Troy, AL Bankruptcy Lawyer

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Troy Bankruptcy Lawyers You Can Count On

Declaring Bankruptcy? Turn to Grainger Legal Services for Help.

Deciding to declare bankruptcy is not easy—the bills have been piling up and you’ve been drowning in debt despite your best efforts to get out of the hole. Turning to a Troy, AL bankruptcy lawyer may be your best move. While no one wants to have to declare bankruptcy, doing so can give you the fresh start that you need to reclaim your financial life and move on from the stresses and burden of past debts.

Experienced Troy, AL bankruptcy attorney Charles Grainger works closely with clients to recommend the best course of action when dealing with debt and declaring bankruptcy. While there are other Troy bankruptcy lawyers, our legal team truly takes time to understand our clients’ financial needs and how we can best help them. We commit to being honest and supportive in guiding clients throughout the bankruptcy process and getting them back on their feet financially as quickly and easily as possible.

Call Troy, AL bankruptcy lawyer Charles Grainger at 334-770-4500 to discuss your situation and how to reclaim control over your finances.

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Should I Declare Bankruptcy?

A Troy, AL Bankruptcy Attorney Can Help You Make the Best Choice

Bankruptcy lawyers in Troy, AL often get asked if declaring bankruptcy is even the best move. However, there is no one right answer. Choosing to declare bankruptcy is both a personal and a financial decision, affected by a variety of factors. Bankruptcy attorneys in Troy can help you understand the implications of bankruptcy and whether declaring bankruptcy is your best option.

Job loss, health issues, family problems, and plans that just did not pan out can lead to bankruptcy. Bankruptcy typically falls into two categories: liquidation forms and reorganization forms. Bankruptcy, then, may provide the best way to keep certain assets and possessions protected.

Conversely, bankruptcy is often a last resort measure; if it is still possible to negotiate a payment plan and successfully pay off debts, that may be the best option for your overall financial situation. By consulting bankruptcy lawyers in Troy, AL you’ll get the clearest picture of your options.

Our Troy Bankruptcy Attorney Helps You Understand All of Your Options

Bankruptcy can be a confusing, frightening process. Chances are good that you never had to go through a situation like this previously in your life. We fully understand this, and we tailor our representation to take your unique situation into account. In your first meeting, our Troy bankruptcy lawyer will discuss your answers to a questionnaire you can complete upon arrival. You can also fill out the questionnaire in advance – click here to view the form. Your answers will help us learn more about your unique situation.

Then we will discuss both your bankruptcy options and non-bankruptcy options to explain why one solution may work better than another. Often, two to three different options may work for you, but it is important to choose the best one. Our Troy bankruptcy attorney will help guide you in that choice.

How Our Troy Bankruptcy Attorney at Grainger Legal is Different

Your Initial Consultation with Us

If a bankruptcy solution is the most appropriate, our Troy bankruptcy attorney will then explain each of the steps to the case and go over a list of items the firm will need to prepare your case. For many bankruptcy attorneys, it is customary they will offer you only 5 to 10 minutes of time. Grainger Legal is different. We are committed to giving more time in that first appointment. We will meet for 30 minutes to 1 hour to make sure our bankruptcy attorney personally helps you understand the strategy for your bankruptcy, the alternatives available to you, and what will be needed. We feel this approach is best for our clients. If you have no knowledge of what filing for bankruptcy means, our Troy bankruptcy attorney is ready to answer your questions.

Bankruptcy and Your Credit

Concerns about credit are some of the most common reasons for not declaring bankruptcy. However, fears about credit can be overblown. For example:

  • It is a misconception that declaring bankruptcy will permanently prevent you from obtaining a high credit score.
  • Declaring bankruptcy does not mean you will never again be approved to obtain a car or home loan.
  • Both chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy can stay on your credit report for 10 years.

If you’re speaking with bankruptcy attorneys in Troy, in all honesty it’s very possible that you have several past-due bills or some unpaid credit card debt, which could already be affecting your credit score.

