The following information includes frequently asked questions about bankruptcy. The answers stated are general in nature and are not intended to apply to every bankruptcy and/or debt consolidation situation. If you require assistance with personal or business bankruptcy filing and require the assistance of an experienced bankruptcy lawyer in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, or within the surrounding counties of Montgomery, Bucks, Chester, Philadelphia, or Southern New Jersey, please contact the lawyers of Sadek & Cooper Law Offices today at (610) 432-3111.
We provide a FREE consultation with an experienced Delaware County debt-relief lawyer.
Is Bankruptcy relief still available?
Yes. Although the bankruptcy laws were changed on October 17, 2005, bankruptcy continues to allow millions of Americans a fresh financial start. The new law did create more work for the Petitioner and attorneys, however, our lawyers have continued to file and obtain debt relief for our many satisfied clients.
Why do people file for Bankruptcy?
Although bankruptcy may not be something that most people want to do, it is sometimes something that people NEED to do. Sadek & Cooper Law Offices helps our clients to eliminate credit card debt, medical bills, personal loans, utility debt, pay day loans, stop foreclosure, reduce IRS debt, surrender assets that have become unaffordable or less valuable among many, many other reasons. Whatever your reason for needing to file bankruptcy, you can rest assured that your case will be handled by a lawyer specializing in Bankruptcy Law.
What is the difference between a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy and a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?
In Chapter 13 Bankruptcy you and your attorney propose a Plan to repay all or a portion of your debt. A Chapter 13 Bankruptcy allows you to repay your debts in part or in full over the course of a three to five year repayment plan, therefore paying off debt with the lowest payment possible under the law. A Chapter 7 Bankruptcy allows you to discharge unsecured debt and only takes about four months from start to finish. You may be able to keep your home and vehicle and still file for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy.
How much does it cost to file Bankruptcy?
Bankruptcy is not a “one size fits all” solution. Each case is unique. At Sadek & Cooper Law Offices we offer affordable legal fees and will set up an easy payment plan for you. Legal fees are determined by the specific details of your situation. A fair legal fee will be quoted to you at your initial consultation, so you will know your legal options and all costs up front with no surprises!
Will I be able to get credit after filing for bankruptcy?
If you make wise decisions following your bankruptcy filing, credit will become available to you. Most of our clients have ongoing expenses such as utilities, mortgage or rent, and telephone bills. Within one year the Petitioner should qualify for credit based on on-time payments made toward ongoing expenses after the bankruptcy filing. Further, a bankruptcy filing will improve your debt to income ratio, increasing your credit score over time.
Will I have to go to Court?
There is one hearing that you (and your spouse if filing jointly) will need to attend. The hearing is called a § 341 Meeting of the Creditors. A trustee is appointed to review your case for truth and accuracy. You will be notified of the hearing at least one month in advance. As your attorneys, we prepare you for the hearing process and detail the questions which will be asked at the hearing. It is important that you have competent bankruptcy counsel with you during the hearing. The hearing itself generally takes anywhere from ten to twenty minutes.
What will I need to bring to the initial consultation?
Please try to bring your most recent pay statement, any statements for the debts giving you a problem and your most recent tax return. Although more information is needed for an actual bankruptcy filing the aforementioned documents will give the lawyer a fairly clear idea of your financial situation. The bankruptcy lawyers at Sadek & Cooper Law Offices will determine whether bankruptcy is your best option and, if so, what Chapter (Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy) best fits your needs. If bankruptcy is not the best option for you, we will advise you of all other options available to you.
Will I lose my car or house?
No, under Section 522 of the Bankruptcy code there are exemptions which can protect your personal property and real estate. Under Pennsylvania Bankruptcy laws, the Federal Section 522 exemptions are allowed and in most cases fairly generous. The exemptions are used to allow the Petitioner(s) to keep property such as houses, cars, personal clothing, jewelry, household goods and furnishings and miscellaneous personal property. In the event a Petitioner owns property in excess of the allowable exemptions, they would file a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy based on the equity in that property. We will carefully analyze your situation to determine equity in your assets.