Raleigh Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorney
Filing for bankruptcy is a difficult decision to make, but it is the right decision for many individuals facing significant debt. Bankruptcy gets a bad rep, and many people believe it is a bad thing, but it can help remove your debt, give you more time to pay back debts, and give you peace of mind by stopping the endless calls from debt collectors. One of the most common forms of bankruptcy is Chapter 7, which allows you to lessen or completely eliminate your existing debt. This is the best option for individuals who are entirely unable to pay their debts, as you will never be asked to pay back these debts. However, the process of filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy is often long and difficult. Not only must you determine if you are eligible for this form of bankruptcy, but you will also need to provide ample information about your current financial status.
If you are considering Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you need to ensure that you will receive the relief that you need. A bankruptcy attorney at the Bradford Law Offices, PLLC is prepared to help you throughout the legal process, to ensure that your rights are protected, and you receive the appropriate amount of debt reduction. Even if you are entirely unsure about where to begin, our firm offers a 100% free and fully confidential discussion of your case.
The Bradford Law Offices, PLLC have been serving the citizens of Raleigh for over 23 years, helping them find the financial peace they deserve. We are dedicated to helping you manage your financial concerns so that you may get another chance to rebuild your life or business. Our attorneys understand that a bad investment or economic downturn should not define the rest of your life. This is why we provide judgment-free service that can help individuals, families, or businesses get back on their feet.
If you or a loved one are struggling financially due to significant debts, a Raleigh Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer at the Bradford Law Offices, PLLC can help you understand if filing for bankruptcy is the right choice for you. We are prepared to offer advice and counsel on the best next steps to take, as well as advocate on your behalf throughout the legal process. Do not keep suffering under your debt, contact our office by email, live chat, or call us at (919) 758-8879 today.
Do I Need a Bankruptcy Attorney?
Filing for bankruptcy is typically a very complicated process that has many different steps and requirements. There are a number of hoops you will need to jump through when filing, which are used to eliminate the number of people that are not qualified to receive this form of assistance. Although these are necessary precautions, they also make it more difficult for deserving individuals to complete the process without making potentially devastating mistakes. You will be asked to provide significant information about your finances, work, home environment, and other factors which impact your monetary standing. If you fail to provide all of the requested information, your claim may be significantly delayed or even denied because of a technicality.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorneys have experience with these requirements and will help ensure that your claim is completed correctly. Additionally, they can provide you with reliable information about the form of bankruptcy that is right for you and what you may be able to expect from your claim. When facing something as important as bankruptcy, you cannot afford to make any mistakes, and a skilled attorney can help prevent this.
Why Should I Choose Bradford Law Offices, PLLC?
Although many firms may make claims about their skills and abilities, this does not guarantee that they can help your case be a success. Not all attorneys are equal, and it is essential that you choose the right firm to manage your case. At the Bradford Law Offices, PLLC we understand the importance of your case, and we are prepared to understand and work with your needs. We have extensive knowledge about bankruptcy and have over two decades of experience fighting for our clients.
Bankruptcy is the only focus of our firm, which means we dedicate all of our time and energy to helping clients like you find the right solution to their financial problems. The firm’s founder, Danny Bradford, has represented over 3,000 consumers who were facing debts that were beyond their control. He is proud to be able to offer his reliable and trusted service to the citizens of North Carolina, so that they may be able to find the relief that they deserve.
Types of Cases We Handle
When applying for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, there are many elements of the process that you must understand before you can move forward. Although you may be able to learn about this process on your own, it is unlikely that you will be able to find reliable information to answer all of your questions. For this reason, our attorneys are prepared to work with you throughout the filing process to provide all of information and guidance you may need. Some of the most important information we are able to provide includes:
- Benefits of chapter 7 bankruptcy: Each chapter of bankruptcy has a variety of different benefits that it may be able to provide for you or your business. Understanding these benefits and how they will work for you specifically, can help you better determine if chapter 7 bankruptcy is right for you.
- The means test: This test will determine whether your current financial status and salary qualify you for chapter 7 bankruptcy. Taking this test can ensure that you don’t waste your time going through the process of bankruptcy only to meet a dead end. If you do not qualify according to this test, a lawyer can help you understand how your means may impact your ability to file for bankruptcy.
- Non-dischargeable debts and dischargeable debts: Not all debt is considered the same, and filing for bankruptcy may only discharge certain types of debt. A consultation with a lawyer can help you understand if bankruptcy is the right way to manage your debt, and how much of your debt is dischargeable.
