It is one of those words that can make your stomach drop. It creates images of fortunes squandered, homes lost, and dreams shattered. Bankruptcy affects millions of people every year, but with the help of bankruptcy lawyers it does not have to be a financial death sentence. In fact, bankruptcy lawyers help people survive bankruptcy every day, and with their expert help, individuals and companies can often be back on their financial feet within a few short years.
Individual bankruptcy is initiated one of two ways; either by the debtor or the creditor. In the case of the former, the debtor wishes to escape from oppressive debt and seeks a new start, while in the latter scenario the creditor wishes to recover assets from a creditor who is no longer solvent. In either case, creditors, with the help of bankruptcy lawyers, will usually exercise one of two options; Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
With the help of bankruptcy lawyers, individuals can assess their financial situation and pursue the bankruptcy option that affords them the best possible outcome. For some, Chapter 7 might be their only realistic option. Also known as straight bankruptcy, or liquidation, Chapter 7 bankruptcies allow the debtor to keep some property while non-exempt property is sold with all proceeds going toward the creditors. In the process, many other debts are discharged, while some remain - such as child support, taxes, legal fines, and many student loans, to name a few. In many cases the creditors have very few assets that are eligible for liquidation. In those instances, bankruptcy lawyers may suggest Chapter 7 because it will allow the creditor to start over quickly with minimal losses of personal assets.
Some creditors have much to lose - such as a home or automobile - and they would like to avoid losing them. In that case, bankruptcy lawyers may advise their clients to pursue Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Also known as reorganization, Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows a creditor to repay some or all of their debts, usually under more favorable terms such as less interest and waived fees. However, it is more difficult to qualify for Chapter 13 protection because the creditor must have sufficient disposable income to qualify. With the help of bankruptcy lawyers, debtors in Chapter 13 arrangements have three to five years to pay their creditors while enjoying the protection of the bankruptcy court - the creditor cannot make ongoing attempts to collect on the original debts during this time. However, the debtor cannot obtain additional debt during this time, so both parties are restrained by the court.
If you are in serious debt and are facing bankruptcy or foreclosure then you should immediately consult with competent bankruptcy lawyers. The details and qualifications for all forms of bankruptcy - including some not mentioned - are very complex and require expert counsel that only qualified bankruptcy lawyers can provide.
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