Bankruptcy legislation allows people who are weighed down with a burden of debt to erase a significant part of their burden and make a new start. Either a Chapter 7 bankruptcy or a Chapter 13 bankruptcy can help you sort through a financial crisis brought on by a failed business, unemployment, medical expenses, divorce filing and settlement, overextended credit, or any other financial difficulty. Once a bankruptcy is filed, creditors can’t pursue lawsuits against you. They can’t garnish your wages or harass you with letters and phone calls, either. Once you hire a bankruptcy attorney, you can request that creditors contact only your attorney, so any harassment should stop.

Chapter 7

Not all forms of debt are dischargeable by bankruptcy. And a bankruptcy will be reported on your credit history. But, you may be able to qualify for credit within just a couple of years if you are employed and appropriately manage your debt. Chapter 7 bankruptcy can only occur once every eight years. However, a successful bankruptcy often improves your credit situation, and the impact of a bankruptcy on your creditworthiness lessens over time.

Chapter 13

Another option for debtors is to file a Chapter 13 wage earner’s reorganization. This type of bankruptcy filing allows you to resolve defaults on your home mortgage or vehicle loan so that you do not lose them to repossession and foreclosure. Chapter 13 bankruptcy is also used if there are non-exempt assets. Or it is useful if your income exceeds your monthly living expenses, and you can afford to pay back some of your debts over three to five years. Chapter 13 bankruptcy can be filed despite having filed for a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13 bankruptcy previously.

Second Mortgages and Liens

Additionally, debtors engaged in a bankruptcy are now allowed to discharge second mortgages and other liens in the event that there is no equity in the property after taking into account the amount of the first mortgage. To “lien strip” such junior liens, you must file Chapter 13 bankruptcy. You cannot lien strip if you are in an existing Chapter 13 bankruptcy proceeding unless you can demonstrate that there has been a substantial change in your circumstances. 

Legal Counsel Is Critical

Bankruptcy law is a very complex legal topic. Changes in the law may have far-reaching impacts on debtors. Having an experienced bankruptcy attorney help you through the process is crucial to achieving the best results. A bankruptcy attorney can help you maximize the number of your assets that are protected under exemptions, relieve you of most unsecured debt, and

preserve or avoid secured debt. You will also have the opportunity to rebuild your credit.

Is Bankruptcy Right For Me?

If you are dealing with a financial crisis and think that bankruptcy may be a viable option for debt relief, contact a bankru[ptcy lawyer to discuss your unique situation. A candid discussion with a bankruptcy attorney can go a long way toward relieving your financial stress. Schedule a consultation today.