Individuals who are carrying a lot of debt should consider filing bankruptcy and getting control of their financial situation. Credit card interest rates can be so high that it’s impossible to pay down debt. They can eat up the capital that people need to pay their mortgage and car payment. As soon as a person sees that paying their monthly bills is difficult they should contact a Bethlehem, PA bankruptcy attorney for help.
Most lawyers give a free consultation to determine if they can help a person. A debtor has nothing to lose by taking advantage of these appointments. They should bring a listing of all of their debts and income. Everything has to be included in a bankruptcy filing. Some debt can’t be dismissed. This includes student loans, tax liens and child support payments. However, a Bethlehem, PA bankruptcy attorney can also help them get these problems under control using other methods. It’s important to do this because a person can only declare bankruptcy every eight years. If their finances remain unstable they won’t have this tool to hep them.
Most people want to use Chapter 7 to declare bankruptcy. Federal law was changed several years ago to make that option harder. Only people who make less than the median income for their state are eligible. A Bethlehem, PA bankruptcy attorney will work with them to ensure that their home and car are protected in the process. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy procedure, a court-appointed trustee sells off all of the debtor’s assets and gives the money to their creditors. The rest of the debt is forgiven. This procedure is usually completed in about six months. Even if the debtor still owes child support payments, this should make it easier for them to find the money.
A Chapter 13 bankruptcy takes much longer. A court-appointed trustee reviews a person’s living expenses and puts them on a very tight budget. Then all of the remaining money made my the debtor is used to pay off debts. This can last up to five years. At that point, the remaining debt is released. However, if the debtor fails to make the last payments, that debt won’t be forgiven. A Bethlehem, PA bankruptcy attorney will make sure that they debtor has enough money to live during this process.
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