Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Why File Bankruptcy?
There is a common misconception that a person must be destitute to qualify for bankruptcy relief these days. But, it is often people with assets and good income who can benefit most from a bankruptcy filing.
Filing bankruptcy allows people with overwhelming debt to protect their assets and income and avoid a garnishment, levy, or judgment lien.
Bankruptcy can also help people reduce their monthly debt-related expenses. They can then start saving for retirement, a home, or their child’s education. [See also: What kind of problems can I solve by filing bankruptcy?]
There are different kinds of bankruptcy. Our office focuses on Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy. For most people, Chapter 7 provides the least expensive and most efficient solution to their financial problems.
But, some forms of relief are only available in Chapter 13. If you need time to pay back non-dischargeable debts, Chapter 13 might be a better fit.
The different chapters are discussed in more detail below.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
- Chapter 7 bankruptcy can stop debt lawsuits, collections, garnishments, evictions, and repossessions.
- Chapter 7 bankruptcy can help you get back previously garnished or levied funds if you file bankruptcy within 90 days of the garnishment or levy and if the garnishment / levy totaled at least $600.00.
- Chapter 7 can discharge some tax obligations.
- If you choose to do so, you can keep your house and vehicle when you file, assuming you can exempt any equity.
- Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a quick process, with the average case lasting only 3-4 months. If you choose to do so, you can typically keep your house and your car when you file Chapter 7.
- How much do you charge for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy?
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
- In Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you work out a payment plan with your creditors.
- The plan is based on your ability to pay (among other factors).
- It allows you to avoid foreclosure or car repossession while catching up on payments.
- You can make manageable payments on tax debts and student loans.
- At the end of your payment period, many “leftover” debts are eliminated.
- How much do you charge for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy?
What is Included in a Bankruptcy Representation?
Many attorneys use “flat fee” billing for bankruptcy services. But, not all “flat fees” include the same services. Some attorneys bill separately for some services, so you want to be sure you know what is included in an attorney’s fees.
Our bankruptcy representations provide the following services in average cases.
- Analyzing your financial condition prior to filing,
- Advising you about the different kinds of bankruptcy and the requirements for filing,
- Completing your bankruptcy intake meeting or meetings,
- Helping you resolve any situations that need to be addressed before you can file bankruptcy,
- Preparing and maintaining your bankruptcy file,
- Preparing your bankruptcy documents,
- Reviewing the bankruptcy filing page-by-page with you,
- Filing the bankruptcy documents with the Bankruptcy Court,
- Preparing you for the §341 meeting (the Meeting of Creditors),
- Representing you at the §341 meeting (the Meeting of Creditors),
- Giving you frequent case updates and reminders for case tasks by email, phone, and / or text,
- Filing all Certifications with the court,
- Forwarding all required supporting documents to the case Trustee,
- Filing all bankruptcy information with the appropriate state courts (if applicable),
- Reviewing Creditor proofs of claim,
- Reviewing Trustee’s intention to pay claims,
- Objecting to invalid proofs of claim,
- Ensuring you receive your final discharge papers, and
- Ensuring the bankruptcy court properly (and promptly) closes your case after you receive your discharge papers.