BILLINGS, MT BANKRUPTCY
Are you struggling with rising debt? Are you unable to sleep at night because you’re worried about your finances? Are you concerned you may lose your house? Are creditors hounding you day and night? If so, it may be time to consider bankruptcy as a way of wiping the slate clean and starting over. Unfortunately, many individuals and families have misconceptions about bankruptcy and therefore, they miss out on the opportunities to finally regain control of their debt.
Although the perception by many is that bankruptcy filings are the result of reckless spending, in fact, the vast majority of bankruptcies result from the loss of a job or crushing medical expenses among lower income individuals. Bankruptcy laws vary widely from state to state, however the state with the most bankruptcy filings in 2011 was California, with 240,000. That year, California’s bankruptcies accounted for 17 percent of all bankruptcies across the United States.
Along with California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois and Ohio accounted for a disproportionate number of bankruptcy filings—about 38 percent of the nation’s total. Statistics show that as many as half of all bankruptcies are related to overwhelming medical expenses for an unexpected illness or injury. These expenses include losing work due to a medical crisis, medical expenses not covered by insurance, or medical expenses for the uninsured. Other common causes of bankruptcy include the loss of a job, unexpected expenses, divorce, and reduced income.
Joe Frick Law, PLLC is here to help. We are a federally authorized debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code. We focus on helping individuals and companies file under Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 of the United States Bankruptcy Code.
Now, bankruptcy is not for everyone. However, if most of your answers to the questions above are yes, then bankruptcy may be the best option and can provide you the relief you need to get some breathing room and get a fresh start.
Stopping the Creditors
Bankruptcy provides debt relief to individuals and companies when they need it the most. Creditors and collections agencies may constantly be calling at the moment. However, as soon as you file your bankruptcy petition, the “automatic stay” immediately goes into effect. The automatic stay is an injunction against almost all creditors and debt collection agencies barring them from attempting to collect on a debt in any way shape or form during your bankruptcy case.
Should You File for Montana Bankruptcy?
For those who have more debts than could realistically ever be repaid, bankruptcy is a type of legal relief. Depending on the type of bankruptcy filed, eligible debtors could get a completely fresh financial start, or they could be allowed to restructure their debt, paying it out over a period of time from 3-5 years. While bankruptcy could be a good choice for you, it is extremely important that you consider both the pros and cons of bankruptcy prior to filing, as there are some negative aspects of bankruptcy as well. Think about your reasons for considering bankruptcy.
If your primary concern is harassment from your creditors, there are federal and state debt collection laws which protect consumers from abusive and/or harassing debt collection tactics. You might also seek help from a non-profit credit or debt-counseling agency who will work with you to help you repay your debt. If you determine filing bankruptcy is simply the best choice for you, having an experienced Montana bankruptcy attorney by your side to help you through the many complexities can help give you peace of mind.
What Type of Montana Bankruptcy Should You File?
While there is no minimum amount of debt you must owe in order to file bankruptcy in the state of Montana, you must owe considerably more debt than you could realistically pay. Often known as “straight” bankruptcy, Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is the most common type of bankruptcy proceeding, and, usually, the simplest. Debtors are allowed to keep exempt property, while non-exempt property is turned over to sell and pay off some creditors. Almost all your debt will be discharged in a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy filing, meaning you will no longer be legally obligated to pay those debts.
If your business is in financial trouble, you might consider Chapter 11 Bankruptcy, often called Business Reorganization. Chapter 11 allows your business a bit of time while you reorganize your finances. The goal of Chapter 11 is to allow businesses to stay open, working through the financial difficulties. If you are self-employed, or your business is operated as a proprietorship, you could be eligible to file for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy. Chapter 12 Bankruptcy helps far families get back on their feed by extending the time for debt repayment, as well as reducing principal and interest on a farm loan. Finally, Chapter 13 Bankruptcy is for those who have a regular income. Chapter 13 allows you a bit more flexibility in deciding which assets to keep, as well as extending the time for debt repayment.
Getting the Help You Need from a Billings Bankruptcy Lawyer
Montana has an exemption of $250,000 worth of equity in your home, exemption of pension benefits, and exemption of certain property such as tools of the trade, automobiles, life insurance and household furnishings, up to a specific limit. Filing bankruptcy comes with many forms to fill out as well as many deadlines.
Filing for a Montana bankruptcy can be stressful and difficult. To alleviate much of that stress, contact an experienced Billings bankruptcy attorney today. Your attorney can help you decide if bankruptcy is right for you. If you do choose bankruptcy in Montana, your Billings bankruptcy lawyer will be with you every step of the way to protect your rights and your future.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Chapter 7 is the most common bankruptcy for individuals to file, and for good reason. A Chapter 7 will discharge (erase) most, if not all, of your unsecured debts. Unsecured debts include items such as your credit card bills, personal loans, and medical bills. There are several steps involved filing a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy and receiving a discharge, and the first step is consulting with an experienced Bankruptcy Attorney to determine if it is right for you. The process can last up to one year, but is typically over within six to eight months.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
A Chapter 13 Bankruptcy is a powerful debt relief tool, and in some cases a better option for individuals. It differs from a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in that it is a repayment plan and you can keep all of your property. You repay your debts over a three to five year period, and receive additional relief at the end of the repayment period if you comply with all the terms of the repayment plan.
A Chapter 13 can stop a foreclosure and allow you to keep your house. If you are behind on your mortgage payments, the payments you missed in the past will be incorporated into your repayment plan.
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