Which Type Of Bankruptcy Should I File
Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 are the most common types of bankruptcies for individuals. In a Chapter 7, most of what you own is sold to pay back what you owe to creditors. The only way to guarantee that you get to keep your house, car or other assets is to reaffirm the debtwhich means you agree to keep making payments on them. Most, if not all, of your unsecured debt is cleared. But before you can file for Chapter 7, the court first has to decide if your income is too low to pay back your debt . And a Chapter 7 bankruptcy usually takes a couple of months from start to finish.
With a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you get to keep your stuff, but you also get put on a super tight budget and a court-approved plan to pay back some or all of your debt. The whole process takes about three to five years, so dont count on your debts being erased right away. Plus, get ready for your whole life to be on display while the court figures out your budget and your pay-back plan.
But no matter what type of bankruptcy youre looking at, you can expect:
- Expensive filing and lawyer fees
- A mark on your credit report/public record for seven to 10 years
- Trouble qualifying for a mortgage in the future
Go To Court To File Your Forms
Once you print out your forms, you can either hand-deliver them to the bankruptcy court, or mail in your forms. If the courthouse isnât too far away, we suggest filing your Florida bankruptcy case – assuming theyâre open to the public during the COVID-19 pandemic. Find out the status of your bankruptcy court here.
Complete The Debtor Education Course
While you wait for your case to be processed, youll also need to complete a second bankruptcy coursethe debtor education course. Bankruptcy isnt a trip you want to take once, let alone multiple times. The goal of the debtor education course is to teach you how to make smarter money choices moving forward. The same fees for the credit counseling course apply, but the debtor education course usually takes at least two hours. Remember, you have to complete this course if you want your debts cleared.
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How Bankruptcy Works In Alabama
In most respects, filing for bankruptcy in Alabama isn’t any different than filing in another state. The bankruptcy process falls under federal law, not Alabama state law, and it works by unwinding the contracts between you and your creditorsthat’s what gives you a fresh start.
But Alabama’s laws come into play, too, in a very important way. They determine the property you can keep in your bankruptcy case. You’ll also need to know other filing information, which we explain after going over some basics.
When Not To Declare Bankruptcywhen Fees And Associated Costs Are Too Expensive
Many people wonder why it costs so much to go bankrupt and think that they need to go bankrupt because they dont have enough money to pay their debts. Not everyone who is insolvent and unable to pay their debts needs to go bankrupt. It depends on your situation if bankruptcy is a good option or not.
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Bankruptcy Can Be A Very Complex Area Of Law
If you are searching for the cheapest way to file bankruptcy, dont be surprised if you end up in a worse position from that which you started. Once you file, you open up the possibility of losing your home, vehicles or other valuable items. Bankruptcy mills have to service hundreds of clients a month to remain profitable and you are unlikely to meet your attorney. When you are sick, do you want to see the best doctor or the cheapest? Of course you want to see the best and you should feel the same about a bankruptcy attorney.
At the Law Office of Andrew Magdy, LLC you will meet with an attorney, not a paralegal. We always offer a free bankruptcy consultation, and we will do what is best for you, not what is best for us. Our fees may be slightly higher than others, but that difference is extremely small. Would you pay an extra $100.00 to guarantee that an experienced bankruptcy attorney handled your case, and made sure it was done right the first time? How much more will it cost you if your case is mishandled and you lose everything because of it?
Andrew Magdy and Associates have helped thousands of people get out of debt by filing Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy. They have both been recognized as top bankruptcy attorneys by the Consumer Business Review.
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.
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Every Situation Is Different
Bankruptcy is sometimes referred to as an insolvency solution. Insolvency is defined as the inability to pay your bills as they become due, because of lack of funds. There are many insolvency solutions in Canada, including bankruptcy, consumer proposal, and .
As an example, a person with a high income may be able to service $100,000 in debts without any problems. Their income is preventing them from becoming insolvent, despite the high payments they must make on their debts.
Another person, this one with a lower income and higher expenses, perhaps due to a larger family, may have great difficulty servicing a mere $10,000 in debts. The bills are comparatively small, but they are piling up unpaid, and creditors may be calling.
