The legal process that a bankrupt person goes through at the bankruptcy court is not as simple as it may seem. Filing bankruptcy requires numerous procedures, such as undergoing the required bankruptcy counseling, taking the means test, or preparing a payment plan that will run for three or five years.
If you are currently considering bankruptcy, it is best to consult with a seasoned local attorney knowledgeable about all federal and state laws that you must take into account. Seek legal advice from a knowledgeable and well-trained Wheeling bankruptcy attorney who can answer your legal questions.
The Basics of Filing Bankruptcy
There are different types of bankruptcy, and choosing the best option will depend on specific circumstances. When filing for bankruptcy, it can wipe out debts either after having certain assets liquidated (liquidation) or making payments following an approved debt-repayment plan (reorganization). An experienced bankruptcy lawyer in Wheeling can explain the differences between a Chapter 7 petition for bankruptcy and a Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition.
Under the bankruptcy code, a person who can declare bankruptcy could discharge debts from specific lenders. If a declaration of bankruptcy leads to a bankruptcy discharge, debt collectors are no longer allowed to ask for repayment for what the debtor owed them. Essentially, you no longer have to worry about paying off creditors of loans that were wiped out.
When choosing between the different bankruptcy types mentioned, your specific financial problems will factor in. If your unsecured debts are generally dischargeable, then a Chapter 7 bankruptcy declaration will likely be best. In contrast, if you need to deal with primarily non-dischargeable debts, a bankruptcy Chapter 13 debt repayment plan may be a better option.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Petition and Repayment Plan
Declaring bankruptcy under Chapter 13 will generally allow you to restructure and reorganize your finances. In general, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition will take longer than other forms of consumer bankruptcy. However, filing for bankruptcy and proceeding with restructuring will allow a filer to bring current most monthly payments for secured loans.
If you are considering bankruptcy, you will need to discuss your debt reorganization plans with a qualified credit counselor. Additionally, it is essential to first meet with a reliable bankruptcy attorney. Experienced bankruptcy attorneys can assist you with the forms and supporting documents you must submit to the courthouse.
Knowing More About Filing Bankruptcy Online
There are several online tools to get debt relief in the form of a bankruptcy discharge. A bankrupt filer can gather a lot of the information related to bankruptcy forms on the Internet, and you may even take bankruptcy counseling courses online. However, except for a few exceptions, the federal courts generally do not allow pro se bankruptcy filers to submit paperwork online.
Working with a bankruptcy petition preparer through an online portal does not necessarily mean that you will be able to file your bankruptcy case online. Additionally, in cases where filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy on your own is possible, it is not recommended. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy declaration can be pretty complicated, and there is an extremely high rate of failure for cases filed without the assistance of a bankruptcy attorney.
Basic Bankruptcy Laws and Wiping Out Debt
A person who filed for bankruptcy would likely have all unsecured debts discharged (unpaid medical bills, credit card bills, utility payments). You may also include personal loans and some forms of tax debt but on a case-to-case basis. Conversely, loans that are generally not included in the discharge include alimony or child support owed, criminal fines or penalties, and specific tax debt. Additionally, student loans must still be paid off, even after declaring bankruptcy.
Once you complete your Chapter 13 debt repayment plan, you will receive a discharge order that will wipe out the remaining balance of all qualifying debts. To an extent, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy discharge is broader than Chapter 7 because it wipes out certain debts that are not covered by the latter.
Your remaining nonpriority unsecured debt balances will be forgiven when you have completed your Chapter 13 payment plan. A discharge notice from the court will stop creditor or debt collector harassment and even wage garnishment.
Learn How to File for Bankruptcy
A person struggling financially will likely consider bankruptcy to address their financial problems. In general, a bankruptcy filing could help the filer pay back lenders, wipe out certain types of debt, and financially have a fresh start in life. For this reason, declaring bankruptcy is generally considered an excellent debt-relief option.
Successful bankruptcy proceedings have helped so many individuals dealing with debt. Get in touch with a Wheeling bankruptcy law firm that can help with your case. Contact us at Thomas E. McIntire and Associates to consult with an experienced Wheeling bankruptcy lawyer who will help you with every step of the way.