The COVID-19 pandemic has caused financial devastation to businesses and individuals across the country. To bring financial relief to those impacted by this health crisis, on March 27, 2020, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act providing stimulus payments to individuals, families, and businesses. Along with the distribution of funds, the CARES Act also includes important changes to federal Bankruptcy laws.
The Coronavirus pandemic has left many Pennsylvanians overwhelmed with financial hardship, job loss, and mounting debts. Those struggling to pay bills before the COVID-19 outbreak may now face a spike in telephone calls from debt collectors. If this happens, how do you know if a debt collector is a scam or legitimate?
Just before filing bankruptcy, if a debtor decides to transfer title of an asset, like a house or a business, the asset may be returned to the debtor’s estate under the clawback provision in bankruptcy law. In some situations, the bankruptcy trustee appointed to manage the debtor’s financial affairs can recover those pre-bankruptcy assets from individuals or companies who received them.
As Philadelphia bankruptcy lawyers, clients often ask us if a bankruptcy court will look at debts already paid to creditors prior to filing a bankruptcy case. While filing bankruptcy addresses debts that a debtor is no longer able to pay, bankruptcy also looks at payments made to creditors that occur during a specific time period before the bankruptcy filing. In fact, under the bankruptcy preferences law, a bankruptcy trustee can require payments made to creditors shortly before the bankruptcy filing be paid back to the trustee.
As a Philadelphia bankruptcy attorney, one of the most common questions I am asked involves Chapter 7 bankruptcy exemptions. While the concept of debt relief through bankruptcy is relatively straightforward, understanding the rules surrounding what property and assets you will be permitted to keep can be complicated.
One unfortunate aspect of working as a Philadelphia bankruptcy lawyer is knowing that a great many business bankruptcies might have been avoided. Sometimes catastrophes happen, or bad luck ruins a good business plan, but often, small and medium-sized business (SMB) owners call a bankruptcy lawyer due to inexperience or costly decisions over time. Sometimes calling a bankruptcy lawyer before the situation is too dire can yield solutions other than bankruptcy.
Nearly everyone filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy does so with the best of intentions. Everyone wants their Chapter 13 to succeed, particularly if they have chosen Chapter 13 specifically so they can protect certain assets they want to hang onto. However, any Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney in Philadelphia can attest that sometimes bankruptcies do fail.
One of the main tasks of a Philadelphia Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney is helping our clients understand which forms of bankruptcy they may qualify for. Many people want Chapter 7, because this form is relatively quick compared to Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
As a Philadelphia bankruptcy attorney, I am often asked about the benefits of Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Despite common misconceptions, filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy can be the best, and sometimes the only option depending upon a debtor’s circumstances. Avoiding forced liquidation of assets, like a home or car, the most common items that people want to avoid losing, makes a Chapter 13 bankruptcy more desirable than other alternatives.
As a Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney in Philadelphia, an important piece of our job is counseling people in bad financial situations. When someone has a large amount of unsecured debt that he/she is unable to pay, and the individual is being harassed by creditors, getting out from under the weight of unmanageable debt through Chapter 7 bankruptcy can sound like a great idea.