Chapter 7 or 13 Bankruptcy?
Are there altenatives to bankruptcy?
CHAPTER 7 OR CHAPTER 13; WHICH CHAPTER IS BEST FOR ME?
Chapter 7 is a "total" bankrutpcy or complete liguidation bankruptcy. Chapter 13 is a repayment of debts over a 3 to 5 year time frame. Most people (obviously) prefer to discharge their debts completely and start fresh without debt hanging over their heads. However, Chapter 7 will not discharge mortgage, car loans, most taxes, student loans. You can surrender a car or home in a chapter 7. Chapter 13 allows you to "catch up" with mortgage arrears, past due property taxes, car payments and/or income taxes.
In both chapters of bankruptcy you have to get a number of documents together to sucessfully complete your case.
-Tax returns for past two years
-Six months of pay stubs
-Car titles and payoff statement
-Mortgage Deed and payoff
-All your debts
-Pre-Bankruptcy Counseling within 180 days of filing your case. I recommend debtorcc.com.
Once your case is filed electronically with the court, you will receive notice of a meeting with a bankruptcy trustee. The trustee is looking for any assets that are not protected or exempt under the law. Your attorney will explain if any of your assets may be subject to liquidation by the trustee. Bear in mind, you can alway negotiate with the trustee to "redeem" your asset and keep it.
I have attended countless chapter 7 and chapter 13 meetings in the Buffalo and Rochester areas. The main bankruptcy courts are in Buffalo and Rochester with satellite courts in Canandaigua, Batavia, Niagara Falls, and Mayville. Check out the bankruptcy court's website here Bankrupty Court WDNY
The filing fee for a chapter 7 is $336.00 and for Chapter 13 is $310.00. The attorney fee depends on the facts of your particular case. Call to get a fee quote. Payment plans are available. However your case is not filed until the fees are paid in full.
Call me today 716-630-5001 in Buffalo or in Rochester to discuss your case. Or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Also ask me about my fast filing guarantee. This guarantee files your case is 3 days or less if you have all your documents, you are paid in full and their are no problems with your case.
ALTERNATIVES TO BANKRUPTCY; WHAT ARE MY OPTIONS?
There are alternatives to bankruptcy. Bankruptcy is a good way to get your debts discharged fast. Obtaining a fresh start is appealing to many people because they usually have been struggling with debt for a significant time. However there are alternatives. First you could look at "debt consolidation". This is not a loan but a system whereby the debt consolidation company works with your creditors to reduce the interest and establishes a payment plan. Consumer Credit Counseling of Buffalo (click here) or Consumer Credit Counseling of Rochester (click here) are two such examples of credit consolidation or counseling companies. Give them a call and they will sit down with you and work out a repayment plan with your creditors. If you feel comfortable with the repayment plan and do not wish to file bankruptcy then this could be an excellent option for you. These companies are paid by the creditor's from your monthly payments.
Another option alternative to bankruptcy is debt settlement. This requires that you have the money available or can get it from friends or relatives. You can also make monthly payments to build up an account and then use those savings to negotiate your debt. But remember if you use this option and send monthly payments to the debt settlement company, interest and late fees will continue to be assessed by your creditors. Simply put, your debt settlement representative will negotiate a pay off settlement with your creditors for less then you owe. The creditor will issue a "settlement letter" and any such settlement will have to be received by the creditor usually within 10 days. I have experience in debt settlement and have settled many debts for my clients. Debt settlement companies and my lawfirm charge a percentage fee of the amount that is saved. For example, if you owed $5,000 and the debt is settled for $2,500, the fee would be 20% of $2,500 or $500.
Finally you can try to get a debt consolidation loan from a bank. This makes sense only if you can reduce the interest on your debt. Also the convenience of making one payment is a nice feature. However, unless your credit is good, you will probably not receive such a loan. It's worth a try.
/s/ Mark Lewis, Esq.