You Can’t Handle Bankruptcy Alone
Bankruptcy is a difficult time for many in their lives. As the debt is building up around them they feel like they’re out of options and need to find a way to escape. Unfortunately, because of the stigmas that surround bankruptcy, many consider it the worst possible option. This is why those of us at Blake Goodman want to help the residents of Maui with their bankruptcy concerns. We offer consultation appointments that can help you not only decide if bankruptcy consultation really is the only option left to you but what kind of bankruptcy you qualify for and how you can recover from it.
Consultation appointments for bankruptcy are just as they sound. A consultation. We can use the opportunity to explain the bankruptcy process and maybe look at your financial situation and see just how much help you need.
Scheduling a consultation appointment is not the same as filing for bankruptcy. It’s merely exploring bankruptcy and seeing what your options are. There is no requirement to file for bankruptcy after a consultation, but a chance to gain knowledge, and when it comes to your finances there is no such thing as too much information.
What We May Need for a Consultation
It’s understandable if you aren’t sure what you will be in need of for a bankruptcy consultation appointment. We can give you a little bit of oversight into what you should at least be considering before you come to speak to us in our Maui office.
When you come into your consultation we want you to bring questions and don’t be afraid of something being considered a dumb question. It can be as simple as “What is bankruptcy?” or something that requires a little more analysis of your case like “How long will it take me to recover from bankruptcy?” there are few questions you can ask in relation to bankruptcy that we can’t answer.
Understand why you are here
When you come in to speak with us we want you to understand what it is that led to you seeking bankruptcy consultation. Have you failed to pay off credit cards due to spending more than you can afford, or did you lose a job and couldn’t afford to pay your bills. Medical expenses, massive changes in life, we’ve seen it all, and understanding your specific situation will give us a better opportunity to help you.
Have an open mind
Bankruptcy is a scary thing and hearing that you should in fact explore it might sound scary and give you cold feet, but think of the potential benefits of hitting the reset button vs trying to live with your current situation in debt. With bankruptcy, there’s a possibility that all of your debts will be wiped away and you will be given a fresh opportunity with your finances. Some cases even result in a consolidated payment plan. If you try to tough it out then you may one day pull yourself out of debt, but sometimes that can take far longer than it should.
The biggest step in bankruptcy is deciding that it is a necessary fix for your finances. Once you have accepted that you can begin walking the path of improvement. It’s not a quick fix by any means, but sometimes it’s the best option available to you.
When Should I Come In for Bankruptcy Consultation?
Look at the amount of debt you have accrued. Now consider how long it will take to clear that debt. Is it going to take longer than seven years? Is there a chance of you needing to take out another loan to help pay debts? Is there a chance of you being foreclosed on, having your car repossessed, or having to give up valuable expensive items in order to pay off these debts? If you fit into any of these scenarios then you should consider bankruptcy consultation.
If you spend time trying to pay off your debt, but it’s going to take 10 years to do so, and in the process, you are going to be foreclosed on? Is that really worth it? Bankruptcy can help you get out of debt faster. It’s going to hurt, and it will not be easy, but at Blake Goodman, we can help you get through it and also help you understand what your exact bankruptcy plan is going to be.
The most common form of bankruptcy is Chapter 7. This will liquidize your assets and in turn, those assets will then be used to discharge your debts. This reset button is great for when your debt is inescapable with no real alternatives. The downsides, of course, come in the liquidation of your assets in ways such as potentially losing your home or any extra cars you may possess.
Chapter 7 will also remain on your credit report for at least seven years, but while that is happening you will have those seven years to rebuild your credit profile. Instead of spending seven years in debt trying to recover you will spend seven years without debt trying to build yourself up. It’s a far better position to be in.
Whether or not to file Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is a big decision, and shouldn’t be taken lightly. So, here are some advantages of Chapter 7 that will help you to have a better understanding.
- It prevents lenders or creditors from taking aggressive and forceful action to collect the debt.
- Chapter 7 will stop cold any lawsuits, foreclosures, car repossessions and allow you to decide what the best plan of action is to keep or surrender things that you can’t afford.
- The case will force you to become more disciplined with your debt habits. If you ever plan to take out a debt soon, then you will feel more responsible and take better measures to make sure you don’t get in over your head again.
- Chapter 7 Bankruptcy can protect your property, bank accounts, and wages—permanently.
When your Chapter 7 Bankruptcy attorney files for you, you will have to appear at one mandatory meeting. After that, in the huge majority of cases there will be no further hearings, and your case will be over in a few short months. When you schedule bankruptcy consultation with us, we can help you understand this process and see if it’s the best option for you.
Another form of bankruptcy that we frequently consult about is Chapter 13. This form of bankruptcy has the potential to lose fewer assets and takes all of your debts and consolidates them into monthly payments.
As you make these monthly payments you are in turn paying off your debts over an arranged period of time that is agreed upon in court. If you miss payments then you could potentially have your case dismissed and have none of your debts forgiven so it is imperative with Chapter 13 that debts are repaid. There are certain stipulations that go into deciding if you qualify for Chapter 13 such as how much debt you have and your income level. If you meet the requirements then you may qualify for Chapter 13 bankruptcy and its entire process.
Under Chapter 13, the petitioner files a case and submits a reorganization plan that requests that after all payments are made, the debtor will be forgiven of all remaining balances on his/her debts, and as well safeguards all income and assets against levy, garnishment, repossession or foreclosure. It is opted for by many people, when filing a Chapter 7 filing would force the liquidation of any unprotected assets.
The debts owed for child support, alimony payments, and recent taxes will be paid in full in by the plan, but as in Chapter 7, student loans not paid in full during the plan will remain non-dischargeable. The process on Maui involves the following steps:
- The applicant has to provide the list of creditors and the amount due, disclose all business and wage income, claim all reasonable and necessary living expenses, and disclose recent financial transactions and certain events.
- The listing of property must also be submitted as well as the accounting information of all contracts and leases written in the debtor’s name.
- Tax Information which includes a copy of most recent federal tax return.
- The debtor also proposes a repayment plan for the debt.
The judge will hold a hearing confirming the proposed plan. At the hearing, it is determined whether the plan meets the basic requirements of the Bankruptcy Code or not. If the creditors have any objection to the plan, then they must raise these at the hearing. At last, the court enters the final decision.
If the plan is confirmed, then the creditors are stayed from attempting to recover any debt under the period specified by the plan’s duration. Any one creditor that fails to respect the terms of the plan has to often face severe penalties. As long as you stick to the basic settlement, and there are no late or delinquent payments, you will have completed your plan and receive your discharge. Schedule a consultation with Blake Goodman to learn more.
Not in Maui? Come See Our Other Offices!
At Blake Goodman, we strive to help as many of you as possible. This is why we have offices in not only Maui, but in O’ahu as well. Be sure to check out our other website DebtfreeHawaii.com to read about our other locations.
You may be in need of help for bankruptcy in a place other than Maui and we want to help you. We will do our best to help any residents of this beautiful state. Everyone deserves someone to represent them during bankruptcy.