What is Bankruptcy?
Bankruptcy is a process under the federal law allowing you to have some or all of your debts forgiven. It is a consumer protection law. Bankruptcy allows you to address overwhelming debt through cancellation or restructuring. The Law Offices of Wes Stover can explain the advantages and disadvantages of bankruptcy.
We will provide you with a FREE consultation to discuss your case. Bankruptcy Law focuses on forgiveness rather than punishment. It helps people deal with creditors they cannot afford to pay.
What types of Bankruptcy are available to individuals?
Chapter 7 is most often filed by individuals. It allows you to discharge your qualifying debts completely. Some debts are not eligible for discharge such as child support, alimony, and student loans.
Chapter 13 consolidates your outstanding debt into a single payment plan. It allows you to rearrange your finances and repay all or a portion of your debt. To file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you must have sufficient disposable income to fund a repayment plan, not have more than $1,010,650 in secured debt, and not have more than $336,000 in unsecured debt.
What protection does Bankruptcy provide?
Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 provide you with a discharge or legal release of your debt. Once you receive the discharge from the bankruptcy court, creditors are left with no legal reason to contact you or pursue debts listed in your bankruptcy documents.
An "automatic stay" will go into effect when you file for bankruptcy protection. The "automatic stay" puts an immediate stop to creditor phone calls, collection letters, wage garnishments, lawsuits, bank levies and other forms of harassment, intimidation, and scare tactics.
How long will a Bankruptcy show on my credit report?
What does "secured" or "unsecured" debt mean?
A secured debt has an item of value listed as a guarantee that you will pay the debt such as a mortgage, car loan, or motorcycle loan. An unsecured debt holds no claim to a real asset. These debts include credit cards and medical bills.
What if I discover an additional debt after filing?
We can update your case to include any additional debts you uncover.
What if one spouse files without the other spouse?
Before filing bankruptcy without your spouse, they should speak to your attorney. The spouse who doesn't file may possibly be held responsible for some of the debts.
Will I lose my Social Security payments if I file?
Will I lose my personal property if I file Bankruptcy?
Federal, state, and local exemptions do allow you to keep a certain amount of personal property when you file bankruptcy. We can explain how these exemptions apply to your case.
Can I pick which debts to put in the bankruptcy?
Yes and no. All of your debts must be included in the bankruptcy filing. For example, if you file a Chapter 7 case and want to keep a car that you still owe money on, you can choose to reaffirm this debt and continue to make your payments. Reaffirming the debt essentially takes it out of the bankruptcy.
When will my debt be discharged?
Typically, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharge is received 60 days after your 341 meeting, or the first meeting of creditors. In Chapter 13, your discharge will be sent to you once you have completed all the payments under your personal Chapter 13 plan.
What is foreclosure and what are my options?
Foreclosure is the process through which a lender reclaims your home or property to recoup the outstanding balance on your mortgage or loan. The property is sold and the proceeds are used to settle your debt. The foreclosure process differs from state to state. Filing bankruptcy is one way to stop the foreclosure process.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows you to catch up on owed payments through the payment plan worked out with the bankruptcy trustee. You must continue to make payments on your home during the bankruptcy case, or the lender may petition the court to proceed with the foreclosure sale.
What is credit counseling and is it required?
Individuals are required to undergo credit counseling with a credit agency that is approved by the United States Trustee's Office prior to filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy. Credit counseling provides you with information on how to avoid debt accumulation, create a repayment schedule, and eliminate the need to file for bankruptcy.
Individuals must also complete another credit counseling course to learn financial management prior to the discharge of their debt. Evidence of your counseling must be submitted to the bankruptcy court before the dismissal of debt.
We will have all the information you need to complete this and will even offer you the facilities at our offices in case you do not have internet access at home.
When do I need an attorney to seek SSI or SSD Disability Benefits?
You should have an attorney if you have been denied benefits and are seeking an appeal.**
The Law Offices of Wes Stover today!
**Each case is unique. We accept cases based on our own screening policies. The acceptance or outcome of any case is not guaranteed.