Protect Your Assets And Financial Future
There are many reasons individuals and business owners may find themselves in a financial bind with mounting high debt. The best course of action to alleviate the stress, protect your assets and safeguard your future financial stability is going to be dependent on the nature of your debt, your current financial circumstances and your goals. While the law provides a means of releasing your obligation to pay some debts through filing bankruptcy, not everyone qualifies to file for debt relief through Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Even if you are embarrassed about how you have handled your finances in the past, you will have to be honest about the nature of your debt, your current financial situation and your future objectives. There is no reason to be ashamed. There is every reason to be candid with me, so I can help you move forward and get a fresh start.
If you have filed for bankruptcy less than eight years ago, you will have to find a different path to debt relief than Chapter 7. But you are eligible to file for Chapter 13 four years after filing for Chapter 7. If you do qualify to file for one of several chapters of bankruptcy, you may still have to pay back some of your debt within a set period of time. There are several paths from which to choose, and I can help you determine which one may be in your best interests.
I also offer my services for creditor representation in cases where an ex-spouse or an individual lender has interests to protect in a bankruptcy filing. It is essential to keep in mind that there is a short time to take action to protect those rights if you are a creditor.
Trusted Bankruptcy And Debt Relief Lawyer Serving Clients Throughout Maine For More Than 15 Years
A Competent Attorney To Guide You Through Business Decisions
Answers To Frequently Asked Questions
What does filing bankruptcy cost?
My fees range depending upon the complexity of your case. My fees can range from $1,000 to $1,800, but are usually around $1,799 inclusive of court filing fees, credit counseling fees and credit reports. Chapter 13 cases involve additional fees paid through your monthly plan payments. While we cannot file a case until the whole amount is received (seeking payment after you file violates the law), we can accept payment plans and you can refer creditors to us once we receive a portion of the balance.
Will everyone know if I file?
No. Bankruptcy is technically a public process and your newspaper could report it. However, it has been several decades since newspapers in Southern Maine or Central Maine, have reported them in all but celebrity cases. In all likelihood, the only people who will learn of your bankruptcy are your creditors, the trustee, and other people attending their own meetings with the trustee the same time as yours.
Will I lose my house or car in bankruptcy?
Most people don’t lose their house or car in bankruptcy if they are current on the payments and can make payments in the future. Under the Maine exceptions, an individual can protect between $80,000 and $160,000 in value above the debt in his or her residence. Individuals can protect up to $10,000 of value in one motor vehicle. A married couple could protect $100,000 in their home and $10,000 each in two cars. If there were excess value, a Chapter 13 reorganization offers the time to pay that value over up to five years. If you cannot afford to make ongoing payments, you may surrender the property and you won’t owe the creditor anything afterwards. You can also protect up to $3,500 in cash or bank accounts.
Will a bankruptcy get rid of all my debt?
No. Chapter 7 bankruptcy does not normally discharge student loans, recently filed or unfiled tax obligations, trust fund or employee taxes or debts pursuant to a divorce decree. Creditors rarely bring lawsuits to prevent debts from being discharged if incurred through things like fraud or willful personal injury. In some instances, a separate lawsuit can be filed to discharge student loans.