If you’re facing financial troubles, declaring bankruptcy can help relieve the stress. As a skilled bankruptcy attorney, Jerry E. Smith can provide assistance throughout the bankruptcy process. Our office offers free consultations, with hours including evenings and weekends.
Federal law governs federal bankruptcy. State law establishes what property residents can keep when they file for bankruptcy under the United States Bankruptcy Code, also called “exempt property.” The U.S. 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 Zionsville bankruptcy attorney.
As bankruptcy attorneys in Zionsville, IN, we understand bankruptcy is not the right choice for everyone. The process can seem daunting and confusing. Clients frequently come to us with questions when deciding whether bankruptcy is right for them. The information below can help answer some of the most asked questions regarding bankruptcy.
Bankruptcy is a legal process allowing debtors the chance to get a fresh start. If you are no longer able to pay your debts, you may be able to rid yourself of some of these debts, liquidate assets to pay debts, or create a payment plan.
To qualify, there are certain criteria you must first meet. Some income factors that affect your ability to file include your mortgage, whether you earn too much money, or whether you have non-exempt assets to protect. Bankruptcy lawyers in Zionsville, 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.
By law, you are not required to have a bankruptcy lawyer assist you with the process. However, bankruptcy can be complicated and confusing. A Zionsville 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 a trusted, affordable bankruptcy lawyer in Zionsville IN.
People who choose to file for bankruptcy on their own tend to have their case dismissed once it gets over their head.
No. When you use property exemptions when filing for bankruptcy, you will likely not lose any assets. In many cases, you can keep your home, car, 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 Zionsville 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.
If you receive anything of value within 180 days after your bankruptcy — for example, an inheritance or life insurance proceeds — you may have to use that money to pay your creditors. However, some money or property may be exempt, so it is best to speak to your bankruptcy attorney for more information.
Only certain types of debt can be discharged by bankruptcy, including medical bills and credit card debt. Generally, you are unable to discharge debts secured by collateral, including unpaid taxes, child support or alimony, and student loans.
With the help of your Zionsville, IN, bankruptcy attorney, once you file your bankruptcy petition all creditors are subject to an automatic stay. Debt collection and legal actions must cease, including repossession, foreclosure, wage garnishment, and lawsuits. Additionally, creditors will be unable to contact you in any way regarding debt repayment.
You must 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.
Spouses are required to file for bankruptcy together only if the debts are jointly held. If debts are in one spouse’s name alone, then that spouse alone should file for bankruptcy. This helps protect the other spouse’s credit and assets.
You can file for bankruptcy more than once, but note 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.
If you have a cosigner for one of your debts, the cosigner may be responsible for repayment. However, there may be some protection for cosigners, depending on what type of bankruptcy you file.
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, nonetheless, stay on your record for seven to ten years, but the impact lessens more and more over time.
Bankruptcy can be overwhelming if you’re facing it all on your own. Not only does it involve many steps, but you also want to ensure that you’re protecting your legal rights. A knowledgeable Zionsville bankruptcy attorney can give you peace of mind throughout the bankruptcy process.
Jerry E. Smith has extensive experience as a CPA and tax auditor lawyer, helping you feel confident you’re in the absolute best hands. Don’t face bankruptcy alone. If you’re considering hiring a bankruptcy lawyer in Zionsville, IN, request a complimentary one-hour consultation by contacting us at (317) 917-8680.