Bankruptcy had a negative stigma for many years. However, since recent economic downturn, more and more people have been taking advantage of the bankruptcy code to help them get a handle on their debt. Some people are in serious financial trouble and need chapter 7 bankruptcy to eliminate all of their unsecured debts so they can start to rebuild their lives. Others simply have more bills than resources and need the help of chapter 13 bankruptcy to reorganize their debts so they can reduce their total monthly payment. A bankruptcy lawyer in Hamilton, OH might help clients in both situations.
The first task a bankruptcy attorney might do is evaluate a client’s financial situation. It’s important to distinguish between secured and unsecured debts. Unsecured debts, such as credit card accounts, medical bills, and payday loans can often be discharged quickly in chapter 7 bankruptcy. This means the client will never have to repay the money. Secured debts, such as first mortgages and car loans and taxes cannot be discharged. They must either be repaid, or the property used to secure them must be returned to the lender. Other debts, such as family obligations like alimony, child support, student loans, and taxes cannot be discharged in bankruptcy but can be included in a chapter 13 repayment plan.
After a bankruptcy lawyer in Hamilton, OH sorts out the classes of debts and looks over the client’s available resources, he or she might recommend either chapter 7 or chapter 13. Clients who have property they want to keep might be better served by chapter 13 while those with few assets and insurmountable debt are often better off filing chapter 7 and eliminating all of their unsecured debts. Some people will not qualify for chapter 7 due to the amount of assets they own and will have to file chapter 13 if they want to reorganize their debts. Others with modest income and few assets choose chapter 13 for various reasons. A professional such as Dean Snyder Attorney at Law might help a client determine which type is best in their unique situation and walk them through the steps to becoming debt-free.
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