Bankruptcy Attorneys in Mobile & Baldwin County
The following information is solely provided to give you a general idea of the bankruptcy laws. If after reading the information below, you believe you need a lawyer or need further information please contact our office for a free consultation.
Our firm handles two types of bankruptcy matters, Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. When you schedule a meeting with our firm, you will meet with an attorney who is well versed in the area of bankruptcy law. Also, we will not attempt to place you into a bankruptcy only because you may be eligible for one. In fact, many times when clients meet with us, bankruptcy can be avoided with the use of other legal options. During your consultation, we review whether you have potential legal claims against a mortgage company, a debt collector, an insurance company or any other type of corporation that may have violated your consumer rights and possibly caused you to suffer the situation you are experiencing. Sometimes though, a bankruptcy may be your only option. So, what is the difference between a Chapter 7 or 13?
Chapter 7 cases, or what some are sometimes referred to as “Total Liquidation” cases, are when a debtor is looking to discharge or eliminate the majority of their debt. One major qualification to determine your eligibility for this type of bankruptcy depends on the amount of household income you bring in a year. This is determined by the “Means Test” for each state. If a debtor meets certain qualifications, then they are well on their way to eligibility. The next determining factor is what types of debts does a person have? Secured and unsecured debts may be included into a bankruptcy. Examples of such debts are foreclosures, repossessions, judgments, medical bills, past due credit cards or utility bills. These can all be included and discharged. However, not all debts will be discharged. Generally, a debtor cannot discharge debts related to child support, taxes, and student loans. Once we determine that a debtor does qualify, our firm files a petition on their behalf that includes all of their personal financial information. After a hearing is set with the trustee and held, if there are no objections to the debtors filing, the Bankruptcy Court will approve the discharge. The entire process from beginning to end can take as little as 4-5 months.
Chapter 13, or a “Consolidation Plan” is where a debtor pays back creditors a predetermined amount each month. This is generally for debtors who wish to keep their home and additional assets. In order to qualify a debtor must earn enough money each month to pay money back creditors. During the initial process of the bankruptcy, we propose a “Plan” to the bankruptcy trustee that accomplishes these goals. The trustee is the court appointed official who administers the payments to all creditors who have sought payment under the plan. All plans include paying back in full a debtors secured creditors, such as past due amounts owed on a home. However, in the majority of our plans, a debtor may only have to pay back a small percentage of what is owed to the unsecured creditors. This includes credit cards, medical bills and utility bills. A plan can take 3, 4 or 5 years, depending on the amount of debt and the financial situation of the debtor.
After the debtor files their bankruptcy and complete it, either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, they will receive a discharge. Now that the debtor is starting over, there are some steps one can take to avoid falling back into debt trouble. For more information on this, click here. bankruptcy_using_credit_wisely
We have extensive experience in Bankruptcy and can find the right solution to work for you. To discuss more details about your specific situation, please call our offices in Mobile or Fairhope or fill out the submission form on this site.