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When it comes to bankruptcy, there are so many moving parts and legal processes that need to be navigated. Determining and properly filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy exemptions is only one piece of the puzzle. That said, making the most out of exemptions that apply to your case can truly be a gamechanger in the long term.
Whether its managing bankruptcy exemptions, filing paperwork with the bankruptcy court or advocating on your behalf in hearings, a bankruptcy attorney is the key to a successful, efficient, problem-free bankruptcy experience.
In Louisiana, The Cook Law Firm proudly provides incredible bankruptcy attorneys to our neighbors. With years of experience and an impeccable track record, our firm gets results. Not only that, but we help ease the burden, stress and anxiety bankruptcy can bring especially compared to trying to manage bankruptcy on your own.
Get Your Debts Discharged
Whew. After completing the steps to this point and meeting all the requirements of your bankruptcy filingif you’ve filed under Chapter 13, this means making all the payments under your agreed upon planit’s finally time for the court to erase your dischargeable debts.
If you filed for Chapter 7 and your case has been dismissed, you may be allowed at this stage to convert to another form of bankruptcy, like Chapter 13.
What Is The Difference Between Chapter 7 Bankruptcy And Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Bankruptcy Code
For an individual filing a voluntary petition for personal bankruptcy, the difference is the ability to repay creditors. In a Chapter 7 no asset case, if the debtor passes the Means Test, the debts may be discharged and the creditors barred from further seeking collection. If the debtor is unable to pass the Means Test and can repay creditors, a Chapter 13 plan, also called a wage earner plan, will be formulated in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy to repay creditors. Therefore a Chapter 7 bankruptcy form differs from a Chapter 13 form.
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Estimate Whether You Will Qualify For Chapter 7 Bankruptcy In Louisiana
As stated above, you often have to qualify to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Qualification is based on US means testing. The means testing is based on the household income and size of the household for Louisiana.
Bankruptcy Means Test In Louisiana
The bankruptcy means test in Louisiana often changes every 6 months. To help, we built the following bankruptcy means test calculator to help you estimate qualification, understand the cost and compare bankruptcy alternatives.
Louisiana Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Income Limits
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Chapter 7 Bankruptcy In Louisiana
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is also known as liquidation bankruptcy or liquidation. In most cases, this chapter lets you get rid of unsecured debts including medical expenses, credit card debt, and monetary judgments. Not all debts are discharged, but you can get back on track financially by wiping out most of your eligible debts.
Many clients are scared they will lose everything if they file for bankruptcy. This is a myth. Bankruptcy exemptions and other federal exemptions allow most who qualify to keep all or most of their assets.
In any case, you need the guidance and legal representation of an experienced bankruptcy attorney. Shreveport bankruptcy lawyer Joseph Greenwald at The Greenwald Law Firm can help examine your financial situation and determine if you are a candidate for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
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Can I File For Bankruptcy And Still Keep My Car
Typically, yes. In fact, many people file bankruptcy in order to prevent their car or truck from being repossessed by a creditor. If you file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the debt associated with your car will be worked into your repayment plan. If you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you can choose to reaffirm your car loan through a reaffirmation agreement.
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What Does A Bankruptcy Trustee Do Specifically
It is your trustees job to oversee your bankruptcy case from start to finish. Your trustee will run your 341 meeting of creditors, collect money or non-exempt property for liquidation , or collect and disperse your monthly plan payments to your creditors . It is also the job of the trustee to ensure your bankruptcy filing complies with all of the rules of the Bankruptcy Code.
Louisiana Bankruptcy Means Test
In order to make sure that folks are not taking advantage of the Louisiana bankruptcy laws if they can actually afford to pay at least some of their debts, everyone filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Louisiana has to pass the means test. The first step is to compare your household income with the median income for a similar household, to check if you are below the income limits. If you are, you pass the Louisiana means test for bankruptcy. If not, you may still be able to qualify for Chapter 7 relief after completing part two of the Louisiana bankruptcy means test, which calculates your ability to repay your debts by taking certain expenses into account.
Data on Median income levels for Louisiana
Louisiana Median Income Standards for Means Test for Cases Filed On or After May 1,2022
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Complete A Credit Counseling Class
Sometime during the six months before you file for bankruptcy, you must complete a mandatory credit counseling session with a government approved credit counseling agency. You can satisfy this requirement in-person, over the phone, or online. It will take about 90 minutes and may cost as little as $0 or as much as $100, depending on your ability to pay. After you take the class, youll receive a certificate that you must file with your bankruptcy petition.
