Bankruptcy Lawyer Hartford, CT
If you’re thinking about filing for bankruptcy in Connecticut, you should speak to a bankruptcy lawyer Hartford, CT residents trust. Bankruptcy can be a stressful ordeal, so it helps to have someone knowledgeable and experienced on your side. A lawyer can guide you through the entire process and protect your legal rights.
- Things You Should Do Before Filing for Bankruptcy
- Things You Should Do Before Filing for Bankruptcy Infographic
- Commonly Misunderstood Facts About Bankruptcy
- Is Chapter 7 Right for Me?
- Understanding the Different Types of Bankruptcy
- Do’s and Dont’s of Bankruptcy
- Bankruptcy and Your Credit Score
Things You Should Do Before Filing for Bankruptcy
Filing bankruptcy is a big decision and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Although it can get rid of most of your debts and give you a financial fresh start, bankruptcy can negatively affect your credit in the beginning. Here are some important steps to take before you file for bankruptcy:
Gather All Your Financial Documents
Before you file for bankruptcy, it’s important to find important financial documents and put them in a folder. These documents may include tax returns, bank statements, credit reports, mortgage statements and collection letters.
Understand That Bankruptcy Takes Time
While it would be nice if you could finish the bankruptcy process quickly, it’s not realistic. Chapter 7 bankruptcy typically takes between four and six months to complete while Chapter 13 bankruptcy can take between three and five years to complete. Therefore, you must be patient.
Have Cash Available
If you file for bankruptcy, there is a chance your bank will freeze your funds. Although the bank will eventually unfreeze your funds, it can take time. That’s why you should have cash readily available to pay your bills in the meantime.
Complete a Credit Counseling Course
Before you declare bankruptcy, you’re required to complete a credit counseling course. These courses are typically offered online and can be completed fairly quickly. After you complete it, the agency will send you and your bankruptcy lawyer in Hartford, CT a certificate of completion.
Create a New Budget
To avoid getting into another financial mess in the future, it’s important to assess your current budget and determine what expenses you can cut out. For instance, instead of going out to restaurants several nights a week, cook at home more.
Talk to a Lawyer
An experienced bankruptcy lawyer can assess your current financial situation and determine if bankruptcy is truly the best option for you. He or she can also help you choose between Chapter 13 and Chapter 7 bankruptcy. For instance, if you have a full-time job and want to keep your home, your lawyer may suggest filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
Schedule a consultation with a bankruptcy lawyer in Hartford CT from The Law Offices of Ronald I. Chorches today.
Things You Should Do Before Filing for Bankruptcy Infographic
Commonly Misunderstood Facts About Bankruptcy
If you are considering filing for bankruptcy it is important that you understand everything you can about the process. You might have some misconceptions that would lead you to believe things that are not completely accurate and that could point you in the wrong direction. One of your first steps is to work with an experienced bankruptcy lawyer in Hartford, CT. The other step is to clear up any myths that are not an accurate portrayal of bankruptcy.
Anyone Can File for a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
To meet the requirements of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy you must be eligible in a few important areas. The first is the amount of income you take in on an annual basis. In Connecticut, this threshold for qualification must fall below the average median income of the state. If you make more than this, you can not file under Chapter 7 provisions. Our team at the Law Offices of Ronald I. Chorches will inform you of other options.
All Assets Are Subject to Liquidation in Chapter 7
If you are in a difficult situation but you are resisting bankruptcy because you do not wish to lose all of your assets, you should understand that some assets are exempt from liquidation to pay creditors. These holdings typically include your primary vehicle, the equity in your primary home and some personal belongings. Other assets such as investments and second homes or vehicles could be used to pay bills. You can learn more about this topic when consulting with a bankruptcy lawyer in Hartford, CT.
A Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Is Always the Best Option
While a Chapter 7 bankruptcy tends to be quicker, it is not always the best option, depending upon your circumstances. In some cases, you could have too much income or you might have assets you wish to protect from liquidation. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy can have advantages, which we can explain in detail at the Law Offices of Ronald I. Chorches. This option allows you to develop a sound plan to pay off your debts and is particularly appropriate for individuals with a steady income.
Bankruptcy Should Be Avoided at All Costs
While filing for bankruptcy is always a difficult decision, there are times when it is the best decision. It can allow you to make a fresh start and reduce the stress that comes with accumulating bills. A bankruptcy lawyer in Hartford, CT can advise you on your options.
