Facing debts that you cannot pay can be frustrating, stressful, and frightening. Creditors, debt collectors, and attorneys may be hounding you for payment and threatening repossession, foreclosure, wage garnishments, and debt collection lawsuits. If you are struggling with debts you cannot afford to pay, filing for bankruptcy relief may be the best way to get a fresh start to recover from a financial crisis. Our Maryland bankruptcy lawyer can help you take the steps necessary to obtain a bankruptcy discharge to get out of debt.
Seven Ways a Maryland Bankruptcy Lawyer Can Help You With a Debt Problem
Let’s look at some ways that our Maryland bankruptcy lawyer can help you if you have a problem with debt. We can also review some of the advantages of bankruptcy as we discuss the ways a Maryland bankruptcy lawyer can assist an individual who needs debt relief.
- Provide Information and Explain Bankruptcy Laws
One of the most important things a Maryland bankruptcy lawyer does for you is to provide you with the information you need to decide if bankruptcy is right for you. The bankruptcy system is complex, and the laws governing bankruptcies can be difficult to understand. A bankruptcy attorney breaks down these laws and explains them in terms that you can understand. You are already under enough stress without adding to the stress by trying to figure out the bankruptcy process alone.
- Help You Determine Which Chapter of Bankruptcy You Can File
Most individuals and couples file under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code, including self-employed individuals. Business and companies may file under Chapter 7 or Chapter 11. The filing requirements for each chapter of bankruptcy are slightly different. For instance, a debt must meet strict income requirements to be eligible for a bankruptcy discharge under Chapter 7.
However, there are a few exceptions to that rule, including individuals whose debts are primarily business debts. A Maryland bankruptcy lawyer understands the filing requirements and can help you determine which chapter of bankruptcy you are qualified to file.
- Help You Decide if Chapter 13 is Better for You Than Chapter 7
In some cases, a debtor may qualify for a Chapter 7 case, but may need to file a Chapter 13 case. For instance, if you are behind on your mortgage payments and you want to save your home from foreclosure, you would likely need to file a Chapter 13 case. In a Chapter 13 case, you can pay your past due mortgage payments over time to save your home. A Chapter 7 case does not allow for that option.
An experienced bankruptcy attorney analyzes all the factors to determine which debt relief option is best for you instead of simply giving you the easiest option.
- Stop Creditor Harassment and Debt Collections
Filing a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy case stops creditor harassment and debt collections immediately. The automatic stay provisions of the Bankruptcy Code prohibit creditors from taking certain actions to collect a debt after a bankruptcy petition is filed. Unless the creditor seeks bankruptcy court approval, the creditors must cease collection efforts, including sending letters requesting payment, calling you demanding payment, garnishing wages, filing debt collection lawsuits, proceeding with a foreclosure, or repossessing property.
- Protect Assets from Creditors and the Court
When you file for bankruptcy relief, you are allowed to claim a certain amount of equity in your property exempt. Bankruptcy exemptions protect certain property from your creditors and the bankruptcy trustee. If property is exempt, creditors cannot take the property, and the trustee cannot sell the property to pay unsecured debts.
- Get Rid of Debts You Cannot Pay
In most cases, a person can get rid of all or most of his or her unsecured debts by filing a bankruptcy case. Examples of unsecured debts that are typically dischargeable in bankruptcy include:
- Medical debts
- Credit card debts
- Old utility bills and rent payments
- Most personal judgments
- Personal loans
- Some old tax debt
By getting rid of debts you cannot pay, you get a fresh start to rebuild your finances and improve your credit score after bankruptcy.
- Guide You Through the Bankruptcy Process
The bankruptcy process can be confusing for someone who has never filed for bankruptcy relief. A Maryland bankruptcy lawyer guides you through each step in the process of filing bankruptcy from taking your credit counseling course and completing your bankruptcy forms to going to the bankruptcy court and completing your case to receive a bankruptcy discharge.
A Maryland bankruptcy lawyer can also help you avoid making errors and mistakes that could delay your case, result in a dismissal of your case, or cause you to lose property unnecessarily.
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Contact Pinder Plotkin for a Free Bankruptcy Case Review
For a free bankruptcy consultation with a Maryland bankruptcy lawyer, call 410-661-9440 to speak with a member of our legal team.