Harassment by creditors can be incredibly difficult to deal with. It is stressful to receive with repeated threats of wage garnishment and legal action late at all hours of the day and night. Oftentimes, it can seem as though new bills accumulate more quickly than you can pay old ones off. For people who have unmanageable amounts of medical or consumer debt, bankruptcy can help you obtain a new start. Seasoned Montgomery bankruptcy lawyer Charles Grainger can represent you in the consumer bankruptcy process by helping you file for relief under Chapter 7 or 13. He also assists businesses in Alabama that are overwhelmed with debt by helping their owners seek Chapter 7 bankruptcy.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 in Montgomery who can look at the totality of your circumstances, help you explore your options, and represent you through the bankruptcy process if appropriate.
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.Chapter 7 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. 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. A skilled Montgomery bankruptcy lawyer can help you with this analysis.Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
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. One of the advantages of Chapter 13 bankruptcy is that it can allow you to pay back your unsecured creditors without losing your home or car due to foreclosure or repossession. You may end up paying back your creditors a certain percentage of what you owe to them, or you may pay a particular amount that the bankruptcy trustee who will then divide among your creditors. A bankruptcy judge must approve the debt repayment plan your lawyer presents. If the plan is approved, your unsecured debts are not wiped away immediately, but are instead paid off as part of a monthly payment plan based on what you can afford.Bankruptcy for Businesses
If your small business is in trouble, you may be wondering if bankruptcy is an option. It can be, though the specific type of bankruptcy you can file depends on the type of corporate entity you own. If your business is a sole proprietorship, meaning that you are still personally liable for business debts, you would file a personal Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Through a personal bankruptcy you can retain some of your business assets through exemptions and continue to run the business while your dischargeable debts are excused. On the other hand, if your business is a partnership, LLC, or corporation, which are separate legal entities from their owners, you can file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy but there is no discharge. The business’ assets will be liquidated to pay its creditors, and though you will generally not be personally liable for the company’s bankruptcy, there are some scenarios in which you can be responsible for certain debts. A seasoned Montgomery bankruptcy attorney can evaluate whether personal liability may be an issue in your case.Credit Cards & Debt Collection
Aside from medical debt, credit card debt is one of the most common causes of bankruptcy for Americans. Saddled with high interest rates on these accounts, consumers often spend years trying to pay off a single card, but are unable to make progress due to these interest rates, penalties, and other fees. Credit card companies and other creditors or lenders may make aggressive efforts to collect on any debt you owe, threatening wage garnishments, lawsuits, and repossession of your vehicle or foreclosure on your home. We can walk you through what your rights are with regard to harassment from creditors, as well as what the best options for you may be, whether they include bankruptcy or another option such as negotiation and debt consolidation.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. Bankruptcy lawyer Charles Grainger is dedicated to helping Montgomery clients as well as those elsewhere in Alabama 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.