Do you receive harassing phone calls from creditors? Are you worried you have to choose between what bills to pay? A Bradenton bankruptcy attorney can assist you in reviewing your case and determine whether bankruptcy is an option you should consider.
You might be surprised to know that bankruptcy is a legal remedy sought by thousands of people just like you every year. With the guidance of an experienced bankruptcy attorney, bankruptcy can be fairly simple. Bankruptcy immediately stops collection actions, garnishments and other annoying creditor habits. Learn more about the bankruptcy process below.
What Is Bankruptcy?
- credit cards
- unsecured agreements, including personal loans and payday loans
- medical bills
- charged off debts
Sometimes mortgages, tax debt, and other forms of debt can be discharged. These types of debts require careful review and analysis to determine how they will be treated in a bankruptcy. A skilled Bradenton bankruptcy attorney can assist in reviewing your situation.
The petition filed with the court lists specific detailed information about you and financial matters related to your case. Once your case is processed, the Bankruptcy Court will appoint a trustee to review and oversee your case. The majority of bankruptcies filed do end with a legal discharge. Once the discharge is received, your obligation to the related debt is eliminated.
What Happens With My Creditors in Bankruptcy?
Even though most people receive a bankruptcy discharge, it is imperative to know that the process is not automatic. There is a legal process (in the United States Bankruptcy Court) that must run its course and can involve your creditors. At various points in the process, creditors have the option to exercise limited rights. But, in most cases the actual rights a creditor has are very limited.
Understanding the Automatic Stay
Once you file your case, you will receive protection under the court order called the automatic stay. The stay is what protects you against your creditors harassing you, continuing collections or state court actions and garnishing wages. Under most circumstances, the automatic stay is in effect during your entire bankruptcy. When you receive your discharge, these creditors will not be able to contact you after the case too.
The rights granted to creditors really fall into two areas-fraudulent actions or transfers and actions related to secured property that is in arrears. First, a fraudulent act under the bankruptcy laws includes typical fraud, but also has some unique circumstances. For example, if you buy luxury goods on your credit cards with months of filing your case, the court may consider this “fraud” in the bankruptcy. In other cases, if you were behind on your car payment when you file bankruptcy, after so much time, the creditor will have a right to seek repossession, even if your bankruptcy is pending.
In these particular instances the creditor can file a motion with the court to end the automatic stay or to eliminate a portion of the debt (if there was fraud as defined in the bankruptcy laws) from protection of the legal discharge. This is why you will want to talk through your situation with a Bradenton bankruptcy attorney before filing a case. You can prevent such problems by knowing how to time the filing of your case.
Are There Different Types of Bankruptcy?
For consumers, there are generally two types of bankruptcy and both will result in the elimination of debt and a discharge. The duration and mechanics are different for both.
- Chapter 7: This is often called a fresh start bankruptcy. Chapter 7 only lasts a few months, which makes it the preferred bankruptcy choice. In order to qualify for Chapter 7, you have to pass a financial test called the means test. This test compares your monthly disposable income from all sources to similarly situated households (size and geography). If you pass the test, you qualify for Chapter 7.
- Chapter 13: This is a “partial” repayment plan of your debts. In Chapter 13 you must have disposable where you will repay a potion of your debt over 3-5 years. Both the trustee and the court must approve the plan. If you don’t qualify for Chapter 7, Chapter 13 may be an option. Also, in specific circumstances, Chapter 13 is also the best option, for example if you are facing foreclosure or significant tax debt.
A bankruptcy attorney can assist you in deciding which bankruptcy type is best for you.
Consult With a Bradenton Bankruptcy Attorney Today
With the assistance of an experienced bankruptcy attorney, you can recover your financial situation. Call The Golden Law Group today to discuss both your situation and possible options.