Commonly asked questions:
What is bankruptcy and how can it help?
This is such a common question and unfortunately, most of the people I know don't really know the answer, and because everyone's situation is unique, detailed questions can be addressed during a consultation. However, here are a few basics:
What is bankruptcy?
Most people (consumers) who file for bankruptcy file either a Chapter 7 liquidation of debt or a Chapter 13 which is a reorganization of debt. Each chapter refers to its respective chapter of the Federal Bankruptcy Code.
How Much Does it Cost to File?
For a Chapter 7 case there is a $306.00 filing fee charged by the Bankruptcy Court. This fee can be paid in four payments of $76.50. The filing fee for a Chapter 13 is $281.00 and can also be paid in installments.
Our fee can be paid in installments as well. Call today to find out what arrangements are available to you.
How long does the entire process take?
A Maryland Chapter 7 bankruptcy can take approximately four to six months from the time your initial paperwork is filed. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy will take much longer because this allows you to repay some of your debts back in three to five years.
What is the difference between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13?
There are many differences between the two but the major difference is that in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, much if not all, of your debt may be discharged. Non-exempt property will be sold and applied towards your debts. At the end of the process your debts will be cancelled. In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy you will make regular payments to satisfy your debts. Something called a Means Test must be applied to your finances to determine whether you are eligible to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Can anyone file a Chapter 7?
In order to be able to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy a means test must be applied to determine whether you qualify for a Chapter 7. A Maryland bankruptcy attorney can help you make this determination. Click here to review Chapter 7 process.
What if I’ve filed for bankruptcy before?
If you filed for either a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13 you can file again. Certain time limits apply, depending on the type of bankruptcy you filed before, and the type you file now.
Do I have to retain an attorney?
In most cases it is not required. You can file the necessary paperwork and represent yourself but I honestly would not advise that. Wouldn't you feel more comfortable having an attorney who can attend hearings with you and communicate with the Trustee assigned to your case on your behalf? Wouldn't you prefer to have a professional prepare and file all paperwork for you? It is easier to do it right the first time than to fix a mess later.
How can I afford to pay attorney's fees?
We may be able to work out a payment plan that will allow you to pay our fees in installments.
I'm stressed out because of my financial situation but I'm afraid to file for bankruptcy.
If you are receiving harassing phone calls and are carrying around the burden of overwhelming debt, an attorney can help you identify whether you have other alternatives. If you decide to file for bankruptcy a good attorney can make the process as smooth as possible. The phone calls will stop and you can rest knowing you are on your way to a brighter financial future.