Thinking of Filing Bankruptcy?
Although the law is complex, filing bankruptcy as an individual does not have to be difficult. A successful personal Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows clients to eliminate most past debts, keep much of their property, begin to rebuild their credit, and achieve their financial goals.
Filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
The Holmes Law Offices will file a simple Chapter 7 personal bankruptcy for a low cost flat fee of $995. More complicated Chapter 7 cases may cost more. If you do not have the $995 at first, we will work out a payment plan with a low down payment. The full fee must be paid before the case is filed. In addition to the attorney’s fee of $995, there are other expenses that do not go to this office. There is a $335 court filing fee and a small credit counseling fee. The flat fee does not apply to Chapter 13 cases or any bankruptcy involving a business.
Overview of Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
A debtor filing bankruptcy freezes actions taken by creditors (such as lawsuits, wage garnishments, and collection letters) against the debtor. In legal terms, the court orders a “stay” on actions by creditors against the debtor. The court notifies creditors of the bankruptcy proceeding and orders them not to contact the debtor to try to collect the debt.
From this point, creditors may only seek repayment from the debtor within the bankruptcy proceeding.
After bankruptcy is final, creditors who attempt to collect a debt covered by the bankruptcy may be punished for contempt of court.
Certain debts cannot be cleared (or “discharged”) in bankruptcy, such as most taxes, most student loans, alimony, child support, court fines, debts of restitution owed for committing a criminal act, and debts arising from personal injury inflicted while driving under the influence. Debts not listed by the debtor in the bankruptcy filing are not discharged.
A debtor may only file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy once every eight years.
Filing bankruptcy appears on credit reports for ten years and may impact the ability to obtain credit. Debtors may voluntarily pay debts discharged through bankruptcy, but have no legal obligation to do so.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Chapter 13 offers individuals a number of advantages over liquidation under chapter 7. Perhaps most significantly, chapter 13 offers individuals an opportunity to save their homes from foreclosure. By filing bankruptcy under this chapter, individuals can stop foreclosure proceedings and may cure delinquent mortgage payments over time. Nevertheless, they must still make all mortgage payments that come due during the chapter 13 plan on time.
Another advantage of chapter 13 is that it allows individuals to reschedule secured debts (other than a mortgage for their primary residence) and extend them over the life of the chapter 13 plan. Doing this may lower the payments.
Filing bankruptcy under Chapter 13 also has a special provision that protects third parties who are liable with the debtor on “consumer debts.” This provision may protect co-signers.
Finally, chapter 13 acts like a consolidation loan under which the individual makes the plan payments to a chapter 13 trustee who then distributes payments to creditors. Individuals will have no direct contact with creditors while under chapter 13 protection.
THE HOLMES LAW OFFICES ARE A DEBT RELIEF AGENCY AS DEFINED UNDER FEDERAL LAW. WE HELP PEOPLE AND BUSINESSES FILE FOR BANKRUPTCY RELIEF UNDER THE U. S. BANKRUPTCY CODE.