Find A Bankruptcy Lawyer
Bankruptcy effects one out of every seven households in the U.S. today. Families are either in the process of bankruptcy proceedings or having just completed bankruptcy proceedings. By speaking to a bankruptcy lawyer, you will be able to determine exactly what your debt relief options are.
While the choice to file bankruptcy may be the last course of action you may want to approach, it is important that you have an experienced bankruptcy lawyer on your side to examine and evaluate all possible options pertaining to your individual situation.
As with most things in life, when we have a problem it is wise to seek the advice of an expert in the bankruptcy and debt relief fields.
A bankruptcy lawyer is an expert in all aspects of debt relief and will be able to help you file your bankruptcy claim. It is better not to wait until you have no other alternative than bankruptcy to call a bankruptcy lawyer.
It is important that you take the proper steps to save your credit, your home, your cars and all other valuable possessions including your salary from the creditors as soon as possible. Early consultation with a bankruptcy lawyer can give you relief from the the harassing phone calls from collection agencies.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) cautions debt ridden consumers to read between the lines when faced with ads on television, in newspapers, magazines or even telephone directories that say:
* Consolidate your bills into one monthly payment without borrowing,
* Stop credit harassment, foreclosures, and repossessions, fast.
* Wipe out your debts,
* And, eliminate 70% of your bills.
“If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is,” says the FTC, which works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive and unfair business practices in the marketplace. A lawyer can help you understand your options when filing for bankruptcy.
Some of these quick-fix debt relief programs are actually scams run by con artists who can’t deliver on their promises. A bankruptcy lawyer can help you regain the money you were scammed out of. The FTC says if you fall for their pitch, you could lose hundreds of dollars in fees and find yourself in worse financial shape. You will owe more than when you started with additional late fees and penalties to pay.
Who Can Sue
Unfortunately for you, every one of your creditors.
With a bankruptcy lawyer representing you, you may be able to avoid numerous legal summonses and subsequent fees. You may even take legal action on your own behalf.
Beware of credit counseling or debt relief services that charge upfront fees, collect your money and offer to distribute the money to your creditors in reduced amounts. Not all creditors will agree to reduced payments. Also, beware of debt satisfaction offers that require you to take a line of credit or re-mortgage your home to pay off a creditor. While these plans allow you to consolidate your debt, they also require your home as collateral. Such an approach could result in even greater problems in the future.
Depending on the gravity of your situation, you may want to consider bankruptcy protection.
There are two primary types of personal bankruptcy, Chapter 13 and Chapter 7. Each must be filed in federal bankruptcy court with the assistance of a bankruptcy lawyer.
Both types of bankruptcy filings, can get rid of unsecured debt on credit cards and store merchandise charges. Both can also stop foreclosures, repossessions, garnishments, utility shutoffs and collection activities. Both Chapters also provide exemptions that allow you to keep certain assets, although items and exemption amounts vary by state, and your bankruptcy lawyer can help you with the amounts that apply to your state.
Personal bankruptcy filing usually does not erase child support, alimony, fines, taxes and some student loan obligations.
When debts start to pile up, the average person starts to look around for a financial life raft, someway to stay afloat until they can find a solution to their problem. In that regard, there are some things you should be doing right away.
Get a copy of your credit report. Examine it carefully make sure that all entries are correct and that you are not listed for debts that are not yours, and that any satisfied charges and accounts you have had in the past are listed as satisfied.
Your credit report results in your having a credit score that determines how much interest you will pay on your current and new obligations, and whether you will be able to obtain a mortgage or loan on a big ticket item in the future.
Monitoring your credit could save you thousands of dollars a year. It is your first line of defense in battling for debt relief. Under the law, you are entitled to get a copy of your credit report from each of the three credit bureaus free of charge once a year.
The three credit reporting bureaus are TransUnion, Equifax and Experian. It’s important to check and monitor all three reports because the information in each report may vary, as different creditors submit reports in a differing manner.
With the assistance of a bankruptcy lawyer, you may be able to negotiate a “short sale” of the property in which the bank grants forgiveness of a portion of the debt in order to avoid the losses involved in foreclosure. The result is that you wind up with a reduced mortgage and reduced payment, based on the actual and current value of the property. The Federal Housing Administration began writing the reduced mortgages in Oct. 2008, under the recently enacted Hope for Homeowners program.
Oddly, the federal government is also helping businesses and individuals who find themselves in trouble with the IRS. It is advisable for you to consult with a bankruptcy attorney to make application for at least partial debt forgiveness under the IRS’ Offer in Compromise program.
Our bankruptcy lawyers can help represent your claims.
The use of a tax attorney is recommended since less than 25% of the IRS Offer in Compromise applications submitted are found acceptable. When approved, the IRS has gone as far as granting settlements at a rate of $0.13 on the dollar.
Some debt relief companies claim they can negotiate a one-time settlement with all of your creditors that will reduce your principal by as much as 50% to 70% of your total debt. By doing this, they claim your monthly payments will drop dramatically.
“That is virtually impossible under any circumstances,” says Travis Plunkett, Legislative Director of the Consumer Federation of America. “That’s why CFA warns consumers not to use debt settlement programs. They are promising something they can’t deliver,” Plunkett says.
Consider it a RED FLAG if an agency promises to resolve your debt problems in a one-two-three fashion. The right course of action is to sidestep quick-fix counselors, who can do more harm than good. Many ahead of you have learned the hard way. Speak to an experienced bankruptcy attorney to get the help you need with your bankruptcy filing.