A lot of people think about going to a debt consolidation company before hiring a Minnesota bankruptcy lawyer and filing to discharge their debt. These debt consolidation companies take monthly payments from you and try to talk your creditors into allowing you to pay less. How is a Minnesota bankruptcy lawyer different? A lawyer can use the law to compel creditors to give you a better deal, unlike a debt consolidation company.
Here are 5 more secrets to filing for bankruptcy that I have learnt from interviewing a top Minnesota bankruptcy lawyer
- Consultations are free
During your consultation you will meet with a Minnesota bankruptcy lawyer to talk about your case. In order to understand your situation, the lawyer will collect information from you, such as what are your assets, goals, expenses and income. At the consultation he or she will evaluate your situation, tell you about your options, hear your concerns and answer your questions. All it takes to hire a lawyer is around $100, so you might want to bring that amount to the consultation.
- There is no longer a stigma attached to bankruptcy
The Minnesota bankruptcy lawyer that I do business with says that one of the most common fears he hears from people considering filing concerns the social disgrace they attach to the procedure. Over the past twenty years, this stigma has been significantly reduced, and there’s no sign that bankrupt persons will receive less favorable treatment in the future. Bankruptcy can remain on your credit report for as long as ten years, but many people begin to reestablish their credit directly after filing.
- You can file for either of two forms of bankruptcy: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13
Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy are similar, but there are quite a few distinctions that you need to know about, and speak to a qualified Minnesota bankruptcy lawyer before settling on which type to pursue. For example, you may need to liquidate any non-exempt assets you have under Chapter 7, and use the earnings to repay debt. With Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you develop a repayment plan to pay back your accumulated debt over the next three to five years.
- It is easy to figure out if you need to file for bankruptcy
The easiest way to determine if you need to file for bankruptcy is to look at your monthly income. If you make less each month than you owe in debt, then you are insolvent by definition. If you are making an effort in good faith to repay your debts, but aren’t making any headway, then you should contact a Minnesota bankruptcy lawyer to go through your options.
Other things to consider: Have you been informed that your house is in foreclosure? Have you been threatened with vehicle repossession? Have you received notice of the filing of a lawsuit against you to collect a debt? Are you being harassed on a regular basis by creditors?
Remember that bankruptcy is designed to help you get rid of your debt and get a fresh start. Many people are able to get rid of most, and sometimes all of the debt they have by filing bankruptcy.
- You get instant protection from your creditors when you file bankruptcy
An “automatic stay” is created when a person files for bankruptcy under either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. While it is in effect, creditors cannot: try to bring a lawsuit against you; try to enforce a judgment against you; try to take property from you; try to create, protect or enforce any sort of lien against you; or try to collect debts from you
In short, while you are protected by the automatic stay, you are safe from creditors. If they violate this stay, then they are liable for damages. It is important to give your creditors notice that you filed, so as to prevent them from harassing you as quickly as possible.
The automatic stay is one of the most significant features of the procedure, since it is intended to bring to an end letters and phone calls from creditors. It will also discontinue all bank and wage garnishments from taking place until the automatic stay is lifted or the court grants a discharge of debt. If you decide go through with the bankruptcy procedure, ensure that you procure the services of a competent Minnesota bankruptcy lawyer to seek your interests.
Best Bankruptcy Advice: 5 Secrets I Learned from a Minnesota