Everyone is dealing with events that have not occurred in this country since the 1918 Influenza Pandemic. As Florida’s cases of COVID19 jump exponentially, businesses that opened are closing again, or that expected to be back on track by now are instead waiting until fall to open. The cruise industry alone now does not expect sailings to begin until September. On top of that, yes, our state unemployment system is a dismal and well-planned failure. People are hurting, and often not sure if filing for bankruptcy is the answer.
Filing for Bankruptcy is Often the Answer
People who have been able to remain stable since the end of the last recession find themselves staring once more into the abyss, young people just starting out without resources to ride it out, and even seniors working to supplement social security are having to break leases, seek forbearance on loans and credit cards, or even avail themselves of local food banks. One of the things I hear most often as a bankruptcy attorney is, “If I didn’t have all these minimum payments, I’d have enough money to live on!” If that’s what you say to yourself every month, then you have your answer.
It’s time to file for bankruptcy, whether it’s Chapter 7, 11, 12, or 13.
No matter what kind of debt is eating your reserves, chomping its way through your benefits, or carving up your paycheck, it’s time to think about what you could do without the debt, or if it were made manageable. That’s what bankruptcy does for people and for businesses.
What Kind of Bankruptcy is Best for Me?
That depends on what your circumstances are. Let’s break down the advantages of filing bankruptcy.
- Chapter 13: A personal or sole-proprietor reorganization bankruptcy where debt is broken down into affordable payments over a period of three to five years. Since small-business reforms to Chapter 11, it might be better for a sole-proprietor to file for Chapter 11.
- Chapter 12: Available only to either family-owned and operated farms or fishing boats, works the same way as a Chapter 11 or 13.
- Chapter 11: Reserved for the reorganization of businesses large or small. Works in the same way as Chapter 13.
- Chapter 7: Also called a liquidation bankruptcy where non-exempt property (if any) is liquidated and the proceeds disbursed to the creditors. Sometimes there are no assets to be liquidated, and this is called a no-asset bankruptcy. This is a means-tested bankruptcy, and if the trustee finds that you have sufficient assets, your bankruptcy can be converted to one of the other chapters.
What if I Can’t Afford Bankruptcy?
Can you afford not to file bankruptcy? If you’re having a hard time making ends meet now, then imagine a few more weeks or months down the road. Right now the advantages of filing bankruptcy are undeniable.
- No need for in-person meetings. With digital signings and remote 341 meetings, you can handle the parts of bankruptcy that used to be in-person only from your phone or laptop.
- We are one of the few firms to offer a $0 down Chapter 7 bankruptcy. All you have to cover at the outset is the court’s filing fee of $335. Many people find that with the prospect of an automatic stay, that they’ll be able to pay the filing fee.
- Everybody has been impacted, so there is no shame or stigma. Too many people put off filing until it’s a worst-case scenario, and it’s that much harder for them to restart their lives. Whatever shame you’re feeling, you are not alone.
- Required credit counseling. You never want to go through this again, and credit counseling gives you the knowledge you need to avoid the pitfalls of overextending your credit and helps you get a grip on financial literacy.
- With a Chapter 7 filing, you could be debt-free in 90-days. For Chapters 11, 12, and 13, reorganization means that you’d be discharged in three to five years.
Will My Debts be Gone Forever?
After a bankruptcy is discharged and your creditors have accepted the terms of the bankruptcy, they can’t come after you for unpaid debts. One of the key advantages of filing bankruptcy is the automatic stay goes into immediate effect. That means that all collection actions are suspended. No monthly payments may be made on any debt aside exempted debts such as child or spousal support. In addition, you may even be able to renegotiate mortgages, break a lease on a too-expensive rent, buy your car out of a note with a lower price, and possibly get a grip on student loans.
What are the Advantages of Filing Bankruptcy with VHLG?
Bankruptcy is a specialty practice because each state has its own bankruptcy laws that fit within the framework of federal laws. Van Horn Law Group fights for their clients, and that means that they’ll argue with the trustee, defend you against your creditors, and make sure that you walk away from bankruptcy with a clear path to rebuild credit.