I represent people with debt problems in U.S. Bankruptcy Court. If you have debts you cannot pay, federal law provides a means for having those debts forgiven, or discharged. Generally, you may seek protection under either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code.
Chapter 7 is a liquidation of debts. If the Court approves a Chapter 7 plan, you do not have to pay anything to your creditors. Most people who qualify for Chapter 7 do not have to give up any property as a result of filing bankruptcy. At the end of the bankruptcy, your debts or fogviven, or discharged. Not all debtors qualify for Chapter 7, but if you do, then you don’t have to make payments over time. The filing fee for Chapter 7 is $299.00, and attorney’s fees are paid on the front end.
Chapter 13 is a payment plan in which you pay off all or a portion of your debts to creditors over a period of time, up to 5 years. In Chapter 13, you pay a portion of your income to the Chapter 13 Trustee, who then pays most of that money out to creditors. In order to qualify for Chapter 13, you must have a regular source of income. This can be wages, self-employment, or perhaps disability benefits or a pension. Chapter 13 has some advantages over Chapter 7. A Chapter 13 plan can allow you to catch up on past due mortgage payments or car payments and thus avoid foreclosure or repossession. While the Chapter 13 debtor must pay a filing fee of $274.00 up front, there are no additional out of pocket fees to get started. Attorney’s fees are paid through the Chapter 13 plan.
If you are having trouble with debts and need advice, please call me at 501-604-4525. We understand that anyone can get into debt trouble. We will treat you with respect. Filing bankruptcy can stop the harrassing phone calls from debt collectors, it can stop garnishments, and you may be able to prevent foreclosures or repossessions. I will happy to talk with you, either in person or by phone, with no obligation, to decide whether bankruptcy is right for you.