The decision to file for bankruptcy must be an educated one. It must begin with a strong commitment to take control of your financial situation, but the final decision should be the product of knowledgeable guidance. The Law Offices of Robert S. Gitmeid & Associates, PLLC will educate you about the numerous benefits of bankruptcy, the negative aspects of bankruptcy, and how bankruptcy would impact your finances versus other debt-relief alternatives.
Perhaps the most common reason for being apprehensive about bankruptcy is false information. “Bankruptcy will ruin my credit.” “I’ll lose my home or my car if I file for Bankruptcy.” “I’ll lose my 401(k) and my pension.” These are some of the many false “myths” surrounding bankruptcy that frighten people from even considering it as an option. The realities are that bankruptcy gives you a “fresh start” to rebuilding your credit, most debtors are able to keep their home and car, and your retirement benefits are given protection in bankruptcy. The Law Offices of Robert S. Gitmeid & Assoc., PLLC dispels the bankruptcy myths by giving the right answers to all of your questions.
Remember, the only foolish question is the one you don’t ask.
Call us today for a free consultation to see if bankruptcy is right for you!
Chapter 7: “Liquidation”
Chapter 7 of the United States Bankruptcy Code, also known as “Liquidation,” is most commonly filed by the average consumer who is being smothered by overwhelming credit card debt, medical bills, or a has suffered a loss of employment or income. Once your attorney files your Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition, the bankruptcy court immediately issues an “Automatic Stay” which stops most collection proceedings against you. The Automatic Stay can:
- Stop all collection attempts by your creditors
- Stop wage garnishment and utility service shut-offs
- Stop any impending foreclosure or eviction actions
- Stop any law suits that your creditors have commenced against you
If you qualify for a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, the Bankruptcy Court will assign a bankruptcy Trustee to your case. The Trustee is responsible for gathering your non-exempt property, liquidating it, and distributing the proceeds to creditors. The good news is that the U.S. Bankruptcy Code provides ways for you to keep your property. Upon conclusion of the bankruptcy process, your dischargeable unsecured debts are erased and your fresh start begins!
Chapter 13: “Wage Earner’s Plan”
Chapter 13 of the United States Bankruptcy Code, also known as a “Wage Earner’s Plan,” is a good strategy for people who have the financial ability to pay back their debt, given the proper schedule. Like Chapter 7, filing for Chapter 13 also generates an Automatic Stay of most collection activity. The Bankruptcy Court then formulates a payment plan for the debtor to pay a percentage of his or her debts over a three to five-year period.
For unsecured debts such as credit card and medical bills you may pay as little as 10% of your balance, but the exact percentage will be determined by the bankruptcy Trustee. Upon the successful conclusion of the payment plan, if certain conditions are met, any remaining dischargeable debt is erased. However, if the debtor fails to make payments under the plan or fails to make alimony, child support, or certain tax payments, the Bankruptcy Court may either dismiss the case or convert the Chapter 13 filing to a Chapter 7 case.