As an attorney that has been helping people obtain bankruptcy protection for over 25 year, I am still amazed at some of the misconceptions people have about bankruptcy. Whether at my kid’s school, at church or elsewhere in the community; someone will tell me about a “friend”, “acquaintance” or “co-worker” that filed bankruptcy and kept their house, car and valuable possessions. They are often under the impression that the individual kept all of these items and didn’t pay for them. This is simply not the case. If the house, car or other property has a valid lien against it; the lien will usually survive the bankruptcy. In other words, if the property is to be kept, it usually must be paid for. The important point here is that people that seek bankruptcy protection can often afford their current house and car payment once they rid themselves of credit card, medical and other unsecured debt. The bankruptcy process can help an honest individual keep a roof over her head and transportation to and from work by getting rid of other debt.
Even better yet, the bankruptcy process can help someone that is behind on house or car payments catch up what they are behind and stop a repossession or foreclosure. Chapter 13 of the bankruptcy code allows an individual to stop a foreclosure or repossession and propose a plan to pay the amount behind over a period of up to 60 months. This can be done while paying only a small percentage, if anything, towards credit card and or medical bills. Taxes, student loans and even back child support can be provided for in the plan of reorganization.
The point here is that you should not give up if you are behind on house or car payments. A competent and experienced consumer bankruptcy attorney can often help you come up with a plan to keep your important possessions. But you can’t wait until it is too late. If you feel like things are slipping and you can’t keep up with your bills, the time to act is now.
Each of our offices offers a free initial consultation with an experienced attorney. During the consultation, we will evaluate your situation and help come up with the best option available. Whether we help to eliminate your debt through a chapter 7 bankruptcy, or, help come up with a personal reorganization plan using a chapter 13 bankruptcy; all will be done pursuant to federal law and under the supervision of a federal bankruptcy judge.
Once again though, don’t wait until it is too late. We are here if we can help.
Brad Botes is a principal of each of the Bond & Botes Law Offices throughout Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee. He holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of North Alabama, and a Juris Doctorate from Cumberland School of Law at Samford University. He and his team of bankruptcy lawyers have spent over 30 years guiding people through financial challenges. Read his full bio here.