Alabama Bankruptcy Lawyer
Your Alabama Bankruptcy Attorney
What is Bankruptcy?
Bankruptcy is a legal proceeding where individuals that are burdened with a substantial amount of debt can get a fresh financial start. A bankruptcy is filed in federal court, in the U.S. District Court in your region, and it is a helpful tool that has been around for centuries to help individuals with their financial burdens. Our bankruptcy lawyers can help you navigate through the bankruptcy process, and when at your initial consultation we will go over your financial situation with you and determine if bankruptcy is the right option for you. Once you have decided to file, our bankruptcy attorney will meet with you to go over the entire process, have you sign the proper paperwork, and file your bankruptcy for you.
Once your bankruptcy is filed, an Automatic Stay of Protection goes into place, preventing all creditors from attempting to collect any debt from you, including prohibiting them from calling you on the phone to request payment. If they persist, the Court can find them in contempt of court and they can be severely fined.
Filing for Bankruptcy
There are two different types of bankruptcy that individuals usually file, Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy means that you should be able to discharge or eliminate certain unsecured debts such as credit cards, medical bills, payday loans, and deficiencies on repossessed vehicles and foreclosed properties.
In order to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you must meet a certain income related requirement called the means test. If you are able to file, and you have no non-exempt assets that you wish to keep, then all of your unsecured debt might be able to be wiped out (common examples of unsecured debt that can be discharged are credit cards, medical bills, and payday loans).
Before filing, you must obtain a certificate showing that you completed a debtor credit counseling course (you can usually do this online or over the phone) by an approved agency. Around 30 days after filing is when a meeting called a 341 meeting, or Meeting of the Creditors, will be set. Rarely do creditors show up to this meeting; usually it is just the trustee, your bankruptcy lawyer, and you. The Trustee will usually ask a few questions, and as long as there are no complications you will not have to go before a bankruptcy judge. You should receive your discharge about 90 days from the filing date.
How Much Does Filing for Bankruptcy Cost?
The filing fee for Chapter 7 bankruptcy is $335 while the credit counseling and debt management courses usually costs around $50 altogether. There is also a $25 fee for our law firm to pull your credit report and incorporate it into the bankruptcy filing. Our bankruptcy lawyers currently charge attorney fees of $850 for most simple Chapter 7 cases. A simple Chapter 7 bankruptcy would include cases where there are no complex business interests or other such complex issues. Therefore, the total for filing a Chapter 7 with us will usually run about $1260.
The United States Federal Court system is separated into different divisions and districts. So, where you currently reside will usually dictate where you will file your bankruptcy. If you live in Alabaster, Birmingham, Trussville, Pelham, Hoover, or anywhere else in Shelby or Jefferson County, then your hearing will most likely be held in downtown Birmingham. If you live in Decatur, Athens, Madison, Huntsville, Cullman, Albertville, or anywhere else in North Central Alabama your hearing will most likely be held in either Decatur or Huntsville. If you live in Montgomery, Prattville, Selma, or Auburn then your hearing will most likely be held in either Montgomery or Opelika. If you live in Anniston, Talladega, Gadsden, Pell City, Leeds, Moody, Oxford, or Jacksonville, then your hearing will most likely be held in either Gadsden or Anniston. If you live in Tuscaloosa, Northport, or Jasper, then your hearing will most likely be held in either Jasper or Tuscaloosa.