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Bankruptcy FAQ

Common Questions Concerning Bankruptcy

The Price Law Group has spent the last 20 years protecting clients from financial crisis. They understand how difficult it can be to file your own bankruptcy. If you have unpaid taxes or a property facing foreclosure, these are additional matters which must be addressed as part of the bankruptcy, and you will want an experienced attorney on your side. No matter the financial situation you have found yourself in, the law group is here to help.

When you contact the law group, they will take the time to personally review your financial situation, answer any questions you may have, help you determine how best to proceed, and work with you closely until your bankruptcy is finalized and you are able to move forward with life after bankruptcy. In the meantime, some of the most frequently asked bankruptcy questions were compiled, in order to assist you with getting many of your questions answered right away.

What is bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy is the legal process by which consumers can have some or all of their debts forgiven. It is a consumer protection law which allows consumers facing overwhelming debt, to cancel or restructure their debt in order to allow them a fresh financial start. Bankruptcy law differs from most laws in that it focuses on forgiveness rather punishment. Sometimes good people get into bad situations. Bankruptcy can help consumers avoid financial crisis. Two of the most common types of bankruptcy are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13.

Can't I file for bankruptcy on my own?

Yes, you can. There are serious risks, however, if you do. Without an in-depth knowledge of the appropriate bankruptcy laws, you could file the wrong type of bankruptcy or leave out vital information that could delay your proceedings, or leave you still owning large amounts of debt. It is strongly recommended that you have an experienced bankruptcy attorney representing you, and working to protect your interests.

Who qualifies for bankruptcy?

There are different types of bankruptcies, as laid out under bankruptcy law. The majority of individuals who have overwhelming debts and very limited resources will qualify for bankruptcy. A means test will determine whether your income level and assets qualify you for a Chapter 7 filing, or whether you have sufficient disposable income to repay your debts through a Chapter 13 repayment plan.

Can I get the entirety of my debt discharged?

In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing, the majority of your debts will be discharged. The only debts which are exempt from bankruptcy are student loans, tax debt, child support and other specific debts, which your bankruptcy attorney can discuss with you. In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you will be required to repay your debt over a specified period of time. This is one of the most effective forms of debt settlement.

Which debt solution is best for me?

The best way to determine which debt solution will be most beneficial, is for you to meet with an attorney from Price Law Group so they can review your specific financial scene and discuss your financial goals. They will then be able to advise you on whether you qualify for bankruptcy or if a different form of debt relief would better suit your needs.

What types of bankruptcy are available to individuals?

Individuals can file for either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. Chapter 7 is the most common type of bankruptcy and it allows a person to discharge their qualifying debts within a short period of time. Tax debts, child support payments, alimony payments, and other specific debts do not qualify to be discharged in bankruptcy proceedings. An attorney from the law group will be able to explain which of your debts will and will not be able to be discharged.

Chapter 13 is for individuals who have a certain level of disposable income, after rent, utilities, and other essential living expenses are paid each month. Chapter 13 allows you to consolidate your debts into an affordable repayment plan, so that an agreed upon portion of your debt can be paid, thus allowing you to recover financially. As with Chapter 13, an experienced bankruptcy attorney from the law group will be able to help you determine which type of bankruptcy is for you.

What protections does bankruptcy afford?

Both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 afford individuals a release, or legal discharge, of their debts once their bankruptcy case has been successfully completed. Upon receipt of your discharge from the bankruptcy court, creditors are unable to legally contact and pursue payment of any debt discharged as part of your bankruptcy. In fact, the moment you file for bankruptcy, an "automatic stay" is put into effect, which stops creditors from being able to try and collect payments. All creditor phone calls, collection letters, wage garnishments, lawsuits, liens, and other forms of harassment or intimidation by creditors must cease once you have filed for bankruptcy. It should be noted that anyone who has previously filed for bankruptcy, and received a discharge of their debts, may not be eligible to file again. An attorney from the law group will be able to review your case and advise you on your legal options.

What is a "Means Test"?

In order to determine whether you qualify for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, a "means test" is done. The test serves to show if you will have sufficient disposable income to pay off some or all of your outstanding debt within the next three to five years. If your average income, during the past six months, is less than the median income for your area, you are eligible for Chapter 7. Should your income be more, then an attorney from the law group will be able to help you through the remaining parts of the means test, and thus determine which type of bankruptcy fits your current financial situation.

How long will the bankruptcy remain on my credit report?

A bankruptcy will remain on your credit report for between seven and ten years, depending on the type of bankruptcy filed.

What is the difference between "secured" and "unsecured" debt?

Secured debt is that debt obtained by listing an item of value as the guarantee the debt will be repaid. Mortgages and car loans are common types of secured debts. An unsecured debt is one that is not backed by an item of value, such as most credit card debts and signature loans.

What happens if I discover an additional creditor debt after I have already filed for bankruptcy?

If you discover additional creditor debt after you have filed for bankruptcy, you need to consult with an attorney from the law group right away. Your attorney may be able to amend your case to include those additional debts, however time is of the essence.

What happens when one spouse files without the other spouse?

It is extremely important that married couples consult with an attorney from the law group before one spouse files for bankruptcy without the other spouse. While it is possible to have only one spouse file, doing so could leave the other spouse legally responsible for paying some of the debts.

Will I lose my personal property or Social Security payments if I file for bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy law allows for certain federal, state, and local exemptions in order to allow individuals to keep some of their personal property when filing for bankruptcy. Your attorney will be able to give you specifics on how these exemptions apply to you. Social security payments will not be lost.

Can I pick which debts will be included in the bankruptcy?

Yes and no. When filing for Chapter 7, all debts must be included in the bankruptcy filing, however if you decide you want to keep your car or home that you still owe money on, you can do so by reaffirming the debt and continuing to make payments. When a debt is reaffirmed it takes it out of the bankruptcy. Debts which are removed from the bankruptcy are not protected under bankruptcy law, and if you default on your loan, at any point after the bankruptcy has been discharged, you could be facing repossession or foreclosure. Discussing your financial options and goals with an attorney from the law group is strongly advised.

When will my debt be discharged?

Chapter 7 bankruptcies will most often be discharged within 60 days from the first meeting of creditors. Chapter 13 bankruptcies will be discharged following the completion of all payments in your Chapter 13 repayment plan.

Price Law Group can Help!

For the past two decades the law group has been protecting clients facing financial crisis. With personal attention to the details and unique circumstances surrounding each client's case, the lawyers at the law group have been able to help many people recover from financial disaster and receive a fresh start. Life relies heavily on having a certain level of financial stability. The lawyers at the law group work hard to help you discharge your debt, recover your financial stability, and move forward with your life after bankruptcy.

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