If you have been driven to the point of filing for either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you may be feeling a wide range of emotions on a daily basis. You may also be tempted to isolate yourself and speak to as few individuals as possible about your financial duress. Like many others, you may have fallen into serious arrears with debts after experiencing an illness or perhaps a serious accident. Although it is important to consult with an injury attorney as soon as possible if you have medical bills piling up after an accident, such an event can be extremely harmful to your financial health too. You could have fallen victim to unemployment or loss of hours at work, a serious family issue or the need to care for an aging parent, divorce, or you may be burdened with student loan payments that have become untenable.
The good news is that whether you are eligible for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, there is a way back to financial freedom and the potential to move forward and thrive again—starting with a blank slate. Hundreds of thousands of people file for bankruptcy every year. You are not alone, and while you may feel embarrassed to tell your friends or family about what you are going through, chances are they may be experiencing the same type of financial stress and are also considering bankruptcy, or may have already completed one in the past.
Chapter 7 is beneficial for many debtors who are eligible (according to the means test, which verifies that your income is less than that of the median household income in the state), generally requiring only five to six months to complete. Most unsecured debt can be discharged, and you may be able to keep many of your primary assets such as your home and your car if you wish to do so. However, if you are delinquent in payment on your house or car that you want to keep, Chapter 13 may be a better option for you. You can also speak to your bankruptcy attorney about surrendering such possessions if you no longer want to pay on them.
In Chapter 13, commonly known as an income-based bankruptcy, the process lasts three to five years. You make payments pursuant to a plan that may allow you to catch up on a mortgage or car payment. You may be able to reduce payments on vehicles and discharge unsecured debts such as medical bills and credit cards while paying less than what you owe.
You probably have many questions about bankruptcy, including which type of bankruptcy will work best for you, how much you will have to sacrifice (very little in many cases), and whether you will have to go to court. Speak with a skilled bankruptcy attorney from the offices of H. Lehman Franklin, P.C. Call now to learn more at 912-764-9616, or contact us online.