Archive for the ‘Bankruptcy’ Category

Bankruptcy and Future Credit

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

Will bankruptcy affect my future credit? How long does it stay on my credit? How do I know if bankruptcy is the right decision? Will I ever be able to finance another car or house? Can I get new credit cards? Will I lose my job?  Questioning things is normal when troubled times are on the forefront.  Attorney David Nelson is available to help you answer these very questions, analyze your individual situation, and help you reach a financial goal or solution. An experienced attorney is able to provide advice and guidance throughout the difficult times and help prepare the debtor for a brighter more financially stable future. Our ultimate goal is to offer the highest quality legal advice at a reasonable price with the utmost service and professionalism

Bankruptcy will remain on your credit report for up to 10 years. It does stay on your court records as public record for 20 years. Though there is nothing the debtor can do to remove the bankruptcy from your record there are things that will possible help. Many creditors allow the debtor to file an explanation of circumstances resulting in bankruptcies with reporting agencies. If the account is record incorrectly you can request a corrected update. Credit reports are often full of inaccurate information. It is the debtor’s responsibility to continually check credit reports, dispute inaccurate or outdated information as well as request bankruptcy removal at the end of the 10 year period. Bankruptcy does not carry the same burden it did not so many years ago. Creditors are aware of some unavoidable situations causing bankruptcies. Whether illness, unemployment, medical bills, death or divorce, once drastically behind on financial obligations it is often impossible to catch up.

Once you have filed for chapter 7 Bankrupcty and you have received some relief from debt it is very tempting not to accept the new flood of credit cards. There are no laws requiring creditors to extend credit to individuals with bankruptcy records yet there are also no laws preventing it. Each company makes their own decisions. I guide clients to be extremely cautious obtaining new credit cards which most likely come with excessively high interest. Though it is not necessary to wait years to begin rebuilding credit debtors need to enjoy a more relaxing debt free or affordable financial life style for a while after bankruptcy has been filed and settled. In the greater scheme of credit filing bankruptcy can at times actually improve your credit over time. Old debt is wiped out with chapter 7 and fresh start leads to new beginning. Over the course of a few years individual credit may be better than it ever has been.

David Nelson is licensed in the state of Kansas to practice law and assists clients in the greater Wichita, Kansas area. Call (316) 267-1300 today for a free, confidential case review.

Attorney Representation vs. Pro Se Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Kansas

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

There is no law that says you must hire an attorney to represent you in a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy case, but there are a number of good reasons to do so. Although the expense of legal representation might tempt you to handle your case pro se – that is, by representing yourself – consider the reasons for having an experienced attorney on your side.

The courts are sticklers for detail. Especially since the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005, the process of preparing for and filing a bankruptcy petition is tedious, complex – and utterly important. New decisions are constantly handed down by the courts, which in turn change laws affecting bankruptcy. Your attorney makes it his business to stay informed of those rulings. Based on that expertise, he is highly qualified to help you structure a plan that has a better chance of being approved.

There are only 24 hours in a day. Preparing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy takes time. In addition to the tasks you’ll need to perform if you hire an attorney – such as compiling lists of your assets, expenses, creditors and debts – a great deal of time-consuming responsibility will fall on your shoulders without one. And you will undertake these responsibilities while continuing to maintain your normal responsibilities at your job, in your home, and for your family. An attorney can handle the legal burden on your behalf, freeing you to move forward with your life.

It pays to know the right people. Your attorney does. Most likely, you don’t. Your attorney spends a great deal of time working with the individuals who will make decisions about your case. His insight will help him structure a plan that will meet with the trustee’s approval, which is a critical step in the process. Once the trustee approves, the judge most likely will, too.

You deserve a break today. The circumstances that led to this decision were years in the making. You’ve lived with constant struggle and worry, and the chronic stress undoubtedly has taken a toll on your health as well as your quality of life. A qualified attorney can handle the stressful details of your bankruptcy case, while you work toward regaining your health and emotional well-being.

Before making this very important decision, make an appointment with our Wichita bankruptcy attorney. Our law firm offers an initial consultation at no charge. It will give you an opportunity to learn more so you can make an informed decision about your future.

Frequently Asked Questions About Bankruptcy in Kansas

Sunday, June 5th, 2011

Considering bankruptcy is a difficult step for most people. Because the federal laws governing bankruptcy protection are so complex, you may feel overwhelmed as you try to understand the qualifications and requirements, as well as the repercussions you may face once your petition is filed. Here are a few of the more commonly asked questions about bankruptcy.

Question: Will I lose my home if I file for bankruptcy?

