You’re working all the time and you are exhausted, but there’s still not enough to pay all your bills. Sometimes it’s hard to get back on your feet after an unexpected event – like a job loss during the pandemic, a sudden medical emergency, or the passing of a loved one. You work hard and you just can’t seem to make ends meet. You need some help to shoulder the burden of this accumulating debt. But no one seems to have any answers. And the dreaded b-word seems too scary. But is bankruptcy as scary as it’s made out to be? Our North Platte bankruptcy lawyer has helped many people like you to decide if bankruptcy is right for them and move forward into a new future free of debt and we can help you, too.
Here are some answers to some commonly asked questions about bankruptcy. If you have other questions or situation specific questions, please call us for a free consultation at (308) 872-8327. We are always happy to listen and help in any way that we can.
What is Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
A chapter 7 bankruptcy is named this because it’s provided for in Chapter 7 of the US Bankruptcy Code. It’s a type of bankruptcy that is also known as “liquidation bankruptcy” and it allows the filer to eliminate unsecured debts such as credit card or medical debt. Other debts that may be dischargeable include personal loans, utility bills, VA loans, and car loans. A chapter 7 bankruptcy may also be the quickest and easiest way to resolve your situation. It’s possible to resolve a chapter 7 bankruptcy in only a few months.
There is a “means test” in order to qualify to file a chapter 7. Those who have an income less than the median income within the state of Nebraska will qualify. Not everyone will qualify for a chapter 7 bankruptcy, in which case a chapter 13 bankruptcy may be a better option.
What is Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?
A chapter 13 bankruptcy is essentially a 3-to-5 year payment plan setup by a bankruptcy trustee that will allow you to stay in your home and keep your car (depending on your situation) while giving you time to catch up on missed payments. Filers will have a steady income but have fallen on hard times and gotten behind. This bankruptcy allows them the chance to recover and get caught back up. Monthly payments will be sent to the bankruptcy trustee who will in turn pay your creditors.
Filing a chapter 13 bankruptcy will stop any foreclosure proceedings on your house. It will also protect cosigners who have assisted you in obtaining a loan.
How Filing for Bankruptcy Can Help You Settle Serious Debt
If you're ready to get your financial future back on track, watch the video below featuring North Platte bankruptcy attorney Bill Steffens:
What to Expect at a Consultation with a Bankruptcy Attorney in North Platte
First and foremost, a consultation should be FREE. You are after all seeking help to eliminate your debts. You need real answers as to whether a bankruptcy will help you or not. But those answers shouldn’t set your finances back any further.
The consultation will probably take about 30 minutes, but it could be longer if you have a lot of questions or a unique situation. Make sure to block out some time so that you can complete the free consultation when you call. If you decide to file bankruptcy, there will be time for additional questions later on, but this call is an important first step to determining if you qualify for bankruptcy.
Most likely, you will speak to an intake specialist. Someone who can ask you the right questions to see if you qualify for a bankruptcy and what type of bankruptcy will be best in your situation. Then, if you do qualify for a bankruptcy and you have other questions about your debts, a lawyer at the firm should be available to assist you.
Questions You'll Be Asked During Your Bankruptcy Consultation
During your free consultation, you will be asked questions about your debts, your assets and about your income. Your honest answers to these questions will help the intake person to determine whether you qualify for bankruptcy and which type of bankruptcy will best help you. It is important to answer these questions as honestly and openly as possible. They may feel like they are prying into your personal life, but the answers will not be shared outside of the firm, and they are necessary to help you. You can prepare yourself before hand by thinking about the answers to the questions.
- “How much debt do you have?”
- “What type of debt is it? Credit card debt? Medical debt?”
- “Do you have a regular income?”
- “Are you married?”
- “Do you have assets such as a car, camper or boat?”
- Please add any additional questions…
If you prepare yourself ahead of time, it may help you not to feel so nervous or apprehensive about the call. Remember the person on the other end of the phone just wants to help. They aren’t judging you or thinking badly of your decisions. It’s nothing they haven’t heard from other people in similar situations. They are on your side and there to help you.
How Often Can You File Bankruptcy?
You can technically file bankruptcy as many times as you want to, though it’s probably not advisable. You also have to wait a certain number of years in between bankruptcy filings. Usually, once your credit recovers, you will want to continue to increase your credit score in order to take advantage of better interest rates on loans and more credit opportunities. However, there are cases in which filing a second, third or even fourth bankruptcy may make sense. It depends on your unique situation and only a consultation with a bankruptcy attorney can determine what’s in your best interest.
After a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you can file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy after a wait time of four years. However, you must wait 8 years in between filing Chapter 7 bankruptcies. You can file another Chapter 13 bankruptcy if two years or more have elapsed since your previous Chapter 13 bankruptcy. And the circumstances will vary, but you may be able to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy with no wait time after a Chapter 13. Again, an experienced bankruptcy attorney can tell you more about what would be in your best interest considering your own unique circumstances.
Contact Our Experienced North Platte Bankruptcy Attorney
Your financial future is too important to leave to chance. You need an experienced North Platte bankruptcy lawyer who can get you real relief from your debts. Our compassionate staff will guide you through the process. Call Steffens Law Office at (308) 872-8327 today for a free consultation. There’s no risk, just good information, and real answers. We want to see you get the fresh start you deserve.