Getting a Fresh Start in Alabama

Charles E. Grainger

Creditor harassment is stressful. It is hard to deal with repetitive threats of legal action and wage garnishment late at night or early in the morning. Often, it can feel like new debt accumulates faster than you are able to pay it off. For those who have overwhelming amounts of consumer or medical debt, bankruptcy can be a helpful way to get a fresh start. Experienced Montgomery bankruptcy attorney Charles Grainger can help you deal with consumer bankruptcy through Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 proceedings. He also helps Alabama businesses struggling with debt by helping them file for bankruptcy under Chapter 7.

How Bankruptcy Can Help You

Bankruptcy is often misunderstood and maligned. It can provide significant relief, depending on the unique details of your financial situation. For some people, there are other better options. If you have only a few creditors or you are not quite "in the hole," it may be appropriate to negotiate a payment plan. However, if you are overwhelmed by consumer or medical debt, or are facing a real possibility of foreclosure, bankruptcy can be the best course of action. It is important to work with an experienced bankruptcy attorney who can look at the totality of your circumstances, help you explore your options, and represent you through the bankruptcy process if appropriate.

Long Term Solutions to Your Financial Troubles

When you're deeply in debt to multiple creditors, a short-term solution or band aid is not effective. Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy can provide long term solutions to serious financial problems. These are the two primary federal processes that generally result in most of your debts being discharged. The 2005 Bankruptcy Act requires your income and expenses to be analyzed through a "means test" to determine which type of bankruptcy you qualify for. We can help you apply this test to see if you qualify for Chapter 7, or whether Chapter 13 would be more appropriate for you.

What is the difference between the two types of bankruptcy? Chapter 7 is for people who are unable to pay back their debts. It is a relatively fast process that wipes the slate clean with respect to dischargeable debt, but you may lose some property to pay back your creditors. Chapter 13 is a debt reorganization. It requires you to pay back certain creditors in order of priority, generally over a period of 3-5 years.

The means test is used to evaluate your average income over the previous six-month period to compare it with the median income for households of the same size in Alabama. Those whose income is below the median can file Chapter 7 bankruptcy. But if your income is greater than the median Alabama income, you will have to take further steps to determine whether to file Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. For example, you must examine whether you have sufficient disposable income to pay off unsecured debts, such as credit card or medical debt, over a period of years.

Comprehensive Bankruptcy Representation in Alabama

Filing for bankruptcy is a huge decision, but it can be extremely helpful to those in dire circumstances. Some people wait too long to file, or are embarrassed to file because they don't understand bankruptcy laws. At Grainger Legal Services, we can explain the process and how it applies to your situation, and help you seek the relief you need. Montgomery bankruptcy lawyer Charles Grainger is dedicated to helping you obtain a fresh start. We bring years of experience and dedicated personal attention to your case. Mr. Grainger has been practicing law since 1986, and has been in private practice since 2003. He can assess your particular financial situation to determine if you are a good candidate for bankruptcy, and take you through the process. Alternatively, he can advise you of other options. Mr. Grainger serves clients in Montgomery, Prattville, Troy, and other surrounding areas. Call us at (334) 260-0500 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation.