Springfield, PA Bankruptcy Attorney
Those who suffer financial distress or find themselves deep in debt may consider filing for bankruptcy. However, distress shouldn’t be the sole reason to pursue bankruptcy protection. If you live in Springfield, you may want to stay in this community that you cherish. If you’re behind on enough of your monthly payments, late fees and penalties can build to an insurmountable hurdle. If you’re unable to pay the bills, then you should consider talking to a bankruptcy attorney. A Springfield bankruptcy attorney can help you learn the benefits and risks of bankruptcy. You could file bankruptcy, liquidate all or part of your debt and keep your home. Even in the face of money problems, you may want to stay in your home. Thus, the prospect of losing your home and other assets can be very upsetting. With the right legal representation, you can be optimistic.
Young Marr & Associates has lawyers dedicated to helping you find debt relief. Information is kept confidential, and your initial consultation is free of charge. We handle Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 cases throughout southeastern Pennsylvania. Call us at (215) 701-6519 to schedule a consultation or contact us online.
Things to Consider Before a Bankruptcy Petition
People considering bankruptcy usually start too late after adversity has exhausted their finances — a severe illness or an unexpected accident, marital separation or divorce, a job loss are events that tend to trigger a bankruptcy petition. Bankruptcy is a legal process intended to clear or restructure debt and provide a clean slate. The first step needed if you’re considering filing bankruptcy is to determine if your monthly debt payments are higher than your take-home pay. If this is the case, a bankruptcy attorney can help you navigate through the process.
Applying for more loans may not the best option if just can’t make ends meet, and your credit may be damaged already. Swift action early on can be crucial if you have a large mortgage payment and keeping your home is very important to you. Credit card debts typically grow at an interest rate average of 13% or more. Accumulation of interest rates can have devastating financial consequences down the road.
Overview of Bankruptcy Petition in Pennsylvania
A request for a court to “discharge” or purge the debt allowable under the bankruptcy laws is called “Bankruptcy Petition.” The Eastern District of Pennsylvania is where residents of Springfield file bankruptcy petitions. Bankruptcy laws provide two debt classifications: dischargeable and non-dischargeable.
Secured debt is generally non-dischargeable because they are backed by assets or there are specific discharge prohibitions. Assets are known as collateral—these can be a car or a home. Unsecured debt is not attached or connected to an asset like credit cards. While most unsecured debt can be discharged partially or in full, not all unsecured debts qualify to be cleared right after bankruptcy is filed. For example, credit card debt (in whole or portions) can be liquidated if you file for bankruptcy. Moreover, there is unsecured debt that has to go through judicial review before discharge is granted. For instance, student loans will only be discharged if the legal requirements of “undue hardship” are met. The undue hardship exception applies to situations when the debtor has a medical condition that renders him or her unable ever to repay the debt.
Breakdown of Bankruptcy Petitions and Exemptions
If you’re contemplating filing bankruptcy, the most common options are Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. The person designated to supervise the filing is known as “trustee.” Trustees are lawyers appointed to work with all parties and determining the elimination of debt, sales of assets, and restructuring plans. People tend to mistrust bankruptcy because there are no guarantees as to the outcome, since trustees and bankruptcy judges have considerable discretion throughout the process.
However, the US Bankruptcy Code provides specific guidelines to give debtors a chance to keep their home. This exemption – as it is known in the legal field – is based on comparisons between the amount owed and the value of the asset. A bankruptcy attorney can go over the details of exemptions and give you a sense of what can happen based on your circumstances.
Your car, home, and owned household goods can be protected under Chapter 7. If there are other assets at stake, there are state and federal exemptions that can be applied to some assets.
Individuals who file Chapter 13 petitions can keep all of their property as long as they are able to keep up with a payment plan that is based on their earnings or income. Chapter 13 petitioners receive a partial discharge of unsecured debts. The progress of the payment proposal will be overseen, and it lasts between 36 or 60 months. The trustee will supervise the execution of the payment schedule. Also, the judge and judicial clerks will also monitor the plan since bankruptcy rights have to protected at every stage of the petition.
Additional Bankruptcy Protections
- You cannot be fired from your job for filing bankruptcy
- Your retirement is protected, including your 401K, pension, Keogh plans, and IRAs
- Social Security will not be affected
In addition, it’s a violation of bankruptcy laws to:
- Cut off utility services when a person files bankruptcy
- Call or communicate with you in violation of the “automatic stay,” the legal concept requiring that all communications from creditor to debtor must go through the bankruptcy court system
Call Your Springfield, PA Bankruptcy Attorney Today and Protect Your Home and Most Precious Assets
It’s imperative to consult with a knowledgeable bankruptcy lawyer when determining if bankruptcy is your best option. If you’re overwhelmed with collectors’ phone calls and the fear of losing your home, the attorneys of Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates can help you make an informed and financially sound decision. We are known for being proactive and will handle any emergency bankruptcy filings on the same day if necessary. Call us at (215) 701-6519 to schedule a free consultation or contact us online.