Regarding Bankruptcy: WE ARE A DEBT RELIEF AGENCY. WE HELP PEOPLE FILE FOR RELIEF UNDER THE BANKRUPTCY CODE.
There is nothing more suffocating than the feeling of not being able to pay your bills. If you are facing debt, debt collectors, and questions about your financial future, you may feel as though you have nowhere to turn. While crushing debt can certainly be terrifying, you are not alone, and you are not without options.
At the law office of The Cochran Firm, our experienced bankruptcy lawyers are here to guide you through the avenues of debt relief that are available to you, and work with you to create a personalized debt relief strategy. We have helped numerous clients who have been in your shoes, and we can assist you in developing a plan that will help put you on the road 2 financial recovery.
Please reach out to us today for the help and legal support that you need.
Should I File for Bankruptcy?
Facing mountains of debt is never easy, nor is understanding your debt relief options or your rights. Whether or not filing for bankruptcy is the best choice for you depends on a number of factors; however, generally, bankruptcy is a last-resort option after other debt relief options have proved ineffective. Filing for bankruptcy may be the right choice for you if:
You have already pursued other options for alleviating debt, including negotiating repayments, consolidating your debt, and more;
You have been named in a debt collection lawsuit;
Your property or/and assets have been subjected to garnishment;
You have received a notice of foreclosure or/and your home has been foreclosed upon;
You are only paying interest on your credit cards, or not making payments at all;
You have thousands of dollars of debt; or
You do not have any income.
Bankruptcy is not for everyone, and before you consider filing, it is important that you familiarize yourself with the types of bankruptcy, the advantages of bankruptcy, and the potential ramifications of bankruptcy.
The Consequences of Bankruptcy
Filing for bankruptcy has some clear advantages, including the automatic stay, which immediately halts the actions of creditors, putting debt collection on hold, the eradication of certain types of debt, and even the option to keep some property types (depending upon the type of bankruptcy which you file). However, it is important to remember that filing for bankruptcy has some major consequences as well. Some of these may include:
Loss of property – When you file for bankruptcy, you may have to forfeit some of your property and assets in exchange for debt forgiveness. With chapter 7 bankruptcy, for example, the bankruptcy trustee will sell any property that you cannot protect with an exemption.
Diminished credit score – One of the biggest downsides of filing for bankruptcy is the fact that doing so can lower your credit score. If you are in the position if you are considering bankruptcy, however, chances are credit score is already severely damaged.
Loss of future financial opportunities – Filing for bankruptcy can mean that future financial opportunities are put on hold. Opening a new credit card, applying for a mortgage, or taking out a loan will be more difficult for a while after a bankruptcy filing.
Lack of privacy – Note that filing a bankruptcy claim and going to bankruptcy court will become part of the public record. For some people, the fact that their financial information will become public information can be a deterrent to filing for bankruptcy.
Chapter 7 vs. Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
The two types of bankruptcy that the majority of individuals throughout Alabama file for are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. If you are thinking about filing for bankruptcy, it is very important that you familiarize yourself with the differences and eligibility requirements for these two bankruptcy types. Consider the following brief overview, but be sure to consult with an attorney for information that is specific to you:
Chapter 7 bankruptcy. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, also called a liquidation bankruptcy, the court will assign a trustee who will be responsible for taking over the assets of the debtor’s estate, converting them into cash, and then making payments to creditors. While most assets will be liquidated under Chapter 7 bankruptcy, there are some exceptions, called exemptions. In order to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the debtor must meet a means test if they have a monthly income that is above the state median. If a person has a high disposable income, it is unlikely that they will be eligible for Chapter 7 bankruptcy; instead, they will need to consider Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy. For those who have a source of income, Chapter 13 bankruptcy is often a good alternative to Chapter 7 bankruptcy, primarily because Chapter 13 allows the debtor to keep more of their assets. Rather than liquidating one’s assets, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy--or “wage earner’s plan”–allows a debtor to develop a plan to repay their debts typically over a three to five-year period.
Why You Need a Skilled Bankruptcy Attorney
Filing for bankruptcy can be a complex process – even making the decision to declare bankruptcy, let alone initiating the process, is often complicated. When you hire an Alabama bankruptcy lawyer, your attorney can guide you in filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, help you to understand what to expect during the process, assist you in navigating exemptions and holding onto as much personal property as possible, filing all bankruptcy paperwork on your behalf, representing you in your bankruptcy hearings, and more. While hiring a lawyer is not a requirement, doing so is strongly recommended.
Debt Relief Strategies Customized to You
When you call our Alabama bankruptcy lawyers at The Cochran Firm, we will analyze your financial situation and help you to understand the options available to you, including alternatives to filing for bankruptcy. If filing for bankruptcy is the best option, we will manage all elements of your case, represent you throughout the process, and be available to answer any questions that you have.
If you are drowning in debt, don’t wait a moment longer to call our office. Our team is ready to serve you. Please reach out to us by phone at (205) 994-8555 or 1-800-THE FIRM or contact us online today to get the answers and relief that you’re looking for.