If you are overwhelmed by debts and being harassed by creditors, you might avoid answering your phone. You are probably stressed out each month struggling to figure out how to pay your rent and put food on the table. You think, “There’s got to be some way out of this!” You start searching for ways to get out of debt. Some fixes are temporary, and with overwhelming debt, are often a poor solution to your circumstances. Bankruptcy on the other hand is a long-term solution that allows you to resolve your debts and move forward with a clean slate, and with the help of an experienced and skilled bankruptcy attorney in Lincoln, NE, your new financial future is right around the corner.
What is Bankruptcy?
When you are unable to pay debts (i.e. medical bills, credit card bills, car loan, mortgage, etc.) you can declare bankruptcy. A bankruptcy will allow you to eliminate some of those debts or make a plan to repay them. You can file a personal bankruptcy by yourself or with your spouse depending on the circumstances. There are two chapters of the bankruptcy code that apply to individuals filing bankruptcy – they are chapter 7 and chapter 13 bankruptcies.
The rules surrounding bankruptcy are outlined by federal law. A qualified Lincoln bankruptcy attorney can best help you to navigate the system for a Nebraska bankruptcy.
5 Common Bankruptcy Myths
There's no reason to fear bankruptcy. It's far less scary then facing debt, creditors, lawsuits and repossession. In the vide below, experienced Lincoln bankruptcy attorney Bill Steffens talks about the 5 most common bankruptcy myths.
Lincoln Bankruptcy Lawyer: Do You Need One and What to Expect
There are many legal issues that come into play when you file bankruptcy in Lincoln. While you can file yourself, without an attorney, it is not recommended because there can be long-term financial and legal consequences if you do not file properly or fail to disclose required information. Bankruptcy lawyers know and can interpret the law in a way that protects you. In addition, they can help you to shield tax refunds and other assets from being used to pay your debts in the bankruptcy. If you need to eliminate your debt and get out from under the weight of debt burden, hiring a lawyer will provide you with the best opportunity to do just that.
What Should You Expect When You Hire a Bankruptcy Lawyer in Lincoln, NE?
Bankruptcy is a process that requires your honest feedback and complete listings of your debts and assets.
- Consult a prospective law office and find out if bankruptcy is right for you and whether that office can help you. Typically, these consultations are free. As soon as you retain that office as your legal representative, they should begin taking all calls from creditors looking for payment.
- Next, provide information on your debts and income and any supporting information like tax returns, pay stubs, driver’s license, etc. that the office requests. These are required by the Bankruptcy Court. The process will go faster if you provide complete information in a timely manner. The sooner you provide this information to your attorney, the sooner you will receive legal bankruptcy protection. You will also need to complete court mandated bankruptcy courses. There are two and at Steffens Law Office in Lincoln, the fee for these courses is included in your attorney fees.
- Once your bankruptcy is filed with the court, your attorney will prepare you for your hearing. At your hearing, our bankruptcy lawyers will be with you and assist you. Depending on the circumstances of your case and which type of bankruptcy is filed, your debt will be discharged withing 100 days of filing or after you complete 3 to 5 years of monthly payments determined by your attorney and approved by the bankruptcy court.
How Much Does a Bankruptcy Lawyer Cost in Lincoln?
- The price will vary based on the type of bankruptcy and circumstances in your case.
- The initial consultation is free.
- Fees include court costs, court mandated courses, credit report data and filing fees.
- The fees are much lower than companies that advertise debt settlement or consolidation and bankruptcy can provide permanent resolution of debt. Other companies may resolve your debt, but it will take a long time and will require substantial costs. These companies typically do not help you if you are sued require you to find a lawyer to resolve any lawsuits.
- Your fee also includes work to stop wage garnishments and lawsuits.
- Call (308) 872-8327 for more information.
What is the Difference Between Chapter 7 And Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
A chapter 7 bankruptcy requires payment or liquidation of any assets not exempted by law to receive a discharge of your debts. State law provides exemptions to protect specific property. Your Lincoln bankruptcy lawyer will help you to get the most out of your exemptions and keep what property you can. They will also help you to get as much debt dismissed as possible. You will want to review whether you can keep your property with your bankruptcy attorney.
Once a debt is discharged by the court, you are no longer legally responsible for it and therefore do not have to pay towards that debt. Certain income requirements exist to qualify for a chapter 7 bankruptcy. Once you meet the eligibility requirements your attorney or case manager will walk you through the steps of the bankruptcy process, the fees, and the documents you will need to gather up to file. The attorney will assist you in preparing for your hearing with the trustee and will be with you at the hearing.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
A chapter 13 bankruptcy allows individuals to set a plan that will pay back some or all of their debt. Therefore, only people with a steady income will qualify to file under this chapter. These plans last 3-to-5-years during which the debtor pays a monthly sum established in the plan to repay the debts covered by the plan. The length of time for the plan depends on your income. Creditors are forbidden from collecting money during this time.
A chapter 13 bankruptcy can help you save your home from being foreclosed on. You will pay the overdue mortgage payments under the plan set by the US Bankruptcy Court. You can also reschedule other debts and receive extended time to pay them. This may also mean the chance to reduce your monthly debt payments. Essentially, the chapter 13 bankruptcy is like a consolidated loan in which you pay a sum to the chapter 13 trustee, and they then pay your creditors according to the plan.
A chapter 13 bankruptcy affords you protections from creditors and keeps you from having to have contact with those creditors. It may also protect cosigners who have helped you to secure certain debts.
The case begins when a petition is filed in the bankruptcy court where you reside. Multiple other documents such as information on your current income and expenses, contracts and leases, and a statement on your finances will also need to be filed. Your bankruptcy attorney will provide you with a complete list and file the documents with the court. Be prepared to assist your attorney by providing these documents in a timely manner.
Call Our Experienced Lincoln Bankruptcy Attorney for a Consultation Today!
As you can see, filing bankruptcy is complicated and to get the maximum benefit out of your bankruptcy, you need an attorney to help you navigate the law. Our Lincoln bankruptcy attorney has years of experience and hundreds of bankruptcies under their belts. They specialize in bankruptcy law and can help you to get a fresh financial start. Give us a call today at (308) 872-8327 for a FREE consultation and put those debts behind you!