The decision to file bankruptcy is never an easy one since many believe it labels them as a deadbeat. However, as a Kitsap County bankruptcy attorney, I understand that sometimes good people fall upon hard times and their finances suffer. This is one of the reasons I represent consumers in both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy proceedings and why I defend consumers against objection to discharge adversary matters.
Attorney Mike Liebert Discusses Bankruptcy Chapters
It is important to understand that Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 offer debtors very different protections. In a Chapter 7 filing, unsecured debt is fully discharged unless you have signed a reaffirmation agreement with a creditor. Chapter 13, which is commonly called “wage earners” bankruptcy offers debtors the opportunity to restructure their outstanding debt into a payment plan that can last between three and five years.
Understanding Bankruptcy Requirements
As a Silverdale bankruptcy attorney, it is important to ensure that debtors understand their rights and responsibilities under bankruptcy rules. All debtors must complete an approved credit counseling course prior to their bankruptcy filing and in some cases, debtors may be required to take an additional pre-discharge course. When filling out bankruptcy forms, it is imperative that the debtor make full disclosure of all assets, sources of income and debts as well as disclose any transfers of property that may impact their filing.
Under the law, those who are considering filing Chapter 7 must pass a means test. The means test is to determine if you have sufficient income and assets that could be used to repay creditors in a Chapter 13. The means test is based on your current gross income and if you do not meet the criteria, you will have to file Chapter 13.
When Creditors Object
Typically a creditor will not object to a bankruptcy filing although in some cases they will file a motion prior to stop the bankruptcy from being discharged. Keep in mind, under a Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceeding unsecured debts like credit cards and medical bills are not paid and you are excused from paying them once the debt is discharged. When you file Chapter 13, your unsecured creditors may not receive the full amount they are owed. This is when they may file a motion to prevent your bankruptcy being discharged. However, as your Kitsap County bankruptcy attorney, we will fight this vigorously.
If you are buried in debt and need a fresh start, contact J. Michael Liebert PLLC at 360-930-6500 and discuss your options for filing bankruptcy. We will be happy to discuss your options and help you get back on a more solid financial footing.