SKILLED IN BANKRUPTCY CASES
Skilled Bankruptcy Lawyers Representing Clients in Sylvania and Throughout Lucas County
Almost everyone will encounter debt at some point in their life. Whether credit card debt, student loan debt, mortgage debt, or another kind of debt, debt is very common. In fact, debt is so common that some types of debt are even regarded as good types of debt, such as a home mortgage. What’s more, debt is often considered a necessity in order to get ahead in life.
But debt can build up quickly when a person isn’t careful about making payments on time and in full. Interest can rapidly accumulate, and before you know it, debt can balloon. If you are someone who is drowning in debt and doesn’t know where to turn, our Sylvania bankruptcy lawyer can help. Call Groth & Associates today to learn more about how we can serve you.
SHOULD I FILE FOR BANKRUPTCY?
Filing for bankruptcy is a huge decision and one that should not be made lightly. Not only is bankruptcy a large undertaking process-wise, but it is also a decision that will have an impact on your life for years to come. Before you file for bankruptcy, it’s important to consult with a financial professional who can analyze your situation and provide you with recommendations. It’s also important to consider any alternatives to bankruptcy. For example, alternatives to bankruptcy might include:
- Negotiating your debt. One alternative to bankruptcy that may be feasible is negotiating your debt with your creditors. Creditors want to get paid and will benefit by getting paid a portion of what they’re owed rather than nothing at all, which may be what happens if you file for bankruptcy. Because of this, creditors may be open to negotiating your debt.
- Modifying your loan terms. Another option that’s similar to negotiating your debt is modifying your loan terms. This is a formal process where you would meet with your lender and discuss your financial circumstances. Lower monthly payments or making payments for a longer amount of time could serve you well.
- Consolidating your debts. If you have a lot of different types of debts, all with different interest rates and repayment amounts and schedules, consolidating your debt may make sense. Debt consolidation refers to the process of combining multiple debts from various debt sources, such as credit cards and loans, into one single monthly payment. This can help you to reduce interest and pay down your debt faster.
In addition to the above, it’s wise to create a budget and a debt repayment plan and to consider debt and credit counseling.
For a free legal consultation with a Personal Injury lawyer serving Sylvania, call (419) 930-3030
TYPES OF BANKRUPTCY
If you do decide that bankruptcy is the right option for you, then knowing what type of bankruptcy is the best choice is the next step. While there are multiple types of bankruptcy, there are two types that are most commonly used by individual debtors:
- Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Chapter 7 bankruptcy, or liquidation bankruptcy, is a type of bankruptcy that is used by those who meet the ‘means test’, and is the type of bankruptcy that is used to discharge debts. In order to pass the means test, a debtor must make less than the state median income (in most cases). If you do not pass the means test, then you will not qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and will need to pursue a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
- Chapter 13 bankruptcy. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy is designed for those who have some income and therefore can repay a portion of their debts. In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, a debtor will work with creditors to create a repayment plan that lasts for between three-five years; after that, remaining debts will be discharged.
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BANKRUPTCY AND THE AUTOMATIC STAY
One of the advantages of filing for bankruptcy is that at the time you file for bankruptcy, the automatic stay will be initiated. The automatic stay is an immediate hold on any creditors’ actions to collect a debt. This means that the moment you file for bankruptcy, any creditors will be legally prohibited from contacting you to collect on debt. This can provide a huge sense of relief and be a major reprieve for those who feel as though they cannot escape from collectors’ calls.
LIFE AFTER BANKRUPTCY
While bankruptcy can provide a big sense of relief and offer you a clean slate for taking charge of your financial situation in the future, it’s not without consequences. In fact, while bankruptcy may help you to escape debt, it will affect you financially–in some negative ways–for years to come.
For example, after you file for bankruptcy, lenders may be very hesitant to offer you any source of loan or credit for years after your bankruptcy filing, making it hard for you to take out a credit card, get a loan, or secure other sources of funding.
One of the biggest consequences of filing for bankruptcy is the effect that filing for bankruptcy will have on your credit score. If you file for bankruptcy, your credit score will take a big hit, and the information about your bankruptcy will stay on your credit report for seven-10 years after filing.
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THE ROLE OF A BANKRUPTCY ATTORNEY
A bankruptcy attorney can represent you and support you throughout the process. Ways that your bankruptcy attorney in Sylvania will help include:
- Reviewing your financial situation and making a recommendation about whether or not filing for bankruptcy is the right thing for you;
- Helping you to understand the various types of bankruptcy and which you qualify for;
- Representing you in conversations with creditors;
- Organizing your financial information to prepare your bankruptcy filing;
- Filing your bankruptcy petition;
- Representing you in bankruptcy court;
- Explaining the process related to creating a repayment plan, liquidating assets, discharging debts, and more; and
- Answering any questions throughout the process and providing representation as needed.
To learn more about bankruptcy and how we can help, please call our Sylvania bankruptcy lawyers today for your initial consultation. Our lawyers are ready to start working on your case and can provide advice over-the-phone and online at your convenience.