The term “bankruptcy” is a culmination of the ancient Latin bancus (a bench) and ruptus (broken) literally meaning “broken bench”. In the early days, when debtors defaulted on their payments, the creditors would break their workbench to advertise the fact that the debtor was no longer in business. In today’s world, bankruptcy is a legally declared inability of an individual to repay his creditors, and often the person facing a bankruptcy seeks counsel from a credit lawyer. The majority of the individuals who file bankruptcy are forced into it by situations beyond their control. These days bankruptcy filing has spun out of control with customers being targeted with promises of easy credit.
If a creditor/lender holds a secured debt against you, like a mortgage or an auto-loan, the bankruptcy court can liberate that liability. You will not have to repay the lender, but you will almost certainly forfeit the collateral or the guarantee that secures that debt. This is precisely why you and your credit lawyer need to sit down before the bankruptcy petition is actually filed and settle on which chapter is right for you. That is to say, your credit lawyer should decide which category of bankruptcy would authorize you to get a new start without stripping you of the stuff you badly need to maintain your family.
Normally your credit lawyer will advise you to seek protection under Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Chapter 13 allows you or the debtor to retain his or her non-exempt property while paying off in monthly cash payments as much of his or her debts as is possible. Under Chapter 13, you (the debtor) submit a repayment plan, usually drafted with the assistance of your credit lawyer, to clear all your debts in monthly installments generally spread over a three-year period. To become effective, the court must approve this plan. This can be achieved with the expertise of your credit lawyer. Once your plan is accepted, creditors will be prohibited from collecting their claims directly from you. However, you must make all payments under the terms of the plan to keep the court protections in place.
You may also want to consider a debt consolidation loan for bankruptcy alternatives. In a debt workout, your credit lawyer gets in touch with your lenders and makes the necessary arrangements.
The best way of finding a good credit lawyer is through referrals. If your friends or family members have faced similar financial problems in the past, they can refer you to a good lawyer. The yellow pages are another good source to search for a reputable credit lawyer. The internet can prove to be a great source. Remember, in your first visit, it’s imperative that you bring all of the paperwork and documentation you can on the first consultation. You will need to provide a list of your lenders and how much you owe them for your credit lawyer to consider your case and give you proper guidance.