Financial stress can be relieved by declaring bankruptcy to regain control of your life. With Jerry E. Smith as your Carmel bankruptcy attorney, you can ensure that the bankruptcy process is accessible to you. In addition to offering free initial consultations of up to one hour, we offer weekend and evening appointments to help you regain your peace of mind.
Federal bankruptcy courts are governed by federal law. State laws are allowed to be established regarding property that residents are allowed to keep when they file with a Carmel bankruptcy attorney under the United States Bankruptcy Code. These items are called “exempt property.” The Bankruptcy Code and state law exemptions are both available in some states, but our area requires that you use its rules when filing for bankruptcy with a Carmel bankruptcy attorney.
As bankruptcy lawyers in Carmel, IN, we understand the difficulties that can arise when deciding to file bankruptcy and ascertaining whether it’s the right choice for you. There are typically many questions when it comes to bankruptcy, and the answers below will be a good starting point to help you gather the information you need to ease your mind.
Bankruptcy is defined as a legal process that the federal government administers. The purpose is to provide debt relief to people who are in real financial trouble, typically resulting from factors like health problems, divorce, credit card debt or unemployment.
There are a few criteria you must meet in order to qualify. Some income criteria that can affect your ability to file include your mortgage, whether you earn too much money or if you have non-exempt assets to protect. Bankruptcy lawyers in Carmel, IN, can help you figure out if you’re qualified or not.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharges all unsecured debts, allowing you to start over financially. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows you to repay a portion of your debts over a period of three to five years. If you have a very high income, Chapter 11 bankruptcy may provide you with creditor relief.
You don’t technically need a lawyer, but the issue can get incredibly complicated. A Carmel bankruptcy attorney can help maximize the assets you get to keep, hasten your debt relief and anticipate any issues that could derail or delay your petition to file. It’s best to do your research to find trusted, affordable bankruptcy lawyers in Carmel, IN.
People who choose to file for bankruptcy on their own tend to have their cases dismissed once it gets over their heads.
Absolutely not! When you choose to utilize property exemptions when filing for bankruptcy, you will likely not lose any assets. In many cases, you can keep your home, your car, your retirement savings, valuables and personal property. If you have non-exempt assets, you might have to opt for a different chapter for filing or explore alternatives. Ask your Carmel bankruptcy attorney for more information on those alternatives.
Yes, your house can be saved. Any foreclosure proceedings will cease once you file for bankruptcy, at least for a period of time. You must be current with your mortgage to discharge other debts. Mortgage arrears can be included in a repayment plan if you are currently behind on payments.
Medical bills and credit card debt can often be discharged, along with some back taxes or judgments. Generally speaking, you can’t discharge debts that are secured by collateral, such as child support or alimony, student loans, criminal fines, recent taxes or personal injury judgments.
Once your bankruptcy petition is filed through your Carmel, IN, bankruptcy lawyer, all creditors will be subject to an automatic stay. All debt collection and legal actions must cease, including repossession, foreclosure, wage garnishment and lawsuits. Creditors can no longer contact you or harass you about your debts.
You have to declare all of your debts, and you are not allowed to repay friends, family or any other favors in the months leading to the filing of your bankruptcy. The court will recover any preference payments.
The only case for which you and your spouse would both need to file together would be if your debts are jointly held. If the debts are in one spouse’s name, that person should file for bankruptcy separately in order to protect the credit and assets of the other spouse.
You can file for bankruptcy more than once, but keep in mind that there is a waiting period. The amount of time that must pass depends on which chapter you’ve previously filed under and what you’re seeking now.
While bankruptcy is a part of public record and there is no method to keep your filing a secret, consumer bankruptcies aren’t published in newspapers; therefore, it’s unlikely that people you know will find out inadvertently.
Despite the negative consequences, bankruptcy is an excellent opportunity to rebuild your credit if you learn to pay bills on time and live within your means. There are many people who receive new offers for credit cards within several months of filing for bankruptcy. It does, however, stay on your record for seven to ten years, but the impact lessens more and more over time.
Facing bankruptcy can be an incredibly overwhelming and difficult process to go through on your own. From dealing with complicated documentation to ensuring you are maintaining all your legal rights, you need the right representation from a qualified bankruptcy lawyer at your side.
With experience as a CPA and tax audit lawyer, Jerry E. Smith can walk you through the bankruptcy process from beginning to end. If you’re searching for affordable bankruptcy lawyers in Carmel, IN, schedule a free one-hour consultation by contacting us at (317) 917-8680.