As knowledgeable bankruptcy law professionals in Winston-Salem, our attorneys can assist you through the bankruptcy process successfully.
Are you in need of a bankruptcy attorney in Winston-Salem, North Carolina? At Bennett Guthrie PLLC, we can provide you with the bankruptcy law services you need.
What is Bankruptcy?
Bankruptcy is a legal proceeding or case that is heard before a federal bankruptcy court under the federal bankruptcy law, whereby you may be granted a partial or complete discharge of all eligible debts. Upon the filing of a bankruptcy petition, an initial order of relief is issued by the bankruptcy court, also called an “Order of Automatic Stay.” This order is issued automatically and immediately and, with a few narrow exceptions, stops all creditor collection activities, including lawsuits and foreclosures.
If you have filed a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case that was dismissed within the previous year, a motion to keep your automatic stay from expiring must be filed. The final order of the bankruptcy court is called the “discharge”. This final order comes at the end of the case, and permanently discharges all eligible debts and obligations you owed at the time the case was filed.
Who Can File Bankruptcy?
An individual, a partnership, or a corporation can file bankruptcy. Only individuals may file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, while Chapter 7 is designated for individuals and corporations. Chapter 12 bankruptcy is for farmers, and Chapter 11 is for medium to large businesses and individuals engaged is a business with debts that exceed the dollar limits set for Chapter 13 cases. Married individuals may file individually, or they may file a joint petition with their spouse.
Things Bankruptcy Court Will Not Tell You:
- Debt-settlement firms may do more harm than good. Debt-settlement firms offer to play hardball with creditors and whittle down outstanding balances by up to 75 percent. They bill their services as an alternative to bankruptcy, but in many cases, they can hurt more than they help. Debt-settlement firms are unregulated, for-profit entities that require regular payments before taking any action on a consumer’s behalf.
- Don’t settle with friends and family first. Many debtors naturally want to pay back friends and family before filing for bankruptcy. This is the worst action you can take. Any money paid to an insider (including relatives, friends and acquaintances, or business partners) within a year (sometimes 2 years) of filing bankruptcy is recoverable by the trustee. The friend or family member who received the funds must return the money to the trustee, and if not done so voluntarily, the trustee has the power to sue them in bankruptcy court. No one should wish such consequences on a friend or family member!
- Don’t hide your assets from the court. Hiding assets in a bankruptcy law case is a crime punishable by imprisonment, a fine, or both. The first principle that applies when filing bankruptcy is that “there are no secrets in bankruptcy.” The judge, the trustee, the bankruptcy administrator, and your attorney will all know as much about your finances and business activities as you do. If you are not prepared to make full and complete disclosure of all money, assets, debts, income, and past and contemplated business activities, then you should not consider filing bankruptcy. Timing is everything.
At Bennett Guthrie PLLC, we understand that bankruptcy can be stressful and leave you with many questions. As knowledgeable bankruptcy law professionals, our attorneys can assist you through the bankruptcy process successfully. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.