What You Need to Know and Need to Bring With You When Filing for Bankruptcy
No one ever dreams of filing for bankruptcy. However, there are many hard-working and responsible people in New Hampshire who have been faced with filing for bankruptcy just to get the fresh financial start they need. Most bankruptcies are filed because of unemployment, divorce, or simply wages not keeping up with ever increasing living expenses. If you are faced with the possibility of filing for bankruptcy, there are certain facts you need to know and certain items you will have to gather just to start the process.
First, you will need to decide which type of bankruptcy best suits your situation. The two most common types of bankruptcies in New Hampshire are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you typically do not pay back any of your unsecured creditors, you retain your home and cars if you so desire, and you obtain a fresh start upon being granted a Chapter 7 discharge. You typically keep all of your assets in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy by using exemptions to protect your property. In order to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you must meet an income test, which is called a “means test”.
If a debtor does not meet the “means test” under Chapter 7, he or she must file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, where typically a portion of the unsecured debt is paid back through the bankruptcy estate. Another common reason to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is to have time to get caught up on missed mortgage payments in order to save your home. A Chapter 13 plan is typically a repayment period of three to five years.
When you decide it is time to seek help from a bankruptcy attorney, it is helpful if you can start gathering your financial documents together. Following your initial consultation with Attorney Kelley, he will provide you with a checklist of items you will need to gather in order for Attorney to complete your bankruptcy schedules. You should bring any paperwork regarding a pending foreclosure, eviction, or repossession of assets. Also, if you pay child support or alimony, having that agreement on hand is useful.
Bankruptcy is Designed to Help People
Bankruptcy is often shrouded in myth and misinformation. It can also be a fearful option, particularly for people who have worked hard and who have tried to keep their heads above water. But, when that struggle is too much, bankruptcy can be the best option. It can help families stay in their homes and save individuals from losing everything they have worked for. An experienced and compassionate bankruptcy attorney can help explain the details and how filing for bankruptcy will impact your debt and your financial life in general.
By Christopher Kelley