Bankruptcy Courts And Districts In Maryland
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In either case, the Chapter 13 bankruptcy process in Maryland is the same. You need to begin by deciding whether Chapter 13 is right for you, locate a Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney, complete the bankruptcy forms, and attend your bankruptcy hearings.
Lets discuss the Chapter 13 bankruptcy process in Maryland in more detail.
Collect Your Maryland Bankruptcy Documents
While it may be tempting to just get to work on the bankruptcy forms, you will save yourself a lot of headaches later if you take the time to collect certain to documents first. Filing bankruptcy in Maryland imposes very strict disclosure requirements on everyone and having your documents nearby will make leaving something out accidentally a lot less likely. Everyone who is in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Maryland must provide the court with a detailed listing of all of their debts. The best resource to gather this information will be your credit report, which you can obtain for free from all three credit reporting agencies, along with any debt collection notices and other correspondence you received in the last 3 months. You also need the last six months of your paycheck stubs. If you get paid by direct deposit, chances are they are emailed to you, which will make it easy enough to gather them. Alternatively, you may want to visit your payroll department to ask for this information. Your bank statements will come in useful when trying to figure out your monthly expense. Finally, everyone in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Maryland is required to provide a copy of their most recent federal income tax return to their case trustee after the case is filed, so you might as well get that out of your filing cabinet now as well.
File For Chapter 7 Bankruptcy In The South Florida Annapolis Maryland And Easton Maryland Areas
Chapter 7 is what most people think of when they think of bankruptcy. One of the primary purposes of Chapter 7 is to discharge certain debts to give an honest individual debtor a fresh start. A debtor has no liability for discharged debts. In a Chapter 7 case, only individuals are eligible for a discharge partnerships and corporations cant get one. Although an individual Chapter 7 case usually results in a discharge of debts, the right to a discharge is not absolute, and some types of debts are not discharged (domestic support obligations, newer taxes, and student loans are the major ones.
To be eligible for Chapter 7 relief, you must first complete a process known as means testing. You are also required to obtain a pre-filing credit counseling certification from an approved credit counselor. If you decide to file for Chapter 7, we can discuss these requirements before we move ahead with your case.
A Chapter 7 starts when your petition is filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court. Documents relating to income and expenses, debts, property , and other financial disclosures must be prepared and filed.
Sure, you CAN file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy without a lawyer. You can also perform your own brain surgery, build your own house, and fly your own airplane. But should you?
Filing a Chapter 7 case stops most collection actions, but not everything . In addition, under some circumstances the Automatic Stay may exist for only a short period of time.
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Calculating Chapter 13 Plan Payments In Maryland
Your Chapter 13 plan payment in Maryland depends on your unique financial situation, which is why we built a Maryland Chapter 13 Plan Payment calculator below that you can use to estimate your Chapter 13 plan payment.
Factors used when calculating a Chapter 13 bankruptcy plan include, but are not limited to:
- Disposable Income The amount of income you have each month after subtracting allowable payroll deductions and allowable living expenses from your gross monthly income.
- Assets In some cases, the value of your assets could increase the amount of your Chapter 13 plan if your assets have large amounts of non-exempt equity. We discuss Maryland bankruptcy exemptions in more detail below and how exemptions impact your Chapter 13 plan.
- Debts Some debts must be paid in full through the Chapter 13 plan . Other creditors may receive partial payments, including unsecured debts, such as medical bills, credit card debt, and personal loans. Chapter 13 plans typically include back mortgage payments and car loan payments.
- Recent Financial Transactions Some recent financial transactions could impact your Chapter 13 plan.
Try the Chapter 13 calculator to estimate the amount of your Maryland Chapter 13 plan payment.
When You Might Not Need A Bankruptcy Attorney
If you have a simple Chapter 7, you will have a better chance of completing your case without a bankruptcy lawyer. The hallmarks of a simple Chapter 7 would include a:
- household income below your state’s median income level
- little or no property
- no recent property transfers or payments to preferred creditors , and
- your creditors aren’t likely to dispute a debt.
But keep in mind that even filing a simple Chapter 7 bankruptcy requires a fair amount of time and research on your part. If you want to complete your case, obtain a discharge, and not put any of your property at risk, you have to:
- accurately fill out several bankruptcy forms and schedules
- learn how bankruptcy laws work
- research your state’s exemptions, and
- follow all the rules and procedures necessary to complete the bankruptcy process.
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What Is The Role Of A Bankruptcy Lawyer
Bankruptcy is a progressive process that will help you solve your financial problems one step at a time. You need to have patience and exert extra effort for you to succeed. It has to be done systematically and accurately. For legal help in your bankruptcy filing, do not hesitate to schedule a consultation with our experienced Towson bankruptcy lawyers at The Grafton Firm, LLC. Our competent bankruptcy lawyers will help you choose the best bankruptcy chapter, determine the perfect time to file, and save the assets or properties that you want to keep.
