Bankruptcy FAQs | Michael D Sayles ESQ.

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Elkins Park, PA

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Yes. Although the bankruptcy laws were changed on October 17, 2005, bankruptcy continues to help millions of Americans in need of a fresh financial start. The relief sought and obtained through bankruptcy continues to exist in the same fashion as before the law change. The new law did create more work for the Petitioner and legal counsel, however, our lawyers have continued to file and obtain relief for our many satisfied clients since the law change.

Is Bankruptcy relief still available?

Bankruptcy is not something that people want to do, rather it is something people NEED to do. Clients seek the bankruptcy legal assistance of Michael D. Sayles to eliminate credit card debt, medical bills, personal loans, utility debt, pay day loans, stop foreclosure, reduce IRS debt and surrender assets that have become unaffordable among many, many other reasons. No matter what the reason a client wants to file Bankruptcy, they can be assured that their case will be handled by a lawyer specializing in Bankruptcy Law.

Why do people file for Bankruptcy?

In Chapter 13 Bankruptcy a Petitioner based on arrearages, equity or income proposes a Plan to repay all or a portion of the debt. A Chapter 13 Bankruptcy allows the Petitioner to repay his/her debts over three (3) to five (5) years interest free, therefore paying off debt with the lowest payment possible under the law. A Chapter 7 Bankruptcy affords the Petitioner with a discharge of debts in only a three to four month time period. Moreover, in a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy a Petitioner does not pay back any of their debts included in the bankruptcy filing.

What is the difference between a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy and a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

Do you need bankruptcy filing help? Michael D Sayles ESQ. can be your friend in your need. We will help you get through it.

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How much does it cost to file Bankruptcy?

There is no easy answer to this question. At the Law Office of Michael D. Sayles we offer competitive legal fees and will set up a feasible payment plan for you. Legal fees are determined by the complexity of your case. All legal fees charged by Michael D. Sayles are based on a flat-rate, meaning you will not be billed for extracurricular hourly work. A reasonable legal fee will be assessed at your initial consultation, therefore you will know your legal options and all costs up front, no surprises!

Will I be able to get credit after filing for bankruptcy?

Although it is not recommended that you finance a car or house the day after filing for bankruptcy, credit will be available to you. Those filing for bankruptcy have ongoing expenses such as utilities, mortgage or rent, phone, amongst others. So long as after filing for bankruptcy within one year the Petitioner should qualify for favorable credit terms based on timely payments made toward ongoing expenses after the bankruptcy filing. Further, a bankruptcy filing will improve your debt to income ratio, thereby increasing your credit score.

Will I have to go to Court?

There is one hearing that the Petitioner must be present at. The hearing is called a 341 Meeting where a trustee is appointed to review your case for truth and accuracy. You will be notified of the hearing at least one month in advance. Also, my office will call you to discuss the hearing process and detail the questions which will be asked at the hearing. It is important that you have competent bankruptcy counsel with you during the hearing. The hearing itself is administrative in nature, not adversarial, and generally lasts between 10 to 20 minutes.

What will I need to bring to the initial consultation?

To best assess your situation, we advise you to bring your most recent pay stub, any bills giving you a problem and your most recent tax return. Although more information is needed for an actual bankruptcy filing the aforementioned documents will give the lawyer a great understanding of your financial situation. At the law office of Michael D Sayles, we will determine whether bankruptcy is your best option, and if so, what Chapter (Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy) best fits your situation. In the event that bankruptcy is not the best option for you, you will be advised of all options that may be available to you under the law.

Will I lose my car or house?

No, under Section 522 of the Bankruptcy code there are exemptions which protect your equity in personal and real property. Under Pennsylvania Bankruptcy laws, the Federal Section 522 exemptions are allowed and in most cases very generous. The exemptions are used to allow the Petitioner(s) to keep property such as houses, cars, personal clothing, jewelry, household goods and furnishings and miscellaneous personal property. In the event a Petitioner owns property in excess of the allowable exemptions, they would file a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy based on the equity in such property. It is important that you speak with an attorney to determine your equity position in property.