Bankruptcy Debt ? Is Bankruptcy Better Than Debt Settlement?
Bankruptcy debt may cause you to become overwhelmed. There is hope and more than one option open to you. Some will have fewer consequences but not all the benefits you may need in your current situation. Depending on your circumstances, you may be able to choose a debt settlement program to reduce your debt by 50% or you may need to file chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy debt.
If you are interested in debt settlement you will need to contact several trusted agencies that can offer you advice as to how to do this properly, especially in cases where you are not quite sure about how to approach the situation. If you are trying to negotiate with a creditor you will find they will not reduce your balance if you are still making your minimum monthly payments; however when those payments stop is when you will have better chances of a settlement and reducing your debt by a significant amount. You will receive the best benefits using a reliable and established debt settlement company.
If this is an option for you, you will definitely want to be sure that you are able to thoroughly research several debt settlement companies. You will want to compare fees, and their particular routines in order to know you are working with the right company for you. It is suggested that you only work with companies that have positive ratings and are well known to be legitimate organizations that are able to do what they promise you and the creditor.
You may of course find that bankruptcy be more appropriate for your situation, and a debt settlement company might well recommend this after looking at your finances. This is a big step and does have consequences you should be aware of. If you have looked into your other options then bankruptcy may be the route you will need to go. There are two types of bankruptcy debt claims available to you; these are Chapter 7 and chapter 13. One will most likely be a better fit for you than the other.
With chapter 7 bankruptcy debt you will find that this is a liquidation of your assets. The chapter 7 bankruptcy is best for you if you have very little assets besides your basic needs such as clothing and furniture. This is probably the best option if you find that you have no money left after paying basic expenses each month, if you even have enough to pay all these expenses or have very little money left. This is a fairly quick process.
The chapter 13 bankruptcy debt will be best for people who have a lot of property and assets they want to keep. This bankruptcy is best if you have enough money to pay your housing bills but not enough to pay all of your credit debt after the bills are paid.
A good debt company will be able to advise you on the best option for you after examining your situation in detail. You can apply quickly online and an advisor will then contact you to find out more. It is sensible to apply to more than one company before making a decision.
Find out more about bankruptcy debt on the author’s website, which offers free advice on how to pay debt off , including recommendations for the most reputable debt settlement program and help with debt management, budgeting and loans.
There are lots of things going on in the internet and almost all things are done through this big World Wide Web. Some people even try to file chapter 7 online. Although people can download PDF bankruptcy forms online and do their filling up electronically with the help of petition preparers or lawyers that are online, you still need to physically go to a bankruptcy court to file your papers.
Before you file Chapter 7 online, there are other alternative types of bankruptcy that you can choose from to avoid liquidation. You can choose a chapter 13 type of bankruptcy which is a repayment plan. This type of bankruptcy can help you save your home and catch up with your past debts through a repayment plan.
Chapter 7 is a type of bankruptcy where a group of trustee will try to sell the debtor’s non-exempt properties. The liquidation will generate cash that will be distributed to the creditors for their claims over the debts the debtor owed to them. To be eligible in this type of bankruptcy, an individual must take a means test. The test result will evidently reveal whether or not a person is capable of paying his debts.
A person starts to file bankruptcy chapter 7 by filing a bankruptcy petition in court. It is also required to file a documentation of credit counseling with the petition. The new requirements under the bankruptcy law state that a person should enroll himself to a credit counseling session, with the documentation, to be filed to the bankruptcy court.
There are differences on how people file bankruptcy in each state. If you want to file this type of bankruptcy by doing it yourself, you need to research on what are the things applicable in your state. Research on where your income is placed regarding to your state. Having below average income can render you to have positive results on your eligibility for a chapter 7.
If filing for chapter 7 gets grueling for you to handle, you to get a bankruptcy lawyer to work on your bankruptcy. This will take you much further than handling your bankruptcy alone. Your bankruptcy lawyer will point you to the right direction, represent you in the bankruptcy court and manage your papers. But you do not need a lawyer to file for bankruptcy, unless you have a lot of extra money to pay for the lawyer because it can cost a lot.
There are many ways you can file bankruptcy at a bargained price. Beginning with filing bankruptcy online, this is user-friendly and very handy for people who do not like to go out of their house. It takes only a computer and an internet connection for you to be able to do this. One other way to cut cost is to carry through the filing without any help from anyone. This can be challenging for anyone because you need to learn things in just a matter of days. Remember that if you do not know what you are doing when filing your papers, you might have just gambled more of your properties than what is on the line.
