Bankruptcy

Overview:

People fall into debt for a variety of reasons including a loss of employment, illness or death in the family, or an unexpected expense which the household budget just simply cannot afford. Being in a position where you cannot afford to pay your bills is hard enough. Add to this the seemingly relentless attempts by Creditors to collect their debts with endless phone calls and threats of legal action and liens, and the situation often becomes hopeless. Unfortunately, the repercussions of the collections process go far beyond just the individual debtor and carry over to their families and co-workers, leading to additional problems such as depression, embarrassment, disharmony in the home or office, and anxiety.

Our Bankruptcy Practice Group can assist you in all manners of debt management, from negotiating settlements to filing bankruptcy. Each attorney in the practice group takes a personal approach and interest in the particulars of your situation. From negotiating a settlement or payment plan with an individual creditor to discussing what avenues are available to you under the Bankruptcy Code, our attorneys will seek the affordable solution that best fits your situation.

Settlements:

Often times, filing bankruptcy just does not make sense. In situations where your debt is manageable or your creditors few, it often is not economically practical for you to file for bankruptcy. In these situations, our staff can attempt to work out a financial settlement with your creditors. Whether it is a lump sum settlement, a monthly payment plan, or a settlement paid out over a few months, our attorneys and staff will work to find a solution that works both for your creditor and for you.

Bankruptcy:

If we are unable to work out any arrangements with your creditors, we will inform you of your options pursuant to the Bankruptcy Laws. Under the current Bankruptcy Laws, individuals may file a bankruptcy petition under Chapter 7 of Title 11 of the United States Code or under Chapter 13 of Title 11 of the United States Code.

Chapter 7, also known as a "liquidation" or "fresh start" bankruptcy, allows the debtor to receive their discharge quickly after a period of only several months.

Chapter 13, also known as the "wage earner's" bankruptcy, is the preferred Chapter for individual bankruptcies where the debtor has a regular source of income. Under this Chapter, the debtor proposes a plan to repay a portion of his/her debts over a period of three to five years. The benefits of filing under Chapter 13 are greater than under Chapter 7, including a broader discharge of debts, the ability to retain possession of your property, and protection from garnishments, lawsuits, and other creditor actions for the life of the plan. Under Chapter 13, discharge only occurs after the completion of the plan. In certain circumstances, a Chapter 13 may allow you to strip a second mortgage on your home.

Whatever your financial circumstances are, our experienced Bankruptcy Practice Group will find a solution that best suits your situation and gives you immediate relief from the harassment of your creditors.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. Will I be able to keep my home if I file for bankruptcy?

Under the current law you are entitled to keep a certain amount of equity in your home and still file under Chapter 7 without risking losing your home. As a single filer, you can keep up to $100,000 of equity and if filing as a married couple you can keep up to $200,000 if you are a New Hampshire resident as defined by the Bankruptcy Code.

2. Can I file bankruptcy if I already filed in the past?

If you filed a Chapter 7 in the past, you can file another Chapter 7 eight years after the initial date of filing. You can also file a Chapter 13 four years after filing a Chapter 7 case.

3. What costs are associated with filing bankruptcy?

In addition to our legal fees, the bankruptcy court charges a fee for filing a bankruptcy case. This fee varies depending on whether you have chosen to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy or a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. The law also requires that you pay for and participate in credit counseling with an approved credit counseling agency before you file a bankruptcy case. You must also participate in a credit management course before you can receive a discharge of your debts. Our firm will assist you in finding the approved providers of these services. In addition, we can help you obtain a copy of your credit report, so as to ensure that all of your potential creditors are named in your bankruptcy filing.

4. If my spouse has debt solely in his or her name, do we both have to file for bankruptcy?

If you are married and only one spouse carries the marital debt in his or her sole name, then only that spouse needs to file bankruptcy.

5. Will my name be published in the newspaper if I file for bankruptcy?

Your name will not be published in the newspaper if you file a bankruptcy case as an individual. However, if you file a bankruptcy on behalf of a business or company, its name will typically be published in the newspaper.

6. Do I need an income to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy?

You do need an income to file the Chapter 13 bankruptcy as the plan envisions a partial or full repayment of your debt over the course of five years. Your income and reasonable expenses will be taken into account to determine whether or not there are sufficient funds left over to support the plan.

We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.