When you find yourself in a financial hole where debts keep mounting and you are being harassed by creditors and faced with losing your home and vehicle, the good news is there is help available. In many situations, your financial stress can be relieved by declaring bankruptcy to regain control of your life. Bankruptcy, a legal way to have many debts forgiven so they no longer have to be paid, can provide the relief you need to get your life together and put yourself on the road to a fresh financial future.
With Jerry E. Smith as your Fishers bankruptcy attorney, you can ensure that the bankruptcy process is accessible to you. We understand what you are going through and want you to carefully consider all your options. We know that many hard-working and responsible people are faced with financial problems, often through no fault of their own. People lose jobs, face unexpected medical bills, or have accidents that leave them unable to work. To ensure that the bankruptcy process is accessible to you, we strive to keep our fees affordable.
We offer a free, confidential consultation to discuss your individual financial circumstances and determine the road back to financial recovery that would work best for you. In addition, we offer weekend and evening appointments to help you regain your peace of mind.
Delaying can only make your situation worse, so us today at (317) 917-8680 for your no-obligation case evaluation.
Bankruptcy is a legal process that allows you to have many debts forgiven under the United States Bankruptcy Code. The code provides several ways for individuals to file bankruptcy under federal law, and there are also Indiana state laws that come into play. The Indiana laws (Ind. Code Ann. § 34-55-10-2 (c)(5)) determine the property that residents are allowed to keep, which are called “exempt property.” Included is a homestead exemption, that allows you to keep up to a certain amount of residential property or tangible personal property (such as a mobile home) that constitutes your personal or family residence. There is also an Indiana Wildcard Exemption that lets you protect any nonresidential real estate or tangible property of your choosing up to a certain value.
The purpose of filing for bankruptcy is to have a chance to eliminate enough debt and keep enough property to allow you to start rebuilding your life. You can file for bankruptcy in Indiana after living here for more than 180 days, and you can use Indiana exemptions if you have lived here for at least 730 days before filing. Otherwise, you can use the exemptions from your previous state.
Once your bankruptcy petition is filed through your Fishers, IN bankruptcy lawyer, all creditors will be subject to an automatic stay. This means that 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.
When you meet with our Fisher bankruptcy attorney, the first thing we will do is review your situation and determine what type of bankruptcy is right for you. The most common types of personal bankruptcy are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharges (eliminates) all unsecured debts, allowing you to start over financially, as these debts no longer have to be paid. This may be your best option if your income is too low to pay credit card bills, medical bills, utilities, payday loans or personal loans. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is over in a few months, so you can begin rebuilding credit quickly. You may have to sell off property to pay some of your debts, but since there are Indiana exemptions for property that cannot be sold, if you do not own a great deal of property, your possessions may be all be exempt, qualifying you for a “no asset” case.
However, not everyone qualifies for Chapter 7. To qualify, you would have to pass a means test to show that your family’s gross income is lower than the median income for the same size family in our state. To do so, you would add all gross income you earned during the last six months and multiply it by two. Then you would compare the figure to the income charts on the U.S. Trustee’s website.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy is available to people who don’t qualify for Chapter 7. It’s best if you have a steady income, temporary financial problems and enough money and a desire to repay some of the debt in order to keep an asset such as a car or a house. Chapter 13 is a repayment plan that allows you to repay some or all of your debt affordably over a three- to five-year period and consolidate your payments to avoid fees and fines. If you successfully complete the court-approved payment plan, the debts covered by the plan are discharged.
In addition, Chapter 11 bankruptcy is a type of bankruptcy that provides creditor relief for people with very high income.
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. When you successfully complete your bankruptcy, medical bills and credit card debt can often be discharged, along with some back taxes or judgments. 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. And not every debt can be discharged through bankruptcy — you generally 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.
There are a few criteria you must meet in order to qualify for bankruptcy, including your ability to file include your mortgage, whether you earn too much money or if you have non-exempt assets to protect. Our bankruptcy lawyers in Fisher, IN, can help you figure out what type of bankruptcy to file for and whether you are qualified.
Our bankruptcy lawyers in Fishers, IN, understand the difficulties that can arise when deciding whether to file bankruptcy. While most of them can be best answered in your free consultation, here are some answers that are a good starting point to help you gather the information you need to ease your mind.
You don’t technically need a lawyer, but the issue can get incredibly complicated, and making mistakes can cause you to have your case dismissed without having your debts eliminated. A Fishers 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 Fishers, IN.
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 Fishers 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.
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. Our attorneys will review your situation to determine whether or not you should file jointly.
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.
Filing for bankruptcy is a major decision that should not be taken lightly, but for individuals who are drowning in debt, it can be the best option for getting a fresh start and returning to solvency. At this difficult time, when you are faced with so many problems, let our affordable bankruptcy attorneys in Fishers, IN, take the burden off you. From dealing with complicated documentation to ensuring you are maintaining all your legal rights, our qualified bankruptcy lawyer are here to help.
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 Fishers, IN schedule a free one-hour consultation by contacting us today at (317) 917-8680.