Helping You Deal With the Overwhelming Burden of Debt
If the bills continue to add up and creditor calls are becoming all too common, you may be in a severe financial crisis that could lead to bankruptcy. Falling into debt can feel like a frightful plummet, but the landing need not be a violent crash.
Here at the Law Office of Jack G. Lezman, PLLC, we have an experienced team of attorneys who care about your situation. Our Charlotte NC bankruptcy attorney will help lift the stress of your financial burden off your shoulders and make you breathe easier again.
- Bankruptcy is a legal process that discharges certain types of debt, providing a fresh start for individuals facing financial crises due to job loss, disability, or divorce.
- There are two primary types of personal bankruptcy: Chapter 7, involving the potential sale of nonexempt assets, and Chapter 13, which entails a repayment plan with creditors over three to five years.
- Filing for bankruptcy can help end creditor harassment, collections lawsuits, and wage garnishment, allowing individuals to rebuild their credit score and financial stability.
- Strict legal requirements, including means tests, determine the eligibility for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. An experienced attorney can guide you through the qualification process.
- The detailed and exacting process of filing for bankruptcy in Charlotte, NC, involves submitting documents to the United States Bankruptcy Court, specifying relief sought, creditors, debts, income, assets, and proposed repayment plans.
- The means test assesses eligibility for Chapter 7, and failing it may lead to consideration of Chapter 13. Understanding these options is crucial in pursuing the most suitable bankruptcy approach.
- Debt consolidation, consolidating multiple debts into a single lump sum with a fixed interest rate, is presented as an alternative to bankruptcy, with potential benefits for those seeking debt relief.
- Recognizing your rights and the limits on creditor conduct is essential. If facing illegal creditor harassment, consulting with an experienced lawyer can help protect those rights.
- A Charlotte NC bankruptcy attorney can assist in protecting your home from foreclosure, exploring options to manage debt and secure a sustainable future for you and your family.
- Everyone deserves that second chance, and you may be able to get it if you file for bankruptcy. If you are in a financial crisis and live in Charlotte, NC, or any of its outlying counties, we want to help you!
What Is Bankruptcy?
Bankruptcy is a legal process that discharges certain types of debt. Unfortunately, in the past, some people delayed filing bankruptcy due to social stigma. However, it is not shameful to file for bankruptcy. Many hard-working Americans cannot pay their bills after a job loss, unexpected disability, or a divorce. In these situations, bankruptcy is the first step toward rebuilding your financial future.
What are the Different Types of Bankruptcy?
There are two primary types of personal bankruptcy in the United States. These are:
- Chapter 7 bankruptcy: Sometimes called liquidation bankruptcy, you sell your nonexempt assets in exchange for the discharge of your debts. If you do not have nonexempt assets, your creditors receive nothing in exchange for the discharge. Most Chapter 7 bankruptcies filed do not involve selling any assets. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy takes roughly six months to complete.
- Chapter 13 bankruptcy: You enter a repayment plan with your creditors rather than liquidating property. You typically have three to five years to pay your debts under this plan.
Why Should I File for Bankruptcy?
While there are many benefits to filing bankruptcy, bankruptcy may not be for everyone. You cannot discharge certain debts during bankruptcy, such as unpaid child support, unpaid alimony, and most student loans.
Before you file bankruptcy, you should consider all of your options. For example, you might be able to restructure or settle certain debts directly with your creditors. Or you might benefit from debt counseling. However, many individuals benefit significantly from bankruptcy.
A bankruptcy attorney can help you end harassing phone calls, collections lawsuits, and wage garnishment if you are overburdened by dischargeable debts (such as medical bills, personal loans, and credit card debt). Once you are debt-free, you can start rebuilding your credit score and finances.
Do I Qualify for Bankruptcy?
To qualify for bankruptcy, you must meet strict legal requirements. Each chapter has its eligibility criteria:
- Chapter 7 Eligibility: You must take the means test to prove that your assets are below a state-specific threshold.
- Chapter 13 Eligibility: You must show that your debts are below a different threshold. Since Chapter 13 involves a repayment plan, the bankruptcy court must believe you can repay your debts.
How Do I File for Bankruptcy?
To file for bankruptcy in Charlotte NC, you (or your bankruptcy lawyer) must file a series of documents with the United States Bankruptcy Court in North Carolina. These documents do the following:
- Indicate what type of relief you are seeking (Chapter 7 or Chapter 13).
- Identify both your creditors and debts.
- Discuss your income and assets.
- Present a proposed repayment plan (if you are filing under Chapter 13).
Drafting a bankruptcy petition is exacting and detail-oriented work. The court might deny your petition if you do not list all your assets and income. In addition, the bankruptcy court can only discharge the debts listed in your petition.
The bankruptcy court will appoint a trustee once you file your bankruptcy petition and supporting documents. The trustee will then oversee your bankruptcy to liquidate your assets or review your repayment plan. The actual bankruptcy process will vary depending on whether you are filing under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13.
What is the Means Test?
One of the first things you must do to file for bankruptcy in North Carolina is take the means test. The test determines if you should pursue Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Essentially, the test determines if you are eligible to file Chapter 7.
If it can be determined that your income is low enough or that your financial situation is dire enough, then you can pursue Chapter 7. Chapter 7 allows you to liquidate nonexempt assets to satisfy your creditors. If you fail the means test, you may be eligible to file Chapter 13 instead.
What is Debt Consolidation?
Debt consolidation is another option for debt relief instead of filing bankruptcy. In effect, you can take all the debts you owe and lump those into one location, effectively consolidating all debts into one lump sum. You can then pay the lump sum until the debt is paid off.
A debt consolidator purchases all of your loans, and in return, you get a fixed interest rate and a manageable repayment plan. It is an excellent option for those who want to avoid bankruptcy.
However, debt consolidation may not be an option for everyone. A Charlotte NC bankruptcy attorney can help you determine whether this is a good choice for your situation.
What is Creditor Harassment, and How Can I Defend Against It?
Are you receiving non-stop phone calls day in and day out? Are you receiving threatening letters? Or are creditors calling your family, friends, and neighbors? If so, you do have rights. There are limits to what creditors can legally do.
The law is specific on the behavior prohibited to creditors. While laws will vary from state to state, if a creditor is harassing you or their conduct rises to legal harassment, you may have cause to sue.
Creditors who are taking illegal action should be held accountable. An experienced lawyer can help you understand your rights and stop illegal creditor harassment.
Can I Protect My Home From Foreclosure?
Even in today’s market, foreclosures are all too common. If the bank wants to evict you from your home, or you believe that your debt problems are heading in that direction, there are several things that a bankruptcy attorney can do to help protect your most valuable asset.
While foreclosure defense may not be viable for everyone, a lawyer can help you manage your debt to ensure a sustainable future for you and your family.
Consult With Our Charlotte NC Bankruptcy Attorney Today!
Our helpful attorney at the Law Office of Jack G. Lezman, PLLC, is well-versed in the complicated and intimidating procedures required for a successful bankruptcy case.
With more than two decades of experience, plenty of positive client testimonials, and winning cases, we are the right choice if you need help determining whether or not bankruptcy is right for you.
Call our bankruptcy lawyer in Charlotte, NC, anytime for more information or a free case evaluation. We also offer legal services for wage garnishment, alternatives to bankruptcy, and dischargeable debt!