Achieve Financial Relief  With Our Bankruptcy Lawyers

When faced with overwhelming financial struggles, determining the right time to file for bankruptcy becomes crucial. In Wheeling, WV, individuals can rely on the reputable law firm of Thomas E. McIntire & Associates, L.C. 

Our experienced team possesses knowledge of Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies. We understand the complexities of the bankruptcy process, including the requirements and intricacies involved in these filings. 

We aim to simplify the explanation of these processes, ensuring a clear understanding of how bankruptcy functions. We also emphasize the importance of seeking guidance from experienced attorneys throughout your bankruptcy journey. Contact our skilled lawyers today to learn how and when to file for bankruptcy.

What are Chapters 7 and 13 Bankruptcies?

Chapter 7 bankruptcy, commonly referred to as “liquidation bankruptcy,” presents an opportunity for individuals to alleviate the burden of most unsecured debts through a court-approved process. This entails the sale of assets that are not exempt, allowing for the repayment of creditors. On the other hand, Chapter 13 bankruptcy, known as “reorganization bankruptcy,” offers a viable solution to those with steady incomes, presenting a repayment plan. Under this plan, debtors can propose a structured method to reimburse creditors over a period of three to five years, aligning with their specific financial situation and expenses. What makes Chapter 13 particularly attractive is the ability for debtors to retain ownership of their assets while they strive towards attaining financial stability.

These two branches of bankruptcy each bring distinct and tailored approaches to debt relief, taking into account individuals’ unique financial circumstances. While Chapter 7 involves a process of liquidation, Chapter 13 allows for a more organized and structured path to gradually repay debts, empowering individuals to regain control of their financial future. At the heart of both options lies the aspiration to provide individuals with a fresh start, paving the way for a more stable and secure financial foundation.

How a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Can Give You a Fresh Start

Chapter 7 bankruptcy offers a fresh start by eliminating major unsecured debts, such as credit card balances and medical expenses. This initiates an automatic stay, which stops creditor actions and provides much-needed breathing space. While certain non-exempt assets might be sold, exemptions safeguard essential possessions.

The process is relatively swift, typically taking three to six months, enabling individuals to quickly resume their financial journey. Though bankruptcy will be noted on their credit report, practicing responsible financial habits can gradually enhance their credit standing. In summary, Chapter 7 bankruptcy provides a clean slate, alleviates debt burdens, and presents an opportunity to pursue a more stable financial future.

Replay for Financial Stability With a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

A Chapter 13 bankruptcy presents an opportunity to achieve financial stability by following a court-approved repayment plan. In this form of bankruptcy, individuals with steady incomes propose a well-organized approach to paying back creditors over a period of three to five years, taking into account their earnings and expenses. Sticking to the plan allows debtors to keep their assets while progressively clearing their debts.

Chapter 13 puts an end to creditor harassment and safeguards against foreclosure or repossession, fostering a stronger financial footing. Successfully fulfilling the repayment plan empowers individuals to take charge of their finances and strive for enduring stability and a new beginning.

Will Legal Assistance Ensure That I Pick the Right Bankruptcy Chapter?

The challenges of bankruptcy make it strongly recommended to seek guidance from experienced attorneys, such as those at Thomas E. McIntire & Associates, L.C. Here are several reasons why legal assistance is needed:

  • Knowledge in Navigating the Legal System: Bankruptcy law can be complex, which may overwhelm someone who needs legal experience. An experienced attorney can provide a clear roadmap, ensuring all legal requirements and deadlines are followed.
  • Tailored Advice: An attorney can assess your case, offer advice, know when to file bankruptcy, and determine if it is the best choice.
  • Protection of Assets: Knowing the exemptions and protections available in bankruptcy law is crucial. Attorneys can safeguard your assets by using their law knowledge to ensure you keep what rightfully belongs to you.
  • Negotiation with Creditors: Skilled attorneys can negotiate with creditors to reduce or eliminate certain debts, lightening the burden on the debtor.
  • Peace of Mind: Filing for bankruptcy can be emotionally challenging. Having a legal professional by your side brings reassurance, reduces stress, and allows you to focus on rebuilding your financial future.

Limitations of Bankruptcy

While filing for bankruptcy can provide relief from overwhelming debts and a fresh start, knowing its limitations is important. Here are some things that bankruptcy cannot do:

  • Eliminate Certain Debts: Although bankruptcy discharges many debts like credit cards and medical bills, some obligations, such as student loans, child support, alimony, and most tax debts, generally cannot be erased through bankruptcy.
  • Stop Secured Creditors: If you have secured debts like a mortgage or car loan, bankruptcy may not prevent the lender from returning the collateral if you can’t make payments. However, bankruptcy can help you negotiate with secured creditors to keep the collateral by catching up on payments or restructuring the debt.
  • Remove Recent Debts: Debts incurred shortly before bankruptcy, known as “luxury debts,” may not be discharged if the court finds they were incurred to defraud creditors. 
  • Restore Credit Instantly: Bankruptcy affects your credit score. It stays on your credit report for years, making it challenging to obtain credit or favorable loan terms immediately after filing. 
  • Address Future Debts: Bankruptcy deals with existing debts but doesn’t protect against future debts. Develop healthy financial habits and budgeting skills to avoid similar debt situations in the future.

Remember, consulting an experienced bankruptcy attorney is crucial to understand the specific limitations of bankruptcy in your case.

Can I Maintain My Ownership of Properties and More After a Bankruptcy?

It is possible to keep ownership of properties and other assets. In Chapter 7 bankruptcy, non-exempt assets might be sold to repay creditors, but certain essential assets like a primary residence and personal belongings can often be kept through legal exemptions. 

In Chapter 13 bankruptcy, individuals develop a repayment plan to settle missed payments and retain their assets. 

Let Our Experienced Attorneys Assist With You Now!

Understanding when to file bankruptcy is a choice that requires careful consideration. By grasping the distinctions between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy and seeking help from experienced attorneys, like those at Thomas E. McIntire & Associates, L.C., individuals in Wheeling, WV, can confidently navigate the intricate process. 

These legal professionals possess the skills and experience to assess eligibility, create repayment plans, and safeguard assets, guiding clients toward financial stability. Remember, you don’t have to face these challenges alone – our free debt analysis is just a phone call away.