1. Bankruptcy may be the easiest and fastest way to deal with all types of debt problems. Bankruptcy is a process under federal law designed to help people and businesses get protection from their creditors.
2. Most bankruptcy cases are complicated. You should consider getting professional help. Bankruptcy is a legal proceeding with complicated rules and paperwork. You may want to get professional legal help, especially if you hope to use bankruptcy to prevent foreclosure or repossession. Dunne Law Offices, P.C. provides a free consultation to help you decide whether bankruptcy is the right choice.
3. Bankruptcy temporarily stops almost all creditors from taking any steps against you. This assistance is provided by the “automatic stay” that arises as soon as you file the necessary paperwork at the beginning of a bankruptcy case. Foreclosures, repossessions, utility shut-offs, lawsuits, and other creditor actions will be immediately stopped.
4. Bankruptcy can permanently wipe out your legal obligation to pay back many of your debts. This benefit arises because of the bankruptcy “discharge” that you get for successfully completing a bankruptcy case.
5. When a bankruptcy does not wipe out a debt, a chapter 13 bankruptcy (a “reorganization”) gives you the opportunity to catch up on that debt. For example, if you are behind on a home mortgage or car loan, bankruptcy will not usually allow you to cancel the mortgage or lien and still keep the property without repayment. If you want to deal with debts of that type in the bankruptcy process, you will need to propose a chapter 13 repayment plan. That requires affordable payments from your income over a period of three to five years.
6. The initial fee for bankruptcy is presently $306 under chapter 7 and $281 under chapter 13. The fee can be paid in installments over a period of 120 days.
7. If you file bankruptcy in Philadelphia, you usually do not need to go to court. You will have to attend one meeting with the bankruptcy trustee (not with a judge). Creditors are invited but rarely attend. You will not usually have to go to court for your bankruptcy case unless something out of the ordinary occurs.