If Your Debt Is Too High, a Bankruptcy Lawyer May Be Your Best Bet
If you’ve lost your job, unemployment benefits may help you keep your head above water for a period of time. But once your unemployment benefits end, it’ll likely become even harder to keep up with your rent or mortgage payments, credit card bills, and medical expenses.
Some expenses you can delay paying for some time, such as credit card bills, but those will likely accrue interest, making the size of your debt grow and grow. If you’re not careful, your debt can spiral out of control.
Create a Plan
If you’re unable to keep up, it’s not a bad idea to talk with a debt relief lawyer. The biggest mistake people in debt make is putting off debt relief when it is necessary. This costs money and hurts your credit as bills go unpaid over time. A debt relief attorney can advise you on your options and help you develop a game plan to get out of debt. If you have significant assets or expect your income to recover fully in the near term, it is likely you will want to pursue debt settlement after your income recovers. However, if your assets and future income are unlikely to enable you to settle, you should consider filing bankruptcy.
Filing for Personal Bankruptcy
The word “bankruptcy” undoubtedly makes people nervous. As with any financial matter, it’s not something that should be entered into lightly. That being said, it can be a way to get back on the path to a better life again, free from crushing debt. It can mean a new beginning.
The first step is speaking to a qualified bankruptcy lawyer in Denver, like Wink & Wink. We’re a husband-and-wife bankruptcy law firm serving multiple areas in Colorado, including all of the Denver metro, as well as most of the front range area. We provide free consultations, where we’ll review your situation to see if bankruptcy is the most cost-effective solution to help you get the debt relief you need.
The Two Types of Personal Bankruptcy
There are two types of personal bankruptcy: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13.
- Chapter 7 bankruptcy erases most of your unsecured debts, such as debt from credit cards, leases, and medical bills. You are then no longer required to pay back balances you owe.
- Chapter 13 bankruptcy involves a three- to five-year repayment plan that may pay something to your unsecured debts, but the rest is discharged.
Which Bankruptcy Is The Right Choice for You?
You might be confused which is the best bankruptcy option. Are there advantages and disadvantages to either choice? That’s why it’s essential you speak with a Denver bankruptcy attorney so you don’t make the wrong pick. Together, Mike and Gigi Wink have over a decade of experience helping Colorado residents get the relief they need and avoid the upsetting consequences of debt, such as repossession, eviction or foreclosure, wage garnishment, and more.
How to File for Bankruptcy
If our team at Wink & Wink determines that declaring bankruptcy is the best way for you to get debt relief, and you’ve retained us as your bankruptcy lawyer, here’s what you’ll need to do:
- Begin referring all creditor calls to Wink & Wink rather than handling them yourself.
- Compile and prepare all the documents you’ll need to file for bankruptcy, which include
- Six months of pay stubs and bank statements.
- Statements from creditors.
- A list of all your properties, plus the value of each property.
- Two years of tax returns.
- Halt paying credit card debt, rent, and other unsecured debt.
- Once Wink & Wink has received your completed bankruptcy documents and the fees owed, we’ll begin preparing your case. This includes meeting with you and signing all bankruptcy paperwork before it is filed with the Colorado Bankruptcy Court.
- Take the required credit counseling course. This course can be done online or over the phone. It typically takes one to two hours.
- File all bankruptcy paperwork with the Colorado Bankruptcy Court.
After you’ve filed the bankruptcy paperwork, creditors can no longer try to take action on your wages, personal property, or bank accounts. Your landlord cannot evict you. In fact, a creditor is not even allowed to contact you anymore. If they do, they face legal consequences.
Approximately four to six weeks after the paperwork has been filed, you’ll attend a meeting of creditors in front of the Bankruptcy Trustee. You’ll be required to answer questions under oath. Wink & Wink will make sure you’re prepared, and our team will be there in case any assistance is required.
If you filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, creditors will have up to 60 days after this meeting to file any objections to your case, and you’ll have this time to add any creditors that you may have missed in your filing. You’ll also need to complete a financial management course, which can also be done online. Discharge of your debt usually occurs after this 60-day objection deadline has passed.
If you filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, objections are more typical. If any do occur, a confirmation hearing will be scheduled. Wink & Wink will again be there to help you resolve any objections that come up. Once the objections are resolved, you’ll then have 30 days to start making payments for your repayment plan. This repayment period will last three to five years. You’ll also need to complete a financial management course, which can be done online. Wink & Wink will remain in contact with you to help if any issues occur during your repayment plan period. An example includes, if you have any financial changes occur, filing for a modification to the repayment plan.
After your debts are discharged, you can begin a fresh start with no more of the debt from your bankruptcy case.
Denver Bankruptcy Lawyer
To get started to see if bankruptcy may be the best solution in light of your unemployment, contact us for a free consultation. Wink & Wink will review your case and advise the best path forward. Call Wink & Wink at 303-410-1720, or get started with our online questionnaire today.