The bankruptcy process can free an individual from overwhelming debt but it is not right for everyone. For many, alternatives to bankruptcy can provide much needed debt relief. For over 20 years, Buff & Chronister, LLC has helped families who faced repossessions, the threat of foreclosure and violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. We have assisted thousands in this manner and are strong advocates of bankruptcy when it will truly benefit you and your family. Filing for Chapter 7, Chapter 11 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy can achieve a discharge of your debts. In this way, bankruptcy gives you the fresh start it has gained a reputation for. What if you don’t qualify or bankruptcy is not really needed in order to successfully resolve your financial difficulties?
The purpose of our firm goes well beyond filing for bankruptcy. We work to get you back in control of your finances. Our attorneys strive to remove the dangers of foreclosure, wage garnishment and other repercussions of severe debts problems. If bankruptcy is not the best method to assist you, an experienced Centerville bankruptcy attorney from our firm is well-versed in other financial tools. We are able to take on creditors by using proven collections defense and foreclosure defense actions. Our attorneys are accomplished negotiators and trial attorneys. We are proud to have tried over 40 cases to a jury verdict. There are established methods of repairing tough financial situations and we invite you to talk to one of our attorneys to gain a full understanding of how we can help.
The rapid growth in Centerville’s population has caused an increase in the need for affordable housing. For most of us, our home is our largest and most important investment. It represents much more than mere dollars and cents. It is the place where we raise our families and live a good portion of our lives. If foreclosure on your home seems likely, there are swift actions that we can frequently take to assist you.
Successfully Using Loan Modification, Debt Negotiation and Debt Settlement
In a loan modification, our attorneys work directly with your lender. Our goal is to change the terms of your existing home loan so that you are now able to make your mortgage payments. At the same time, we must ensure that your lender is satisfied with the arrangement. Commonly, we achieve this by obtaining agreement to lessen your interest rate or principal. For some, we can get the terms modified from a floating to a fixed rate. Lenders can many times be made agreeable to modifications so that steady payments are being made.
A deed in lieu of foreclosure may be an alternative that will work best for you. This procedure permits you to transfer the deed for your property back to the lender. It has the disadvantage of losing your home but it prevents you from having to go through bankruptcy and can stop a foreclosure. It also gets you out from under a mortgage situation that is unworkable. A deed in lieu must be done with the agreement of your lender. This is possible as the lender gains a house that can be put back onto the market. We know the documentation that is required and strive to safeguard your rights throughout the process.
For others, a short sale will allow us to get you out of a troubled mortgage situation. If you owe significantly more than your home is worth and are not able to make your payments, a short sale can be a workable substitute to bankruptcy. In a short sale, our attorneys negotiate with your lender to accept an amount of money that is less than what you currently owe. This allows a lender to turn around and sell the house to a new owner. A short sale should not be undertaken without knowing the negatives and positives. We can help you to understand the procedure as well as how it will affect your financial situation.
Individuals run into credit card debt and other difficulties that they are unable to work out of. Recognizing this, debt negotiations or settlements are other approaches that our firm can use to get you back in charge financially. Our attorneys work with your creditors to reduce the amounts you owe on your debts. In many instances, a lender will agree to a reduction with the idea that receiving a smaller payment is better than no payments at all. Normally, when we complete negotiations on a specific debt, a lump sum will have to be paid to the creditor. Once your payment is made, the debt you owe will be legally discharged. An additional benefit to you is many of these payments appear on your credit score as a paid bill. Routinely, the kinds of debts that we can resolve with our actions include credit card bills, medical bills, vehicle repossession deficiencies and personal loans.
All bankruptcy alternatives have several points in common. We must act quickly in order for the options to be available to you and to prevent your finances from worsening.
Contact a Centerville bankruptcy lawyerto understand the financial alternatives available to discharge your debts.
The Truth About Bankruptcy Exemptions, Debt Relief and More
If you wanted accurate information on a surgical procedure, you would go to a trusted surgeon. When you need to understand what is wrong with your car, a master mechanic is the best source for information. In a similar manner, if you are in serious financial trouble with debts beyond your ability to pay, who should you turn to for help? After more than 20 years of effective legal service for those with pressing debt situations, Buff & Chronister highly recommends that you only turn to a proven Berkeley Lake bankruptcy lawyer to learn the truth about bankruptcy.
