Are you considering bankruptcy to rid yourself of debt? Contact attorney Michael Siddons today for more information about bankruptcy laws. Under United States federal law, you can file for bankruptcy relief from your creditors and get a fresh financial start. Some of the possible reasons you may want to consider filing for bankruptcy are:
If you fall under any of the items listed above, please seek a bankruptcy lawyer immediately. The Law Office of Michael Alan Siddons is here to help.
Bankruptcy is, in almost all cases, an option of last resort. Before filing for bankruptcy, be sure you have thoroughly exhausted all other legal options in dealing with creditors. Often times, those other options may fall under the realm of mortgage modification, or litigation in state court, so it is vital that you are advised by an attorney with a broad range of knowledge, not just a solid background in bankruptcy law.
Also, if you have no non-exempt property or wages, you may not need to file for bankruptcy at all. With nothing to take away, creditors may not have the option of pursuing you, especially since you cannot be jailed for non-payment of civil debt (other than court ordered fines.) Our affordable bankruptcy attorney fees can help mitigate the cost and confusion a bankruptcy may bring. Hiring an experienced bankruptcy lawyer can be the first step in solving your bankruptcy issues.
Some types of debts, like child support, alimony, criminal fines, taxes, court restitution orders, and most student loans cannot be discharged. Bankruptcy is not a way to get out of your legal obligations. It is designed to help you recover your life and get back on track. This also means that debt you accumulate after your file for bankruptcy will also not be discharged. And, certain rights of secured creditors (secured debts like car loans and home mortgages) are also not eliminated.
There are several types, or chapters as they are known, of bankruptcy. These chapters are named for the chapter within Federal Law that they reference. The bankruptcy chapter that applies to you depends upon the type of entity (are you an individual, corporation, etc.) and on your particular situation. Our section on Bankruptcy Basics can offer some more details, but the two most common forms of bankruptcy filings are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 for individuals.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy or liquidation is often referred to as the “Fresh Start Bankruptcy.” Under this filing, your debts are discharged or canceled and non-exempt property is taken and used to pay your creditors, but you may keep secured property if you are current on the payments.
Sometimes known as the “Wage Earner Plan,” Chapter 13 bankruptcy is called reorganization. This filing allows you to keep some of your assets, such as your home or car, if you are able to make the necessary payments, plus any agreed upon extra payment towards the arrears.
Your bankruptcy lawyer can handle most of the court proceedings without the need of you being present. The exception is one hearing, called a 341 meeting, or meeting of creditors. For the most part, this meeting is short and simple, and you will only be asked a few simple questions. Although creditors are allowed to attend and also ask you questions, most of what you will need to answer will be things like: your name, address, if you have ever filed bankruptcy before, and what is your intention in filing. Your case will usually be completed a few months after you file for bankruptcy. To help aid you in this process, hire a bankruptcy lawyer today.
For Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies, the Court charges a filing fee that varies among the U.S. Bankruptcy Courts. As an example of these fees, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court Eastern Division of Pennsylvania charges $306 for a Chapter 7 filing, and $281 for a Chapter 13 filing. In some cases, you may also be eligible to pay these fees in installments. Please call the Law Office of Michael Alan Siddons for our bankruptcy fee schedule.
If you have lots of debts, repossessions, and late or unpaid bills, your credit is probably not very good. Credit reporting agencies list bankruptcies for 10 years. After that, the bankruptcy is removed from your report, allowing you to improve your credit even more. And, during those 10 years, the bankruptcy does not necessarily mean that you will not be able to get credit. There are many companies that specialize in lending to people that have filed for bankruptcy for a fee or higher interest rate.
No. Employers and government agencies are prohibited by law from discriminating against you for having filed bankruptcy.