The prospect of declaring bankruptcy is scary and overwhelming, and something you should not have to face alone. Whether you’re looking at Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the Jackson bankruptcy attorneys at Brown Bass & Jeter, PLLC, can help you during this stressful time in your life.
Speak with a Jackson Bankruptcy Lawyer Today
At Brown Bass & Jeter, PLLC., we know that while every bankruptcy proceeding is unique, most people feel overwhelmed and embarrassed when filing. The paperwork involved in bankruptcy cases can be quite confusing, and, more often than not, your creditors will have teams of lawyers behind them.
When Should You Consider Filing Bankruptcy?
There are several reasons why a person would consider declaring bankruptcy. Here are some of the reasons why you need to consider filing for bankruptcy.
Job loss and medical debt are the two biggest reasons for considering bankruptcy. Many times, the two team up and light a torch to a family’s financial plans.
Health problems can make it difficult or even impossible to do your job. The result is you either quit or are let go by the company. That is a toxic combination because you lose your source of income at precisely the same time expenses go up.
There are some other, less imposing situations that could cause you to consider bankruptcy. You might be headed down that road if:
- Are creditors suing you for payment of debts?
- Is your wages being garnished?
- Are you behind on your mortgage and/or your home in danger of foreclosure?
- Is your car about to be repossessed because you are behind on your payments?
- Do you pay only the minimum payment on your monthly bills?
- Do you use one credit card to pay off another?
- Do you use one credit card to pay off another?
- Are you several months behind on your payments?
- Do you have bill collectors calling you?
- Are you living paycheck to paycheck?
If you answered yes to the questions above, contact our Jackson bankruptcy attorneys for a free consultation. When you’re having financial problems, time is of the utmost importance. Acting quickly and hiring the legal team at Brown Bass & Jeter, PLLC when you miss credit card payments or when your business starts failing is the first step in gaining control over your finances. Our objective is to make the bankruptcy process as simple and painless as possible for our clients. The attorneys at Brown Bass & Jeter, PLLC are skilled and will guide you through the bankruptcy process by:
- Helping you understand eligibility requirements and the different types of bankruptcy
- Filing your petition with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court
- Negotiating with your creditors at your 341 Meeting
- Argue on your behalf in bankruptcy court, if necessary
- Helping you regain control of your finances and get a fresh start
Does Bankruptcy Stop Collection Actions and Harassment?
A primary and immediate benefit of filing any bankruptcy is the automatic stay. The automatic stay is a federal injunction. It prohibits creditors from taking any actions to collect against the debtor or property owned by the debtor. This includes foreclosure, wage garnishment, bank account seizures, phone calls, etc. The automatic stay remains in effect if the bankruptcy case is open (with some exceptions) and it becomes permanent once a discharge is granted.
Which Debts Can Be Discharged?
The bankruptcy filing laws are designed to balance the interests of debtors in achieving those goals with the rights of creditors (those to whom the debtors owe money) to get paid. In general terms, bankruptcy filing allows those without the means to pay to be excused from paying on their debts. It allows others with some means to pay a portion of their debts. Here are some of the debts bankruptcy CAN erase or make easier to pay over time:
- Credit Card debit
- Car loans and lease obligations
- Medical Bills
- Apartment and home lease obligations
- Utility bills
- Lawsuit judgments
- Personal loans
Should You File Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?
People typically choose between two types of bankruptcy: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. We know it may seem confusing, but the attorneys at Brown Bass & Jeter, PLLC are here to explain the difference and recommend the chapter that is the best fit for you.
There are two basic options for consumers who seek bankruptcy protection. Chapter 7 allows a consumer to discharge unsecured debt, most often from credit cards and medical bills. Since Chapter 7 is a liquidation bankruptcy, it’s best for those who don’t have major assets to protect, although state and federal exemptions do offer a great deal of asset protection. If you have a home with considerable equity and a steady job, but can’t make your high mortgage payments, then filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy could save your home from foreclosure. Our bankruptcy lawyers in Jackson can assess your unique financial situation and make recommendations that suit your needs.
Chapter 7 is a provision of the U.S. bankruptcy code that permits individuals to sale assets and discharge debt. However, if you have no assets to sale, then the unsecured debt is discharged.
Whether a creditor’s claim is secured or unsecured will usually depend on the debt contract entered into between the creditor and the bankruptcy filer. If the borrower agreed to guarantee or “secure” payment of the debt by putting up collateral—valuable property that the creditor can sell if the borrower fails to pay as agreed under the contract—then the debt will be a secured debt. The security creates an ownership interest in the property called a “lien” and a creditor with a lien right will have a “secured claim” in bankruptcy. If the lender doesn’t have a lien, the debt will be an unsecured debt, and the creditor’s bankruptcy claim will be an unsecured claim. Credit card companies, medical providers, and utility companies often are considered unsecured debts and are discharge in Chapter 7.
