Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorney in Auburn, AL
Even with the best intentions, individuals and families are sometimes unable to repay their debts or keep up with their monthly bills. When job losses, student loans, mortgage payments, credit card bills, and medical expenses become too much, you may be left feeling overwhelmed.
When Is It Time to Consider Bankruptcy?
Bankruptcy may not be the right solution for everyone, and our goal is never to push anyone into one decision over another, but to help our clients make the right decision for their lives. Financial difficulties can happen to anyone and can strike at any time. Even the most fiscally responsible person can be struck by an unexpected circumstance such as a job loss or a major illness. If you are wondering whether it’s time to consider filing for bankruptcy, there are several common signs.
- Your balances aren’t going down. You are making minimum payments on high-interest debt, and the balances are either not going down or are increasing.
- You are upside on a mortgage. Bankruptcy can help with this problem and still allow you to hold onto your home.
- Others will suffer if you don’t. You find yourself unable to pay for the basic needs of your loved ones.
- You are tapping into retirement funds. You are raiding your retirement funds to pay off debts.
Even if you have serious financial difficulties, bankruptcy may not be the only option. Some of the other choices that you might have, depending on your circumstances, include:
- Negotiating with creditors;
- Consolidating your debt;
- Seeking credit and debt counseling; and
- Creating a debt management plan.
Filing for Bankruptcy in Alabama
Unfortunately, some of the people who could most benefit from bankruptcy will shy away from the idea for fear of the unknown. While serious, bankruptcy is nothing more than a tool that helps people who are overwhelmed in debt. In most circumstances, there are two types of bankruptcy protections available for consumers: Chapter 7 bankruptcy and Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Here we will cover Chapter 7.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. Also referred to as a liquidation bankruptcy, this process is designed to wipe out all your debt with several exceptions. These include such things as alimony, child support, taxes, and student loans. Otherwise, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy will allow you to have a clean financial slate. The law will enable you to keep certain “exempt” property and property that has no value. Under most circumstances, you can keep your house, car, savings, and retirement account. The process takes about four months to complete, but you will have to meet certain requirements to be able to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If you don’t qualify, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is also an option.
What an “Automatic Stay” Means to You
One of the most troublesome circumstances that many clients face is being hounded by debt collectors. When you are already struggling financially, the last thing you need is someone reminding you daily that you are unable to pay your bills and doing so in ways that are often intrusive, harassing, and borderline illegal.
When you file either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you will receive what is termed an “automatic stay” that goes into effect immediately. This order prohibits most of these creditors from continuing with their collections practices, which will provide you with some much-needed relief. This means that the phone calls, email messages, and letters will stop as soon as creditors receive notice that you have filed for bankruptcy.
Certain limits apply to these protections, such as when a person files for bankruptcy multiple times within a year. The automatic stay will last while your case is open, and it prohibits most creditors from foreclosing on property, making collection attempts, garnishing wages, filing or continuing lawsuits, or repossessing property. A creditor who violates an automatic stay could be liable for damages caused by that violation.
Contact an Experienced Auburn Bankruptcy Attorney Now
The misperceptions about bankruptcy often cause people most in need of these services to avoid or delay dealing with their situation, which can only make matters worse with time. When you schedule an appointment with one of our qualified bankruptcy attorneys, you are taking the vital first step in reclaiming your financial freedom.
Our legal team will thoroughly explain your options and tell you how each choice will impact your life. For eligible clients, this is a chance for you to clear away debt and achieve a fresh start. Contact our Auburn office now at 334-821-3892 or reach us online to schedule an initial consultation.
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