What to Expect When You Hire a Bankruptcy Attorney
Personal bankruptcy is one of the most common cases filed in American courts. If you have more debt than you can realistically expect to pay back, you may be a good candidate for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. The first step in the process is to evaluate your finances and determine if you can pay your bills with some allowances from your creditors. If the answer is no, and you would not be able to get out of debt even with an interest rate reduction or an extended grace period, the next step is to contact a bankruptcy attorney.
During your consultation, your attorney will review your debts and assets. In some situations, you may be able to keep your house and your car. Your attorney will explain the process and the stipulations that you must comply with if your want to keep your assets. Bankruptcy is not the right choice for everyone. An attorney can advise you on how filing bankruptcy with positively and negatively affect your financial situation. If the majority of your debts are taxes, child support obligations and student loans, bankruptcy may not be the best option for you. Those debts cannot be discharged in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy.
If you decide that filing bankruptcy is right for you, your bankruptcy attorney can file the paperwork with the appropriate court. In Chapter 7 Bankruptcies, the petition your attorney files will ask the court to discharge, or eliminate your obligation to pay, your debts. Once your lawyer files the petition, creditors are required by law to cease any collection efforts against you. This includes everything for phone calls or letters demanding payment to lawsuits and wage garnishments.
Some people do not qualify for Chapter 7 due to restrictions in the amount of assets a person can have prior to filing. If you fall into that category, you may still be able to file Chapter 13 Bankruptcy to extend your payment terms. Chapter 13 allows you to pay your debts over a five year period. Like Chapter 7 of the bankruptcy code, a Chapter 13 filing forces creditors to halt collection efforts, including repossession and foreclosure.