Is Bankruptcy Right For You?
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Are you facing wage garnishments, lawsuits, frozen bank accounts, liens on your home or property, foreclosure? Call us today for your FREE 30 minute consultation at 630-909-9902.
Don’t delay. Please contact us as soon as possible, as there may be a time constraint on bringing claims or taking appropriate action.
Your FREE 30 minute consultation is only a phone call away. Call us today at 630-909-9902.
“I knew this was the law firm for me from the first consultation. They were down to earth and genuinely concerned about me and my situation. I spoke to other attorneys and they were cold, looking at the clock constantly, and rushing me out the door. My case was handled thoroughly and answered as many questions as I wanted. They were patient and explained everything throughout the whole process. On top of that, their fees are very reasonable, much lower than I was quoted by other firms.”– Mike L.
Our clients choose Bernicky Law Firm for their bankruptcy and debt settlement needs because of the exceptional service of our friendly attorneys who are non-judgemental and explore all options. We know it can be intimidating to meet with an attorney, so we strive to treat you with respect and kindness while giving you the important information that you need to know.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Protection is an option for those people or couples that need a fresh start; it’s often referred to as “complete liquidation” or “straight” Bankruptcy Protection. Most people who qualify are able to keep their house and cars and find that very little in their day to day life changes- with one exception. They are no longer harassed by creditors, worrying about phone calls or process servicers contacting them at home or at work.
In a Chapter 7, there are no repayments, and there is only one court hearing that must be attended.
If the following is true, then you most likely would qualify for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Protection (please know that nothing can be confirmed until all requested information is provided and we have had a chance to review it).
- You do not have any assets, especially any with significant equity (i.e. house(s) and car(s)).
- You are current on your home and car payments, or willing to surrender them in the bankruptcy or sell them.
- You do not have much money left each month after paying all your expenses.
- You have not received a bankruptcy discharged in the past 8 years.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
If the following are true, chapter 13 may be an option (please know that nothing can be confirmed until all requested information is provided and we have had a chance to review it).
- You need additional time to pay off obligations that that are past due, including your mortgage.
- You owe tax debts (Chapter 13 can allow you to pay these debts without interest or penalties).
- You’ve filed Bankruptcy in the past 8 years.
- Your income is such that you cannot qualify for Chapter 7, making it possible to repay creditors at least some of what they are owed (this amount is calculated by Bernicky Law Firm using information provided by you and then approved by the court).
Benefits of a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
- You can repay your house and car payments over time, allowing you to catch up over the life of the plan (this will also stop a foreclosure or repossession).
- Past due Alimony and Child Support and be stretched out over the life of the plan (3 or 5 years).
- You can strip a mortgage off your home (based on the amount of equity in your home)
- You can reduce payments on secured loans (example, if you owe $11,000 on a car that is worth only $3,000, you would pay back/make payments only on the $3000 actual value).
- You can file even if you’ve received a chapter 7 discharge.
- You can spread tax payments only time, and may be able to do so without interest or penalties.
Disadvantages of a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
(important to know since ⅔ of chapter 13 plans fail because the debtor does not know all the facts):
- It will takes 3 or 5 years to obtain a discharge.
- You will have to give any windfalls (inheritance, winnings, etc) or tax refunds to the trustee.
- Any new debts (car, house, etc) require the consent of the trustee
- If you lose your job or unable to make the payments, you case could be dismissed.
- You may not be able to move or sell your home during the plan.
Bankruptcy Myths/Client Stories
Very few people find themselves WANTING to file for Bankruptcy Protection, but a great number of people can and have benefited from it. Many times a unforeseeable life event occurred such as a, Divorce, Job Loss, or a Sickness/Death in the Family.
Myth #1: “I can’t file for Bankruptcy Protection because it’s not the right thing to do”
If bankruptcy is the option for you, do not feel bad or guilty about filing. Whether it is personal or business bankruptcy, it must be thought of as business decision, as creditors do not have feelings and have most likely already recouped their losses through interest and fees. Additionally, many of the original creditors have already sold or written the debt off and gained the tax benefits from doing so.
Myth #2: “I can’t file for Bankruptcy Protection because I own a home”
Simply owning a home does not automatically preclude a bankruptcy filing. Whether or not bankruptcy protection can be had depends on a number of factors, but the housing situations for most clients does not change with a bankruptcy filing and in fact, some are able to remove a 2nd mortgage or home equity line with a Chapter 13 filing!