King of Prussia, PA Bankruptcy Lawyer
Overwhelming debt can make daily life a nightmare. When you’re constantly worried about how you’re going to catch up on your bills or talk to aggressive creditors, it can be impossible just to get a good night’s sleep. If you need help tackling your debts and getting a fresh financial start, filing for bankruptcy may be the right option. You can eliminate your debts, put a temporary stop to collection attempts, and build a platform for good credit going into the future.
However, it’s extremely important to consult with an experienced attorney. The process of filing is notoriously complex, and even a minor error on your paperwork could compromise your case. Don’t go it alone: get legal support from the King of Prussia bankruptcy lawyers of Young, Marr & Associates. We have more than two decades of experience handling thousands of cases, and offer free initial consultations to new clients.
To set up your free, confidential case evaluation, call our law offices today at (609) 755-3115 in New Jersey or (215) 701-6519 in Pennsylvania.
Requirements Before You File
Before you file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, you need to meet a few basic requirements.
First, you need to meet the residency requirement. The residency requirements which apply to you depend on which set of exemptions you plan on using: the federal exemptions, or the Pennsylvania state exemptions. In simple terms, “exemptions” are assets and property you get to keep, which cannot be sold by the trustee. For example, the federal exemptions provide a “wildcard” exemption, which can be applied to any property, of up to $1,225. By comparison, the Pennsylvania wildcard exemption is only $300.
To use the federal exemptions, King of Prussia residents must live in Pennsylvania for at least 91 out of the 180 days before filing. If you wish to use the Pennsylvania exemptions instead, you must be a resident for at least two years before you file your petition. Our attorneys will talk you through your exemption options to help you make financially advantageous legal decisions.
In addition to the residency requirement, you will also have to go through credit counseling, which must be administered by an agency that’s been approved by the Department of Justice. The objective of credit counseling is to determine whether there are other ways for you to improve your financial situation.
Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?
It’s not uncommon to hear about businesses filing for Chapter 11. Individuals also file under “chapters,” most commonly Chapter 7 (“liquidation”) and Chapter 13 (“reorganization”).
You’ll have to take the Means Test to determine which chapter is right for you. The Means Test compares your income to the median income for a Pennsylvania household of equivalent size. If your income is less than the median, you qualify for Chapter 7 but may be able to file under Chapter 13 in certain situations. If your income exceeds the median, you must file for Chapter 13 unless you can prove to the judge that your expenses are high enough to qualify you for Chapter 7.
This is because Chapter 13 is contingent on a long-term, three- to five-year repayment plan, which gives Chapter 13 its nickname of reorganization. Chapter 7, which is meant for filers with a greater degree of financial need, does not include a repayment plan. As a result, Chapter 7 is much faster than Chapter 13, often concluding in as little as four to six months.
However, the other consequence is that Chapter 7 filers may not be able to keep as much property as individuals who file under Chapter 13. The trustee assigned to your Chapter 7 case may sell your non-exempt property to creditors to help repay your debts, which is why Chapter 7 is sometimes referred to as liquidation.
Both chapters have strengths and weaknesses. Neither is objectively better than the other; it simply depends on what sort of financial background you’re coming from, and which goals you’re trying to achieve by filing.
Our King of Prussia, PA Bankruptcy Lawyers Can Help
If you need help getting your debt under control, we’re here to provide dedicated legal support at every step of the way. To schedule a free and private legal consultation, call Young, Marr & Associates right away at (609) 755-3115 in New Jersey or (215) 701-6519 in Pennsylvania. Our Dauphin County bankruptcy attorneys proudly serve King of Prussia and the surrounding communities.
☑ Been paying credit card balances that seem to never go down?
☑ Lost your job and are now having trouble keeping up?
☑ Attempted to work out a payment arrangement to no avail?
☑ Been notified of a mortgage foreclosure action?
☑ Been denied for a mortgage or other line of credit?
If the answer to any of these questions is “yes” then bankruptcy may be an option that you should consider.