We offer a variety of services. For more information, click the plus and minus signs below to open and close each section.
Whether or not you should file bankruptcy depends on your particular circumstances. It may be that after a consultation with our firm we advise you to resolve your financial difficulties through other means. In some cases, declaring bankruptcy may be necessary. The decision to file for bankruptcy is a serious one and we will help you to make the right choice.
Ten years. The Fair Credit Reporting Act, 6 U.S.C. Section 605 states that credit reporting agencies may not report a bankruptcy case on a person’s credit report after ten years from the filing date of the bankruptcy case.
Chapter 7 – A Trustee is appointed to take over your non-exempt property. Any non-exempt property of value will be sold or turned into money to pay your creditors. You are able to keep all exempt property.
Chapter 13 – You can usually keep your property, but you must earn wages or have some other source of regular income and you must agree to pay part of your income to your creditors. The Court must approve your repayment plan and your budget. A Trustee is appointed and will collect the payments from you, pay your creditors and make sure that you live up to the terms of your repayment plan. This firm does not provide services for Chapter 13 bankruptcies; however, we will assist you in retaining another attorney should you choose this option.
Chapter 11 – This is used mostly by businesses. In Chapter 11, you may continue to operate your business, but your creditors and the Court must approve a plan to repay your debts. There is no Trustee unless the Judge decides that one is necessary.
You are under bankruptcy protection as soon as your petition is filed and a case number is assigned. The moment a petition has been filed an automatic stay, or a court injunction barring any further collection activity against you, goes into immediate effect. In other words, once a petition has been filed, creditors cannot start or continue most legal actions, such as foreclosure, garnishments, or any other collection action. Creditors can, however, seek to have the bankruptcy court allow them to pursue or continue collection actions, but must show cause for doing so.
Yes. Once you file bankruptcy, you are immediately under protection of the court from most creditors. If you provide our office the correct contact information, we will immediately notify the garnishing creditor and collection attorney that you have filed a bankruptcy petition. This will stop garnishments immediately. You may even be able to get garnished monies returned.
The first Meeting of Creditors is required under Section 341 of the Bankruptcy Code and you are required to attend. It is a brief review of your case conducted by a bankruptcy Trustee, who is usually an attorney or a CPA. The hearing takes place in an office-like conference room and one of our firm’s attorneys will be with you at the hearing. We will provide you with a list of the questions that will be asked.
The purpose of the meeting is to enable the Trustee to examine you under oath regarding the information that has been filed with the Court. The Trustee or a creditor may inquire about your financial status and any other matters that are relevant to the administration of your estate.
A Trustee is a person appointed by the U.S. Department of Justice who works with the court to administer bankruptcy cases. He or she will determine if there are any non-exempt assets that can be used to pay some of your debts. Most cases are “zero asset” cases, meaning that all of the property owned by the debtor is 100% protected. The Trustee will also oversee the first Meeting of Creditors.
All general unsecured debts (such as credit cards, medical bills, utilities, personal loans, etc.) that exist as of the date your Chapter 7 case is filed are discharged. (Debts incurred after you file are not covered by the discharge Order.) However, certain unsecured debts are not dischargeable. Examples include taxes, school loans, and alimony or child support obligations.
A lien from a secured loan (such as a mortgage or car loan) is not discharged. However, if you surrender the property back to the lender, you will not owe anything further on the balance. Thus, on secured loans you will have the option of simply continuing to pay on the purchase agreement or return the item being financed and pay nothing further.
Usually, the Order of Discharge is received from the court about three months after the bankruptcy petition is filed. This might change if a party files an objection to the bankruptcy or the dates have been extended. But otherwise, in the typical case the debtor will receive a discharge approximately 60 days after the meeting of creditors is held.
All creditors who were listed on your mailing matrix or who entered an appearance in your case will be notified. Therefore, it is important to list all creditors and have their proper mailing address. Bankruptcy law requires that you list the address as it appears on a billing statement or invoice received within the last 90 days.
As long as you are current with your monthly house or car payment, those creditors will have no problem with you filing bankruptcy. There is a limit on the amount of equity that is exempt, so it is important to accurately determine the value of the property you intend to keep.
Yes, there are many options available. You might be able to keep the credit card you already have if that company approves it, but it is usually best to simply apply for a new card. A pre-paid bank credit card will also help rebuild your credit rating.