A new year is upon us, and my busiest time as a bankruptcy attorney in Asheville, NC is about to begin. Just as gym memberships rise in the Spring, so do bankruptcy filings. Here are answers to a couple key questions about how to become debt free through the bankruptcy courts.
What kind of relief am I eligible for?
I will only recommend a bankruptcy case to you if I believe filing is your best alternative financially. Many times, I spend the majority of the time at free, initial bankruptcy consultations speaking with prospective clients about their bankruptcy alternatives. However, the ‘fresh start’ provided by the bankruptcy code frequently is a much better alternative than folks imagine it to be.
How long does the process take?
For a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the process takes a few months. However, almost all of the work for clients is done on the front end, before we file their case. After I receive all the documents I need to prepare your petition, the rest of your involvement in the case should be fairly minimal. You need to appear in front of a trustee about 30-40 days after we file your bankruptcy case, but those meetings generally take less than 5 minutes. The other chore is to complete the credit counseling classes which can be done online in the privacy of your home. The required classes take about 2 hours total. Your discharge arrives in the normal course about 60 days after your meeting with the trustee in a Chapter 7 case.
How do I pay for my bankruptcy case?
One of the most essential things we can discuss at initial bankruptcy consultations is how to pay for a case. Many times, the worst part of a client’s case are the lawyer’s fees and court administration costs. I can help you set up a monthly budget to save up the costs of filing, as many people (after they stop paying their monthly credit card bills) can set up a payment plan to save up the fees. Here are a couple other ways to pay the fees:
(1) Use your tax refund: why use refund money to ‘catch-up’ on bills when you could use it to eliminate those debts entirely?
(2) Sell an asset: have an old car you don’t use frequently? Selling it and using the proceeds to pay for a bankruptcy can be a good strategy.
(3) Borrow money from a friend or family member. There is nothing improper about borrowing money to pay for a case, and then paying that person back AFTER you have filed your case.
More questions? That’s what free, initial consultations are for. If you live in Western North Carolina, I would be pleased to sit down with you to share my take on your best path forward.
*The information contained on this website is not intended and does not constitute the providing of any legal advice or any legal opinions or services to any user thereof. The information available on or through this web page is not intended and shall not be used as a substitute for the advice and consultation provided by an attorney. Any factual examples used to illustrate concepts are hypothetical and do not depict actual events or real persons.