Understanding Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Chapter 7 bankruptcy can give debtors a fresh start. After declaring bankruptcy, a debtor can discharge—essentially erase—consumer debts like credit card debt and medical debts, typically within a few months. Chapter 7 bankruptcy does not involve a repayment of unsecured debts (not backed by collateral), like credit card bills. A Chapter 7 lawyer can help determine what debts can be discharged.  

As part of the bankruptcy filing process, you will need to show the court that you are unable to pay outstanding debts. At the conclusion of declaring Chapter 7 bankruptcy, creditors will no longer be able to take action against you for your former debts.

Speak with Troy Bankruptcy Lawyers about Eligibility for Chapter 7

Debtors filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy must pass a means test to be eligible for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. A means test:

  • Compares your household income to the median household income for a same-size Alabama household.
  • Calculates your debt-to-income ratio.

If your income is greater than the median and you have enough disposable income to pay unsecured debts, you will likely not be eligible for Chapter 7 bankruptcy but may still be eligible for Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows debtors to follow a realistic debt payment plan in order to keep their assets while reorganizing debts for repayment. Debtors with regular income can avoid home foreclosure or car repossession after agreeing to a monthly repayment plan that usually lasts from three to five years.

After declaring Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you will be protected from creditors’ collection efforts, including wage garnishments, foreclosure, and repossession.

Comparing Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy. Which One Is My Better Option?

When filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you will have to provide information about your debts, assets, open accounts, and income in order to help determine whether Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 is the better option. Consider the following:

  • Chapter 7 bankruptcy eliminates debt to give you a fresh start. Chapter 13 bankruptcy gives you a chance to repay debt so that you can keep your home and other assets.
  • Both forms of bankruptcy offer immediate debt relief that will prevent creditors from continuing to pursue you.
  • Chapter 7 bankruptcy is typically best for debtors who don’t own a home but have accumulated unsecured debt that outpaces their income.
  • Chapter 13 bankruptcy is better suited for homeowners who are behind on mortgage payments but want to keep their homes.
  • Your income may disqualify you from Chapter 7 bankruptcy, but you may still need Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection.

Here are some additional tips from our Troy bankruptcy lawyer that may help you understand which type of bankruptcy may be best for you.

  • Not everyone is eligible for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Debtors must pass a means test to qualify, which compares their household income to the median income for an Alabama household of the same size. If income is greater than the median, it is difficult but not impossible to show that debtors can still lack enough disposable income to pay debts and therefore be eligible for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Careful preparation of the means test is necessary to determine whether an above-median income debtor qualifies for a Chapter 7.
  • Not all debts can be discharged by declaring bankruptcy. Alimony, student loans, some taxes, and child support cannot be eliminated by filing for bankruptcy.
  • Filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy is quicker, discharging debt within a few months, typically. However, you may need exemptions to protect certain assets, like your home, from liquidation.
  • Filing a Chapter 13 payment plan may take 3 to 5 years of payments to complete and get a discharge yet Chapter 13 cases offer many more tools to fine-tune the case to the needs of our clients.  Common examples are those who are behind on their car or house payments but wish to keep both.  A court-ordered payment plan will offer protection while allowing time to catch-up on house payments or pay for a car (often at a better interest rate).  Many other reasons can apply which make Chapter 13 a better option even though Chapter 7 may sound more appealing initially.
  • Exemptions play a role when comparing Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 for your individual needs. Exemptions under Chapter 7 may be able to protect some of your property from a sheriff’s sale. But when this protection is not enough, we may recommend Chapter 13. For example: if you and your spouse own a $150,000-valued home with $80,000 remaining on a mortgage loan, your equity in the home is $70,000. The “homestead exemption” for the two of you combined will protect $32,900 in your home’s equity. This leaves $37,100 of your home’s equity unprotected. A Chapter 7 trustee may recommend selling the home to pay debts because of this unprotected equity. However, we may suggest filing under Chapter 13 and creating a payment plan to address the unprotected equity. This would protect the home from your creditors better than a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Handling your bankruptcy in this way is a tricky process, but our Troy bankruptcy attorney can help.