Answer: Not necessarily. If you don’t have much equity in the property, and provided that you can keep up your mortgage payments, you may be able to file for Chapter 7 without losing your home. However, if you more equity in your home than your state allows, consider filing for Chapter 13 instead. If you meet the requirements for Chapter 13 and have enough disposable income to make regular payments toward your debts for the 3- or 5-year repayment period, you may still be able to keep your home.

Question: Will I lose my retirement savings?

Answer: No. Retirement accounts, 401(k) plans and pensions are exempt from liquidation if you file for bankruptcy. However, you do still need to report those accounts along with your other assets.

Question: How much will it cost to file?

Answer: Some costs are set by federal law and are consistent in all states. Those include a court filing fee of $245; a miscellaneous administrative fee of $39; and a trustee fee of $15. These fees are payable at the time of filing. In addition to filing fees, you will have to pay your attorney. Some lawyers require full payment of their fees up front. Others are willing to establish a payment plan. Discuss your situation with your lawyer during your initial consultation.

Question: What possessions can I keep if I file for bankruptcy?

Answer: Each state sets laws that limit the type and value of personal possessions you can keep. All states provide a homestead exemption, but the amount of the exemption varies widely. Your attorney can advise you more specifically based on your state of residence, but generally speaking, the law requires that major assets be liquidated to pay off creditors while allowing you to keep basic living items and those needed to perform in your profession.

Question: Can I repay any of my debts after discharge if I choose to do so?

Answer: Yes. After your debts are discharged, you can repay any or all of them that you choose.

Talking to an experienced Wichita bankruptcy attorney will provide you with answers to your specific questions and will outline the requirements in force in your state of residence.  Many people that try and represent themselves in bankruptcy filings and hearings end up with debts that must be paid. Call us today, we can help.

Wichita Bankruptcy Law Firm Explains What a 341 Meeting of Creditors is?

Thursday, May 5th, 2011

If you decide to file for bankruptcy, either Chapter 7 or 13, one of the first things you will be required to do after filing is to have a meeting with the bankruptcy trustee. This is known as a 341 Meeting of Creditors.  The 341 Meeting usually is scheduled shortly after you file your bankruptcy petition. It is not like going to court since a judge will not be present.  The purpose of the 341 meeting is generally for you, your creditors, and the bankruptcy trustee to get an understanding of your financial situation, payment intentions and potential issues involving your bankruptcy.  The name is somewhat of a misnomer because creditors rarely appear at the 341 Meeting in a consumer bankruptcy with the exception of a mortgage holder or occasionally a representative from your car finance company.  If you have an experienced Kansas bankruptcy attorney, your attorney will appear at the hearing with you.  The hearing is a semi-formal proceeding with a court reporter but is much less formal than a courtroom hearing.

During the 341 Meeting, the bankruptcy trustee will ask you some basic questions that you must answer.  The questions are not difficult.  Common examples of questions that you will be asked include information about your name, social security number and sometimes questions about the asset or debt information in your bankruptcy petition.  It is important that you bring all the required documents and identification listed on the bankruptcy information sheet, such as your driver’s license and social security card.  If you have not already done so, you will need to provide your federal tax returns for the four years prior to the filing of your bankruptcy.  If you filed a Chapter 13, the bankruptcy trustee will make sure that everyone knows your payment schedule and plan payment.  The trustee will also discuss any concerns he or she may have about whether your income is sufficient to make plan payments.  For a Chapter 7, the terms of your bankruptcy will be reviewed.

Typically, creditors rarely appear at a 341 Meeting with the exception of secured creditors like your mortgage or car finance company.  This is why the meeting is usually just a few minutes. Creditors may appear in a 341 Meeting when they suspect that you have filed a fraudulent bankruptcy and want to challenge whether you have disclosed all assets or the actual value of those assets.  Creditors also may appear at a 341 Meeting if they believe that you have more money to pay back to your creditors than you are claiming.  The bankruptcy trustee may ask you to send additional documentation or correct errors in your initial filing. It is important that you comply with any such request. If you provide straightforward and candid answers, the 341 Meeting typically goes very smoothly.

For more information or to arrange legal representation at your 341 Meeting, you should contact an experienced Kansas bankruptcy attorney.  A bankruptcy lawyer can prepare you for your 341 Meeting and let you know more precisely what to expect.  The truth is that most of the work is done before the 341 Meeting because your Kansas bankruptcy attorney will typically have prepared the bankruptcy petitions and schedules accurately so the meeting goes smoothly and without significant incident.

If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, our Kansas bankruptcy law firm can answer your questions and guide you through the bankruptcy process.  Call today for your initial consultation.