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Bankruptcy may be an option for you if you are facing any of the following financial struggles:

  • Mounting credit card debt
  • Constant harassment of collection agency companies
  • Personally guaranteed a loan for a business that went down
  • Co-signed for a car loan
  • Getting sued or having a judgment against you
  • Divorce
  • Failed Business Interests
  • Foreclosure Threats
  • Job Loss / Laid Off
  • Medical Bills & Illness
  • Poor Economic Conditions
  • Property Repossession
  • Unexpected Expenses/Damaged Property
  • Wage Garnishment

The U.S. Bankruptcy Laws were written to provide relief of certain obligations to debtors who are experiencing financial difficulties by providing them a chance to start over. Filing for bankruptcy enables the court to examine the assets and liabilities of individuals and businesses who are unable to pay their bills and decide on what to do with those debts so that they are no longer legally required to pay them. The Bankruptcy Code – which is the primary source of bankruptcy law in the United States seeks to accommodate the various types of debtors and their varying needs. As such, there exists different types of bankruptcy, which are commonly categorized into “Chapters”. The majority of bankruptcy cases are filed under the three main chapters of the standard Bankruptcy Code: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13

Chapter 7 Individuals who qualify for this type of bankruptcy are typically unable to meet their daily living expenses. This form of bankruptcy gives the individual the opportunity to wipe off their debt. The individual’s income and total debts are required to be submitted together with the petition to the courts. This will be reviewed in a mandatory meeting with a trustee for accuracy. Once the trustee concludes the hearing, debts are typically discharged within three months of the hearing date.

Chapter 13 Individuals who have a higher level of income, or assets that keep them from qualifying for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy can look to Chapter 13 as an alternative, which offers a debt restructuring plan. Chapter 13 Bankruptcy calls for a list of assets, debts, monthly expenses and income in an effort to design a personal repayment plan that will be approved by the court. Payments will be made to creditors including past due mortgage and car payments, which will enable the debtor to maintain ownership of them moving forward. The repayment must be made within three to five years with all payments being made on time in the amount agreed upon by the trustee. While bankruptcy provides debt relieve, it does not necessarily erase ALL financial responsibilities. Some debts and obligations not discharged by bankruptcy are:

  • Federal student loans
  • Alimony and child support
  • Debts that arise after bankruptcy is filed
  • Some debts incurred in the six months prior to filing bankruptcy
  • Taxes
  • Loans obtained fraudulently
  • Debts from personal injury while driving intoxicated