Attorney George Arnold and his law firm Arnold Law Offices represent clients experiencing financial difficulties. Attorney Arnold has helped many clients resolve their seemingly insurmountable debt and help get them back on the road to financial security.
What Is Bankruptcy?
Bankruptcy is the legal process by which debts are lawfully discharged. In its simplest form, a debtor filing for bankruptcy protection, in theory, pools all of the money and property available and give it to a bankruptcy trustee, who in turn sells it off to satisfy the creditors. But, depending on the bankruptcy protection for which you qualify, you may be able to discharge all of your debts and not pay anything to the debtors because all of the property you own is exempt from trustee’s sale and therefore, all unsecured debts are discharged. An individual can file bankruptcy protection under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code. Corporations that wish to remain operational file a Chapter 11 reorganization petition. Most individuals qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and is the most common bankruptcy petition filed by individuals. Some farmers may qualify for a Chapter 12 bankruptcy as well.
What Is The Difference Between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcies?
In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the debtor is essentially liquidating assets to satisfy creditors. Some debts such as mortgages and auto loans are secured and therefore can be satisfied by the sale of the encumbered property. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition may not save your home or auto unless you find an exemption under federal or state law for them, or you, affirm the debt. On the other hand, credit card debt, court judgments, medical bills, and other unsecured debts are subject to discharge by bankruptcy. In theory, you could lose property by filing a Chapter 7 petition. However, the bankruptcy law provides an exemption for a lot of property. An exempt piece of property cannot be claimed and sold by the bankruptcy trustee to satisfy a debt. Once the trustee allows the Chapter 7 petition, all debts included in that petition are discharged, and the holder of the debt cannot collect on them.
A Chapter 13 petition allows you to stop creditors from collection and help you repay your debts. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy permits you to save your home from foreclosure because you will pay the mortgage. Otherwise, a Chapter 13 operates as if you pay one monthly bill to the trustee, and the trustee spreads your available funds out to your creditors. Chapter 13 does not immediately discharge debts; rather the debtor files a payment plan which lasts for years. The payment plan must allow for the use of disposable income to pay down the unsecured debts. The debtor makes monthly payments to the trustee, and the trustee distributes the funds according to the plan. The bankruptcy court must approve the payment plan before the trustee can make a distribution. Upon satisfying all of the conditions of the plan and making every payment, the debtor and creditors are discharged.
Which Bankruptcy Do I Qualify For?
Many debtors will qualify for Chapter 7 liquidation. The advantage to filing for Chapter 7 protection is you can wipe your financial slate clean and start again. Once the debts are discharged, they are gone forever. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy is designed to be quick and efficient, lasting only 180 days. You must pass the “means test” to qualify for Chapter 7 protection. If you file for Chapter 7 liquidation and your income is greater than the allowed monthly income, then you cannot qualify for Chapter 7 and must file under Chapter 13.
Bankruptcy Is Complicated
Do not take on this task by alone. Failure to file the proper paperwork at the proper time will force the Bankruptcy Court to dismiss your petition. Also, failure to notify all of your creditors can affect your petition as well. Therefore, you must seek to hire a competent and experienced Wyoming bankruptcy attorney like George Arnold. Arnold Law Offices, PLLC are conveniently located in Evanston and Rock Springs to serve you better. Call our Evanston office today at 307-789-7887 or visit our office located at 20 Yellow Creek Road #101 in Evanston.