When I meet someone who is faced with the prospect of filing bankruptcy, they are usually at their lowest point. They have tried budgeting, payment plans, credit counseling companies, and borrowing from family. The unfortunate part of debt is that once you are far enough in, you can't get out. Even making the minimum payments will only keep your head above water, but it won't solve the problem.
At that point, people have a choice. They can either a) continue to do nothing; or b) come see me and leave my office with HOPE, a way out, and the confidence that they have an attorney that will be with them every step of the way.
I work with individuals and families to determine if consumer bankruptcy is the right option for you. In some cases it is the only practical way to escape the overwhelming burden of debt. My law firm is an experienced bankruptcy firm, handling numerous cases every year.
There are two types of bankruptcy commonly used by individuals with consumer debt. These are Chapter 13 and Chapter 7.
In this type of bankruptcy, all your unsecured debt (i.e. credit cards, medical bills, personal loans, etc.) are immediately discharged upon the completion of your case. In order to qualify for a Chapter 7, you must qualify based on your income levels. The amount of money you can make and still qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy depends on where you live and how many people are in your family.
A common misconception about Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is that individuals will lose their home, retirement, and most of their valuable property. An experienced bankruptcy attorney can - in most cases - exempt all of your property under federal law.
In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, individuals enter into a repayment plan with their creditors for a period of either 3 or 5 years. The amount you pay is dependent on your income and the amount of debt you have. In most cases, individuals filing for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy make too much money to qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and/or own more property than the typical debtor. Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows individuals to eventually obtain a discharge of their unsecured debt and also keep all of their property.