Bristol, PA Bankruptcy Lawyers
When economic times get tough, the amount of debt held by the average family increases. Unfortunately, it seems that more and more often, the debt burden is too much for families and individuals. In many cases, the excessive debt stems from an illness or another medical emergency. A Nerdwallet Health study reported on by CNBC identifies medical debt as the most prevalent reason for bankruptcy in the U.S. the study estimates that in 2014 nearly 2 million people will file for medical bankruptcy.
However, there is a silver lining to this national crisis. That is, bankruptcy can offer a way out from an unsustainable debt burden including unsecured medical debts. However before you make any decisions regarding bankruptcy you should consult with an experienced bankruptcy attorney like those at Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates, LLC. We offer a free and confidential initial consultation.
What are the Benefits of Bankruptcy?
In general, the greatest benefit of bankruptcy is that it can eliminate or allow you to pay down your debt. Bankruptcy can handle many types of debts included unsecured debts, credit card debts, medical debts and more. Agreeing to experienced representation as part of a bankruptcy filing can also stop credit calls through two means. To begin with, as a represented party your creditors may only contact yours through your agent – the attorney. Furthermore, when you file for bankruptcy the automatic stay goes into effect. The automatic stay prohibits a creditor from beginning collections attempts against you. While stopping creditor calls should not be your sole reason for declaring bankruptcy, it is a very welcome additional benefit.
Understanding Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is sometimes referred to as liquidation. However, despite the name, it doesn’t mean that you will necessarily lose everything. The liquidation process will not be applied to certain property that is exempt as per the state or federal bankruptcy exemptions. Property that is liquidated however is sold by the bankruptcy trustee and those proceeds are distributed to your creditors. At the end of the liquidation process, provided that creditors do not object, you are likely to be granted a bankruptcy discharge. This means that the remainder of your dischargeable debt is wiped away and is no longer collectible by creditors. In fact, if a creditor continues to try and collect a discharged debt, you may have a claim against them under the FDCPA.
However to qualify for Chapter 7 you must be able to satisfy the means test. An experienced attorney can analyze your financial situation and advise you as to whether Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a good fit.
How is Chapter 13 Different?
When compared to Chapter 7, Chapter 13 may not offer as immediate of debt relief. However, for many individuals, the unique features of Chapter 13 can potentially lead to a more favorable outcome. A Chapter 13 plan is not a liquidation – rather it is somewhat similar to a debt consolidation, but it comes with much greater consumer protections than a simple consolidation. A Chapter 13 plan generally requires the debtor to make payments to his or her creditors for 3 to 5 years with the actual duration of the plan being dependent upon your particular financial circumstances. People agree to this more lengthy process because they receive great asset protections than under Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Our Bristol, PA Bankruptcy Lawyers Can Help
If you have fallen deep into debt and don’t know how you will ever manage to get out, contact an experienced bankruptcy attorney. Young, Kline & Associates can provide trusted and strategic bankruptcy representation for those in Bristol, Bucks County, and beyond. To schedule your free consultation, call (609) 755-3115 in New Jersey or (215) 701-6519 in Pennsylvania or contact us online.