Most people share the same fears, questions and beliefs about bankruptcy. The following are some of the most common of these fears, questions and beliefs. Be sure to check out our Common Myths page and blog section for further information about bankruptcy misconceptions.
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What is Bankruptcy?Bankruptcy is a federal legal process whereby the United States Courts forgive consumer and corporate debt in exchange for forthright and complete disclosure of your financial profile and distress. All successful bankruptcy outcomes are predicated on honest assessment and evaluation. We’ve created our online Bankruptcy Questionnaire to help you organize your thoughts and information, and to allow us evaluate your financial image and prepare for your consultation.
Is Bankruptcy Right for Me?We understand that your sense of pride, or guilt, may prevent you from considering bankruptcy. These emotions may prevent you from contacting a lawyer to discuss the options to help lift you out of financial desperation. Nearly 2 million people filed bankruptcy in 2010, the highest number in recorded history.
What Bankruptcy Should I File?The type of bankruptcy filing that is correct for you is not a decision to be taken lightly. Many elements of the bankruptcy process are unchangeable once decided, and qualified legal advice following a thorough financial assessment is decidedly the best path to follow. With that said, the three main types of bankruptcy are briefly outlined here. A video describing elements of different types of bankruptcy produced by the US Court System is provided here for your review as well.
How Does Filing Effect My Credit?A negative effect on your credit score should not be the sole factor in a decision to file bankruptcy. Many times, people wait too long to declare bankruptcy in fear of damaging their credit report. You might be surprised to know that declaring bankruptcy can be a very positive start towards repairing your credit rating. Most people in serious, embedded financial crisis have credit scores that reflect that situation. Experian spokesman, Rod Griffin says, “In virtually every instance, the consumer will already have repayment problems such as late payments, very high balances, charged-off accounts or collection accounts”.
How Does Bankruptcy Work?In very simple terms, filing bankruptcy stops foreclosure actions and other creditor collection activities through the court’s issuance of what is known as an “automatic stay”. Ultimately, the Bankruptcy Court will issue an order which eliminates or otherwise adjusts responsibility to pay certain debts accumulated by an individual or business.
What Exemptions Are Available?North Carolina recently expanded it’s statutory consumer bankruptcy exemptions to include $35,000 of homestead equity, $3,500 exemption toward the value of a motor vehicle, $5,000 exemption toward the value of personal household items, and a $5,000 exemption towards other property commonly considered a “wildcard”. Typically, filing bankruptcy jointly for families doubles these deduction limits. There are a number of strategies available to maximize these exemptions. Dave Hillier can help ensure you receive the maximum exemptions available to you in the bankruptcy process.
Bankruptcy Credit CounselingIn 2005, the US Congress undertook bankruptcy reformation, and established the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act (BAPCPA). The law requires credit counseling from an approved credit counseling agency as a prerequisite to filing bankruptcy. Dave will help educate you about these new counseling requirements, and help you understand how this counseling can be an important step in achieving financial health and well being.
How Do I Pay My Attorney Fee?When it comes right down to it, the primary role of a bankruptcy attorney is to create a strategic plan that ensures a brighter financial position for you at the end of the process than the one you were experiencing at the beginning. We will be clear, and ensure you understand filing costs and attorneys fees, and only recommend bankruptcy if a measurable benefit can be acquired. Tax refunds, family funds, or, more often than not, money you have been using to pay creditors, are possible sources of your attorney fee. Dave offers a number of payment plans.