Bankruptcy now stares you in the face. What next? If you want to file a bankruptcy case, then bankruptcy attorney is the person who can guide you in the right direction. An attorney can help you ascertain your actual current income under the bankruptcy law and potentially cut down your debt or stop foreclosure on your home. Many bankruptcy attorneys today provide a free, no-obligation consultation.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is used to get rid of unsecured debts like credit cards, medical bills, payday loans and some personal loans and may be able to clear your debt within a few months. First you’ll need to find out if you’re eligible to file for Chapter 7 using the “means test”. The test compares your income to your state’s median income. Ask your bankruptcy lawyer how filing could bail you out of your financial crisis and affect your future. The lawyer will also figure out which debts are secured or unsecured which will help him/her zero in on priority debts.
For filing your bankruptcy case, the attorney will ask for the list of your current personal property and its value. This includes property such as cash, savings accounts, certificates of deposit, household goods, jewelry, furniture, electronics and computer equipment, deposits with utility companies, landlords, phone companies, etc. The bankruptcy lawyer can help you determine which of this property can be included on the schedule of claimed exemptions and protected from liquidation.
Along with your bankruptcy petition, your lawyer must also file several schedules of assets, income and debts.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney
Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a debt-relief option if you are undergoing a short-term financial setback like job loss, illness or unexpected expenditure. Filing for Chapter 13 could be a complex procedure for a layman and even small errors could cost you the protection of the automatic stay or prevent the approval of the repayment plan. This is where a bankruptcy attorney assumes importance. First, let the attorney determine whether you are eligible for filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Then the bankruptcy lawyer can help you through all filing requirements and meeting of deadlines. He/she will also see to it that you’ve accounted for all of your allowable expenses and devised a proposal that will allow you to make payments without disturbing your regular expenses.
Also, you need to complete a US Trustee approved Credit Counseling Briefing if you are filing bankruptcy under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 of the US Bankruptcy Code. With your bankruptcy petition, your lawyer should file the Credit Counseling certificate. Otherwise, there is a chance that your petition might be dismissed.
Depending on whether you file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy or a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the impact on your co-debtors too differs. A bankruptcy lawyer can also help you understand how each one affects any joint account holders or co-signers on your accounts.
Chapter 11 bankruptcy attorney
Chapter 11 is commonly used for company or business bankruptcies and restructuring. If you are facing foreclosure, lawsuits, repossession, liens or wage garnishment, and are looking at giving a fresh lease of life to your finances, an experienced Chapter 11 bankruptcy attorney can work out a suitable plan to help wipe out your debt.
By filing a Chapter 11 case, the bankruptcy law attorney will get a Plan of Reorganization (repayment) okayed by the court. For a person unfamiliar to laws, this is not an easy task as the requirements for doing this are complicated. Subject to the requirements and limitations of the Bankruptcy Code, the more skilled bankruptcy law lawyers will look into all possible avenues to give a fillip to your business and financial position. The plan is basically a contract with creditors on how they will be repaid, and from what source. The creditors have to vote for the plan in sufficient numbers. If not, they may be forced to accept the plan if other requirements are met. A business is, usually, permitted to continue operations while it is under the cover of Chapter 11, under the supervision of the Bankruptcy Court and its appointees.