Alabaster, AL Bankruptcy Attorney
Facing a large amount of debt can be an overwhelming feeling. While some types of debt, such as mortgage debt, are often considered to be positive types that help contribute to one’s financial wellbeing long-term, others can be destructive. For those who have large amounts of unsecured debts, such as credit card debt, and who are receiving collection letters and calls and don’t know where to turn, filing for bankruptcy may be an option. Before you make the decision to file for bankruptcy, it’s recommended that you speak with an experienced Alabaster, AL bankruptcy lawyer who can help you to understand all of your options, as well as the different types and process of filing for bankruptcy.
What Is Bankruptcy?
Bankruptcy is a legal process during which a person who cannot pay all of their debts seeks court-managed debt relief. Overseen by a federal bankruptcy court, the purpose of bankruptcy is to help individuals and businesses improve their financial situations by eliminating debt or/and having them repay a portion of what they owe. While it is not always the best solution to a person’s financial woes, bankruptcy can give someone a fresh start and allow them to get out from under crushing amounts of debt.
When Is Filing for Bankruptcy Recommended?
It’s important to understand that filing for bankruptcy has consequences, including a hit to one’s credit score. For this reason, filing for bankruptcy is usually a last-resort option that should only be pursued after other debt-relief alternatives have been considered, such as:
- Debt consolidation;
- Negotiating with creditors;
- Debt settlement;
- Credit counseling; and
- Mortgage refinancing.
Depending on your level of debt and what steps you’ve already taken to alleviate that debt, bankruptcy may be the best option. This is why it is important to consult with a financial professional and a bankruptcy attorney prior to making these decisions.
Types of Bankruptcy for Individuals and Businesses
Another reason that it is important to consult with an attorney prior to beginning the process of filing for bankruptcy is because there are many different types of bankruptcy. The most common types of bankruptcy for individuals and businesses include:
- Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Chapter 7 is the most common type of bankruptcy filing in the U.S. Also known as liquidation bankruptcy, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows a debtor to eliminate most types of debt. In order for an individual to file for a Chapter 7, they must pass the means test.
- Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Colloquially known as reorganization bankruptcy, Chapter 11 bankruptcy is typically filed by corporations, but can be filed by individuals in some cases. During a Chapter 11 bankruptcy, a debtor restructures their debts and establishes a reorganization plan.
- Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Another very common type of bankruptcy for individuals is a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Also called a wage earner’s plan, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is designed for debtors who have a source of income and are able to pay off a portion of their debts over a three-to-five-year plan.
In addition to the above most common types of bankruptcy, other types of bankruptcy include Chapter 9 (for municipalities), Chapter 12 (predominantly for fishers and farmers), and Chapter 15 (for foreign debtors in the U.S.). At the Law Offices of Ted Stuckenschneider, P.C., we provide bankruptcy legal services for most all of the above.
Pre-Bankruptcy Credit Counseling
If you are thinking about filing for bankruptcy in Alabaster, AL, your attorney will help you to determine which type of bankruptcy is best for you and what you need to do in order to prepare for the bankruptcy filing. One thing that you must do, regardless of the type of bankruptcy for which you are filing, is complete mandatory credit counseling.
All individual bankruptcy filers are required under federal law to complete pre-bankruptcy credit counseling from an approved credit counseling organization, as well as a post-bankruptcy debtor education course. The United States Courts maintains a list of approved credit counseling and debtor education providers online. But, we can help you with that, too.
What Does an Alabaster, AL Bankruptcy Lawyer Do?
Filing for bankruptcy is a big decision that can have long-term consequences on your financial circumstances. While bankruptcy may be the best decision you could make, it’s a decision that should be made in collaboration with a professional who has insight into your financial picture.
When you work with an Alabaster bankruptcy attorney, you can expect them to:
- Review your financial situation;
- Make a recommendation about your debt-relief options, including filing for bankruptcy or other alternatives;
- Help you to determine which type of bankruptcy is most suitable for your case;
- Organize all of the financial documents that you will need for your bankruptcy case, including tax documents, income stubs, a list of debts, an inventory of your assets, etc.;
- Represent you in negotiating debts with your creditors;
- Represent you in bankruptcy court and advocate for your best interests;
- Explore options for keeping your house and other assets during the bankruptcy process;
- Help you to understand the outcome of a bankruptcy case and your obligations moving forward; and
- Answer any questions that you have throughout the process.
It’s important to remember that filing for bankruptcy is a legal process that is handled through the courts. Having a legal professional on your side can be a major comfort.
Call Our Alabaster, AL Bankruptcy Attorney Today
If you are facing large amounts of debt and feel as though you have no options in front of you, it’s time to consult with a bankruptcy attorney. At the Law Offices of Ted Stuckenschneider, P.C., we are available to review your case, make a recommendation, and provide you with competent and attentive legal representation throughout the entirety of the proceeding. To schedule a consultation, please call our law office directly today at (205) 324-5631, send us a message online, or visit our law office in-person at your convenience.
Take Action Toward Financial Solutions Today
Find out how 40 years of financial experience can help you find the best solution to your financial problems. Ted meets with people in Jefferson, Shelby and Blount counties. Being in action to find solutions to your financial problems will reduce your stress level. Ted can help. Call him at 205-324-5631, or email him to make your free initial consultation appointment.
Let’s Work On Solving Your Financial Problems.