Consultation with our Troy, AL bankruptcy lawyer can help you determine which path is best if you’re considering declaring bankruptcy. Bankruptcy is not designed to wipe you out so much as it intends to give you a fresh start and help you reasonably repay debts. In any case, Troy bankruptcy lawyers can help ensure that you’re making the most financially sound and realistic decision about your future.


Common Questions Asked of Bankruptcy Lawyers in Troy, AL

Filing for bankruptcy can be a complicated process, with no shortage of paperwork and court-mandated actions. Deadlines are strict. A Troy, AL bankruptcy lawyer can help you to make sure all processes are carried out correctly and will know exactly what information you’ll need to provide to the court. If your case is delayed or dismissed due to improper filing, creditors can still pursue you.

Troy bankruptcy lawyers will also be familiar with local courts and procedures and with Alabama and regional laws and regulations. This means that your filing will be smoother, faster, and more straightforward.

Declaring bankruptcy will not give you an out from all types of debts. Payments owed for child support, student loans, recent taxes, and criminal fines, for example, cannot be dismissed by declaring bankruptcy. For these debts, negotiating a payment plant will be a better option, and a Troy, AL bankruptcy attorney can still help.

Declaring bankruptcy may be the best route if your debt stems from credit card bills, medical bills, payday loans, and other unsecured debts, which are loans not backed by collateral. If you need to stop a foreclosure, wage garnishments, or repossession, declaring bankruptcy can provide a relief solution.

You will need to attend a 341 meeting when declaring Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. At a 341 meeting, a bankruptcy trustee will verify your identity and that all the information about your assets, income, and debt is accurate. The meeting is essentially a legal proceeding whereby the debtor must pledge that information submitted is truthful.

In our district currently, 341 meetings occur over a video Zoom call. If you are uncomfortable using this technology, our team can help you complete the process. We provide this help in person or you can learn about it via our law firm’s app. For assistance at our Montgomery office location, call our team at 334-770-4500 or contact us using our website contact form. You can also get help via our downloadable app. To find it, search the Apple app store for “Grainger Legal” to find our downloadable app that can provide you guidance on how to handle the process to have the 341 meeting over Zoom. Contact Grainger Legal for assistance with all your bankruptcy concerns so we can answer the questions you may have.

No. There are countless examples of people and companies who have gone on to success after filing for bankruptcy. Instead of thinking of filing for bankruptcy as a personal failure, it’s a way for you to take charge of your finances and begin meaningful action.

Other than your Troy, AL bankruptcy attorney, your creditors, and anyone you tell, probably no one else will immediately know of your bankruptcy filing. If your repayment plan includes a payroll deduction, it is possible that employers will know of your filing. And even though bankruptcy filings are typically public records, it’s unlikely anyone from the public would dig for such information.

Attorney Charles Grainger

Attorney Charles Grainger possesses decades of legal experience focused on debtor-creditor law, bankruptcy, and business law. His legal work is designed to help clients overcome debt and secure a stronger financial footing. He also provides legal services to entrepreneurs and business owners. Grainger Legal Services takes a comprehensive approach to debt relief and financial education for clients in south-central Alabama. [ Attorney Bio ]

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    Ready to Get Out of Debt? Speak with a Troy, AL Bankruptcy Lawyer wavy line

    When you need sound and honest advice about your financial situation, Troy, AL bankruptcy attorney Charles Grainger and his legal team can help. After learning about your situation, we can break things down to help you understand how best to get out of the hole and regain financial control.

    Our affordable Troy, AL bankruptcy lawyer at Grainger Legal Services can give you the best help possible. Debt relief is stress relief.

    Needing to declare bankruptcy is never an ideal scenario, but it can be a smart move that provides the best option for getting past debt and securing your future. Our team will take the time needed to learn and understand your circumstances and provide our best service. Call Grainger Legal Services at 334-770-4500 today.