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If you or a loved one are considering the possibility of entering bankruptcy proceedings, it is important that you understand the full range of options to consider. Bankruptcy law offers several paths to eliminating outstanding financial debt, each with its own pros and cons, and making a good choice can help ensure that your financial worries are resolved as quickly as possible. Bankruptcy lawyer Theodore B. Weiss has over two decades of experience helping Camden and Burlington county residents and businesses evaluate their choices and determine a sensible avenue for success. He takes pride in helping clients identify the most affordable avenues for reducing their financial obligations.
The first step toward financial freedom entails understanding the various paths to bankruptcy relief that may be available to you. For example, Chapter 7 involves the liquidation of a debtor’s assets to fulfill outstanding debts to creditors. Through this type of bankruptcy, a trustee appointed by the court will ordinarily enter an order discharging all of the secured and unsecured debts listed in the bankruptcy petition.
To file for Chapter 7, you simply provide the court with an accounting of your current property, income, assets, and debts. The court will allow you to keep some property that is exempt from bankruptcy, such as your house or other necessities, and will then take control over the rest of your assets to complete the bankruptcy process. In total, the Chapter 7 process typically takes 4-6 months and involves little time or effort. However, it may not be a good option for people who possess significant assets.
Unlike Chapter 7 bankruptcy, Chapter 13 does not require you to liquidate most of your assets, but instead it results in a payment plan where you will pay back a portion of your debts over three to five years. This type of bankruptcy is commonly known as a reorganization. Although Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows you to keep more of your assets and possessions, you must qualify in order for it to apply. This means that you must have a regular income that the court can rely upon to fashion a payment plan, and your debts must not be so significant so as to preclude the possibility of repayment. A qualified bankruptcy attorney can help you determine if this is an option for you.
In contrast to Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy, Chapter 11 typically focuses on resolving the debt burdens of small and large businesses. It does not focus on eliminating debt and starting over, but instead allows a company to remain in operation while reorganizing its finances in order to pay off creditors. The business retains control over operating decisions while giving the bankruptcy court the power to make decisions on its behalf regarding contracts, sale of assets, and payment of outstanding debts. Chapter 11 bankruptcy is much more involved than Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 and typically takes more time to reach final resolution, so it is not often an ideal option for individuals.
In the emotionally charged context of stressful and burdensome debt obligations, it can be helpful to consult an experienced advocate who can help you carefully consider your circumstances and make financial decisions that will work for you. Bankruptcy attorney Theodore B. Weiss is committed to providing capable counsel to clients in Burlington County and beyond. Whether you are considering the possibility of bankruptcy, or dealing with financial ramifications such as eviction, foreclosure, wage garnishment, or repossession, our staff is here to assist you. We proudly serve people and businesses throughout South Jersey, in Burlington and Camden counties and in Philadelphia. For more information, please contact us at (856) 770-9670 or online.
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