Free Consultation With A Bankruptcy Attorney In Las Vegas
Filing for bankruptcy is a difficult decision to take, but for many individuals, it is the best way to bring their finances under control and to keep creditors at bay. Bankruptcy may at the very least eliminate a significant portion of your debt, and you could potentially entirely remove your entire debt burden. At Martin Law PC, we are here to help you through the bankruptcy proceedings, handling all the paperwork for you and giving you the advice you need to make the process as comfortable as possible. We can assist with both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 filings and provide a free bankruptcy consultation to help you work out the best choice for your unique circumstances. It is important to remember that even if your situation seems relatively straightforward, bankruptcy proceedings are inherently complex. So, you should always acquire expert advice to make sure your bankruptcy runs smoothly.
When hiring a bankruptcy attorney, Las Vegas residents usually think about the Chapter 7 bankruptcy' which is also known as liquidation or straight bankruptcy. For the vast majority of debtors, the Chapter 7 allows you to eliminate the majority of all of your debts without having to sell any of your property.
Nevada's bankruptcy laws are quite generous in that they allow an average debtor to keep most of their property. However, if you owe luxury personal property or other non-essential property, you may be forced to surrender that property to the trustee. The trustee will then sell the property, and the proceeds of the sale will be given to your creditors. Examples of some non-essential property would be a rental that you don't live in, timeshares, or an all-terrain vehicle.
Chapter 7 is available to individuals, married couples, and companies. However, there are strict eligibility criteria. For example, to file a chapter 7, you will have to pass the means test. Under the means test, if your income is more than a statutorily set amount, you will not qualify for the Chapter 7. This income amount is based on how many dependents or family member that you have living with you and where you live. So, a family of four will be able to have more income than a single person. Click here, for a more thorough explanation of the means test. Also, you can only file Chapter 7 once every eight years. To initiate Chapter 7 bankruptcy, your attorney needs to file a petition with the court, attaching extensive paperwork detailing your income, assets, and debts. Immediately after you file, the bankruptcy court will assign a trustee to administrate your case. Under most situations, you will only have to appear in front of a trustee one time at a 341 meeting. (Meeting of creditors). Approximately two months after you appear at the 341 meeting, you will receive your bankruptcy discharge, which means you will no longer owe creditors for any dischargeable debts. The entire bankruptcy process from filing the bankruptcy to the discharge lasts around three to four months. The Chapter 7 cannot erase all debts: recent taxes, child support, and student loans are some examples of debts that cannot be discharged. Also, under a Chapter 7, you cannot erase secure debt. (Secure debt is debt where the creditor can take your property if you miss payments. Examples of secured debt are car payments and mortgage payments) However, with a Chapter 7, most types of unsecured debts can be discharged.
The Chapter 13 bankruptcy requires that you make payments to a trustee for three to five years. So, you would, under most circumstances, file a Chapter 13 under the following conditions: you fail the means test, you previously filed a chapter 7 bankruptcy within eight years, and you want to save your house from foreclosure.
A Chapter 13 has some advantages over the Chapter 7. For example, with the 13, you may be able to keep, non-essential, assets such as a camper or boat. The other significant difference is that a Chapter 13, unlike a 7, allows you to save your house from foreclosure or stop an automobile repossession. Chapter 13 though is only available for debtors who have a regular income. Also, if you are filing the 13 to prevent a foreclosure, you must be able to pay off any past due balances (past due mortgage payments) within a three to five year period. The Chapter 13 is essentially a negotiated repayment plan lasting between three to five years. With a Chapter 13, your monthly payment is based upon your income minus your justified expenses. The justified expenses are based upon national standards that are used by the IRS. Chapter 13 is a very complicated process; so, an attorney is, although not legally required, essential. One benefit of Chapter 13 is that your legal fees are spread out as part of your debt repayments, so you don’t have to pay extensive legal fees up front. Another significant benefit of Chapter 13 is the fact that your credit score may suffer less damage than under Chapter 7 proceedings as creditors will see that you have made an effort to repay your debt, instead of completely abandoning your borrowing commitments.
Help with Chapter 13 bankruptcy
Chapter 13 is a complicated process that many law firms do not even offer as a service. As an experienced firm with expertise in Chapter 13, Las Vegas residents can rely on us to develop a plan that leaves them free of harassing creditors while also potentially saving your house from foreclosure or even getting your recently repossessed car back. As an experienced bankruptcy lawyer, my law firm will help you with the preparation of all the complicated paperwork required for Chapter 13. We will summarize your outstanding debts, look at your ongoing expenses and prepare a repayment proposal which we think will be likely to be accepted by creditors and the court. It is essential to get your Chapter 13 filing right as failing to file successfully can lead to foreclosure of your home, and further distressing collection procedures from creditors.