What Is The Bankruptcy Filing Process In Maryland
Consumer bankruptcy always begins with a petition that is voluntarily filed by you. The decision to go to court is yours alone to make. When you meet with our attorneys, they require quite a bit of information regarding your:
Much of this information can be gleaned from your credit report and is used to file a petition and schedules. If an adverse action is immediately forthcoming and time is short, the schedules may sometimes be filed later. In addition, you also need to gather important financial and personal documents, including your:
- Tax returns
- Pay stubs
- Social security card
Bankruptcy fraud is a serious crime with serious penalties. When you meet with our attorneys, do not hold anything back. You should answer all questions completely and honestly. We are here to advise you and to be an advocate for you.
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Filing Without An Attorney
Individuals can file bankruptcy without an attorney, which is called filing pro se. However, seeking the advice of a qualified attorney is strongly recommended because bankruptcy has long-term financial and legal outcomes.
Filing personal bankruptcy under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 takes careful preparation and understanding of legal issues. Misunderstandings of the law or making mistakes in the process can affect your rights. Court employees and bankruptcy judges are prohibited by law from offering legal advice.
The following is a list of ways your lawyer can help you with your case.
- Advise you on whether to file a bankruptcy petition.
- Advise you under which chapter to file.
- Advise you on whether your debts can be discharged.
- Advise you on whether or not you will be able to keep your home, car, or other property after you file.
- Advise you of the tax consequences of filing.
- Advise you on whether you should continue to pay creditors.
- Explain bankruptcy law and procedures to you.
- Help you complete and file forms.
- Assist you with most aspects of your bankruptcy case.
Bankruptcy Forms are available to the public free of charge.
- Use the forms that are numbered in the 100 series to file bankruptcy for individuals or married couples.
- Use the forms that are numbered in the 200 series if you are preparing a bankruptcy on behalf of a nonindividual, such as a corporation, partnership, or limited liability company .
- Sole proprietors must use the forms that are numbered in the 100 series.
If You Can’t Afford A Bankruptcy Attorney
While having a bankruptcy lawyer on your side will almost always be better than filing yourself, not all debtors can afford legal counsel. If it isn’t a possibility, you might consider:
- getting help from a local free clinic or legal aid society
- finding a pro bono attorney to accept your case at a free or reduced rate, or
- paying most of the attorneys’ fees through a Chapter 13 repayment plan.
Filing For Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Maryland Process
The process to file Chapter 13 bankruptcy is similar across the state. So, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Baltimore may be similar to Columbia. We will cover the decision to file Chapter 13 bankruptcy, locating a Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney, credit counseling and debtor education course requirements, completing your bankruptcy forms, and filing your Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition.
Preventing Bankruptcy Exemption Problems
Exempt your property carefully. The bankruptcy trusteethe court-appointed official assigned to manage your casewill review the exemptions. A trustee who disagrees with your exemptions will likely try to resolve the issue informally. If unsuccessful, the trustee will file an objection with the bankruptcy court, and the judge will decide whether you can keep the property.
Example. Mason owns a rare, classic car worth $15,000, but the state vehicle exemption doesn’t cover it entirely. Believing that the car qualifies as artat least in his mindMason exempts it using his state’s unlimited artwork exemption. The trustee disagrees with Mason’s characterization and files an objection with the court. The judge will likely decide the vehicle doesn’t qualify as art.
Purposefully making inaccurate statements could be considered fraudulent. Bankruptcy fraud is punishable by up to $250,000, 20 years in prison, or both.
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How To Choose The Right Bankruptcy Chapter
There are two common types of bankruptcy chapters: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Before you file for bankruptcy, it is important to know how to choose the best bankruptcy chapter that will solve your debt problems.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is considered the fastest and most common type of bankruptcy. It allows liquidation of assets to pay creditors. Before filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you need to know the rules on how you can protect your assets and properties from liquidation. Bankruptcy does not automatically mean that you will lose all the assets that you have acquired. You can protect certain assets from being liquidated, while some assets classified under the non-exempt property cannot be protected. Under this chapter, your appointed bankruptcy trustee will be responsible for selling your non-exempt properties. The proceeds will be allocated to your creditors based on the payment plan.
In Chapter 13, you must pay back some or the full amount of what you owe to creditors under a repayment plan. The most important factor to consider in filing Chapter 13 is sufficient and regular monthly income to wipe out your debts. This chapter allows you to restructure and reorganize your debts through a repayment plan that will last for 3 to 5 years. This will be the option for you if you have non-exempt assets and properties that you want to keep.
