Hiring a Bankruptcy Attorney

Bankruptcy is one of the worst situations that one can imagine. Worrying about bills and debts owed, with the end productof mental stress resulting in physical disease. A person is called bankrupt when he or she fails to pay their debts or when the debt is much higher than their assets. When this situation occurs, people find it very difficult to solve their financial problems. This is the time when you can consider your need of a bankruptcy lawyer.

A bankruptcy lawyer is a professional who renders his/her services to help those suffering from financial losses, regardless of the reason. There are a few people who declare bankruptcy and try to work through all the processes themselves. Sometimes you really do not need a bankruptcy lawyer to get through the bankruptcy process. However, it is advisable to take the help of a bankruptcy attorney to make things easy for you.

Different Types of Bankruptcy 

There are different types of bankruptcy and you need a bankruptcy lawyer to help you determine which type yours is. A bankruptcy attorney will be able to examine your case and advise you as to what options you have and which will be the road likely to be best for you. The most common type of bankruptcy is Chapter 7. But just because it is the most common does not mean it is the best for you. That’s where the lawyers of Bankruptcy Attorney Dayton, Ohio will be able to help you.

Bankruptcy lawyers are not general lawyers. They have specialized training in this field as it is a specialized area of the law with state-specific rules and regulations. Bankruptcy Attorney Dayton Ohio lawyers have valuable experience ready to go to work for you.

Tips on How to Hire a Bankruptcy Lawyer 

  • Find someone familiar with your local bankruptcy laws: The regulations for bankruptcy vary from state to state and, therefore, it is advisable to choose a bankruptcy attorney who is familiar with the laws of your state. If you are not sure which lawyer can handle cases of bankruptcy protection, you can find some references from online forums.
  • Ask your state’s Bar Association: Most bar associations offer lawyer referral services for those who seek bankruptcy protection. You can search online for Bar Association in your area and check their website for such a referral service. They recommend lawyers who have experience in handling bankruptcy cases and they can be a real help to find a good lawyer.
  • Contact a bankruptcy court in your community:In some states, courts also offer lawyer referral services. If you do not find one in your area, you can call the courts where you intend to file bankruptcy and receive names to select. Local courts can also help you in a legitimate manner to file a bankruptcy petition with legal fees and predefined procedures.
  • Setting up an appointment with an attorney offering free initial consultation:Most professional bankruptcy lawyers will be ready to offer you a free initial consultation to assess the case and determine if they can help you. Check law firms deemed to avail such consultation. Discuss your problems with them and they can guide you through the legal procedures if you choose to file for bankruptcy protection.


Information about Bankruptcy Basics and Types

Bankruptcy is a procedure, through which businesses and individuals can repay or eliminate all or some of their debts. This process is carried out under the protection of federal bankruptcy court. Bankruptcy is a complicated course of action and differs from one state to another. However, each bankruptcy chapter uses same terminology and adheres to same basic process.

In bankruptcy petition filing, two main parties participate – debtor and creditor. Debtor is the one who owes money (debt) to the creditor. Debtor can either be an individual or a company. Creditor claims that the debtor owes him/her money, property, or service. Creditor can be a person or an organization. Most of the bankruptcy cases include several creditors.

Types of debts

  • Secured – Loan provided against collateral
  • Unsecured – No collateral is needed

Under secured debts, the creditor is provided with legal rights to take possession of the collateral, if you miss to pay the loan payment. For example, a bank or lender offered loan on your house. This house acts as security or collateral. If you avoid the mortgage payments, bank has the right to foreclose and take away your house.

Secured debt in business can be very complicated. Variety of business loans enable creditors a security against intangible business aspects like trademarks, intellectual property or patents.

Creditor can repossess lien property even if some debt portion gets discharged (secured debts cannot get fully discharged). Debtor can make payments and keep their assets or stop paying and have them repossessed. In bankruptcy settlement secured creditors are paid first.

