For many individuals, filing bankruptcy is a great way to get your financial life back on track. In addition to assisting with the discharge of certain debts (including medical bills, foreclosure and repossessions), bankruptcy has also been effective in stopping wage garnishments and alleviating debt collection harassment. Each bankruptcy case is, however, as individual as the various people who file, so to assess your overall needs and whether bankruptcy is the best solution for your debt relief challenges, bankruptcy attorney help would certainly be of great benefit.
Since there is sometimes a bit of misunderstanding regarding the types of bankruptcy filings, we will quickly give an overview of the most common ones. Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is often referred to loosely as the “fresh start” or “liquidation” type of bankruptcy proceeding. With this type of filing, secured property (such as a home or vehicle) can often be kept as long as the filer is capable of keeping the payments current. Certain property is protected (either fully or up to a certain dollar figure) under what is called Exemptions. Non-exempt debts (not covered under bankruptcy protection) must be surrendered in order to pay back creditors.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy is sometimes referred to as the “Reorganization” or “Wage-Earner” plan. Under Chapter 13, protected (exempted) property can often be kept as long as the filer is capable of making the monthly payments and keeping them current. Beyond that, what is also often required, in addition to the aforementioned regular monthly payments, is some small payment toward the amount of debt in arrears at the time of filing.
Certain debts cannot be included as a part of the bankruptcy filing–specifically, divorce-related debts such as alimony or child support, court ordered restitution and criminal fines are not debts that can currently be included in a bankruptcy filing. There are, however, many questions that are raised when an individual considers filing for bankruptcy. Having bankruptcy attorney help from experienced professionals can not only give you peace of mind as you navigate the process, it can also help you determine whether this debt relief option is right for you and which option is best for your specific situation.
The sheer knowledge of both federal and state laws governing bankruptcy is a huge advantage when you decide to accept bankruptcy attorney help. The filing of appropriate paperwork is just one part of the process; creating an individual debt relief strategy specific to your case, exercising provisions of the law and staying on top of the process is as important (if not more critical) in navigating the process and helping you and your family get back onto a good financial foundation.
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