It is unfortunate that bankruptcy myths and misconceptions can bar people from using an established route to discharging debts. For this reason, we feel it is our duty to accurately and fully inform individuals in need of debt relief of the facts regarding bankruptcy. Part of that job is doing what we can to dispel false and misleading information on the subject.
A common misunderstanding of the bankruptcy process is that you will lose your home, your vehicles and other important assets if you file. Fortunately, nothing could be further from the truth. This idea probably comes from Chapter 7 bankruptcy in which certain assets can be sold in order to pay off some of the debts that you owe. Part of Chapter 7 is also that certain of your debts can be cleared by the court, making you no longer legally obligated to pay them. Keep in mind that the purpose of bankruptcy is to discharge your debts and through this action give you a fresh financial start. When bankruptcy is completed, you are supposed to be in a much better financial condition than when you started. If this were not true, why go through the procedure?
In our state, there are bankruptcy exemptions that our attorneys can utilize to protect your most important assets. For the vast majority of individuals, their homes, cars, 401K plans and many other assets will not be affected by going through bankruptcy. While Chapter 7 is known as “liquidation” bankruptcy, Chapter 11 and 13 bankruptcies are not based on a sale of assets at all.
From time to time, we hear concerns that filing for bankruptcy will ruin a person’s credit rating or make it impossible to obtain credit. Frequently, it actually can be the start of repairing bad credit. After we complete a thorough review of your income, assets, debts and other applicable financial information, we can advise you as to whether bankruptcy will be the best solution for your situation. For some, alternatives to bankruptcy such as debt settlement, loan modification, a short sale of your home, deed in lieu of foreclosure or debt negotiation will work best. Our attorneys know how to use each of these alternatives to resolve your financial problems.
If you are being overwhelmed by debt, need to stop a foreclosure or face repossessions or wage garnishment, your credit rating has probably already suffered severe damage. When you have completed bankruptcy, all or almost the entirety of your debts will be resolved. Creditors look at the amount of your debt in comparison to your ability to pay. By successfully finishing bankruptcy, you can be in a much better position to pay all of your bills on time. Commonly, many banks will permit you to obtain a secured credit card quickly. After completing Chapter 7, most individuals will be eligible to purchase a home within several years.
Many individuals have suffered by the actions of bill collectors who disregard the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Some fear continued harassment even though they have filed for bankruptcy. This is one myth that we are happy to disprove. When we file your bankruptcy petition, an automatic stay will be issued by the court. This court order serves to put an immediate halt to all attempts by creditors to collect on your debts. Creditor lawsuits, phone calls, letters and other forms of pressure must cease. Filing can provide foreclosure defense, halt repossessions and stop garnishment of your wages.
For some, the most personal misconception about bankruptcy is that if you file, you have somehow failed and that is the end of the story. Even in an affluent area such as Berkeley Lake, misfortune can quickly strike. Millions of Americans have used bankruptcy as it was intended and come out on top. We have assisted thousands of families through severe financial troubles and would like to help you as well. We serve all of Gwinnett County and encourage you to get the facts regarding bankruptcy and its many benefits.
Contact our Berkeley Lake bankruptcy attorneyif you are considering bankruptcy and need accurate information about the process.
Top 14 Myths About BankruptcyNot everything you’ve heard about bankruptcy is the absolute truth. In fact, most of what you may have been told is FALSE and I’ll prove it right here right now. Take a look at the Top 14 Myths creditors will tell you and the reason why each and every one of them is FALSE.
