If you’re drowning in debt, every day can be more stressful than the last. You panic when you hear the telephone ring, afraid that it’s a creditor asking for money. Getting the mail is stressful because you’re scared of finding more bills that you owe. Even taking care of the necessities, such as housing and food, has become close to impossible. If this sounds like you, bankruptcy relief might be the right option. Berardi and Associates, LLC understands both the legal and emotional repercussions of falling behind on bills and can help you navigate the bankruptcy process. If you’re in a bad financial situation and need help, our firm is available to answer your questions and guide you toward the right option for your situation.
Before you file for bankruptcy in the Chicagoland area, you must decide between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Berardi and Associates, LLC has represented numerous clients in Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 proceedings and can help you. Begin by learning the difference between the two. Then, schedule a consultation to learn more about the option that makes the most sense for your bankruptcy case.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is commonly referred to as liquidation bankruptcy. If you choose this route, a bankruptcy trustee will liquidate your non-exempt assets, if you have any. Once the assets are sold, the trustee will use the money to pay your debts. Then, the court will discharge the debts.
You’re likely a good candidate for Chapter 7 bankruptcy if you don’t make enough money to pay at least some of the debt off. To qualify, you must pass the means test. The test considers your family size, expenses, and income to determine if you are eligible.
If you file for Chapter 7, your debts will likely be discharged in three to five months.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy is commonly referred to as reorganization. Unlike Chapter 7, you get to keep your property if you file for this form of bankruptcy, as long as your repayment plan meets the requirements. You must pay a minimum percentage toward your unsecured debts to avoid collection action.
Your attorney will help you devise a repayment plan. Once approved by the court, you will make monthly payments and keep your property. It usually takes 3-5 years to pay off the debt. When you complete the payment plan, the remaining unsecured debt is discharged. That means you’re no longer responsible for repaying the debt.
You’re likely a good candidate for Chapter 13 bankruptcy if you have a steady income and want to protect your assets from collection. For instance, if the lender is about to foreclose on your home, you might wish to consider Chapter 13 to stop collection actions.
If you try to file for bankruptcy yourself, you could make a mistake on the application. A single mistake can derail the process and send you to the back of the line. That means you’ll have to spend more time dealing with creditors. Instead of going that route, contact Berardi and Associates, LLC today. With more than 35 years of experience in bankruptcy courts, our legal team can help you through this complicated process. With our help, you can protect your assets and avoid high monthly payments. Contact us for a consultation today.