Glenolden, PA Bankruptcy Lawyer
Your increasing debts might feel inescapable, but the right lawyer can help you get a new start with little to no debt. While an intimidating prospect, bankruptcy can help you overcome your financial woes.
You have multiple options for bankruptcy, and there are numerous chapters that apply to individuals, businesses, or both. For private individuals, typical options are Chapter 13 or Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Each involves different methods of eliminating debt, and an attorney can help you decide which is best. Before you get started, you must determine if you are eligible for bankruptcy. Depending on how you file, you might need to pass a means test to make sure you do not earn too much money to qualify. After you file for bankruptcy, several important things happen. The courts issue an automatic stay, which can protect you from unrelenting creditors. You should also begin combing through finances to determine how to pay back debts.
For a private examination of your potential case for no charge, call the offices of Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates at (215) 701-6519 and speak with our knowledgeable bankruptcy lawyers.
Different Options for Bankruptcy in Glenolden, PA
People often talk about bankruptcy as if it is a single legal option. In reality, bankruptcy involves multiple chapters and ways to file. Each chapter is tailored to different situations, and you should talk to an attorney about which options best suit your needs.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
If you have substantial assets, including homes, cars, properties, and personal items, you might want to consider filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Under this chapter, you might be able to keep your properties and possessions while you reorganize your debts and finances.
Under Chapter 13, our bankruptcy attorneys will help you come up with a vigorous yet feasible payment plan. The plan should be devised to help you pay back as much of your debts as possible in a certain period of time. Often, payment plans last for several years, and you might be working under your plan for 3 to 5 years, maybe even longer. Creditors have the option to review and possibly object to the plan, and we might need to make adjustments as we go along.
At the end of your payment plan, if all has gone as planned, the courts might discharge certain remaining debts. It is wiser to focus on repaying debts that cannot be discharged, such as tax debts, alimony, and child support. Debts like credit cards, medical bills, and unsecured private loans might be discharged, and you would no longer be liable for payments.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Chapter 7 bankruptcy takes a different approach and is often completed much faster. The downside is that you might lose valuable assets in the process.
Chapter 7 is often referred to as liquidation bankruptcy because petitioners’ properties and assets are sold to help reduce debts. For example, a bankruptcy trustee in charge of your case might liquidate your home, vehicle, and other financial assets and use the money to pay back creditors.
If you have few valuable assets or do not care about letting go of your assets, Chapter 7 could be a viable option. One of the best parts about this option is how quickly it happens. People filing under Chapter 7 often complete their cases and emerge debt free or with significantly reduced debts after only a few months.
Eligibility For Bankruptcy in Glenolden, PA
Before filing for bankruptcy, you and your lawyer should sit down and thoroughly review your finances to make sure you qualify. If you earn too much money or have very valuable assets that outweigh your debts, you might not qualify. Allowing people with sufficient assets and income to file for bankruptcy might be considered an abuse of the system and is not permitted.
In Pennsylvania, your household income will be compared to the median household income for the state. If you are lower than the median, you may pass the means test and qualify for bankruptcy. Alternatively, if your household income is above the state median, you might still qualify if you have certain deductible expenses.
The median varies by household size. The more people in your home, the higher the income limit to be eligible for bankruptcy. The limits change every year, so you should always check with an attorney before you get started.
What Happens After I File for Bankruptcy in Glenolden, PA?
The automatic stay is one of the first things that happens after you file your case. The courts issue an automatic stay that essentially halts all other legal claims or actions against you. This can be a big relief for those facing angry creditors.
If you believe you might be sued or your property repossessed by creditors, the automatic stay puts a stop to it. If a lawsuit is already pending against you, or if creditors have told you that they will begin the repossession process, the automatic stay should make them stop. Your attorney can help you make sure all your creditors are aware of the stay. They should not even be able to call you about repayment.
The automatic stay also stops foreclosures. This is a huge problem in many bankruptcy cases, as people often file to prevent the loss of their homes. If foreclosure proceedings have been initiated, the automatic stay makes creditors pump the brakes. Remember, the automatic stay does not last forever, and it should not be used as a tool to avoid repayment of debts. Instead, you should think of the automatic stay as something that buys you more time to get your debts and finances in order so any adverse legal actions will be dropped.
Contact Our Glenolden, PA Bankruptcy Lawyers for Help
For a free, confidential analysis of your potential bankruptcy case, call Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates at (215) 701-6519 and schedule an appointment with our experienced bankruptcy lawyers.