If the pandemic and consequent economic downturn have cost you your job, you may be in the untenable position of having too much debt and no viable way of paying it it down, let alone paying it off. As a bankruptcy lawyer in Hartford, CT from a firm like The Law Offices of Neil Crane, LLC can explain, your wisest course of action might be to contact an experienced local bankruptcy attorney. Why? Because bankruptcy can be complicated, at best, and your lawyer can guide you through the process from beginning to end.
One of the biggest ways in which your bankruptcy lawyer can help you is in deciding which type of bankruptcy is the wisest one for you and your situation. As you may or may not know, not all of the six types of bankruptcies are created equal. In fact, each of them applies to different types of debtors who seek different kinds of relief.
In a nutshell, the six types of bankruptcy are available to the following types of debtors desiring the following types of debt relief:
- Chapter 7 – available to consumers and small businesses seeking a debt liquidation
- Chapter 9 – available only to bankrupt municipalities
- Chapter 11 – available to large companies seeking to reorganize
- Chapter 12 – available only to family farmers or fishermen
- Chapter 13 – available to consumers and small businesses seeking to devise a debt repayment plan
- Chapter 15 – available only to foreign debtors wishing to file bankruptcy in the American bankruptcy system
As you might expect, each bankruptcy type has its own set of qualifications and its own procedure and time frame once you qualify. Again, your bankruptcy lawyer can explain these to you in detail.
Your Bankruptcy Objectives
Bankruptcy is not just a matter of qualifications however. Your bankruptcy lawyer can also help you clarify your objectives and match them to one of the bankruptcy types. For instance, if the vast majority of your debt is credit cards, filing for Chapter 7 likely is your wisest option. Why? Because Chapter 7 discharges virtually all of your consumer debts, including your credit card debts.
On the other hand, if your primary objective is to save your home from foreclosure, filing for Chapter 13 likely is your wisest option. Why? Because although Chapter 7 can forestall foreclosure, only Chapter 13 can prevent it.
Need for Sound Legal Advice and Representation
As an individual, technically you don’t need to hire a lawyer in order to file bankruptcy. The bankruptcy court itself, however, strongly recommends that you do so. Only an experienced bankruptcy lawyer has the knowledge, training and skill to help you navigate the bankruptcy system with as little hassle as possible.