When Is It Feasible To File Without An Attorney
The general rule is the simpler your bankruptcy, the better your chances are to complete it and receive a bankruptcy dischargethe order erasing debton your own. Your case is likely simple enough to handle without an attorney if:
- you pass the first portion of the Chapter 7 means test
- you don’t own much property
- you don’t have any priority debts you can’t discharge, and
- creditors aren’t alleging fraud against you.
However, keep in mind that even the most straightforward Chapter 7 requires you to fill out extensive paperwork, gather financial documentation, research bankruptcy, and exemption laws, and follow the local rules and procedures. At the very least, if you want to file pro se, use a good self-help bankruptcy book like Nolo’s How to File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, by Attorney Cara O’Neill and Albin Renauer, J.D.
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Common Pro Sec Bankruptcy Filing Errors
Filing for bankruptcy is a complicated process. Because of that, individuals who try to take on the task themselves often make mistakes. According to , these are the top ten filing errors committed by self-represented parties:
In order to avoid making mistakes during the bankruptcy filing process, its in your best interests to work with an experienced bankruptcy lawyer.
Bankruptcy Is Your Constitutional Right
- Have you received threatening or bothersome phone calls from bill collectors at home or at work?
- Does your credit card debt appear to be never ending?
- Are you afraid of potential wage garnishments?
- Are fearful of losings your home to a foreclosure?
- Are you afraid of having your vehicle repossessed?
If you have answered Yes to any of the above questions, then the Maryland Bankruptcy Center is prepared to help you. We can offer you debt relief and immediate help and protection. Stop living a life of stress and worry.
WHAT IS THE MARYLAND BANKRUPTCY CENTER AND WHAT CAN WE DO FOR YOU?
WHY CHOOSE US?
CONTACT USThe harassing telephone calls at home and work will stop immediately
- Complete legal analysis
- The Bankruptcy Court WILL accept your case
- Instant relief from creditors
How can I rebuild my credit score after filing for bankruptcy?Will I be able to buy a house after filing for bankruptcy?Can I buy a car, or get a credit card after filing for bankruptcy?
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What Is Discharge And Why Is It Important
A bankruptcy discharge releases the debtor completely from any liability for the debts outlined in the bankruptcy petition. Creditors can no longer take any action in any way against the debtor after discharge. Once the bankruptcy has been filed and no objections are raised, the discharge occurs automatically.Trustees and creditors have 60 days to challenge the decision to discharge. If no objections arise, you are notified within three to six months by mail of the discharge of your debts. For Chapter 13, you will need to attend a hearing to confirm that all payments have been made in agreement with the bankruptcy filing.
Can You Heart Surgeon Also Help You With Other Medical Issues
Yes, of course, but we usually and the doctors like to stay in their lanes and do what they do best. A top notch criminal lawyer doing an involved bankruptcy matter might not be your best choice. You can be a member of the NACBA, National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys but if you have a lot of experience, you don’t need that to further prove your ability.
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What Are The Benefits Of Filing Chapter 13 In Maryland
The benefits of the Chapter 13 filing process in Maryland include:
- Prevent foreclosure to keep your home by catching up with past-due mortgage payments over three to five years
- Stop wage garnishments, seizures, levies, and debt collection lawsuits
- Stop creditor harassment
- Prevent repossession and keep your vehicle
- You may be able to discharge a second mortgage through Chapter 13
- You may be able to pay less than you owe to satisfy the secured lien on your vehicle
- Catch up past-due child support and alimony
- Get rid of unsecured debts for pennies on the dollar
- Resolve tax debts and IRS problems
- Protect property from being sold to pay debts
Another benefit of the Chapter 13 process in Maryland is getting rid of the stress and anxiety of dealing with debt problems. Financial problems can cause an enormous amount of stress, which can cause severe health problems. The Chapter 13 bankruptcy process in Maryland allows you to take control of your debts and finances to relieve stress and anxiety.
Maryland Credit Counseling And Debtor Education Courses
As part of your Chapter 13 case in Maryland, it is a requirement to complete two bankruptcy courses. The bankruptcy courses are available online from approved companies for a small fee. Moreover, the courses typically take between 90 minutes and two hours to complete.
Here are the approved providers in Maryland:
Accordingly, its a good idea to check to make sure you are using the most recent list of approved providers.
The Credit Counseling Course needs to be complete before you file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Also, you need to complete the Debtor Education Course after filing the Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition. It is a good idea to complete the second bankruptcy course as soon as possible after filing the Chapter 13 case so that you do not forget about the course and lose your bankruptcy discharge.
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