A Philadelphia Bankruptcy Lawyer continues to speak concerning some of the bankruptcy questions posed in last week’s blog. What property do I lose when I file a bankruptcy? The official answer is “It depends.” The unofficial answer as a Philadelphia bankruptcy lawyer and as my clients have so often found:”Nothing”. Each person’s case is fact specific. For each client, you can choose between sub-sections of the Bankruptcy Code; one is the ‘state exemptions’; the other, the ‘federal exemptions’. There are a great number of issues to be considered when determining which of these two exemptions to choose. Some of the factors to be considered are: A bankruptcy filer may be single or it may be a married couple. How is the actual property titled. When and under what circumstances did the property come into the debtor’s possession. Is there a marital claim against the item. Who is on title to each item of debt. Does the property have equity or is it encumbered by a mortgage or a loan? What judgments if any exist and against who.
The above questions are some of the issues to be considered. By no means are the all. To make sure you have the full benefit of the law, you must make sure you have an experienced bankruptcy lawyer in the Philadelphia area who will take all factors into consideration when providing you with proper advice. As I said earlier in the blog, when approaching the problem properly, no client will lose any property; this includes their home, cars, retirement funds and home furnishings; we can talk about leaving the dog and the kids and perhaps your spouse when you come in for a consult.
How long does a bankruptcy take? If you file a chapter 7 in Philadelphia, from the time the papers get filed until you receive your discharge (a discharge in bankruptcy is a good thing), about 4 months. A chapter 13 filing in Philadelphia will be up to 60 months worth of payments; your discharge will be signed about 4 months after final trustee payment. A chapter 11, if it benefits the debtor (that is you, the person who owes the money and needs lots of time to pay it back) it could be as much as 10 years or more, generally speaking, fewer years than that but under exceptional circumstances, it can and has been done.
So, when you need/must have protection from your creditors, you will do yourself a favor by calling upon the services of a Philadelphia bankruptcy lawyer to provide you counsel and to guide you through the process.