•Myth 1: Everyone will know you had to file for bankruptcy
•Myth 2: You will lose all of your possessions
•Myth 3: You will never have the ability to own anything ever again
•Myth 4: You will never be able to receive credit again
•Myth 5: Filing for bankruptcy will destroy your credit for a decade
•Myth 6: If you’re married…both you and your partner will have to file for bankruptcy protection
•Myth 7: Filing for bankruptcy is a very hard and difficult process
•Myth 8: Filing for bankruptcy makes you a deadbeat
•Myth 9: You’re a really bad person for filing bankruptcy
•Myth 10: You are hurting your credit by filing for bankruptcy
•Myth 11: Filing for bankruptcy will not stop creditors from harassing you and your family
•Myth 12: You sill still owe back taxes if you file for bankruptcy
•Myth 13: Filing for bankruptcy protection can only be done once
•Myth 14: You decide which debts and property to list in your bankruptcy
Myth 1: Everyone will know you had to file for bankruptcy
Usually, the only people who will know that you’ve filed for bankruptcy are your creditors and whoever you choose to tell. Bankruptcy does go on public record, but since there are so many filings, it is very unlikely that someone will be able to find your information in a sea of bankruptcy filings. However, talking about bankruptcy makes for good gossip, so we advise to watch who you tell about filing. Unless people are looking to specifically track information about you, it is almost impossible for nearly everybody to find out you have filed.
Myth 2: You will lose all of your possessions
This couldn’t be any more false. You most likely will not lose a thing when you file for bankruptcy protection. Each state has a certain set of exemptions that will help you protect your property. Bankruptcy also doesn’t cancel out liens, which allows you to keep a vehicle, business equipment, or a home as collateral for any loan to pay debt.
Myth 3: You will never have the ability to own anything ever again
Again, this couldn’t be further from the truth. When you accumulate wealth again to buy things, you are free to own and possess what is affordable for your budget.
Myth 4: You will never be able to receive credit again.
While it may be easy to believe this myth, it is not true. When you file bankruptcy, you are given a new opportunity to handle increased credit, which will make you appear more attractive to possible lenders in the future. If you are able to stay employed, save money, pay bills on time, and allow your credit report to become more positive, your credit will improve over a period of time. With our experience, those who have not gotten back to good credit standing in two to four years, it is NOT because of filing bankruptcy – it’s because of an incident that occurred after the filing took place that hurt their credit standing.
Myth 5: Filing bankruptcy will destroy your credit for a decade.
This is a common misconception. Bankruptcy WILL show up on your credit report for ten years, but reporting will not necessarily leave a negative mark on your credit rating. These are two different but commonly confused concepts.
Look at it this way – if you are filing for bankruptcy, your credit rating is already in trouble and beyond repair. As this is the case, bankruptcy is not going to hurt your credit.
If you have not re-established your credit within the few years after filing, it’s not because you once filed for bankruptcy or that it’s part of your credit history.
Myth 6: If you’re married…both you and your partner will have to file for bankruptcy protection.
This is also not true. Many times, for domestic partners to file together makes sense, but it’s not required by law. There have been numerous cases where only one partner has filed for bankruptcy, but in general, it makes sense for both partners to file jointly – to get a sort of “two for one” deal – the two of them can file for the price of a single filing.
Also, if you and your partner have no shared debt, your filing for bankruptcy will have no effect on their credit rating.
Myth 7: Filing for bankruptcy is a very hard and difficult process.
When you have an experienced attorney, your bankruptcy filing process will not be complicated. Deciding whether or not to file may be difficult, but we will make the filing as easy and painless as possible.
Myth 8: Filing for bankruptcy makes you a deadbeat.
This is a major misconception, especially in the state of today’s economy. There are many hard-working, good people who are forced to file for bankruptcy protection as a final resort. Bad things can happen to good people. Many times, bankruptcy becomes an option after a catastrophic event one may go through such as divorce, lost jobs, health complications, or family emergencies. Bankruptcy may also be an option for those who mistakenly fall into debt because of a lack of understanding of how to budget their finances.
Myth 9: You’re a really bad person for filing bankruptcy.
If you’re a bad person for filing bankruptcy, then so are a million other Americans who file for bankruptcy every year. It’s unfortunate, but good, honest and hard-working people find themselves falling upon hard times. Life isn’t always easy. It can be tough, even brutal sometimes, and money may not always be there. Bankruptcy gives those a chance to have a “fresh start”, or a second financial chance in life, and is not confined to any certain type of person.
Myth 10: You are hurting your credit by filing for bankruptcy.
