Financial troubles can hit individuals and companies during hard times. Sometimes, it feels as though there is no end in sight when the bills are piling up, and there is never enough money at the end of the month to cover them all. 

Finances are often a very sensitive and personal matter, especially during economic hardships. Often, people have a range of emotions, including a sense of failure or fear when considering bankruptcy. Most people do not have a thorough understanding of bankruptcy, which is why the thought of it causes feelings of uncertainty and panic. 

A Maryland bankruptcy lawyer can help you through the legal process and guide you in prioritizing your finances to begin building a more stable future. Knowing that you have a long-term plan will help you better envision an end to the current debt burden you are carrying. Bankruptcy can provide a new beginning with a stronger sense of financial control and discipline.

Navigating a Bankruptcy Case

Watching your bills pile up while the funds in your bank accounts quickly dwindle can cause you to feel a sense of urgency, but you must move forward with caution. It may be tempting to just throw in the towel to make your financial problems go away, but there are important matters to address and evaluate before officially filing for bankruptcy. An experienced bankruptcy attorney can help you assess your situation to decide if bankruptcy is the best option and what the best approach should be.

Document File Of Petition For Bankruptcy

A one-size-fits-all bankruptcy can be costly, inefficient, and harmful in the end. An honest evaluation, along with a hands-on approach by the attorney and client alike, can result in the most successful and favorable results. No two Maryland bankruptcy cases are the same, but a good bankruptcy lawyer always follows a few standard procedures when working with a new client.

These standard procedures include:

  • A full evaluation of the client’s assets and properties
  • A thorough investigation of the client’s financial condition
  • A proper timing of asset moves to benefit from any available exemptions 

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy 

A Chapter 7 bankruptcy is for debtors who do not have the financial means to repay their accrued debts. Debtors must be able to pass a means test to qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. This test assesses the debtor’s expenses and income.

Benefits of Chapter 7 Bankruptcy 

The majority of debts can be wiped out, including unsecured personal loans, credit card balances, and medical bills. Your home may be saved depending on the status of your mortgage payments and how much equity you have in the home. Once a Chapter 7 has been filed, all collection activity will stop, including harassing letters and phone calls as well as wage garnishments.

Impacts of a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy 

The filing of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy can have a significant impact on your life. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy will make it harder to find a job, buy a home, or obtain credit since it will remain on your credit report for ten years. Many people are able to begin rebuilding their credit shortly after their bankruptcy discharge.

There can also be psychological and emotional effects caused by bankruptcy. Many people have reported feeling a sense of relief after their debts have been discharged, but the process can be intimidating and stressful. A Maryland chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer can let you know if a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the best option, given your circumstances.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy 

Chapter 13 bankruptcy was created for individuals who have regular income to create a plan to repay part of or all of their debts. It offers several advantages over a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, including the prevention of foreclosure on a home. 

Maryland Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Process

Before filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you must receive credit counseling through an approved credit counseling agency. Upon completion, a bankruptcy petition will be filed with the bankruptcy court. This petition includes detailed information about your income, finances, assets, and debts.

After filing your bankruptcy petition, a bankruptcy trustee will be appointed to oversee your case. Our Maryland chapter 13 bankruptcy lawyers and trustees will work with you to create a feasible repayment plan. In this plan, you will find an outline listing the repayment of your debts over a 3 to 5-year period. 

Man Showing An Empty Wallet

After the court approves your repayment plan, payments will be given to the bankruptcy trustee, who will then distribute these funds to the creditors according to the repayment plan. This important step begins your journey toward financial stability. Filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy can be challenging and complex, but with a knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney, you can work towards a new financial beginning.

Maryland Bankruptcy Frequently Asked Questions 

Can I include medical bills when I file for bankruptcy?

In general, yes, medical bills can be included in a bankruptcy. Medical bills owed directly to treatment centers, doctors, hospitals, and rehabilitation clinics can be included in Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies. Bills incurred from a car accident can also be discharged. Your attorney can better explain how medical bills can be impacted based on which chapter you file, and the amount required to repay your care providers.

Will my house be taken if I file bankruptcy?

With bankruptcy, you can keep your home as long as there is an exemption to the equity in the property, you are up-to-date on payments for any mortgages on the property, and you can show that the payment is within your means.

Do I need my spouse to file for bankruptcy with me?

In Maryland, spouses are not required to file for bankruptcy together. One spouse may file without the other spouse filing for bankruptcy at all. This can be a smart idea when one spouse has been burdened by debt, and the other spouse has little to no debt. A spouse’s assets are not liable for the other spouse’s debts in Maryland.

Should I choose debt management over bankruptcy?

Debt management programs cannot guarantee that each of your creditors will participate in the program. In most situations, at least one or more creditors will not participate. Unfortunately, it only takes one creditor’s refusal to participate to ruin your whole plan for debt management. 

How am I supposed to pay for a bankruptcy attorney if I am already in debt?

This is a very important question asked by many who are facing the crippling weight of bankruptcy. While it is possible to get the bankruptcy paperwork, fill it out at home, and file it with the courthouse, it is not recommended. It is easy to overlook the inclusion of an asset or to incorrectly protect an asset, which can lead to potential jail time or the loss of your car or home. 

Hiring a bankruptcy attorney can help you navigate these murky waters, ensuring you fully protect yourself throughout the process. Once you obtain legal representation, minimum payments to debtors are halted, freeing up money to begin paying for your attorney. Often, payment plans can be arranged to cover the fee over several months. 

Schedule a Free Consultation with Our MD Bankruptcy Attorneys Today

If you have been treading water, barely able to breathe from the weight of the debt you are carrying, you do not need to struggle through this turmoil when there are ways to get rid of your heavy debt and begin a new financial start. If you want a better future with a stable financial foundation, bankruptcy with the help of our personal injury and bankruptcy law firm may solve your problems. 
Our bankruptcy lawyers have successfully helped clients through the process of filing for bankruptcy, giving them a fresh start and financial relief. If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, reach out to our law offices today for a free consultation with a top-rated MD bankruptcy lawyer using our online contact form.