Luzerne County Bankruptcy Attorneys
How a Bankruptcy Attorney Can Help
When your bills pile up, and declaring bankruptcy is your only way out of debt, you need a lawyer you trust to help you stabilize your finances. Bankruptcy is a federal matter, and only an attorney who is educated about the different types of bankruptcies that exist can help you avoid long-term legal and financial consequences.
Slusser Law Firm is a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy under the bankruptcy code. Our bankruptcy attorneys in Hazleton can help you and your family get back on the path toward financial safety and security. Bankruptcy protections can save your most treasured assets, including your home, car, wages, and personal belongings.
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Benefits of Declaring Bankruptcy
While every situation is unique, declaring bankruptcy can help keep the creditors at bay, as well as:
- Eliminate your responsibility for credit card and medical bills
- Stop the foreclosure process on your home or automobile
- Put an end to wage garnishment off of your latest paycheck
How Do You Declare Bankruptcy in Pennsylvania?
Before you can get any benefits of bankruptcy, you need to declare it officially. Declaring bankruptcy in Pennsylvania is a multistep process. It is highly recommended that you hire a bankruptcy attorney to assist with every step of your bankruptcy filing, including the initial declaration.
The basic steps of declaring bankruptcy in Pennsylvania are:
- Obtain and complete a copy of your necessary Pennsylvania bankruptcy forms, which might differ depending on the bankruptcy chapter you are using.
- Complete a credit counseling course if required to do so.
- Pay any court filing fees and deliver the completed bankruptcy forms to your local bankruptcy court, which might be part of a larger or county courthouse.
- Send a copy of your bankruptcy forms to trustees if any exist.
What is the Difference Between Chapter 7 & 13 Bankruptcy?
When you declare bankruptcy as an individual, you will probably have two choices for your filing: Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. The bankruptcy chapter that works best for you will be dependent on your financial situation. What might work for one person might not be correct for you, so consult our Hazleton bankruptcy attorneys to understand which bankruptcy form should be used.
Our attorneys would be happy to help you decide to file for:
- Chapter 7: When your debt is overwhelming and your income is likely not enough to make a significant difference in repaying it, you might benefit most from using Chapter 7 bankruptcy or liquidation bankruptcy. Chapter 7 bankruptcy can discharge large amounts of unsecured debt all at once, but it can also make a noticeable impact on your credit score. You might also risk some of your assets to repossession if you do not qualify for all of Pennsylvania’s bankruptcy exemptions.
- Chapter 13: When your debt could be manageable with some help and adjustments, Chapter 13 bankruptcy or the wage earning’s plan might be right for you. Under Chapter 13, your debts will be reduced through negotiations with creditors. You will then have three to five years to repay the remaining debt amount as best you can. Anything that remains after the repayment plan ends can be discharged. Although you are not eliminating your full debt, Chapter 13 can still be the best option because it protects your credit score and assets more thoroughly than Chapter 7.
Does Bankruptcy Clear All Debt?
As mentioned, Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a useful tool to discharge massive amounts of debt. In some cases, it can be used to eliminate a bankruptcy filer’s entire debt. However, it is common for there to be secured debts that cannot be cleared so easily.
A secured debt is a debt that is tied to a piece of property that you own as “collateral.” If your bankruptcy filing discharges a secured debt, then the collateral property will likely be seized by its related lender or institution. For example, most auto loans and mortgages are secured, and failing to pay them can result in the loss of your automobile and home, respectively.
There are also debts that are difficult to clear due to steeper legal requirements to prove that they “impose an undue hardship on you and your dependents” than compared to most other forms of debt. Student loans, in particular, are infamous for being incredibly difficult to eliminate in bankruptcy despite them being unsecured – i.e., there is no collateral property tied to the student loan.
Don’t Fear Bankruptcy – Use It to Your Advantage
Serving clients throughout Eastern Pennsylvania, the attorneys at Slusser Law Firm can help you get your life back on track and give you the peace of mind you deserve. We can show you that bankruptcy can be incredibly helpful and act as the first step to a better financial future.