Frequently Asked Questions About Bankruptcy and Debt Relief Options
It is understandable to have a lot of questions and concerns if you’re contemplating bankruptcy. At Meaney & Meaney PC, we can review the specifics of your situation and discuss your bankruptcy and debt relief options.
- How do I know when it’s time to call a bankruptcy attorney?
Facing financial problems can put a tremendous strain on your personal and professional life and denial can sometimes play a role. If you have been unable to pay your bills and have received collection, foreclosure or repossession notices, it may be time to contact a bankruptcy or debt relief lawyer.
- What will a bankruptcy lawyer do for me?
The first thing your bankruptcy lawyer will do is carefully review your finances with you and discuss all of your legal options. Your attorney may be able to negotiate with some of your creditors on your behalf. If bankruptcy is your best option, your lawyer will help prepare the various papers that must be filed, and advocate on your behalf in dealings with the trustee, your creditors, and the court.
- What is a Chapter 7 bankruptcy?
In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, many (and in a lot of cases, all) of your debts may be cancelled. The bankruptcy trustee may sell some of your non-exempt assets in order to pay your creditors. Whether you are eligible for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy depends on your income, expenses, and debt burden.
- What is a Chapter 13 bankruptcy?
Also known as a wage earner’s plan, Chapter 13 bankruptcy enables individuals with regular income to develop a plan to repay all or part of their debts. Under Chapter 13, debtors propose a repayment plan to make installments to creditors over three to five years. During this time the law forbids creditors from starting or continuing collection efforts. The debtor must file schedules and documents similar to those required for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
- Can I keep my house/car/diamond ring/dog?
The law allows you to exempt a certain amount of property from being sold by the trustee. Oftentimes, these exemptions are enough to allow you to keep most, if not all, of your property. This depends on the amount of your assets, among other factors. A bankruptcy lawyer can detail for you how the allowable exemptions apply to your particular case.