This second individual, with the lower debts, may be a candidate for bankruptcy and the protection it offers, while the person with higher debts may be able to service them on their own.
So, the qualification for bankruptcy depends on a lot more than the mere amount of debt.
Conversely, even if the amount you owe is equal or greater than the minimum amount of debt required by the law for filing bankruptcy in Canada, and you are having difficulty paying your bills, that does not necessarily mean that you are facing bankruptcy.
Dont Let The Cost Of Bankruptcy Stop You From Getting More Informationcontact Us
The costs and fees of bankruptcy are very similar in each province, but the rules and regulations are somewhat different. Bankruptcy laws are designed to ensure that overall costs are based on someones individual situation.
If youre not sure if you need go bankrupt or not, or if communicating with your creditors might be better, contact us for more information. We can explain how bankruptcy rules affect debt collection in your province and what your options are for dealing with your debts.
Discover your options
Between financial difficulty and insolvency are many options. Our credit counsellors specialize in helping you explore your options and discover which one will work best for you.
Get the clarity you need.
Speak with a non-profit credit counsellor.
When things get really tough and there doesnt seem to be any hope, it can be helpful to sit down with a knowledgeable credit counsellor who can talk through all your options and make a plan to resolve your difficulties. Many are surprised at the number of options available besides bankruptcy. Once you can see your way out, you can regain your peace of mind and move forward with confidence.
Get Some Help Its Free
Get a free appointment to explore your options and get back on track.
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Collect Your Texas Bankruptcy Documents
Your first step should be to collect the documents youâll need during the bankruptcy process. Some documents, like your paycheck stubs, medical bills, collection letters you have received from creditors, and a recent copy of your credit report will be useful when filling out your bankruptcy forms.
Other documents, like the tax returns you filed in the 2 years before filing bankruptcy will need to be submitted to the bankruptcy trustee before your meeting of creditors. If youâre closing a bank account before filing your bankruptcy, make sure you get a complete copy of your bank statements for the 6 months before the account is closed. Your bankruptcy trustee may want to review your statements, and once an account is closed, it can be time consuming and even expensive to get them from the bank.
Try to be as organized as possible when collecting the documents for your Texas bankruptcy. It may take you a while to collect everything but when youâre ready to take the next step, youâll feel more prepared.
How Much Does It Cost To File Bankruptcy
You are overwhelmed by debt. You are trying to regain your financial footing. You are considering bankruptcy, but of course you are concerned with the cost.
At Miller & Miller Law, LLC, one of the most frequent questions we get is, How much does it cost to file bankruptcy? While the answer varies depending on the situation, here is some information that may help you understand the cost of bankruptcy:
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Retaining A Lawyer To Field Creditor Calls While Making Payments
The automatic stay order that stops creditors from collecting doesn’t go into effect until you file the bankruptcy case. However, once you hire an attorney, you can cut down on annoying calls by instructing creditors to call your lawyer instead of you.
Some lawyers will let you pay a retainer as low as $100 and then pay the remaining attorneys’ fees in installments. However, even though many lawyers offer payment plans, they won’t file your case until all fees are paid in fulland for a good reason. Any amount owed to your attorney would get wiped out in the bankruptcy filing.
Also, keep in mind that this approach will cut down on annoying calls while you save for your attorneys’ fees. Still, it won’t stop creditors from engaging in other collection activities, such as garnishing your wages or levying against a bank account.
You Get What You Pay For In A Bankruptcy Case
Filing for bankruptcy is complicated. To add to the confusion, bankruptcy reform legislation passed in 2005 made bankruptcy law significantly more complicated. The requirements for filing and document production are confusing and difficult to meet. A good bankruptcy lawyer knows the rules, the system, and the courts. Shell also be able to communicate effectively with the Bankruptcy Trustee you dont want to have to learn legalese on the fly.
Youve probably seen billboards and cheesy commercials advertising cheap Chapter 7 filings. Is it a good idea to use the cheapest bankruptcy attorney? Probably not. Youre right to be cost-conscious when youre already strapped for cash, but a cut-rate bankruptcy attorney is going to cost you in the long run. Lawyers that offer reduced-fee filing often hand your case down to a paralegal that handles the whole thing with little or no supervision. The low price comes with inexperience and poor attention to detail. Paralegals play an important role in legal work, but you want to have your case in the hands of an attorney.