Is Chapter 7 Right for Me?
Deciding to file for bankruptcy is the furthest thing from an easy decision. While the pressure from your creditors can feel unbearable, it’s reasonable to be concerned about your property and the future of your credit. With so much at stake, you need a bankruptcy lawyer in Hartford, CT on your side. The Law Offices of Ronald I. Chorches will be able to advise you on your best course of action while guiding you through the filing process with care and sensitivity.
While there are 3 types of bankruptcy filings, Chapter 7 is the most common for individuals and households. This is because Chapter 7 bankruptcy is relatively quick and simple. This form of bankruptcy satisfies your creditors with revenue raised from liquidated assets and is typically resolved in a short period of time. Still, it’s important to consult with a bankruptcy lawyer in Hartford, CT to get the full picture. Here are somethings to consider before you file.
The Law Offices of Ronald I. Chorches will tell you that US bankruptcy law is very clear on its eligibility requirements for filing Chapter 7. Your income is an important factor in whether or not you’ll qualify. To qualify for Chapter 7, your income must fall below the median household income in the state of Connecticut. If your income is higher than the state median you will be required to complete a state administered means test. If you are unable to pass the means test, then you may qualify for a different form of bankruptcy.
What Assets Do You Hold
Chapter 7 is a liquidation based bankruptcy settlement. This means that the court will allow you to liquidate assets in order to fulfill your obligation to your creditors. The court divides property into two categories: exempt and non-exempt. Exempt property is protected from liquidation and typically includes thing like primary motor vehicles, equity in your home and necessary household furniture. Non-exempt property is fair game for liquidation. This includes rental properties, investments and additional vehicles.
If you’re ever confused about your eligibility for Chapter 7, the Law Offices of Law Offices of Ronald I. Chorches will be able to clear things up for you. Not only will they be able to advise you on how to file, but they will also be there every step of the way as you deal with the courts and creditors. If you’re considering filing for bankruptcy, don’t wait another moment to call The Law Offices of Ronald I. Chorches.
Understanding the Different Types of Bankruptcy
Filing for bankruptcy isn’t something that should be taken lightly. It is a major decision that will impact your life for several years after filing. Before you file, it is important to understand the two different types of bankruptcy. The two types have some overlap, but also major differences, so it is important to know which one will benefit your situation the most. Speaking with an experienced bankruptcy lawyer in Hartford, CT can help you understand what options are best for you. Call The Law Offices of Ronald I. Chorches today to set up a consultation with our team. They can help you learn more about the two types of bankruptcy, and which one is best suited to your situation.
The most common form of bankruptcy that people file. Chapter 7 eliminates specific kinds of debt including high bills, loss of income, and medical expenses.If you file for Chapter 7, you will liquidate your assets to pay off your debts. This means that your house, car, and furniture and other assets may be sold to pay your debts. Depending on your situation, you may not have a say over what assets are liquidated, which can be a downside for some people.
Nevertheless, one of the benefits of Chapter 7 bankruptcy is that it stops debt collectors from issuing collections notices. Debt collectors can be very aggressive, and stopping contact can relieve a lot of stress. However, it is important to know that some of the debts can not be satisfied by Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Debt from child support, student loans, homeowners association fees, and some forms of tax debt are not covered by Chapter 7 and you will still be responsible for them even if you file. A bankruptcy lawyer in Hartford, CT from The Law Offices of Ronald I. Chorches can help you understand the nuances of Chapter 7.
Other people decide to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy because it allows you to keep your property while making a plan to pay off your debt in a certain amount of time – the average being 5 years. Chapter 13 is a good option for people who owe a lot of money, but have a stable income. It will allow you to form a plan to pay off a portion of your debts over an agreed upon time period. If you successfully follow your plan, then the remaining debt will be forgiven.
This form of bankruptcy is more flexible. It can be dismissed if you no longer need debt protection or it can be converted to Chapter 7 if you are unable to complete it. Another advantage of Chapter 13 bankruptcy is that it stops foreclosure, eviction, and repossession of your assets. Chapter 13 bankruptcy can also allow you to have different types of debt forgiven such as government fines or penalties, property damage you are responsible for, and homeowner’s association fees.
