IS BANKRUPTCY THE BEST CHOICE FOR ME? ARE THERE ANY ALTERNATIVES?
Many people are struggling with financial problems these days. But what is the best way to handle it? Can I take care of the problem and avoid bankruptcy? Is it possible to work with my creditors? Is paying a percentage of what I owe through debt negotiation the way to go? We understand that bankruptcy may indeed be the best option to resolve your financial difficulties, stop those harassing telephone calls, obtain a fresh start, and get control of your life. However, alternatives are available if you are facing credit card, unpaid taxes or foreclosure problems. The Schreiber Law Firm offers a no-cost “Debt Resolution Alternative” consultation to go over your financial situation and review your available options – including each type of debt resolution, the process for each alternative and the advantages and drawbacks of each to give you clarity and provide you a road map back to regain financial control of your life.
WHY SHOULD I RETAIN THE SCHREIBER LAW FIRM TO REPRESENT ME IN RESOLVING MY DEBT PROBLEMS?
At The Schreiber Law Firm we handle Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 wage earner bankruptcy cases and Chapter 11 business cases. In contrast to almost every other debt resolution/bankruptcy firm where clients deal primarily with paralegals or “account representatives”, at The Schreiber Law Firm we provide every client personalized, individual attention to their financial problems – with an attorney. Clients never meet with or talk to paralegals or assistants. All appointments in our office are always with an attorney. All telephone calls and conferences are with an attorney. And our fees are lower than attorneys who rely on expensive media advertising, high volume and with limited attorney contact.
There are many advantages to hiring us to represent you. They include:
- Over 30 years experience and successfully filing over 6,000 Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 cases
- You talk to and work only with an attorney – starting with your first call to us and every time thereafter. You never meet with or talk to any paralegals or assistants
- Affordable attorney’s fees – starting at $925 for a single individual debtor, which also includes FULL attorney representation from start to finish, not just help filling out forms.
- Genuine personal, individualized attention to resolving your financial problems
- Free initial consultation with an attorney to review your options
- We take the time to explain the process to make sure you understand it
- If we cannot take a client’s call, they receive answers to their questions within 4 hours if sent by E Mail and no later than the next business morning if by telephone
- If needed, affordable no-interest payment plans to pay fees over time, with as little as $100 down (fees must be paid in full before filing).
WHAT IF BANKRUPTCY IS THE CHOICE I MAKE?
Do I Need a Bankruptcy Attorney?
Bankruptcy is more than filling out forms. The decision whether to file bankruptcy requires planning with an experienced bankruptcy attorney. If you file the paperwork incorrectly or use a petition preparation service which cannot legally advise you on bankruptcy law and make an error, the problems you may face could exceed the cost of an experienced bankruptcy attorney. It may even cause you to lose property or be unable to discharge debts that an experienced bankruptcy attorney can avoid. Your lawyer’s advice can make a big difference as to how much property you may be able to keep and how much debt you can eliminate.
It is extremely inexpensive to hire an attorney to file bankruptcy when compared to your other options – which include simply paying all of your bills or dealing with collection agencies and never improving credit scores. At The Schreiber Law Firm we can help you correctly list all of your obligations, maximize your exemptions to help you keep all your property, eliminate as much debt as possible and provide you peace of mind.
What Is The Cost To File A Bankruptcy Case?
Your initial consultation is free. If it is determined bankruptcy is the option for you, The Schreiber Law Firm can begin preparation of your case with as little as $100 down and can set up an affordable payment plan. To file a bankruptcy case, there are basically three costs, 1) the filing fee, currently $310 for a Chapter 13 case and $335 for a Chapter 7 case, 2) the attorneys fees, and 3) the fee for the consumer credit counseling which can range from no cost to $50.