Bankruptcy Trustee: Who Is That and What Do They Do?
It almost happens in every meeting. I will be explaining how things work in a bankruptcy case and I will make reference to the “trustee.” Usually my clients won’t interrupt me but sometimes I can just tell by the look on their face that they have no idea who I am talking about. I don’t try to talk over my clients’ heads. Actually I try to make things as simple as possible so that I only have to go over it one time. As much as I try to make it easy I do make mistakes and forget that my clients don’t do this every day.
The “trustee” is the person who administers the bankruptcy case. The “trustee” is not a judge. I like to tell my clients that the trustee is sort of like a referee in a sporting event. His job is to make sure all the parties are going the right direction on the field and following the rules. When someone breaks the rules or how an issue should be administered, the trustee or other interested party (debtor, creditor, etc.) can ask the judge to get involved.
One of the trustee’s duties is to conduct a “First Meeting of Creditors.” We also call the meeting a 341 meeting. This meeting or hearing is scheduled about 30 days after you file for bankruptcy. The trustee who is assigned to your case will be at the hearing and is required to ask you a series of questions. Most of these questions are questions that we have already discussed. Some of the questions include but are not limited to:
Do you still live at the same address as when you filed?
Did you list all of your assets and debts correctly?
Were you being garnished when you filed?
Did you transfer any assets or property to a family member in the last two years?
Did you pay any one creditor more than 0.00 in the 90 days before you filed?
The questions they ask are not intended to harm you in any way. Instead, the trustee is asking questions that will help them to administer your case.
The trustee is required to review all of your assets and determine if any of the assets are not exempt. This means that the trustee is trying to determine if he has to take the asset, sell the asset, and use the proceeds to pay creditors. An example would be a client who has a speed boat. Let’s say the client’s speed boat is worth 9,000.00 and he doesn’t owe any money against the boat. You need to know that boats are not exempt except for situations where the boat may be used for work (this is very rare). The trustee would be required to sell the boat and take the proceeds to pay the client’s creditors.
The trustee does have some discretion as to whether he takes an asset or doesn’t take an asset. An example that we see many times a month is the situation of “extra” cars. Consider a car that doesn’t run, has body problems, and is most likely worth less than the repairs that would be needed to make it road worthy. Usually we value a car like this at salvage value but most likely never more than 500.00. We almost never want to claim the car as exempt because we would rather use the exemption for a more valuable vehicle if the client has one. Keep in mind what the trustee would have to do with a non-exempt 500.00 car. The bankruptcy trustee would be required to liquidate the car (sell the car); take the proceeds from the sale of the car; first pay the expenses from the sale of the car (tow fee, auction fee, etc.); and take the remaining balance and distribute it among the clients’ creditors. In reality it is more complicated than what I just explained and can take many months to complete. Good news! To do all that work the trustee would be paid something like 10% of the gross. The trustees work hard for a living, however, they don’t work stupid. There is no value in doing all the work and distributing less to the creditors. More plainly stated, trustees will likely abandon a car in this condition and the client will get to keep the car.
I hope this explains who the trustee is and what they do. Everyone who files for bankruptcy gets a trustee who administers the case. The trustees in our area are really nice guys who have always been there to help me when I have asked. You don’t need to be afraid of the trustee when you see them at your 341 meeting. They probably would rather be at their offices working on something productive.
So that, in a nutshell, is the who the bankruptcy trustee is and what he or she does. If you have any questions about bankruptcy and what the trustee does, be sure to contact a bankruptcy attorney in your area.
5 Reasons To Hire A Personal Bankruptcy Attorney
When you decide to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, it’s always tempting to try to do it alone. After all, you’re already in a financial fix—why spend more for just a small convenience? Well, the truth is that a personal bankruptcy attorney does more than just sign your forms. They can also help you better understand your situation, negotiate with creditors, and tell you everything you need to know to ensure a successful filing. Here are five more things a personal bankruptcy attorney can do that you can’t get by filing on your own.
They know the laws.
The Bankruptcy Code is complicated even for some lawyers. An experienced personal bankruptcy attorney will know which laws apply to you and which ones you should know as a debtor. Also, since the rules are always changing, it helps to have someone who’s up to date to let you know what’s going on and how you can adapt.
They protect you from lenders.
Creditors can get pretty insistent the more debt you have, or the further behind you are on payments. But when they know you’ve got a Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney, they’ll be much less inclined to harass you for payments. You can simply mention that you’ve filed personal bankruptcy and refer them to your attorney next time you get a call.
