A Philadelphia Bankruptcy Attorney Can Help You
Bankruptcy is simply a tool that can help people get out of unsustainable debts. Although bankruptcy can bring serious consequences to your credit score, it is likely that your credit would already be low by that point. Here are answers to four important questions from a Philadelphia bankruptcy attorney.
1. Will Bankruptcy Help You?
Take a hard look at your debt obligations to ensure that these debts are even capable of being discharged in bankruptcy court. Certain debts, “priority obligations,” cannot be discharged. Some of the most common example are recent taxes and student loans. Make sure that the court can help you before you file.
Also, consider the benefit of negotiations with your creditors. Many creditors are willing to negotiate if they know you are on the verge of bankruptcy.
2. Do You Qualify for Bankruptcy Protection?
The two types of bankruptcy that are usually used by individuals are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13, and both of these have specific requirements. A Philadelphia bankruptcy attorney can go over the subtleties with you but generally, Chapter 7 is limited to consumers below a certain income threshold and Chapter 13 is unavailable to people whose debts are too high. There are different rules that apply to people with mostly business debts.
3. Do You Own Property?
Consider the value of your property before your file for bankruptcy. Chapter 7 bankruptcy protections do allow you to shield some of your property, such as a car, equity in a primary residence, IRA or 401K plans and others, but the bankruptcy trustee retains ultimate authority over any property that is not protected.
Conversely, Chapter 13 allows you to keep all of your property but you must pay your unsecured creditors (creditors without a claim to a piece of property) an amount equal to your “non-exempt assets.” In some cases, where the debtor has a high income, the payments are determined by the high income rather than the non-exempt assets. Essentially, you could be subject to significant payments if you own non-exempt property.
4. Which Chapter Do You Choose?
The bankruptcy option you choose largely depends on your situation, consider:
- The type of debts owed;
- Your income and expenses;
- Whether you own non-exempt property; and
- Your goals.
Take note all of your debts, incomes, and expenses before you file for bankruptcy.
Lastly, a good attorney can show you how to rebuild your credit score after the bankruptcy is over. A bankruptcy case does not ruin your credit forever.
For the best bankruptcy attorney in Philadelphia, the Alfred Abel Law Offices can provide you with expert services, and guide you though your entire bankruptcy process. Contact the Alfred Abel Law Offices today!