Is Bankruptcy For You?
Obviously, you would not be considering bankruptcy unless you are having significant challenges in making your monthly payments. Monahan & Johnson, S.C. located in downtown Beloit, Wisconsin has represented bankruptcy clients since 1980 and has as much or more experience than many other firms offering these services. There is no easy answer to whether or not a bankruptcy is appropriate for you, and we encourage you to speak at length with a qualified attorney concerning the options before you. Bankruptcy will help you to gain relief from debt collectors, stop garnishments, perhaps save your home or other assets as well as helping you get a fresh start.
Monahan & Johnson, S.C., has a Beloit bankruptcy attorney, to guide you through the legal maze of bankruptcy. Bankruptcy is based on the premise that people besieged by debt collectors are entitled to relief from debts that bankruptcy provides. Many prominent people and business leaders have filed for bankruptcy in their life and made the turnaround necessary to transition into later success. The most common types of bankruptcy for individuals are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. To determine the option most appropriate for your situation should be discussed with a bankruptcy lawyer in Beloit.
There are many advantages to filing bankruptcy. For instance, a bankruptcy stops all legal proceedings against the debtor. This means if you have been sued and are having your wages garnished the court proceedings must stop. This is called an “automatic stay.” Other benefits include: creditors are prohibited from commencing lawsuits against you, prohibited from having any contact with you (except through your attorney), and debtors are often able to keep most of their property through the use of what are called exemptions. Exemptions allow you to keep certain types of property, up to certain dollar amounts. This means that you do not have to give the bankruptcy trustee exempt property.
An obvious disadvantage to filing a Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy is that certain debts are not dischargeable. This means that even after the bankruptcy case is over, you may still have to repay certain debts. Such debts include certain taxes, fines, restitution, child support, maintenance and most student loans. In addition, certain creditors may be allowed to foreclose, or obtain ownership on secured items (however, as stated above, the debtor does have the option to reaffirm the debt with the creditor thus, keeping the secured property).
A further disadvantage is that a bankruptcy will hurt your credit rating for several years. However, at the same time, those seeking bankruptcy relief often have challenging credit ratings already based upon their debt load and current credit history. It has been our belief that poor credit and no debt is a better situation than poor credit and overwhelming debt. Once the debt is gone, it is easier to transition into a more favorable credit situation. Seeking the assistance of professional bankruptcy lawyers in Beloit will make restoring a clean record a pain-free experience.
To file a bankruptcy, a debtor must file certain documents with help from a bankruptcy attorney. Documents include: Petitions, certain schedules, a statement of financial affairs, a statement of current monthly income, and a statement of intention. Further, you pay a filing fee to the Bankruptcy Court. The debtor then must obtain credit counseling, before filing any bankruptcy petitions. After filing the petition the debtor appears under oath before a trustee to be questioned at a meeting of creditors and could be subject to any creditor’s questions, should a creditor choose to appear at the hearing.
Debts are usually discharged approximately 90 days after filing a Petition in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case. Debts are discharged in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case at the conclusions of a payment plan.
If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, let one of the professional Beloit bankruptcy lawyers at Monahan & Johnson, S.C. help you navigate the bankruptcy process.