Quakertown, PA Bankruptcy Lawyer
If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, you likely have many questions and concerns about the financial future. For example, you may be wondering how bankruptcy will affect your credit, which debts you will be allowed to get rid of, or what legal forms and documents you will need to fill out. There are many factors to weigh when filing bankruptcy in Pennsylvania – but at Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates, our Quakertown bankruptcy lawyers have the experience to guide you through the entire process from start to finish. Whether you file Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, we can provide comprehensive legal support.
Our bankruptcy lawyers have been working with debtors in Quakertown and throughout Pennsylvania for more than 30 years. We have successfully handled over 10,000 bankruptcy filings, and are ready to handle yours next. When your financial health is at stake, make sure you are represented by a law firm with a trusted track record. For a free bankruptcy consultation about Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 in Pennsylvania, contact Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates online, or call us today at (215) 701-6519.
Do You Need a Lawyer to File Bankruptcy in Pennsylvania?
If you are thinking about bankruptcy, you may have concerns about the costs of retaining legal assistance. Due to financial concerns, some people even decide to file for bankruptcy on their own, without hiring a bankruptcy attorney to help. While this may seem like a savvy course of action, there are very important reasons to work with a lawyer when filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 in Pennsylvania.
Bankruptcy laws are packed with technical language and complex regulations. In addition to following these laws, debtors are also expected to obey court rules and procedures, which create yet another barrier to success. Simply determining which forms must be filed can feel like an overwhelming task – and that is only a small part of the overall bankruptcy process. Even a seemingly trivial error can have dire consequences, leading to unnecessary expenses and losses for the debtor. If a deadline is missed, or a piece of financial information is left out, a bankruptcy case can even be dismissed by the court.
We work with our clients to make bankruptcy more affordable. Bankruptcy can wipe out your debts, give you more time to make up missed payments, or shrink the payments you currently owe. The longer you wait to explore bankruptcy as an option, the more financial damage you risk sustaining.
Benefits of Filing for Bankruptcy
As many debtors are surprised to learn, bankruptcy can offer financial benefits that go beyond debt elimination. While reducing or wiping out debt is likely the best-known advantage of filing for bankruptcy, it is not the only benefit. It’s also important to understand the lesser-known positive features of bankruptcy, such as the automatic stay and potential foreclosure prevention.
Whether you file Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, bankruptcy can arm you with the tools you need to achieve and maintain improved financial stability. Below, you’ll find just a few reasons to consider filing bankruptcy in Quakertown.
Get Debt Relief
Regardless of whether you file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, many of your debts can eliminated, or “discharged” by the bankruptcy court. Debts that belong in this category are therefore known as “dischargeable” debts. Types of dischargeable debt in bankruptcy include personal loans, business loans, medical bills, credit card bills, and utility bills.
Stop Debt Collections
When you file bankruptcy in Quakertown, you will immediately be protected by a court order called the “automatic stay.” While the automatic stay is in effect, debt collectors cannot garnish your wages, shut off your utilities, or take other actions to enforce the debt. While exceptions can arise, the automatic stay is a feature of most bankruptcy cases.
Prevent or Delay Foreclosure
If you are worried about foreclosure on your home, you may wish to think about filing for bankruptcy. Depending on which type of bankruptcy you file, and whether foreclosure proceedings have already started, you may be able to delay or even stop foreclosure from happening. You may also gain the opportunity to prevent your car from being repossessed.
The circumstances leading up to a bankruptcy are always stressful. Harassment from creditors and worries about the future can combine into a nightmare of anxiety and uncertainty. By getting relief from crushing debt, debtors can regain confidence and control.
Chapter 7 vs. Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
There are several types of bankruptcy. Each type is called a “chapter” of bankruptcy. In Pennsylvania, the two most commonly filed bankruptcy chapters are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13.
According to bankruptcy statistics from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, a total of 4,581 Chapter 7 cases were filed during the 2017 fiscal year, in addition to 4,206 Chapter 13 filings. Bucks County accounted for 1,098 of these 8,787 filings, which means Bucks County represented about 12.5% of the Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 filings in Pennsylvania during the 2017 fiscal year.
There are major similarities – and major differences – between these two chapters of bankruptcy. Choosing the right bankruptcy chapter for you is essential to achieving the most from your case.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Chapter 7 is also called “straight bankruptcy,” “ordinary bankruptcy,” or “liquidation.” The Chapter 7 process takes about four to six months to complete before obtaining a discharge. In Chapter 7, a bankruptcy trustee can potentially liquidate (sell) various belongings to help repay your creditors, or the parties you owe money. However, you may be able to keep some or even all of your property by making use of the Pennsylvania or federal bankruptcy exemptions – while still getting the debt relief Chapter 7 offers.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
You may hear Chapter 13 described as a “wage earner’s plan” or “reorganization bankruptcy.” In Chapter 13, you enter a three-year to five-year repayment plan, which must be authorized by the bankruptcy court. Under the plan, you repay certain creditors to the greatest extent possible, depending on their relative importance. When your plan is completed, the court will discharge the remaining dischargeable debts.
Because of the reorganization plan, Chapter 13 requires more income or financial resources than Chapter 7. However, Chapter 13 gives you the chance to prevent foreclosure by catching up on delinquent mortgage payments.
Quakertown Bankruptcy Attorneys for Debt Relief
In many situations, filing for bankruptcy is a smart, responsible, and effective way to repair damaged finances. However, the Pennsylvania bankruptcy process can be full of obstacles for debtors, making skilled legal representation essential.
If you or a loved one has questions about filing for bankruptcy in Quakertown or the surrounding region, Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates is here to help. Start taking control of your finances today: contact us online for a free consultation, or call Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates at (215) 701-6519 to get started.