy is not a perfect solution to the problems of insolvency. While personal bankruptcy chapters are a useful last-ditch effort to stop the onslaught of debt, there are significant drawbacks to consider.

First, bankruptcy proceedings are not free. There are administrative and court costs that can impede your ability to utilize it. Second, bankruptcy will drag down your credit score for up to a decade after filing. Third, bankruptcy can take many of your assets, but not all debts can be discharged through bankruptcy. These downsides are important to consider before filing for bankruptcy.

5. How many times can I file for bankruptcy?

There is no hard limit on how many times you can file for bankruptcy. Instead, each chapter of bankruptcy has a window that limits when they can be filed for again. For example, if you successfully file for and are granted relief under Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you will not be allowed to petition for Chapter 7 bankruptcy again for eight years. A successful Chapter 7 bankruptcy will also prevent you from filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy for four years.

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