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Filing a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy: Basic Steps

Bankruptcy Attorney in Rockville, Maryland

Financial freedom is everything, and it is what most of us desire in life. However, dealing with debt is also a part of life, and thus financial problems arise. In fact, millions are struggling due to illness, job loss, and other undue hardships which pushes them to file for Bankruptcy. If you are currently residing in Maryland, and this happens to you, you might consider filing for bankruptcy and look for an experienced bankruptcy attorney.  

Kurland Law Group can definitely help you with your unsecured debts. With our over two decades of experience, our strong dedication enables us to provide superior legal advice and exceptional representation to our clients. We help clients attain a fresh start and debt relief. If you want to talk with us about your case, schedule an initial consultation now! 

Why do I need a Bankruptcy Attorney in Maryland?

 filing chapter 7 bankruptcyBankruptcy is governed by federal law, so filing for bankruptcy in Maryland is similar to another state. However, bankruptcy exemptions may vary from one state to another. Hence, the exemptions under the state law shall also be understood. The bankruptcy process is intrinsically complex; getting the right lawyer is critical. Consider the following good qualities before hiring:

  • Notable Experience – Years of experience are nothing unless they are relevant. Look for a bankruptcy firm that not only practices bankruptcy, but also in all phases of challenging Chapter 13 and Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases. This includes, but not limited to, federal litigation, loan modification, short sales, and the likes. 
  • Seeks active relationship – In Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you will work with your bankruptcy attorney for four months. Establishing a good attorney-client relationship is critical during this time. It greatly helps both of you in achieving better results. Hire a bankruptcy attorney who is committed to maintaining active and engaging relationships with clients.
  • Provides Positive Change – Frustration exists in all types of debt. Sleeping soundly at night might be hard for someone who is financially struggling. It is not only about money, but also about your life. To surmount your difficulties, your lawyer must make a positive change. Choose someone who is knowledgeable, willing to explain the process, and dedicated.

In terms of experience, Kurland Law Group has been practicing bankruptcy for over two decades. This includes extensive experience with the complex processes of Chapter 13 and Chapter 7 bankruptcy, loan modifications, court litigation, federal, short sales, and debt settlement cases, among other things. Because we want to build an active and engaging relationship with our clients, we are committed to going beyond words, differences, and everything in between. One of our primary goals is to help our clients achieve positive change by providing superior legal advice and exceptional representation. If you need help with your debts, schedule a free consultation now! 

What is Bankruptcy?

The most common type of bankruptcy being filed is either Chapter 13 or Chapter 7. To differentiate the two, below are their brief distinctions:

  • Chapter 7 – Chapter 7 bankruptcy is relatively quicker than Chapter 13. It only takes several months to finish. In addition to its swiftness, it is also cheaper than Chapter 13 – you are not obliged to pay anything to the creditors. Chapter 7 bankruptcy suits well for individuals whose property entails the essential things they need to work and live. Unlike Chapter 13, Chapter 7 bankruptcy does not include a debt repayment plan. As a result, if you fall behind on your payments, your car or home may be repossessed.
  • Chapter 13 – In Chapter 13, debtors must repay the creditors through a 3-5 years debt repayment plan. This repayment plan allows Chapter 13 to provide the benefits which are not available in Chapter 7. Other than keeping all your properties, you also save your car from repossession and home from foreclosure. If you need more time to repay your debts, using Chapter 13 might be a wise choice. This allows you to compel the creditor into a payment plan.

Filing a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy: Basic Steps

The process of  bankruptcy petition is inherently complicated. That is why the majority of people require the assistance of an experienced bankruptcy attorney. To summarize, the basic steps are as follows:

  • Education and Counseling – 180 days before filing for bankruptcy, you are required to get credit counseling. The counseling shall be handled by an organization that is legally approved by the Department of Justice’s U.S. Trustee Program. Furthermore, a debtor education must be completed prior to discharging your debts. This helps you have a budget, use credit reasonably, and manage money wisely.
  • Check the Qualifications for both Bankruptcy Chapter – Following the counseling, passing the “means test” is your next step. This determines whether or not you are qualified for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. This test determines if you have sufficient money to secure, or pay some portion of your debt. If your annual household income is less than the typical family income in Maryland, your bankruptcy petition is likely to be granted. If otherwise, you may consider filing for Chapter 13 instead. 
  • Collect Data – In filing for any type of bankruptcy, gathering of pertinent documents and financial data is important. This includes, but not limited to:
  • Car titles
  • Loan documents
  • Real estate deeds
  • All your assets including possessions and property
  • Unsecured and secured debts
  • Living expenses
  • Financial transactions for the last two years
  • Current source of income itemization
  • Filing of Forms – This is now the bankruptcy filing process. It involves filling out several forms, bankruptcy petitions, and called schedules. You will provide information about property, creditor, claimed exemptions, income, co-debtors, expenses, and financial affairs statement. After filing the bankruptcy forms accurately, the automatic stay becomes effective. This means that the creditor loses the right to make claims against your property. 
  • Attend 341 Meeting – You are required to attend the 341 Meeting to meet with the trustee who is appointed by the bankruptcy court to assume the legal obligation to supervise the case. There are also some instances when the creditors can appear in the meeting and ask certain questions. The meeting could last for 5-15 minutes.
  • Discharge – After complying with all the necessary steps in bankruptcy, all your debts are respectfully wiped out and discharged. Other types of debt, however, such as student loans, child support debt, and tax debt, cannot be wiped out. 

Call our Bankruptcy Attorney Now!

Debts are inevitable, and financial difficulties are normal. If you are filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy for the first time, you may find the procedure confusing. If this is the case, you are less likely to be able to pay off your debts. If this happens, you are going to carry the burden even more. Hence, it is indeed imperative to consult with an experienced and dedicated bankruptcy attorney.

Kurland Law Group is a bankruptcy attorney in Maryland that is experienced, committed, and provides excellent legal service. Practicing bankruptcy for two decades enables us to see the bigger picture of every financial difficulties of our clients. Other than Bankruptcy, we also handle Foreclosure Defense and Loan Modifications, Short Sales, Individual/Consumer Services, Asset Protection, Small and Medium-Sized Businesses, Litigation Services, and Wage Garnishment Options. If you or someone you know requires any of our services, schedule now for a free consultation. 

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Kurland Law Group
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