This isn’t true, just because when you file for bankruptcy, your credit’s at a point where it really can’t get any worse. It’s either maxed out, or in bad standing – and bankruptcy will not make it worse. Many times, clients are surprised when they are told that filing for bankruptcy protection will help rebuild credit. Bankruptcy will help you get wipe out debt and give you a second chance to take on new credit responsibilities and prove to yourself once again to get your credit rating on the rise.
Myth 11: Filing for bankruptcy will not stop creditors from harassing you and your family.
Let’s take a look at yet another case where this myth is just not true. Once you file for protection against your creditors, the Bankruptcy Court will issue an order that will tell all creditors to stop harassing you. This means no more calls, letters, repossessions, garnishments, foreclosures, and more. This order is called an “automatic stay.” It’s issued pursuant to 11 United States Code, Section 362. In fact, creditors are not even permitted to contact you after you file for bankruptcy. If creditors violate this, you have the right to bring them before the Court for Contempt of Court.
Myth 12: You still owe back taxes if you file for bankruptcy.
If you have unpaid income taxes that are more than three years old, then the answer is yes, we can get rid of most of them. We can also have personal property taxes and inheritance taxes discharged. By law, there are several qualifications that need to be met. Once they are satisfied, the taxes no longer are your responsibility to pay. Please note: Filing bankruptcy protection does NOT get rid of any withholding or sales taxes no matter their age.
Myth 13: Filing for bankruptcy protection can only be done once.
You are able to file and get a ‘discharge’ under Chapter 7 once every eight years. After eight years has passed, you can file again for Chapter 7 if needed. As for filing a Chapter 7 after filing and getting a discharge in Chapter 13, the wait is 6 years, computed from ‘date of filing’ to ‘date of filing’. If you need to file a case under Chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code….the wait is only 4 years after a prior discharged Chapter 7 or 2 years after a prior discharged Chapter 13 case, computed from ‘date of filing’ to ‘date of filing’.
There is no required wait time between bankruptcy filings, if the prior bankruptcy case was ‘dismissed’, as opposed to ‘discharged’, unless there is a specific court order to the contrary.
Hopefully, you won’t need to file for bankruptcy more than once. .
Myth 14: You decide which debts and property to list in your bankruptcy.
Unfortunately, this is not the case. When filing, you must list every piece of property you own and all of your debts. Anything otherwise is against the law. People often leave out debts because they intend on paying it. Although you list it, you will still have the ability to achieve that goal. You are able to continue paying debt after filing for bankruptcy protection. There are even some debts you can’t not keep paying. If you don’t fall behind on a loan and keep your property insured, you will be protected under law and will not lose the property.
Call 314-849-1001 today to learn more.
We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the bankruptcy code and have been so proudly for over 20 years. The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely upon advertisements.
Bankruptcy Information (Q&A)
Please note that the following is general information only and not intended to be specific legal advice. Should you want specific legal advice as to your situation, CALL 775.636.9130 NOW for your FREE consultation or fill out ourcontact form.
Q: I am thinking about filing for bankruptcy, what should I do?
A: The worse thing you can do is NOTHING. If you are drowning in debt, stressing out over your finances, staying awake at night because of your mortgage, or anything of the sort, you should CALL NOW! Get a FREE consultation so that you can arm yourself with the information you need to make the decision that is best for YOU. Do not rely on what your friend or your friend’s friend, et cetera, have told you. CALL for your FREE CONSULTATION NOW, 775.636.9130 or fill out ourForm.
Q: I have heard that you must repay all of your debts in bankruptcy and that I could lose some or all of my things, is that true?
A: That is precisely what the banks and credit companies want you to believe, that Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the liquidation chapter, is no longer available. This is certainly not true. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is still available to those who are eligible. Importantly, you may be able to keep most, if not all, of your possessions. However, in order to best assess your eligibility for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and related issues, it is best to take advantage of our FREE consultation and get your questions answered.
Q: My spouse does not want to file bankruptcy whatsoever, can I file by myself?
A: Yes, you may file bankruptcy by yourself, without your spouse.
Q: What do I need to bring to my FREE consultation?
A: You need not bring any documentation, as long as you have a general idea of your finances — your debt and income situation.
Q: Who will I meet with for my FREE consultation?
