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Bankruptcy Lawyer

Board-certified attorneys that can help you get out of debt and regain financial freedom by declaring Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
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What Is
Bankruptcy Law?

Bankruptcy law covers a variety of complex federal legal proceedings for borrowers who cannot meet all their financial obligations. Declaring bankruptcy may help families, individuals, or businesses that cannot afford to pay off all their unpaid debts to creditors. Attorneys that specialize in bankruptcy law can represent both debtors and creditors alike. Since bankruptcy law is complex, attorneys may also serve as impartial intermediaries to ensure the process is fair to everyone. This means they may occasionally take on other roles, such as mediators, trustees, regulators, or even become court judges.

Generally, any changes to bankruptcy law must happen at the federal level only. No matter where you live in the U.S., the rules, procedures, and steps to declare bankruptcy are always the same.

What Bankruptcy Options Exist for People in Debt?

You might know that bankruptcy law covers multiple filing options, called “Chapters,” designed to provide debt relief:

  • Chapter 11 – This is exclusively for companies that go broke and need debt protection from creditors while still doing business. Unfortunately, LegalASAP cannot match insolvent business owners with nearby bankruptcy attorneys.
  • Chapter 7 – Have no assets or property you want to keep, and need to eliminate most of your debt immediately? Then this is likely your best option. It’s also known as “liquidation bankruptcy,” and works best for people who don’t own their homes. That’s because you must agree to sell off any assets you have in order to pay off your outstanding debts. However, you cannot qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy unless you have very little or no disposable income. If you earn too much money to qualify for Chapter 7, then consider filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy instead.
  • Chapter 13 – Do you own a house, car, or other asset you want to keep while creditors forgive some debt? If you can meet all eligibility requirements, then Chapter 13 bankruptcy might help you reduce your total debt burden. An attorney who practices bankruptcy law can potentially negotiate a partial repayment plan on your behalf. This usually means paying a percentage of all the debts you owe to creditors over a three to five-year period. Once you complete your repayment plan, your creditors “charge off” any unpaid balances left on your loans or credit cards.

In fact, many people with excess debt may qualify to file either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. If you believe that may apply in your case, consult an attorney who specializes in bankruptcy law about your situation. Most bankruptcy lawyers offer free, no-obligation consultations by phone to individuals who can confirm they qualify for legal assistance.

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What an Attorney Specializing in Bankruptcy Law Can Do For You

It’s true that some people declare bankruptcy without a lawyer. It’s known as a “pro se” filing, and it’s significantly harder than, say, filing your own divorce papers. However, even the United States Courts website says it’s probably a bad idea.

Here are just a few reasons to consult an attorney who specializes in bankruptcy law about your situation first:

  • You won’t pay anything for a no-obligation initial phone consultation to discuss your specific debt issues and legal options. Your matched attorney can then give you confidential legal advice over the phone that applies to your unique situation.
  • Attorneys can make debt collectors stop contacting you and halt foreclosure or eviction proceedings immediately. Debt relief companies don’t have the legal authority to do this on your behalf and some may scam you financially.
  • Your attorney can help you better understand whether you’ll owe taxes on any potentially charged-off debts. Depending on where you live, debt “forgiveness” may count as income that becomes taxable at the state or federal level.
  • Lawyers are more affordable than most people think. Worried an attorney will charge you charge hundreds of dollars per hour to handle your case? Most who practice bankruptcy law typically use a “flat rate” fee agreement instead. Even if you file bankruptcy yourself, you must still pay court fees, paperwork filing fees, etc. These typically add up to several hundred or even a few thousand dollars. The key difference is that an attorney won’t make any mistakes when filing your bankruptcy petition. In addition to paying back all the money you owe, there are legal ramifications to consider. Bankruptcy fraud – even when unintentional – is a felony crime that carries the risk of both significant fines and jail time.
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