At Notinger Law, we specialize in several areas of legal service, including bankruptcy. When it comes to deciding whether or not to file for bankruptcy, you will need to determine that bankruptcy is the right solution for your financial needs. Below are a few frequently asked questions to provide you with a better understanding of bankruptcy so that you can determine if you should file, plus learn the benefits of working with an experienced attorney.
What is Bankruptcy?
Bankruptcy is a legal option for individuals who need a fresh financial start due to having an inability to pay bills. The right to file for bankruptcy can be found under Title 11 of federal law and every case involving bankruptcy is handled in a federal court. When filing for bankruptcy, any creditors will stop seeking collection and debt will be sorted out based on the law.
What can Bankruptcy Provide?
When you file bankruptcy, you can qualify to eliminate your legal obligation to pay most of, if not all of, your general unsecured debts. This provides you with a new start financially. You may be able to stop a foreclosure of your home and be able to catch up on missed payments. You can also stop a repossession of a vehicle or other property, including forcing a creditor to return property even if it has been repossessed.
Debt collection lawsuits or harassment will stop as well, which will help you to feel less stress as you begin to get back on your feet financially.
What are the Different Types of Bankruptcy?
There are four types of bankruptcy you can file for. Each is available based on certain criteria. Chapter 7 is known as liquidation bankruptcy and it will require the debtor to give up property that exceeds certain limits known as exemptions. The property is then sold to pay any creditors. Chapter 11 is another bankruptcy type known as an option of reorganization. Individuals can use this option, but it is more commonly used by businesses where a large debt is owed.
Chapter 12 is a bankruptcy for fishermen and family farmers. Chapter 13 is the last type available and it is known as a debt adjustment type. The debtor will have to create a plan to pay the debt owed based on their current income. This option is limited to individuals and couples that have debt in the debt limits.
What Do I Need To Do Before Filing for Bankruptcy?
Once you have decided to file for bankruptcy, you will need to receive credit counseling. Counseling has to take place with an approved credit counseling agency 180 days before you file a bankruptcy case. This will help to review your options as well as your financial information. You will then need to file a certificate from the agency showing that you completed counseling and that you are ready to move forward with a bankruptcy filing. Before you begin counseling, meet with one of our attorneys to find out what your legal options are. Our experienced attorneys will be able to provide you with legal advice, something that a counselor cannot provide. We will recommend bankruptcy options if you qualify or suggest other methods for your financial needs.