Lebanon County, PA Bankruptcy Lawyers
When you are trying to deal with overdue bills, collection calls, or litigation, you might think you have few choices available to get your financial life back in order. If you are considering filing for bankruptcy for potential relief, you may not be aware of how bankruptcy law works and what property of yours could be at risk.
While the thought of filing bankruptcy can be stressful, an experienced bankruptcy lawyer can help you manage the process. Your property does not necessarily have to be sold off to satisfy your debts, but that will depend on the type of bankruptcy claim you file. Also, what kind of debts can be discharged will likely impact the type of bankruptcy claim you end up filing.
If financial problems are mounting and you are considering filing for bankruptcy, our Lebanon County bankruptcy lawyers can provide you with a free case review to help determine what options are best for you. Call Young, Marr, Mallis & Deane at (215) 701-6519 today.
Reasons to Hire a Lebanon County, PA Bankruptcy Lawyer
If you find that your financial troubles are overwhelming you and negatively impacting your life, it might be time to hire a Lebanon County bankruptcy lawyer. While filing for bankruptcy can be a difficult decision, acting quickly to start your case can help you from further damages. Having a plan to get back to financial stability will be important to get through this difficult time.
A lawyer can help you navigate a complex process that often leaves people feeling confused and embarrassed. Although, the benefit of eliminating certain debts could ultimately be your best option to help recover some financial stability for you and your family. An experienced attorney can guide you on which type of bankruptcy to file. Depending on the nature of your debts and what you want to accomplish by filing for bankruptcy, Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 could provide some relief.
Most importantly, a lawyer will be able to provide advice on which debts will remain and which will be erased after filing for bankruptcy. It is important to understand how your debts are discharged or satisfied and what property of yours could potentially be used as collateral. Our Lebanon County bankruptcy lawyers can provide the guidance you need to make the decision that is best for your case.
Types of Bankruptcy that You Can File for in Lebanon County, PA
Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 are the two types of bankruptcy that can be filed. The type that you will need to fill will depend on the nature of your debts and your current income. Our Lebanon County bankruptcy lawyers can provide you with advice on what each type offers and what each requires.
If your goal is to retain your property and not have it taken to satisfy your debts, Chapter 7 might not be your first option. However, Chapter 7, also known as liquidation, might be the most effective way to eliminate certain debts. This type of bankruptcy is meant for people who might not be able to pay their debts back and so you must qualify to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
To qualify for Chapter 7, you will need to pass a “means test.” The first part of the test compares your income with the median for the state and if your income is less than the state median, then you are eligible to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If your income is greater than the median for the state, the amount of disposable income you have left after paying your bills will be analyzed to see if you might still qualify.
However, there are some drawbacks to filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy that could affect the security and comfort of your family. Chapter 7 does not provide much protection from some types of property from being sold off, like cars and houses. If most of your debt is secured, it will not be discharged through Chapter 7 bankruptcy and will leave your property at risk. Further, Chapter 7 bankruptcy can stay on your credit report for ten years If you would like to discuss whether you are eligible for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, speak with our Lebanon County bankruptcy lawyers today.
The biggest advantage of filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy compared to Chapter 7 is that you will be able to keep your property and assets while making repayments. To file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you and an attorney will develop a repayment plan that generally lasts anywhere from three to five years. The repayment plan is strict, but it will allow you to keep more of your property than you would have been able if you had filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
One of the greatest benefits of filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy is that an automatic stay on creditors will go into effect after you file. This automatic stay prevents creditors from calling, sending you letters, or otherwise harassing you while you and your attorney devise a repayment plan to help you become financially secure again.
In your repayment plan, you will typically address high-priority debts first, then your unsecured debts could be discharged. Once your creditors have been repaid, your Chapter 13 bankruptcy will remain on your credit report for around seven years. This is still preferable to Chapter 7, which stays on your credit records for about a decade.
For Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the court must determine whether you earn enough to support yourself while making the payments as structured in your repayment plan. This is essentially the opposite of the “means test” for Chapter 7. If you do not have the means to support yourself while making repayments, you will not be able to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Our Lebanon County bankruptcy lawyers can help you develop a Chapter 13 bankruptcy repayment plan that suits you best.
Our Lebanon County, PA Bankruptcy Lawyers Can Help
If you are thinking of filing for bankruptcy, our Lebanon County bankruptcy lawyers can help you get back on the path to financial stability. For a free case evaluation, call Young, Marr, Mallis & Deane at (215) 701-6519.