There are two kinds of Bankruptcy that consumers (non business) Debtors are¬†normally interested in. That is a Chapter 7 (known as a straight Bankruptcy) and a¬†Chapter 13.
Both in a Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 the petitions are filed electronically over the¬†internet using Bankruptcy Filing Software. The decision which Chapter to file is made¬†on the basis of assets, your cash flow and what financial outcome you are trying to¬†achieve. Elder has been practicing BR law since 1976 and is well known to the local¬†Bench and Bar. In fact, when complex litigation ensues out of a Bankruptcy, many local¬†lawyers refer those matters to Elder, both for debtors and creditors.
In a Chapter 7 when the case is filed the servers at BR Court issue you a case¬†number upon filing. Elder will give you a case number and a copy of the petition when¬†the case is filed. Typically the creditors will be notified of the filing by BR Court within a¬†few days of filing. However, once you have the case number, if a creditor contacts you¬†and you give them the case number, they know that all activity on the matter is stayed.¬†(called the automatic stay). If you give the creditor the case number and they continue¬†collection activity they can be held in contempt of Court by the BR Judge. You must¬†obtain credit counseling before filing (Elder will show you how) and pay the agreed¬†upon fee in full prior to filing. In a typical BR case there will be one hearing with a judge¬†not present. This is called a Section 341 hearing or meeting of creditors. The Court¬†appoints a Trustee to marshal your non-exempt assets and distribute them to your¬†creditors. Due to the generous nature of the Federal Exemption Laws most cases are¬†no asset cases and the one hearing is all you will have to go to. To obtain a discharge¬†(which is a Federal Court Order absolving you of your debts), you must take a financial¬†management course before you obtain the discharge.
Elder has a sliding fee scale depending on the complexity of the case. Elder will¬†discount to the disabled, senior citizens, and member of the armed forces, 25% from¬†his normal fee. The fee will be decided upon at the first interview. An experienced BR¬†lawyer will immediately recognize a problem Chapter 7. Certain debts are not¬†discharged in a Chapter 7 for public policy reasons for example: child support and¬†alimony, some fraud matters and student loans among others. Elder will usually know if¬†there is an issue. These are called non dischargeablity cases and must be filed in most¬†cases by the creditor within a time period set by the Court. lf Elder sees a issue like this¬†he will typically contract for an hourly rate to defend these.
As said above many local lawyers refer non dischargeablity cases to him to¬†litigate as he has done many over the years and is well known to the Bench and Bar.
The second kind of Bankruptcy is a Chapter 13. The decision to file a Chapter¬†13 is predicated on many things. Usually it is because the debtor either has too much¬†assets, which they don‚Äôt want to lose or make too much money and are statutorily¬†required to file a Chapter 13. One of the most prevalent reasons to file a Chapter 13 is¬†to stop a foreclosure. If your house is in foreclosure and your can present to the Court¬†and Chapter 13 Trustee a plan to pay back your arrearage while maintaining your¬†current mortgage payment and being sure your taxes are paid and the house is insured¬†you can ‚Äúcure‚ÄĚ the arrearage and save your home. YOU MUST FILE YOUR CHAPTER¬†13 BEFORE THE COMMISSIONER OF CIRCUIT COURT DROPS THE HAMMER AT THE AUCTION AT THE COURTHOUSE DOOR. YOU LOSE YOUR RIGHT TO CURE¬†AT THAT POINT.
Don‚Äôt delay. If you are in a foreclosure call IMMEDIATELY for a free¬†consultation, Elder may be able to save your home. ln a Chapter 13 your will make a¬†monthly payment to the Court. Elder‚Äôs fee will be set by the Court and paid by the¬†Chapter 13 Trustee monthly.