They get things done faster.
When you file Chapter 7 bankruptcy alone, you have to stop once in a while to figure out what certain forms mean and find the right person to talk to at the bank. A personal bankruptcy attorney will have connections that help get the case moving. They can explain the rules as you go, show you a few shortcuts, and generally ensure a smoother transaction.
They prevent costly mistakes.
There’s a lot of paperwork involved in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, and a slight error can lead to much bigger problems. While you’ll have to provide the data yourself, a personal bankruptcy attorney can give you a hard in filling them out and making sure there’s no false or misleading data.
They can negotiate with creditors.
Finally, a personal bankruptcy attorney can help you reach a more reasonable agreement with your creditors. Some of them will contest the amount of discharged debt in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, or file a lawsuit during the waiting period. With a personal bankruptcy attorney, you can face such hurdles with confidence and come out with a deal that works for all parties.
Whether to File for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Our firm strives to educate our clients on all of the opportunities they have to settle their debts, and urge them not to rush into any decision too hastily.
Many homeowners are looking for a quick fix to their problems after they are bogged down by financial struggles. All that they want is to clear their debts and start over. Unfortunately, however, when you fall too far into debt, there is no “quick fix.” It will take some careful planning and dedication, but in time you will be able to regain a firm grasp on your finances.
As a homeowner involved in financial struggles, you need to review the advantages and disadvantages of every choice, including filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. In order to qualify for Chapter 13, you will have to prove that after the filing you will have enough money to repay your debts in a timely manner without falling behind again. This could be from issues such as inheritance, job wages, or spouse’s job wages. But, for many people who are facing foreclosure, this can be a difficult task to fulfill. In fact, 78% of Chapter 13 filings fail within the first 90 days because people fall behind again in repayments.
Contrary to what many people perceive, filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy does not start you with a clean slate. Instead, the main goal is to help you consolidate your debt, reorganize your bills, and establish a means for you to settle all your debts. And within only two months after filing, you will be expected to resume paying your regular monthly mortgage payments and make a monthly payment to a bankruptcy trustee, which will be used to pay off all your debts.
In general, you will make this payment to the bankruptcy trustee for three to five years. And afterward, all of your debts should be settled, and your car loans and credit cards should be paid off. In theory, it sounds like a great plan. Unfortunately, if you were having trouble paying your bills to begin with, the increased payment to the trustee will only add to your financial struggles, especially if you have to begin paying your bills within a month or two of regrouping.
In some cases, your best option may be to use Chapter 13 in conjunction with other tactics that your attorney can help you secure. For example, if you are able to modify the terms of your mortgage prior to filing for bankruptcy, then you will be able to increase the chance that the filing will be successful. Modifying your loan can decrease your monthly payments, therefore allowing more of your money to go towards paying the monthly bankruptcy trustee fee that will help extinguish your debt.
However, I always advise my clients to weigh the pros and cons of all of their choices instead of rushing into Chapter 13 bankruptcy. In fact, most of my clients use one of the many other forms of loss mitigation to settle their debts and keep their homes from being sold in foreclosure.
This article is for informational purposes only. You should not rely on this article as a legal opinion on any specific facts or circumstances, and you should not act upon this information without seeking professional counsel. Neither publication of this article nor your receipt of this article create an attorney-client relationship.
Bankruptcy Filings – Thinking About Bankruptcy?
Are you considering bankruptcy? Do you know what you will be getting yourself into with bankruptcy filings? If you are thinking about bankruptcy to clear your debts and get a fresh start you need to understand exactly what you are getting yourself into. Here is what no bankruptcy attorney will ever tell you about what you will be doing if you file for bankruptcy.
First, you will be telling your creditors that your word, signature, and agreement with them was never good and will never be good. This is a huge blow to your pride and to your sense of trust. When you give people a reason not to trust you, you also give yourself a reason to struggle to trust others. This is one of the major side effects of bankruptcy because it can become a way of like.
There are people that use credit cards until they cannot get anymore and have run up their limits completely, then they file bankruptcy. After their bankruptcy they do it again until they can file for bankruptcy again. This is not meant to be a way of life, but some people have made it a way of life.
Bankruptcy was meant for those that are in a pit, black hole, or just cannot make it happen on their income. They have been working very hard and have been trying to pay off their creditors, but they just cannot do it. This could be caused by being laid off, losing a job, or because of a medical emergency.
