Your Cullman Bankruptcy Lawyers & Attorneys
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For most Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases in North Alabama, our Cullman bankruptcy lawyers are currently charging a flat attorneys fee of $850. The Harris Firm proudly serves individuals in Cullman, Decatur, Hartselle, Athens, and the surrounding areas of Morgan and Cullman County file for debt relief through the Bankruptcy Court. Receive over the phone or in person counseling from our expert bankruptcy attorney in Cullman. We can help you narrow down your personal bankruptcy options and figure out which bankruptcy is right for you.
Filing Bankruptcy in Cullman
Our Cullman bankruptcy lawyer can guide you through the process of filing for debt relief. Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 are generally the two types of consumer bankruptcy you can file. When you file a Chapter 7, most of your unsecured debts get discharged or eliminated fairly easily. Usually the process takes about three months from filing to discharge. About a month after filing, there is a hearing called a Meeting of the Creditors.
While it sounds intimidating, no creditors typically show up. There is no judge, either. At the hearing, a local attorney called the bankruptcy trustee normally administers the case and asks you a series of simple questions under oath at the hearing. Questions are simple such as your phone number and whether you listed all your property in the filings.
For a Chapter 7, you must first qualify to file. To qualify, the average gross monthly income in your household for the previous six months must be below a number on an IRS chart for a family of your size in Alabama. The numbers on the charts change based on census data. If it is above the number, then you must pass something called a means test, which our local bankruptcy attorney can run for you.
Household income for purposes of qualifying for Chapter 7 includes your spouse’s income if they reside with you. If they are not filing, then your spouse is not a party to the bankruptcy and it should not affect their credit or debts when you file without them. However, it is assumed that their income is commingled with yours and can be used to pay your debts since they are part of your household. That is why their income counts for purposes of qualifying.
If your household income is above that number on the chart, then you have to pass a budgetary test called the means test. Our Cullman bankruptcy lawyer Steven Harris can run this test for you. All we would need to do this would be a questionnaire filled out properly and your pay stubs or other proof of income (and proof of spouse’s income) for the previous six months.
Chapter 13 is basically a payment plan. Our bankruptcy attorney in Cullman will run the means test, do a budget, and look at your debts and other factors to come up with a payment plan that the judge will approve. Give our bankruptcy lawyer a call today to see which bankruptcy is right for you and your family.
Our Cullman Bankruptcy Lawyers
Getting started just takes one phone call. When you call the office you can usually speak to our Cullman bankruptcy attorney the same day for a quick phone consultation. After speaking with our attorney, if you decide to file bankruptcy then we can set up an appointment in our Decatur office.
Once an appointment is made, then we will email you a questionnaire to fill out and bring with you to the appointment along with all the paperwork necessary to file. You will need specific documents such as your tax returns for the prior two years, bank statements, and pay stubs. Which documents are needed will be specified during your first phone call with us.
Our Cullman bankruptcy lawyer charges $850.00 for the attorney fees in a Chapter 7 and the Bankruptcy Court charges a filing fee of $335.00. There are additional costs such as the fee for pulling your credit report (around $30) and the fees for two online courses (each one takes about an hour to complete online or over the phone). The total costs for filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy with us is between $1200 and $1260, depending on how you complete the online course requirements.
The up front costs for Chapter 13 can be cheaper. There is sometimes a flat attorney fee of a few hundreds of dollars to be paid up front to get it filed, but then you have to start making your payments shortly after that. Most, if not all, of your attorney fees are paid monthly in the plan instead of up front. So it is cheaper to file, but the monthly payments begin immediately.
Cullman County Bankruptcy Attorneys
If you live in Cullman, Hanceville, or the surrounding areas of Cullman County, then you will likely be filing your bankruptcy in the United States District Court, Northern District of Alabama, Northern Division. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you will have a hearing called a Meeting of the Creditors. If you live in the City of Cullman or anywhere else in Cullman County, then your bankruptcy hearing will be in downtown Decatur. The hearing is usually pretty simple and then about two months later you get a discharge in Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Our attorney Steven A. Harris will be with you at the Meeting of Creditors and will provide support throughout the bankruptcy process. We are a member of the local Morgan County Chamber of Commerce and the North and Central Alabama Better Business Bureau, so please check us out there for reviews from former clients. You can look at our local Google My Business profile for reviews as well. If you are drowning in debt and need some relief, then giver our Cullman bankruptcy attorney a call today for a quick phone consultation.