Robertsdale, AL Bankruptcy Lawyers
Being financially insolvent is a terrifying feeling. If you are unable to pay your bills and provide for yourself, you may be extremely anxious about the future; if you are being harassed by creditors on top of it, this anxiety is only compounded. At the law office of Wilkins, Bankester, Biles & Wynne, PA, we know how crushing debt is. If you are drowning under mountains of debt, there may be a way out—bankruptcy. By filing for bankruptcy, you may be able to get a fresh start. Our Robertsdale bankruptcy attorneys can help. Call today for a consultation.
When to Hire a Bankruptcy Attorney
For those who are dealing with large amounts of debt, there is always the question of when to hire a bankruptcy attorney or if filing for bankruptcy is even really necessary. Here are some signs that filing for bankruptcy could be the best course of action for you:
You have a high debt-to-income ratio. To determine your debt-to-income ratio, divide all of your debt payments by your gross monthly income. If this number is above 43 percent, then you’re considered “risky” in the eyes of lenders and could be denied a loan. If it’s any higher, you may be unable to ever catch up on the debt and should think about your options.
You’ve explored other options. Before filing for bankruptcy, it’s always a good idea to explore all of your other options—bankruptcy should be a last resort, not the first remedy you seek. Other options for debt alleviation include debt consolidation, creditor negotiation, refinancing or restructuring your mortgage and other debt, and entering into a repayment plan. If all of these options have failed, bankruptcy may be next.
You’ve talked to an attorney. A financial professional or/and an attorney can provide you with professional knowledge about your financial situation and your options. If an attorney recommends that you file for bankruptcy, it’s probably a good indication that you’ve run out of other options.
Once you know that you should file for bankruptcy, the question of when to hire a bankruptcy attorney is simple: as soon as possible! The sooner that an attorney starts working on your case, the more support you’ll have. It’s important that you understand the bankruptcy process early on.
Common Types of Bankruptcy
Our Robertsdale bankruptcy attorneys have experience working with clients who are filing for the various bankruptcy types. Some of the most common types of bankruptcy are listed below—please speak with an attorney before filing for any specific bankruptcy type.
Chapter 7. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, also known as a liquidation bankruptcy, a debtor will be responsible for liquidating their non-exempt assets, and then using these funds to pay back creditors to the extent possible. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy will remain on an individual’s credit report for 10 years. In order to file for Chapter 7, a debtor must pass the means test. This test is used to ensure that the individual doesn’t earn enough income to have the ability to pay back a portion of their debts.
Chapter 11. Chapter 11 bankruptcy involves reorganization of one’s debts, and is usually for partnerships or corporations, although individuals can file for a Chapter 11 bankruptcy in some cases. Through a Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the debtor will create a financial plan that all parties—including the court and creditors—agree to. After the plan is submitted and approved, debts can be discharged.
Chapter 12. Designed for family farmers and fishermen, a Chapter 12 bankruptcy allows those in these occupations the ability to create a plan to repay a part of their debts; it is a form of reorganization bankruptcy. Chapter 12 repayment plans are similar to Chapter 13 repayment plans, discussed below.
Chapter 13. For individuals, Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy are by far the most common types of bankruptcy filings. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing, also known as a wage-earner’s plan, allows a debtor to enter a repayment plan to pay back some or all of their debts over a three-to-five-year period. At the end of this period, remaining debts will be discharged. There are many benefits of a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, including that the debtor may be able to keep more property than they could keep in a Chapter 7 filing.
This list is not inclusive, but it does refer to the most common types of bankruptcy filings used by individuals and businesses.
How Our Robertsdale Bankruptcy Lawyers Can Help You
If you are thinking about filing for bankruptcy, our Robertsdale bankruptcy lawyers can help. Ways that we will support you include:
- Reviewing your case and making a recommendation about whether filing for bankruptcy is the best option for you and, if so, what type of bankruptcy may make the most sense based on your financial situation;
- Helping you to gather all documents that will be required for your bankruptcy filing;
- Working with you and the bankruptcy court to submit your application in a timely manner;
- Explaining all of the benefits and consequences of bankruptcy filing, including the automatic stay, the impact to your credit report, liquidation of assets, and more;
- Helping you to understand different bankruptcy filing requirements, including the requirement to attend mandatory credit counseling;
- Representing you in bankruptcy court;
- Handling all elements of your case from start to finish and remaining accessible, available, and supportive along the way.
We know that filing for bankruptcy can be terrifying. Our lawyers will offer you the support you need when you need it most.
Reach Out to Our Bankruptcy Attorneys Today to Learn More
If you are ready to learn more about the bankruptcy process and find out whether it may be the best thing for you, we encourage you to reach out to our experienced, passionate bankruptcy attorneys in the Robertsdale area today. We have decades of combined legal experience, a reputation for excellence, and a commitment to our clients’ best interests. Reach out by phone or online to schedule a consultation at your convenience.