The decision to file for bankruptcy is often one of the hardest choices that a person has to make in his or her lifetime. Poor planning can often make the process even harder. It goes without saying that filing for bankruptcy should generally be a last resort, and should only be done when all other methods of satisfying one’s financial obligations have been exhausted. However, if your situation has become so severe that you are in danger of foreclosure, garnished wages or repossessions, or are facing debts that you are unable to repay, putting off the inevitable can have devastating consequences. Procrastination can cost you your car, your wages, and even your home. Filing your case in a timely fashion can spare you these losses.
A small business struggling with a heavy debt burden may be able to seek relief by filing for bankruptcy. Depending on the circumstances, a business debtor can file either a Chapter 11 or Chapter 7 petition. A Chapter 11 bankruptcy is designed to allow a business to reorganize its debts and return to profitability. If the future prospects for the business are not good and the debts cannot be reorganized, the alternative is to liquidate the business through a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. In either case, it is essential to engage the services of an experienced business bankruptcy attorney.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy is known as a reorganization bankruptcy in which you set up a repayment plan to pay off debts with future income. Unlike a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, however, you are allowed to keep your property. This form of bankruptcy is only designed for individuals and married couples; businesses are not eligible. If you are struggling to pay your debts, our experienced attorneys can help you set up a Chapter 13 repayment plan.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection is designed to eliminate most of the unsecured debts of an individual or business. Unsecured debt is an obligation that does not have specific property as collateral, such as a house or a car. The process is often referred to as a “liquidation bankruptcy” because the property and/or assets of the debtor are sold in order to pay off as much of the debt as possible. Any debt that remains is then eliminated or discharged. If you are unable to pay your debts and need a fresh start, our experienced bankruptcy attorneys can help you explore your options.
A borrower who cannot keep up with his or her mortgage payments faces potential foreclosure which permits the lender to seize the property, evict the homeowner, and sell the home. In some cases, a lender may work with the borrower by refinancing or modifying the loan, or agreeing to a short sale. If the lender is unwilling, however, the homeowner may still be able to stop the foreclosure by filing for bankruptcy. Our experienced attorneys can advise you of all your options.
The Bankruptcy Abuse and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 provided the most significant overhaul of the bankruptcy system in over 35 years. Backed by the credit card, retail and banking industries, the legislation made it more difficult for people to erase all of their debts in bankruptcy, while forcing others on payment plans instead. If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, there are some important things about this law that you will need to know before you start your proceedings. Here is a summary of some of the Act’s most significant provisions.