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Filing For Bankruptcy With a Hawaii Bankruptcy Attorney
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One of the major dilemmas with bankruptcy is how many people do not know the facts about bankruptcy. In a situation that can be as dire and important feeling as to whether you should declare bankruptcy or not it’s important to be informed about the decision you will be making.
You need to keep yourself informed about not only Chapter 7 bankruptcy but Chapter 13 bankruptcy as well. Gaining knowledge about your potential options, what they mean for you, and what you will need to do after you declare will better prepare you for your eventual recovery if the decision is made to declare for bankruptcy.
If you are unsure if bankruptcy is what you need then do not be afraid to schedule an appointment with those of us at Blake Goodman in one of our Hawaii offices. We can help explain to you what Bankruptcy in Hawaii is like and why it may or may not be your best option.
Hawaii bankruptcy lawyer Blake Goodman overall helps people throughout Oahu take back their lives and gain financial freedom. Our bankruptcy, tax resolution and debt settlement office is one of the largest bankruptcy filers in the state. We help all types of people in all types of situations.
For military personnel, our office offers bankruptcy services, as well as legal advice regarding bankruptcy and security clearances.
Hawaii Bankruptcy in General
Americans learn almost from birth that it’s a good thing to buy all sorts of goods and services. A highly paid army of persuaders saying “buy, buy, buy.” Easily available credit makes living beyond one’s means easy and resisting the siren sounds of the advertisers difficult. However, we’re also told that if we fail to pay for it all right on time, we’re miserable deadbeats. As past clients can testify, it’s easy to fall into this trap.
If for some reason such as illness, loss of work or just bad planning, our ability to pay for the goods and services we need is interrupted, fear and guilt are often our first feelings.
Well, I say that’s nonsense. There is a lot more to life than an A+ credit report rating, and a person is more than the sum of their finances. Remember, large creditors expect defaults and bankruptcies and treat them as a cost of doing business. The reason so many credit card companies exist is because it is a very profitable business, even with so many bankruptcies.
If you suddenly find yourself without a job, unexpected medical bills, or struggling under an impossible debt load, contact us. Our Hawaii bankruptcy attorney’s can help provide a chance for a fresh start.
A Brief Overview of Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Hawaii
A Chapter 7 bankruptcy is sometimes called “straight” bankruptcy, which cancels most of your debts. The Chapter 7 bankruptcy process takes about three to four months. In most cases, it only requires only one trip to the courthouse. Filing for bankruptcy immediately stops your creditors from trying to collect what you owe them. So, at least temporarily, creditors cannot legally garnish your wages, go after your car, house, or other property.
You may be wondering what happens exactly during Chapter 7 bankruptcy, and that’s okay. To explain, the automatic stay may be a feature of bankruptcy law that goes into effect right away upon submitting a petition. This forces creditors to prevent all assortment actions (like foreclosures, repossessions, garnishments, and evictions) against the actual debtor. Throughout this method, the gathering and distribution of assets will occur in line with a good and orderly methodology as per the Bankruptcy Code. Overall, filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy can provide you with the time to review your best choices with a professional Hawaii bankruptcy attorney.
Individual debtors are entitled to stay bound assets free from the claims of creditors, below federal or state exemption laws. Typical exemptions are the homestead exemption (equity in personal residence), money worth of insurance policies, social unit furnishings, clothing, and wages. Tools utilized in the debtor’s job are protected. The overall number of the exemption depends on whether or not federal or state exemptions are obtainable and or used.
What can you keep if you file a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
Normally you will be able to keep the assets you own free and clear. This includes your house and furnishings, cars, and jewelry (to a certain value), and other basic items. These items are called “exempt property.”
At the end of the bankruptcy process, most of your debts are wiped out (discharged) by the court. You no longer legally owe your creditors. As a result, you can’t file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy again for another eight years.
If you are deeply in debt, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy may seem like a magic wand. But, there are drawbacks. First, a record of filing the bankruptcy will remain on your credit report for the next ten years. This will make it more difficult to get credit. Second, Hawaii bankruptcy can get intrusive. You are required to disclose your financial activities during the previous year, as well as your current property holdings.
