Bankruptcy is a process governed by federal law that affords individuals and businesses protection from their creditors when they are unable to repay debts. Bankruptcy can protect debtors from collection efforts such as foreclosure, repossession, garnishments, and lawsuits. Once the filing of your bankruptcy petition is completed creditors are prohibited from taking any further collection actions against you without bankruptcy court approval. Residents of Maryland file their bankruptcy petitions with the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Maryland. The Bankruptcy Court has two locations in Maryland: the courthouse for the Northern Division is in Baltimore city and the one for the Southern Division is in Greenbelt. Our Baltimore office is conveniently located within walking distance to the courthouse in Baltimore city.
The United States Bankruptcy Code is the collection of laws that govern the bankruptcy process. The two main themes of bankruptcy are discharge and distribution. Discharge refers to your debt being eliminated or erased. Distribution focuses on fairness to creditor(s) and deals with the fair distribution of assets/money to them. The two main types of bankruptcy for individuals and small businesses fall under chapter 7 and chapter 13 of the United States Bankruptcy Code. Chapter 7 is best suited to helping those who meet certain income requirements (cannot exceed certain income) with eliminating high amounts of unsecured debt, such as credit cards and medical bills. If your debt is primarily business related, the means test will not apply. Individuals who do not qualify for relief under chapter 7 may be able to file a petition under chapter 13 of the Code. Refer to our section on chapter 13 for information on eligibility or contact us for a consultation and we can help you determine if you qualify. Chapter 13 allows individuals with a steady income to pay off debt as best they can over typically a five year, but sometimes three year period. Chapter 13 debtors also receive a discharge upon the completion of their plan, which sometimes can be greater than the discharge they would receive in chapter 7.
Whichever route you end up taking, Jan and Joseph are committed to helping you navigate it successfully. Let our experience and dedication open the door to your financial freedom. You are welcome to fill out our contact form to request a consultation and get started today.