You are not required to have an attorney when filing for bankruptcy, however, not having legal representation when you file can lead to unforeseen circumstances and potential loss of property you are trying to protect. Even if you are an employer, your personal assets can still be seized.
Many bankruptcy attorneys claim to be able to file your bankruptcy hassle free, but can not offer you legal advice or represent you in the court of law if a problem does arise. A good bankruptcy lawyer can help you prepare to file, as well as give you legal advice throughout the bankruptcy process. At the Law Offices of Jezic & Moyse, we are experts in bankruptcy law, and can assist you through every step of filing for bankruptcy.
Our Maryland bankruptcy lawyers understand how important your financial matter is to you, and will help navigate you through the difficult legal issues that it presents. Our lawyers pride themselves on passionately advocating on behalf of our clients while being sensitive to their unique concerns.
What are the Different Types of Bankruptcy?
Generally, when a person files for bankruptcy, the individual files under one of three chapters: Chapters 7, 11, or 13. Below, we discuss the different differences between the three chapters, and who they generally apply to:
- Filing under chapter 7 – Chapter 7 is the most common type of bankruptcy, and is often referred to as “straight bankruptcy.” While individuals make up a bulk of Chapter 7 bankruptcy filings, corporations and partnerships can also file under this chapter.
When you file under Chapter 7, your assets are liquidated to pay your creditors for any unsecured debts you have. Unsecured debts are debts that do not have collateral behind them, like personal loans. After you file a petition for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, creditors will stop all collection attempts. If the bankruptcy is a success, you will be discharged of your liability for your personal debts.
- Filing under chapter 11 – Chapter 11 is known as a reorganization bankruptcy. This type of bankruptcy is used to reorganize your plan to pay back your creditors over a longer period of time, and is often filed by large businesses. Chapter 11 can be filed with a voluntary petition or an involuntary petition, depending on who has filed.
A voluntary petition means the business has filed for Chapter 11, while an involuntary petition means the creditor has filed for Chapter 11 in an attempt to get the business to pay back its debts. After you have filed a petition, you have 4 months to come up with a plan to pay back your creditors. However, this can be extended to up to 18 months. Your debt repayments are prioritized based on the class you have chosen for each of your creditors.
- Filing under chapter 13 – Chapter 13 bankruptcy is also commonly used by individuals rather than corporations. This type of bankruptcy is a plan to pay back your creditors over a span of 3-5 years, paying your debts to a trustee for disbursement to your creditors.
Once a chapter 13 is filed, most collections from creditors are stopped. At the end of this 3-5 years, all remaining debts are discharged. The goal of a chapter 13 filing is to protect your assets, while also making your payments to your creditors manageable and over a longer period of time.
Generally, when a person files for bankruptcy, the individual files under one of three chapters: Chapters 7, 11, or 13.
The Bankruptcy Process
When one of our attorneys takes on a bankruptcy filing, the attorney will guide you through the entire process step by step. This process includes:
- Means testing (discovering what type of bankruptcy you will be filing for)
- Disclosure of your assets, debts, and supporting documents
- Filing a petition for bankruptcy
- Meeting with your creditors
The process of filing for bankruptcy can be intimidating and difficult. Having a good bankruptcy lawyer by your side can help you get the results you are looking for, as well as give you a sound piece of mind.
Why Choose Jezic & Moyse as your Bankruptcy Attorneys?
We have been practicing law in the DMV area for over 20 years, and pride ourselves on providing the best legal advice for each of our clients. We are knowledgeable in all aspects of bankruptcy law, and well versed in navigating the courts in Maryland.
Filing for bankruptcy is a difficult and stressful time for many, and our attorneys understand how frustrating it can be. We have worked with a great deal of bankruptcy clients over the years, and have backed off the creditors that often harass individuals with debt. Whatever your current financial situation is, we are here to help.
If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, you don’t have to go through the complicated process alone. Each one of our dedicated bankruptcy lawyers can provide you with the best legal advice concerning your bankruptcy, and guide you through to a clean financial slate. Contact a bankruptcy attorney today to discuss your options!