A Brief Overview of Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Hawaii
There is another type of bankruptcy, called a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Hawaii lets you discharge most of your debts by paying all or a portion of them over a three to five-year period.
To file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you fill out a packet of forms listing all your money, property, expenses, debts and income. You then file them with the bankruptcy court. As in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the act of filing immediately stops your creditors from taking further action against you. The automatic stay can stop foreclosure and stop car repossession. This allows you time to review your options to save your property with your bankruptcy lawyer. In addition, you must file with the court a workable plan to repay your debts, including student loans, given your income and expenses. Usually you make payments directly to a bankruptcy trustee who in turn distributes the money to your creditors.
In addition to even qualify for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you must ensure that you have all the following:
- Regular income
- Unsecured debts of less than $419,275
- Secured debts of less than $1,257,850 (these dollar amounts are usually increased every three years according to a set formula).
Within all chapter 13 cases, there is usually a trustee appointed but their role is much more limited than their role within a Chapter 7 case. However, the small business debtor is actually allowed to continue their business. A debtor just receives a discharge when the debtor has completed all payments under the plan, when it comes to Chapter 13.
When a discharge occurs in bankruptcy, it generally means that a debtor’s obligations are completely wiped out or erased. A granted discharge is when it protects the debtor in question from personal liability on the discharged debt. However, a discharge is only available to those for certain types of debt.
Our firm has never seen a debtor successfully represent themselves under Chapter 13’s complex mandates without the assistance of a competent bankruptcy lawyer. We have seen plenty of mistakes and issues without a proper representative assisting. We always strongly suggest to contact to contact and receive a consultation from an experienced Hawaii bankruptcy attorney that understands how to get through Chapter 13 law.
What Will Happen to My Credit?
To be blunt, whether you file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy it is going to do massive damage to your credit. Many people take years to recover their credit score from the effects of bankruptcy and it becomes difficult to apply for items such as credit cards when you have a bankruptcy on your file.
However, filing for bankruptcy does not mean the end of the world for you or your credit. For starters, by process of paying back debts, you are already taking a positive step towards fixing your credit. With an eventual clean slate you will be able to prove to creditors that you were worth a second chance by paying back any credit charges or debts on your name that you accrue after bankruptcy. Over time your credit score will rise again. If you need help with this then ask us for how we can help guide you back to the land of positive credit.
One of the ways many people build up their credit score is through car and mortgage payments. A fear that many have is that they will not be able to qualify for largescale loans after bankruptcy, but we’ve had multiple clients that have qualified for home and car loans while still in the process of filing for bankruptcy.
If you come in to speak with us and we decide that Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy is the best course of action for you then we can help you make a plan for what you will do after your bankruptcy case has been filed to repair your credit score. Within two years you may even be able to reach 720 again.
Keep Your Chin Up
We even provide flexible payment options. We fully understand that most of our clients can find it difficult to pay the full fee upfront. With just $100, you can surely retain our amazing services and we can answer any questions you may have for us. In addition, we can start handling all those annoying creditor calls that may be coming your way. In time, payments can be made and once your fee is fully paid, we can always move forwards with a new fresh new start.
Bankruptcy is not the end of the world decision that many feel it is. You should not feel shame or embarrassment about getting a second chance financially and Bankruptcy is one of the ways to earn that second chance. Do not let the world shame you for seeking out help.
If you do decide to file for bankruptcy, then be ready to make a change in your life. A change that will have long lasting positive effects. It will not be easy, but when you are 10 years down the line and free of financial burdens you may feel better about yourself. There is nothing wrong with having the courage to stand up to financial debt and say that you are tired of it. Everyone deserves a second chance so why not you?
Have more questions about Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy? Contact us today!
Contact bankruptcy attorney Blake Goodman to get help with your Honolulu bankruptcy. You can either call us at 808-528-4274 or use our online contact page. Explain your situation and we will try to get back to you as soon as possible. Start taking your life back from debt and build towards a brighter future.