Putting Bankruptcy to Work for Hard Working AmericansOctober 10, 2011 by: L. Hinkle
by Jeffrey Alan Kerstetter
At The Law Offices of Lynda L. Hinkle, we’re here to help hard-working Americans who are facing tough times, hard-working, tax-paying Americans who, through no fault of their own, are experiencing the severe strain this tough economy has placed upon many families. We know bankruptcy. We understand debt. We can meet with you today for a free consultation to review your financial situation, analyze the balance of your income and expenses, your assets and your debts, and discuss a plan for your financial future. We can talk to you about whether or not taking charge of your finances by way of a personal bankruptcy filing is the right financial move for you. And if it is, we can counsel you as to whether you should file under either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. Don’t delay. When it comes to your finances and your future, the time to take action is always today. The Law Offices of Lynda L. Hinkle can help you today to make a brighter financial tomorrow.
You can get your financial affairs in order. You can take back control of your future. There is a safety net built into our society, placed there specifically for people who have been forced into your situation. It’s called “bankruptcy” and it has been a part of the U.S. legal-financial system for well over 100 years. A properly filed personal bankruptcy stops creditors in their tracks. It holds collectors at bay, it stops wage garnishments and property levies, and it even has the ability to prevent foreclosure if filed in timely fashion. Bankruptcy is not “the easy way out”. Bankruptcy is not “cheating” anyone. Bankruptcy exists to help people who have been forced into dire financial circumstances get their financial affairs back in order so that they can once again become prosperous consumers and useful producers of consumer goods and services, the backbone of the American economy. Bankruptcy helps keep your home, it helps pay your bills or—in many cases—eliminate them entirely. Bankruptcy helps the filer in order to help us all.
As an individual or as a husband and wife (both spouses quite often will need not file), most consumer filers will file either a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13 personal bankruptcy. Regardless of which Chapter you file under, the U.S. Bankruptcy Code provides that a given amount of many types of property and assets will be protected from seizure or sale by the trustee during a bankruptcy proceeding. At its most simple, if you have little or no unprotected equity remaining in your assets after the exempted amount is subtracted from their actual equity, there is nothing for the Trustee to seize and sell for a profit to pay your creditors, and you will keep the assets in question.
If you are current on your mortgage and can stay so, and your household income is at or below a statutorily-assigned number, you can probably file a Chapter 7 “liquidation” bankruptcy, in which all of your debts to “unsecured nonpriority creditors” such as most credit cards and medical expenses are liquidated, discharging you from the debt entirely. If, however, your income is above a statutorily-assigned number, or you are not current on your mortgage, you may be required by the Trustee to file a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy. In a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, you will pay back a percentage of your debts over a 3 to 5 year period. How much of your debts and which debts will be repaid will be determined by your income and the nature of your debts. It is important to know that debts such as taxes, child support, alimony, and student loans are in general terms non-dischargeable debts, so it is not advisable to file a personal bankruptcy in order to avoid an eviction proceeding.
Whether a personal bankruptcy is the right option for you and, if so, whether that bankruptcy should be filed under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code is an important question and it requires a great deal of thought and analysis. Let us help you. That’s why we’re here and that’s what we do. At the Law Offices of Lynda L. Hinkle, we help our clients forge a better financial tomorrow through prudent bankruptcy filings today. Call us anytime for a free consultation, we’re here to help.