Bankruptcy Lawyer Manchester, CT
A bankruptcy lawyer Manchester, CT clients recommend knows that if you search hard enough, you will not have much difficulty finding someone in the news who is facing charges of bankruptcy fraud. One notable story involved a couple from one of Connecticut’s neighbors, in New Jersey. The couple appeared on a reality TV show, were accused of hiding millions of dollars in unknown accounts before filing for bankruptcy several years ago. They both pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, one count of bankruptcy fraud by concealment of assets, one count of bankruptcy fraud by false oaths, and one count of bankruptcy fraud by false declarations. The wife was sentenced to 15 months in prison and the husband was sentenced to 41 months.
Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 (BAPCPA)
If you are considering bankruptcy, it is important to understand the legal ramifications, particularly of the BAPCPA. The BAPCPA was passed in 2005, and its requirements pose a challenge for all debtors, but especially for those who attempt to file a less-than-honest bankruptcy petition. Among its requirements is the emphasis it places on a debtor to fully and completely disclose all of his or her assets when filing. If a debtor fails to list an asset on their bankruptcy schedule, they take the chance of facing serious repercussions in bankruptcy court.
If the court discovers the debtor’s failure to list an asset and finds the debtor acted in bad faith in doing so, the debtor could risk having his or her bankruptcy case dismissed. In that case, the debtor may try to file a different type of bankruptcy but will most likely lose the asset he or she was trying to conceal anyway, as the property would likely be liquidated and the proceeds used to pay off creditors.
It goes without saying that bankruptcy courts do not take such dishonesty lightly. While bankruptcy laws are meant to offer protection to honest people in financial crisis, the court is quick to punish those who try to take advantage of the process and act in bad faith.
The Importance of Having Legal Counsel During the Bankruptcy Process
It is essential for those individuals who are considering filing for bankruptcy to have a firm grasp of the relevant bankruptcy laws before filing their petition in bankruptcy court. If not, they run the risk of the law working against them instead of for them to obtain debt relief. BAPCPA is just one of the relevant laws that could affect an individual’s bankruptcy filing. Its requirements make clear that those who act in bad faith in hiding assets will suffer serious consequences in their bankruptcy case. However, it is those debtors who do not necessarily act in bad faith when filing a bankruptcy petition, but rather, without the proper knowledge of the law, who may suffer the most.
Types of Bankruptcy
When filing for bankruptcy, a Manchester CT bankruptcy lawyer can advise you on the process, but it is important to understand there are two types: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Both can apply to either individuals or businesses and can provide a fresh start, but they have different financial and legal ramifications.
In Chapter 7 bankruptcy, a trustee is appointed and charged with converting any of the debtor’s assets (house, extra car, boat, or other items) into cash and distributing it amongst creditors. The trustee is able to go after most of the bankrupt individual’s assets, but not all. You can consult a Manchester bankruptcy lawyer for clarification, but there are exemptions. Exemptions to assets the trustee can liquidate are typically those needed to work and live, which can include a modest car, some household belongings, and most retirement accounts and pensions. This process can last anywhere from three to six months, but sometimes longer. Chapter 7 bankruptcy will stay on your credit report for ten years.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy, sometimes referred to as “repayment bankruptcy,” gives the individual or business the opportunity to present a repayment plan to the court. This type of bankruptcy is designed for individuals that have a steady income. It allows the individual to reorganize or consolidate debt in order to pay back creditors in full. A Manchester bankruptcy lawyer can advise you on how long your repayment plan may take, but typically they last anywhere from three to five years, and cannot exceed five years. Unlike Chapter 7 bankruptcy, Chapter 13 only stays on an individual’s credit report for seven years.
While this provides a brief summary of the two types of bankruptcy, the intricacies of both are vast. In order to understand which type of bankruptcy you qualify for, a consultation with a bankruptcy lawyer can help. In order to get the most out of your consultation, be sure to gather the relevant documents. Typically bankruptcy lawyers will need to see a list of your outstanding debts, a list of your financial assets, and a pay stub. A copy of your credit report can also help in the initial assessment. If you decide to move forward, our bankruptcy lawyers can advise you on what other documents may be necessary to officially file for either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13.
When to Contact a Bankruptcy Lawyer
Do not be another story in the headlines. The best way to protect yourself and your family is to contact a Manchester bankruptcy lawyer when you think you might qualify for bankruptcy. You might be a good candidate for bankruptcy if you:
- Are behind on your mortgage payments
- Have substantial credit card debt
- Have astronomical medical bills you cannot pay off
- Have bills in collection
- Have other financial obligations you cannot meet
If you are at the point where the only option you have left is to use your retirement funds, that is an indication that it is time to consult Manchester bankruptcy lawyers. By consulting with our team, you might be able to file for bankruptcy and keep your retirement savings intact.
Get Your Free Consultation Today!
Do not wait any longer! Hiring an experienced Manchester, CT bankruptcy lawyer can make all the difference in cases like these. An attorney who is knowledgeable about bankruptcy laws and procedures will ensure that your petition is thoroughly and properly completed before it is filed with the court.
If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, make sure you understand all the legal requirements and ramifications of the laws. Contact the Law Offices of Ronald I. Chorches to speak with a bankruptcy lawyer in Manchester, CT today and find out how we can help.