Lower Makefield, PA Bankruptcy Lawyer
For Lower Makefield residents who are overwhelmed by debt, daily life can feel like a nightmare. If you’ve fallen behind on your bills and are constantly worried about creditors, collections, repossession, and foreclosure, filing for bankruptcy may provide an excellent solution to your financial problems. Contrary to negative myths and misconceptions, bankruptcy is an extremely powerful and positive legal tool that can silence your creditors, postpone collection actions, and most importantly, erase your debts.
If you’re ready to get a fresh financial start, the experienced bankruptcy attorneys of Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates are ready to help you explore your options. We will handle your paperwork and documentation, negotiate with your creditors, vigorously protect your legal rights, and walk you through each and every step of the legal process. We have more than 20 years of experience handling thousands of cases, and offer free initial consultations.
Don’t wait another day to tackle your debts and turn over a new leaf. To set up a free and confidential case evaluation, call the law offices of Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates at (609) 755-3115 in New Jersey or (215) 701-6519 in Pennsylvania today.
Requirements Before and After You File for Bankruptcy
As a resident of Pennsylvania, there are a few requirements you’ll need to satisfy before you can file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13.
First, you need to meet the state residency requirement of living in Pennsylvania for at least 91 out of the 180 days immediately prior to filing.
Then, you’ll need to complete the federal credit counseling requirement. The essential purpose of credit counseling is to determine whether you can resolve your financial issues through other means before you file. You may only use credit counseling agencies which have been specifically approved by the Department of Justice or DOJ. You can view a full list of approved credit counseling agencies on the DOJ website.
Additionally, you’ll be required to complete a debtor education course after you file. The objective of debtor education is to provide you with the knowledge and resources you need to avoid going through additional bankruptcies in the future. Like credit counseling, debtor education must also be received through an approved and verified agency, as listed on the DOJ website.
Which is Better, Chapter 7 or Chapter 13?
You’ve probably heard about companies filing for Chapter 11 in the news. Non-commercial or consumer bankruptcy is also divided into “chapters.” The vast majority of consumer cases fall under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, though Chapter 7 has a slight edge in terms of total case filings.
Chapter 7 is a much faster and simpler process than Chapter 13, generally concluding in as little as four to six months, which makes it the appealing option for most debtors. However, Chapter 7 also comes with its drawbacks. While Chapter 7 may be shorter and easier than Chapter 13, it does not offer as much asset protection. The trustee may seize and resell your nonexempt assets and possessions to help repay your creditors, which gives Chapter 7 the nickname of “liquidation.”
Chapter 13 is slower and more complicated than Chapter 7, generally taking about three to five years to complete, because it involves creating a detailed repayment plan for paying off creditors in gradual installments. The primary benefit of the repayment plan is that Chapter 13 debtors may be able to keep more of their possessions. Chapter 13 cases are sometimes referred to as “reorganization.”
Of course, it’s not quite as simple as merely choosing one or the other. Before you file, you must take the “Means Test” to determine which chapter would be more appropriate based on your financial situation. The Means Test is fairly straightforward, comparing your monthly income against the median household income for a household of the same size.
If your income is lower than the median income, you will not be permitted to file for Chapter 13 unless you can demonstrate that you have sufficient income to cover the repayment plan. If your income is higher than the median income, you will not be permitted to file for Chapter 7 unless you can demonstrate that you have so many expenses that you will not be able to cover the repayment plan. Our attorneys will sit down with you to discuss your financial objectives and determine which chapter would be better suited to your goals.
Our Lower Makefield, PA Bankruptcy Attorneys Can Help
If you’re struggling with debt in Lower Makefield, our Bucks County bankruptcy lawyers can help you make a new start with a clean slate. To start discussing how our team can assist you in free and private legal consultation, call Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates right away at (609) 755-3115 in New Jersey or (215) 701-6519 in Pennsylvania.