Your Decatur Bankruptcy Lawyers & Attorneys
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Our Decatur bankruptcy lawyers are currently charging a flat rate attorney fee of $850 for most Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases in Northern Alabama. The Harris Firm helps individuals in Decatur, Hartselle, Athens, and the surrounding areas of Limestone and Morgan County file for debt relief through the Bankruptcy Court. Our Decatur bankruptcy attorney Steven Harris can counsel you over the phone today and let you know your bankruptcy options. Whether it is Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, we can guide you in the right direction. Give our bankruptcy attorney in Decatur a call today for more information.
Filing Bankruptcy in Decatur
If you call our Decatur bankruptcy lawyer today we can go over the process of filing for debt relief and discuss your options. There are generally two types of consumer bankruptcy you can file, Chapter 7 and Chapter 13.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is where all of your unsecured debts (except certain un-exempt debts such as child support and most student loans) get discharged or eliminated fairly quickly and easily. The process takes about three months from filing to discharge in most cases.
When you file a Chapter 7, there is a hearing about a month later called a Meeting of the Creditors. Despite the name, no creditors typically show up. Someone called a Trustee will generally administer your case and will ask you several questions under oath at the hearing. There is no judge there and the questions are usually fairly simple such as your phone number and whether you listed all your property in the filings.
In a Chapter 7 there are two main considerations before filing a case. First, you have to qualify to file. To qualify, they look at your average gross monthly income for the entire household. This means if you are married and your spouse is not filing, they still will consider your spouse’s income in looking at the household. In order to qualify, the average gross monthly income in your household for the six months prior to filing must be below a certain amount on an IRS chart for a family of your size in Alabama. They only look at the six months prior to the month you are filing in. The numbers on the charts change based on census data that is updated every quarter.
Household income includes your spouse’s income if they live 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 Decatur 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 Decatur 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 Decatur bankruptcy lawyer a call today to see which bankruptcy is right for you and your family.
Our Decatur Bankruptcy Lawyers
To get the bankruptcy process started, you can call us and let our Decatur bankruptcy attorney counsel you over the phone and determine your options. After speaking with Mr. Steven Harris, if you decide to file bankruptcy then we will set up an appointment in our Decatur office.
Once an appointment has been set up, we email you a questionnaire for you to print off (or we can mail it to you) and bring with you to the appointment along with all the paperwork necessary to file. We will need you to gather certain documents such as your tax returns for the prior two years, bank statements, and pay stubs. When you set up the appointment we will let you know what all to bring in with you.
Our Decatur 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 ($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 requirement.
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. So it is cheaper to file, but the monthly payments begin immediately.
Morgan County Bankruptcy Attorneys
Call us today and let our bankruptcy attorneys in Decatur discuss your financial options over the phone. The Harris Firm has an office in Decatur that serves the entire Morgan County and Limestone County areas. If you live in Decatur or the surrounding areas of Hartselle, Athens, Ardmore, Moulton, Cullman, and Madison then your bankruptcy will be filed in the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Alabama Northern Division.
When your bankruptcy case is filed in this particular Division, then your Meeting of the Creditors will be held in the U.S. Courthouse in downtown Decatur. Our attorney Steven A. Harris will be with you at the hearing and we 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 Decatur bankruptcy attorney a call today for a quick phone consultation.