Will Bankruptcy Ruin My Credit
Filing for bankruptcy does not ruin your credit score but it will appear on your credit report. If you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the fresh start that you receive through discharging your debt will allow you to rebuild credit over time without having the concern of previous debt hanging over your head. If you file Chapter 13 bankruptcy, your credit repair begins with your first plan payment (so shortly after your case is filed, as long as you continue to make you plan payment your credit will build through-out your bankruptcy case.
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What Happens To My Co
The lender may require the co-signer to make payments on a loan once the principal signer has declared bankruptcy.
It is important to note that your non-spouse co-signer will not be discharged of the debt through your bankruptcy case and if he or she would like to have the debt discharged then he or she will need to file his or her own bankruptcy case.
If your co-signer does not wish to continue to make payments on the loan he or she must reach an agreement with the lender and/or you as to what to do with the property/debt.
How To File Bankruptcy In Louisiana For Free
Most folks that end up filing bankruptcy in Louisiana start the process wondering whether they can even afford to, without realizing that you can file Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Louisiana completely for free, if needed. First, you don’t have to hire a lawyer , and, if your income is less than 150% of the federal poverty guidelines, the court can waive the filing fee for you.
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A Louisiana Trustee Is Assigned To Your Bankruptcy Filing
A bankruptcy trustee is assigned to your bankruptcy case to review the paperwork and look for non-exempt belongings that you may own. You have to submit such forms as a recent tax return to the trustee. If you have non-exempt belongings, the trustee may manage the sale and liquidation of those belongings.
See the Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 trustees in Louisiana for bankruptcy district, name and contact information. As a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is much longer, you may have more interaction with the Chapter 13 trustee or someone from his/her office.
Secured Vs Unsecured Debts
Debts supported by collateral are referred to as secured debts. If you default, your creditor may seize the collateral, which is a tangible, physical item that can be sold to pay all or part of your debt. Collateral for secured debts includes items like your home and car.
Unsecured debts, on the other hand, are not secured by anything. Credit cards and medical bills are common examples. Secured debts arent discharged in Chapter 7 bankruptcy unless the collateral is surrendered. Most unsecured debts, on the other hand, are dischargeable. The chapter of bankruptcy you file will be heavily influenced by the type of debt you have.
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File Motions Objections Or Responses
You may never need to worry about this, but theres a chance that you will want to file additional paperwork after you submit your bankruptcy petition. For example, you may want to file a request to remove creditors claims against your property. Or, if a creditor says that you owe more than you think you do, you may want to file an objection with the court.
Depending on the complexity of the situation, this is another place that you might want the advice and assistance of a bankrupcy lawyer. If youre handling your own case and you want to learn more about the situations that may arise after you file, you can turn to a detailed guidebook like How to File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy or Chapter 13: Keep Your Property and Repay Your Debts Over Time.
How Long Will A Bankruptcy Show On My Credit Reports
The Bankruptcy Court has no jurisdiction over credit reporting agencies. The Fair Credit Reporting Act, 6 U.S.C. Section 605, is the law that controls credit reporting agencies. The law states that credit reporting agencies may not report a bankruptcy case on a person`s credit report after ten years from the date the bankruptcy case is filed. Other bad credit information is removed after seven years. The larger credit reporting agencies belong to an organization called the Associated Credit Bureaus. The policy of the Associated Credit Bureaus is to remove chapter 11 and chapter 13 cases from the credit report after seven years to encourage debtors to file under these chapters.
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Do I Have To Get Credit Counseling Before I File For Bankruptcy
Yes. Before you file for bankruptcy, you must take a brief credit counseling class and get a certificate proving that you have done so. If you are planning to file jointly with your spouse, you can both attend the same counseling session, but each of you must get a separate certificate. You can usually take a class online or over the phone.
The counseling class usually costs around $50 to $75 or less. However, federal bankruptcy law states that credit counseling agencies must provide credit counseling services without regard to a clients ability to pay and must disclose the possibility of a fee waiver or fee reduction before beginning the counseling session.
Many critics of federal bankruptcy law see the credit counseling requirement as a bureaucratic obstacle for already-desperate debtors. Perhaps so. But try to make the most of your 90-minute session by getting as much free information as you can. You may be able to use it as a way to get a second opinion about your financial situation, and to gauge whether bankruptcy is, indeed, the right choice for your situation.
