A Full Suite of Services
There are several types of bankruptcy that you may qualify for. You may also have different types of debt that are handled differently in the bankruptcy process. We will help you strategize on what type of bankruptcy best suits your goals and identify what types of debt can be typically discharged.
Our Bankruptcy legal services in Springfield include providing assistance with:
- Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. This common type of consumer bankruptcy involves a liquidation process. Nonexempt assets are sold, or liquidated, to partially repay creditors, and in exchange, the debtor pays nothing else and generally gets to discharge unsecured debts. Though liquidation can sound intimidating to some, many or even the entirety of a debtor’s assets can be protected through state or federal exemptions, drastically limiting the amount of property that is actually liquidated. Our team can guide you through each step of the Chapter 7 filing process, including determining eligibility and managing exemptions.
- Chapter 11 Bankruptcy. This type of bankruptcy is intended for individuals and enterprises engaged in commercial activity. Often used by corporations and partnerships, the practice allows businesses to reorganize their finances, which involves developing a plan that honors existing obligations. A Chapter 11 bankruptcy typically allows a business to continue its normal operations throughout the reorganization process. We will help commercial entities determine if filing for Chapter 11 makes sense for their business and can advocate for them each step of the way.
- Subchapter V. This newer bankruptcy option went into effect in early 2020 and offers a heavily streamlined version of Chapter 11 reorganizational bankruptcy to small businesses at a significantly reduced overall cost. Qualifying small businesses can leverage many of the benefits of a typical Chapter 11 filing, including a reorganization of debts and obligations, while skipping many of the time-consuming and delay-ridden hurdles. We will help clients work to save their small business by helping them make the most of Subchapter V.
- Chapter 13 Bankruptcy. The other major form of consumer bankruptcy is reorganizational in nature and skips the liquidation process. Instead, a debtor’s obligations are consolidated into a single payment that must be paid monthly for a period of 3 to 5 years. The amount of this lump payment is rooted in the debtor’s ability to pay – calculated through their average monthly disposable income – and not the extent of the debt. If the payment plan is honored, filers typically have the ability to discharge remaining unsecured debts. Our team can serve as your advocate throughout the filing process, helping you calculate an accurate level of disposable income and negotiating a fair and reasonable debt repayment plan.
- Debt Collection Lawsuit. When you are unable to pay a debt and a creditor believes that you do not intend to ever pay, they may choose to pursue a debt collection lawsuit against you. If the suit is successful – and if you legitimately owe the debt, it is likely to be – the creditor may be granted the ability to garnish your wages to recover what is owed. We will help you stop debt collection lawsuits through the bankruptcy’s automatic stay.
- Foreclosure Defense. Losing your home can be unthinkable, but in Missouri, a foreclosure can sometimes proceed extremely quickly. Nonjudicial foreclosures may give you limited time to respond to an accelerated process after you have become at least 120 days late on your mortgage payments. Bankruptcy can halt a foreclosure so long as the filing is done prior to the foreclosure sale. The automatic stay forbids the foreclosure process from restarting until your filing is completed, giving you potentially years to catch up on your mortgage. We will help you strategize on the most effective means of defending you against foreclosure through bankruptcy.
- Garnishment. If a debt collection lawsuit is successfully brought against you, the judgment might involve a garnishment of your wages. Though there are legal limits governing how much of your wage can be garnished – and generally, you cannot lose your job because of any garnishment – the situation can be embarrassing and only compound your difficulty in getting on top of your debt. Filing for bankruptcy can freeze any imminent or ongoing garnishments and give you the opportunity to get on top of your obligations and even discharge some unsecured debts. We will help you explore your bankruptcy options.
- Credit Card Debt. When you have limited means of paying other bills, it can be easy to lean on credit cards to cover other necessary, day-to-day expenses. Unfortunately, sky high interest rates can quickly make credit card overwhelming, limiting your ability to reasonably repay. Luckily, credit card debt can be effectively addressed through filing for bankruptcy. Successfully completing Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy as a consumer generally entitles you to discharge all unsecured debts, including credit card debt. We will evaluate your situation and help you understand what types of debt you may be able to discharge.
- Creditor Harassment. Nothing is more frustrating than creditors incessantly calling at inopportune hours. Many do not realize that you have tremendous rights as a debtor when it comes to creditor harassment: Under federal law, you have the ability to stop the brunt of creditor contact by simply asking. Creditors are also not able to use abusive language, lie about ownership of debt, or call you at certain times or places. Filing for bankruptcy puts a complete stop to creditor harassment, as collection agents will be unable to contact you for the duration of the process. We will help you deal with unscrupulous creditors and work to address the underlying debt through bankruptcy.
- Divorce Debt. When you get a divorce, you and your ex-spouse will need to determine who gets child custody, who receives what property, and who receives what debt. Filing for either a joint bankruptcy or individual bankruptcy can resolve many types of debt before divorce proceedings are finalized. We will assess your situations and offer advise on the most advantageous timing of a potential bankruptcy filing and whether a joint bankruptcy should be considered, if possible.
- Medical Debt. An unexpected injury or illness can lead to medical bills. Even a single extended hospital stay can represent a tremendous burden on a previously financially stable individual or family. Fortunately, medical debt can be addressed and resolved through filing for bankruptcy. Completing either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy will often entitle the debtor to discharge unsecured debts, including any remaining medical debt. Our team can assess your debt and determine if it is likely to qualify for medical debt discharge.
- Repossession. Successful debt collection lawsuits brought against you can also result in the repossession of collateral property. This can include losing key assets like the vehicle that you use to get to work. Filing for bankruptcy halts any pending repossessions through the automatic stay, which remains in effect for the duration of the process and gives you the chance to address any outstanding obligations. We will work quickly to help you file to avoid repossession.
- Student Loans. Generally, student loans are not dischargeable in a bankruptcy. However, student loan debt can sometimes be discharged through the use of an adversary proceeding, a lawsuit that contends that the mandatory repayment of the loan represents an undue hardship on the debtor. We will help evaluate whether you have the evidence you will need to potentially succeed in an adversary proceeding and help you explore how bankruptcy can still give you the flexibility to catch up on missed payments.
- Tax Debt. Most unpaid tax obligations cannot be discharged as part of a bankruptcy. In certain situations, money owed to the IRS can be potentially dismissed. We will help you navigate the complex process of determining whether your tax debt qualifies and walking you the steps of attempting to discharge it.