A: Your consultation will be with a local Reno bankruptcy attorney, not a paralegal or legal assistant. The consultation will be a one-on-one, face-to-face appointment with the attorney who will be able to better assess your situation and advise you accordingly.
Q: How long will the process take once my Chapter 7 bankruptcy is filed?
A: From the filing of your Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition to the discharge of your case, it typically takes 4 to 6 months, although it could take longer depending on your specific situation.
Q: Will the filing of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy stop a foreclosure or wage garnishment?
A: YES, in most instances, the FILING of a bankruptcy will stop foreclosures, wage garnishment and other court matters. If you currently fear that your house will be foreclosed upon or wages garnished, we highly advise that you DO NOT WAIT! CONTACT US NOW for your FREE CONSULTATION, 775.636.9130.
Q: Will I have to go to court?
A: Yes. Upon the filing of your bankruptcy case, the Court schedules the341 Meeting of the Creditors in your case. The 341 meeting is typically scheduled about 4 to 6 weeks from the date of filing of your case. On that date, you and the attorney will go to the 341 meeting together and the Trustee assigned to your case will question you as to yoru bankruptcy filing. Note that all 341 meetings are held at the Nevada Bankruptcy Court.
Q: Who is the Trustee?
A: Once your case is filed, the Court assigns a Chapter 7 Trustee to administer your case. The Chapter 7 Trustee will be the one doing the questioning at your 341 meeting. Currently, there are eight Chapter 7 Trustees in the Reno area.
Q: Will everyone know I filed for bankruptcy?
A: Bankruptcy filings are not published in the local newspaper (Remo Gazette Journal, for example), although bankruptcy filings are public record. So, if someone really wanted to find out if you filed for bankruptcy, they could but unless you announce to others that you filed, it is unlikely that everyone will find out.
Q: I prefer to take my chances with a credit counseling or debt settlement company, would that be better than bankruptcy?
A:Often times, filing for bankruptcy is a better option than either credit counseling or debt settlement. Credit counseling may provide you breathing room by negotiating a lower monthly payment, but in the long run, you’re paying your debt off albeit at a slower rate. Debt settlement companies will typically require that their fee be paid prior to any work being done and even after that, you must have enough funds to settle the debt before they negotiate, so it could be months before you see any progress. On the other hand, bankruptcy legally wipes out your unsecured debt and allows you to begin on the road back to creditworthiness quicker. Of course, should you choose either credit counseling or debt settlement, we urge you to do your homework on the company you choose to ensure that your money is going where you intend it to go.
Q: Are there certain debts that I cannot get rid of in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy?
A: Yes. Certain debts, including, some debts owed to the government, student loans and domestic support obligations (child support and alimony) are not dischargeable in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, so you will still owe such debts even after your bankruptcy. Please note that this is not an exhaustive list, but just a sampling of debts that are not dischargeable in a bankruptcy.
Q: Will bankruptcy mean that my credit will be bad for the next 10 years?
A: The fact that you filed a bankruptcy may legally be reported on your credit report for 10 years. However, your credit will not be dismal for the same amount of time. Typically, debtors who filed for bankruptcy are able to rebuild their credit and be creditworthy in just 2 years after receiving their discharge. What you do with your finances after bankruptcy will have a lot to do with your credit standing.
Q: How often can I file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy?
A: The simple answer is one can file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy 8 years after having received a Chapter 7 discharge.
Q: Why do attorneys charge so much? I can save a lot of money by using a paralegal or document preparation service.
A: Only an attorney can give you legal advice, and only an attorney can represent you in court. Paralegals and document preparation services are prohibited from giving you legal advice. Moreover, only an attorney can represent you in court. So if you use a paralegal or a document preparation service, you are on your own once your petition is filed. However, if you are comfortable with a paralegal or document preparation service, then you should utilize their services.
Q: What do I need to file for bankruptcy?
A: If you decide to retain our firm, we will provide you with a checklist of documents, a detailed questionnaire, and a list of approved credit counseling agencies and debt management course agencies. Typical documents include pay stubs, bank statements and tax returns. The questionnaire asks questions to which we need answers in order to prepare your petition, and the list of approved agencies provides you with information on the two courses you are required to take, one before your bankruptcy case is filed and one after your case is filed.