Pennsylvania Bankruptcy Lawyer
At Czekaj Law, LLC, one of the most common questions we field regarding bankruptcy is “should I file for bankruptcy?” Our response depends on your current financial situation and your future goals. A bankruptcy lawyer in New Bloomfield at our firm will sit down with you and review your situation, including your assets and debts. Once we have a clear picture of your finances, we will offer you an objective opinion on whether bankruptcy is a good option for you. We will also go over the pros and cons of filing for bankruptcy.
For answers to your bankruptcy questions, please do not hesitate to call Czekaj Law, LLC at (717) 275-9770 . During an initial case consultation, we will learn more about your situation and advise you on whether we should look deeper into filing personal bankruptcy. You can also reach us online to request an appointment.
The Basics of Bankruptcy Law
Bankruptcy proceedings are governed under federal law, Title 11 of the United States Code, and go through the federal court system. This ensures that the rules of bankruptcy are similar throughout the country. However, there are Pennsylvania laws, if they are elected, regarding the property you are allowed to keep during bankruptcy. Depending on your situation, you may rely on the Pennsylvania or federal property exemptions. Your Pennsylvania bankruptcy lawyer will discuss these options with you.
If you live in Central Pennsylvania, then your bankruptcy will be under the jurisdiction of the Middle District of Pennsylvania Bankruptcy Court. This court has two locations, one at the Max Rosenn U.S. Courthouse in Wilkes-Barre, PA and another at the Ronald Reagan Federal Building in Harrisburg, PA. If you live in Perry County, then your case will take place in Harrisburg.
If you have any questions regarding federal Bankruptcy law, or where your bankruptcy case would take place, do not hesitate to call a New Bloomfield attorney at our firm for more information. (717) 275-9770 .
When to File for Bankruptcy in PA
Bankruptcy is a serious legal proceeding that should not be taken lightly. It is not a process for when you have a small amount of debt or are having trouble budgeting. You should consider filing for bankruptcy when your monthly expenses and debts are greater than your income. When there is no way to pay off all that you owe with your current earning capacity, bankruptcy may be the right step for you. Other signs that bankruptcy may be a good option is if you are using credit cards to pay for necessities, you cannot make minimum payments on all of your bills, and debt collectors are calling or harassing you.
There are multiple factors to consider before filing for bankruptcy. The first is whether or not you are eligible. There are different types of bankruptcy available to individuals and their spouses. The most popular are Chapter 7 bankruptcy and Chapter 13 bankruptcy. You should speak with a Perry County bankruptcy lawyer to determine if you are eligible for one of these processes.
If you are eligible, you should consider whether it is the right step for you, and whether it is the right time to file. The bankruptcy process can be challenging, and you need to be prepared to move forward with the process by following all the right steps. If you fail to adhere to the rules, you could end up in legal trouble and still facing a mountain of debt.
The bankruptcy process can be overwhelming, which is why it’s important to understand the types of bankruptcy as you move forward.
Chapter 7 is a very popular type of bankruptcy for individuals and couples. It is the type of bankruptcy that quickly wipes the slate clean. A majority of debts can be forgiven, including credit cards, medical bills, and personal loans. The debts that will not be forgiven, and you will still owe, include taxes, alimony and child support, and student loans. This is also known as liquidation bankruptcy, and you could complete the process in as little as three to five months, depending on your circumstances.
Chapter 7 is not available for everyone. You must pass the means test, which looks at your income, assets, and expenses, and compares it to the median income for a same-sized family in Pennsylvania. You must have below a certain amount of disposable income to be eligible for filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. You cannot have gone through a previous Chapter 7 bankruptcy within the previous eight years, or a successful Chapter 13 bankruptcy within the past six years.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases are not always easy. Although unlikely in most cases, it is possible to lose assets. If the bankruptcy trustee believes you have too much property, such as multiple homes or vehicles, you may risk losing those assets. Your credit score will drop, and the bankruptcy will remain on your credit report for years to come. If done correctly though, the benefit of being debt free can outweigh the burden of a bankruptcy appearing on your credit report.
To learn more about whether you are eligible for a liquidation bankruptcy, contact a Perry County Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer from Czekaj Law, LLC. We are here to answer your questions and review your eligibility, including conducting a preliminary means test.
If you have too much disposable income to file for Chapter 7, then talk with a bankruptcy attorney about filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. While a Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidates most or all of your debts, Chapter 13 reorganizes them. You participate in a court-supervised repayment plan, which lasts for three to five years. At the end of your repayment plan, your debts are paid and gone, or they may be discharged similar to the way certain debts would be discharged in a Chapter 7. Creditors cannot ask you for any more money related to these debts.
There are several benefits to this type of bankruptcy. In many cases, your debts are reduced. Creditors may be forced to accept you paying pennies on the dollar. Also, once you begin this process, there is an automatic stay that prevents creditors from contacting you. With the help of a Perry County Chapter 13 bankruptcy lawyer, you can be sure that your repayment plan is feasible. Your attorney can work to ensure you have enough to make the minimum payments.
During Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you will likely get to retain much of your property. You utilize your disposable income to keep up with the repayment plan. It usually does not require that you sell your assets to pay your debts. Many families prefer Chapter 13 because it allows you to keep your home as long as you can continue to pay the mortgage and pay back what you are behind over the life of the plan.
If you are interested in learning more about Chapter 13, including the benefits and disadvantages, contact a chapter 13 bankruptcy lawyer at our firm today.
Before You Can File: Credit Counseling
If you are interested in filing for Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy, talk with a bankruptcy attorney in Harrisburg, PA as soon as possible. Filing for bankruptcy in federal court is not a simple process. You must complete pre-filing credit counseling from a qualified non-profit credit counseling agency within 180 days of filing. By working with a bankruptcy attorney, you can be confident you take care of all of the pre-requisites to file at the right time.
Prepare for the Consequences of Bankruptcy
Before you decide to file for Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy, talk with a Pennsylvania bankruptcy attorney about the potential consequences. No matter which type you choose, the major credit bureaus are informed. Your credit score will take a hit. With a very poor credit score, you may not gain approval for loans or credit cards. In various situations, you may have to pay extra fees, deposits, or obtain a co-signer. If you do get approved for a loan, you will likely not get good interest rates.
Overall, a bankruptcy on your credit score can make it difficult to purchase a vehicle with a loan or buy a house. That being said, it is often worth it to get out of debt, and over the years, you will rebuild your score.
Contact a Bankruptcy Lawyer for Answers to Your Questions
Whether you are just beginning to think of bankruptcy or you are confident it is the right move for you, we recommend talking with an experienced bankruptcy lawyer about your situation. You should be fully aware of your rights, options, and responsibilities before diving in. Our Perry County attorney at Czekaj Law, LLC will take care of the legal and administrative tasks for you. We will ensure you properly file for the right type of bankruptcy for your situation. We will represent your interests against creditors and with the bankruptcy trustee. We will guide you through this process so that months or a few years from now, you have greater financial freedom.