Berks County, PA Bankruptcy Lawyers
When you are living with large amounts of debt, it can start to have a negative effect on all areas of your life. Excessive debt can cause huge amounts of stress, anxiety, and depression, and the constant hounding from creditors can leave innocent people afraid to check their mail or pick up their phone. When financial problems take over your life, it can feel like you have no way out — but filing for consumer bankruptcy may be the perfect solution.
Many people are surprised to learn that the consequences they feared are simply stubborn myths. Contrary to popular misconceptions, bankruptcy does not have to ruin your credit forever, chain you to your creditors, or cause you to forfeit all of your assets. Just the opposite, it does have the power to silence your creditors, protect your possessions, and give you a clean financial slate to start rebuilding good, healthy credit.
If you live in Berks County and you’re interested in learning more about filing, call the law offices of Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates at (609) 755-3115 in New Jersey or (215) 701-6519 in Pennsylvania to set up a free and confidential legal consultation.
Berks County, Pennsylvania Bankruptcy Attorneys
Like any other tool in life, bankruptcy can only work when it’s handled correctly. While there is no law which expressly prohibits people from filing on their own, even the U.S. Courts urge against doing so:
“While individuals can file a bankruptcy case without an attorney or “pro se,” it is extremely difficult to do it successfully. […] The rules are very technical, and a misstep may affect a debtor’s rights. […] Bankruptcy has long-term financial and legal consequences — hiring a competent attorney is strongly recommended.”
The lawyers of Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates have more than 20 years of experience helping the people of Berks County successfully file for Chapter 13 and Chapter 7. Our skilled legal team has handled thousands of cases, and many times, our clients are able to jump ahead financially by as much as five to ten years. When you work with us, you can feel confident that you’re in good hands.
How Bankruptcy Can Help
Bankruptcy can help debtors in two very powerful ways:
- It can manage, reduce, or eliminate what you owe.
- It can put a freeze on the collection actions against you under “the automatic stay.”
Debts are divided into two broad categories:
- Dischargeable. Can be eliminated.
- Nondischargeable. Cannot be eliminated.
Fortunately, many of the largest and most debilitating forms of debt can be discharged, including but not limited to:
- Medical Bills
- Credit Card Debt
- Overdue Rent Payments
- Social Security Overpayments
- Personal Loans
- Utility Bills
Generally speaking, nondischargeable forms include:
- Student Loans
- Alimony (Spousal Support) Payments
- Child Support Payments
The Automatic Stay
Many legal procedures are associated with long waits and red tape. But the automatic stay truly lives up to its name by “kicking in” immediately once the debtor files their initial petition. This swift relief is excellent news, because the automatic stay:
- Puts a freeze on any collection actions currently against you.
- Delays foreclosure and utility service shut-offs.
- Prevents your creditors from continuing to contact you.
To put it in very basic terms, the purpose of the stay is essentially to give debtors some “breathing room” and time to regroup their financial affairs.
Berks County Filing Statistics
The United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania tracks filings by year and county. According to the Court’s recent official records for Berks County:
- 2011 Fiscal Year: 1,278 cases
- 2012 Fiscal Year: 1,209 cases
- 2013 Fiscal Year: 1,084 cases
So far in 2014, there have been 585 cases. Broken down by type for the 2013 fiscal year, the Eastern District of Pennsylvania recorded:
- 7,170 Chapter 7 filings
- 4,708 Chapter 13 filings
Our Berks County, PA Bankruptcy Lawyers Can Help
If financial problems are destroying your life, our firm may be able to help you get a fresh start. Call the Berks County, Pennsylvania bankruptcy lawyers of Young , Marr & Associates at (609) 755-3115 in New Jersey or (215) 701-6519 in Pennsylvania, or contact us online to arrange your 100% free and private case evaluation.