At The Schreiber Law Firm we have flat fees to provide you certainty as to the cost. Attorney fees are based on a number of factors and all cases are different. We base your fees only on the work we will have to perform on your particular case. To determine the appropriate attorney fee we ask that you complete a questionnaire at your free initial consultation so that we can better understand your financial situation. The less complicated your bankruptcy case is, the lower your attorney fees will be. When your fees are determined in advance, you will know exactly the total cost of our services before we file your case. Clients of The Schreiber Law Firm receive personal, one-on-one assistance of an attorney – and only with an attorney – with attorney’s fees very competitive with, and in fact most times less than what other bankruptcy firms would charge.
If you decide that bankruptcy is the best choice, depending on your circumstances, you would likely file either a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13 case.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Under Chapter 7 bankruptcy a debtor discharges their debts, most times without any requirement to repay their creditors. The primary purpose of bankruptcy is to discharge the legal obligation to pay debts in order to provide debtors a financial “fresh start”. Even with the “means test” required by the bankruptcy law changes in 2005, most debtors needing the protections and fresh start of Chapter 7 still qualify to file Chapter 7 today.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy typically takes about four months from filing to discharge. For most debtors there is no requirement that you appear in Court before a Judge and you only attend a short meeting of creditors with an attorney from The Schreiber Law Firm before a court-appointed trustee.
The filing of a bankruptcy case puts into effect an “automatic stay”. At the instant your case is filed the automatic stay stops your creditors from any further attempts to collect what you owe them, including stopping creditor calls, stopping any lawsuits, garnishments, repossessions and any pending foreclosure on your property.
The bankruptcy discharge eliminates a debtor’s personal liability on dischargeable debts. However, the right to a discharge is not absolute and some types of debts may not be dischargable. Further, a discharge does not eliminate certain liens on property. At The Schreiber Law Firm, we have the experience to properly advise debtors to minimize or eliminate dischargeability issues and properly advise you on debts secured by liens.
Most debtors can keep property they own if it is exempt. If you do not properly exempt your real or personal property, the trustee can sell that property and use the money to pay creditors. At The Schreiber Law Firm, we have the experience to properly exempt your property to allow you to keep most, if not all of your property.
Our job is to help you understand your debts and the exemptions available to you so that you can maximize what you can keep and in most cases pay nothing under Chapter 7. When the process is successfully completed, you will indeed have a financial fresh start.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Chapter 13 bankruptcy, sometimes known as a Wage Earner Plan, is a form of bankruptcy relief which allows debtors to repay creditors to the extent they can afford to do so, many times paying only a percentage of what is owed to creditors such as credit card companies, medical bills and other unsecured debts. Chapter 13 may also be appropriate when there are past due car payments or unpaid or there are unpaid taxes. Further, Chapter 13 provides debtors the opportunity to repay past due mortgage loans in foreclosure and save their home, especially when attempts to voluntarily work out repayment with the lender has reached a dead end. In appropriate cases, a Chapter 13 can remove certain mortgage liens against your property, by a process known as a “lien strip.”
If you have a steady income, the Bankruptcy Court can approve a payment plan which can last from 36 and up to 60 months. Every month a payment is made to a Trustee who then distributes the money to the creditors. The part of your debt which is not required to be paid to the creditors is discharged. At The Schreiber Law Firm we have filed hundreds of Chapter 13 cases and have obtained court approved plans. We help you understand the specifics of Chapter 13, how Chapter 13 can help you and have the experience to submit a Chapter 13 plan which is most advantageous to you.
Foreclosure, Loan Modification And Short Sale Assistance
Whether you are in foreclosure or facing possible foreclosure, you should know what options are available to you and the legal consequences of foreclosure. Further, we can advise you if you choose to work with your lender directly, or if you elect, we can actually represent you in loan modifications. Jeffrey Schreiber is a licensed California Real Estate Broker and can represent and advise you in short sales.
At The Schreiber Law Firm, we have experience in representing both borrowers and lenders in foreclosure and workout situations. This background provides us the knowledge of what lenders will do to assist borrowers in resolving their mortgage problems.
As appropriate for your circumstances, we can assist in guiding you through the foreclosure process, arranging short sales (where the lender agrees to release its lien for a third party sale at less than what is owed), Deeds in lieu of foreclosure loan modification, loan restructuring and refinance options.