Bankruptcy jargon

  • Debt adjustment– Arrangements made to repay debts related to method/amount, which varies from the original agreement
  • Dischargeable debts – The debts that get erased through insolvency
  • Non-dischargeable debts – Arrears that cannot get wiped away through bankruptcy petition
  • Lien – A right given to the lender in the form of property to secure debt payment
  • Secured debt – Creditor has lien on secured debt
  • Unsecured debt – Debt is not coupled with property or any item

Bankruptcy categories and types

There are four types of bankruptcies. In US Bankruptcy Code these are named in chapters, respectively. For most of the time you can categorize them in two kinds – liquidation and reorganization. The kind of chapter you select to file insolvency will depend on certain factors.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy falls under liquidation category. Chapter 11, 12, and 13 is referred to as reorganization bankruptcy.

Chapter 7 – Consumer and business can file Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Some of the debtor’s assets are taken by bankruptcy trustee and sold to pay some of the debt. Unsecured debts like medical and credit debts get erased. Some secured debts are not covered and you have to continue paying for them.

Exempt property (protected by state law) can be kept safely. Income generated, after bankruptcy filing can be kept by the debtor.

Chapter 11 – The debtor can conduct the business, as usual, maintain ownership of the assets, and work a reorganization plan (in 120 days) for paying the creditors.

Chapter 12 – The latest code, specially designed to re-organize family farms. Debtor owns and controls the farm. In addition, work out repayment plans with creditors.

Chapter 13 – It is similar to Chapter 11 but only for individuals or a sole proprietor. Debtor designs a repayment plan of 3 to 5 years. Some debt portion gets discharged but depends on the debtor’s income. Debt limits are determined by federal government. Current debt limitations set are – $1,149,525 under secured debts and $383,175 under unsecured debt.

How to Decide Whether You Need to File for Bankruptcy?

A bankruptcy filer is generally a person in fragile economic circumstances with huge credit card balance due. Bankruptcy law is devised to aid those people, who need help in making a fresh start rather than spend their entire life crushed under the burden of debt. However, the recent laws have made things a bit complicated. Thus, you must understand the drawbacks and benefits of bankruptcy before declare it.

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Decide Whether You Have to Declare Bankruptcy

Analyze Your Debt

Certain debts cannot be erased or discharged, even after filing for bankruptcy. Categorize your debt and determine how much of the liabilities come under the categories, where it cannot be discharged. In case, most of the liabilities are not possible to erase, then bankruptcy is definitely not the best option. The following liabilities cannot be discharged.

  • Secured loans, the lenders could foreclose their capital
  • Some taxes
  • Some student loans
  • Debts incurred due to malicious and willful injuries to property or person
  • Debts from personal injuries caused while driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Loans obtained fraudulently
  • Some debts incurred before filing bankruptcy
  • Debts arising after bankruptcy
  • Child Support
  • Alimony

Learn About Different Types of Bankruptcy

Once you decide that declaring bankruptcy is the only alternative for your monetary situation, the next step is to decide the best type of bankruptcy. If you are a small business owner or an individual, the obvious choices are ‘Liquidation’ bankruptcy (Chapter 7) or ‘reorganization’ or ‘wage earners’ bankruptcy (Chapter 13).

Municipalities such as school districts, taxing districts, towns, and cities could reorganize themselves under Chapter 9.  Chapters 12 and 13 are similar. It is set aside for those businesses for which eighty percent of the liabilities are incurred from the fishery or family farm.

Do you qualify?

If you wish to file for Chapter 7, then the income should be below some level. After paying the monthly expenses, if the income is left over, then you can go for Chapter 13. Make necessary arrangements to pay the creditors.

Fill the Bankruptcy Forms

These forms will list out your income, property debt and expenses. Also, you need to fill in a large number of forms including a list of schedules and bankruptcy petition. You can download these forms from the website.

File the Forms

Your case will officially begin, once the forms are filed. If you appoint the best bankruptcy lawyer San Diego, he/she will file these forms for you. Although hiring of legal representative is not needed, it is highly recommended. Filing without a lawyer is known as filing pro se.

Bankruptcy Trustee

Once you file the forms, the court will assign a trustee, who works for the creditors. He is responsible for validating the information included in the bankruptcy documents. In addition, the trustee will look at the properties you own and decide how much you could retain.

Get Credit Counseling

Anybody filing for bankruptcy must receive debtor education or credit counseling. Certificate of completion should be handed over to the court. An approved organization provides such programs.

After attending these mandatory sessions you will receive court Discharge Order, which will officially wipe out the debts and you can go on with your life.