Bankruptcy law is the body of law that serves to protect debtors so that they can get rid of their debts – or, in some circumstances – repay them over time. It is also the law that helps debtors who are struggling to repay medical, credit card, or other debts. Or, who need to retain their house(es) or car(s) that they would otherwise lose.
Swimming in debts can make life very uncomfortable. At times, debtors fear to answer their phones or mail. Sometimes, they are hailed into court and have to explain to judges why they cannot afford to repay a hospital or credit card company. Other times, they are preparing to watch their homes sell at a foreclosure auction. Cars and homes in the family for years can become a part of debtors’ identities. Fear of losing them becomes fear of losing a part of debtors’ selves.
The good news is that I can help you. A bankruptcy filing can stop the harassing phone calls and collection letters. At Law Offices of Maxwell Charles Livingston, I provide the compassionate, experienced guidance you need to deal with both the financial and emotional issues of overwhelming debt.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the chapter of bankruptcy that allows a debtor to discharge/get rid of his/her debt(s). There are exceptions to debt(s) that a debtor can get rid of – such as child support and some taxes. Most debts are dischargeable though. This includes credit cards, hospital bills, personal loans, and court judgment debts.
The process starts with us reviewing a credit report, bankruptcy questionnaire, wage records, bank records, mortgages, titles to vehicles, and preparing your bankruptcy petition.
We also conduct a means test calculation, to evaluate whether – based on the last 6 months’ income and household size – whether a debtor would qualify for a chapter 7 bankruptcy. Then, we send the bankruptcy petition to you for review, and for signature. You would then have to take a credit counseling course. Thereafter, the petition is filed – and a Chapter 341 hearing date is set with the trustees’ office.
Thereafter, you would take one more financial management course, and – a few months later – the bankruptcy court would discharge all dischargeable debts. You will feel lighter and ready to start over.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows a debtor to repay debts over a 3-to-5 year period. Many times, the reason to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is to save a home or car when there are mortgage or loan arrears that you cannot afford. Other times, the debtor(s) make(s) too much money to file a Chapter 7, due to overwhelming debts.
A Chapter 13’s core is a repayment plan. The Chapter 13 plan creates what is essentially a budget, categorizing all your income and experiences and creating a structure to repay your debts during the plans 3-to-5 year term.
The process starts with us reviewing a credit report, bankruptcy questionnaire, wage records, bank records, mortgages, titles to vehicles, and preparing your bankruptcy petition – and ensure you can afford to repay secured debts over the life of the bankruptcy repayment period.
Then, we send the bankruptcy petition to you for review, and for signature. You would then have to take a credit counseling course. Thereafter, the petition is filed – and a Chapter 341 hearing date is set with the trustees’ office. You would then be required to appear with your drivers’ license card and social security card and answer a series of questions honestly on the record.
Thereafter, you would take one more financial management course. And, once the plan is approved, you would have 3-to-5 years to repay debts you owe on. After the repayment period, you will feel good about keeping your home(s) and car(s).
Chapter 128 Wisconsin State Alternative
In Wisconsin, there is an alternative to bankruptcy that works much the same as a chapter 13 – although it must be repaid over 36 months. It is cheaper, easier and better in many ways for both the creditor and debtor.
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Law Offices of Maxwell Charles Livingston is a debt relief agency. I help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.