If you feel like you are drowning in DEBT, let an experienced lawyer explain how a bankruptcy can be used to STOP creditor harassment, bank account garnishment, lawsuits, foreclosure, auto repossession, wage garnishments and tax levies.
Most people want to pay their bills, but unexpected medical expenses, unemployment or bad luck can make it impossible to do so. There are a number of myths and each method of debt relief has pitfalls that can cost valuable time and money.
UNITED STATES BANKRUPTCY OPTIONS
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
To qualify for relief under Chapter 7 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, the debtor may be an individual, a partnership, a corporation or other business entity. Chapter 7 is different from other bankruptcy chapters because the debtor can eliminate most debts without paying back money to their creditors. Many people assume this means they will lose everything they own. These fears are often exaggerated, as liquidation applies only to what is called non-exempt property. You may be able to keep your house, your car, and other exempt personal property. We will explain what exemptions are available to you and how to properly claim them. The experienced attorney’s at The Harvey Firm, P.L.L.C. will discuss these options with you.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Chapter 13 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code allows individuals with regular income to develop a plan to repay all or part of their debts over a three to five-year plan of reorganization. Chapter 13 is an alternative for individuals that exceed the income requirements for a Chapter 7. The portion of debt paid back to creditors is determined by the individual’s disposable income.
WHEN TO FILE BANKRUPTCY
If you are having problems paying your debts and negotiating is not working for you and credit counseling was unable to get you through these tough times, then bankruptcy is your next option. Filing for bankruptcy can be one of the most difficult things to go through, even for a business. We answer all of your questions, address all of our concerns and give you your options.
REQUIREMENTS FOR BANKRUPTCY
MEANS TEST REQUIREMENT
Under the current bankruptcy laws, applicants for Chapter 7 bankruptcy are now subject to a two-part “Means Test” to determine if they qualify. First, after taking out certain necessary expenses, it will be determined whether you can afford to pay 25 percent of your non-priority, unsecured debt—credit cards, for example.
Next, your income is compared with the state’s median income. If your income is more than the state’s median income and you can afford to pay more than 25 percent of your unsecured debt, you will not be allowed to file for Chapter 7. If your income is lower than the state median, but you can still afford to pay 25 percent of your unsecured debt, the court decides whether you can file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13.
Courts are now required to apply living standards set forth by the Internal Revenue Service to decide what is a reasonable amount to pay for rent, food, and other living expenses to determine how much you can afford to pay on your debts?
CREDIT COUNSELING REQUIREMENT
Another provision of the law is the requirement that you complete the credit counseling course during the six-months prior to applying for bankruptcy. You will also be required to attend a financial management class before the final discharge of your debts is allowed. The Court now permits that both of these sessions can be done online or by telephone.
YOUR COUNSEL THROUGH THE ENTIRE BANKRUPTCY PROCESS
The Harvey Firm, P.L.L.C. is committed to helping our clients understand how bankruptcy works, the challenges they may face and steps to recover. Our experience with bankruptcy cases allows us to help you get through this difficult time with little to no stress and the debt relief for you, your family and even your business.
Our attorneys have the skill and experience to assess your individual financial situation, examine all of your options and help you take control of your financial life. If you still have questions regarding any of our bankruptcy services or are ready to take the next step in filing for bankruptcy please give us a call at 904-566-5614.