For consumer individuals, there are two types of bankruptcy: Chapter 7 (Liquidation) and Chapter 13 (Reorganization). As a general rule, Chapter 7 bankruptcy is generally preferred since is generally cheaper and faster (less than 5 months). Chapter 13 bankruptcy is generally a longer proceeding (up to three to five year plans) and is more expensive (repayment of debts within a proposed plan). To be eligible for Chapter 7, certain income limits apply. Further, it is necessary to carefully examine the assets and debts of an individual to see what option is best for that client. Every individual's estate is different. An office conference with a bankruptcy attorney is important to determine the benefits and problems Chapter 7 bankruptcy and Chapter 13 bankruptcy can provide and create for an individual based on their unique estate.
Bankruptcy is specialized field of practice by governed rules and laws. Approved pleadings and schedules are required to be filed with the Bankruptcy Courts. When filing, the petitioner will be required to submit various documents to the Trustee assigned in the case. If a case is filed in error, required documents are not presented timely, or there is a failure of compliance, a case may be dismissed and that petitioner may not be eligible for bankruptcy relief for another eight (8) years. Not all attorneys practice in the area of bankruptcy. It is important to retain an attorney that has experience and specializes in the field of bankruptcy law.
At our initial office conference, you will be asked general information regarding yours assets, debts and income regarding your potential bankruptcy case. An attorney will discuss and make recommendations regarding Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, and other non-bankruptcy options as well as give you an estimate on fees and costs. If you retain our law firm you will need to complete a more detailed questionnaire regarding your assets and debts. If you decide to retain our firm and our firm accepts your case, a written contract shall be executed. If an issue is uncontested and non-problematic, normally a flat fee will be charged in advance of any work. If a matter is contested or problematic, a retainer will be charged in advance of any work. The attorney will then bill you on an hourly basis from said retainer. Estimated court costs will be required to be paid in advance as well. Bankruptcy fees must be reported to and approved by the appropriate Bankruptcy Court.