If you are deeply in debt, you may feel overwhelmed and hopeless. Bills can accumulate quickly, and you might feel as if you cannot ever get ahead. Our team of Fort Oglethorpe bankruptcy lawyers could help relieve that debt and restore your peace of mind.
Sometimes, one catastrophic medical event can propel a person into unmanageable debt. Often there is an accumulation of debt through credit card use, especially if your income cannot keep up with expenses. Let experienced filing for bankruptcy attorneys explain how declaring bankruptcy could get you out from under the stress of perpetual debt.
There are two main types of personal bankruptcy. Chapter 7 bankruptcy involves surrendering all non-exempt property to pay back the debts. When filing for bankruptcy, a lawyer petitions the court which then appoints a trustee. The job of the trustee is to inventory all assets, sell all non-exempt property, and pay creditors. Many times, the assets sold do not amount to enough to pay creditors. Bankruptcy still discharges all unsecured debts without further penalty to the debtor.
Chapter 13 is called a “reorganization” bankruptcy. Instead of liquidating assets, the court prepares a repayment plan, allowing the debtor to hold on to most property if they can repay debts according to the plan. A bankruptcy attorney in Fort Oglethorpe could administer a government-mandated “means test” to determine who qualifies for Filing Chapter 7 as opposed to Chapter 13 bankruptcy. This test keeps higher-earners from taking advantage of the “clean slate” of a Chapter 7 discharge of debts.
One significant benefit of declaring bankruptcy is the automatic stay that comes when a lawyer files the petition. Federal law requires that once this happens, all creditors must cease any communication or collection efforts. Often this is an immediate relief to debtors, as creditors can be aggressive in demanding repayment. The automatic stay also prevents creditors from garnishing wages, repossessing property, or putting levies on financial accounts.
A declaring bankruptcy attorney assisting with a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing could explain which property is exempt from sale to pay debts. Debtors can keep a vehicle, wedding rings, tools used for their trade, some personal property from the home, and a certain amount of equity in a house. When declaring bankruptcy, a lawyer could evaluate whether a debtor can keep their house. This is often possible in Chapter 13 filings.
A Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceeding will discharge almost all unsecured debts. “Unsecured” refers to any debts without collateral. Unsecured debts discharged in Chapter 7 bankruptcy include medical bills, unpaid utility bills, personal loans, business debts, past due rents, and more. Again, even if the assets sold cannot pay creditors back, the debtor has no more liability once an attorney receives the notice of discharge of debts.
Federal law does not allow the discharge of certain debts in bankruptcy. These include child support obligations, alimony, student loans, most overdue taxes, court fines, and debts owed government agencies. A Fort Oglethorpe bankruptcy attorney could review all assets and determine which are dischargeable.
In addition to administering the means test and determining which type of bankruptcy to file, a bankruptcy lawyer reviews the debtor’s inventory of all assets debts and income. They submit the petition, attend creditor’s meetings, and receive the final notice of discharge of debts on behalf of the debtor. A bankruptcy law firm could also provide advice around other forms of debt relief, debt management, and prospects for future credit.
You may be one of many people struggling to make ends meet as the economy changes. A job loss or an extraordinary medical event may plummet you into unsustainable debt. Fortunately, a Fort Oglethorpe bankruptcy lawyer is ready to help.
Once you undergo bankruptcy, you may find your life is more manageable, and you are suddenly able to begin to rebuild your financial life. You and your family may welcome the freedom a bankruptcy filing affords. Let a team of compassionate, filing for bankruptcy attorneys help bring you relief from the stress of crushing debt. Reach out today.