If your case is dismissed , you wont get the full protection of bankruptcy when you file again later. Serial filers dont get the benefit of the automatic stay, so creditors can and will initiate foreclosure, repossession, and lawsuits leading to wage garnishment and bank levies.
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Northern District Of Florida Requirements
The Northern District of Florida provides detailed instructions on how to prepare the creditor matrix that has to be submitted along with the other bankruptcy forms. If you donât have any paycheck stubs for the 60 days before filing your case, the Northern District requires you to file this form with your bankruptcy petition. You can file your case in the Northern District at the bankruptcy courts in Tallahassee and Pensacola, depending on the county you live in.
The Northern District of Florida has no special forms.
- Expect to keep copies of your documents.
- You will need one copy of your forms.
- Expect to file your paystubs.
What If I Cannot Afford To Hire A Bankruptcy Attorney
We understand that the reason you are researching low cost bankruptcy cases is that you probably do not have the funds to pay an attorney. When you are struggling to make ends meet, finding enough money to hire an attorney is difficult, if not impossible. Your only chance to obtain bankruptcy relief is to file a Chapter 7 low cost bankruptcy case.
Upsolve can help. Our non-profit service is offered to low-income individuals free of charge so that they can get out of debt by filing a low cost bankruptcy under Chapter 7.
Our free tool helps you determine if you qualify for a low cost bankruptcy Chapter 7 case and then guides you through each step of the Chapter 7 process. You can get rid of your debts in a low cost bankruptcy even if you cannot afford to hire a bankruptcy attorney. We can help!
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Be Careful If You File Chapter 7 Without An Attorney
If you decide to file bankruptcy without an attorney, you need to be cautious. When you file under Chapter 7, you may not be able to dismiss your case voluntarily. If the Chapter 7 trustee determines that your property may be sold to repay your debts, you might not be able to stop the process.
You may want to consider filing Chapter 13. Most bankruptcy attorneys include a majority of their attorneys fees in the Chapter 13 plan. You may also want to explore bankruptcy alternatives for debt relief.
Can You Pay A Bankruptcy Lawyer With A Credit Card
The answer is no. Bankruptcy lawyers can’t advise you to incur more debt shortly before a bankruptcy filing for anything other than necessary services, such as food, gas, and warm clothing. Charging unnecessary luxury items and services on a credit card or taking out cash advances shortly before bankruptcy can get you into trouble, e
ven if you intend to pay the credit card charges. You’re still incurring debt when the bankruptcy attorney processes the payment.
So don’t expect your lawyer to agree to payment from you by credit card. However, attorneys can take credit cards from friends or relatives who are willing to pay the fee for you. The only requirement is that you disclose who paid for your legal services in your bankruptcy paperworkwhich is the case anytime someone pays on your behalf, regardless of how payment gets made. Learn more about what you should expect from your bankruptcy lawyer.
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Low Cost Bankruptcy: Do Good Options Exist
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In a Nutshell
Filing for bankruptcy can get expensive. Apart from finding an affordable bankruptcy attorney, there are ways to file at low cost.
Written byAttorney Jonathan Petts.
If you have been searching for an affordable Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney, you may not believe that there are any good options for a low cost bankruptcy. We want to share some news with you that may change your mind about filing a low cost bankruptcy.
Chapter 7 is the best option for a low cost bankruptcy for many people. Most Chapter 7 cases filed are considered no-asset Chapter 7 cases. A no-asset Chapter 7 case allows someone to file a low cost bankruptcy to get out of debt while keeping their property.
The process of filing a Chapter 7 low cost bankruptcy is not as difficult or complex as you might believe. You can obtain the Official Bankruptcy Forms to file a low cost bankruptcy from the court. The Chapter 7 bankruptcy forms are available on the website for the United States Courts.
Avoid Bankruptcy By Communicating With Creditorsget Help To Stop Collection Calls
There are a lot of situations where once a creditor is fully aware of someones circumstance, they no longer actively attempt to collect what is owed. There are effective ways to communicate with creditors to ask them to help you, which will stop collection calls. After the statute of limitation has been reached, a debt can no longer be legally collected.
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