Langhorne, PA Bankruptcy Lawyer
While declaring bankruptcy is not a decision that should be taken lightly, it can offer those who have gotten in over their head a pathway to financial stability. If bankruptcy appears inevitable, having a reliable attorney in your corner is crucial.
The simple fact is that no individual sets out to fall into debt. However, the difficult economic climate has caused people to lose their jobs or see their other sources of income dry up. The good news is that many types of debt can be eliminated through the bankruptcy process. However, depending on your financial situation and other factors, one form of bankruptcy may be more likely to achieve favorable results. Our experienced bankruptcy attorneys can explain the benefits of Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy, and guide you through every step of the bankruptcy process.
Our attorneys are dedicated to helping those in Langhorne, PA understand their options regarding bankruptcy. For a free case evaluation with the Langhorne, PA bankruptcy lawyers at Young, Marr, Mallis & Deane, call today at (215) 701-6519.
How Can a Langhorne, PA Bankruptcy Lawyer Help Me?
While filing for bankruptcy can feel overwhelming and frightening, it does not have to be. Although declaring bankruptcy is a serious decision, it can help those in Langhorne, PA take charge of their financial stability and security. If filing for bankruptcy seems like the next step for you, consult with a Langhorne, PA bankruptcy lawyer. Your attorney can help you in numerous ways, from getting immediate relief from creditors to devising a plan that works best for your family.
Choosing Bankruptcy Type
In Langhorne, PA, you can generally file for two types of personal bankruptcy: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. There are fundamental differences between each type of bankruptcy, which, depending on your financial situation, can greatly impact your chances of getting back on your feet. Your Langhorne, PA bankruptcy lawyer can analyze your debts, assets, and income to help you decide which type of bankruptcy to file for. Choosing the wrong type of bankruptcy can negatively impact your ability to regain financial stability.
Once you hire an attorney and file for bankruptcy in Langhorne, PA, an automatic stay will go into effect. An automatic stay prohibits creditors from beginning new collection efforts. This means that your phone should stop ringing and creditor calls should cease. An automatic stay can be life-changing for debtors in need of instant relief. With constant harassment from creditors, it can feel impossible to take a breath and decide which route to take to address your debts. Unfortunately, many Langhorne, PA residents may be unaware of automatic stays and how they can help. That is why hiring an attorney is beneficial. Your lawyer can help you file for bankruptcy quickly so that you can take advantage of an automatic stay.
Filing for bankruptcy can be an understandably emotional time. Those in Langhorne, PA may be embarrassed, confused, and overwhelmed by the complicated process of filing for bankruptcy. That is where your skilled attorney comes in. Not only can an experienced lawyer help you navigate the difficulties of bankruptcy, but they can also provide the necessary guidance and support you need to regain your financial stability. Your Langhorne, PA bankruptcy lawyer can help you understand the hierarchy of your debts and can prepare you for meetings with creditors. Your attorney can handle all the necessary paperwork and stress of filing for bankruptcy so that you can more easily navigate this difficult time.
What is Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Langhorne, PA?
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is typically the form of bankruptcy that people may have a greater familiarity with in Langhorne, PA. Also known as liquidation, Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the most powerful debt elimination tool. A successful Chapter 7 bankruptcy and discharge can eliminate all or most of your debts. However, there are a number of caveats regarding Chapter 7 bankruptcy that you should learn before filing in Langhorne, PA.
Before you can file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you must be able to qualify for it. To determine if your financial situation is a match for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you must be able to pass the means test. The means test was implemented by Congress in an attempt to screen out people who could service a Chapter 13 plan.
The first stage of the means tests compares your income to the median for your state. If your monthly income is less than that of your state’s median, you pass the means test and are eligible for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If your income is greater than the median, however, the court will analyze your disposable income. This refers to the money you have left at the end of the month after paying your bills.