If you took on debt in good faith, but circumstances beyond your control have frustrated your efforts to repay it, there’s no reason you shouldn’t take advantage of the protections the law affords. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is there for you, the hard-working, industrious citizens who needs help getting back on the right track.
Chapter 7 is the most common type of consumer bankruptcy filed in the United States. It also provides the fastest way for a consumer to get out from under unsecured debt. People who file Chapter 7 may also have limited income and fewer assets. In Chapter 7, debts are discharged rather than repaid. In many cases, a Chapter 7 petitioner in Mississippi can become debt-free in a few short months! Chapter 7 relief is directed towards the most common consumer debts, including:
- Credit card debt
- Utility bills
- Medical bills
- Unsecured personal loans
- Payday loan debt
Are You a Good Candidate for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
Consider these questions:
How much are you earning? If you’re working steadily but earning less than the average Mississippi in your area, or if you’ve been out of work for a while, Chapter 7 might be a good option.
Is your disposable income close to nothing? If, after you’ve paid all your bills, you have next-to-nothing left over, it’s time to consider Chapter 7.
How high are your credit card balances? If you’re at the limit on one or more cards and paying such high interest that you can’t bring those balances down, you could be stuck with the same debt for decades unless you opt for Chapter 7.
Do you have medical bills left over from a long, expensive illness? When medical bills are part of your debt load, it’s important to note that these debts are dischargeable through Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Do you rent your residence? Homeowners fare better under a Chapter 13 plan, but renters have nothing to lose.
Do you have few high value assets you want to keep? If you don’t mind selling off non-essential items, Chapter 7 is appropriate.
Are you expecting an inheritance or other windfall? This is something you really need to discuss with your bankruptcy attorney. It would be very bad timing to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy just as you received a large lump sum payout. Those funds would go straight to your creditors.
How will liquidation affect your car? That depends entirely on what kind of car you own and whether it’s fully paid off. If you have a modest vehicle you use for work, chances are you’ll be able to keep it under Chapter 7, even if you owe a portion of your car loan. If it’s a classic that you’ve lovingly restored and want to pass on to your children, you might want to consider filing Chapter 13, which is better designed to protect assets.
Find out for free if a Chapter 7 bankruptcy plan will work for your family. Call the attorneys at Brown Bass & Jeter, PLLC to schedule your free one-on-one debt analysis.
Chapter 13 is often used by people who have more income and more assets. They may choose Chapter 13 bankruptcy to stop home foreclosure or protect other assets. In Chapter 13, the filer’s debt is reorganized into a repayment of three to five years. When the plan is completed, certain remaining debts may be discharged.
Filing for Chapter 13 allows you considerable input into the formulation of your repayment plan. Our lawyers can help you put together and propose your own debt reorganization, and submit it to the court for approval. Since the plan is based on your disposable income, you can lower most or all of your non-mortgage debt payments. Those reductions make it easier to make your mortgage payments.
Under your court-approved repayment plan, your debt is reduced, rescheduled and consolidated into one easy monthly payment you make directly to the bankruptcy trustee. The trustee then distributes funds from your payment to your various creditors. Chapter 13 not only reduces your debt, it effectively eliminates all the unpleasantness of managing those bills.
Are you a good Candidate for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?
Consider these questions:
Do you have a secure job and a steady income? Chapter 13 requires you to commit to a repayment plan for at least three years.
Do you own your home, but your lender may take action to foreclose? Chapter 13 immediately stops foreclosure and allows you to prioritize your mortgage payments.
Do you have certain possessions you treasure? Chapter 13 does not require liquidation of assets.
Does your financial difficulty stems from circumstances beyond your control, such as unemployment, medical bills, divorce or another hardship? Bankruptcy is meant to help honest people who have had a hard time financially.
The best way to find out which chapter(s) you qualify for, and what bankruptcy filing can do for your situation, is to have a no-obligation consultation with an experienced Brown Bass & Jeter, PLLC bankruptcy attorney. The bankruptcy attorneys at Brown Bass & Jeter, PLLC will ask you to provide detailed information on your income, expenses, assets, and debts, as well as other key data and discuss your options.
Speak with a Bankruptcy Lawyer in Jackson Today
If you are considering bankruptcy, contact Brown, Bass & Jeter, PLLC to discuss your situation and determine the most strategic way to proceed. Call 601-487-8448 or send us an email to speak with a member of our team.
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