Major life events, such as a medical problem, divorce, or unemployment, can make it difficult to pay off your debts. When the COVID-19 pandemic led to significant changes and shelter in place orders, widespread layoffs and economic instability occurred throughout the country. Many companies and individuals were forced to file under various bankruptcy chapters to protect their assets.
Bankruptcy allows you to discharge certain debts, which can protect your assets from creditors and allow you to receive a fresh financial start. There are several bankruptcy chapters you can file under, which is why you may want to discuss your legal options with our bankruptcy lawyer serving Spindale, NC. We offer free initial complications to help prospective clients understand the road ahead and how we can help.
In This Article
Who Can Seek Bankruptcy Protection?
Businesses and individuals who are unable to pay the debts they owe for the foreseeable future can seek to file bankruptcy. This federal process allows them a new start and an opportunity to come up with a financial strategy to get them on their feet again. Bankruptcy can reduce, restructure, or eliminate outstanding debts, so for many people, filing for protection is worth pursuing.
All bankruptcy cases are handled in a federal court. However, North Carolina’s exemptions, as outlined in G.S. § 1C-1601, primarily determine what property you get to keep once you have protection under bankruptcy laws.
Our Legal Team Can Help You Seek the Bankruptcy Protection
At Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC, we offer various legal services that could help your situation. If you are filing for bankruptcy protection because of an eviction, foreclosure, or civil judgment in Spindale, we may be able to stop the process. We can file a bankruptcy petition on your behalf, which halts most collection actions performed by creditors.
Services We Provide to Spindale Residents Filing for Bankruptcy
The team at Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC, can complete bankruptcy filing by using copies of your income statements, bank statements, bills, and credit reports. Depending on your situation, you can choose to file for discharge or reorganization.
Our lawyer will also:
- Ensure that have information about the options available to you
- Protect your legal rights during the bankruptcy filing
- Help you find or create a financial strategy that works for you
- Inform you about what’s required to file bankruptcy and ensure that you meet those requirements (such as getting credit counseling before you file)
- Determine when it is the best time for you to file for debt relief
- Ensure you filled out our application correctly
- Provide guidance and representation for court hearings
- Help you seek protection for your assets
The bankruptcy process can be complex and requires debtors to meet strict, time-sensitive filing deadlines. Our firm will keep you on track to ensure you meet those deadlines. We will also review your financial circumstances and offer counsel on which bankruptcy plan could work for you. Our team would be glad to answer any questions you have during a free consultation.
Below, we explain the different types of bankruptcy that could apply to your situation.
Bankruptcy Chapters You Can File Under
Our legal team represents individuals and businesses filing under Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy. We can also help those who are filing under Chapter 11 reorganization bankruptcy and Chapter 12 if they are considered a family farmer.
When you work with us, our goal is to protect your assets and help you regain financial stability to the extent that the law allows.
We have listed specific details that may pertain to your situation below:
Filing for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Also known as a zero-asset filing, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is an individual filing that occurs when you do not have any assets to distribute to creditors and are unable to pay them. Simply put, your debt far exceeds your income and personal assets. Once you complete the Chapter 7 bankruptcy process, your debts are discharged, meaning that creditors are not allowed to collect them. However, not all debts can be discharged in bankruptcy.
According to information provided by the U.S. Courts, examples of non-dischargeable debts include:
- Child support and alimony payments
- Court fines and restitution
- Student loans
- Personal injury debts or judgments, if caused by the debtor driving while intoxicated
- Some types of debts owed to the government, such as property and income taxes
Most individuals who file for bankruptcy experienced a major life event that caused sudden financial problems, which is why bankruptcy is structured to provide you with a fresh start following a discharge.
Filing for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Debtors in Spindale who can pay something back to their creditors but need time to restructure their finances can file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition. Instead of completely discharging your debts, Chapter 13 allows you to reorganize your finances so that you can more easily pay some of your creditors, meaning you can set up new and more affordable payment arrangements with them.
Some of your debts will be discharged in the process. Our lawyer can advise you of which debts qualify. You will have several meetings and hearings during your Chapter 13 filing, as the trustee will evaluate your progress and recommend revisions to your plan if necessary. You will create a monthly payment plan with the bankruptcy court.
We Can Negotiate for Lower Interest Rates, Debt Reduction
To file under Chapter 13, you:
- Cannot exceed certain debt limits
- Must be an individual (not a business)
- Must have enough income to pay your bills and Chapter 13 payment plan obligation
Having a steady job or regular income enhances your ability to have your Chapter 13 plan approved.
Our team can negotiate lower interest rates or reduced debts with creditors, meaning if you have a car loan, your attorney and creditor can agree on a different method of payment, payoff amount, or interest rate.
Filing for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy
Similarly to Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you may be granted the ability to pay off your creditors through a repayment plan. However, before any strategies can be implemented, your creditors and the court system must approve the plan. Without legal assistance, this can prove to be a lengthy and complicated process.
When you work with our legal team, we can examine your finances, handle communications with your creditors, and take actions to protect your assets. In some situations, according to the U.S. Courts, your Chapter 11 case could be converted into a Chapter 7 case.
To learn more about what this entails and how legal representation from our firm could help, we can meet with you for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.
Filing for Chapter 12 Bankruptcy
Filing under this chapter is designed to meet the economic hardships that family farmers or fishermen face. If this form of bankruptcy is relevant to your situation in Spindale, you will generally have to come up with a payment plan to pay your creditors.
As the North Carolina Bar Association explains, you usually have anywhere from three to five years to accomplish this goal. This action plan that you make, along with help from our lawyer and the trustee overseeing your case, will aim to have you pay off your debts while also being able to provide for yourself and your family.
What Happens After You File for Bankruptcy?
A bankruptcy filing will show up on your credit report and have implications on your ability to qualify for loans, housing, and other financial opportunities. While filing for bankruptcy can seem like a discouraging experience, it can provide an opportunity for you to discharge your debts and get a fresh start.
North Carolina places restrictions on how many times you are able to file for bankruptcy in a given time span. Speaking with our lawyer who has handled bankruptcy cases can explain in further detail what implications certain deadlines can have on your case.
Call Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC, Today
Losing a job or experiencing a serious medical problem can lead to financial distress, which may make filing for bankruptcy a pragmatic decision. At Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC, we understand what a stressful time this likely is for you and your family.
We offer a free consultation, during which you will have the opportunity to share the details of your situation with us. To get started, call Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC, at (828) 286-3866.