Have any questions?

Struggling with debt can be extremely difficult. Whether you run a business or have personal financial problems, you may have a number of questions about your legal rights and options moving forward. In order to provide our clients and potential clients with the information they need, the Raleigh bankruptcy lawyers of the Bradford Law Offices have compiled the following list of frequently asked questions and their answers relating to issues concerning bankruptcy and similar legal issues.

If your question isn’t here, or you would like to speak directly with a qualified member of our legal team, please contact our offices today by calling (919) 758-8879.

There are bankruptcy options available to those that qualify which allow a business to stay open while their debts are restructured and paid off. Although not everyone will qualify for this type of debt relief, with the help of a qualified attorney, you and your business may be able to work through this difficult period while remaining in operation.

The short answer is “no,” but there are a number of restrictions on how long you must wait between bankruptcy filings. These time restrictions vary depending on what chapter you previously filed for as well as the chapter you intend on filing. The times restrictions are:

  • Two years between two Chapter 13 filings
  • Four years between a Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 filing
  • Six years between Chapter 13 and Chapter 7
  • Eight years between two Chapter 7 filings

If you have any questions about the above time restrictions, make sure you contact a Raleigh bankruptcy lawyer of the Bradford Law Offices, at (919) 758-8879 today and schedule a free consultation.

Before filing for bankruptcy, you may be plagued with harassing phone calls from creditors at home or your place of work. Fortunately, these phone calls and other actions are stopped after filing for bankruptcy. Once you file for bankruptcy, the court will issue an automatic stay on your debts, forcing creditors to stop any collection efforts. This includes phone calls, letters, or direct contact. In many cases, the automatic stay can also halt or delay the foreclosure process on your home.

If you are facing financial difficulty due to an overwhelming debt load, a successful bankruptcy filing can help you to gain a fresh start. To learn more about the automatic stay, contact a Raleigh bankruptcy lawyer of the Bradford Law Offices, at (919) 758-8879.

Debts are generally classified as either unsecured or secured. Unsecured debts are any debts that are not backed by any form of collateral. These types of debts include medical bills, credit card debt, and other personal loans. Unsecured debts can typically be discharged through bankruptcy.

Secured debts are those which are backed by collateral. These include car loans, some tax debts, home loans, and other types of debt. A bankruptcy filing can delay or restructure the terms of repayment for these but it is unlikely to eliminate the debt completely unless you give the collateral back to the lender.

When you need money, your family and friends may seem like the best people to turn to for help. These people care about you and may be more willing to help you out than a bank. However, if you file for bankruptcy protection, funds borrowed from relatives cannot be repaid before or to a greater extent than similar loans from unrelated lenders.

When you file for bankruptcy protection, the court wants to ensure all of your creditors receive equal treatment and that none are paid back earlier or to a greater extent due to a personal or close business relationship. Parents, grandparents, siblings, business partners and other people with whom you have a close relationship are going to face higher scrutiny because they are seen as having preference. Preference means you would elect to pay these people back before and/or to a greater extent other creditors.

Suppose you borrow from a friend and decide to pay him back a month before filing for bankruptcy. This is a preference payment. The court will be extremely wary of preference payments and can actually decide to take back that money from your friend. The court can actually recover payments to a family member for a full year after you make them. The estate trustee can sue your family to get the money back, exposing your relatives to a lawsuit.

Another way to expose your family to hardship is by transferring ownership of property to them before your bankruptcy filing. For example, if you worry your car will be sold to pay off creditors then you may consider transferring it to a relative before filing in an attempt to keep it. It is best to avoid transferring property before your bankruptcy filing. Otherwise, the asset can be taken away from the family member to whom you transferred it. The court wants to prevent you from hiding assets from creditors, which is why they will thoroughly examine every transfer of ownership you made before your bankruptcy filing, including gifts.