Two Important Questions to Ask Before Filing for Bankruptcy
Making the decision to file for bankruptcy isn’t an easy one. It a decision usually only made after months of soul searching and desperate attempts to avoid it. If you’re thinking about filing for bankruptcy, read this article to find answers to two frequently asked questions about the bankruptcy process.
What Are the Differences Between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?
Chapter 7 bankruptcy wipes out most unsecured debts, including credit card and medical debts. In most cases, you won’t be required to use a repayment plan to pay back balances if you choose to file Chapter 7. To go this route, you must meet certain income requirements; if you make too much money, you’ll probably have to file for Chapter 13 instead.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy is considered a reorganization bankruptcy. It’s for people who have a regular income and are able to pay back some of their debt through a repayment plan. Chapter 13 provides you with the ability to catch up on missed mortgage payments and allows you to keep all of your property, which is why many people prefer filing it over Chapter 7.
Does Filing for Bankruptcy Require a Lawyer?
Technically, you can file for bankruptcy without a lawyer. There are no laws requiring you to obtain legal representation. However, due to the long-term financial and legal ramifications of filing for bankruptcy, hiring a lawyer is a good idea.
Regardless of what anyone tries to tell you, you have rights as a debtor. A bankruptcy lawyer will protect those rights. When you turn to a bankruptcy attorney in Pittsburgh, you’ll have someone to help you deal with creditors, set up payment plans and clear your debt. Filing for bankruptcy is a huge decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly. However, it’s not the end of the world. You can recover from a bankruptcy filing, and if you take the steps to become financially responsible, you will. Don’t give up, hire a good lawyer and stay positive. While painful, bankruptcy can give you a fresh start and a new lease on life.