Do’s and Dont’s of Bankruptcy
Do Report All Income
When your bankruptcy lawyer in Hartford, CT, asks you to disclose all your income, you must report every source. Earnings include everything you put into the bank, such as:
- Weekly wages
- Tips and bonuses
- Child support and alimony deposits
- Rental property income
- Social Security
- Spouse’s and dependant’s income
The courts use your income to determine if you qualify for bankruptcy. Leaving money out may result in you needing to file a different type of bankruptcy or disqualifying you altogether. If you realize you have forgotten to include some earnings, reach out to a lawyer at the Law Offices of Ronald I. Chorches for assistance.
Do Make Payments On Non-Dischargeable Debts
When you file bankruptcy, you may decide to keep some of your loan accounts, such as your home or your car. A bankruptcy lawyer in Hartford, CT, can help you determine which assets you should leave out of your case. It’s also possible that some of your debts don’t qualify for relief, such as child support and back taxes. While bankruptcy stops collection on your accounts, it doesn’t allow you to stop making payments on the accounts that you didn’t include in the filing. In the case that you want to keep your property, a lawyer from the Law Offices of Ronald I. Chorches may advise you to continue making your required payments throughout the filing process. If you get behind on these bills, the creditors have the right to collect their property. This situation can leave you without a home or car at a time when establishing new credit can be difficult.
Don’t Transfer Assets To Relatives
Since the courts look at all your income and assets when establishing whether you qualify for bankruptcy, it may be tempting to hide what you own to prevent the forced sale or disqualification. However, this is a poor decision because the trustee reviews your financial records during the first meeting. They have the right to retrieve these assets and use them in your case. Trying to hide these things can lead to a discharge and even criminal charges against you. Speak with your bankruptcy lawyer in Hartford, CT, before giving money to anyone for any reason, even at your family member’s request.
Don’t Make Any Large Purchases After You File
All your qualifiable debt gets automatically included in your bankruptcy case. If you choose to go and get a new loan or credit card and use it to make purchases after you file, but before the courts close your case, this can be a red flag to the courts. Any new accounts may interfere with and prolong your case.
Bankruptcy and Your Credit Score
If you are struggling with an excessive amount of debt and considering filing personal bankruptcy, one of your biggest concerns is likely to be the potential impact on your credit rating. While you may have heard stories about how bankruptcy ruins your credit rating and remains a bad mark on your credit report for 10 years, the truth about the actual impact of bankruptcy on your credit may surprise you. The following is a brief overview, however, a bankruptcy lawyer in Hartford, CT can provide more detailed information regarding your particular situation.
As bankruptcy involves discharging debts and offering creditors less than the actual amount owed, this obviously does not earn you good marks in terms of your credit rating. At the same time, dealing with the issue head-on is preferable to struggling with missed or late payments and creditor collection calls over the course of several years.
Your credit rating, or FICO score, is based on a variety of different types of information, and it factors in both positive and negative information from the major credit reporting agencies. The following lists the percentage each type of information carries in determining your credit rating:
- Payment history: 35 percent
- Amount owed: 30 percent
- Length of credit history: 15 percent
- New credit: 10 percent
- The mix of credit you have:10 percent
Based on the above, having a large number of outstanding debts and making slow or no payments does significant damage to your FICO score. Most people do not go into bankruptcy with a strong credit rating, and even though it may lower your score by 100 points or more, taking the steps to address the situation now is likely to have a more positive effect in the long run.
Your Credit After Filing Bankruptcy
Bankruptcy is designed to give you a fresh start at rebuilding your credit. While your filing may remain on your credit report for up to 10 years, the method shown above for calculating your credit score shows how establishing new credit and making prompt payments could easily offset any negative effects.
Once your bankruptcy is filed and your debts have been discharged, obtain a copy of your credit report to ensure all debts have been properly addressed. Your next step should be obtaining a secured credit card to begin reestablishing your payment history. Once you have made several months of payments, you can try applying for an unsecured account. You may be considered a subprime borrower at first, meaning that banks and credit card companies can charge you higher interest rates. Provided you do not overextend yourself and make regular payments, you should see your credit score begin to substantially increase in as little as a year.
How Our Bankruptcy Law Firm Can Help
Being deeply in debt and unable to make payments is already having a negative impact on your credit rating. To find out how filing for bankruptcy could help in your situation, call The Law Offices of Ronald I. Chorches to meet with a dedicated Hartford CT bankruptcy lawyer and being the steps to a new financial life.