Second, bankruptcy will completely kill your credit. This will make is as hard as possible for you to get a loan for at least 2 years, except credit cards. They will try to get you to go for the highest possible interest rate and the loan or credit card will cost you more than it is worth.
Last, you have to know how to deal with your credit after a bankruptcy. You need to get some counseling and hire a financial advisor to help. Sometimes there are volunteers at local churches that will help you set up a budget, and they will even help you take care of your debts if you choose not to file for bankruptcy.
You need to know what you are getting into with bankruptcy filings. Make sure to ask each and every question you have and get the answers you need so that you know what you are getting into and what to expect.
How Anyone Can Avoid Bankruptcy
Are you trying to avoid bankruptcy, but don’t know how to do that? Then you have to understand the ways that you can use to achieve that goal.
There are many ways that you can use to prevent bankruptcy, but don’t eliminate this option altogether. For many people, bankruptcy may be the only solution. This is a decision you will have to make on your own or with the help of a professional.
Now, below are the different ways that can be used to help you prevent bankruptcy. Below are also the different steps that need to be taken for preventing this.
1. Get organized – For anyone that is serious about avoiding this solution for eliminating debt, you have to get organized. Getting organized will allow you to get a good handle on your debts.
It will also help you manage your money better, which is definitely important for debt elimination.
2. Get in contact with your creditors – No one wants to have to do this step, but it is imperative. You have to let them know that you are searching for a way to prevent bankruptcy. You may be surprised when they are able to provide you with a solution that you didn’t know about.
3. Get professional help – This is very important for avoiding bankruptcy. The professionals know what other options are available for you. Some of the different options they may suggest can include:
– Debt consolidation: This will help you get your debts paid off without having to use bankruptcy. Just be sure you check into this option carefully with the aid of a professional so you can decide if this is right for you.
– Debt management plan: With this option you will set up a management plan with a consultant that will help you pay off your debts. This can be beneficial for eliminating debt and for getting your future finances under control.
– Personal budgeting: This is a solution that will work for some people, but is definitely not right for everyone. You have to be careful if you use this option to learn all you can to help you do it correctly.
If you don’t, then you will stay in debt and you may eventually have to take the bankruptcy option to get you out. Don’t eliminate the bankruptcy option altogether because this may be your only solution.
Be smart and talk to a professional about how to avoid bankruptcy so you can find the best solution for you in particular. Just be sure you don’t make a rush decision about the option you are going to use because it is a big decision to make and will affect your future. So, be sure that you are making the right decision from the start.
Chapter 7 Personal Bankruptcy FAQs
Filing for Chapter 7 personal bankruptcy can be a very confusing process. The following information addresses the most frequent concerns people have when they consider bankruptcy.
Am I eligible to file bankruptcy? Once every 8 years you can file a chapter 7. The rules as to when you can file a Chapter 13 and how often are more complicated. Your eligibility to file a chapter 7 does not depend simply on the amount of your debt nor the amount of your income each month. Our job is to help determine if you can file and if not now, when you would be eligible to file.
What is the difference between a chapter 7 and chapter 13? A chapter 7 bankruptcy is often referred to as a liquidation bankruptcy. You file, eliminate what debt you can, keep what assets you are allowed to keep, and are done in about 90 days. Chapter 13 is where you agree to pay back to your creditors some percentage of what they are owed over a period not to exceed 5 years. In exchange you get to keep your assets.
When do the creditor calls stop? Once you file, the bankruptcy law imposes a barrier against any creditor continuing to contact you by phone or letter, continuing any law suit or levying against your wages, as a general rule, all creditor activity to collect on a debt must stop.
Will I be able to get credit after filing? Yes, but it might take a few years. The more time that passes since your filing, increases the likelihood that you will get credit in the future.
How long is the difference on my credit report? Your credit report will usually carry the filing for 10 years. Initially your rating will take a deep drop. You might find it will drop down to 400. But we often find your rating, after about 3 to 4 years and no new debt, will bounce back to the 700s.
What can I keep if I file bankruptcy? There are rules as to what you can keep under Federal law and under state law. Generally you can keep your household goods and furnishings. You can protect a certain amount of equity in one vehicle per debtor. Your house is also protected upon to a certain amount of equity. Retirement accounts (IRAs and 401(k) are almost always protected. Beyond that, the equity in your other assets will determine what you can keep and what you have to buy back from the bankruptcy court.
Are you considering bankruptcy? Are you tired of being hounded by creditors, and losing your hard earned pay to garnishments? Do you want a lawyer who cares more about you, than the contents of your bank account? Contact our firm today and get your fresh start!