It has been estimated that three out of four Americans live “paycheck-to-paycheck,” meaning they have very few savings from which to draw in case of an emergency. An unexpected event such as a job loss, a broken-down car, or a trip to the hospital can trigger a spiral of debt and despair. If you find yourself in this situation, you need to know your legal rights, including the potential option of filing for bankruptcy protection. Birmingham bankruptcy lawyer Byron Richardson is here to assist people who find themselves unable to see past a growing mountain of debt. Based in Chilton County, he is also available for Alabama residents who need a family law attorney or representation in fighting a DUI or traffic violation charge.Filing for Bankruptcy in Alabama
Entitlement to bankruptcy relief is based upon federal law, particularly Title 11 of the United States Code. There are several different types of bankruptcy that may be available, depending upon one’s circumstances. Generally, individuals may file either a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Those who own a business may choose to file under Chapter 11, but bankruptcy for a farmer or fisherman is typically pursued under Chapter 12.
In order to pursue relief from debt in bankruptcy court, a debtor must file the appropriate paperwork with the clerk of the bankruptcy court in the federal district in which the debtor resides. Included in this paperwork is a list of all of the debtor’s assets, debts, and creditors. After the petition for bankruptcy is filed, the creditors are notified and given a chance to participate in the proceedings. Depending upon the type of bankruptcy relief sought, the debtor’s assets (except for those that are exempt under the law) may be subject to liquidation, and his or her eligible debts may be discharged or reaffirmed. Other debt collection efforts by creditors – such as consumer debt collection lawsuits – are subject to an automatic stay once the petition for bankruptcy has been filed.
In some bankruptcies, such as a Chapter 13 wage earner’s plan, a debtor may submit a plan for repayment of some or all of his or her debts. Debtors filing this type of bankruptcy may be able to save their homes from foreclosure if they can continue to make their mortgage payments during the bankruptcy. They also may be able to extend the payment period for secured loans, such as those for automobiles. Typically, a debtor who files for Chapter 13 bankruptcy will be under the jurisdiction of the court for about three to five years.
Since there are different types of bankruptcies, as well as a few non-bankruptcy options for dealing with overwhelming debt, it is best to consult a knowledgeable attorney about your situation. Unfortunately, there are businesses that claim to “specialize” in consumer debt but are unable to offer a full range of legal services to debtors. These firms may try to sell consumers services such as debt consolidation, which tends to be a quick but temporary fix rather than a true, long-term solution to financial struggles brought on by high levels of debt.Consult a Bankruptcy Lawyer in Birmingham
If you are fed up with the relentless and unending barrage of debt collection efforts by your creditors, it is time to at least consider the option of bankruptcy. In addition to helping you get started on this process, Birmingham bankruptcy attorney Byron Richardson can assist you with issues such as garnishment, foreclosure, and repossession. Call us at (205) 280-6155 or contact us online to set up a free consultation. We serve clients in Clanton, Prattville, and cities along the I-65 corridor, as well as throughout Pelham, Southern Shelby, Northern Autauga, and Chilton Counties. We also represent people who need a DUI attorney or guidance in a family law matter.
“We had creditors calling our house day and night. One company even sent a collector in person to our house to demand payment. I had no idea what to do. One call to Byron Mark Richardson and within days, the calls stopped and I was able to resume a normal life. I only regret not calling him sooner.”
Leo & Felicia S.
“We were devastated financially by the 2008 market collapse and credit crunch. As the owners of a small trucking business, we found ourselves over half a million dollars in debt to credit card companies alone, not to mention our mortgage and other loans. Byron Mark Richardson helped us devise a plan to settle our debts with our creditors. He not only gave us financial peace of mind, he gave us our lives back. We can’t thank him enough.”
Joe & Paula R.
“I’ve been in business for myself for over 30 years. When the market collapsed and my lines of credit were called due, I had no where to turn. No banks would make me another loan. I had to deal with five collection suits at one time. Byron Mark Richardson got the attorneys for my creditors to accept a lower settlement than I ever thought possible. He bought me the breathing room that I needed to get out of debt and start over. Now, my new business is very profitable and I am glad to say that I am where I am due to his help.”