Know the Basics of Chapters 7, 11, and 13 Bankruptcy in Wheeling, West Virginia

Bankruptcy can be a lifeline for individuals seeking a fresh start. At Thomas E. McIntire & Associates, L.C., our reputable law firm in Wheeling, WV, we understand the complexity of this process and are here to guide you through it. If you are pondering the question, “What are the types of bankruptcy in Wheeling, WV?” you’re not alone. In this article, we will thoroughly explain the various types of bankruptcy and what each involves.

Brief Overview:

To help ease your understanding of the different types of bankruptcy in Wheeling WV, we offer a quick summary of our article:

  • Bankruptcy is a structured method to help handle debt and offer financial relief.
  • There are three main types of bankruptcy in Wheeling, WV: Chapter 7, 11, and 13. Each has its advantages and disadvantages.
  • Chapter 7 is a process that allows the selling of assets to settle dischargeable debts, including credit card debts, medical bills, personal loans, and more.
  • Chapter 11 is typically used by businesses, using reorganization of debts to keep the business running. Dischargeable debts include leases, contracts, and more.
  • Chapter 13 utilizes a repayment plan that allows a person to pay off debts with a regular source of income. That can discharge debts such as car loans, mortgage arrears, etc.
  • Each chapter has its own set of processes and criteria that you must follow to allow filing. Guidance from an experienced attorney will allow you to proceed with the filing smoothly and quickly.

Don’t go through bankruptcy on your own. It needs careful thought, planning, and a good understanding of the law. Our skilled attorneys at Thomas E. McIntire & Associates, L.C. are here to guide you through tough financial times, offering the knowledge and support you need for your bankruptcy journey.

What is Bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy is a legal status that shows someone can’t repay debts. It offers a structured way to handle debt, relieving those who owe and ensuring a fair distribution to creditors.

So, what are the types of bankruptcy available in Wheeling, WV? Bankruptcy allows for liquidation, reorganization, or repayment plans, usually filed under Chapters 7, 11, or 13. That gives individuals a new financial start when burdened by financial troubles and helps businesses recover from liquidation.

Chapter 7

Chapter 7 bankruptcy lets individuals or businesses with low-income clear debts by selling assets. A trustee sells non-essential assets to pay creditors, and remaining unsecured debts are usually forgiven.

It is a quick solution, often in a few months, offering a new financial beginning. While important assets may be sold, exemptions protect necessary possessions. Chapter 7 is for those with heavy debt and no way to set up a repayment plan.

Chapter 11

Chapter 11 bankruptcy is mainly for businesses seeking to reorganize debts and keep running. It lets companies create a plan to pay off creditors gradually, often by redoing contracts and restructuring operations.

Unlike Chapter 7, the business doesn’t sell its assets. Individuals with huge debts beyond Chapter 13 limits can also use Chapter 11. It offers flexibility for financial recovery but is intricate, needing careful strategies and negotiations.

Chapter 13

Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a legal way for people with a steady income to set up a structured plan to pay off debts. It lets them keep crucial assets like homes while making affordable monthly payments to creditors over three to five years.

This reorganization suits those at risk of foreclosure or wanting a controlled way to resolve debts. Unlike Chapter 7, Chapter 13 doesn’t sell assets but concentrates on a practical, long-term payment plan.

What Debts are Discharged by Each Type of Bankruptcy?

Every kind of bankruptcy releases different debts. Let us go through which debts are usually discharged for each type of bankruptcy:

Chapter 7

  • Credit Card Debt: Most credit card balances are dischargeable.
  • Medical Bills: Unsecured medical debts are generally eligible for discharge.
  • Personal Loans: Unsecured personal loans may be discharged.
  • Utility Bills: Past-due utility bills are often dischargeable.
  • Certain Tax Debts: Some income tax debts may be dischargeable if they meet specific criteria.
  • Judgments: Unsecured judgments may be discharged.

Chapter 11

  • Business Debts: Chapter 11 is primarily for businesses, allowing reorganization and potential debt discharge.
  • Secured Debts: It provides a way to restructure and potentially discharge secured debts.
  • Leases and Contracts: Business debts, such as leases and contracts, can be addressed through Chapter 11.

Chapter 13

  • Mortgage Arrears: Chapter 13 lets you catch up on missed mortgage payments and keep your home.
  • Car Loans: It provides a mechanism for catching up on past-due car loan payments.
  • Priority Tax Debts: Chapter 13 can help you repay certain priority tax debts over time.
  • Non-dischargeable debts: Some debts not dischargeable in Chapter 7 may be paid over the repayment period in Chapter 13.
  • Child Support and Alimony: These are generally non-dischargeable but can be managed through a repayment plan.

Non-Dischargeable Debts

It is important to note that certain debts are generally non-dischargeable in all types of bankruptcy, including:

  • Student Loans: Usually, student loans are not dischargeable unless you can prove undue hardship.
  • Child Support and Alimony: These obligations are typically not dischargeable.
  • Certain Tax Debts: Some tax debts, especially recent ones, may not be dischargeable.

