The Law Office of Trista R. Christensen is experienced in Bankruptcy Law and is committed to providing outstanding legal representation to individuals facing difficult and severe financial challenges. Our Law Office dedicates itself on professional, compassionate service to each client’s individual needs. The Law Office of Trista R. Christensen will assist you in getting your life back on track.
Have you become overwhelmed by debt? Are you being harassed by creditors, sued for unpaid debts, are your wages being garnished, is your home being foreclosed, or is your car being repossessed? If so, it might be time for you to explore your options, including Bankruptcy, with the Law Office of Trista R. Christensen.
Bankruptcy is a legal proceeding in which a person who cannot pay his or her bills can get a fresh start. The right to file for bankruptcy is provided by Federal Law, and all Bankruptcy cases are handled in Federal Court. Filing Bankruptcy immediately stops all of your creditors from seeking to collect debts from you, at least until your debts are sorted out according to the Bankruptcy Code.The Law Office of Trista R. Christensen will evaluate your financial situation carefully and assist you in deciding whether you should file for Bankruptcy protection under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code.
The goal in a Bankruptcy case is to get a discharge from your debts. A discharge means that you are not legally required to pay the debt and the creditor is barred from trying to collect.
The two types of personal Bankruptcy are as follows:
Chapter 7 is available to debtors who are unable to pay their debts. The goal in a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is to wipe out your debts in exchange for giving up property that is not exempt. In most cases, a debtor’s personal property, including real estate and motor vehicle are exempt and therefore protected in a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy case.
The following debts are typically not dis-chargeable in a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy case.
Money owed for child support or alimony;
Debts not listed on your Bankruptcy Petition;
Loans acquired by knowingly giving false information to a creditor;
Debts resulting from “willful and malicious” harm.
A typical Chapter 7 case takes approximately four to six months to obtain a Discharge from the Bankruptcy Court.
Chapter 13 is a repayment of all or part of a debtor’s debts. Chapter 13 is for debtors who have regular income. In a Chapter 13 case, a plan is filed with the Bankruptcy Court which shows the Court how you will pay off some of your debts over either a three or five year plan.
A Chapter 13 plan is right for a debtor if:
The debtor owns their own home and are in danger of losing it due to financial difficulties;
The debtor is behind on debt payments, but could catch up if given some time to pay;
The debtor owns valuable property which is not exempt, but can afford to pay creditor’s from income over time; and
The debtor does not qualify to file a Chapter 7.
In order to determine if you qualify to file a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Petition, you must pass a “means test”. This test determines whether you have disposable income each month to pay your debts over a three to five year period. If you are unable to pass the “means test” or prefer to pay your creditors, your debts can be reorganized through a Chapter 13 plan. In order to obtain a discharge in a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy case, you will have to complete your payments under the plan.
Prior to filing a Bankruptcy case, each debtor must complete a Credit Counseling Course. Prior to the Court granting a discharge, a debtor must also complete a Financial Management Course. Each course can be completed online or over the telephone.
For a free initial consultation to review your financial situation and determine if Bankruptcy is right for you, please contact the Law Office of Trista R. Christensen, via e-mail or call us at (978) 741-0033. Evening appointments are available upon request.