According to data from the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI), nearly 530,000 Americans filed for personal bankruptcy protection in 2020. With the new year, why not get a fresh start with bankruptcy? In this article, our West Virginia bankruptcy lawyer provides an overview of your personal bankruptcy options, explains how the process can help you get a fresh start, and highlights the things you should consider if you are trying to determine if bankruptcy is right for you.
Personal Bankruptcy: Know the Basics
If you are considering bankruptcy to repair and reset your financial situation in the new year, it is important to understand that there are two distinct types of personal bankruptcy. You may be eligible to file for:
- Chapter 7 bankruptcy: Also referred to as a liquidation bankruptcy or straight bankruptcy, Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection allows an individual to discharge (wipe out) most or all of their outstanding debts, including credit card bills, medical payments, personal loans, overdue utility payments, and more.
- Chapter 13 bankruptcy: The primary alternative to a liquidation bankruptcy, Chapter 13 bankruptcy is known as the ‘wage earner’s plan.’ Instead of an automatic discharge, a person’s debt is restructured into a single (reduced) monthly payment that lasts three to five years. With Chapter 13, penalties and interest are generally waived and some principal is often forgiven.
Bankruptcy Can Help You Get a True Fresh Start
If you are falling behind on monthly payments or dodging calls from aggressive debt collectors, bankruptcy offers an answer. For most of the people who do it, filing for bankruptcy protection brings a tremendous sense of relief. It is not an overstatement to say that bankruptcy is a path through an otherwise insurmountable problem. With a proper, well-considered bankruptcy application, you can get a truly fresh start.
How to Know if Filing Bankruptcy is the Right Option
Not sure if you are a good candidate for bankruptcy? You are certainly not alone. Many people have questions about whether bankruptcy is really the right thing to do in a specific situation. You may be a good candidate for bankruptcy if:
- You are falling behind on your monthly payments;
- Your debt situation keeps getting worse and you see no way out; and
- You are stressed out and you want a fresh start.
One of the best steps you can take is to set up a free, comprehensive case evaluation with a top-rated bankruptcy attorney. A bankruptcy lawyer will be in the best position to review your finances and help you understand your options. If bankruptcy is the right choice, a lawyer will tell you what you need to do next.
Call Our Bankruptcy Law Attorney for Guidance and Support
At Hinkle Law PLLC, our bankruptcy lawyer helps people and families get a fresh start. If you have any questions about your bankruptcy or debt relief options, we can help. Contact us today for a free, completely confidential initial consultation. With office locations in Martinsburg, Charleston, WV, and Hagerstown, MD, we offer bankruptcy law and debt relief services in West Virginia, Western Maryland, and Southwestern Pennsylvania.