What Type of Bankruptcy Should I Choose When I File One?

Deciding on Chapter 7, Chapter 11, or Chapter 13 bankruptcy relies on your situation and financial aims. Listed below is an essential guide:

Choose Chapter 7 if:

  • You have limited income: Chapter 7 is for individuals with limited income who qualify for liquidation of assets to pay off debts.
  • You seek a fresh start quickly: Chapter 7 proceedings are usually faster, providing a quicker resolution to your financial challenges.
  • You don’t have substantial assets to protect: Chapter 7 involves liquidating non-exempt assets, so it’s suitable if you don’t have significant assets you want to protect.

Choose Chapter 11 if:

  • You’re a business owner: Chapter 11 is primarily for businesses seeking reorganization and continued operations.
  • You have significant debts and assets: It’s suitable for individuals with debts beyond the limits of Chapter 13.
  • You need a flexible repayment plan: Chapter 11 allows more flexibility in restructuring and repaying debts.

Choose Chapter 13 if:

  • You have a regular income: Chapter 13 allows you to create a manageable repayment plan over three to five years.
  • You want to keep your assets: It’s ideal if you have valuable assets, like a home or car, that you want to retain.
  • You’re facing foreclosure: Chapter 13 can help you catch up on mortgage arrears and prevent foreclosure.

Consulting with a bankruptcy attorney is crucial to understand your situation and pick the right type for your case.

How Do I File for Each Type of Bankruptcy?

Filing for bankruptcy has complex legal steps, so it is wise to get help from an experienced attorney. However, here’s a basic overview of how you might begin filing for Chapter 7, Chapter 11, and Chapter 13:

  • Assessment of Finances: Evaluate your financial situation to determine if bankruptcy is the right option.
  • Credit Counseling: Attend a credit counseling course from an approved agency within 180 days before filing.
  • Choose the Right Chapter: Decide between Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy based on your circumstances and eligibility.
  • Complete Bankruptcy Forms: Fill out the necessary bankruptcy forms, including schedules detailing your assets, debts, income, and expenses.
  • File Petition: Submit your bankruptcy petition and forms to the appropriate bankruptcy court.
  • Automatic Stay: Once filed, an automatic stay goes into effect, preventing creditors from pursuing collection actions.
  • Appointment of Trustee: A bankruptcy trustee is appointed to review your case, ensuring compliance with regulations.
  • Meeting of Creditors (341 Meeting): Attend the meeting where the trustee and creditors can ask questions about your financial situation.
  • Creditors’ Claims: Creditors can file claims for the debts owed to them.
  • Financial Management Course: Complete a financial management course after filing but before receiving a discharge.
  • Court Approval: The court reviews your case, and if everything is in order, it approves the bankruptcy.
  • Discharge: Receive a bankruptcy discharge, which releases you from personal liability for certain debts.

Depending on the type of bankruptcy, there are slight variations in the requirements you need to file:

Chapters 7 and 11

  • Means Test: Determine your eligibility by passing the means test, which assesses your income compared to the median income in your state.

Chapter 13

  • Reorganization Plan: Propose a reorganization plan detailing how you’ll repay creditors.

Why Do I Need Help From a Bankruptcy Lawyer?

Understanding each bankruptcy chapter is vital, and an experienced attorney is crucial for navigating these complexities. It’s not just about knowledge but gaining a strategic advantage in your financial recovery.

Tailored Advice for Your Unique Situation

Your financial situation is unique. A reliable attorney assesses it to guide you to the most suitable bankruptcy chapter, ensuring informed decisions aligned with your needs and goals.

Navigating Legal Procedures

Bankruptcy is complex, and our attorney from Thomas E. McIntire & Associates, L.C. streamlines the process, ensuring accurate and correctly filed documentation and minimizing complications.

Protection of Your Rights

Bankruptcy law offers rights and protections, but understanding and navigating them can be challenging. An experienced attorney acts as your advocate, safeguarding your interests and ensuring fair treatment throughout.

Mitigating Risks and Pitfalls

Bankruptcy isn’t one-size-fits-all. Mistakes or choosing the wrong chapter can complicate matters. An attorney with deep bankruptcy law knowledge helps you avoid pitfalls for a smoother path to financial recovery.

Call our Bankruptcy Lawyer Now!

If you are still pondering, “What are the types of bankruptcy in Wheeling, WV?” Remember that the answer is to get legal help. Navigating bankruptcy’s complexities needs not just knowledge but also the wisdom to apply it wisely.

At Thomas E. McIntire & Associates, L.C., our team of devoted attorneys is here to guide and support you, ensuring informed decisions on your journey to financial renewal. Call us today in Wheeling, WV, for a free debt analysis for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy!

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