Bad things happen to good people all the time. Most bankruptcies are caused by a job loss, medical issue, divorce or a combination of all three. These things are beyond your control and, despite your best efforts to maintain your bills, you may be facing repossessions, foreclosure and wage garnishments.
You should not have to make the decision between feeding your family or paying a creditor. If you are losing sleep at night stressing over your bills, the knowledgeable lawyers at Helton, Walter & Associates Attorneys At Law are here to help.
Take back control of your finances today and call 859-236-4520 for a consultation with an experienced attorney to determine if a bankruptcy is the right choice for you. We help people from Danville, Harrodsburg, Lancaster and Stanford, Kentucky.
On this page, you will find the following information:
- What is bankruptcy?
- How our bankruptcy lawyers can help
- The forms and documents we need from you
- Credit counseling is required for everyone seeking bankruptcy protection
- Is filing for bankruptcy the right decision for you?
- Chapter 7 bankruptcy
- Chapter 13 bankruptcy
- Will I lose my home and vehicle?
- Thinking about filing for bankruptcy? Call now for a consultation
What Is Bankruptcy?
Years ago, our government put people in jail if they couldn’t pay their debts. Thankfully, we have evolved to a system whereby most debts can be wiped out by the court if you don’t have the ability to pay them back without the threat of jail time. This is what we call bankruptcy.
There are two common consumer bankruptcies: a Chapter 7 or liquidation bankruptcy, and a chapter 13 or re-payment bankruptcy. Determining which bankruptcy is right for you requires accurate advice from an experienced bankruptcy attorney. At Helton, Walter & Associates Attorneys At Law, we have helped many debtors achieve freedom from debt through this process.
How Our Bankruptcy Lawyers Can Help
At Helton, Walter & Associates Attorneys At Law, we pride ourselves on identifying all solutions that will help you improve your life. We first do this by connecting you with a knowledgeable lawyer to discuss your situation and options for debt relief. Our goal is to offer you straightforward information and clear expectations about the process going forward.
If you proceed with filing bankruptcy, our lawyers will help make the entire process less stressful by handling:
- Paperwork: There is a lot of paperwork involved with filing for bankruptcy. You will need to provide details about your finances, debts and property. Any and all communications with courts, trustees and creditors will need to be documented. Any paperwork mistakes can result in significant delays, leaving you to deal with debts and creditors even longer.
- Harassment: Even with an automatic stay during your bankruptcy case, some creditors may try to continue to harass you. However, creditors are far less likely to contact you or harass you if you have legal counsel on your side. If they do, our lawyers will put a stop to the calls.
- Protection from surprises: From dealing with judges and trustees to addressing the seemingly endless amount of paperwork, bankruptcy cases can be very complex. You don’t deal with the process every day, but our lawyers do. We can help you stay on schedule and ensure that you aren’t caught off guard by any surprises or deadlines.
- Representation against creditors: Your creditors have the right to appear in court and represent their case during your bankruptcy. We can help ensure that your rights and best interests are protected.
The Forms and Documents We Need from You
To help us provide you with the best possible service, your attorney will ask you to fill out one of the following information packets. The information requested is critical to the successful completion of your bankruptcy case.
Feel free to familiarize yourself with these so that you have a better understanding of the documents and information required for your filing. Your attorney will have you fill one of these out once the type of bankruptcy has been determined.
Credit Counseling Is Required For Everyone Seeking Bankruptcy Protection
Filing for bankruptcy protection requires people to jump through a lot of hoops. One of the most significant was put in place by the 2005 Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act (BAPCPA). Under BAPCPA, people who want to file for bankruptcy must receive credit counseling from a government-approved organization within 180 days before filing. They are also required to complete a post-filing financial education course.
Pre-Bankruptcy Credit Counseling
Credit counseling must be completed prior to filing bankruptcy. Once you have finished the course, you will be given a numbered certificate as proof of completion. This certificate must be included with your petition. Fortunately, you can complete this online or for those that don’t have access to a computer via the telephone.
Post-Filing Debtor Education
Once your bankruptcy petition has been filed, it can’t be discharged until you successfully complete a personal financial management instructional course. Fortunately, you can complete this online or for those that don’t have access to a computer via the telephone.
Our clients can register for Post-Filing Credit Counseling using our attorney code by clicking here.
Is Filing for Bankruptcy the Right Decision for You?
We can’t answer that question unless we talk to you, so the best place to start is by calling our office at (859) 236-1010. If you are behind on your debts, then you need to speak with an experienced bankruptcy attorney. You should call us to see if bankruptcy is the right choice for you.
Don’t wait until you get served with papers or your paycheck is garnished. Delaying may cause you more financial hardship than is necessary. Take back control of your life by giving us a call today.
Generally speaking, bankruptcy may be right for you if:
- You are facing foreclosure on your home
- You are about to lose your car
- Your bank account is being garnished to pay for debts that are past-due
- You’re using credit cards to purchase basic necessities like groceries or utilities
- You are considering using funds from your retirement plan for debts
- You have creditors harassing you for payments and you are in over your head in debt
If you are experiencing any of the situations above, you should call our attorneys and discuss your bankruptcy options. You will never be rushed or pressured into a decision. Our lawyers understand what a stressful and confusing time this can be; we will work to fully understand your unique situation and thoroughly explain your rights and options.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Also referred to as liquidation bankruptcy, Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows you to discharge some or all of your debts, meaning that you will not have to pay them anymore. Under Chapter 7 bankruptcy, your exempted personal property is not seized or sold at auction.
In general, most of our clients who file a Chapter 7 get to keep all of their property. These personal property exemptions include:
- Insurance policy
- Retirement account
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the most common type of bankruptcy filing and can be concluded in as little as 90 days. Most of our clients qualify for this type of bankruptcy.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
In Chapter 13, you propose a repayment plan to pay back some or all of your creditors. These bankruptcies generally last three to five years, depending on the circumstances in each case. The process offers a wide range of benefits to people who are struggling with overwhelming debt, including:
- Stopping property repossession and home foreclosure: When you file for bankruptcy, an “automatic stay” goes into effect. Among other things, this stay temporarily stops foreclosure. This can give you time to determine your payment plan to get you back on track to paying off your mortgage.
- Stopping creditor harassment: The automatic stay that temporarily stops foreclosure also prevents creditors from harassing you during the bankruptcy. This means that creditors may not send harassing letters, phone calls, wage garnishments and other collection actions.
- Reducing what you pay: Chapter 13 provides you with the ability to create a payment plan, and it also reduces the amount you have to pay every month for many of your bills. We can help you develop a plan you can afford by examining your monthly income and expenses.
- Helping you rebuild your credit: When, through Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you reorganize your debt and begin your payment plan, you can begin to strengthen your credit score.
Will I Lose My Home and Vehicle?
In the vast majority of cases, our experienced attorneys have helped our clients keep their homes and vehicles. We have also been very successful at returning garnished funds to our clients. Even if you are behind on your mortgage or car payment it is not uncommon for our clients to keep their homes and cars in bankruptcy.
Thinking about Filing for Bankruptcy? Call Us Now.
You have a right to seek financial protection under bankruptcy law. If you are facing foreclosure, garnishment, repossession or are behind on your debts, you need experienced legal counsel in your corner.
Call us today at 859-236-4520 for a consultation over the phone. We help people throughout Central Kentucky, including Danville, Harrodsburg, Lancaster and Stanford.