A chapter 7 or chapter 13 bankruptcy filing freezes your creditors IMMEDIATELY.
In an emergency, we can file a skeleton petition electronically that freezes creditors within hours.
CHAPTER 7 AND CHAPTER 13 are the appropriate choices for most people, including those with small businesses.
A CHAPTER 7 FILING will eliminate most unsecured debt.
It eliminates secured debt as well; but the lien survives, so to keep the secured property, you will have to keep paying the debt associated with it. Or, you can surrender the property and owe nothing.
The major categories of debt that will not be discharged in chapter 7 are domestic relations support and divorce-related debt, recent income taxes, court fines/restitution, and most (but not all) student loans.
Virtually all creditors are frozen from the time the case is filed. This includes stopping lawsuits and garnishments. We can often recover funds that have already been garnished within the last 90 days.
Once a chapter 7 case is filed, there is a hearing with a chapter trustee about 30 days later that both you and your attorney must attend. The major purpose of the hearing is for the trustee to determine whether you have property that is not exempt under Oregon or federal law. If there is substantial property that is not exempt--which is relatively rare--the trustee will take it and distribute it to creditors. In most cases, the trustee takes nothing from you. Then, after about 70-80 days, and assuming you complete one or two extra steps, you receive a "chapter 7 discharge" that converts the freeze on creditors to a discharge or "wiping out" of the debt.
A CHAPTER 13 FILING is for specialized circumstances. It can do additional things that a chapter 7 cannot; it can:
1. Reinstate suspended driver's licenses and eliminate outstanding traffic infraction fines.
2. Reduce the interest rate you pay on many secured debts, and, in many cases, reduce the principal you owe on a vehicle or mobile home to its value.
3. Stop the foreclosure of your home, and allow you up to five years to make up the amount you are behind, or to refinance, modify the loan, or sell the property. In some cases, a second mortgage can be eliminated entirely in chapter 13.
4. Pay income taxes that you cannot discharge, without further interest and without penalties.
5. Provide bankruptcy relief, when you cannot file a chapter 7 case due to a prior chapter 7 bankruptcy within the last 8 years, or if you have too high an income to qualify for chapter 7.
6. Eliminate or reduce property settlement debt you are ordered to pay in a divorce decree.
Chapter 13 is a repayment plan, but most chapter 13 filers are not required to pay all or even most of their unsecured debt. Many pay nothing towards unsecured debt, and it is discharged upon the successful conclusion of the case.
In chapter 13 ( in addition to the documents required for chapter 7), we prepare a "chapter 13 plan" that commits you to a monthly payment you can afford to a chapter 13 trustee. It also directs the chapter 13 trustee to pay certain debts on your behalf. This will last for three to five years, depending on the circumstances. A hearing with the trustee is set about 30 days after the filing, that both you and your attorney must attend. The major purpose of the hearing is for the trustee to review the proposed chapter 13 plan, and determine whether any changes need to be made. Once any issues are resolved, your attorney will go to court to obtain approval from the bankruptcy judge.
1. EXPERIENCE. Mark has successfully handled many hundreds of chapter 7 and chapter 13 cases over the last 25 plus years. He knows the system inside out, so you get the best possible results.
2. AGGRESSIVE REPRESENTATION. Mark will strive to get you the best possible outcome that the law allows.
3. PERSONAL ATTENTION. You will deal directly with Mark, not with a non-attorney "assistant."
4. FREE PHONE CONSULTATION. Call Mark at 503-472-8610 for a free, unbiased evaluation of your particular situation. You can also email Mark at email@example.com