Bala Cynwyd Bankruptcy Attorney
When you feel as though you are stuck with financial problems, happiness and fulfillment can quickly drain out of everyday life. Aggressive creditors constantly hound many people who are trapped with overwhelming debt and often come to dread answering the phone or opening the mail for fear of being met with yet another overdue notice. Some worry that their car will be repossessed, while others still fear their homes being foreclosed on. Whether you think you are at risk of repossession and other consequences, or you are simply worried about your declining credit, contact an experienced Bala Cynwyd bankruptcy attorney.
If you are interested in learning more about how filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 can give you a clean slate, call the Bala Cynwyd bankruptcy lawyers of Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates at (610) 557-3209, or contact us online. Our client consultations are always totally confidential, and your initial consultation is free of charge.
Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates: Bala Cynwyd Bankruptcy Attorneys
Over the years, consumer bankruptcy has helped millions upon millions of Americans regain steady financial footing and turn their lives around. Contrary to popular belief, many people who have gone through Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 in the past are able to:
- Rebuild a healthy credit line
- Make major purchases, including cars and housing
- Keep their most valued possessions
But while the benefits of filing are numerous, they can only help you if your case is handled properly. The federal court system strongly recommends against representing your own case, stating:
“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.”
If there are any errors — even what seems to be a minor mistake — the integrity of the entire case could be compromised, and your case could be dismissed. A single missed deadline or forgotten document could have dramatic repercussions. It is absolutely critical that a skilled and qualified lawyer represents you.
At Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates, our legal team has more than 20 years of experience handling thousands of cases in Bala Cynwyd and throughout Montgomery County. In many instances, our clients can advance their financial affairs by as much as five to 10 years. When you need the support of a dedicated, respected law firm, you can call on Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates.
The Benefits of Filing Bankruptcy
Filing for bankruptcy is a much more common occurrence than you might believe. For some people drowning in debt, bankruptcy represents an opportunity to hit the reset button on their undesirable financial situation. Hundreds of bankruptcy cases are opened in Montgomery County every year as the stigma of filing for bankruptcy fades. Bankruptcy has become so widespread for many of the following reasons.
Freedom from Debt
One of the primary benefits of filing for bankruptcy is the ability to discharge debt certain forms of debt that you may have trouble managing. The discharge of debt is correlated to the type of bankruptcy that you filed. For example, it is more likely for various types of debt to be discharged when filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy instead of Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
The following is a list of debts that can be discharged in bankruptcy:
- Credit card bills
- Lawsuit judgments
- Medical bills
- Personal loans
- Unpaid rent
- Utility bills
- Social Security overpayments from SSI payments
It is important to note that every form of debt will not be discharged in bankruptcy. Some types of debt that cannot be discharged in bankruptcy include:
- Alimony and child support
- Criminal fines
- Various tax debts
Additionally, student loan debt is not discharged by simply filing for bankruptcy. To discharge student loan debt, a borrower must file for bankruptcy and make an undue hardship claim. An undue hardship claim alleges that a borrower cannot afford to pay their student loans without falling into a dire financial situation.
Freedom from Creditors
Most people associate bankruptcy with debt elimination. However, it comes with another, lesser-known advantage: the automatic stay. When you make your initial filing, the automatic stay lives up to its name by automatically granting you strong protections against your creditors.
Under the terms of the stay, creditors are prohibited from contacting you seeking payment of your debt. They are also not permitted to initiate any further collection actions until the bankruptcy proceedings have been resolved.
The automatic stay is granted to a debtor to give them time to prepare for a bankruptcy proceeding. In the case of a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, this time will likely be used to formulate a feasible reorganization and repayment plan to manage the borrower’s debts. An automatic stay can also grant you the additional time needed to avoid a foreclosure on your home, or help you negotiate a mortgage modification with a creditor.
It is important to note that creditors can challenge a bankruptcy, so you should not assume that the court and your creditors will automatically approve your claim of bankruptcy. To learn more about the types of bankruptcy that you can file, you should continue reading and speak with an experienced Philadelphia bankruptcy lawyer today.
Types of Bankruptcy
There are various forms of bankruptcy proceedings that can be initiated depending on the needs of the debtor. However, many individuals that file for bankruptcy will elect to use Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. It is important to understand the differences between these two forms of bankruptcy to determine which form meets your unique needs.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
The majority of consumer cases fall under Chapter 7. For debtors who dread long waits and red tape, Chapter 7 has a pleasant surprise: it only takes about four to six months to complete on average. However, not everyone can qualify for Chapter 7. This form of bankruptcy is need-based as determined by the Means Test, which weighs household income and other factors against state averages.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy requires liquidation of certain assets owned by the debtor that will be used to pay off money owed to creditors. While you will lose some assets in Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you should be able to keep various items of property that you deem valuable or irreplaceable. Once your assets have been used to pay off a portion of your debt owed to creditors, the remaining debts should be eliminated, except for the non-dischargeable debts.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Chapter 13 bankruptcy is less common but still widely used. Chapter 13 is a longer and more time-consuming process than Chapter 7, and cases generally span a timeline of three to five years. This is because Chapter 13 includes a “reorganization plan” to pay back creditors at a gradual, reasonable rate. While this form of bankruptcy requires more repayments than Chapter 7, it may help debtors to keep more of their possessions.
To successfully file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you must submit a reorganization plan and repayment plan to the courts and your creditors for approval. If approved, your debts can be consolidated into a single monthly payment at a lower interest rate, which should make it much easier to manage. Failure to adhere to your repayment plan could result in having to pay the full amount of your debts.
Our Main Line Bankruptcy Attorneys Can Help
If you or someone you love is struggling with debt, bankruptcy may offer relief. Call the law offices of Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates at (610) 557-3209. Your consultations will always be private, and the first one is free. Call today to see how we can help.