Bankruptcy is not the end but a brand new beginning. It can wipe your slate clean and give you the debt relief, financial assistance, and planning you need for a brighter, more stable future. With the right team of attorneys helping you as an individual or business filing for bankruptcy, you can achieve your goals despite debts and calls from collectors. Harlow, Friedman & Adams, P.C., has the tools to help you through this process in Bridgeport. Let our Bridgeport bankruptcy lawyers help you secure the future you’ve always wanted.
- What are the different types of bankruptcy?
- How does the bankruptcy process work?
- Is bankruptcy right for you?
- Why should you hire a Bridgeport bankruptcy attorney?
Types of Bankruptcy
Declaring bankruptcy may be more involved in a process than you think. There are multiple types of bankruptcy, with one suiting your individual situation more than the others. Our firm has experience handling all types of bankruptcy in Bridgeport, and we can help you choose the chapter of the United States Bankruptcy Code that’s right for you. The most common chapters are as follows:
- Chapter 7. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a liquidation, or “complete bankruptcy.” It’s the most common chapter individuals use. It gives the debtor a fresh start. It is the fastest and least expensive type, and it allows you to discharge most of your debt, including income taxes more than three years old, medical costs, loans, and credit card debt. This type of bankruptcy permanently prevents creditors from attempting to collect.
- Chapter 11. Chapter 11 bankruptcy is best for businesses and commercial enterprises that want to stay in business and repay creditors. Debtors can avoid liens, tax levies, lawsuits, and liquidation with this type of bankruptcy. Chapter 11 can help business owners restructure debt, reorganize long-term payments, and create a plan that will help them stay in business for the long run.
- Chapter 13. This type of bankruptcy is most appropriate for those trying to prevent home foreclosures. It allows debtors to keep their homes and restructure mortgage agreements. You may have to repay missed mortgage payments and show proof of regular income. Having a Chapter 13 bankruptcy lawyer file this type of bankruptcy will freeze foreclosure actions, liens, and other attempts at taking away your home.
Debtors may also benefit from Chapter 9 and Chapter 12 bankruptcies, which deal with municipal debt and family farmers, respectively. Our team can help you select the best type of bankruptcy for your unique situation, file the proper paperwork with the city, and pass the required tests and forms of proof. We will walk you through the process from beginning to end, lending our professional assistance along the way.
The Basics of the Bankruptcy Process
Declaring bankruptcy takes special paperwork, processes, and court dates. Working with a bankruptcy lawyer in Bridgeport can help the process seem much less daunting. The exact method will vary according to the type of bankruptcy you’re declaring. Our lawyers can walk you through the steps involved in your specific case. Until then, here’s a basic overview of what you might expect:
- Mandatory credit counseling. Bankruptcy applicants (for Chapter 7 bankruptcy) must first go through mandatory credit counseling before they can make the declaration.
- Filing the petition. You must then bring a packet of paperwork to the appropriate bankruptcy courts in Bridgeport. Your bankruptcy petition is a complex form in which you need to pass a means test, claim your property exemptions, and record other facts.
- The 341 meeting. The 341 meeting, or meeting of creditors, is a short meeting at which you will answer questions about your bankruptcy petition and finances. Although creditors can show up, most of the time no one does.
- Verifying eligibility. The courts will determine your eligibility for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If the courts determine you aren’t eligible, you may qualify for Chapter 13.
- Dealing with properties and debts. The courts will then deal with your nonexempt properties and secured debts. From there, you’ll need to complete a debtor’s education course. Next, you’ll receive a bankruptcy discharge three to six months later.
After the courts grant your discharge, it will signal the official closing of your bankruptcy case. You will no longer owe most of your creditors and you can move forward with your life. You’ll have a new lease on life and future opportunities uninhibited by the pressures of extreme debt. Our attorneys can help you with every phase of declaring bankruptcy. We’ll partner with you to guide you each step of the way.
Is Bankruptcy Right for You?
Bankruptcy is a serious decision that requires a great deal of thought and consideration before you take the jump. The word bankruptcy has a negative connotation, but declaring bankruptcy isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s a strategic move that can salvage a difficult debt situation and set you up for better financial success in the future. Bankruptcy can come with many exciting benefits, including:
- Eliminating old tax liabilities
- Erasing missed debt payments and defaults
- Getting rid of enormous amounts of credit card debt
- Getting started with building new credit
- Preventing aggressive collection action
- Avoiding financial embarrassments, such as lawsuits and declined credit card transactions
- Keeping most of the things you own, including luxury possessions
Finding out whether bankruptcy is the right move for you may take a consultation with a Bridgeport attorney, in which you can review all your finances and options before deciding how to move forward. If bankruptcy is an option for you, we’ll break down exactly what this process entails for you as an individual or business.
How Can a Bankruptcy Lawyer Help?
Our Bridgeport bankruptcy attorneys can help whether you need to declare bankruptcy for your business or for yourself. We can protect you from creditors during your bankruptcy petition filing, clear away loans, and request more time to help you restructure your business or personal finances. We can also help you set up payment plans that are ideal for your unique situation.
Consider filing for bankruptcy if you’re swimming in credit card debt, can’t afford to pay your bills, and are dealing with constant harassment from debt collectors and creditors. Our legal representation in bankruptcy court can help you feel comfortable and confident throughout the process, until you achieve your clean slate. The courts don’t require you to have a lawyer, but retaining one can help you navigate the complex procedures that surround bankruptcy.
Your Fairfield and New Haven County Bankruptcy Attorneys
Our law firm knows the ins and outs of bankruptcy in Connecticut. We can calm your anxiety about your situation, explain the terms of bankruptcy, and help you make the right choices to protect your future. Whether you require complete bankruptcy or a form that allows you to keep your home or business, we have the paperwork and specialists you need to finish the process with your head held high. Our team is caring, experienced, and completely confidential with bankruptcy matters. Schedule your private consultation today at (203) 878-0661 or by reaching out to us online. We can help you get through this.