If I File for Bankruptcy, Will the Court Sell My Property?
No one wants to file for bankruptcy, but there are many situations where it is the best legal option available. A Las Vegas, Nevada bankruptcy lawyer knows that many people think filing for bankruptcy is something to feel embarrassed about, but the truth is that many people who are struggling with debt choose this process so they can obtain a fresh financial start. In fact, approximately one million people file for bankruptcy in this country each year.
If you are struggling with a lot of debt and are considering bankruptcy, a Las Vegas bankruptcy lawyer from the Ballstaedt Law Firm can help. Call our office for details. In the meantime, the following is a brief overview.
How Do I Know Bankruptcy is the Right Choice for Me?
If you are truly unable to pay your bills, then bankruptcy may be the right choice for you. This is an obvious situation, but there are other situations where bankruptcy may be the right legal option for you. A Las Vegas bankruptcy lawyer can explain these situations in more detail, but usually, if any of the following apply to you, you will want to speak to an attorney from our firm.
- You are at risk of having your home foreclosed on or your vehicle repossessed. If a person is behind on their mortgage or vehicle payments, then they are at risk of losing their property. When that person files for bankruptcy, the court automatically issues a stay which stops any and all creditors from any collection actions. This includes any foreclosure actions or vehicle repossessions. If this is the situation you are in, bankruptcy will put a temporary stop to these actions and allow you enough time to figure out how to get back on track with payments while the bankruptcy process plays out.
- You have a low credit score. Some people who are struggling financially but have a good credit score hesitate to file for bankruptcy because of the negative impact the process does have on a person’s credit score. For most people, however, that debt struggle often means late and missed payments, which also impact your credit score. If your credit score is already low, then bankruptcy will allow you to start with a clean slate, erase your debt, and rebuild your credit.
- You have tried or considered debt consolidation, but you still are struggling financially. Sometimes, it is possible to consolidate all of your debt into payments that have lower interest rates, which means lower monthly payments. Depending on how much debt you have, the lower monthly payment may still be more than you can afford, and bankruptcy is a much choice for you.
If you are thinking that bankruptcy may be the right choice for you, call the Ballstaedt Law Firm to schedule a free and confidential consultation with a Las Vegas bankruptcy lawyer to find out how we can help.
If I File for Bankruptcy, Will the Court Sell My Property?
Many Americans shy away from the idea of filing for bankruptcy because they’ve heard “through the grapevine” that if they file for bankruptcy that the Court will sell all of their personal possessions to pay back their creditors. Thankfully, this is misinformation. If you’re hesitant to file for bankruptcy because you’re worried about losing your property, it’s important to speak with an experienced Las Vegas bankruptcy lawyer about your options instead of making any assumptions about your situation. Yes, if you choose to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you may place some of your property at risk of being sold for the benefit of your creditors. However, chances are that the team at Ballstaedt Law Firm will be able to help you classify enough of your property as exempt that you’ll lose very few of your assets if any at all. Conversely, if you choose to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you won’t have to worry about this particular risk. With that said, this is a complex area of law, so it can help to break the basics down step-by-step.
Chapter 7 vs. Chapter 13 – Exempt and Nonexempt Property Considerations
Chapter 13 bankruptcy is nicknamed “reorganization bankruptcy” because it allows filers to restructure their debts. These debts then become more manageable. At the end of a 3-5 year repayment period, the remaining balances on eligible debts are forgiven. During this time, the filer’s non-exempt property isn’t sold for the benefit of the filer’s creditors. Instead, the repayment structure that Chapter 13 bankruptcy affords helps to satisfy a filer’s creditors.
By contrast, Chapter 7 bankruptcy is nicknamed “liquidation bankruptcy” because this option does allow a bankruptcy trustee appointed by the court to sell a filer’s non-exempt assets. The proceeds of this sale are then used to help repay the filer’s creditors. The filer’s eligible debts are not reorganized and repaid over time but are instead forgiven outright. However, a filer does not usually need to sacrifice much (let alone all) of their property to benefit from debt elimination. Only filers from low-income households are eligible for this bankruptcy option and therefore Chapter 7 filers don’t usually own much extravagant property. Bankruptcy exemptions allow filers to protect a truly reasonable amount of their physical property and monetary assets, so trustees often aren’t left with much property that is eligible for sale.
How Can a Las Vegas Bankruptcy Lawyer Help Me Keep My Property?
If you choose to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, an experienced Las Vegas bankruptcy lawyer can help you apply for as many exemptions as possible to your property so that you can retain ownership of that property. There are so many exemptions available that you shouldn’t hesitate to file for bankruptcy because you’re worried about losing your property. In the unlikely event that you’d stand to lose too much of your property, our Las Vegas bankruptcy lawyer team can help you file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy instead. No matter what your circumstances are, we will do our utmost to help you make the most out of your bankruptcy process, even if you’ve filed for bankruptcy before.
Filing for Bankruptcy More Than Once
As a Las Vegas bankruptcy lawyer, we have helped a large number of clients to resolve their debts through bankruptcy. While most of these clients move on and never find themselves in the same situation again, some will struggle with their finances. Eventually, they may need to file for bankruptcy again. Those who are seeking to file bankruptcy more than once should feel pleased in knowing there are no limits. However, there are limits on how often a person’s debts can be discharged.
If you are still struggling with debt, even though you already filed for bankruptcy once, there might be options suited to your needs. As a leading Las Vegas bankruptcy lawyer, we, at Ballstaedt Law Firm, would like to explain that it may be possible to file for bankruptcy again; however, the experience of the process could be different.
Understanding Bankruptcy Discharges
After a bankruptcy case has been reviewed and approved by the court, the associated debts can be discharged. This means all approved debt will be eliminated. This is typically the primary objective for a person and tends to provide an ample amount of financial relief. Depending on what type of bankruptcy was filed, some debts might not have been discharged. In this case, filing for bankruptcy again could be beneficial.
Limitations for Filing Bankruptcy
As a bankruptcy lawyer in Las Vegas, Nevada might explain to you, there are time limits when applying for, and being granted, a second or third discharge of debts. These limits will largely depend on what type of bankruptcy you filed for in the pas. The following is an example of bankruptcy types and the length of time you will usually need to wait before you file again.
First Time Chapter 7 – Filing for chapter 7 again requires an 8-year waiting period
First Time Chapter 7 – Filing for chapter 13 the second time requires a 4 year waiting period
First Time Chapter 13 – Filing for chapter 7 the second time requires a 6 year waiting period
First Time Chapter 13 – Filing for chapter 12 again requires a 2 year waiting period
If you filed for chapter 13 the first time and are seeking to file chapter 7 now, it may be possible to file immediately as long as all of your debts associated with the chapter 13 bankruptcy were paid. Or, you paid 70 percent and can no longer pay the rest.
When Your Case Was Dismissed
In general, a bankruptcy lawyer in Las Vegas, NV can help you to submit a requirement for bankruptcy as long as the court did not prohibit you from filing. This can occur when a judge suspects fraudulent activity. If you are concerned about this, calling a Las Vegas, NV bankruptcy lawyer may be a good idea.
Call a Las Vegas, Nevada Bankruptcy Lawyer Now
Filing for bankruptcy is a complex process that requires you to submit many documents and meet various deadlines. If you fail to turn to a lawyer for help, you could lose time, money, and your chance of being approved. A good Las Vegas bankruptcy lawyer from Ballstaedt Law Firm can help you to understand your options and guide you through the process.