You’ve done your best to manage your finances and pay any debt you owe. But for most Americans, one unexpected expense can completely wreck the financial picture. Before you know it, you’ve fallen behind with paying your debts, and now you’re financially strained. Continuing to miss payments on your debt and accruing more and more unpaid debt can lead to serious consequences. You could be hassled every day by creditors and any collateral used to guarantee any of your debts could be taken by your creditors. The worry about what could happen while you’re trying your best to stay afloat can be exhausting.
If you’re worried about what falling further behind on your debts could mean for you and possibly your family, contact the Cary business bankruptcy attorneys of Bradford Law Offices right away.
Since 1998, we’ve worked hard to help our clients resolve their financial issues through bankruptcy. We have decades of experience as well as a deep understanding of the U.S. and North Carolina bankruptcy laws. We’ll help you through the process so you can reach the best solution to begin your financial journey with a fresh start.
For help determining your bankruptcy options and obtaining the debt relief you need, call Bradford Law Offices at (919) 758-8879 or contact us online to schedule a free, confidential consultation.
Options for Filing for Bankruptcy
Fortunately, when seeking relief from your debts, there are several bankruptcy options to consider. It can be somewhat confusing to understand the different types of bankruptcy and which one is best for you. At a consultation with one of our bankruptcy attorneys, we’ll discuss your financial situation in detail to advise which bankruptcy option will work best for you. In the meantime, below are brief descriptions of each of the types of bankruptcy you may be able to file for.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
If you have been struggling to pay your debts and pass the “means test,” you can consider filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Under Chapter 7 bankruptcy, many of your debts are discharged. When your debts are discharged, you no longer have to pay them. Not all of your debts may be able to be discharged, however. Some debts, like alimony and student loans, can’t be discharged.
Also, a downside to filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy is that this is a “liquidation” bankruptcy. Any property you have can be sold to pay your creditors before the rest of your debt is discharged. North Carolina state bankruptcy law does allow you to exempt some property.
Chapter 11 Bankruptcy
Typically used by big businesses, such as corporations, due to its significant expense, Chapter 11 bankruptcy allows the debtor to reorganize their debts. Smaller businesses can also file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, but it can be less expensive to utilize a different bankruptcy option. Instead of debts being outright discharged like with Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the business’ debts are restructured into a more affordable payment plan. The payment plan can last anywhere from three to five years. The business can make an agreement, approved by the bankruptcy court, with their creditors to pay a certain amount of their debts during the payment plan. At the end of the payment plan, any outstanding debts may be discharged. Additionally, even while the business is making payments on its debts during the bankruptcy, it can continue operating as normal.
Chapter 12 Bankruptcy
Chapter 12 bankruptcy is essentially the same as Chapter 11 bankruptcy, except only family fishing businesses and family farming businesses qualify to file for it. Farmers and fishermen agree to a payment plan with their creditors and pay their debts over three or five years. After that, the remainder of their debts may be discharged. Farmers and fishermen have to have less than $4,153,150 and $1,924,550 total in secured and unsecured debts, respectively. Both farmers and fishermen can continue operating their businesses while they’re paying back their debts.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Finally, debtors who earn enough income to pay their debts on a payment plan can file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Similar to Chapter 11 bankruptcy, Chapter 13 bankruptcy is an option for individual debtors to be placed on a payment plan to pay back their creditors.
You’re also limited in the amount of unsecured and secured debt you have to qualify for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Your unsecured debts have to total less than $394,725, and your secured debts must total less than $1,184,200.
What Do I Have to Do to File for Bankruptcy?
When you file for bankruptcy, you have to submit thorough documentation of all of your debts, income, and a detailed listing of all of your assets and any property you own or have in your possession. You’ll also have to pay a filing fee and miscellaneous fee to the bankruptcy court where you file. Each chapter bankruptcy has a different required filing and miscellaneous (misc.) fee. The filing and miscellaneous fees for several types of bankruptcy are as follows:
- Chapter 7 – $245 filing fee, $75 misc. fee
- Chapter 11 – $1167 filing fee, $571 misc. fee
- Chapter 12 – $200 filing fee, $78 misc. fee
- Chapter 13 – $235 filing fee, $75 misc. fee
Can I File for Bankruptcy on My Own?
You can file for bankruptcy on your own, but the required bankruptcy forms that you need to file with your petition can be very confusing for most people. If your bankruptcy petition isn’t completed accurately and fully, your bankruptcy could be dismissed. This means you’ll have to wait six months before you can file for bankruptcy again and be right back to square one with struggling to pay your debts while you wait.
The Cary bankruptcy attorneys of Bradford Law Offices have been helping businesses file for bankruptcy for over two decades. We know bankruptcy laws like the back of our hands. We can make sure that the bankruptcy process works as seamlessly as possible so we can help you obtain the solution you need to your financial issues without unnecessary delay.
The Bankruptcy Attorneys at Bradford Law Offices Are Here to Help
If you’re ready to put your financial struggles behind you and lay a new financial foundation for your future, contact the bankruptcy attorneys at Bradford Law Offices. We’ll help you find the best solution. Call us today at (919) 758-8879 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.