After your Chapter 7 bankruptcy has concluded, it can remain on your credit report for ten years. Other drawbacks to Chapter 7 bankruptcy include that it does not adequately protect some types of property, like homes and cars. Furthermore, Chapter 7 bankruptcy is often not the best choice if a significant portion of your debt is secured and you wish to keep your property. If you have a family, filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy could risk their comfort and security. To better understand the pros and cons of filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, contact a Langhorne, PA bankruptcy lawyer. Depending on your income and other factors, filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy can help you regain your footing relatively quickly.
What is Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Langhorne, PA?
Depending on your family’s needs, filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Langhorne, PA may be preferable. Instead of relinquishing your property, you can pay back creditors according to a repayment plan. Before you can qualify for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you must earn enough in income.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy is generally less familiar to people and it is not a liquidation. Rather, under a Chapter 13 plan the individual and their attorney devise a repayment plan that can last three to five years. In exchange for paying back a greater portion of the debt, a Chapter 13 filer can keep more property than would be allowed under Chapter 7. Thus, Chapter 13 bankruptcy can read to superior results for those who wish to protect property.
Once you have completed your repayment plan of high-priority debts, nonpriority unsecured debts may be discharged. Certain unsecured debts, like student loans, are less likely to be discharged at the end of a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. That said, the debts eligible for discharge at the end of a Chapter 13 bankruptcy can be broader than those for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. To better understand the hierarchy of your debts and the likelihood that some will be discharged, speak to a Langhorne, PA bankruptcy lawyer.
After you have paid back all required debts to creditors, your Chapter 13 bankruptcy will remain on your credit report for about seven years. Once again, this can be preferable to Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which can remain on your credit report for longer.
Not everyone can file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Langhorne, PA. In order to be eligible for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you need to pass a different type of means test than that of Chapter 7 filers. In this case, you have to prove that you earn enough to support yourself while paying back creditors according to your repayment plan.
How to File for Bankruptcy in Langhorne, PA
Once you have hired an attorney and chosen which type of bankruptcy is best for your financial situation, it is time to file for bankruptcy in Langhorne, PA. This process can be confusing and lengthy, so it is best to have an experienced lawyer by your side.
In order to file for bankruptcy in Langhorne, PA, you must submit legal documents in federal court. Bankruptcy forms can add up to almost 100 pages, containing the details of your financial situation. For example, you must include information regarding your income, expenses, debts, assets, and property. Some forms are specific to the type of bankruptcy you plan to declare, whether it be Chapter 7 or Chapter 13.
Get Credit Counseling
In order to file for either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Langhorne, PA, you must get credit counseling. Essentially, credit counseling exists to educate debtors about debt settlement, budgeting, and financial security. Getting a credit counseling certification and including it alongside your bankruptcy forms is crucial. Your Langhorne, PA bankruptcy lawyer can help you get a credit counseling certification to file for bankruptcy successfully.
Create a Plan
If you and your attorney decide that filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy is preferable, you must include a repayment plan along with all other documents. While this repayment plan is subject to change, it is crucial to include and can set the tone for your entire bankruptcy. An experienced Langhorne, PA bankruptcy lawyer can assess your income and debts to devise a repayment plan that will satisfy the court and creditors.
File in Court
Once you have compiled the necessary information, your attorney will help you file for bankruptcy in Langhorne, PA. All bankruptcy cases are handled in federal court. After receiving your information, the court will decide whether to dismiss your case or approve your plan. Having an attorney by your side during this process is crucial to increase the chances that the court will approve your petition for bankruptcy, putting you one step closer to financial stability.
Experienced Bankruptcy Lawyers Serving Langhorne, PA
If your debt burden has become unsustainable and you do not know where to turn, contact the experienced Langhorne, PA bankruptcy lawyers at Young, Marr, Mallis & Deane. To schedule your free and confidential bankruptcy consultation call (609) 755-3115 in New Jersey or (215) 701-6519 in Pennsylvania or contact us online.