These are just a few of the many different important pieces of information you must know before filing for bankruptcy. With the answer to these questions and more, you will be more prepared to file your claim and more likely to receive a favorable outcome. In order to answer these concerns and any others, you will have to contact our office for a free consultation.
Who Can File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is available to both individuals and business that are struggling under significant debt. The greatest tool to determine your eligibility is the means test, which examines your financial standing to determine if you meet the appropriate criteria for this form of bankruptcy. Although many people are eligible for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you may be denied if:
- Your income is too high compared to the state’s median income
- You can repay some portion of your debt with the disposable income you have
- You filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy within the last eight years or Chapter 13 bankruptcy within the last six
- You failed to meet the credit counseling requirements
Even if you are ineligible for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, there are many options which may still be available to you, such as Chapter 11, 12, or 13 bankruptcy. Speaking with a bankruptcy attorney is the best way to understand your eligibility and how you should proceed.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you are considering filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you probably have many questions. You don’t want to file for bankruptcy until you know exactly what it will mean for you. To help alleviate some of your concerns, we have provided the answers to some common questions we hear at our office below.
What happens to my credit when I file Chapter 7 bankruptcy?
One of the most common areas of concern for Chapter 7 bankruptcy petitioners is what happens to their credit in the aftermath and how they can move forward in rebuilding their credit. After your non-exempt assets are sold and the proceeds are distributed to your creditors, the bankruptcy filing will go on the public record section of your credit report. In the case of Chapter 7 bankruptcy, it will stay on your credit report for up to 10 years. As for the debts involved with your bankruptcy filing, they are typically discharged a few months after filing but will stay on your credit report for seven years before being removed. As time passes following your bankruptcy filing, all items on your credit report associated with the filing will have a less significant impact on your credit score, allowing you to gradually build up your score over time. So although bankruptcy may make your credit look worse at first, it can actually save you in the long run and do less damage to your credit score than continually missing payments or carrying a high balance.
If I file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, do I get to keep my home?
Assuming they are currently up-to-date on their mortgage payments, debtors filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy will be able to keep their home. To pay back unsecured debtors, a bankruptcy trustee may sell some of your property. However, you are legally allowed to keep certain types and certain amounts of property through exemptions. Under the North Carolina homestead exemption, homeowners filing for bankruptcy can protect up to $35,000 of equity in their primary home ($70,000 if you are married and filing a joint case). This means if you own a home worth $300,000 with a $250,000 mortgage, you’ve accumulated $50,000 in equity. A married couple filing jointly would be able to keep their home as long as they continue to pay the mortgage in full and on time.
How much does it cost to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy?
As counterintuitive as it may sound, it does cost money to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The costs can vary depending on your case and the city or town you file in when it comes to attorney fees, but there are a few costs associated with filing that are uniform across the country. On top of attorney fees, as of December 1, 2016, you must pay a filing fee of $335 dollars for Chapter 7. Additionally, you are also required to get credit counseling from an approved provider at least six months before filing and enroll in a debtor education course after filing to receive any bankruptcy discharges. While some credit counselors don’t charge anything, most cost between $15 and $30, and the debtor education courses cost around $35. If you are unable to pay for the credit counseling or debtor education courses, let the agency know or ask the providers if they can waive the fee.
For many people across North Carolina, filing for bankruptcy is a necessary solution to manage debt. According to data collected by the North Carolina government, in March of 2017 alone, the district courts across all counties in North Carolina filed 429 bankruptcy claims. Of these total claims, 191 were Chapter 7 bankruptcy. In April and May of 2017, there were similarly high numbers of Chapter 7 bankruptcy filings, with 133 in April and 165 in May. The large proportion of Chapter 7 claims filed by the courts, over this three-month period, indicates the great number of people that require assistance and who qualify for this form of bankruptcy.
Wake County, where Raleigh is located, is no exception to these statistics. Its courts also receive a high number of bankruptcy claims each month. In August of 2017, 105 new bankruptcy cases were opened by the Wake County district court, and of these cases, 39 of them involved Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Over one-third of all the bankruptcy cases taken to court in August were filed as Chapter 7. Such a high proportion indicates that Chapter 7 bankruptcy is clearly a common choice among citizens in Wake County, and it may be the right choice for you.
If you or a loved one are struggling with unmanageable debt, you do not have to continue to suffer. Chapter 7 bankruptcy may be the right choice to make your life or your business financially stable and bring it back on track. The Raleigh attorneys at Bradford Law Offices, PLLC have the knowledge and expertise necessary to ensure that you receive the financial assistance you need. Do not hesitate; contact us by email, live chat, or call (919) 758-8879, today.