Address: 74 W Pomfret St, Carlisle, PA 17013 | Email: pbriganti@pa.net
 
 
 
 
Philip C. Briganti Bankruptcy Attorney
 
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Frequently Asked Bankruptcy Questions in Carlisle, Pennsylvania

What is Chapter 7 bankruptcy?

This is a type of bankruptcy in which the debtor's non-exempt (unprotected) property can be sold by a court-appointed trustee to pay creditors, and the remaining balance owed on the debts is discharged (wiped out). However, the Bankruptcy Code allows you to exempt (protect and keep) a significant amount of assets, and most people do not lose anything. Remember, though, that the law is complicated and every case is different. You should consult with a qualified attorney to determine how Chapter 7 bankruptcy will affect you.
 

What is Chapter 13 bankruptcy?

This is a type of bankruptcy in which you enter into a plan to pay money to your creditors through a court-appointed trustee for 36 to 60 months. Often you only pay the creditors a fraction of what you owe, and then the balance is discharged upon completion of your plan. The amount of your payment is determined by a number of factors, including your income, monthly expenses, assets, and a calculation called a Means Test, which is based on your income during the six-month period prior to filing.

Chapter 13 also gives people who are behind on their mortgage or other secured debts (like car loans) the ability to keep their house or car by paying the arrears in monthly installments through their plan, while making the regular payments that come due after their case is filed directly to the creditor or to the trustee. As long as you comply with the plan, your property cannot be taken or sold, and you will be caught up on your payments when the case is completed.

In certain situations, Chapter 13 also permits debtors to "cram down" vehicle loans, which means that you can obtain the title to the vehicle by paying only its current value plus interest through your plan, rather than the full balance due under the contract. Moreover, in some instances, you can eliminate second and third mortgage liens against your residence if there is no equity in the property to support them.
Again, bankruptcy law is complex, and you should contact a qualified attorney to determine how Chapter 13 will work for you.
 

How can bankruptcy help me save my home from foreclosure?

As soon as a bankruptcy case is filed, most debtors are protected by a court order called an "automatic stay" that stops the foreclosure process, even if you have already been sued or a sheriff's sale of your home has been scheduled. Chapter 13 bankruptcy gives people who are behind on their mortgage payments the ability to keep their home by paying the arrears in monthly installments through a bankruptcy payment plan, while making the regular payments that come due after their case is filed either directly to the mortgage lender or to the trustee. As long as you pay the amounts required by your plan, your home cannot be sold, and you will be caught up on your mortgage payments when the case is completed. Chapter 7 bankruptcy can temporarily stop foreclosure proceedings, but Chapter 13 allows you to pay the arrears over time and remain in your home while you are getting caught up.


 

Will bankruptcy stop harassment, lawsuits, and other actions by creditors and debt collectors?

Upon the filing of your case, you are immediately protected by a court order called an "automatic stay" which stops collection activities (phone calls, letters, threats, lawsuits, etc.) by most creditors. (There are exceptions for debtors who file repeated bankruptcy cases within a short period of time.) Creditors and debt collectors who try to collect debts after the case is filed can be punished for violating the stay.
 

How long does a bankruptcy case last?

A routine Chapter 7 case usually takes about 4 months. A Chapter 13 case lasts between 36 and 60 months.
 

How long will bankruptcy appear on my credit report?

Bankruptcy filings can appear on your credit report for 10 years.