For more information, see the the from the U.S. Department of Justice. When you’re ready to sign up for a counseling class, you can use this list of court-approved credit counselors.
Once you’ve filed, you’ll need to take another online class — a “Debtor Education” class — before you can receive your final order discharging your debts.
What Are The Federal Bankruptcy Exemptions
Although most states require bankruptcy filers to use state-specific bankruptcy exemptions, Louisiana law allows you to use either state or federal exemptions. However, you must choose one or the other you cannot use parts of both. If you choose to use federal exemptions when you file for bankruptcy, then you may keep:
- $23,675 of equity in your primary home. This is the homestead exemption you can use it to protect residential real estate as long as you live there. However, this does not extend to investments in rental properties.
- Your vehicle up to a value of $3,775.
- Jewelry valued up to $1,600.
- Household items worth up to a total of $12,625, as long as no single item is worth more than $600. This includes furniture, appliances, clothes, animals, books, etc.
- Tools for your work, including books, valued up to $2,375.
- A total of $12,625 in loan value, dividends or life insurance policy interest.
- All health aids.
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Louisiana Western Bankruptcy Court
Alexandria: U.S. Courthouse, 300 Jackson St., Suite 116, Alexandria, LA 71301, Phone:
Lake Charles: U.S. Courthouse, 611 Broad St., First Floor, Lake Charles, LA 70601, Phone:
Monroe: U.S. Courthouse, 201 Jackson St., Monroe, LA . 71201, Phone:
Lafayette: U.S. Courthouse, 214 Jefferson St., Suite 100, Lafayette, LA 70501, Phone:
Shreveport: U.S. Courthouse, 300 Fannin St., Suite 2201, Shreveport, LA 71101, Phone:
You may think you can save money by filing your own bankruptcy, but a good Louisiana bankruptcy attorney knows how to protect your assets. Learn more about why filing a pro se bankruptcy is a bad idea here. An experienced bankruptcy attorney can help you to make the best of your situation and get your financial life back on track.
What Chapter Of Bankruptcy Should I File
Deciding what chapter of bankruptcy you need to file depends on many factors of your personal circumstances. Generally speaking, what chapter of bankruptcy you need to file depends largely on your income and if you are behind on a house or car that you want to keep. The best way to know what chapter is best for you is to meet with an attorney and review your circumstances. Our offices offerfree consultations for this very reason and our staff would be more than happy to help you schedule an appointment today.
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How Do You File For Chapter 13 Louisiana Bankruptcy
If you’re planning to file for Chapter 13 in Louisiana, you are required to go to credit counseling. The counseling must take place within six months of the date you file for bankruptcy.
You will need to gather your financial paperwork, including pay stubs, your most recent tax returns, and the titles for any property you own. You also need to propose a repayment plan for your creditors.
Once you have the paperwork, you or your attorney will file the appropriate forms with the closest Louisiana bankruptcy court. There are three bankruptcy courts in Louisiana. There is a $281 fee for filing a Louisiana Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
Louisiana Legal Aid Organizations
Louisiana legal aid organizations make it their mission to provide free legal services to low income residents of Louisiana. If you can’t afford a lawyer to help you file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Louisiana, but don’t feel like you can go through the process without one, visit one of the organizations providing legal aid in Louisiana for help.
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Can I Sell My: : : : : Right Before I File Bankruptcy
It depends on what you are selling, to whom you are selling it to, and how much money you receive. The main thing you need to be aware of is that you cannot sell something for a lot less than it is worth. This is called a fraudulent conveyance and a bankruptcy trustee can sue the person you sold it to in order to recover the property. Generally, if you sell something for a fair price and keep good records to show where the money was spent, there is no law that states you cannot sell the property before bankruptcy. However, it is always advisable not to sell anything without first consulting with your New Orleans bankruptcy lawyer.
Thorough Attorneys Assist People Who Want To Keep Their Property
Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows those who have steady incomes but are still struggling with debt to repay it over time. If you are in the Eastern District of Louisiana and need to stop your creditors, enlist the help of the experienced Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorneys of The De Leo Firm, LLC in Mandeville. Thousands of individuals file for relief under Chapter 13 every month, allowing them to keep their cars, homes and other prized possessions while still easing their debt burdens. We will guide you through the process so that you can achieve the relief you deserve.
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