The decision to file for bankruptcy is never an easy one but for most people, bankruptcy is the most effective, straightforward way for them to protect their financial future. Hiring a bankruptcy attorney is the right choice because your attorney can help you navigate the tricky landscape of bankruptcy law and ensure that as many of your assets as possible are protected.
During your initial consultation with your bankruptcy attorney, make sure to ask these three important questions.
Is Bankruptcy the Right Option for Me?
Depending upon your financial and personal situation, your attorney can help you determine if bankruptcy is the right option for you. There are other alternatives to filing for bankruptcy, such as debt consolidation, and that might be the better option if your obligations are small. However, in most cases, if your debt is substantial and you have tried every other option to alleviate the financial stress of this debt, filing for bankruptcy is a good choice.
Should I Consider Chapter 7, Chapter 11, or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?
If you are filing for personal bankruptcy, then your choices are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies. Chapter 11 bankruptcy is a business reorganization plan typically used by companies to pay off creditors while still operating their business. Your assets and income will determine whether you are able to file Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcies.
Chapter 7 is a more straightforward bankruptcy and is reserved for individuals who do not own large amounts of property or assets and whose income falls below something called a means level. During Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you give up some of your assets to pay off a portion of your debt. The secured and unsecured debts are then discharged.
If you own assets you want to protect, such as your house, and make a more significant income, Chapter 13 is the better option. During Chapter 13 you are put on a repayment plan that will last either three or five years. After the repayment program is finished, your qualifying debts are discharged, and you can plan your financial future.
How Do I Get Started on the Process of Filing for Bankruptcy?
Your attorney can help guide you through the initial steps involved with filing for bankruptcy. This includes seeking credit counseling, filing the necessary paperwork, including a petition to file for bankruptcy.
If you are filing for bankruptcy, meeting with an attorney, like Law Offices of John A Foscato SC, is a great place to start. Do not hesitate to ask your attorney any questions you might have about the bankruptcy process.